One of the most ghastly thugs in history who came to power in 1949 as dictator of China, which had been slowly progressing towards a free republic under Chaing Kai-shek. Chairman Mao seemed bereft of any human love at all. He boasted about how he would have tortured his own father for the revolution. Chairman Mao’s wives and children suffered terribly, even when Mao had the ability to relieve their suffering. The mass murders committed by Mao Tse-tung surpassed any human in history. Mao exterminated more than Hitler and Stalin combined. Professor Rummel, the world’s leading expert in such grisly studies, accepts the figure of around 38 million people killed by Mao, while the authoritative “Black Book of Communism,” an estimated 65 million Chinese died as a result of Mao’s repeated, merciless attempts to create a new “socialist” China. Anyone who got in his way was done away with — by execution, imprisonment or forced famine.
Stalin and Hitler secreted victims of the Gulag and the concentration camps. Specially trained and hardened operatives, men instructed and inured to inhumanity — the Nazi Gestapo, the Soviet Chekists, and others — did this dirtiest of dirty work. The camps were concealed, to a large extent, and victims were transported to them in cattle cars, away from the public eye. Mao compelled ordinary Chinese to become SS or MKVD operatives. Villagers were made to arrest the innocent, to denounce them in surreal accusations, to torture them in public, and to kill them or to maim them. Those who failed in their assigned roles as Soviet blue caps or Nazi camp guards were themselves, with their families, the next enemies of the state. Mao made the Chinese people as a whole descend to the special status of helpers in Hell.
Chairman Mao did not limit his aggression to the Chinese. The Kuomintang, or “Party of the People,” headed by Chiang Kai-shek, reached an accord with Tibet. When did the current war of genocide against Tibet, so despised by chic leftists, begin? It started in 1949, after Chiang and the remnants of his forces retreated to the island of Formosa (Taiwan), establishing the Republic of China there. Mao helped the worst regime on earth, the rulers of North Korea, gain and hold power. He battled with peaceful nations like India. Mao loved violence, torment, enslavement, and intimidation. Those were the food and drink of his life.
Did Mao bring China into the 21st Century? No serious student of history can believe that lie. The “Great Leap Forward,” in which Mao absurdly demanded that farmers set up countless backyard steel mills, was a colossal failure. China today is a growing economic power, but that has been in spite of Mao, not because of Mao.
For Mao, the No. 1 enemy was the intellectual. The so-called Great Helmsman reveled in his blood-letting, boasting, “What’s so unusual about Emperor Shih Huang of the China Dynasty? He had buried alive 460 scholars only, but we have buried alive 46,000 scholars.” Mao was referring to a major “accomplishment” of the Great Cultural Revolution, which from 1966-1976 transformed China into a great House of Fear.
The most inhumane example of Mao’s contempt for human life came when he ordered the collectivization of China’s agriculture under the ironic slogan, the “Great Leap Forward.” A deadly combination of lies about grain production, disastrous farming methods (profitable tea plantations, for example, were turned into rice fields), and misdistribution of food produced the worse famine in human history.
Deaths from hunger reached more than 50 percent in some Chinese villages. The total number of dead from 1959 to 1961 was between 30 million and 40 million — the population of California.
Rounding up enemies
Only five years later, when he sensed that revolutionary fervor in China was waning, Mao proclaimed the Cultural Revolution. Gangs of Red Guards — young men and women between 14 and 21 — roamed the cities targeting revisionists and other enemies of the state, especially teachers.
Professors were dressed in grotesque clothes and dunce caps, their faces smeared with ink. They were then forced to get down on all fours and bark like dogs. Some were beaten to death, some even eaten — all for the promulgation of Maoism. A reluctant Mao finally called in the Red Army to put down the marauding Red Guards when they began attacking Communist Party members, but not before 1 million Chinese died.
All the while, Mao kept expanding the laogai, a system of 1,000 forced labor camps throughout China. Harry Wu, who spent 19 years in labor camps, has estimated that from the 1950s through the 1980s, 50 million Chinese passed through the Chinese version of the Soviet gulag. Twenty million died as a result of the primitive living conditions and 14-hour work days.
Such calculated cruelty exemplified his Al Capone philosophy: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”
And yet Mao Zedong remains the most honored figure in the Chinese Communist Party. At one end of historic Tiananmen Square is Mao’s mausoleum, visited daily by large, respectful crowds. At the other end of the square is a giant portrait of Mao above the entrance to the Forbidden City, the favorite site of visitors, Chinese and foreign.
In the spirit of Mao, China’s present rulers continue to oppress intellectuals and other dissidents such as human-rights activist Liu Xiaobo who was sentenced in 2009 to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power.” His offense: signing Charter 08, which calls on the government to respect basic civil and human rights within a democratic framework. .
China presents itself as a vast market for U.S. companies and investors. But some U.S. companies are taking a second look at doing business in a country which considers Mao Zedong its patron saint.
The Chinese people are among the most diligent and intelligent in the world. The per capita income of Singapore, a predominantly Chinese island nation, is about $51,000 per year – a bit higher than America. The per capita income of Hong Kong, the old British colony now economically free but otherwise under the control of China, is about $48,000. The per capita income of Taiwan, the nation created by Chaing when he left the Chinese mainland in 1949, is about $30,000. What about Mao’s China, the product of his great revolution? China, today, has a per capita income of about $6,000 — five times lower than the “other” China on Taiwan, and much lower than other predominately Chinese nations which had been British colonies. The People’s Republic (as China is formally called) is the only Chinese nation with people substantially less productive than in other nations of the world.
The legacy of Mao is uniformly awful. The murder of tens of millions no more brought prosperity or progress to China than it did to Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia. Mao was even more a monster and even less a genuine human than either or those savage tyrants. He impoverished China rather than enriched it. He crushed democracy and freedom rather than nourished them. He failed in every way except in what mattered to him: Mao, today, is a respected memory in the land he tortured and plundered so long. In some ways, that is his worst crime of all.