The final chapter seeks to evaluate the question: how does this all end? What is the trajectory that the strategy of Maoism is likely to take, and what will be the cumulative impact upon western societies? A number of frames of reference enable the exploration of some plausible scenarios. Firstly, based on Mao's ideas of the permanent tension between contradictions, and the necessity for constant vigilance to preserve ideological purity, how might the Maoist construct play out in a purely theoretical sense? Secondly, can we consider evidence from examples of how Maoist informed political struggles have worked out in practice in different parts of the world? Finally, by combining insights both the theoretical and practical frames of reference, an assessment of what current trends portend for the western polity can be offered. The chapter contends that the crucial question western societies must confront is whether, in the long run, democratic states can re-contain Maoist ideology within a liberal consensus? The question is dependent on whether those societies are able to retain the commitment to defend the principles that allow open and genuinely pluralistic societies to flourish. The alternative is to continue to indulge Maoist intrusions, and their preference for purification and rectification, in the public sphere and, increasingly, into the private realm as well. Without a willingness to defend the established liberal democratic practices, foreshadows only the likelihood of social breakdown and an appeal to new forms authority, which has been the fate of those who have had the misfortune to endure Maoist policies of cultural revolution.
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