Strategic discourse rarely delves into the interior realm - the world of the inner mind - as a latent source of power. Although Clausewitz touched upon the subject, it was Mao Zedong who elaborated upon it and sought to put it into practice. Mao developed a systematic theory of cognition that delineated the concept of the idealized mind that could be rectified and purified to make it serve revolutionary ends. Arguably, it is his concept of the mind, rather than his thinking on guerrilla warfare, that constitutes his most enduring strategic legacy in the West. Maoist conceptions of how the mind could be moulded towards revolutionary ends have been highly influential upon ideas of strategic conduct, which can be increasingly discerned in the political practices of contemporary western politics to a degree rarely acknowledged in contemporary strategic studies.
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