Hacked By AdGhosT & Tayeb TN & bo hmid

 

 

 

 

 

close your eyes and listen Elfen Lied <3

Greets~:AdGhosT-- adel pro tn- Anonback Tnx - A_Ghacker - xvirus -Malousi Foryn - MaxKiller - Nexamos

Hacked By AdGhosT

Hacked By AdGhosT & Tayeb TN & bo hmid

 

 

 

 

 

close your eyes and listen Elfen Lied <3

Greets~:AdGhosT-- adel pro tn- Anonback Tnx - A_Ghacker - xvirus -Malousi Foryn - MaxKiller - Nexamos

Mao: The Real Story » The Peking Duck

Mao: The Real Story

Alexander V. Pantsov and Steven I. Levine, two China experts with superb credentials, have written a biography of Mao that is sweeping, fine in detail, well written, engrossing and ultimately problematic.

Mao: The Real Story is a book I highly recommend to anyone who wants to understand Mao’s life and times. It draws heavily on Russian and Chinese archives that have only recently been made available, and this is what makes the book special. The relationship between Mao and Stalin threads through nearly the entire book, at least from the point when Mao became a leader in the Communist party, and their relationship helps shed insight into many of Mao’s most important decisions, like entering the Korean War, cozying up to the Guomindang in the late 1930s and joining with them to fight the Japanese. Stalin was Mao’s Great Teacher and mentor, and most importantly his banker — even when Mao violently disagreed with his Soviet masters, he had little choice but to go along, as they controlled the purse strings. The Chinese Communist Party would scarcely have existed without Stalin’s generosity. As usual with Stalin, he used China as a means of fulfilling his own agenda, namely the spreading of Stalinist-style communism, and for more practical purposes such as keeping the Japanese busy with China so they’d be less inclined to attack the Soviet Union.

When the publisher sent me a review copy of the book I was intimidated, and wondered if I could read it; it is nearly 600 pages long. But once I started I quickly got swept up and finished it within a week. That is not to say it’s easy; it isn’t. There are so many names and so much minutiae I had trouble keeping up with who was who; I was constantly flipping back to double-check. Some of these details could almost certainly have been spared.

It was fascinating to learn of Mao’s transformation from an idealistic youth, inspired by anarchism and the promise of democracy, to an ideologue who cared nothing for the lives of his people and who was convinced of his infallibility, with tragic consequences. We watch him grow and develop, and pretty soon we can’t help but to be repulsed. As he became a hardened communist, he had basically one modus operandi, namely to slash and burn, to destroy, to encourage chaos, to weed out enemies, to promote endless class struggle and violence. He did relatively little building, and that which he did build often ended in catastrophe.

Throughout his life in the revolution Mao manipulated the basest of human emotions. It was not brotherly love that he conveyed, but rather enmity and universal suspicion. “Down with the landlords!” “Down with rich peasants!” “Down with the bourgeoisie, merchants and intellectuals!” “Down with those who are not like us!” “Down with the educated, with businesspersons, with the talented!” Down with all of them, down with them, down.

The story the authors tell of the early years of the Cultural Revolution is particularly upsetting, as Mao proclaims, “In the final analysis, bad people are bad people, so if they are beaten to death it is not a tragedy.” Mao’s use of “class struggle” to eliminate his perceived enemies was coldly and ruthlessly calculated, as was everything Mao ever did as a communist leader. He discarded people like worn-out shoes, and he looked on absolutely everyone with suspicion. He was, especially in his later years, a miserable, lonely man held captive by the very class struggle he so cunningly initiated. Enemies were everywhere.

And yet Mao did unify the country and make it independent. There is more to him than just pure badness. But here I believe the authors actually cut him too much slack. In trying to be balanced and to take the middle road, they take pains to say Mao was “complex, variegated and multifaceted” and a different kind of murderous dictator than Stalin. This argument was for me one of the weakest parts of the book: they claim Mao is different from the Bolshevik ideologues because he was “not as merciless” as Stalin. Many if not most of Mao’s enemies in government were allowed to live. “He tried to find a common language with all of them after forcing them to engage in self-criticism. In other words, he forced them to ‘lose face’ but also kept them in power.” Okay, it’s good he didn’t kill them, but he did make many of their lives miserable (think Liu Shaoqi banished and living in misery in a single room with a dirty stretcher on the floor). And think of the millions he did kill by inciting students to attack their teachers, and by doing nothing for years to stop the misery in the countryside thanks to the Great Leap Forward. It was almost contradictory for this book to reveal just how awful a person and a ruler Mao was, to examine all the misery he created for millions, and then to argue he was “multifaceted.” After reading the book you would not arrive at this conclusion, which the authors express in the epilogue. They really can’t have it both ways.

Other small things: the Great Leap Forward is given very little space and I would have liked to learn more about how Mao reacted to the plight of the starving, and more about his decision to end it. Its coverage of the early years of the Cultural Revolution is superb, rich in detail and deeply disturbing, as it should be. But then the book seems to shift gears; we learn the Red Guards were called off, but we don’t learn nearly enough about the last five years of the CR. At this point the book focuses instead on Mao’s efforts to build ties with the United States, and the CR seems to be forgotten.

That doesn’t makes this any less of an important and impressive book. I highly recommend it to anyone who isn’t afraid of long books and who has a thirst for understanding how Mao lived and thought, how he could have done what he did. For this, Mao: The Real Story is invaluable. It is especially impressive that the authors were able to take such a wealth of new materials, along with other sources like the diaries of those who knew Mao, and weave it all into a compelling and page-turning narrative. The book is imperfect, but it is also indispensable.

Let me just add as a side note that I am well aware of how defensive Chinese people, my good friends included, are of Mao, and I understand that. I understand also that they don’t like foreigners to tell them what they should think of Mao. I talked with my Chinese teacher about Mao just last week, and she told me that the GLF and the CR were unfortunate mistakes but dismissed them with the words that “we all make mistakes.” (She also corrected me when I referred to him as “Mao” without the “Chairman,” and told me Chinese people would never leave that out.) But as with any great figure of history, Mao is fair game and it would do a disservice to history not to explore his life and try to understand “the real story.” I only wish the book would be available in China, in Chinese.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 204 Comments

agreed. Deng is the one who ushered in China as we know it today. And he had only 1 really bad day. Mao had thousands of bad days (like all of GLF and CR, at a minimum).

I’d say Deng had a few more than just 1 really bad day. The entire buildup to events on June 4th could have been handled in a more adroit manner, and it was in some degree due to Deng’s (and the other elders’) reluctance to force the upper leadership to come to a consensus in May that eventually caused the protest to harden into something tragic. A lot of the reason why the student leadership got so extreme in the latter half of Tiananmen was because the Party leadership wasn’t negotiating with them in good faith. The main reason the leadership wasn’t negotiating with them in good faith was because Li Peng and Zhao Ziyang couldn’t agree on a common set of negotiating positions to take, or whether negotiations were even important at all. That reason for that was because Deng held ultimate authority and didn’t put his foot down until the end of May.

But yes, other than that blunder, Deng pretty much played every hand he was dealt in the best manner possible, not necessarily for himself, but for China. That combination of skill and good intentions is a rarity amongst contemporary leaders.

December 13, 2012 @ 11:44 am | Comment

Zhu, jolly good show, chap! You have really livened up the debate here.

‘What gall is it and what right do foreigners presume, to attack Chairman Mao?’

My thoughts entirely! What right do foreigners have to criticise the beloved helmsman? And by extension, what right do foreigners have to criticise anything Chinese? The rest of the world should learn from China and from the richness of China’s ancient history and culture. And While China is not currently the centre of the world, it soon shall be again! Then all the foreigners will come to pay homage to, and learn from, China. But foreigners should know their place. It is unacceptable for them to criticise China in anyway, for any criticism on any aspect of Chinese history, politics or government (favourite topics of the foreigners), is a vicious attack on the Chinese people and will hurt the feelings of the Chinese people. Instead, we should all do our best to ensure that any discussion of China in foreign circles centres firmly around the many positive aspects of modern China and the sincere efforts that the government is making to bring about a harmonious society. We should steer threads towards these positive aspects, and I recommend using articles from Xinhua, the beloved and truthful news agency of the Chinese people, as inspiration.

December 13, 2012 @ 12:16 pm | Comment

Dear All,

As Gil points out, you are being trolled. Zhu is well versed in the dark arts of trolling. This guy literally wrote the textbook on trolling. He contributes nothing. A number of users have pointed out floors in his argumentation or refuted, with evidence, his assertions. Don’t hold your breath for a reply though, the classic troll will just ignore you and try and change the subject of the thread and begin arguing about something else.

December 13, 2012 @ 12:18 pm | Comment

I am assuming that you guys (including Richard, or especially Richard, who has a book to sell) are interested in China, enough to spend your time commenting and writing.

When I was younger and running with the fenqing crowd of yore, we often debate over how best to effect changes. For those of us who are not party members, clearly we can only make suggestions. There were two schools of thought. One goes the Ai, Wei Wei and LXB way – when they meet a CPC “guan”, they cuss the poor guy out, “*&^*&^#&, %$#@^_, you must do this and that and that . . . .” (finger wagging to boot). The other school befriends the “guan”, and puts in suggestions after a bottle or two of “er guo tou”.

WHO do you think the “guan” listens to?

December 13, 2012 @ 1:06 pm | Comment

Besides, Xilin (102), why the flute do you believe that the average Chinese would or should listen to laowai badmouthing Chairman Mao, or for that matter, anything Chinese?? This is especially an issue if you are doing it IN CHINA, as Richard volunteered (as what he did with his Chinese teacher – I am assuming that was in China).

You come into my house, and you don’t even have the courtesy to keep your dirty mouth shut? No, not even Rudd can pull it off with his fluent Chinese and years of relationship (zhengyou or no). WHY are you surprised when the Chinese treat you like the leper you are?

There clearly is a different cultural perception. But I have lived on 4 continents – nobody, Westerner, Easterner, whatever, takes such “liberty” as what is demonstrated on this blog – all this gratuitous assertions on how bad China is. Why? You don’t think it hurts? You can’t even stand the little I write about America. Is it because the Chinese are too kind to hit back?

December 13, 2012 @ 1:16 pm | Comment

Now, back to the topic of the thread.

Mao must present a real problem for the current ‘communist’ government because they have to appear to revere him as a national hero, but go against virtually all that he stood for.

It would be like the government in Fahrenheit 451 revering Dickens.

There’s a huge protrait of Mao in Tiananmen, but you can’t sing ‘Red songs’.

December 13, 2012 @ 1:31 pm | Comment

Mao must present a real problem for the current ‘communist’ government because they have to appear to revere him as a national hero, but go against virtually all that he stood for.
It would be like the government in Fahrenheit 451 revering Dickens.
There’s a huge protrait of Mao in Tiananmen, but you can’t sing ‘Red songs’.

Not really. After all, the America of today (centralized, industrialized, superpower with a high-intensity economy) goes against much of what Thomas Jefferson and George Washington stood for (decentralized, agrarian, isolationist state with a pastoral economy), yet America is able to use them as symbols with which to inspire and rally its citizenry. This is because some core aspects of Mao’s ideology, such as the unshakeable conviction that China is sovereign and need not obey other countries (major reason for the Sino-Soviet split), as well as his belief in the fundamental goodness of the average Chinese person, are still valuable today.

December 13, 2012 @ 1:43 pm | Comment

To xilin,
#102 was fantastic stuff.

And this: “the classic troll will just ignore you and try and change the subject of the thread and begin arguing about something else.” – truer words have ne’er been said.

If I didn’t enjoy chasing these idiots around and whacking them with logic like a game of whack-the-mole, I probably would be put off too.

++++++++++++

To 104,
you know what the cadre is thinking? ‘cool, free drinks’. What’s some low level schmuck going to do? He’s there for his own benefit, and to line his own pockets.

To 105,
if the “average Chinese” doesn’t like it, he doesn’t have to listen. It’s his choice. Isn’t choice grand? Of course, you wouldn’t know, since you want to remove that option from them.

“takes such “liberty” as what is demonstrated on this blog”
—dude, take a pill, and grow a pair. Enough with the victim mentality/hurt feelings nonsense. That’s just lame. You know why it’s stupid to write about America all the time on this blog? Cuz it’s a freakin blog about China. Go ahead, let that sink in, and maybe teach that to a couple of your cohorts. The whole lot of you seem to have trouble grasping that basic concept. Where you guys need to go is to the Blog on America, since that fascinates you so.

December 13, 2012 @ 1:44 pm | Comment

Zhu suffers from the worst case of representitis I’ve ever seen. All things Chinese represent China, and the Chinese have the sole right to determine what all things Chinese represent.

What worries me, though–and this alludes to By the Clock’s youth as disclosed on a previous thread–is why, with this power, everything around him turns into phalli, whether deeply erotic or painful.

December 13, 2012 @ 1:45 pm | Comment

“as well as his belief in the fundamental goodness of the average Chinese person”

…..

“are still valuable today”

…..

December 13, 2012 @ 1:48 pm | Comment

Zhu suffers from the worst case of representitis I’ve ever seen. All things Chinese represent China, and the Chinese have the sole right to determine what all things Chinese represent.
What worries me, though–and this alludes to By the Clock’s youth as disclosed on a previous thread–is why, with this power, everything around him turns into phalli, whether deeply erotic or painful.

Way to be a smug, self-righteous troll. You’re the only person on this blog who likes to ascribe neuroses to other commenters. Maybe you know them so well because your therapist described this “phallic envy” as a key issue in your therapy sessions?

December 13, 2012 @ 1:54 pm | Comment

“as well as his belief in the fundamental goodness of the average Chinese person”
…..
“are still valuable today”
…..

Care to elaborate, oh Handler of Phallic Ellipsis?

December 13, 2012 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

Conflict with China is of a political nature, not based on China’s “civilization and culture.”

I’m interested to see what drives this “conflict of a political nature” then. What is the big political sticking point and how does it drive a conflict of interest between China and, say, Japan?

December 13, 2012 @ 2:00 pm | Comment

@t_co

If an ellipsis (or a hand) means a phallus to you too, this seems to be a theme amongst the apols.

Mao believed the Chinese were material, tools.

Chinese today also display no fundamental belief in the goodness of their fellow citizens. Once again, you are doing an overseas thing.

December 13, 2012 @ 2:05 pm | Comment

If an ellipsis (or a hand) means a phallus to you too, this seems to be a theme amongst the apols.

Apols?

December 13, 2012 @ 2:13 pm | Comment

Chinese today also display no fundamental belief in the goodness of their fellow citizens. Once again, you are doing an overseas thing.

Doesn’t matter if the belief is there or not right now–it needs to be there to foster social trust. Since social trust improves social welfare, then the Chinese government would be justified in fostering that sort of belief.

December 13, 2012 @ 2:15 pm | Comment

Mao believed the Chinese were material, tools.

Is that mutually exclusive with believing in the goodness of the Chinese people, or do you just get off on your glib logical fallacies at night?

December 13, 2012 @ 2:17 pm | Comment

@Handler:

“Chinese today also display no fundamental belief in the goodness of their fellow citizens.”

What the flute? Is that what your kind thinks?

I watch TV shows on Charming China, and almost all of the programs show the goodness of the Chinese and their belief in the goodness of their fellow citizens. If you want to actually know China, watch some China soap operas and learning something, instead of just reading neocon or neoliberal gibberish.

December 13, 2012 @ 2:32 pm | Comment

If you want to actually know China, watch some China soap operas and learning something, instead of just reading neocon or neoliberal gibberish.

Not sure soap operas are such a good idea overall, but for him, they’d be a good place to start.

For the rest of us, just get to know some Chinese people really well, and listen to their actual aspirations.

Oh, and just fyi Zhu, they don’t call it gibberish–they call it talking points.

December 13, 2012 @ 2:39 pm | Comment

Again, do you know why the average Chinese would never trust a foreigner that badmouths anything China – especially one who attacks the legitimacy of Chairman Mao?

It is more than face. It is painfully learned truth – such gweilo are bad news, especially if they take the time to learn Chinese and learn Chinese culture. Experience again and again disappoint.

Take Kevin Rudd, the self appointed “zhengyou” that took the time to learn the language and the culture.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/rudd-may-come-unstuck-over-china-relations/story-e6frg6zo-1225966571679

Turns out that (not unexpected, but disappointing never the less) behind close doors, he was plotting with Americans to use force against Beijing. Zhengyou indeed – more like two faced with three daggers (两面三刀). BTW,THAT is exactly the general impression most Chinese have, of gweilo who badmouth Chairman Mao.

December 13, 2012 @ 3:59 pm | Comment

SK, short of banning them, there is only one sure way of stopping trolls: don’t feed them. A troll’s sole purpose is to derail threads, whether they do this for ideological or purely malicious reasons. Trolls are part of the internet age and a rather unpleasant product of anonymity on the web. It’s depressing how malevolent people can be when they are anonymous. Though there may appear to be evidence of an ideological stance with some trolls, I think it’s often just the case that they just get a kick out of pissing people off.

December 13, 2012 @ 4:05 pm | Comment

t_co

“Way to be a smug, self-righteous troll. You’re the only person on this blog who likes to ascribe neuroses to other commenters.”

Not only is that not true, but I didn’t seriously describe any neuroses. He clearly gets quite a charge out of the puissance of the CCP, and his sensitivity (pain) is alluded to above.

“Is that mutually exclusive with believing in the goodness of the Chinese people, or do you just get off on your glib logical fallacies at night?”

It is mutually exclusive.

“Doesn’t matter if the belief is there or not right now–it needs to be there to foster social trust.”

No, it does matter. Just as it matters that Mao did all he could to eradicate it and social trust, nowhere so well as the in the CR. Zhu watches TV, sees propaganda, and swallows it whole.

A-pols. That’s a use of the alpha privative. An understanding of Greek roots will carry you the rest of the way.

December 13, 2012 @ 4:11 pm | Comment

zhu ba jie / “spam”

Richard, I agree with JR. You see, if things go wrong in China, zhu ba jie will be invited back to the motherland to contribute to whatever wonderful big things. And if the Communist Party is in Khmer Rouge mode then, you will never see him on your blog again. Enjoy his bullshit while he lasts, and respect his unhappiness, because HE knows better than anyone else.

And no, I’m not going to have a discussion with the “China reforms” scholars here.

Greetings to King Tubby.

December 13, 2012 @ 4:18 pm | Comment

T_co, granted, Jefferson and Washington had different ideologies from those which are dominant in the America of today. But that was hundreds of years ago. Mao was in power less than fifty years ago. And it’s not just about Mao’s ideology, it’s about his actions. Do you not think Mao has a rather more checkered past than either Jefferson or Washington?
But let’s not get sidetracked by yet another comparison with the Yanks. The legacy of Mao and his centrality in the modern Chinese consciousness does present a problem for the Chinese government. If he is revered then people will read his works, study his ideology and maybe even take a critical look at some of what he did and the resulting repercussions. That’s where it gets complicated. To put it simply, does a rich, urban, ruling elite want the people reading about class struggle?
So, remember Bo Xilai and his cultural programmes? And have you heard about the Beijing ‘Red Songs’ concert being cancelled?

December 13, 2012 @ 4:35 pm | Comment

Not only is that not true, but I didn’t seriously describe any neuroses. He clearly gets quite a charge out of the puissance of the CCP, and his sensitivity (pain) is alluded to above.

Sounds like you’ve made a dead cold read there, Dr. Phil, and over the internet, nonetheless. *snark* I’m not sure Zhu’s affection for the CCP has anything to do with phalli, but I’d love to hear more about this. Do avoid French though.

It is mutually exclusive.

Prove it.

No, it does matter. Just as it matters that Mao did all he could to eradicate it and social trust, nowhere so well as the in the CR. Zhu watches TV, sees propaganda, and swallows it whole.

No, it doesn’t matter. My original point–that Mao is valuable as a symbol to promote social trust and unity in China–stands because you didn’t address it directly. Then you’re trying to change the subject to your own subjective evaluation of Mao’s record on China’s social trust. Finally you follow it with a non sequitur and ad hominem.

A-pols. That’s a use of the alpha privative. An understanding of Greek roots will carry you the rest of the way.

The onus is on you to define it, since you introduced the term.

And finally, you still haven’t answered one of my burning questions:

I’m interested to see what drives this “conflict of a political nature” then. What is the big political sticking point and how does it drive a conflict of interest between China and, say, Japan?

December 13, 2012 @ 4:38 pm | Comment

To put it simply, does a rich, urban, ruling elite want the people reading about class struggle?
So, remember Bo Xilai and his cultural programmes? And have you heard about the Beijing ‘Red Songs’ concert being cancelled?

To put it simply, does a rich, urban, ruling elite want people reading about secession due to feelings of unfair taxation?

I mean, I hate to play the equivocation card as much as you do here, but this is one of those things where people–American, Chinese, Arab–can freely read without necessarily being spurred to action. Given how porous China’s censorship controls are (they’re mainly designed to make money rather than do a good job at censoring people) I really doubt the Party feels that freedom of reading is a severe threat to its rule. If you live in China and you really want to read Bao Tong’s memoirs or the Tiananmen Papers, you can do it with a few clicks of the mouse, thanks to P2P torrents.

What’s more, an official endorsement of Mao does not imply an endorsement of the ideology. Again, the Party’s done a reasonably good job of weeding out Mao’s less savory aspects and promoting a good image for him in the populace. The results are clear: to the average Chinese, Mao is not a symbol of class struggle, but rather of Third World sovereignty against a predatory West and national awakening against the decreptitude of feudalism.

December 13, 2012 @ 4:46 pm | Comment

And it’s not just about Mao’s ideology, it’s about his actions. Do you not think Mao has a rather more checkered past than either Jefferson or Washington?

Of course I agree–Mao was a despot that committed involuntary manslaughter on millions of his own people in his drive to fulfill his national vision. The key word in that sentence is despot. Neither Jefferson nor Washington ever had the chance to push any of their ideals as hard or as far as Mao did, and Americans should be thankful for that.

Mao had decently patriotic and welfare-oriented intentions but he fucked up pretty hard in the implementation and didn’t know when or how to make a graceful exit for more capable leaders. And by fucked up hard, I mean… like really hard. That’s why the statement “Mao had good intentions but he made mistakes” is technically correct, because it doesn’t touch on the magnitude of those errors. But if Chinese can critically look at Mao’s legacy while also appreciating and absorbing his good intentions, that’ll be the best outcome. To reject his love for country because of his mistakes would be to toss the baby out with the bathwater.

December 13, 2012 @ 4:54 pm | Comment

‘To put it simply, does a rich, urban, ruling elite want people reading about secession due to feelings of unfair taxation?’

It may be a problem for the government in America, but that wasn’t the subject of my post. I was talking about China. I tried to no avail to find evidence of the American government trying to ban the Tea Party or cancel Revoutionary Song concerts. Now, do we have to keep doing the America thing? There is a big world outside of China and America, you know?

If Mao or Maoist thought doesn’t present a problem for the government, then why was the ‘Red Songs’ concert cancelled? I agree that simply reading Mao’s works or singing songs from his era doesn’t guarantee that people will be spurred on to act on it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. The very fact that the concert was cancelled indicates that the government are worried that it might be possible.

December 13, 2012 @ 5:08 pm | Comment

If Mao or Maoist thought doesn’t present a problem for the government, then why was the ‘Red Songs’ concert cancelled? I agree that simply reading Mao’s works or singing songs from his era doesn’t guarantee that people will be spurred on to act on it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. The very fact that the concert was cancelled indicates that the government are worried that it might be possible.

I read that ban as more an indication that the Party Center didn’t like what Bo was doing in Chongqing. If Bo had been telling everyone in Chongqing to moonwalk, they probably would have banned that, too.

Just out of curiosity, Xi, did you do debate in high school?

December 13, 2012 @ 5:13 pm | Comment

And why didn’t the party like what Bo was doing in Chongqing? Because he was promoting ‘Red Culture’ and Maoist-era socialist ethics. Which ties back to my original point (106).

And no, I did not do debate in high school.

December 13, 2012 @ 5:54 pm | Comment

And why didn’t the party like what Bo was doing in Chongqing? Because he was promoting ‘Red Culture’ and Maoist-era socialist ethics. Which ties back to my original point (106).

No, not really. The Party didn’t like what Bo was doing in Chongqing because he was trying to build support for a Standing Committee seat outside of the quiet lobbying channels normally used by prospective candidates. The ‘Red Culture’ stuff was simply one manifestation of that.

That, and he stepped on quite a few toes in his tenure there… as well as unfinished business from the Cultural Revolution itself (Wu Yi never forgave Bo for how he treated his mother and father in ’67 and ’68).

December 13, 2012 @ 6:35 pm | Comment

@t_co – I don’t buy Mao as a patriot: at the very least it only makes sense if you look at what happened after he became leader (and hence love of country became somewhat self-serving), and not before, when he gave little sign of favouring his country either over self-interest or ideology. Whilst the KMT certainly threw the first blow with their purge of leftists, and fighting began with Zhou En-lai’s uprising in Nanchang, the “two Chinas” era arguably began with Mao’s Autumn Harvest Uprising and the founding of the Hunan Soviet.

Mao’s dispute with the USSR during the 1960’s was, of course, not the first Sino-Soviet conflict. Wars were fought by China against the USSR in 1929 and 1934. Can we see any evidence that Mao sided with Chinese forces against the USSR? I am unaware of any commentary on this subject. At the very least, given an opportunity to stand with his country against his ideological interests, he appears to have demurred. We may also examine his relations with Sheng Shicai, who converted Xinjiang into a virtual colony of the USSR, but who Mao appears to have had close relations until Sheng turned on the communists (and killed Mao’s brother who had been sent as an ambassador to him).

Zhang Xueliang’s example of someone willing to put country above self-interest or ideology is something quite rare in the history of any country. Mao was not a patriot in the sense that Zhang was – I would instead rank him as a figure for whom the nearest British equivalent is Cromwell.

December 13, 2012 @ 7:40 pm | Comment

Zhu,

If Mao had died of a heart attack in 1949, after the revolution, then we could justifiably consider him a great man for reuniting China. Although even to do that we would have to discard all the murders (of fellow communists) that he committed along the way.

Nothing he did after the Revolution had any value to China. Nada, zero, zip, zilch. It was all a waste, from all the virgins he deflowered to all the murders, the lost years, the wasted years, the generations tossed away.

China will be a strong country on the day it faces up to the monster that Mao was.

December 13, 2012 @ 10:55 pm | Comment

t_co

“Sounds like you’ve made a dead cold read there, Dr. Phil, and over the internet, nonetheless. *snark*”

Seriously, who cares? Only someone with a distinct sensitivity would be pissed over an observation that Zhu likes his biggest and strongest, no matter how much it hurts. This is especially true since his commentary testifies to that profusely. Actually, it’s cute that you’d share a little aside with Zhu about “talking points” when that is precisely all Zhu has, and when he leaves tracks of those points all throughout the intertubes. If you don’t mind being birds of a feather with the Zhu man, so be it.

“Prove it.”

Are you trying to gain street cred as a contrarian by pretending using people like things and seeing them as little more than material can still mean you believe in their fundamental goodness? A government’s belief in the fundamental goodness of any people *can only* be recognized by its willingness to allow/encourage them to pursue their own lives, their own ends, their own activities. It necessitates trust in their practices and consideration of their perspectives, hesitation at intervening in their lives and wariness of the potential distortion attempted direction can cause. Any other belief in “goodness” would not be fundamental. A belief in fundamental goodness is, in a word, the anti-legalist view of government, which is essentially the anti-CCP view of government, a hectoring form of social engineering. Relevant evidence of this is certainly found in something as mundane as Mao’s dismissal of farmers as ignorant yokels who didn’t even know the first thing about agriculture, their livelihood, but virtually every act of “cleansing” during the Cultural Revolution should make you realize that if anyone distrusted Chinese people more than Mao, Mao probably killed him out of jealousy. Is it possible you are so inane as to try to assert Mao believed in the goodness of the Chinese people based on what he said about the political designation Renmin?

“No, it doesn’t matter. My original point–that Mao is valuable as a symbol to promote social trust and unity in China–stands because you didn’t address it directly.”

Yes, it does matter. Your original point was not that Mao himself is valuable as a symbol. It was that “some core aspects of Mao’s ideology” (e.g. “his belief”) were still valuable today; so stepping back and claiming you were just referring to Mao as a “symbol” is obviously as inaccurate as the notion that Mao believed in the fundamental goodness of the Chinese people.

Moreover, the idea that Mao himself, a figure who personally set about completely undermining social trust in China, should or will be used as a “symbol to promote social trust” is doltish, crass, inept and, as the CCP likes to say, doomed to fail.

“And finally, you still haven’t answered one of my burning questions:

I’m interested to see what drives this “conflict of a political nature” then. What is the big political sticking point and how does it drive a conflict of interest between China and, say, Japan?”

That’s a burning question? Look, I know there is ample testimony to your flamboyant bitterness over Japan, but I see Japan as exceptional in the realm of China’s conflicts (you do too), and thus it would be rather illogical to suggest proof via China’s relationship with Japan, though certainly that is still in part driven by internal politics. The sticking points between China and the US, on the other hand, are restricted to China’s treatment of its citizens, its brazen acts of nuclear proliferation, and the desire for regional military supremacy. All major priorities of the CCP or PLA. All extensions of politics. There is simply nothing cultural about it.

Now, as with the time I pointed out China’s sullied history with slaves and regional tribes, are you going to threaten to go wild with an illogical counter-offensive?

“Not sure soap operas are such a good idea overall, but for him, they’d be a good place to start.

For the rest of us, just get to know some Chinese people really well, and listen to their actual aspirations.”

Dude, my grandma’s 打卤面 will completely blast yours off the table. Chinese distrust for their countrymen is prevalent to an almost absurd degree, papered over with the thinnest coating of inauthentic nationalist tissue. The rise to the whole 素质 discourse is simply the most obvious manifestation of this. Many if not most, in fact, consider both the distrust and the “quality” problems to stem from Mao’s period, so I’m surprised you’d even attempt to argue otherwise.

December 13, 2012 @ 11:57 pm | Comment

Oh, and I really liked Sam’s thoughts on a related issue over at The Useless Tree.

http://uselesstree.typepad.com/useless_tree/2012/12/yang-jisheng-is-a-confucian-sage-and-mao-zedong-was-an-inhumane-qin-shihuangdi-wannabe.html

December 14, 2012 @ 12:11 am | Comment

#105
why the flute do you believe that the average Chinese would or should listen to laowai badmouthing Chairman Mao, or for that matter, anything Chinese?? This is especially an issue if you are doing it IN CHINA, as Richard volunteered (as what he did with his Chinese teacher – I am assuming that was in China).

False. I had the discussion with my teacher over Skype, here in the USA. I never bad-mouthed Mao; I wouldn’t do that with a Chinese person. We were discussing him, quite calmly and politely, and I asked her about Mao’s legacy and what the CR and GLF did to that legacy. I didn’t say Mao was bad. She replied that these were mistakes, but that we all make mistakes. I did not argue at all, but told her I respected her opinion.

This thread is something else. I wish Handler and t_co would tone it down, and I wish zhuzhu would stop spamming, and that is what he is doing. He says in #76, Fact that you disagree with me does not make my views spamming. Or maybe it does in America? I never, ever ban someone for disagreeing with me. Jxie, Jing, The Clock, Yourfriend and many others comment here and never get banned or deleted, because although I often disagree with them they are at least interacting and not blasting the same message over and over again. And there can’t be any “censorship” on this site because I am not a government entity; this site is my personal hobby and comments are strictly a courtesy. There is no guarantee of freedom of speech here or on any blog. If I were the government and I stopped newspapers from printing negative stories that would be censorship.

The fact that you, zhuzhu, freely admit you go from site to site to transmit your message is telling. And since you repeat ad nauseum the same mantra, hundreds of times, without truly interacting is spamming in my book, and determining what is spamming is my decision and only my decision. And I’m not banning you, at least not yet, but warning you.

In the comment above, Handler recommends this link. I would like each of you to go there. It was written by a China lover, one of the smartest on the Internet. It pretty well sums up my feelings about Mao and the GLF.

December 14, 2012 @ 1:42 am | Comment

Stomping on Mao is silly. It just alienates the Chinese who read this, and confirms the widespread that Westerners mean no good towards China and the Chinese.

Mao didn’t care?? Mao was inhumane? Mao was a monster?

1949 1976
(when Mao died)
Literacy 15% 70%
Life expectancy 41 65

Mao was clearing doing SOMETHING right.

December 14, 2012 @ 2:58 am | Comment

I wish Handler and t_co would tone it down

Got it. That being said though, what set me off about Handler was how he started ascribing mental issues and penis envy to someone because he disagreed with their posts. Call Zhu a troll, call him thickheaded, sure. Call him someone with penis envy and a neurotic complex? I thought we tried to maintain some shred of decorum on this site? Anyhow, so long as he doesn’t back down from that statement, I am fully justified ripping into this 3rd-rate graduate student with everything I’ve got.

Seriously, who cares? Only someone with a distinct sensitivity would be pissed over an observation that Zhu likes his biggest and strongest, no matter how much it hurts. This is especially true since his commentary testifies to that profusely. Actually, it’s cute that you’d share a little aside with Zhu about “talking points” when that is precisely all Zhu has, and when he leaves tracks of those points all throughout the intertubes. If you don’t mind being birds of a feather with the Zhu man, so be it.

Oooooh, look here. Now you’re switching to ad hominems (“distinct sensitivity”). You never return to your point proving how Zhu has the sort of phallic issues you previously mentioned. Then you somehow try to smear by association. Well, two can play at this game.

Your heavy reliance on bad debating habits reminds me of Nathan Langston from the FP comment boards–only his obsession is with ascribing scatological issues with people rather than phallic issues; every time someone threatens to prove him wrong, he starts ascribing fecal incontinence to them.

A government’s belief in the fundamental goodness of any people *can only* be recognized by its willingness to allow/encourage them to pursue their own lives, their own ends, their own activities.

“Can only?” That’s not necessarily true. This is an inadequate statement that deserves greater proof. And since it’s the linchpin of you’re entire argument, it means that the entire long paragraph you just posted is impotent.

Yes, it does matter. Your original point was not that Mao himself is valuable as a symbol. It was that “some core aspects of Mao’s ideology” (e.g. “his belief”) were still valuable today; so stepping back and claiming you were just referring to Mao as a “symbol” is obviously as inaccurate as the notion that Mao believed in the fundamental goodness of the Chinese people.

Sure, I’ll bite. Since your proof (of the mutual exclusivity of the intrinsic goodness of people and Mao’s view of people as tools to accomplish something) didn’t make it, then you still haven’t adequately addressed my point.

That’s a burning question? Look, I know there is ample testimony to your flamboyant bitterness over Japan, but I see Japan as exceptional in the realm of China’s conflicts (you do too), and thus it would be rather illogical to suggest proof via China’s relationship with Japan, though certainly that is still in part driven by internal politics.

Let’s back up a second. You said

“Conflict with China is of a political nature, not based on China’s “civilization and culture.””

You didn’t say “some conflict” or even “most conflict”. Your statement, by lack of a qualifier, implies that all conflict with China is of a political nature.

Now, because you concede Japan can’t fit into your neat little theory, you want to package it into the box of “exceptions”–and–push the burden of proof on me.

That’s illogical. I don’t have to disprove an absolute statement by proving the absolute negative. All I have to do is raise a counterexample.

The sticking points between China and the US, on the other hand, are restricted to China’s treatment of its citizens, its brazen acts of nuclear proliferation, and the desire for regional military supremacy.

I agree that Chinese desires for regional military supremacy have raised consternation with the US. China’s treatment of its citizens? Not so much, as Chiang (along with numerous other right-wing dictators, such as Pinochet) was just as vicious as the current Party but had the undying love and adulation of the United States right up until he died in 1975.

As for nuclear proliferation, I haven’t seen that point get raised much in Sino-US dialogues. Perhaps you’re confusing China’s nuclear program with A.Q. Khan in Pakistan or Russia’s assistance with Iran? China has actually been fairly decent in keeping its own nuke technology under control, and usually responds to US State Department requests to shut down export of nuclear technology to “rogue states”.

All major priorities of the CCP or PLA. All extensions of politics. There is simply nothing cultural about it.

looool. Not sure why oppressing people is priority of the Party, or why nuclear proliferation to countries bordering China is the priority of the PLA. The only priority of both that bothers the US is regional military supremacy.

But it takes two to tango. Chinese aspirations to regional hegemony bother the US because the preventing the rise of an independent regional hegemon is a major priority of the American national security establishment.

So yes, it is political–but an outgrowth of policies on both sides of the Pacific.

Dude, my grandma’s 打卤面 will completely blast yours off the table. Chinese distrust for their countrymen is prevalent to an almost absurd degree, papered over with the thinnest coating of inauthentic nationalist tissue. The rise to the whole 素质 discourse is simply the most obvious manifestation of this. Many if not most, in fact, consider both the distrust and the “quality” problems to stem from Mao’s period, so I’m surprised you’d even attempt to argue otherwise.

Mmmmmm. 打卤面 is awesome. I actually don’t cook Chinese food all that well, so I’d be happy to learn how she does it. Promise me you’ll ask her for a recipe and share it here?

I’m not sure what the relevance of Chinese “distrust” (if it exists, which you haven’t proven) for their countrymen has to do with using Mao and Mao’s beliefs to build trust between Chinese people.

Finally, you still haven’t clarified this statement:

A-pols. That’s a use of the alpha privative. An understanding of Greek roots will carry you the rest of the way.

What do you mean?

December 14, 2012 @ 5:56 am | Comment

“It just alienates the Chinese who read this”
—works just fine for me, no alienation here. Of all the things you need to learn, zookeeper, speak for yourself and not for others.

BTW, Rudd was silly to talk about force. But besides that, everything he said seemed pretty reasonable. He’s a friend of China. He’s probably not a friend of the CCP. There is no contradiction there whatsoever (and since you’re dense, let me spell it out for you: CCP is not China, and CHina is not CCP).

December 14, 2012 @ 7:10 am | Comment

@t_co

“I thought we tried to maintain some shred of decorum on this site?”

Your record would say otherwise. Comparing the call for evidence to justify castigating a man’s record or putting a man in jail with…Holocaust denying…is about as heinous as a person can be, t_co. Don’t confuse your unctuousness with decorum.

“Now you’re switching to ad hominems (“distinct sensitivity”). You never return to your point proving how Zhu has the sort of phallic issues you previously mentioned. Then you somehow try to smear by association. Well, two can play at this game.”

Are you a cartoon? Great, go ahead. I promise I won’t feel pain.

“Your heavy reliance on bad debating habits”

In the majority of instances where we’ve had exchange or conflict, t_co, my “bad debating habits” amount to you trying to do a drive-by on one of my comments in the rather childish assumption that *everything* is a debate. When we have debated you’ve shown errant logic (the embassy bombing), preposterous claims, and an unwillingness to submit proof (remember the debate on Vietnam?), not unlike Zhu.

“Can only?” That’s not necessarily true. This is an inadequate statement that deserves greater proof. And since it’s the linchpin of you’re entire argument, it means that the entire long paragraph you just posted is impotent.”

It is necessarily true, and highlighted for that very reason. You’ve made the mutual exclusivity an fairly easy fit since you’ve defined the belief as one in fundamental goodness, not a goodness capable of being achieved through proper shepherding. This necessitates the view that people are good in an unmanipulated state. The function of government is manifold, no doubt, but all government save self-government is an act of manipulation (whether overt or covert) that presumes the need for intervention. The belief that people are material and tools to be shaped by a government is the furthest extension of this presumption, and it precludes a belief in the value of an unmanipulated state, making any authentic belief in the fundamental goodness unrecognizable.

“Sure, I’ll bite.”

You haven’t bitten…you have misrepresented your position.

“You didn’t say “some conflict” or even “most conflict”. Your statement, by lack of a qualifier, implies that all conflict with China is of a political nature.
Now, because you concede Japan can’t fit into your neat little theory, you want to package it into the box of “exceptions”–and–push the burden of proof on me.
That’s illogical. I don’t have to disprove an absolute statement by proving the absolute negative. All I have to do is raise a counterexample.”

An easy fix. I’ll submit that I should have used a qualifier and intended no absolute claim, though I’m not so certain there is anything cultural in China’s conflict with Japan. That view would suggest that territorial claims are not pursued because of the political advantage gained therein, and that sudden civilizational shifts lead to their quelling.

“China’s treatment of its citizens? Not so much, as Chiang (along with numerous other right-wing dictators, such as Pinochet) was just as vicious as the current Party but had the undying love and adulation of the United States right up until he died in 1975.”

Very much, I’m afraid. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find any other single issue which caused such persistent conflict between China and the US since Tiananmen. The US has spent valuable political capital trying to address this issue and extract concessions from the PRC. And your reference to Jiang indicates that your insistence on proper debating habits (and logic) is highly selective and largely a convenience. Evidence of US dissatisfaction and disgust (“undying love and adulation”? Don’t be a clown.) with Jiang during his reign is legion, and since Jiang isn’t reigning or even alive today, it is only logical to compare him (and any US support for him) with the Party during his own epoch. Things don’t appear quite as equivocal then.

“As for nuclear proliferation, I haven’t seen that point get raised much in Sino-US dialogues. Perhaps you’re confusing China’s nuclear program with A.Q. Khan in Pakistan or Russia’s assistance with Iran? China has actually been fairly decent in keeping its own nuke technology under control.”

No, it hasn’t. There is confusion, but it is of China’s making. The tie to Pakistan is firmly established, which reflects further on China’s suspected dealings with North Korea.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamyang-norbu/who-created-pakistans-nuc_b_864124.html

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB114/index.htm

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL31555.pdf

“looool. Not sure why oppressing people is priority of the Party, or why nuclear proliferation to countries bordering China is the priority of the PLA. The only priority of both that bothers the US is regional military supremacy.

But it takes two to tango. Chinese aspirations to regional hegemony bother the US because the preventing the rise of an independent regional hegemon is a major priority of the American national security establishment.”

You know, many wonder the same thing about China’s priorities, but it takes a special type of person to find them amusing. Yeah, of course it takes two to tango. But it only takes one to oppress people and to supply nuclear weapon technology and material to Pakistan.

“So yes, it is political–but an outgrowth of policies on both sides of the Pacific.”

Great. We are in agreement. Cuz, you know, there for a moment I thought you were going to travel with jxie in his civilizational time machine.

“Finally, you still haven’t clarified this statement.”

Yeah, you’re right.

@Richard

I guess that was him ripping into me. My apologies if you think my response went too far, but I don’t think I’ve been hostile to t_co yet. I suspect that is more than he can say.

December 14, 2012 @ 9:49 am | Comment

Look at the sad, needy life of Chiang, Kaishek, having to send his wife into prostitution to beg for American “aid”.

That about a former Chinese first lady who ralleyed American support for China in the Japanese war. And I have seen no objection to that from t_co. But he does take offense when zhuu is fed some of his own medicine.

December 14, 2012 @ 11:02 am | Comment

@JR

I think this is what Zhu was referencing.

http://www.welmer.org/2009/07/03/madame-chiang-and-wendell-willkie-scandal-in-chungking/

December 14, 2012 @ 11:09 am | Comment

t_co: so Mrs Chiang – allegedly – had an affair (with an American), and “scratched someone’s face with her long fingernails”. And you think that this is what zhu was referring to.

Let’s suppose that this is what zhu meant. And let’s suppose that the article is accurate. What’s your point? That Chiang sent his wife into prostitution?

December 14, 2012 @ 11:31 am | Comment

Let’s suppose that this is what zhu meant. And let’s suppose that the article is accurate. What’s your point? That Chiang sent his wife into prostitution?

My point is that Zhu’s accusations have at least some basis in reality. In contrast, I’m not sure what Handler was smoking when he started ranting against Zhu.

December 14, 2012 @ 12:47 pm | Comment

My point is that Zhu’s accusations have at least some basis in reality.

If those accusations are true – and if I took your approach -, I could accuse Mrs Clinton of having sent her husband into prostitution, just as well.

You don’t mind rants, t_co – not as long as they go into the “right direction”. But if a rant’s political color is undesirable (in your view), people are “posting flamebait”, or “smoke something”.

December 14, 2012 @ 1:17 pm | Comment

You don’t mind rants, t_co – not as long as they go into the “right direction”. But if a rant’s political color is undesirable (in your view), people are “posting flamebait”, or “smoke something”.

That’s not true.

http://www.pekingduck.org/2012/06/the-great-leap-forward-on-film/#comment-177790

I’m still fairly surprised that Richard would open up the comment thread to let this comment through, when it quite frankly is just as leaky and lacking in informative value as, say, one of Math’s/The Clock’s rants.

I dislike all ranting.

—-

The other thing is that while Zhu might be huffing and puffing against historical figures who can at least be debated with some amount of facts, Handler is ranting and raving against other people on the internet where his accusations hold no informative value whatsoever. There is a distinction, however marginal it might be.

December 14, 2012 @ 1:46 pm | Comment

The book review which Handler and Richard link to above is well worth a read.

However, in it Sam Crane states that the author, Yang Jisheng, is a ‘Confucian Sage’ who displays ‘Confucian values’ by dedicating the book to his father, who died of starvation in the Great Chinese Famine.

Is wanting to tell the truth Confucian? Is wanting to make sense of your father’s death Confucian? Is wanting to honour your father Confucian? Would not a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, an aethiest or just an average, decent human being want to do these things?

There are tonnes of books written by children of soldiers who fought in the Second World War and there are tonnes written by children of people who died or survived the Holocaust.

Is Sam Crane saying that Yang is doing this purely because he is Confucian? If not, why mention it?

As for the comparison between Qin Shihuang and Mao, I’d have to say that in terms of loss of life and general murder, Mao takes it. But in terms of general governance, Qin is famous for standardising measurements, language and most importantly, unifiying China. Mao is famous for the disastrous GLF, the tragic CR and, in his eyes, he failed to unify China.

December 14, 2012 @ 1:46 pm | Comment

I dislike all ranting.

Then why do you suggest that handler smoked something, t_co?

… against historical figures who can at least be debated with some amount of facts

You think of the Chungking affair as a fact, t_co? Or what’s the fact there? Why should people take less offense from a “prostitution” allegation against a first lady, than from “phallic envy” assumptions?

There is a distinction, however marginal it might be.
The margin, in my view, is that between being sensitive about one’s own honor (collective or individual), and being blind to the honor of others. Nationalism, for example, tends to be very sensitive about the former, and negligent with the latter.

I agree with handler that unctuousness should not be confused with decorum.

December 14, 2012 @ 2:03 pm | Comment

To xilin,
Sam Crane’s site has a Confucian theme. So I’m not surprised that he would make such references with regards to his topics of choice, in this case Yang.

I would say those traits you listed are Confucian but not necessarily the exclusive domain of Confucianism. I interpret Sam as saying that Yang is being Confucian in his book, but not necessarily exclusively Confucian.

December 14, 2012 @ 2:08 pm | Comment

“Handler is ranting and raving against other people on the internet where his accusations hold no informative value whatsoever. There is a distinction, however marginal it might be.”

I wouldn’t call two terse comments ranting and raving, particularly compared to someone who spent three posts trying to explain that it’s ok to imply “the West” may have created SARS (“the jury is still out”) as a biological weapon… because you can find hits on Google.

The oddest thing about this is I didn’t anticipate any response from Zhu, and certainly didn’t want one. That at least clears my conscience of any self-doubt. Your over the top reaction couldn’t have been anticipated either, but I think it may just qualify as raving. We’ll see about the ranting element.

December 14, 2012 @ 2:11 pm | Comment

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