Mao Tse-tung was the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party. He proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. He had struggled several decades, first against the Japanese and then in civil war against the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang). Chinese history was changed forever, and so was the world. Truman, Marshall and Acheson were "blamed" for "losing" China. The world had not paid full attention to the goings-on in China. Respected journalist Theodore H. White, who spoke Chinese, had chosen to cover this vast country before, during and after World War II. For the most part journalistic, diplomatic, military and popular attention was focused on events first in Europe, and second in the Pacific. In this respect, China remained what it had always been, a mystery. But this nation has survived a turbulent history, and continues to do so.
When China went Red, it was the first in a series of events that in many ways verified the "domino theory." Suddenly, an enormous Communist monolith existed. It was not just starving Russia and the megalomaniacal "Uncle Joe" Stalin. It was not just the rest of Eastern Europe, which was becoming enveloped by Soviet domination. By 1949, there was little real hope that any resistance would succeed among these countries.
But China had resisted the Japanese. They had always been a part of our "sphere of influence." However, the "gunboat diplomacy" depicted in the 1966 Steve McQueen film "The Sand Pebbles" had created a backlash against American "imperialism." With the end of the British Empire, Anglo-American "empires" were no longer acceptable to many people who had struggled against a series of foes and now wanted some kind of independence, good or bad.
The American government had misinterpreted support for Chang Kai-shek and underestimated the power of Mao. The creation of the PRC foreshadowed the Communist world becoming atomic (and then nuclear). The Korean War, McCarthyism, Vietnam, a fissure in Sino-Soviet relations, the Nixon-Kissinger détente, was just to the right of center during the Cold War. China continues to be a sticky political thicket 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Few events have been analyzed more than their revolution and the question of how it succeeded. China has a conservative, Confucian tradition that stresses harmony. But it has always believed that individuals should accept their place in society. In this lack of individual autonomy is the perfect mindset for Communism. For 2,000 years China had avoided contact with the outside world. Rather, they saw themselves as isolationist, observers of an inferior outside world that changed while they remained the center of all things. To try and understand Chinese thinking, one must accept this concept. It is based on the idea that China is so old, with so much history and, therefore "wise experience," that they are like an elder who counsels a protégé. They do not see things in one-year, five-year, or even 20-year timetables. The Chinese conception of time is different from Westerners. They view events within 100-year periods. They view setbacks and defeats as strategy. The Chinese look at the United States, who dominated a world that they chose not to participate in; then dominated them; then became their enemy; and now dominates them again. Instead of accepting the fact that they are on the losing side of history, they consider it all some kind of 230-year plan.
Lenin once said that his strategy was to take "one step back and two steps forward." World War II changed the Soviet dynamic. It made them think they could take two steps forward without taking any steps back. In the end their boldness ended them. But China was not a victorious "conquering power." They barely emerged from the war, badly bruised in every possible way; raped, pillaged, plundered, used, humiliated. They had little capitalist history. The British and Americans did business there, but looked down upon them. They had no Democratic traditions. The remedies of the Marshall Plan were not applicable to China. Its people were peasants, warlords, and tyrants, not the educated, refined classes of Japan who took to MacArthur with admiration.
China might be like the proverbial ants that are said to be the only likely "survivors" of some future nuclear holocaust. This theory will only be tested by time. In the end Communism will fall in China because of two things. First, China will endure it. They shall outlast it just as they have outlasted all other forms of manmade control over its vastness. Second, Communism will fall because it is the opposite of freedom. The Machiavellians who advocate that man prefers security to freedom are simply wrong.
In the 1840s, Western powers considered the Chinese inferior and forced the country to open its ports to foreign commerce because of its vast natural resources. Change occurred quickly and in 1911 the ruling Qing dynasty collapsed. Over the next 37 years, there was no single political structure in the country. This alone was not cause for a major collapse, since it did not represent a huge break in China's past. The country was de-stabilized by World War I, but like Japan they were on the periphery of events. But the Japanese invasion and subsequent World War had repercussions great enough to rock even the placid Chinese.
Rival factions had struggled to assert control, causing turbulence and disruption. The two main rivals were the Nationalists, created by Sun Yat-sen in 1912, and led from 1925 by Chiang Kai-shek, and the Chinese Communists, led by Mao from the late 1920s. A short-lived alliance brought about the destruction of Chinese warlords (with the Northern Expedition). This broke down in 1927. The Nationalists were more powerful since the rich West, who saw them as the lesser of two evils, sponsored them. In the 1930s they formed the government. They maintained symbolic power, but not real power. They could not eliminate the Communists.
In 1931 the Japanese invaded Mainland China and occupied its richest provinces. In 1932 they took control of Manchuria (renaming it Manchukuo, installing the puppet Pu Yi as Emperor). After a full-scale invasion in 1937 they took Beijing, Shanghai and Nanking. Chiang's reaction was tepid. His policy was to "share" his huge country with them, subjugating those unfortunates who fell under their domination. The Japanese infused their attacks with an ancient history of the Chinese people. They felt about the Chinese much the way the Germans felt about Jews, Slavs and other "sub-humans." Chiang ceded the northern territories, then mounted resistance in the areas he chose to fight, invoking "local patriotism" within disparate groups.
In his 20s, Mao had envisioned fundamental change. He was a schoolteacher, labor organizer and eventually a military commander. He found in Marxism a system and an organization. He was not rigid to Karl Marx, however, allowing for adaptation on a regional scale. Like the Russians, his constituencies were the peasants. He saw them as an important class that made up 80 percent of the population. As a rebel leader in Jiangxi (1927-1934), he fought guerrilla warfare and carried out Stalinist, autocratic blood purges. Mao found no problem administering torture to achieve false confessions, followed by show trials and executions. "Counter-revolutionary" became the watchword for anybody who opposed him.
In carrying on the theme of this work, which is to dispel the idea that moral relativism is ever legitimate, let it be stated that by using these kinds of methods, Mao proved himself early on to be evil. Many of my conservative brethren insist that "understanding" such evil is an exercise in futility. While I agree in principle, I do not advocate a black-and-white approach that fails to study such activity. Mao made his choice when he adopted Marxism. From that point on, his "soul" was lost, the Rubicon crossed, and his brand of "evil banality" was inevitable. In other words, in the time and place he chose to make his historical stand, only treacherous Darwinianism could succeed. Mao had no chance of leading his people using anything less than terror. Had he chosen benevolence, he would have been killed and replaced. This is an example of being "swept up by history."
Mao is a character who benefits from the infamous "Chinese inscrutability." It is impossible to imagine Stalin growing up in England and thriving in British politics, or Hitler transformed to the American Midwest as Mayor of Peoria. They are easily dismissed as evil, any time, any place. Mao's supporters among the "useful idiot" class might say that he was just a kindly schoolteacher who did what he had to do, not giving any credence to traits of demagoguery, megalomaniacalism, and the kind of blind ambition that men like Mao had (and men like George Marshall did not!). What is important to understand in studying evil is that some of people would be imprisoned if their place was in America, but some "play the system," like the Clintons.
Mao was uncompromising in an uncompromising world. Americans lose track in their easy assessments of morality, trying to judge a man like Mao as one would judge Clinton, Franklin Roosevelt or George Bush. The standards are set higher for some societies than others. This is because the hills, streams, valleys and natural destiny of history has led to where we are today. In many ways, the results of history are like the landscape. In some places, mountains form. In others, great plains spread as far as the eye can see. Certain landscapes are more beautiful, and certain natural geographies offer more resources. Others are barren. In some ways, peoples are like this. Some are beautiful, and some are barren.
All human beings come from the same place. One can argue that this place is God the Maker, or some combination of Him and the gaseous masses of time. He, or something, created oceans, from which life evolved, eventually washing up on shore, and hence sprung hands, legs, eyes, the ability to figure out E equals MC squared, or to throw a perfect spiral into the hands of a sprinting wide receiver. Albert Einstein, at least until the end of his life when he came to believe in God, originally thought that man rose from the ocean strictly on his own, without God's help. However, this sounds like the wind and the elements creating various masses, throwing them in the air, and having them land as a perfectly formed jet aircraft. The concept that life is so random may be possible. However, it seems to my mind at least, so far from being possible as to be virtually impossible. But that is just me.
Some people evolved in Africa. Some crossed the Asian landmass. Some are from the cold north country. Either way, enough time has passed over the course of millions of years that people are what they are. Racial, physical, and societal traits are established, and after millions and then thousands of years, these traits are established as more fixed than the vagaries of prejudice or the whimsies of politics. Nations, societies and cultures are established over these thousands of years with fixed traits, endemic to some people which go back to the Middle Ages and before that. They are not changed by a 20th Century vote or plebiscite.
Which gets back to the point of Chairman Mao and the fact that he routinely tortured human beings in order to effectuate his mission, which was to spread Marxism-Leninism to China beginning in the 1920s and 1930s. What Mao was is not what the meaning of is is. He is what he, his society and his beliefs had evolved into being over the course of all human history. By the 1930s, it had come to pass that human beings who torture and kill are doing bad things. This was simply established as that with which is fact. No excuse is offered beyond that. Most realized this. Unfortunately, some people who were in power did not adhere to this philosophy at that time. Mao, Stalin and Hitler are three such people. Luckily for the world, people in power in London and Washington did not adhere to the "torture is good" philosophy. They decided to something about it.
It is not an accident that those who thought torture was a valid political tool, and rose to the heights in their countries, were Communists and Nazis, while those who do not were "small d" democrats. Furthermore, there is no culture that makes what Mao did okay.
Maybe in 1,000 years, torture will be considered a good thing, like giving to charity. It is because of such a possibility that vigilance for the doings of the devil must be maintained. It is with great relief that I am here to report that such vigilance is maintained as part of the official policy of the United States of America.
Mao has been described as a "remarkably tough and uncompromising leader." He was "schooled in adversity," making his "success" possible. In the film "Nixon", filmmaker Oliver Stone offers the following quote from Matthew 16:26: "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
There is no evidence that Stone is a Christian or religious. In this context he is proposing the idea that Nixon "gained the whole world" by becoming President, but in fighting the kind of world Communism that Mao and Stalin represented, he loses his soul. In a scene in which Nixon, Henry Kissinger and Mao meet in 1972, he makes a point of having Mao tell Nixon that they are both "evil," which Anthony Hopkins reacts to as if he is discomfited by this "fact." Under the Stone worldview, evil is a moral relative. The Quaker Nixon, raised by a Christian mother who spake to him in the "plain manner," is somehow as evil as Mao. Why? Because he campaigned aggressively against Helen Gahagan Douglas, bugged Watergate to find out if Ted Kennedy was going to run for President, and bombed Hanoi in order to keep the Communists from enslaving South Vietnam (and eventually turn Cambodia into a pile of 1.5 million skulls). Stone's film is a paean to moral relativism in its effort to equate the acts of Mao with the acts of Nixon. It is, therefore, as thorough a lie as has ever been exposed.
The important point is not a false attempt to portray all things American as good by portraying the evil of all things un-American. Quantrill's Raiders are just one example of American's, operating in a quasi-official capacity, who were evil and did evil things in the name of "patriotism." There are more than enough of these kind of examples that abound during the period of slavery, the War With Mexico, and in the terrible injustices, broken promises and ultra-violence that marks the "winning" of the American West.
These events are highlighted in books, movies, documentaries and the History Channel. Conscientious Americans have constantly studied these mistakes in order to avoid repeating them. Men like Quantrill and others like him have been identified as the bandits, immorals, and criminals that they were. In so doing, men who engage in these kinds of abuses are not elevated by American history to a place of honor. The ethics of Americana do not allow it.
But Chairman Mao was allowed to rise in China, to hold ultimate power, to be revered, and never forced to pay for his crimes. A "man" like Oliver Stone nevertheless portrayed Mao as a smiling, round-faced Buddha whose morality is somehow a historical "evil," on a scale no more or less than Richard Nixon. This is the kind of thing that makes the devil smile.
But not on my watch, as Mr. Reagan would say. Res ipsa loquiter.
After the Long March, Mao ruled in remote Yan’an (1937-1945), where he ensured his supremacy through terror and a wonderful new Communist technique called "brainwashing." This was his so-called Rectification Campaign. His policies resulted in poverty, but he was a survivalist.
In 1945 Japan was forced to abandon China. The revolution took on new urgency. A civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists resumed. The Nationalists were trying to encourage the economy and fight a war, all on the heels of Japanese occupation. They lacked popularity with the peasants, whose grain they had been seizing. After four years of fierce conflict the Kuomintang were defeated.
Joe Stilwell had heard the reports of Communist efficiency in farming, organization and military attack. While Mao had long been torturing enemies, real and perceived, apparently the danger of Japanese victory forced he and his men into becoming a strong, cohesive unit. They managed to maintain such cohesion in the civil war.
Chiang-kai Shek took refuge offshore on the island of Formosa (today’s Taiwan). Mao and the Communist Party proclaimed the existence of the PRC and established control over the country.
Nixon campaigned against the Democrat Helen Gahagan Douglas in the 1950 California Senate campaign. Douglas, who was so liberal that Nixon called her "red right down to her underwear," excoriated him for stating the simple truth that "Mao is a monster." All of the millions who had been killed, tortured, imprisoned and destroyed by Communists over the previous 20 years were either known by Democrats like Douglas, or the information was readily available to them. They still tried to treat people like Mao as misunderstood. Their actions are somehow not judged, God forbid, by Christian moral standards. Communism is a political organization of evil. Nixon knew it. He and his kind opposed it until they had weakened it, created enough fissures in it to make it vulnerable, then made them think he was doing business with it. 18 years later, it was in the ashcan of history, and that is also what the meaning is is!
But in 1949, Mao’s ruthless organization was in charge of a country of almost one billion people. Four years after defeating Hitler, the U.S. faced another enemy, potentially more formidable than the previous one. Mao famously wrote, "power grows out of the barrel of a gun." His finger was on the trigger.
Causes Steven Travers Supports
Conservative, Christian, USC, American patriotism