Another Look At Mao

I don’t agree that Mao deliberately murdered 10’s of millions of people, or, as the latest crazy book by Jung Chiang, Mao – The Untold Story says, 80 million. If you add the good figures up, it looks like the figure is a lot less than that.
The Fun Gong site is a good source for accurate information.
Adding up their figures, I get 10,151,652 killed by Mao from 1949-1976. The number may well be higher than that, but we just do not know. That’s definitely a Hell of a lot of people!
The famine in the Great Leap Forward was terrible, and probably 15 million died at least, but it was not intentional. The Maoists in general were not intentionally killing people, certainly not by starving them to death. No one really knew what was going on.
It’s not like in these other places, these capitalist places, where there is potentially plenty of food to go around, but the state just refuses to distribute it properly, you know? Or refuses to come up with the funds to buy the food in order to feed the people properly?
The GLF was more manslaughter and criminal stupidity than anything else.
The notion that Communism, and I guess socialism too, always starves the people, everywhere it is tried, is a peculiar rightwing conceit. There was a horrible famine in the USSR in the early 1930’s (but no Holodomor or deliberate famine) and another one in China around 1960. There was mass resistance, sabotage in the countryside, and a food shortage, but no famine, in Cuba in the early 1960’s.
If you notice, the real Commie famines happen around the time when Commies first try to collectivize agriculture. There is some sort of mass resistance or mass screwup, and a famine results. I would argue that if collectivization is going to be done at all, it must be done slowly.
At this point, the record as far as collectivized ag goes is dubious, and maybe collectives or cooperatives are the way to go after all. After 1933, there was scarcely a famine in the USSR. After 1960 or so, there was scarcely one in China.
I have a lot of beefs with the present CCP in China, but I do think that they are dedicated to the greatest good for the greatest number. If you have been paying attention, the whole idea of “the greatest good for the greatest number” is mud in our present capitalist political era. It’s been thrown out the window.
India’s economy has been exploding for 15 years or so, yet the rate of malnutrition has been flat at 51% for the last decade and a half. The capitalist media looks at this and shrugs, and 99% of the time, refuses to even write the story.
Let us write it now!
The death rate under Mao was reduced by about 70% over the death rate under the glorious Nationalists (Kuomintang) who decamped to Taiwan. But did you know that the Nationalists would have achieved just the same thing, had the Chinese fascists actually been given half a chance? Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
They sure were not doing a good job of it before Liberation. Life expectancy under the Nationalists had been flat at 35 for 20 years or so before Liberation, and yes, it was a Liberation. So however many Mao was killing, the Nationalists were killing three times more year in and year out. Put that in your Greatest Mass Murderer Of All Time pipe and smoke it.
A comparison with India and China is instructive. India and China were at the same developmental levels in 1949. Since then, life expectancy has so increased in China over India that we can calculate that there are 4 million excess deaths occurring in India every year as opposed to if they had gone the Chinese route.
Adding it altogether, there have been 100 million excess deaths in India from 1949 to 1980 (and God knows how many ever since) over and above the deaths that the Maoists caused in China.
This is what makes me so mad about the rightwing anti-Maoists.
Mao gets elected Greatest Murderer Of All Time, but Indian capitalists, who killed probably 150 million (and verifiably more than 100 million) more than Mao ever did, are off the hook and getting written up in Time Magazine for their bourgeois bullshit glitter society. Oh, and winning BS feel-good Academy Awards for movies about their evil society too, gold statues awarded to their very own wicked bourgeois that’s causing the nightmare in the first place.
Mao set a world record for doubling life expectancy in the shortest period of time.
Let us repeat. The death rate was lowered by about 70% from what it was during the Nationalist era. So Nationalist China was killing an average of 3X more Chinese every year per capita than Mao was. Mao was the Greatest Killer Of All Time? Forget it. The Nationalists killed 3X more, year in and out. So who takes the gold in the Killer Finals anyway?
Mao was definitely a killer all right, but if you accept the Biggest Murderer That Ever Lived thing, then you also have to accept that he was the Greatest Humanitarian That Ever Lived. No one man saved more lives in a shorter period of time than Mao did. What? You capitalists can’t even come close to that achievement? Why don’t you try then? You guys can do anything, right?
Ready for that cognitive disconnect? I knew you were too chicken.
Tell you what, capitalists. Let’s make a deal. You stop killing people by starving and sickening them, and then we’ll listen to you when you scream about how Commies killed way less with (More humane?) bullets.
Deal?
Didn’t think so.
Fine, game on, then.

Please follow and like us:
error0
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

5 thoughts on “Another Look At Mao”

  1. That Jung Chiang book about Mao is the classic example. Every authority on China has completely publicly demolished it; yet, the MSM treat it as if it was the last word. The cold war goes on.

  2. Dear Robert
    Mao governed for 27 years. If we compare the period of 1949 to 1976 with the 27 years from 1922 to 1949, then one huge difference leaps to mind: during Mao’s 27 years China was at peace. From 1922 to 1949, there was constant armed conflict in China. Obviously, it is easier to provide good government during peace than during war. That was a huge advantage for Mao.
    The greatest good for the greatest number is ambiguous. Are we talking about the greatest per capita good or the greatest total good? They are not the same. Suppose that a population of 10 million has an average happiness index of 100, which results in total happiness of 1 billion. Now suppose that that population doubles to 20 million and that the average happiness index drops to 70, then total happiness is 1.4 billion. If the greatest good is the name of the game, then the second situation is preferable. if the greates average good is the name of the game, then the first situation is preferable.
    Regards. James

  3. Robert Lindsay: a good article – but it is a little annoying your constant reference to Chinese ‘republicans.’ No such thing. They were and are still (on Taiwan) called the GuoMinDong or Chinese ‘nationalists.’
    “Adding up their figures, I get 10,151,652 killed by Mao from 1949-1976.”
    A better estimate is from the Philip Short biography of Mao – about 3 to 4 million killings, many during consolidation of power in the early fifties. Many of these were lynchings of rich landlords by poor peasants previously abused. There was also a big cleanup of bandits and drug smugglers.
    On a proportional basis the Chinese Revolution was no more bloody than the French, perhaps even less.
    Without Mao there would not have been the new united China, – it would have been a basketplace – something along the lines of Somalia today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *