Previous posts in this discussion:
PostIn Praise of George Zhibin Gu (Istvan Simon, USA, 04/15/18 7:54 am)
I am deeply thankful to George Zhibin Gu for the heartbreaking stories of the man-made disasters produced by Mao Zedong.
Mao was the worst mass murderer of the last century. It is hard to imagine that anyone could be worse than Hitler and Stalin, but Mao wins hands down, both in the staggering unimaginable number of his victims and his cruel indifference to their fate.
I pray some hero at some point will blow his rotting body to smithereens in his Mausoleum, tear down his disgraceful picture from Tiananmen Square at the entrance to the marvelous Forbidden City, and burn all the paper money on which this criminal's face still appears.
JE comments: My naïve question: why does China's Party refuse to allow a critical re-evaluation of Mao? Fear of losing their own legitimacy is the obvious answer, but why would this necessarily be the case?
I have two new posts from George Zhibin Gu in the queue. His sagas of China's tragic 1950s and '60s should be required reading for any student of twentieth-century history. We are indebted to you, George.
Mao, Hitler, Stalin: Who Killed More? Ian Johnson in "NYRB"
(Paul Levine, Denmark
04/16/18 3:27 AM)
I share Istvan Simon's admiration for George Zhibin Gu's heartbreaking entries on Modern China.
And I share Istvan's passionate feelings about Mao Zedong's monstrous actions. Perhaps WAIS readers would be interested in the attached article from the NYRB by an excellent journalist, Ian Johnson.
JE comments: Click below. Ian Johnson does the grim math we've attempted several times on WAIS, and comes up with a Mao death toll of at least 40 million. This gives the Chairman the perverse gold medal for the 20th century's worst mass murderer.
Johnson answers a question I raised yesterday: it was possible for the Soviets to de-Stalinize, as they still had Lenin in the background to legitimize the regime. Mao for the Chinese is both Lenin and Stalin, so the Party cannot "disown" him without jeopardizing their power.