Dauben, Joseph W.
Marx, Mao and mathematics: the politics of infinitesimals.
Proceedings of the International Congress of Mathematicians, Vol. III (Berlin, 1998).
Doc. Math. 1998, Extra Vol. III, 799–809.
Throughout the Cultural Revolution, Mao Ze-dong promoted Marxism and dialectics to encourage reforms in all fields of endeavor, including the sciences. In mathematics, this encouraged, as it had Marx, an appreciation (with criticism) of the infinitesimal calculus. For Chinese mathematicians, application of Abraham Robinson's newly created nonstandard analysis not only rehabilitated infinitesimals in a technical sense, but (when understood within an appropriate materialist framework) could be used to justify and promote two new fields of study in China---model theory and nonstandard analysis.