In 1919, at the age of 25, Mao Tse-tung witnesses the seeds of Chinese Revolution when students demonstrate at Tiananmen Square protesting the government’s acceptance of some demands in the Versailles Treaty.
By 1920 Mao has immersed himself at Changsha school vying for universal education of the masses. He fancies himself a community organizer.
In 1921, supported by the Soviet Union, the Chinese Communist Party holds its first National Congress in Shaghai with only 57 members. Mao becomes the Hunan Province general secretary where he begins to organize labor and union strikes. ACORN has yet to have been created.
Mao was an admirer and disciple of Karl Marx, but differed believing the â€œcauseâ€ ought to be taken up not by the proletariat, but by the peasantry. This differentiation had less to do with ideology than it had to do with the raw materials for revolution available to Mao at the time, and the ease at which those raw materials (the peasantry) could be molded and manipulated.
During the twenties, thirties and forties, the Nationalists lead by Chiang Kai-shek and Mao’s Communists battled for power. Millions died in the process and Mao narrowly escaped his own execution after being captured by Chiang guards.
Throughout his campaign Mao recruited peasants to the Communist Party by declaring anyone possessing fields to grow food and a house in which to live, rich. These rich were open game, bourgeois opportunists who obtained their comforts by subjugating the peasant class, deserving of ravage and plunder.
By 1949 Mao had seized complete power of China as Chiang fled to Taiwan. The Chinese Communist Party boasted 4.5 million members.Â Over four million of those came from the peasantry.
Their reward for loyalty to Mao and the CCP?
Mao marked the 1950â€™s with schizophrenic policies that first encouraged intellectuals into the CCP and then purged them as traitors.Â While technical counsel from the Soviet Union saw China’s economy grow, Mao rejected this new found modest prosperity. Following his own arrogance and ideology which envied independent success, Mao culminated the decade with the Great Leap Forward proclaiming it would advance all sectors of society.
Integral to the â€œGreat Leap Forward and to ingrain what Mao viewed as utopian communist principles, all members of Chinese society were forced to work in communes and factories to appreciate first hand, labor experienced by the peasant class.
The Great Leap Forward was an abject failure which saw drastic reductions in productivity resulting in the deaths of some 15 to 20 million people due famine, and left Mao to declare he understood nothing about economic planning (like most communists).
Mao’s reign over China continued to be tumultuous until his death in 1976. While he was lauded as a hero shortly after his death, it wasn’t long before revisionists began to describe his deeds and policies as inhumane and destructive to China.
Mao’s communist utopian ideals were always constructed to secure power for himself with little consideration for the plight of Chinese citizens. His decisions in regard to economic issues throughout his tenure generally saw destruction of the middle class with no relief ever for those among the peasantry.
And what policy change did Mao stipulate, during his turbulent rise, to his band of peasant murderers, after laying waste to every rich person or family possessing a field and a small house?
Rich was redefined to describe anyone who owned at least two chickens.
Most Americans identify capitalism as integral to US culture, and most find any talk of socialist or communist ideology offensive.Â Drawing comparisons between evil leaders like Mao, or Stalin, or Hitler with any of our politicians is generally determined extreme or radical.
Clearly, no American politician could ever obtain the kind of absolute power nor wield it with the kind of inhumane application that these evil men did because America simply does not possess the sort of squalor and desperation required to move disciples to such diabolical action. Specifically because our capitalist system creates so much wealth and good fortune does America enjoy such a high standard of living.
That being said, it is still instructive to illuminate the ideologies of those who embrace political principles offensive to American culture and examine how those ideologies parallel those of some contemporary American politicians. It is not by accident that Mao Tse-tung used the class warfare political tools to enlist the help of China’s poorest citizens, and it is not by accident that Barack Obama has promised not to increase taxes on anyone making more than $250,000.00, I mean $200,000.00, I mean $150,000.00, no I mean $41,600.00.
Copyright 2008 Jim Pontillo