Luther Seahand, a rightwinger, writes that Mao Zedong murdered 100 million people during his term in office (1949-1978). Of those, one half, or 50 million, were buried alive so as to save bullets.
RL: This is a socialist blog. We don’t believe in the “Mao murdered 100 million” stuff.
LS: Of course you don’t, Mr. Lindsay. I was just wondering how a socialist might react when faced with the facts. Thank you for not ripping my head off. Have a good one!
You didn’t present me with any facts. You presented me with lies.
There were no “100 million murdered by Mao.” And there certainly were no “50 million buried alive so as to save bullets.”
Are you talking about people executed under Mao’s rule?
In the land reform campaign at the very start, it is very possible that up to 3 million landlords (most of them criminals) were executed.
There were 29,000 executions during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).
Mao was in power for 29 years. That covers about 14 of those years, or nearly half his time in office.
So covering 50% of his term, there were 3.03 million executions, possibly. Probably hardly any of them were buried alive. I have no figures on executions from 1953-1965.
3 million is a lot, but it is not 100 million. Let us first get out figures straight
The problem with crazy rightwing anti-Communists is not their view that Communism is bad, or even that it is evil. Perhaps it is either of those things. Their problem is that they habitually trot out lies when whipping out figures of those killed under Communism. Favorites include Joseph Stalin of the USSR and Mao Zedong of China.
Hence we often get figures that Stalin killed 10-110 million people. Even many perfectly sane and often liberal people believe this hogwash. It’s not that Stalin or the Soviet Communists never killed any of the opposition or the dissidents. Stalin was a killer. He killed lots of people. But not 110 million.
Final figures for Stalin’s regime are for 1926-1953 (27 years in office):
Executions and political killings: 1.29 million
Unnatural deaths in the gulags: 1.4 million.
Total political killings by Stalin: 2.7 million
There are some problems with that figure as it apparently does not include some of the deaths during WW2, such as deaths of German POW’s, enemy civilians and most importantly, deaths during the ethnic relocations during that war. I also do not include “Holodomor” deaths because there was no “terror famine.” Famine, yes. Terror famine, no.
3 million is a lot of human beings, but it’s not 110 million. If we want to talk about whether the deaths under Communism were justified or not, we first need to get the figures straight.