History’s biggest bastard
I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly amazed at the frequency with which Chinese friends and acquaintances use words to describe Mao ZeDong like “great,” “heroic,” and “he saved China”—when you and I would be more inclined to use words like “murderer,” “thug,” “butcher,” or “history’s biggest bastard.”
Frank Dikötter [via Bryan Caplan] reminds us that instead of all those pictures of Mao that are still hung up around China, the fat genocidal megalomaniac should instead have been hung himself by the nearest lamp post, and at the earliest opportunity.
Mao enslaved hundreds of millions, and killed by the tens of millions. At least 45 million by forced starvation. At least 2.5 million beaten or tortured to death. That’s death both by direct order and by depraved indifference.
That people still call this stain on the twentieth-century a hero some thirty-four years after his death is a tragic indication of how well state indoctrination does its job.