When a member of Barack Obama’s administration recently praised China’s Marxist Chairman Mao as a “favorite political philosopher,” confusion followed. So, who was Mao and why does Obama’s administration publicly praise him? It’s easy to briefly describe Mao Zedong.
He was a radical progressive who fought for a Marxist revolution in his native China, prevailing to lead the country for 27 tumultuous years. Despite boasting he fought “for the People,” Mao’s Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, and other progressive policies resulted in the killing of 77 million people, according to genocide expert Professor J.R. Rummel.
Mao Zedong, ie Mao Tse-Tung, aka Chairman Mao, was delivered to a middle-class peasant family in a small town in 1893 in the valley of Shaoshan, Hunan Province, in China’s heartland. A very disobedient and disrespectful child, Mao was a natural-born rebel. An utter mama’s boy, Mao hated his father (a trait shared with many other dictators). His life was filled with tragic events, missed opportunities, rank cruelty and willfully ruinous decisions. A typical Marxist leader, Mao longed to put restraints on others, but was a fundamentally lawless and antinomian personality. While he claimed to want socialism to help the peasants rise, there is little evidence he was ever actually interested in the poor.
According to Jon Halliday in “Mao, The Unknown Story,” Mao proclaimed, “People like me only have a duty to ourselves; we have no duty to other people.” His supreme interest was satisfying his own desires. He did not believe in a life beyond this one. He rejected any concept of universal laws like the Ten Commandments, saying “I do not think these [commands like “Do not kill”] have to do with conscience. I think they are only out of self-interest for self-preservation.” Mao refused any external moral code, but chose to ruthlessly shatter his nation to force it into socialist shackles. As a result, Chairman Mao became the greatest killer of humans in history.
After winning the civil war in 1949, Mao became China’s supreme leader when the People’s Republic of China was established. Party opponents accused him of self-absorption and megalomania. Moscow sent financial aid and tactical direction, while Mao studied Lenin’s life. The main lesson learned from Lenin, and also Stalin, was how to establish power and control by sheer terror, through torture and killing. The terror campaign was coordinated by China’s KGB, the Political Security Bureau, all Soviet trained. In fact, the Chinese Communist Party was begun in Moscow, built on the Soviet model, with Russian aid and direction, writes Halliday.
Mao’s government began turning family farms into collectivized units to mimic the Soviets. Unfortunately, this model did not work, as production fell, and farmers rejected Mao’s direction. This sowed seeds of demise separating China from the Soviet model, allowing Maoism to take wing, says Clarence B. Carson, in “Basic Communism: Its Rise, Spread and Debacle in the 20th Century.”
In 1958, Mao announced the Great Leap Forward to transform China into a modern state within a few years. In Mao’s mind, his plan to dominate and revolutionize China would then transfer to the rest of the globe. The Great Leap would occur when collectivized farms saw food production spike from new methodology. A compliant press celebrated massive increases in harvests, such as 100-fold gains in productivity. Yet after 6 months, the program was exposed as a massive failure, and instead of swelling production, widespread food shortages resulted. When reported to Mao, he replied all people would eat less since it was healthier anyway, according to Halliday.
The Great Leap Forward reveals Mao’s fevered and unhinged approach to “industrialization.” Among many harebrained growth schemes, a few must be mentioned. First, Mao sanctioned multiple canal and lake excavation projects, using primitive means, resulting in many peasant deaths. Yet, most either failed or were abandoned. Another strange plan was ridding China of the “Four Pests,” being rats, sparrows, flies and mosquitoes. Unfortunately, when Chinese sparrows were wiped out by rabid crowds of broom-waving peasants, it was only then discovered sparrow “pests” actually reduced real insect menaces. Many died when pestilence broke out, writes Halliday.
Another astounding plan was the “Make Steel” program. Since existent Chinese steel mills couldn’t upgrade fast enough, Mao ordered private citizens to build foundries. These “backyard furnaces” were constructed by 90 million peasants encouraged to melt down any metal available, including farm implements. Mao bragged China’s steel output would excel Britain’s in three years, and America’s by ten. Instead, an absurd failure resulted, revealing Mao’s utter misapprehension of scientific or economic principles. Heaps of brittle, useless pig-iron resulted, destroying countless important household implements, claims Halliday. This well-illustrates the impetuous, smug and illogical mindset of Mao.
After the Korean War ended in 1953, Mao decided China must quickly join the globe’s most powerful nations via his secret “Superpowers Programme,” focused on grain sales. Chinese peasants were forced onto strict food rations. All excess production was earmarked for the state, with rations set at half of subsistence, although Mao actually demanded they consume less. Zedong felt no sacrifice was too great for peasants, echoing Lenin’s own persecutions of farmers. By 1958, officially sanctioned famine gripped huge numbers. Food was confiscated by force, and many farmers died of starvation, although some also committed suicide. Mao commented, “This is a war on food producers – as well as on food consumers,” according to Halliday.
Farmers suspected of hoarding were executed or sent to concentration camps, according to Jasper Becker, in “Hungry Ghosts, Mao’s Secret Famine.” The most unpopular citizens, termed by officials “enemies of the people,” comprised about 5% of the population. Becker lists these as, “Landlords, rich peasants, former members of the Nationalist regime, religious leaders, rightists, counter-revolutionaries, and the families of such individuals…” These were classic Marxist capitalist demons, fit only to burn. Mao stated, “It is necessary to bring about a reign of terror in every country.”
Mao’s bizarre plan eventually moved 700 Chinese peasants into communes, as couples were even held for a time separately. The goal here being destruction of the family under the Chinese Communist Party. Mao was proclaimed as greater than any parent. Becker estimates that between 33-40 million people died during Mao’s forced famine.
Launched in 1965 against his own Chinese Communist Party, the Cultural Revolution pitted youth against the establishment, achieving one of histories worst political purges. Mao was infuriated his Great Leap failed, believing it lacked Party support. Proxies attacked the Arts, claiming it subversive. For example, the ten greatest living Chinese writers were publicly shamed. Mao wished to overturn conservative bourgeoisie culture, and set young against old, horrifying this ancestor venerating society.
Universities closed from 1966-1969 so students could better rampage. The young were encouraged to desecrate and destroy everything holy to Chinese society, including the school system, religion, the family, universities, and even museums. Students defied and physically attacked public officials. The Red Army singled out bureaucrats and executed them for the crime of ruling class membership, says Carson. Student gangs, including females, rampaged across China in murderous pods. Yet Mao was most interested in purging loathed Party members. Millions died during this ten-year period.
A typical Marxist, Mao didn’t believe in innate human worth. According to Halliday, he saw only four important things in people, “money, food, labour and soldiers.” Philip Short, in “Mao, A Life,” writes upon Zedong’s belief in “...the need for a strong state, with centralized political power…” Marxist fixation on strong central authority agreed with Confucian texts Mao read as a child. Typically elitist, he felt commoners were backwards and needed training, like children, for communist salvation.
Belief in a needed elite sect to guide and liberate blind masses predates Christianity, emanating from Gnostics writings. These pagan concepts heavily influenced early socialists, noted by Eric Voegelin in works like “Science, Politics and Gnosticism.” The goal was creation of materialistic paradise on earth, by ending all wars, famines, and greed, via communist mandate eliminating private property.
Mao was transfixed by cataclysmic events including large-scale staged executions, a love shared by other tyrants like Lenin and Stalin. Mao stated, “We love sailing on a sea of upheavals. To go from life to death is to experience the greatest upheaval. Isn’t it magnificent?” So, Zedong was not moved by murder, since it was a part of the great adventure of life. This attitude typifies Marxists who celebrated the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, hugely influential on Marx. Heraclitus wrote, “War is the father of all and king of all, who manifested some as gods and some as men, who made some slaves and some freemen.” Mao made secret police, disappearances, concentration camps, beatings and murders a part of everyday life in China.
Spilled blood thrilled Mao. Informed of murderous attacks, he felt a “kind of ecstasy he never experienced before…It is wonderful! It is wonderful!” Asked how to confront critics, he said “We’ll slit their ankle tendons and cut off their ears!” Mao’s theory of revolution was pure destruction, a total Marxist vision. On changing China, Mao said, “the country must be…destroyed and then reformed.” He added a chilling overview, stating “This applies to the country, to the nation and to mankind…The destruction of the universe is the same…People like me long for its destruction, because when the old universe is destroyed, a new universe will be formed. Isn’t that better?!!” It would be nearly impossible to find a better description of Marx’s explosive Dialectic of History, nabbed from Hegel, which described the doctrine of creative destruction for building the perfect communist society.
White House Communications Director Anita Dunn extolled Chairman Mao in a 2009 speech to school children. Dunn is not obscure, but was originally one of four top consultants to Barack’s presidential campaign (a group including Obama’s current chief advisor, David Axelrod). Dunn’s husband is Robert Bauer, Barack’s personal lawyer and new chief White House Counsel. Echoing Maoist support were Manufacturing Czar Ron Bloom and Ex-Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, proving administration Maoism is not isolated.
Dunn, on her favorite “...political philosophers: Mao Tse-tung…I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point which is ‘you’re going to make choices; you’re going to challenge; you’re going to say why not; you’re going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before.” So Dunn embraces Mao’s radical policies, and one must assume she considers his death toll and reign of terror acceptable collateral damage. Bill Ayers, U.S. Marxist terrorist and Obama mentor was also influenced by Mao, saying after America was overtaken by communists, 25 million resisters might have to be murdered, according to ex-Weatherman Larry Grathwohl.
What are the pillars of Chairman Mao’s Marxist political philosophy? Essential Maoist beliefs include these:
Finally, since Obama freely hired staff, choosing those he enjoys and finds laudable. So, like Dunn, does he also accept Chairman Mao and other dictators as role models?!! Given that many wonderful non-murderer leaders could have been chosen, Dunn’s choice was strategic. Obama’s answer to this question could well make many Americans uneasy.
Kelly O’Connell is an author and attorney. He was born on the West Coast, raised in Las Vegas, and matriculated from the University of Oregon. After laboring for the Reformed Church in Galway, Ireland, he returned to America and attended law school in Virginia, where he earned a JD and a Master’s degree in Government. He spent a stint working as a researcher and writer of academic articles at a Miami law school, focusing on ancient law and society. He has also been employed as a university Speech & Debate professor. He then returned West and worked as an assistant district attorney. Kelly is now is a private practitioner with a small law practice in New Mexico. Kelly is now host of a daily, Monday to Friday talk show at AM KOBE called AM Las Cruces w/Kelly O’Connell
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