Debate on Mao

Interesting exchanges between forumnites on Chairman Mao. 
> I think you are right in saying that Mao was probably
> extremely intelligent; one can deduce this from the way he
> simplified the Chinese characters, united the country, and
> defeated the technologically and quantitatively superior KMT
> army. In some sense, there are many parallels between Mao
> and Qin Shi Huang Di.
I think you need to read up a bit more about China’s history to appreciate
just how extraordinary Mao was. I’m not sure if he was one directly responsible
for the simplified Chinese characters. In my mind, the most special thing
about Mao is that he was the first ever peasant to start and win a revolution
from scratch against an overwhelming ruling government. Coming from a peasant
family, he truely understood the most fundamental problems in Chinese society.
There is absolutely no comparison between Qinshi Huang and Mao, Mao was never
a conqueror or dictator of China, he was a true public servant, he truely
wanted to save China and make China great. Mao probably had a much deeper
understanding of democracy than anyone in the 6.4 demonstration, that’s why
he started culture revolution — to strip all priviliages and the concepts of
priviliages from the government and authorities, thereby totally eliminating
any rulling class and breaking the barriers in the social hierarchy. During the
initial periods of the Cultural Revolution, any ordinary person could go to
any high ranking public servants to question or argue with them.
The failure of the cultural revolution was a combination of several complex
factors. Most importantly, Mao was too old to have any control of what was
happening, so other people who had their own personal agendas diverted the
course of cultural revolution to the worse.
> He was a military genius but he also had a tyrrannical
> inclination, and did as much harm to China as he did good.
This is where you are mostly wrong. Mao was never ever a dictator. He wanted
nothing for himself or his family. He didn’t even allow his own daughters to
have his surname so they wouldn’t be given any special treatment. He and his
own families starved just like everyone else during the most difficult times
of early PRC. He resented money and refused to touch money. He never promoted
anyone close to him or he liked to any unjustified positions. Mao has been
undoubtedly the most selfless and honest head of government of China in
history. He did far more good to China than harm.
> He also had the conceit of imagining he knew how to run an
> economy; but the simplistic principles that worked for him so
> well on a battlefield and politically apparently abandoned
> him when he tried to put them into effect economically,
> resulting in the disastrous GLF.
You cannot just blame Mao for the economy disasters of early PRC. The early
CCP followed the Russians to develop the economy, most of the senior CCP
members including Mao probably never had any experience in managing
economy. I think the failure of the economy during early PRC was mainly due to
the following three factors:
(1) The failure of the communism theory to recognise the inherent weakness in
human beings.
(2) The desire for ordinary Chinese to please Mao.
(3) Adpoting the Russian economy model on China.
I think Mao was only partly responsible for (1) and (3), and he was totally
powerless to stop (2). Mao was worhsipped as a god, but he did absolutely
nothing to encourage it, in fact, he was totally against it during the
early periods of PRC. During Mao’s period, corruption in CCP was almost unheard
of, the vast majority of the CCPs were true public servants.
> He also murdered his
> political opponents after having invited them to a banquet.
This is such BS, who the heck did he murder?
As far as I’m concerned, the biggest mistake Mao’s ever made was to reject
the early suggestion of birth control, he personally dismissed the idea that
a huge population could be a problem, and he encouraged the breeding.
I’m sorry for babbling for such a long time, but I am just so sick and tired of
listening to all the bad-mouthing about the greatest Chinese ever lived.

About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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