Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

China: A New Cultural Revolution?

An update of sorts to the previous post, NPR has posted the second part of a two part story on China's Great Leap Forward Famine: Recording the Untold Stories of the Great Famine.

In my previous post, I wondered aloud why we are getting yet again another "proof" of something their should be no question about, that Mao officially murdered millions of people.  Let me be clear, this was murder for land.  It was also murder for steel.  Just because the land and the steel were squandered, the latter in the sense that destroying good steel to make bad steel in an effort to win a steel making 'contest' with the UK, does not make it any less of a theft.

What NPR's Louisa Lim followed up with today sounds like a reforging of the old Cultural Revolution, the one from the 1960s which followed the Great Leap Forward.  Back then, the children of Red China were "unleashed" on the first "post-Mao" wave of reformist bureaucrats, teachers, and others, to drag down the new order and reinstall Mao.  The counterrevolutionaries were not revolutionary enough, so the slate was 'wiped clean' and Mao got to resume control of the world's largest penal colony.

Today, school children are going door-to-door recording the stories of death from The Great Leap Forward.  It is too early to tell what the aim of the central government is with this latest "memory" project:
This is the Folk Memory Project, which has sent 108 young interviewers out to 130 rural villages to gather oral histories. So far, nine of them have completed documentary films about the death toll during the Great Famine of the late 1950s and early 1960s in their own villages.

Through film and stage performances, these young people are reclaiming history, telling for the first time these personal stories of some of the millions who starved to death as a result of Chairman Mao's Great Leap Forward.
Odd that NPR, and presumably Red China actually link the famine to Mao.  Will this fit of honest about a Communist failure last?  Since nobody listens to NPR, especially those who brag about it, I doubt that it will.  I am sure that Student Unions across the fruited plain will still be blaming this mass murder on "Capitalism", weather, and "Right Wing Media" for decades to come.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nothing New Under the Sun, Especially when Communism is involved

Looks like NPR has "discovered" that millions were murdered in Mao's "Great Leap Forward".  Stop the presses!  Read and hear all about it here (A Grim Chronicle Of China's Great Famine by Louisa Lim)

Now, I am not sure how many times this historical tidbit needs to be "discovered" before it will sink into the collectivist heads of the Left that, yes indeedie, central planning kills people.  In this case, it was exceptionally bad central planning, but central planning is the culprit here.

Before we cross that bridge, we have to get it through their heads that it actually happened at all.  If by chance you get a Maoist to agree that the famine did indeed happen, you then have to get over the "dust bowl" excuse.  What is the dust bowl excuse, you ask?  It is the utter nonsense that China's Great Leap Forward starvation of millions was due to bad weather "not unlike the American dust bowl of the 1930s."

Be forewarned, that is their answer for every Communist famine, including the Holodomor.  No, I am not kidding:
- WHAT CAUSED THE FAMINE AND RELATED DEATHS? 1. Severe drought across the Ukrainian SSR and southern RSFSR from 1931 through 1933 literally burned up the crops in the field. Meteorological records from that time period can confirm this.

2. Epidemics of typhoid, typhus, and dysentery broke out when much of the limited water supply was infected. Hundreds of thousands died from these diseases.

3. In resistance to collectivization the kulaks (private, rich peasants), with the blessing of underground White counter- revolutionaries, burned their crops and slaughtered their animals rather than bring them to market. This exacerbated the situation and cost hundreds of thousands of lives that could have been saved by kulak food supplies.

4. The incompetence of more than a few local Communist officials and, in many cases, their direct disobedience to the directives of the Central Committee and Stalin caused situations that contributed to the problem in a number of regions.
The truth is, the Bolsheviks/Soviets, Red Chinese and North Koreans all used mass starvation as a weapon against their populations.  The "famines" never started when collectivism was on the rise in popularity, it always appeared when voluntary collectivism stopped working.

Mao's brilliant idea was to tell his staff to increase grain production, in part to pay back debt to the Soviets.  Problem was, the grain quotas were higher than the farmers could produce.  He piled onto that more brilliance of trying to industrialize his agrarian country "quicker" than the Soviets did theirs.  Steel quotas were given to all of the collectives and the way they met it was to melt down everything they had made of steel.  Soviet made tools, paid for with Chinese grain, was destroyed into "steel" that was not useable for anything.

Update: It is not like nobody was reporting this in the 1950s and 60s either.  Witness the Modesto Bee, 27 AUG 1959
On 15 Nov, 1961 John Strohm of the Newspaper Enterprise Association reported - Red China's Population Hungry, Disillusioned, And In Rags, Writer Says In Report Of Chaos And he does not pull any punches.

Mao's intentional starvation of tens of millions has been well known and well documented since just a few years after it started.  It was not like there was a Great Duranty making up stories for the New York Times was throwing anybody off the trail . . .

Oh, wait.  Yes there was.  For some reason, "The Great" never got pinned on John Roderick, so I will pin it on him.  The Great Roderick was pulling Duranty duty in China during Mao's grand starvation:
Here are two movies from the 1960s (or late 1950s). Oh yes, they appear to be training films from the CIA, which oddly are more factual than anything you will get from your typical Maoist of any period, and they match what Yang Jisheng's writes Toumbstone, as well as what was mentioned in the NPR piece.

This one from May, 2007 by Philip Short, "reveals" everything that the NPR story reports about Yang Jisheng's new book Toumbstone and it matches the CIA movies too.  It includes testimony from Sidney Rittenberg, a US Army linguist who joined the Chinese Communist Party while stationed in China in the 1940s.
After participating at the highest levels in both the "Cultural Revolution" and "Great Leap Forward", Rittenberg returned to the USA in 1980 with not even a threat of punishment.  For those of you unfamiliar with this unwavering American tenancy for forgiveness, see the "Turncoats" of the Korean War.  Contrast that with the "repatriation" of Soviet soldiers who merely were captured during WWII, to non-Soviets who dared to fight against Stalin and frequently were never Soviet citizens.

By golly, here is one from 1997 covering that period.  Includes testimony from Li Rui, Mao's Secretary speaking of the Great Leap Forward (about 0:36:00):
Seriously, how often do these atrocities need to be proved?  Don't worry, this latest proof will be swept into the dustbin of Leftist history in short order, only to be "discovered" anew in a couple of years.
Coming soon!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I, Pencil (Mandarin Chinese Translation) 我,鉛筆