Maoism has been around, at least in name, since the mid-1940s. Numerous attempts were made to elevate Mao Zedong Thought to the level of an “-ism,” much to Mao’s displeasure. In 1948, in a correspondence with Wu Yuzhang, then president of North China University, he refused to allow his name to be listed alongside Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin, writing, “there is no Maoism”. In 1955, at a conference, again it was suggested that Mao Zedong Thought be elevated to Maoism. Mao replied simply, “Marxism-Leninism is the trunk of the tree; I am just a twig.” This was not mere modesty, this was dialectical.
J. Moufawad-Paul describes cultural revolution thusly: “Whereas Leninism was that stage that established the necessity of revolution up to the dictatorship of the proletariat, Maoism is that stage which claims that revolution must continue within the dictatorship of the proletariat … in order to struggle against the counter-revolutionary ideology that is often preserved in the [ideological] superstructure.” It is precisely here where Leninism ends and revisionism begins.