Khrushchevism Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khrushchevism

Mao Zedong (left) and Nikita Khrushchev (right)

Khrushchevism was a form of Marxism–Leninism which consisted of the theories and policies of Nikita Khrushchev and his administration in the Soviet Union.[1][2][3]

Mao Zedong recognized "Khrushchevism" as a distinct ideology and initially from a positive perspective, though later the term was used by the Chinese Communist Party as a term of derision against the politics of the Soviet Union.[4][5] Khrushchevism involves the rejection of Stalinism and particularly represents a movement away from Stalinist politics, including advocating a more liberal tolerance of some cultural dissent and deviance, a more welcoming international relations policy and attitude towards foreigners and a repudiation of Stalinist arbitrariness and terror tactics.[6] Khrushchevism was not only a phenomenon in the Soviet Union, as it was initially admired in China and Mao sought to model the Chinese Marxist–Leninist state upon principles developed by Khrushchevism; but disputes with the Soviet Union later ended friendly relations between Mao and Khrushchev.[4][failed verification]


Khrushchevism is the name given to a broad series of reforms that the Soviet Union undertook during the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev's goals were to reject the cult of personality around Stalin, liberalize the economy, and allow for greater political freedoms for the citizens of the Soviet Union.


Rejection of Stalinism[edit]

Khrushchev denounced what he called Stalin's cult of personality. This involved tearing down the various statues that had been made in honor of Stalin, and allowing for arts and music that Stalin had banned.

Diversifying the economy[edit]

Khrushchevism also rejects the strict adherence to the central planning that Stalin had used. Instead, Khrushchevism focuses less on heavy industry in the way that Stalin had, but more on consumer goods. This meant a reduction in the production of steel, and military products, and instead investment in things such as radios, televisions, medicine, and appliances.

Private property[edit]

Khrushchevism allows for minor amounts of private property to be held, to spur economic growth and to give people better quality services should they be able to afford it. Khrushchev allowed the creation of privately owned apartment blocks, which is different from the communal housing that Stalin had enforced. This meant many people were having personal kitchens instead of communal ones for the first time.

Political Freedoms[edit]


Khrushchevism allows for the citizens to view artwork from outside the country, even if it was not supportive of the regime. Khrushchev allowed books and movies from the West to be shown in the Soviet Union, as he believed the quality of life portrayed in these works could be matched by the Soviet Union. For example, Dudintsev's Not By Bread Alone was allowed to be published despite its criticisms of bureaucracy.


Khrushchev allowed the people in the Soviet Union to travel for the first time outside of the Soviet Union in large groups. Critical of Stalin's travel restrictions, Khrushchev believed that allowing Soviet citizens to see the quality of life in the West would give rise to no problems, as he would be able to match this quality of life in the Soviet Union. Over 700,000 Soviet citizens traveled abroad in 1957.


  1. ^ Miller, Robert F.; Féhér, Ferenc (1984). Khrushchev and the communist world. Kent, England, UK; Fyshwick, Australia: Croom Helm Ltd. pp. 1–5.
  2. ^ Drachkovitch, Milorad M. (1965). Marxism in the Modern World. Stanford, California, USA: Stanford University Press. p. 108.
  3. ^ Miklossy, Katalin (2011). "Khrushchevism after Khrushchev: The rise of national interest in the Eastern Bloc". In Smith, Jeremy (ed.). Khrushchev in the Kremlin: policy and government in the Soviet Union, 1953-1964. Oxon, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge. p. 150.
  4. ^ a b Miller, Robert F.; Féhér, Ferenc (1984). Khrushchev and the communist world. Kent, England, UK; Fyshwick, Australia: Croom Helm Ltd. pp. 6–8.
  5. ^ Schurmann, Franz (1968). Ideology and Organization in Communist China (2nd ed.). Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, USA; London, England, UK: University of California Press, Cambridge University Press. p. 33., Shows the later use by the Chinese Communists of "Khrushchevism" as a term of derision.
  6. ^ Miller, Robert F.; Féhér, Ferenc (1984). Khrushchev and the communist world. Kent, England, UK; Fyshwick, Australia: Croom Helm Ltd. p. 5.