Friday, 19 October 2007

BOOK REVIEW: 'Mao: The Unknown Story'

The word politics is derived from 'poly' meaning many, and 'ticks' meaning small blood sucking objects.

Mao Tse Tung breaks that mould. Mao's blood lust was never small. If you're interested at all in the history of mass murder and in the politics of large world-destroying blood sucking bastards, then you have to read Jung Chang's and John Halliday's book 'Mao: The Unknown Story.' It will make you sick.

I've read several accounts before of Mao and his crimes, and I realised he was a complete bastard. 'Mao: The Unknown Story' reveals that he was without doubt history's biggest bastard -- a mass murder utterly without virtue or any redeeming personal qualities whatsoever. To read his story as Halliday and Chang lay it out certainly made me feel ill with revulsion.

Mao was perfectly prepared to try and wipe out his country's history and to destroy his country's culture, and perfectly happy to murder millions in the attempt. Sacrifice was endemic to him, combined with the relentless pursuit of power -- he sacrificed millions of Chinese in pursuit of power and the protection of his power -- sacrificing them sometimes as an afterthought, and sometimes to assuage his blood lust. He began the technique right from his earliest days, when he sacrificed whole armies and whole cities purely in order to position himself better in the struggle for control of the Chinese Communist Party. When his life and his career was finished, his country lay in ruins, seventy million people were dead, and those left alive were terrified, and they were starving.

The communist ideology provided the justification for the sacrifices Mao demanded; for Mao it meshed perfectly with his desire for power. The Chinese were disarmed by that ideology, and they died of it in their millions. Seventy million! Seventy million people who died of starvation, of torture, as the result of Mao's blatant power lust.

IT'S SOMETIMES THOUGHT THAT to master the profession of blood-sucking dictator, one needs to maintain a gimlet-eyed focus on reality. Mao puts paid to that idea. For him reality was something to evade, with the Chinese people paying the price for his evasion: his insistence in the pursuit of super power status for his feudally impoverished county, for example -- in utter disregard of what might be necessary to become one -- resulted only in further impoverishing China (and leaving it that way for decades) and starving more than forty million human beings -- starved for no other reason than Mao's refusal to accept that "super power status" or even any kind of prosperity was beyond a country in which freedom was so viciously expunged.

His grip on the country was complete, and remained so for a quarter-century by the simple expedient of terror within, and deception without. If he did have a talent, it was for understanding how terror could be used to pacify opposition, and how willingly western leaders would be to participate in his deception.

He really had no interest at all either in the ideology of communism or the welfare of anyone other than himself -- he never showed any interest in the peasants and "the people" in whose name the "People's Liberation Army" supposedly carried out their terror. He was interested in communism only because it gave him the perfect platform on which to seize and maintain power, and to partake of his favourite pleasure: sloth. His chosen ideology was and remains the perfect ideology for the professional thug: as long as the notion exists that individuals are sacrificial fodder for the collective, then there will always be thugs prepared to pick up that sacrifice -- the wider the acceptance of that evil notion, the power the thugs will have; and the less squeamish they are, the more heads they're be able to bust.

THIS BLOOD SUCKER WAS the perfect embodiment of evil --yet it's said that evil is impotent. How to reconcile that paradox when we see him all powerful for so long? Chang and Halliday make plain that Mao himself only survived through the complicity of others -- through good men either doing nothing, or lesser men allowing themselves to deliver a country into his evil.

Without a world full of useful idiots, Mao would have been just another lowlife power luster. Without power being handed to him on a plate by an utterly outwitted American post-war foreign policy team entirely unaware of the scum with whom they were dealing, maintained for him by a Soviet Union eager to expand their own dictatorial power, and paid for by a country which he quite literally cannibalised, he would have been nothing. Without others to deliver him what he could not, he had no power himself by which to carry out his destruction, and to protect his power. At manipulating these useful idiots he did prove himself a master. At using them to destroy a country simply to hang on to power, he proved himself history's finest.

IT'S SAID TOO THAT as long as statism exists, then war will exist. Mao's career offers further evidence. "Wars," said Ayn Rand, "are the second greatest evil that human societies can perpetrate. The first is dictatorship, the enslavement of their own citizens." This, she points out, is the real cause of wars.
If men want to oppose war, it is statism they must oppose. So long as they hold the tribal notion that the individual is sacrificial fodder for the collective, that some men have the right to rule others by force, and that some alleged "good" can justify it -- there can be no peace within a nation and no peace among nations.
Mao's career once again provides the evidence. He proved himself perfectly prepared to plunge the world into war simply to gain some (often illusory) political advantage for himself - threatening Taiwan and invading Korea and India simply in order to gain technology from Russia -- technology China was in no position to use. He sponsored conflicts in Indochina, for no reason other than to acquire further influence and more technology he couldn't use, that left millions dead across Vietnam and Laos and the killing fields of Cambodia , and scars that still exist to this day across every country involved.

And once the Russians finally rejected Mao as a lunatic, too dangerous even for them, in order to continue the technological parasitism his survival demanded he then proposed to that grinning moron Nixon (supposedly the then defender of the free world) that the free world join China in a nuclear umbrella against the Soviets -- a proposal that would have left the west at the mercy of whatever border conflict the lunatic Mao wanted to manufacture for his own ends -- a proposal only offered so Mao could steal the west's military technology -- a proposal all too eagerly lapped up by by the braindead Kissinger and Nixon. As Chang and Halliday show, these two had rings run around them by Mao and Chou En Lai. They went to China in pursuit of peace, and left with the danger increased.

The proposal that the west risk joining hands with Mao in a mutually assured nuclear holocaust was ended only by Nixon's Watergate resignation. Thank small mercies for Deep Throat!

IT'S WORTH REFLECTING AGAIN on Ayn Rand's point on peace -- a point that was never even contemplated by the grinning moron and his mate, and the many other morons whose willingness to grant evil bastards absolution allows their evil to flourish. The nuclear danger only makes the point all the more important.
If nuclear weapons are a dreadful threat and mankind cannot afford war any longer, then mankind cannot afford statism any longer. Let no man of good will take it upon his conscience to advocate the rule of force -- outside or inside his own country. Let all those who are actually concerned with peace -- those who do love man and do care about his survival -- realise that if war is ever to be outlawed, it is the use of force that has to be outlawed.
Is that lesson so difficult to understand*?

Mao's evil was allowed to flourish by morally disarmed morons who were either ideologically prepared not to understand, or pathologically unwilling to contemplate the point; prepared and able to deliver to Mao what he wanted, and to give him and his destruction either the ideological benefit of the doubt (he might be a murdering fucking bastard, but at least he's our murdering fucking bastard) or -- worse -- to worship at his shrine, as many braindead Maoist morons did and still do. His methods of ideological intrigue can still be seen at work around the world in all those Maoists who still infest the world's parliaments and political platforms with their poison.

It's time that Mao and Maoism and the murder and poverty brought about by communism and communists was treated with the same popular revulsion as the likes of the Nazis and the KKK. Don't give any of these bastards the benefit of any doubt.

This book helps to make clear they don't deserve it.
* * * * *

*To make the lesson more topical for you: Let those in NZ who are actively concerned with peace reflect that Tame Iti received his own indoctrination in Maoism early on, including a visit to Peking in 1973, a year before Nixon and right at the start of his activist career. As all the evidence makes clear he is still following what he learned there.


  1. It's a very good book. I especially liked the deconstruction of the myths of the "Great March".

  2. 'useful idiots' a synonym for 'NZ media', particularly over the last week.

  3. Robert Winefield23 Oct 2007, 09:41:00

    I'm looking for the definitive history of Mao & China of that era.

    I checked for the book and it gets utterly panned in the reader reviews.

    Are those reviews fair and if so, is there a better volume out there?

  4. I don't agree with the reviews that pan the book. There's nothing in this one that contradicts accounts heard in other reliable histories. It seems to me its those reviews that are in error, not the book.

    Says one such panning, (just for example) the authors should take more notice "[Mao's] successes" which says the reviewer "were stunning and world-shaking, not only uniting China but freeing it from foreign control, creating the industrial base that allowed the economy to flourish under a less bandit-like regime, and making China a world power to be reckoned with."

    He's wrong on almost every count. If Mao's "success" was to "unite" the country, then it was as one nation under slavery -- one neck fitted with one noose.

    The "industrial base" was only created after Mao's death; his own attempts to create on was based on stealing military technology from others, and especially by buying military technology from communist countries with the food out of starving Chinese mouths and buy threatening war and demanding his allies pony up -- technology that for the most part couldn't be used since the industrial infrastructure just wasn't there.

    He demonstrates Werner Keller's thesis regarding the Soviet Union epxressed in the title of his book: 'East Minus West = Zero.'

    Is there a better volume? I don't know. I'm sure others can offer their own recommendations, but here's some other books that I'd recommend that fully support the thesis developed in this one, including Valentin Chu's 'Ta Ta, Tan Tan: The Inside Story of Communist China,' Anthony Kubek's 'How the Far East Was Lost: American Policy & the Creation of Communist China, 1941-1949,' Paul Johnson's 'Modern Times,' RJ Rummell's 'China’s Bloody Century: Genocide and Mass Murder
    since 1900,' and [and this is bloody annoying] a book I read a few years back that was the Chinese equivalent of Hedrick Smith's comprehensive 'The Russians' but I can't remember either title or author. Frustrating.

    I'll keep thinking ...

  5. Oh, and Mao "made China a world power to be reckoned with" by the simple expedient of threatening the world first with its only military strength -- the millions of soldiers who it could field and whose forget about -- and then (after blagging nuclear technology from the Soviets, who stole it from the west) by the simple expedient of threatening nuclear destruction on the world, confident (as Mao said quite happily) that China would be the only winner of a nuclear war since it was the only country who could easily afford to lose a hundred million people.

    The guy was scum.

  6. Robert Winefield23 Oct 2007, 12:26:00

    Yeah I nearly vomited when I read that first review by some Canadian PhD... "My worst enemies were dictators but..."

    But the fact that there was more than one review like that caused me to pause. I'll check the book out of the KU library and have a read.

  7. Chang and Halliday’s Mao, Unknown Story is good, but it is not good as The Private Life of Chairman Mao by Dr. Zhisui Li

    Chang and Halliday’s Mao, Unknown Story provided a brand new version and perspective of Chairman Mao. It is the first time to portray Chairman Mao as a bloody mass-murderer. In their book, Chairman Mao was a large-scale murderer during a Chinese peace era. Nearly 80 million people were dead by his Utopian idealism: that was an unbelievable number. It is four times the number of deaths of the Soviets in the war between the Soviet Union and Germany. He used drastic violence to suppress people who he believed stood in his way for industrializing China. He ignored the death of 30 million people during the starvation period of the Great Famine, which was caused by his foolish “Great Leap Forward” for overtaking the British and catching up to the Americans. After the Great Famine, his lunatic behavior reached new heights. He launched the culture revolution, which was completely insane. He became a maniac. Under his direction, the violence was propelled to its bloodiest high tide. The horror broke historic records. Elementary school students unbelievably beat their teachers to death. The death toll was continuing to pile up until the day he died. From Mao, Unknown Story, the figure of Chairman Mao was drawn as a vicious monster and mass-murderer.

    No wonder, horrible bloody killings described in Mao, Unknown Story truly happened in China from 1949, when Chairman Mao took over China, to 1976 when Chairman Mao died. Chairman Mao did everything so lunatic, and insane. From the catastrophe which he brought to China, he deserves to be considered a bloodthirsty monster and a bloody mass murderer. Overall, the book is good and correct.

    Even though the book is good and correct, it cannot compare with Dr. Zhisui Li’s The Private Life of Chairman Mao in deeply and lively describing of Chairman Mao. No less than Dr. Andrew Nathan pointed out, all of biographic writers have a limitation in deeply and lively describing their objects. Because they have never served their objects, they have no chance to observe them closely. Also they have done a lot of research, but the inherent defect is that they don’t really know their objects’ personality and psychology. They don’t know their objects’ courtyard operations; their objects’ retainers, and the relationship between their objects, their objects’ retainers and the government officials.

    Dr. Zhisui Li’s The Private Life of Chairman Mao did not portray Chairman Mao as a bloodthirsty monster and a bloody mass murderer; instead of that, it focused on details of Chairman Mao’s personality, psychology and his courtyard operation. Owing to Dr. Zhisui Li’s position, it made him as so called: inside man. He could know a lot of Chairman Mao’s important information that an outsider could not know. Even Chairman Mao’s former public health minister told Dr. Li to come see him anytime if Dr. Li wanted to tell him about any of Chairman Mao’s activities. In the same way, Chairman Mao’s former chief commanding officer of guards also was available to Dr. Li with no appointment.

    The deepest impression for me about Dr. Li’s book is the Chairman Mao’s courtyard and his retainers. Chairman Mao’s medical doctor, chief commanding officer of guards and secretaries comprised his retainers. They were called “Group One”. Chairman Mao’s retainers formed a powerful and vicious retainer circle. Their power was even above party officials. The party officials were not servants of people. Instead they were servants of Chairman Mao. They cared for Chairman Mao’s retainers a lot of more than they cared for people. The gossip of those retainers could cause party officials a serious trouble. People were powerless and ignored. The party officials entertained Chairman Mao’s retainers with the best Chinese whiskey and the best Chinese cuisine while the Chinese commoners had a little of meat to eat. During the starvation period of the Great Famine, Chairman Mao even stopped eating meat. But his retainers flaunted the banner of celebrating Chairman Mao’s birthday, and required the local party officials to hold a grand dinner party for them. The dinner fulfilled the best Chinese cuisine, seafood, and the best Chinese whiskey, wine, beer. The party was in the name of celebrating Chairman Mao’s birthday, but Chairman Mao didn’t even attend. Dr. Li found it very hard to swallow that tasty food. However his colleague exhorted Dr. Li, saying that unless he wanted to leave “Group One”, he had better wallow in the mire with them. Some party officials even colluded with some of Mao’s retainers making a fraud deal in secret. The fraud deal deceived party treasurers by saying that Chairman Mao ate more than one thousand chickens in three, four days. Actually, the party officials took chickens for their own meals. Chairman Mao even had never known it until he was dead.

    The factions in Chairman Mao’s retainers circle were stricken by each other fiercely. Opponents attempted to topple their counter part desperately. A vicious atmosphere permeated daily life. Nobody felt safe. Chairman Mao’s wife was frequently involved in the factions’ conflicts. In this vicious atmosphere, even Chairman Mao himself suspected somebody of crawling on his bedroom roof at midnight. He did not trust any of his retainers. He even suspected that the swimming pool in his palace was poisoned.

    Dr. Li’s dream to be a great neural surgeon became a surviving nightmare. Although Dr. Li wanted to avoid touching this vicious politics, he could not stay out from it. For survival he was forced to stay with one faction. Later, the factions’ grappling escalated to a cross line battle between the retainer circle and party officials, and eventually led to a palace coup after Chairman Mao was dead. Chairman Mao’s wife and her three colleagues were arrested. However, Dr. Li survived successfully.

    I feel that Dr. Li portrayed the figure of Chairman Mao and his courtyard operation more close to the true Chinese history, what was really happened in China from 1949 to 1976. Compared to Dr. Li’s book, Chang and Halliday’s Mao, Unknown Story seems pale.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.