by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker blog
Part 4 will take a very different tack….
There is a great and hilarious story about Mao during the Cultural Revolution, which is relayed in the Western university-standard textbook, China: A New History by “the West’s doyen on China” – John King Fairbank.
In late 1965 the rumblings of the Cultural Revolution had begun, due to grumblings over corruption, revisionism (“taking the capitalist road”, selling out socialism, etc.) and the snooty technocratism of urbanites. The party, led by Mao, saw these trends as threats to the common good, the revolution, and the Party’s “Heavenly Mandate” – the millennia-old concept that China’s rulers are chosen by Heaven to rule, and that they must actually display this divinity via perfectly moral conduct and leadership…or else revolt is justified.
Mao, being the great progressive leader he was, was against these anti-socialist trends… but there was only so much he could do about it on his own. Mao had launched no less than seven anti-corruption campaigns since 1949, but to no avail: the problem was deeply embedded, and beyond the reach of one man – even if one assumes Mao to be the totalitarian “Mao the Terrible” the West portrays him as.
With decades of anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist fighting clearly under threat from domestic reactionaries, in 1966 Mao supervised the Party’s May 16 Directive to state the threat clearly: “… they will seize political power and turn the dictatorship of the proletariat into a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.” Decoded: the corrupt pro-capitalists will turn China into a West European (bourgeois) democracy.
And from a foreign policy perspective in 1966, a crisis was undoubtedly at China’s doorstep: the US was massively invading Vietnam, and the largest communist party in the world not in power was being the victim of a literal genocide in Indonesia, with US support. (Why is “genocide” only for ethnic/racial groups and not ideological groups?)
Other than making political statements to a Party which contained many cadres who were only concerned about increasing their profits, he had only one other recourse – popular opinion.
That was all preamble. This brings me to that great and hilarious story:
‘Crossing the great river’: to seize the moment you have to first understand the meaning
The retelling of Fairbanks:
“In the second phase of the Cultural Revolution from August 1966 to January 1967 Chairman Mao was a great showman. The dutiful Liu Shaoqi, already doomed for destruction, was orchestrating the anti-revisionist movement among the party faithful. In July 1966 the Chinese public was electrified to learn that Mao had come north, pausing on the way to swim across the Yangzi. Since rural Chinese generally could not swim and few adventurers had ever tried the Yangzi this was like the news that Queen Elizabeth II had swum the Channel. He was obviously a paragon of athleticism capable of superhuman feats. (Photos showing his head on top of the water suggest Mao did not use a crawl, side stroke, backstroke, or breaststroke but swam in his own fashion standing upright in – not on – the water. He was clocked at an unusually fast speed.)
Hilarious! And written with maximum effort for humour, too! What the heck was Mao doing?! Those inscrutable Chinese – we’ll never figure them out! Mao was just being Mao – a capricious tyrant – but that one takes the cake! Elizabeth II swimming the Channel, LOL – good show!
It’s too bad that Fairbanks – one of the key American shapers of thought on China for decades – had no idea why such a move “electrified” China. Fairbanks implies that Mao’s demonstration was pure self-aggrandisement in the most Western-individualist, election campaigning of fashions: “I am so superhuman that I can crush all dissent – just watch me doggy-paddle over the Yangzi.”
That makes no sense at all.
Time and again Mao’s swim is reported by Westerners as being “loaded with symbolism for the Chinese people”, but I have never seen the symbolism actually explained.
That is too bad, because what this story does prove is just how close Mao was with the public and how he spoke their language; why the public adored him (still do and always will); and why he was such a People-trusting, People-liberating democrat.
Beyond political ‘theater’ & into the realm of political religiosity
This was the meaning Fairbanks missed and which many of the People of China did not:
The ethical book of the Chinese is the I Ching, the “Book of Change”, which is the world’s oldest book in the world for a reason: it can be foolishly used as a divination tool – just as opening the Koran to a random page is used to “give advice” to some Muslims – but the I Ching is truly a master guidebook of human and Heaven-based morality.
Briefly, the I Ching examines 64 ethical, personal and social concepts, conditions and states. One meditates at length on a range of concepts – “Mutual Influence”, “Bringing Together”, “Darkness”, “Proceeding Humbly”, “Not Yet Fulfilled”, etc. – and the book discusses their true meaning, how they progress in stages and how they interrelate with other concepts.
Indeed, the interrelatedness of this first-ever binary system reaches a sort of “Social String Theory” level of unity, and with social morality & divine guidance omnipresent (though not Abrahamic, of course). By studying the I Ching one can see how, when and why these 64 ethical concepts / opportunities are appropriate (or not), and also get instruction on how they are likely to change – change being the only constant in this mortal world.
In this book is occasionally a phrase: “Favorable to cross great rivers.”
When the I Ching reads that it is “Favorable to cross great rivers” – that means it is the right time to dare the greatest of undertakings. Indeed, this sentence reflects the maximum amount of good and luck possible – it’s the best possible news, and means Heaven above could not look upon you or your plans more favourably.
I Ching judgments can be negative, neutral, slightly favourable, etc. If it reads “Not favourable to cross great rivers”, it means – stop what you are doing and don’t try it.
But nothing is better than “Favorable to cross great rivers.” It means: “take courage, Heaven smiles upon you, you are just, you are in tune with ethics, in tune with the Tao (a Chinese concept very similar to the Holy Spirit), humanity and nature,” etc.
So for Mao to literally cross the great river in July 1966 was to emphatically, physically tell all the Chinese People: “Join me in daring this great undertaking of the Cultural Revolution. Cross the great river now – in real life.”
When one is thus able to look at Mao’s swim through the eyes of a Chinese person and can fully understand the cultural context, as well as the historical/political context…then we finally see how it could have “electrified” China: For the Chinese, it is truly as if he had re-enacted a scene from the Bible.
The only way I could compare it for Iranians is thusly: In order to defend Iran’s sovereign right to a nuclear energy program, Supreme Leader Khamenei travels to Karbala, Iraq,…and has a boxing match with Mike Tyson. (f you don’t understand this…please don’t pretend to tell me that you know Iran, our religion, and our culture.) I’m sure Iranians are smirking, not because of Khamenei’s advanced age and the absurdity of such a fight, but because they know exactly what I mean: This would be a reenactment of the glorious and assured annihilation – thus the martyrdom – of Imam Ali, which inspires all Shia as much as the suffering of Jesus does for Christians (even more in 2018, I would say, as the annual multi-million pilgrimages to Karbala show…and which Western media certainly does NOT want to show).
To explain it to the French: In order to demand the reversal of Brexit, neoliberal Macron goes to Rouen and fields media questions as he’s tied to a stake. For the Americans: acquiescing to Russophobia, Trump invites Putin over for diplomatic talks, but then personally captains a ship across the Potomac to surprisingly capture the Russian leader, like George Washington.
Did Mao know what he was doing? As the son of a rich farmer he went to school, where he was undoubtedly instructed in the Chinese classics, as education centered around them. Mao also knew that other educated people were similarly instructed in the I Ching. The only question which I cannot definitely answer, as I have never been embedded in Chinese popular culture, is: how likely is it that the average person have been familiar with the sayings of the Chinese classics and the I Ching?
I think we can say with confidence: “At least somewhat familiar”, no? Grow up in the West and you will be familiar with Biblical sayings even if you aren’t Christian. It is universally reported that the swim somehow galvanised the nation, and I doubt it was the view of an old man doing the doggy-paddle. In a perpetual question in semiotics: why this, and not that? I.e., why not climb a mountain to “electrify” the people, or chop down a cherry tree, or save a lamb? You certainly can’t argue with the results – we can only try to explain them.
And yet Fairbank – the China scholar best-known to the US public and academia alike – clearly had no idea of what Mao was doing, what it represented, and why it was inspirational. Fairbank clearly had not even read the I Ching, perhaps the single most important foundation of Chinese culture, despite being Harvard University’s first-ever China “scholar”. That is a recipe for terrible scholarship, terrible teaching and ignorant-but-arrogant students.
It is a scholarship which is typical of the West, and which was debunked so superbly by Edward Said’s Orientalism. It is scholars who don’t go to foreign lands to learn and respect the local culture – they go there to proselytise their own ideas and to return with stories which confirm the standard stereotypes, almost as if they had never been there at all. Just as those who used to be called “Oriental scholars” never read the Koran, I highly doubt that Fairbank’s knowledge of China extended beyond the superficial and beyond what was useful for him as an American.
So there is little wonder, to one who understands the cultural significance, how China did not erupt in delirious, sweet, modern – and violent – revolution against reactionary forces shortly after the swim. The swim was Mao’s obviously successful attempt to get the People inspired, and to reassure the People that (some of) their leadership was on their side, and on the side of preserving the popular revolution the nation worked so hard to install.
There are other facts and anecdotes of history to relate to defend Mao, but I chose this one because it illustrates how Fairbank and the Westerners who have studied for China, and have given us our “wisdom” of Mao’s alleged tyranny, actually have very little comprehension of the Chinese soul. Their scholarship exists to defend their own ideas, not to understand the amazing qualities of other cultures, and are genuine only in their reactionary anti-socialism, And yet these are the people who inform today’s students, journalists and citizenry in the West.
But new scholars, such as Jeff J. Brown and his superb, factual account of Chinese history since 1949, China is Communist, Dammit, wades unapologetically into the tidal wave of Western disapproval to deliver a history which is actually sympathetic to Chinese people.
I could have continued giving more and more facts and statistics to prove that Mao’s tenure greatly benefitted the average person – how long do you have? – because there are many. Thankfully, unlike when I was growing up, they are now actually available on the internet for all to find.
Instead of using statistics,I thought this anecdote showed just how pathetically lost, how uninterested, how much lack of soul the people informing the West on China really have had. Unlike Brown, establishment scholars on China are not trying at all to learn from, to understand, or to defend the Chinese people – they are trying to trying to conquer it culturally. If that fails – then to conquer it militarily.
To prove my objectivity: A Chinese person is better qualified to verify the relationship between Mao’s swim and the I Ching…but what if they haven’t read the Chinese classics? I have talked to two handfuls of Chinese people I know and none have read them – all are under 40 years old – and therefore they are not qualified to make this verification. This hypothesis thus remains for the Chinese to verify…but I say the circumstantial evidence is weighty: just because I have not seen this hypothesis elsewhere, that only confirms that very few people have read the Chinese classics, and analysed them in a political sense, and written about that analysis in a Western language.
Fairbank did not do this, even though it was his charge to do exactly that. Hopefully some Chinese political scholar can confirm my theory…but how many of them read English? Such is the slow pace of cultural globalisation / awareness, but the internet is speeding these things up, as this article shows.
Rehabilitating Mao is unlikely – there is no will to change in the West
John Lennon had it right: “If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao / you ain’t gonna make it with anyone, anyhow”.
Why, because few people in the 1960s in the West were truly political (excepting African-Americans). Obviously nearly nearly none were dedicated revolutionaries because the West had zero revolutions. They looked to minstrels like the Beatles to lead a Revolution – but their famous song “Revolution” is clearly designed to appropriate the word away from the political sphere: the lyrics are not just apolitical but 100% anti-politics.
Many in the 1960s sure postured like revolutionaries, though. My impression is that their main goal was to “make it” with the opposite sex, and that is really not something revolutionary in human history….
The irony is that if Lennon understood Mao – if Lennon had grasped the goal of the Cultural Revolution, which I related in the previous article of this series – he would have seen that Mao’s 1960s anti-establishment, anti-corrupt “middle aged / old people” view, his slogans like “It Is Right To Rebel”, was incredibly rock and roll!
Politically, the fault is not with Mao, but with Lennon. Lennon is a typical Western political & spiritual nihilist, after all.
In his song “God”, Lennon says he believes in nothing, including the I Ching, even listing it before the Bible. He also doesn’t believe in people, ideas or methods: he only believes in himself. “I believe in me/ Yoko and me/ and that’s reality”.
So Lennon believed in individualism and his romantic love – that’s nice…for him.
Lennon concludes by opining that “the dream is over” – and that he, “was the dream weaver”. The literal meaning for Lennon the ‘60s icon seems clear – or perhaps he was giving us a Hindu-inspired “life is a dream” idea. Lennon finishes by saying that, in 1970, “You just have to carry on / the dream is over”. This reminds us today of the slogan “Keep calm and carry on” which swept England doing the 2009 financial crisis, a paean to their wilfully-blind conservatism which will not countenance even the idea of discussing the idea of changing the status quo regardless of any crisis.
What’s sure is that, culturally, Lennon led the way for the West, and in 1970 he presaged their descent into total individualism & nihilism instead of maintaining his own cultural revolution.
So when it comes to Lennon and Mao: whom is the man of the People, the social revolutionary and the ethicist, and whom is merely another self-centred ego-freak? Whom is the man of social change, and whom is the status quo man urging everyone not to even bother trying? The answer is clear, and it is certainly the opposite of the West’s mainstream belief.
Indeed, who would have thought that drug-using minstrels would ultimately get bored by worldly, wonkish, societal issues…? Maybe the West can next turn to a heroin-using jazz drummer for advice on urban planning models, hmmm?
If you want to hear some raw guitar and a great singing voice – one may turn to Lennon; but the incredible thing is that Westerners turn to him for political guidance….
Should we defend Mao?
No, it will make us look uncool, and the John Lennons of the world will call us “squares”.
The bad news is: you are certainly a square if you have read this far!
Seriously: Yes, we should, mainly to humbly acknowledge the superior judgement of the Chinese people. The Chinese People defend Mao, and that should be enough for leftists worldwide.
It is arrogance which refuses to defer to the judgement of locals, because unless you deeply know their culture, language, history, have lived there extensively, etc., it is pure arrogance to pass judgement on their key cultural matters. That is why I openly admitted the limitations of my interpretations of Chinese popular culture regarding my “Mao swim & I Ching” hypothesis.
Popular approval is a nearly infallible judge, no? Castro, Khomeini, Ho Chi Minh, Sankara, Mao – all are universally loved in their home countries. Pol Pot, for example, is a leftist leader who is not revered by Cambodians so it’s not as if all leftists are loved (Pol Pot was a rabid xenophobe, and thus not a true leftist). Libya is also a bit split on the legacy of Khadaffi, who certainly must appear better in retrospect….
Therefore, we must defend Mao, because we must defend the judgment of the Chinese people; to do otherwise is to claim that more than 1 billion people are incapable of thinking clearly. If 50 million Elvis fans can’t be wrong, how can 1 billion Mao fans?
I think that Fairbank, even if he actually did talk to average Chinese people about Mao, was never willing to honestly report their opinion.
Brown, however, has talked to “thousands” of Chinese people over his decades living there. He says that, while they criticise aspects of the Communist Party…:
“But through it all, I can safely say that about 98% of the Chinese I’ve talked to like Mao and what he did for China. His image adorns taxi cabs, like an amulet of St. Christopher, to ward off accidents. He is on walls of privately owned offices, businesses, restaurants – these are private, not government. They are citizens who have decided to show their admiration for the man, on their own. He’s everywhere. How can this be in the face of relentless demonization by Western media, educators, historians and politicians?”
People will say: it’s because the Chinese government blocks the truth about Mao – oh, if only they could hear our pure Western voices!
Such a response, again, inaccurately and arrogantly implies that the West knows Chinese history and culture better than the Chinese themselves. The government has openly stated that Mao was “70% right and 30% wrong”, so it’s not as if there is an all-dominating, state-sponsored cult of personality.
Beyond respecting obviously better-informed local opinion – a point which most treat as secondary – I almost refuse to have the “Mao was evil” conversation for more than 15 seconds. I give 15 seconds because I was raised to be polite….
– To equivocate Mao with Hitler is to equivocate two people who fought against each other – it’s inherently absurd.
– To claim Mao was as bad as Japanese fascists or American capitalists is also to equivocate groups with sharply different belief systems and goals.
– To claim Mao is worse or as bad as American, French & English leaders who terminated millions while Mao tried to defend those millions from these foreign invasions, is absurd.
In 1978, two years after Mao’s died, China’s Gini coefficient (the most commonly used measurement of inequality) was a sparkling 0.16. The lowest score is currently 0.25 (Finland). It’s fair to say that Mao’s single most-important goal was to create an equal society: he succeeded better than almost anyone, ever.
So I’m done with that one, and quickly.
Mighty Mao was never the West’s to take away, and he’ll never leave
The West’s discussion of Mao – along with the Great Leap Forward’s famine and the Cultural Revolution – is based on ignorance, arrogance and the political nihilism of failed “revolutionaries” and hardened reactionaries.
To repeat, for hard statistics about the socio-economic improvement for the average Chinese person during Mao’s stewardship (and not just since Deng’s reforms) you can buy Brown’s book. Brown explains how Mao overcome a blockade worse than Iran’s to produce massive growth with equality – Mao clearly had his cake and ate it too…and with his fellow citizens!
But, as cynical Lennon shows, it was always difficult for the West to grasp the moral and ethical nation-inspiring and nation-building revolution Mao personified: they took two very different paths. What is so typically Western is that they insist on pulling China onto their toll road, instead of being content to live and let live in mutual peace.
Lennon famously said that Elvis died when he joined the army, but that’s not true: Elvis died when he joined Hollywood after his discharge, and was no longer a great musician but just another phony actor. When did Lennon die as a revolutionary? I can’t say for sure, but his dismissal of Mao is a good place to start.
No one is going to say Lennon did not succeed wildly in his chosen field, but how long can the judgment of Fairbank and other top Western “scholars” endure when we can so easily prove how they did not respect or understand Chinese culture?
Even though it is fundamental for understanding China, nobody cares about Confucianism in the West – all you will hear about is its yin, feminine, passive counterpart – Daoism. Plenty of Daoism books in the local Western bookstore, for sure – how many on Confucianism? I guess yang, masculine, creative, dynamic, propagating Confucianism doesn’t go well with acid trips ,or high-intensity pharmaceutical drugs?
I’m not surprised that Communist Party is back to promoting Confucianism – the I Ching is not banned in China – and I’m not surprised they prefer it over Daoism, which says, “Cross the great river? What for? What river? Is this thing on?”
(Clearly I’m even worse scholar of Daoism than I am of Confucianism.)
I’m not amazed that the Western media views Mao as “100% wrong”: The West has been an imperialist, extremist, racist culture for 500 years, and a rabidly anti-socialist one for 100 years.
But I am surprised that Western leftists don’t defend Mao even 30%. Their main problem is: they have not bought books like Brown’s…because books like Brown’s simply did not exist until very, very recently. Prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, a book like Brown’s would have gotten you jailed in the West, or worse. The internet is changing this, and that cannot be stopped – only slowed.
Kudos to Brown and eternal kudos to Mao, for being as right and as brave as any of the top politicians of the 20th century.
And no apologies if my picture of Chairman Mao ain’t gonna make it with anyone, anyhow. I know it’s gonna be…alright. For China, at least.
This is the 4th article in an 8-part series which compares old versus new Western scholarship on China.
Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!
Old vs. new scholarship on the continent of China – an 8-part series
Daring to go beyond Western propaganda on the Great Leap Forward’s famine
When Chinese Trash saved the world: Western lies about the Cultural Revolution
Mao’s legacy defended, and famous swim decoded, for clueless academics
The Cultural Revolution’s solving of the urban-rural divide
Once China got off drugs: The ideological path from opium to ‘liberal strongman’ Macron
Prefer the 1% or the Party? Or: Why China wins
China’s only danger: A ‘Generation X’ who thinks they aren’t communist
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.
Ramin; I believe John Lennon later reversed his rejection of Mao and said he thought Mao was “doing a good job.” But that consciousness rectification on the part of John Lennon did not get the publicity of his earlier song.
In ‘Revolution’ the Beatles sing, ‘…you can count me out’, but Lennon clearly adds, for himself at least, ‘In’. Lennon was a revolutionary, and a dedicated apostle of peace, and the US elite murdered him at forty, which is like killing Mao before the Long March. Lennon had a lot of growth left in him, which is one reason the Evil Ones feared and hated him, hence his murder.
Lennon’s flip dismissal of Mao, and of revolution in general, marked the beginning of the end of the Western counter-culture as a counter-force against capitalist oppression and racism. The music, which had inspired young people to try to take apart a corrupt world and begin to build a better one, soon became itself little more than a massive money-making opportunity, fully absorbed into the capitalist economy. Led by Lennon and his ilk, yippies became yuppies, went to work for “The Man,” and climbed the ladder of “The System” they had yesterday condemned. In the 70s, the radical dream of the 60s wasted away and was DOA by the 80s, paving the way for Reagan and a counter-revolution, f/k/a neo-conservatism, n/k/a neoliberalism. The distinct minority of boomers who swam against this current for the rest of their lives, kept the 60s fire smoldering in their hearts and minds, are now in the process of leaving this planet one by one–heartbroken, but proud to be so.
On the level of appearances you are right. However the good news is that you missed the best of it. In 1979 what was called the hippy counter culture went into a qualitative evolutionary development. It morphed into the new age movement. The movement from the mid to late 1970’s and into the early 1980’s saw a major shift from leftist hippy radicalism into spiritual practices such as transcendental meditation and yoga etc. This was the time when the best of the baby boomers were learning from the enlightened masters of the East. It was the “guru era.” It is not recognized just how positive and decisive this growth was. The phase shift into collective spiritual practices has been the decisive shift in Western culture, and it has successfully laid the spiritual foundation for world liberation. It also healed the toxic nuclear karma of the cold war. But this is not recognized. The part that is confusing and taxing for all of us is that this movement into spiritual growth had to protect itself by being “apolitical.” It is actually a form of deep guerrilla warfare. All the more so for the majority of its practitioners not being aware of it. The cultural problem we have inherited is that it is a great challenge to unify the spiritual and political dimensions.
Self Realization is a term for spiritual liberation and also the key to political liberation. You can even find that in Marx. But the uniting of the political and spiritual aspects is cultural dynamite and must wait for the right moment to become openly visible. In the interim there is the appearance of failure. But it is just an appearance. We can all take heart and trust the process. Re John Lennon, I remember that in his later years he occasionally wore a Mao badge in public.
You worry too much about JK Fairbanks. He wrote in the Indian summer of Western Civ and now proceeds to make the yanks underestimate China. Here in America there are few leftists. The democrats and their allies are fascists, just mirror images of the Nazis (LGBT and Jews on top, hetero Whites at bottom of racial identity lists)
Democrats also like Big Banks, Militarism and War, they are now to the right of the Repubs, so two right wing parties in USA.. Read China Rising by Jeff Brown, truly an excellent book.
The British historian Arnold J. Toynbee looked at the Twentieth Century and said that of all the events that occurred in the story of the West in that tumultuous century, the most significant event would prove to be the arrival of Buddhism.
It is said that Buddhism has always coexisted with the local religions of the region where it lands – as we see that it coexists with Christianity in the west. And Buddhism has always resulted in a civilizational development of those regions that it has touched. And personally, as a western practicing Buddhist, I find that it does indeed have a civilizing nature.
I have long thought that the best thing that could happen to the US would be a collapse into humility – if caused through humiliation then so be it – and a rise though its spirituality. Perhaps this is exactly what will happen.
Brilliant comment. Especially about the union of political and spiritual awakening. Unfortunately this apathy towards politics is what suits imperialism or any power system. Religions do the function of political and spiritual unity best, provided they are guided not by materialism but altruism. Of the current lot, Islam is best situated to be the counterforce Western imperialism on a theoretical level. Unfortunately Muslim leaders are themselves monarchs or dictators, and the clergy is all sold.
I do think that dialectics dictates that the time is ripe for a new opposition to imperialism. From where it comes time will tell.
As the objective conditions emerged in the beginning of the XXI Century, a global Resistance – Russia, China and the courageous small nations around them – is giving a dialectic answer to imperialism by fighting against its required advances. It has been a class war of global proportions; but, the winner is already known. I wish I would be alive to see the new world that will emerge from this glorious war for human emancipation!
“Indeed, who would have thought that drug-using minstrels would ultimately get bored by worldly, wonkish, societal issues…? Maybe the West can next turn to a heroin-using jazz drummer for advice on urban planning models, hmmm?”
Make that urban planning along with public education. Next to congenital liars and degenerates like Johnson, May, Macron and so on and so forth, even a heroin addict looks sophisticated and honest; even intelligent.
“But I am surprised that Western leftists don’t defend Mao even 30%”
You shouldn’t be surprised about that, Ramin. Hell, Western leftists cannot even name two (2) successful revolutions/revolutionaries that they approve of. Small wonder, since sexual aberrations, identity politics, and plain infantilism don’t change the social fabric the slightest. To the Western left, achieving social change becomes an act of the mortal sin of authoritarianism. Not their piece of cake to put it mildly. Defending imperialist privilege runs deep.
Western leftists don’t need to defend Mao, the Chinese do that adequately already and will continue as they know a good idea when they see it.
Western leftists need to produce their own Mao, and sharpish, if current events continue in the same vein. That Mao, the western one, won’t be a carbon copy of the original but someone who has digested the lessons of those who have gone before (successful revolutionaries of any and all stripes) and produced a synthesis tailored to the western situation, existing mindset and cultural legacy.
I don’t see any contenders on the horizon but I do see scattered flickers of awareness here and there, and in time, if we have that long, someone may step forward with a worthwhile blueprint for moving forward successfully—-for all of us humans, not just the vultures with a death-grip on the current west, or for some ‘exceptional’ chosen people of any religious persuasion.
After all the rain falls and the sun shines on the both the good and the evil, the chosen and the infidel. The gods are not so narrow-minded as us poor fallible human dupes.
Would anybody like to live in the Third Reich( “Nazi Germany”) ? Probably nobody but yet people are very happy to live in U. S. They e an support it heartedly, periodically and are proud to be the citizens. Well, the ugly truth is that in comparison the U. S. is much, much bigger evil than the former. John Perkins in his “Secret History of the American Empire”, pg. 255, says that U.S. crimes are greater than Roman, Spanish and English empires combined or Hitler’s & Stalin’s are together. Conclusion for moral, ethical, critical, unbiased mind and eyes the U.S. is the Criminal Nation now and in the past. God damn U.S.A.!!!
I do not know about the symbolism of I Ching or that of Mao’s swim across the Yangtze river but modern China uses decidely more recognizable signals and signs.
“It was the best of times, it ws the worst of time…”
So says Xi Xinping at the 2017 Davos World Economic Forum, introducing us to the Dikensian notions of the Chinese elite. If you have the patience and time please listen to this supposedly great man’s ideas about how we can create a world of permanent revolution and never ending growth.
As a reminder, the only thing in nature that grows forever is cancer, marking Xi and his New Chinese Communists as purveyors of a malignant Zionist Ideology which has already brought so much destruction to our own society and the world, and where indeed growth can be sustained for exceedingly long periods of time so as long as the costs can be externalized onto the weakest human beings. Like those who built the Tower of Babel in ancient Mesopotamia or Peter the Great who built St. Peterburg on the bones of dead Russian slaves, the costs of these projects will be mostly written out of history as we are encouraged to worship our new Gods and celebrate monuments to Man.
Davos 2017 – Opening Plenary with Xi Jinping, President of the Peoples Republic of China
Also at Davos in 2017, and far more informative as to what is in the minds of Chinese leadership, the Cultural Revolution of Mao has been updated with modern methods of the Permanent Zionist Cultural Revolution, as in, the promotion of gener confusion and the war against man, woman and natural life giving institution of the human family.
Davos 2017 – Discover a World beyond X and Y Genes
Jing Xing is watched by 100 million Chinese per week. Her/His job is to do to Chinese society what was done to our own. Her/His appearance alongside Xi at the 2017 World Economic Forum marks the intersection of Eastern and Western Cultural Marxist social strategizing including the Chinese leadership’s committment to the destruction of Truth in a Platonic sense and replacement of it by a system of Relative Values.
Every day I encounter an utterly lost generation of Social Justice Warrior youth. They are nihilists and self destructive to a fault and that is ultimately what purveyors like Ramin Mazaheri are after, and according to their own deeply embedded Darwinian and Evolutionary ideology they believe the weak should be made to perish while the strong are encouraged to gather and stand atop mountains made of their bones.
Finally, the propaganda we are now being double dosed with is especially informative given what we have experienced with respect to the World War 3 scare just occurring in the Near East. The attack on Syria was a fake, with both sides encouraging their own dissimulations but always with an eye to jointly ushering in an End of Days scenario so as to deliver us, without protestation, to the Zionist New World Order, and which is not unlike any of the other 1000 year Reich’s they are so fond of promising to the slaves.
You are mixing up a lot of ideas irresponsibly.
Cancer is not continuous growth. It is out of control growth of malignancy that steals from the normal growth of healthy cells and kills the organism..
Human beings and their growth of cognition applied to the world around them, including cleaning up the effects of more primitive polluting industries and replacing those with cleaner, more advanced ways of doing things, are not a cancer.
It is fallacious ideas such as Empire……and Zero Growth for the victims of Empire that is the cancer.
As to who is more under the thrall of Zionism, I would have to take you over R.M.but I don’t think you realize the reason I can say that with no difficulty at all.
Because I don’t think that Zionism is the clincher you would like to believe it is. Looking at the generative principle and applying it to the situation, use of the Jew by the British Isrealites, for their purposes of shifting blame to something they created and use to deflect attention away from themselves (same with their promotion of the Nazi take over of 1930s Germany…..same principle…) clearly explains the causal ordering of the actual hierarchy of power and deception, and makes Zionism a secondary tool of the Empire….not its Prime Mover..
Meanwhile I agree with both you and RM that Gender Confusion or even heterosexual sex, by itself, in plentiful supply aren’t any kind of positive “revolution”. Normal heterosexual sex is necessary for the continuation of human civilization, but it is not sufficient.
Other varieties of sex and gender “choices” are not even necessary at all!
But the most revolutionary act is the elimination of poverty, and the most counter-revolutionary stance is the condemnation of that elimination as “cancer”.
It is a “cancer” only to the Globalist Oligarchy and their dupes.
Because it will kill their sick oligarchical system of infinite cancerous growth for their own wealth and power while billions struggle to survive.
If you can sort out those contradictions you and RM and myself and others here might join forces in taking on the oligarchy that has confounded humanity for millennia.
You think an improvement of living standards in the bulk of Eurasia and the Americas victimized by Empire would be a negative thing? Then , not a chance, because you are too confused to do anything but hinder the needed revolution, or change.
You are a fractured consciousness Dennis. I am sorry for your loss of faith and that you no longer live with an intuitive understanding of the connectedness of everything.
Cancer will not die. It is a parasite that priviledges it’s own existense over the life of it’s host, thus eventually killing it. The Globalists are a similar disease and so I seek to be an immune response rather than a mechanism by which the body of people can be fooled.
I’m not sure if it was Aristophanes, but it was a Greek philosopher in any case, who said nothing good comes into this world that is not simultaneously attached to a curse. The legacy of Mao is a good deal more complicated than RM is letting on and so I have no choice but to insist on the opposite view, to give some of the readers, those who still think for themselves and most often with their hearts, an opportunity to defend themselves from the social diseases spawned from a simplistic and materialist worldview, and one which is capable of looking past the victimization of tens of millions of Chinese who were intentionally starved to death.
As usual, you do not have any credibility regarding China.
China’s rise since 1949 has every type of Western supremacist not just fearful, but angry at the affront to their self-image as superior to all other cultures.
The Rise of Asia
Did you know, according to Andrei Fursov, there were a thousand burned tanks in Beijing in 1989 one week before the student protests at Tianamen?
Or that Xi said if we do what Gorbachev did we will end up like Gorbachev?
There are many things we don’t know. All of us.
Reality of 1989 Tiananmen Square protests
The reality of Tian An Men Square is that the Square was peacefully cleared. There was NO massacre in the Square, as was attested by numerous observers, including Westerners, including diplomatic staff and journalists.
Around the Square, in back-streets, there was a lot of killing, as subversives, including Hong Kong gangsters and Taiwanese intelligence operatives, among others, violently turned on unarmed police, killing many, and inviting the PLA response that killed many, perhaps hundreds, of foolish, mostly young, dupes.
The whole process was the prototype ‘Colour Revolution’, with Gene Sharp, the guru of these regime change operations, even visiting China beforehand. The operation was masterminded by the USA from Hong Kong. As we have seen many times since eg Belgrade, Tbilisi, Kiev etc, these operations often culminate in a violent putsch, where gangsters seize power, after the previous regime has been weakened by incessant protest, often by brainless young fools, sucked in by propaganda, with no ideological comprehension and excited by the glamour of it all. China, of course, was a tougher nut, and far more resilient, so the putsch was crushed, but the Western creators had a goodly pile of corpses with which to traduce China ever since, plus the usual propaganda lies of the Western fakestream media vermin.
“use of the Jew by the British Isrealites, for their purposes of shifting blame to something they created and use to deflect attention away from themselves (same with their promotion of the Nazi take over of 1930s Germany…..same principle…) clearly explains the causal ordering of the actual hierarchy of power and deception, and makes Zionism a secondary tool of the Empire….not its Prime Mover..”
This is dangerously blind to who rules the United Kingdom and the entire West. You are inverting the hierarchy — twas a Jewish Banker that got the British Empire to underwrite Zionism. More to the point — who do you think grew the British Empire? Here is an eye-opener for ya — guess who funded Cromwell? ;)
@Where-Wolf [April 15, 2018 at 5:16 pm UTC]
” … the only thing in nature that grows forever is cancer, marking Xi and his New Chinese Communists as purveyors of a malignant Zionist Ideology which has already brought so much destruction to our own society and the world …”
” Every day I encounter an utterly lost generation of Social Justice Warrior youth. They are nihilists and self destructive to a fault and that is ultimately what purveyors like Ramin Mazaheri are after, and according to their own deeply embedded Darwinian and Evolutionary ideology they believe the weak should be made to perish while the strong are encouraged to gather and stand atop mountains made of their bones.”
I haven’t yet come across any other internet activist who can so categorically prove the norm often used by academicians and propagandists belonging to the Zionist Capitalist camp “if you can’t convince others, just confuse them” ! Hence, in the Orwellian world of yours, Xi Jinping is promoting Zionist ideology and Ramin Mazaheri is pushing Darwinian thoughts by writing about Mao’s achievements in upholding the rights of the peasants-workers i.e. the weakest section of Chinese society.
No wonder, Zionist deception and manipulation across the globe grow stronger even after 500 odd years!
Try this one.
China won’t be the superpower of the 21st century
It’s incredible the extent to which the discussions taking place at this site have been dumbed down over the last 7 or 8 years. One reason is the structure of this blog, now shattered into multiple disorienting streams and causing everyone to limit their perspectives, and also the non stop inundation of readers with bulls**t propaganda pieces advocating strictured points of view.
An antidote to this is Andrei Fursov. He was big around here several years ago, What I most like about this guy is how almost everything he says is contrary to prevailing thinking in the Anglo-American milieu including this blog. Do yourself a favour and go to youtube and enter his name. There hours upon hours of his interviews with English subs and they will help those of us tired of getting lost in these traps. Even if you disagree with everything I’ve said you won’t be sorry listening to what Fursov has to say about any number of topics.
We need to break out of the cages being made for us and return to discussing ideas which are new, often exciting and expand our understanding of a complex reality.
I’m very clear about what I wrote as response to you, I’m very clear about what you wrote to me. & I would repeat
(1) You are creating unnecessary allround confusion . Most of us know Fursov as a strong critique of global capitalism (a creation of Zionists).
(2) How are you bringing Fursov in my note – I just said you are wrong in saying Xi Jinping as Zionist … I’m very precise that neither Mao nor XJP are part of Zionist gang
(3) You are misleading readers and commenters saying The Saker website is bulls**ting … Sorry there can be many things one can say about this site, but definitely this is one website where they try to seek truth.
Kindly follow the links and watch the videos, then think expansively about what you have encountered. Xi may or may not be a Zionist but unquestionably China is allied to the Rothschild Zionist UK. Therefore, by default, that puts Xi in line with long term ZIonist goals.
As for this blog, information warfare consists in the mixing of truth with lies. Sometimes you are right, there is truth here, but if you are an intelligent person you must understand there are also many untruths, some of which are the result of ignorance while others arise out of the agenda of a particular individual. If you have not yet detected the agenda of each and every writer at this and other blogs it is because you are not looking hard enough. Everyone in this universe has an agenda, including you and I, and whether you agree with it or not you should be able to identify it or you are by definition simply swallowing propaganda.
Wonderful summary! Many thanks!!
Here’s an opportunity to express gratitude to two authors at the same time.
I got caught up in secondary comments and didn’t thank Ramin Mazaheri for a mind-opening review of true history. Thank you, Ramin, for the gift of being able to see Mao as a champion of the eternal struggle of the poor to survive the thefts of the rich, and to know him as a hero. Lennon, of all people, would have recognized this “working class hero” even sooner if he had been able to know the facts – this was all before the Internet.
Similarly, in the heat of battle so to speak, I have never taken a moment to thank you, Godfree Roberts, for your own essays on China.
Given that we now inhabit the Asian mind again, in this century and perhaps for several centuries to come, it’s appropriate to speak and think in Asian terms, and we need to know what these are first.
Thanks to you both, and please keep these translations of the true China coming.
“Even though it is fundamental for understanding China, nobody cares about Confucianism in the West – all you will hear about is its yin, feminine, passive counterpart – Daoism. Plenty of Daoism books in the local Western bookstore, for sure – how many on Confucianism? I guess yang, masculine, creative, dynamic, propagating Confucianism doesn’t go well with acid trips ,or high-intensity pharmaceutical drugs?”
Well the ones promoting “Confucianism” since 1960’s and not certainly for popularity reasons, was and is the
“LaRouchies” still fighting the 68’s at center stage in world history….LaRouche’s New Silk Road verses the
Dope Inc’s culling….
It is a mistake to believe that socialist revolutions must be “perfect” or that Marx was writing about some kind of utopian communist “worker’s paradises.” Marx was talking about revolutions arising from historical, economic and cultural contradictions in any given society. Revolution in one nation is not identical to revolution in another. India with a popultion of over a billion people, second only to China may be the next large country to experience a socialist revolution as the neoliberal capitalist model is failing. What would the “west” do about that?
Thanks very much for this enlightening article on the great revolutionary leader, Chairman Mao Tse-Tung. The 3 great mountains which the Chinese people had to cross, as Chairman Mao said, were feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism and imperialism. After the great victory of the people in 1949, Chairman Mao proclaimed: “The Chinese people have stood up!” The socialist revolution laid the foundation of modern China. A person I know who visited Chairman Mao’s mausoleum in Tienanman Square said that the atmosphere of peace and serenity in the place where Chairman Mao lay was indescribable. No bourgeois country has ever produced a leader of his stature – none. Christopher Cauldwell has compared the characteristics of bourgeois and proletarian leaders in his great it work “Studies and Further Studies in a Dying Culture”. Cauldwell died at the age of 29 fighting the fascists in the Spanish Civil War. I highly recommend Han Suyin’s 2-volume work on the history of the Chinese revolution.
Not only is this essay remarkable in its open mindedness, but so many of the comments reflect some deeply thoughtful contributors. Compared to Facebook where, if I express thought compatible with what is written here, I all too often get ridiculed, even by long term acquaintances.
And we also owe Saker for gratitude in his allowing this type of discussion which, as an opponent of Communism, takes a lot of courage.
Having spent the last 14 years in Thailand and part of those years in China, at least in my experience, it is pretty obvious where the center of barbarism lies….and it sure ain’t Asia!
I wonder how many denizens of Saker actually live in my neighborhood here in Chiang Mai, a refuge from the madness of the Empire.
You cannot cite Jeff J Brown as a serious source. His work comes across as far too much ultra-pro-Chinese-government propaganda.
Your articles are admirable in detail but the basic premise is flawed. The same corrupt interests you decry sponsored these “isms” in the 19th century, including Marx.
I hope China and the Chinese people return to their real, traditional roots and way of thinking, with real Confucian values or other Chinese schools of thought. But I will not hold my breath.
Here are two more videos from Andrei Fursov. Despite the titles they are very much on topic with respect to the role of China and the struggle between various powerful factions of the Globalist Elite. I actually tend to agree with RM, that most Western Acamedicians are clueless, but the Russians you’ll find on Youtube are an altogether different breed. Someone is working hard to bring you these ideas and it’s very much worth the effort of checking them out.
The role of the Rothschilds in the British Empire
The objectives of the Financial Crisis
Think so much talk about nothing? A leader is no more than his people, because the people are so much more than their leaders. Sometimes the people mourn without leaders, not until they cease to mourn, the people are free.
He was a revolutionary and not an evolutionary leader. When the Mandate of Heaven shifts to a new system if government, you don’t always get people who can do both as well. China got their evolutionary guy with Deng Xiaoping later on though. All they gotta do is keep evolving to not lose the Mandate.
Andrey Fursov • The Current World Crisis: Its Social Nature and Challenge to Social Science
Winston Churchill said words to the effect we must crush the German spirit of Schiller, so it never rises again. Andrei Furov provides his asymetrical answer at the Schiller Insitute in Germany, and indirectly points the way by which Russia might allign itself with Germany and pull it out of the orbit of the presently imploding Anglo-American Empire. Finance Capitalism is disintegrating but the question is will it be renewed under a Petro Yuan system or will something new, based on humanity and production, take it’s place, In my opinion an alliance of Russia and a German-led Europe is the one which represents the greatest potential new superpower configuration of the 21st century.
The Schiller Institute at which Fursov is speaking in this video is pushing for such an alliance and although Angela Merkel is hardly their ally, she has so far been powerless to stop Nordstrem II, suggesting there are powerful interests standing against her and who might very easily seize power in Germany in the very near future.
We must also remember that certain interests within the United States would be very much be in favour of helping to establish a truly multipolar New World Order, out of fear of China, and so by definition a new global fiat petro Yuan will be detrimental to all those who seek to retrench withinin their own spheres of influence in a century where the pace of change will far exceed that experienced during the industrial revolution and initial stages of the technological and information revolutions we are now experiencing, thus forming the basis for a secret alliance of the Donald Trump White House and Russia.
Concerning this alliance, the US President has publically mulled over the possibility of the US exiting NATO. Most people have ignored this because they lack a frame of reference. They fail to understand NATO often acts on it’s own, and is tied directly to UK-Rothschild interests via the stay behind and Gladio networks in Europe. This was on display during the administration of JFK, especially during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and it is again on display under Trump where part of the US military acts in concert with Russia while another part actually fights against it alongside NATO, UK and French special forces in Syria.
An alliance between Russia and a German-led Europe is already being built, the first stage of which will be marked by the completion of Nordstream II in less than 6 months time. This is the most likely objective of Russian foreign policy, not an alliance with China, which is in any case a competitor for control of the Eurasian Heartland. Should this alliance come into existense, it will have the human, technological and natural resources to be the most powerful block on Earth by it’s own means. Russian inaction in Ukraine may be partially explained by this greater goal of creating a German-Russian alliance, which an invasion of Novorussia would certainly scuttle, while the proposed Silk Roads would benefit not Russia or Europe so much as China and it’s Rothschild allies in the UK.
Also we must consider the position of Turkey. It has been promised that one of the main routes of the Chinese Silk Road to Europe will be built through Anatolia, and so it too has an interest in supporting a UK-China alliance but so far Erdogan has precariously balanced himself between his own NATO-Gladio Deep State supporters and those who see the construction of a Chinese Silk Road link through Istanbul as far from being a done deal.
If you plug all of the above into events of especially the last 2 years you will likely see the story which is not commonly told and which could explain the shifting alliances and occaisonal betrayals of the various competing factions.
Well, if you kill as many people that oppose you (real or imagined) as you can, will you be surprised that the subsequent generations will tend to agree with the killing?
What percentage of Mao was right? Which issues was Mao right?
Ramin, thank you for the great series. I like the fearlessness of it. All the China essays generate debate which I think you don’t mind at all. As a (hungover?) Alex Jones would say, “please continue”.
You discussed Lennon’s “chairman Mao” line in “Revolution” at some length, and I think you’re missing something.
From a songwriter/rocknroller’s perspective, “chairman Mao” is a clever throw-away. You know, he’s trying to get something to rhyme with “anyhow”, which is three syllables, and is innovating, C. Mao not having been used in a song before, ha, ha. Furthermore, the seriousness/depth of the people wearing Mao buttons in London or New York in 1968 is quite open to debate. There was a lot of B.S. flying around in psychedelic circles, to put it mildly. I don’t believe John Lennon had more credible info on China than anyone else in those days.
Also, “make it”, in psychedelian circles, was not necessarily sexual at all. More like “grok” or “connect with”.
I prefer the line, “When you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out/in”, which to me is the theme of the song. When asked about this, JL said it meant he didn’t know. But we have to remember what was going on: the psychedelic/spiritual exploration which led many people to seriously question the morality of the west was being replaced by speed/dope fueled pseudo-Bolshevik themes, among which was what Arthur Kleps called the Nadir of the 60’s, when Abby Hoffman and Jerry Rubin told kids to “go home and kill your parents.”
So, to question the sanity of letting Tribal PR guys like Rubin to peddle these themes, is hardly anti-revolutionary, it’s common sense. There are other Lennon lyrics that lead to “what was he thinking”, but Revolution isn’t one of them. I have the (original?) demo around here somewhere, a cheerful fireside sing-a-long kind of thing.
Lennon flip-flopped all over the place; he spent many musically dreary years with Hoffman and Rubin after writing this song. He didn’t heed his own advice.
None of the above is to defend Lennon’s qualities as a philosopher, politician, father, band leader, etc. The best songs are different from political tracts, expressing emotions that don’t fit in a political tract. “Don’t you know that you can count me out/in”…
For those who will say that (most if not all) the rockers in the 60’s were surrounded by spooks, I would say of course they were. Ever look at the management for Jimi Hendrix? The spooks had their fingers in as many pies as possible, just not as grossly as today. By the way, I just learned who was paying the Dalai Lama all these years. The usual suspects! I suspect the Lonely Planet China Survival Kit will not be updated with this information any time soon. One wonders… who is paying Lonely Planet? We need to open our eyes on a lot of subjects toute suite. May your fine series continue!
Félicitations pour ton article Ramin; je vais me procurer le livre “Book of Change”. J’étudié le mandarin et ai visite la Chine. Je constate ce que tout ces changements ont nécessité au niveau qualité de leadership pour faire en sorte que ce soit le peuple qui contrôle sa destinée, que l’on regarde la Chine, la Russie, l’Iran, Cuba, et saNS doute le Venezuela bientôt. On comprend les oligarches et leurs structures de pouvoir d’être très inquiets
In his Report of an Investigation into the Peasant Movement in Hunan (1927), Mao admitted that the coming revolution would not be socialist: ‘To overthrow these feudal forces is the real objective of the revolution’.
Very interesting piece, Mr Mazheri, and quite informative. One point, however. Daoism completely underpins Confuscianism, the latter could not exist without the former, older philosophy. The two are inseparable in fact and in the culture.
I have no wish to argue the point with anyone, but it is western centric thinking to pit one against the other in some kind of intellectual battle.
Daoism is hardly passive either, how could it be when it is a product of human thinking–human, with all human proclivities to action, and often violent action, intact?
Daoism is another way of the many, of looking at the world in an attempt to make sense of and understand that world. The world doesn’t change one bit, only the viewpoint. Having seen, you can take it or leave it, accept it or struggle against it, or do both at different times.
I have immense respect for Chinese culture and thinking and consider such cherry picking of ideas, praising Confucianism whilst dismissing its parent Daoism, to be a gross mistake, and faulty thinking.
Apart from that, thanks for an interesting piece. If it inspires some readers to delve more deeply into what half the rest of the world has found compelling and true over centuries, it can only be a good thing.
Agree, Daoism is anything but fluff. As philosophy put into action (medicine, martial arts, behavior, etc.) it’s top notch. Decent translations are crucial; the Penguin translation of Lao Tzu is so bad one suspects it’s a spook plot to ruin the book. Wing Tsit-Chan’s (1963) is much better.
Daoism is like a sun rising in the east that’s been dumbed down, in the west, to a 40 watt bulb.
That book saved my life.
I could not stop laughing reading this.
Also, in thew age of Lego and Minecraft – “square” should no more be shameing :-D