One of the abiding curiosities in the 20th century has been the success of Marxist revolutions in underdeveloped societies. In the case of China, not only did Marxism-Leninism provide little assistance to the communist party on economic development, the problem was compounded by the disastrous ideas of Mao Zedong which, by the time of his death, brought the economy to the brink of ruin. It was Deng Xiaoping who provided the ideological roadmap and legitimation for the reform and modernization of the Chinese economy. By returning to classical Marxism's emphasis on productive forces, Deng managed to transform Marxism into a developmental nationalist ideology. In so doing, Deng paved the way for the current resurgence of nationalism in the People's Republic.

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