Maoism, also known as the Mao Zedong Thought, is an anti-revolutionist form of Marxist communism derived from Chinese leader Mao Zedong. It is widely considered the ideology of the Communist Party of China from Mao's rise to leadership until Deng Xiaoping's takeover and his economic reforms in China was implemented. Maoist parties still exist around the world.
Maoism began as a variant of Soviet Marxism-Leninism and Stalinism. However, Mao later had a falling out with the Soviets; as a result, there then formed a separate Maoist international communist movement in competition to both Soviet-backed communism and also Trotskyism.
A major difference between Maoism and previous Marxist thought is the role of the peasantry. Marx believed that the urban working classes alone could serve as a foundation for communist revolution, and that the rural poor were not at a sufficient level of socioeconomic development to do so. Soviet thinkers applied the same formula to their own situation, where the initial support base for the communists was urban. Mao however was faced with a country with a much more limited degree of urban development, which orthodox Marxist thought would thus suggest was not a good foundation for a communist revolution. Mao therefore emphasised the revolutionary role of the peasantry in his thought to a much greater degree than previous Marxist thinkers. This emphasis proved popular in the third world, which were nearer to the Chinese than to the Russian situations.