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Antagonistic contradiction: Wikis


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Antagonistic contradiction (Chinese language: 矛盾; Pinyin: Máo dùn) is the impossibility of compromise between different social classes. The term is most often applied in Maoist theory, which holds that differences between the two primary classes, the working class/proletariat and the bourgeoisie are so great that there is no way to bring about a reconciliation of their views. Because the groups involved have diametrically opposed concerns, their objectives are so dissimilar and contradictory that no mutually acceptable resolution can be found. Nonantagonistic contradictions may be resolved through mere debate, but antagonistic contradictions can only be resolved through struggle.

The term is usually attributed to Vladimir Lenin, although he may never have actually used the term in any of his written works.

In Maoism, the antagonistic contradiction was usually that between the peasantry and the landowning class. Mao Zedong expressed his views on the policy in his famous February 1957 speech "On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People."


  • Kim, Samuel S. (1979). China, the United Nations, and World Order. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP.
  • Meisner, Maurice (1986). Mao's China and after (Rev. ed.). New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-02-920880-X.
  • Short, Philip (1999). Mao: A Life. New York: Henry Holt.


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