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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Communism's victims

The New York Times has published an article by Frank Dikotter, professor at the University of Hong Kong, on the carnage visited on the people of China by Mao Zedong's "Great Leap Forward":
The worst catastrophe in China’s history, and one of the worst anywhere, was the Great Famine of 1958 to 1962, and to this day the ruling Communist Party has not fully acknowledged the degree to which it was a direct result of the forcible herding of villagers into communes under the “Great Leap Forward” that Mao Zedong launched in 1958.

To this day, the party attempts to cover up the disaster, usually by blaming the weather. Yet detailed records of the horror exist in the party’s own national and local archives.


In all, the records I studied suggest that the Great Leap Forward was responsible for at least 45 million deaths.
Read the whole article for the excruciating details.

Glen Reynolds at Instapundit has an interesting roundup of responses to the NYT article. Reynolds comments:
Communists are as bad as Nazis, and their defenders and apologists are as bad as Nazis’ defenders, but far more common. When you meet them, show them no respect. They’re evil, stupid, and dishonest. They should not enjoy the consequences of their behavior.

Remember that next time you see some naive socialist demonstrator sporting a Mao t-shirt & throwing bricks through a Starbucks window.

UPDATE: For commenter Brian Busby - here are two pictures from last summer's riot at the G20 summit in Toronto, which I found after a quick Google search. You could have Googled it yourself, you know.


Brian Busby said...

The next time I see a socialist demonstrator sporting a Mao t-shirt throwing bricks through a Starbucks window?

Odd, I've never seen that. Perhaps you could point to a photo on the web... or anywhere else.

dmorris said...

Those photos don't show any T-shirts.
I've never seen a "Mao" T-shirt, but plenty of "Che" T-shirts.

I'm assuming "Che" must be an Hispanic version of Mozart to have so many people wearing his image on a shirt.

I wonder if any of these "demonstrators" have any idea about socialism or capitalism,or if they're just useless thugs and vandals out to destroy something they had no hand in building.

Maybe someone should sell them some "Hitler" T-shirts, he was big on vandalism.

Eric said...

T-shirts, banners - now we're splitting hairs. Let's see - a group of black-clad anarchists with bandanas over their faces parades in front of a banner with a prominent picture of Mao and a slogan saying "Capitalism is a failure - revolution is the solution". A black-clad anarchist with a bandana over his face throws a brick through a Starbucks window. Coincidence? I think not. I'm pretty sure if I spent more of my valuable time searching through Google images I could find an actual anarchist with an actual Mao t-shirt, but I think I've made my point adequately.

Brian Busby said...

Eric, I understand and appreciate your effort, but at the risk of appearing to split more hairs: presented is one photo of people you identify as "black-clad anarchists" (not socialists), standing before a Maoist (not socialist or anarchist) banner. The second photo features another person you identify as a "black-clad anarchist" who appears to be throwing something - a brick, you say - through a window.

Is this person featured in the first photo? Impossible to say.

Anyway, my point: I doubt socialists (or even Maoists) were responsible for the damage at the G20. I suppose we'll know more as those who have been identified have their respective days in court.

Madman2001 said...

Love the essay. Yes, a long ago essay (title and author now forgotten) brought the devastation to my attention -- that modern-day governments (especially Communist with the Nazis in 2nd place) have murdered perhaps a hundred million people.

Of course, if you have good intentions, like Mao (supposedly) did, then, gosh, how can you really blame him?