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Old March 17th, 2012 #21
Alex Linder
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Mao's country was not socialist or even communist at all, but a despotic meritocracy
That is beyond ridiculous. The author spends half the book pointing out that people were afraid to criticize the leader and his stooges - even when they were literally freezing and starving to death. Does that sound to you like 'merit' is running things? Quite the opposite - it was all about loyalty to Mao, not merit. Merit had nothing to do with what was going on, it was as pure party hackdom as you'll find anywhere. And to say it wasn't communist or socialist beggars belief. Again, Dikoetter's whole story is peasants being coerced into giant collectives, forced to work in the fields all night, given nothing to eat, forced to turn over the bricks in their houses, their kitchen utensils, the farm implements to the collective. That's what socialism is. That's what communism is. The farmers are just peasants who want to be left alone to cultivate their plots by methods proven successful over centuries, just as they want to think their thoughts by the Confucianism that has supplied their spiritual guidance for centuries. Mao is going to change this because he is vain and the captive of an insane ideology. He can't do this by choice or persuasion, as the masses never want communism, so he does it by gun and whip.

I seriously wonder at your reading comprehension when you conclude exactly the opposite of what the author lays out on literally every page of this book. But you do know how to make an umlaut online, I'll give you due credit for that.

Last edited by Alex Linder; March 17th, 2012 at 01:40 PM.
 
Old March 17th, 2012 #22
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[more notes]

The term 'command economy' comes from the German Befehlswirtschaft. ... The command principle entailed that all economic decisions were centralised for the greater good, as the state determined what should be produced, how much should be produced, who produced what and where, how resources should be allocated and what prices should be charged for materials, goods and services. (p.127)

It worked so well that only forty-five million Chinese starved to death.

If there were a Department of Air, you can bet your life Americans would be suffocating within a year.

The masses were left without much clothing. Just as grain was distributed according to political priorities which favoured the export market above domestic needs, a large portion of the cotton was fed to the textile industries and sold on the international market. What remained was rationed and distributed in dribs and drabs following a well established pecking order which placed party and army at the top, followed by the urban population, each of these categories being further fine-tuned into an intricate hierarchy which had one thing in common: the producers of cotton, namely people in the countryside, were generally excluded. [...] By 1960, the situation in the countryside had become so desperate that farmers ate the cotton seeds. In Cixi county, Zhejiang, some 2,000 villagers were poisoned in a single month by eating cakes made of seeds, an indication of the extent of despair reached in one of the most sheltered provinces of China. In Henan they poisoned over 100,000 people in the region around Xinxiang alone, killing more than 150. Across the land desperately hungry villagers ate anything they could get their hands on, from leather belts and straw roofs to cotton padding. [...] Hu Yaobang, a party chief and associate of Deng Xiaoping who would soar to pre-eminence decades later by steering the country away from orthodox Marxism, reported seeing women and children stark naked. Many families of five or six shared one blanket. 'It is hard to imagine if you do not see it with your own eyes. There are several places where we should urgently address this issue, to avoid people freezing to death.' Throughout the country those who died of starvation often did so naked, even in the middle of winter. (pp.140-1)

When everybody owns something, nobody owns it. Nobody has responsibility for it. It becomes messy and beat up, like a public park.

Neglect was widespread, as incentives to look after livestock were removed once all the animals had been turned over to the people's communes.

Nope, no socialism there. No communism. Just turn over your pig and sheep and cow and your cooking pot and spoons and roof and bedding and bricks and etc etc, the people's collective requires them to build the glorious future.

Routine quarantine measures broke down, as veterinary services lay in disarray. Rinderpest and swine fever spread; chicken flu was common. The winter exacted the highest toll. Tens of thousands of pigs died of hunger in Cixi county, Zhejang, in a single winter month. In December 1960 alone 600,000 pigs died in Hunan province. (p.141)

Ploughs, rakes, sickles, hoes, shovels, buckets, baskets, mats, carts and tools of every kind were collectivised, but which collectivity actually owned them? A tug of war began between teams, brigades and communes, with mutual recriminations and random repossessions, the result of which was that in the end nobody really cared. (p.143)

No, no commuism there. No socialism. The government comes to your house and demands, at gunpoint, that you turn over your plough, your rake, your sickle, your hoe, your shovel, your bucket, your...life...but there's certainly no communism involved.

Last edited by Alex Linder; March 17th, 2012 at 01:57 PM.
 
Old March 17th, 2012 #23
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Another point worth making: this horrible communism carried out in China is done by Chinese to Chinese. That doesn't make it any more tolerable, does it?

Would you want some white nigger like Alabama Atkin coming to your house and demanding you turn over your shovels, buckets, and hoes to his droogs so they could meet the Super Glorious New White World Production Quota he dreamed up?

But that is exactly what would happen.

White is a basis, the only basis, in my view...but even so, it's not enough. It's the starting point. We are not just whites, we are men. Politics is only there to do what individuals can't do for themselves, and that is a very small bit of the whole. Once the racial context is established, it is up to the individual men to make their private worlds the way they see fit.
 
Old March 17th, 2012 #24
Alex Linder
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Good example of Chinese communist 'meritocracy':

All sorts of experiments were carried out to increase the weight of pigs, some of them inspired by the fraudulent theories of Trofim Lysenko. A protege of Stalin, Lysenko rejected genetics and believed that inheritance was shaped by the environment... Just as seeds of hybrid varieties were developed for greater resistance, hybrid breeding of livestock was envisated by senior leaders. Jiang Hua, party secretary of Zhejian,g, thus asked the county leaders to take steps to 'actively shape nature': he suggested cross-breeding sows with bulls to produce heavier piglets. (p.142)

This is the sort of zaniness leftists come up to when all opposition is finally out of the way.

Socialism destroys the environment too, not just the livestock and the people, but the trees and forests and lakes and rivers.

The Great Leap Forward decimated the forests. In the drive to increase steel output, the backyard furnaces that mushroomed everywhere had to be fed, farmers fanning out into the mountains to cut down trees for fuel. In Yizhang county, Hunan, the mountains were covered in lush primeval forest. A great cutting followed, some units felling two-thirds of the trees to feed the furnaces. By 1959 nothing but bare mountains remained. In Anhua, to the west of Changsha, an entire forest was turned into a vast expanse of mud. Being driven through thick ancestral forests along the road from Yunnan to Sichuan, Soviet specialists in forestry and soil preservation noted that trees had been randomly felled, resulting in landslides. Forests were brutalized everywhere, sometimes beyond recovery. (pp.174-5)

All kinds of shitty, badly placed, misengineered dams were built by the communists, many of them turning into time bombs:

This happened with the Banqiao and Shimantan dams in Zhumadian, Henan, built as part of the 'Harness the Huai River' campaign in 1957-9. . . . When a typhoon hit the region in August 1975, these dams broke, unleashing a tideal wave which drowned an estimated 230,000 people. (p.183)

Oops.

Reality exists. Communists and other ideological zealots pretend it doesn't. We see above the results.
 
Old March 17th, 2012 #25
Alex Linder
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Finally, the craziness Steve B mentioned: the anti-sparrow campaign, truly one for the ages.

But the most popular form of pest control was mass mobilization. Enthralled by the power of the masses to conquer nature, Mao had raised the call to eliminate rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows in 1958. Sparrows were targeted because they ate grain seeds, depriving the people of the fruits of their labour. In what is one of the most bizarre and ecologically damaging episodes of the Great Leap Forward, the country was mobilized in an all-out war against the birds. Banging on drums, clashing pots or beating gongs, a giant din was raised to keep the sparrows flying till they were so exhausted that they simply dropped from the sky. Eggs were broken and nestlings destroyed; the birds were also shot out of the air. Timing was of the essence, as the entire country was made to march in locksetp in the battle against the enemy, making sure that the sparrows had nowhere to escape. In cities people took to the roofs, while the countryside farmers dispersed to the hillsides and climbed trees in the forests, all at the same hour to ensure complete victory.

Soviet expert Mikhail Klochko witnessed the beginning of the campaign in Beijing. He was awakened in the early morning by the bloodcurdling screams of a woman running to and fro on the roof of a building next to his hotel. A drum started beating, as the woman frantically waved a large sheet tied to a bamboo pole. For three days the entire hotel was mobilised in the campaign to do away with sparrows, from bellboys and maids to the ofifical interpreters. Children came out with slings, shooting at any kind of winged creature.

Accidents happened as
[gooks] fell from roofs, poles and ladders. In Nanjing, Li Haodong climbed on the roof of a school building to get at a sparrow's nest, only to lose his footing and tumble down three floors. Local cadre He Delin, furiously waving a sheet to scare the birds, tripped and fell from a rooftop, breaking his back. [...] Sparrows were probably driven to near extinction, and few were seen for years afterwards. By April 1960, as the leaders realised that the birds also ate insects, they were removed from the list of harmful pests and bedbugs substituted instead. But the reversal came too late: insect infestations spread after 1958, ruining a significant proportion of the crop. (pp.187-8)

Last edited by Alex Linder; March 17th, 2012 at 03:01 PM.
 
Old March 18th, 2012 #26
Thomas de Aynesworth
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Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
I seriously wonder at your reading comprehension when you conclude exactly the opposite of what the author lays out on literally every page of this book. But you do know how to make an umlaut online, I'll give you due credit for that.
I took Dikötter's mentioning of privileges based on merit a little too literally.
 
Old March 26th, 2012 #27
Ian
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Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
Finally, the craziness Steve B mentioned: the anti-sparrow campaign, truly one for the ages.

[I]But the most popular form of pest control was mass mobilization. Enthralled by the power of the masses to conquer nature, Mao had raised the call to eliminate rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows in 1958. Sparrows were targeted because they ate grain seeds, depriving the people of the fruits of their labour. In what is one of the most bizarre and ecologically damaging episodes of the Great Leap Forward, the country was mobilized in an all-out war against the birds. Banging on drums, clashing pots or beating gongs, a giant din was raised to keep the sparrows flying till they were so exhausted that they simply dropped from the sky. Eggs were broken and nestlings destroyed; the birds were also shot out of the air. Timing was of the essence, as the entire country was made to march in locksetp in the battle against the enemy, making sure that the sparrows had nowhere to escape. In cities people took to the roofs, while the countryside farmers dispersed to the hillsides and climbed trees in the forests, all at the same hour to ensure complete victory.
This shows the rural origin of Chinese Communist authority. It was very much a peasant Communism that took over China's cities, and enforced communism on the urban workers. In Russia it was the direct opposite. The idea that there was a bread shortage, so sparrows must be eating the seeds, comes straight from the mind of village peasants, even though they might have been indoctrinated with much Marxist doctrine. Mao himself was a rural schoolteacher, perhaps an hereditary profession.
 
Old January 22nd, 2016 #28
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Mao was a great leader, his policies failed because he was too stubborn a believer in ideology. No good will come when any man has too much power anyway. China is really only "Communist" in name.
 
Old August 18th, 2016 #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald E. Pauly View Post
It looks to me like Chairman Mao starved the wrong 45 million to death. Stalin never made a similar mistake.
Population control at its best with the Great Helmsman braving the stormy seas. Mao himself said that a few score million of his countrymen dying via his harebrained five-year plans would hardly cause a dent in the population; they were expendable, guinea pigs in a "social experiment" gone horribly wrong is all. So bfd, why not?
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Old May 10th, 2017 #30
Alex Linder
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[comment i came across on web]

Mao's self- incrimination sessions are modeled on the Yale Theological schools examination of conscience sessions that became popular during the 'perfectionists' time- early 1800s. They sent missionaries to China for one hundred years, all of them soaked in these practices. Mao's wife was educated by missionaries. Mao's innovation was to take this obscure religious practice and apply it wholesale to an entire country in political practice.

[of course, i'd bet that the Yale exercises were adapted from the Jesuits, who started all that, far as i know. this is what 'illuminism' is, so far as techniques, per Libido Dominandi: it's the dark side or black use of the techiques developed by Jesuits to improve character, rededicated to control people by determining their guiding passion and using it against them]
 
Old May 10th, 2017 #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
[comment i came across on web]

Mao's self- incrimination sessions are modeled on the Yale Theological schools examination of conscience sessions that became popular during the 'perfectionists' time- early 1800s. They sent missionaries to China for one hundred years, all of them soaked in these practices. Mao's wife was educated by missionaries. Mao's innovation was to take this obscure religious practice and apply it wholesale to an entire country in political practice.

[of course, i'd bet that the Yale exercises were adapted from the Jesuits, who started all that, far as i know. this is what 'illuminism' is, so far as techniques, per Libido Dominandi: it's the dark side or black use of the techiques developed by Jesuits to improve character, rededicated to control people by determining their guiding passion and using it against them]
Interesting, because I've read about the BITE model for 'thought reform' used by the Chinese Communists, and it is used in all similar groups.

But the idea of it coming from religious nuts is not something I thought about. Makes sense.
And that the Jesuits borrowed it from the Jews would also make sense.
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