Mao’s Long Shadow

Our political system continues to produce human rights disasters and social crises, thereby not only constricting China’s own development but also limiting the progress of all of human civilization. This must change, truly it must. The democratization of Chinese politics can be put off no longer.

                                                        Charter 08 for Reform and Democracy in China

Following Mao’s death, the CCP changed direction dramatically. Mao’s ideology of permanent revolution, which was responsible for decades of violent chaos, was replaced by a doctrine of ‘social harmony’. The Party gradually abandoned communism and enthusiastically adopted state capitalism, ushering in decades of unprecedented economic growth.     Continue reading

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The Psychology of Evil – Mao’s Famine

The famine which occurred in China during the Great Leap Forward was perhaps the greatest crime in history. Between 1958 and 1962 at least 45 million people died[1]. This figure is much higher than the number killed in World War One. The real death toll could be higher, and may even exceed the number killed during World War Two.

Calling it a famine muddies the picture of what actually happened. Unlike during a natural famine, disease was remarkably absent as a cause of death. The reason is both easy to comprehend and terrifying to grasp.     Continue reading

Psychology of Evil – Mao’s Terrifying Vision

Ten years ago, on the one hundred and tenth anniversary of Mao’s birth, a group of dissidents wrote a letter entitled ‘An Appeal for the Removal of the Corpse of Mao Zedong from Beijing’. In it they wrote[1], ‘Mao instilled in people’s minds a philosophy of cruel struggle and revolutionary superstition. Hatred took the place of love and tolerance; the barbarism of ‘It is right to rebel!’ became the substitute for rationality and love of peace. It elevated and sanctified the view that relations between human beings are best characterised as those between wolves.’

As China commemorates the 120th anniversary of Mao’s birth, an examination of Mao’s time in power provides an insight into his pathologically disordered personality, and the devastating impact that Mao’s 27 year reign of terror had on Chinese society.  Continue reading