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Author Topic: The Guardian endorses that Mao killed 45 MILLION  (Read 2000 times)

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Dayal Baba

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The Guardian endorses that Mao killed 45 MILLION
« on: September 07, 2010, 02:57:27 PM »

now no point brushing this under the carpet. applause to the guardian for facing the truth despite ideological leanings.

Mao's Great Famine by Frank Dikötter

Jonathan Fenby
The Observer,    Sunday 5 September 2010

The horrors of China's Great Leap Forward are unveiled in this masterly study of the hateful plan

Frank Dikötter has written a masterly book that should be read not just by anybody interested in modern Chinese history but also by anybody concerned with the way in which a simple idea propagated by an autocratic national leader can lead a country to disaster, in this case to a degree that beggars the imagination.

Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62
by Frank Dikotter
 
 
The basic narrative of the great famine that hit the People's Republic around 1960 has been known outside China at least since Jasper Becker's groundbreaking 1996 account, Hungry Ghosts. Its claims were doubted by those who could not accept the sheer monstrous scale of the calamity visited on the Chinese people as a result of the Great Leap Forward launched by Mao in 1958 to propel China into the ranks of major industrial nations. But now Dikötter's painstaking research in newly opened local archives makes all too credible his estimate that the death toll reached 45 million people.

Staggering though it is, the statistical total is only part of the story that this book tells. By digging into the records, Dikötter provides a detailed litany of the degree of suffering the Great Helmsman unleashed and the inhumane manner in which his acolytes operated. Horrors pile up as he tells of the spread of collective farms and the vast projects that caused more harm than good and involved the press-ganging of millions of people into forced labour. As the pressure mounted to provide the all-powerful state with more and more output, the use of extreme violence became the norm, with starvation used as a weapon to punish those who could not keep up with the work routine demanded of them. The justice system was abolished. Brutal party cadres ran amok. "It is impossible not to beat people to death," one county leader said.

In the draconian, top-down, militaristic system that ruled China (**a.k.a. the communist utopia: db**), the harsh execution of orders was a way for officials to win promotion as they were set impossible targets for everything – even for the number of executions. The inefficiency, waste and destruction were gigantic. The masses in whose name the Communist party claimed to rule were eminently disposable. From 1927 to their victory in 1949, Mao and his companions had waged ruthless warfare (against equally ruthless if less effective nationalist opponents); now the campaign was economic and the farmers and industrial workers were the fodder expected to sacrifice themselves for the cause dictated from on high. Anybody not ready to lay down their life would have it taken from them in the name of the higher good of the cause.

The book's title is somewhat misleading. Horrific as it was, with its cannibalism and people eating mud in search of sustenance, the famine generated by the Great Leap's failure and the diversion of labour from farming was only part of a saga of oppression, cruelty and lies on a gargantuan scale. Initially launched to enable China to overtake Britain in steel production, Mao's programme took on a deadly life of its own. At the apex of the system, the chairman refused to recognise reality, spoke of people eating five meals a day, insisted on maintaining food exports when his country was starving and indulged in macabre throwaway remarks such as: "When there is not enough to eat, people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill." (**bravo, what a man to idolize!: db**)

The depth of Dikötter's research is enhanced by the way in which he tells his terrible story. The book is extremely clearly written, avoiding the melodrama that infused some other recent broadbrush accounts of Mao's sins. He also puts the huge disaster that befell China into the context it needs – the Sino-Soviet split, Mao's ambitions for the People's Republic and the acquiescence of most of those around him until it was too late.

Finally, somebody had to confront the leader. As China descended into catastrophe, the second-ranking member of the regime, Liu Shaoqi, who had been shocked at the conditions he found when he visited his home village, forced the chairman to retreat. An effort at national reconstruction began. But Mao was not finished. Four years later, he launched the Cultural Revolution whose most prominent victim was Liu, hounded by Red Guards until he died in 1969, deprived of medicines and cremated under a false name.

The Cultural Revolution is widely remembered, the Great Leap much less so. Having gone through those two experiences, not to mention the mass purges that preceded them and the Beijing massacre of 4 June 1989, it is little wonder if the Chinese of today are set on a very different course that rejects ideology in the interests of material self-advancement.

But there is one enormous snag. The Communist party still holds that Mao was 70% good, 30% bad. The Great Helmsman's face stares out over Tiananmen Square and from the country's bank notes. If the bad things that happened under him are common knowledge, he has slipped into the time-honoured category of rulers who wished to do good but whose aims were traduced by evil subordinates.

Though some mainland historians have bravely delved into the history of the period covered in this book, the truth is still too troubling to be acknowledged openly by the current rulers of China for one simple reason: Mao is the first emperor of the regime established in 1949 and they are his heirs. Dikötter's superb book pulls another brick from the wall.

Jonathan Fenby is author of The Penguin History of Modern China. His most recent book is The General: Charles de Gaulle and the France He Saved (Simon & Schuster).
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feverpitch

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Re: The Guardian endorses that Mao killed 45 MILLION
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2010, 08:32:14 AM »

So now The Guardian, UK has suddenly become the upholder of the truth! Talk about flip-flops!



PS: I hope I managed to bite the bait along expected lines?
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"Every rise of fascism bears witness to a failed revolution."
Walter Benjamin

Dayal Baba

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Re: The Guardian endorses that Mao killed 45 MILLION
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2010, 03:54:37 PM »

the reason i quoted the guardian is because even they acknowledge the truth.

you want me to post from other sources? sir, i can fill this dg with articles about the mass-murderer. instead of skirting the issue, it's time you clean that mao virus from your operating system and do a reboot, only then your activism against crony capitalism will have credibility.

i can never forget that day on national television when prominent bengali 'intellectuals' were so blatantly extolling their beloved chairman! i appeal to everyone, if you ever meet maoist sympathisers, shame them with the fact that mao killed 45000000 people through his maniacal policies. they will play their usual fascism card trick, just ignore it. these fellows are no different from holocaust deniers and neo-nazis, and should be treated with equal ridicule and disdain.
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Dayal Baba

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Re: The Guardian endorses that Mao killed 45 MILLION
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2010, 07:23:41 AM »


a new book on another 20th century demon: winston churchill.


http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/afp/book-blames-churchill-for-indian-famine-that-killed-millions/395206

Book blames Churchill for Indian famine that killed millions
by Ben Sheppard | September 08, 2010
                                     

British prime minister Winston Churchill deliberately let millions of Indians starve to death, the author of a new book has claimed, alleging he was motivated in part by racial hatred.

As many as three million people died in the Bengal famine of 1943 after Japan captured neighbouring Burma -- a major source of rice imports -- and British colonial rulers in India stockpiled food for soldiers and war workers.

Panic-buying of rice sent prices soaring, and distribution channels were wrecked when officials confiscated or destroyed most boats and bullock carts in Bengal to stop them falling into enemy hands if Japan invaded.

Rice suddenly became scarce in markets and, as worsening hunger spread through villages, Churchill repeatedly refused pleas for emergency food shipments.

Emaciated masses drifted into Kolkata, where eye-witnesses described men fighting over foul scraps and skeletal mothers dying in the streets as British and middle-class Indians ate large meals in their clubs or at home.

The "man-made" famine has long been one of the darkest chapters of the British Raj, but now Madhusree Mukerjee says she has uncovered evidence that Churchill was directly responsible for the appalling suffering.

Her book, "Churchill's Secret War", quotes previously unused papers that disprove his claim that no ships could be spared from the war and that show him brushing aside increasingly desperate requests from British officials in India.

Analysis of World War II cabinet meetings, forgotten ministry records and personal archives show that full grain ships from Australia were passing India on their way to the Mediterranean region, where huge stockpiles were building up.

"It wasn't a question of Churchill being inept: sending relief to Bengal was raised repeatedly and he and his close associates thwarted every effort," Mukerjee told AFP in a telephone interview.

"The United States and Australia offered to send help but couldn't because the war cabinet was not willing to release ships. And when the US offered to send grain on its own ships, that offer was not followed up by the British."

Churchill's record as a war leader against Nazi Germany has secured his place in history, but his attitude towards Indians attracts less admiration.

"He said awful things about Indians. He told his secretary he wished they could be bombed," Mukerjee said. "He was furious with Indians because he could see America would not let British rule in India continue."

Churchill derided Indian independence leader Mahatma *hi as a lawyer posing as a "half-naked" holy man, and replied to British officials in India who pleaded for food supplies by asking why *hi had not yet died.

"I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion," he told Leo Amery, the secretary of state for India. Another time he accused Indians of effectively causing the famine by "breeding like rabbits."

Amery once lost his temper after one rant by the prime minister, telling Churchill that he could not "see much difference between his outlook and Hitler's."


Amery wrote in his diary: "I am by no means sure whether on this subject of India he is really quite sane."

Mukerjee believes Churchill's views on India, where he served as a young army officer, came from his Victorian upbringing. Like his father, he saw India as the fundamental jewel in the crown of the British empire.

"Winston's racist hatred was due to his loving the empire in the way a jealous husband loves his trophy wife: he would rather destroy it than let it go," said Mukerjee.

Mukerjee's book has been hailed as a ground-breaking achievement which unearths new information despite the hundreds of volumes already written on Churchill's life.

Eminent British historian Max Hastings has described it as "significant -- and to British readers -- distressing."

Author Ramachandra Guha said it provided "for the first time, definitive evidence of how a great man?s prejudices contributed to one of the most deadly famines in modern history."

Mukerjee attributes the book's revelations to her training as a physicist.

"People suspected that something like this happened but no one really went through the evidence properly to find out what the ships were doing at the time, proving that grain could have been taken to India," she said.

"I didn't set out to target Churchill. I set out to understand the famine and I slowly discovered his part in it.

"The famine, you could argue, was partly a deliberate act. India was forced to export grain in the early years of war and in 1943 was exporting rice at Churchill's personal insistence. Britain ruthlessly exploited India during war and didn't let up even when famine started."

Mukerjee, a 49-year-old Bengali who now lives in Frankfurt with her German husband, believes the Bengal famine has also been air-brushed from Indian history books.

"I was never taught about it in school and my parents never mentioned it," she said. "There's middle-class guilt as they were employed in professions that meant they received rations. But villagers were considered dispensable."

Seven years of working on the book, and of hearing gruelling tales from famine survivors whom she tracked down in remote villages, have left Mukerjee with a harsh opinion of Churchill.

"He is often criticised for bombing German cities but has never before been held directly responsible for the deaths of so many people as in the Bengal famine. It was the greatest stain on his career."

"I find it very hard to be open-minded about him now," she said. "After all, he would have thought that I am not worth the food I eat."
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feverpitch

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Re: The Guardian endorses that Mao killed 45 MILLION
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2010, 07:36:10 AM »

For a better overview of Churchill and British policies, read Mike Davies' Late Victorian Holocausts...

It also puts the word 'holocaust' in context
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Dayal Baba

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Re: The Guardian endorses that Mao killed 45 MILLION
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2010, 08:03:17 AM »

For a better overview of Churchill and British policies, read Mike Davies' Late Victorian Holocausts...

It also puts the word 'holocaust' in context

yeah, have read that. yet you will not call mao's holocaust a holocaust?
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feverpitch

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Re: The Guardian endorses that Mao killed 45 MILLION
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2010, 09:29:12 AM »

For a better overview of Churchill and British policies, read Mike Davies' Late Victorian Holocausts...

It also puts the word 'holocaust' in context

yeah, have read that. yet you will not call mao's holocaust a holocaust?

Doubtful if you have. But anyway, what if I did — would you then start ranking the various holocausts? By somehow concocting fantastic figures to show that the Brits and Merkins were better, so that you could then stick to your permafrost worldview?
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"Every rise of fascism bears witness to a failed revolution."
Walter Benjamin

Dayal Baba

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Re: The Guardian endorses that Mao killed 45 MILLION
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2010, 01:52:36 PM »

For a better overview of Churchill and British policies, read Mike Davies' Late Victorian Holocausts...

It also puts the word 'holocaust' in context

yeah, have read that. yet you will not call mao's holocaust a holocaust?

Doubtful if you have. But anyway, what if I did — would you then start ranking the various holocausts?

so british-raj lovers should not admit to their victorian holocausts because others will then start ranking them?

Quote

By somehow concocting fantastic figures to show that the Brits and Merkins were better, so that you could then stick to your permafrost worldview?

45 million is a fantastic, concocted figure? fine, what are your figures and could you give us your sources?
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Dayal Baba

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Re: The Guardian endorses that Mao killed 45 MILLION
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 07:43:52 PM »


if jindal becomes "bobby", the marx-thumpers go ballistic. why the double standards? to give credit, the grander designs are now out in the open.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_jacobite-bishop-hails-cpim-for-displaying-christ-s-picture_1647514
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