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Mao's influence on modern chinese history


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#31 Marinka

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 12:25 AM

Good day to everyone! I have come across this thread and want to say that because of political conjuncture there are a lot of similar discussions, articles, researches about Stalin in Russia. And you know, even not neglecting tremendous losses of our people's lives and totalitarianism in those times there is a point of view that despite Stalin was a dictator and of course there is no good of any dictator but anyway he did not surrender our country like for example Gorbachev and others did. And like China our country had a greater part of the population illiterate before Soviets were established and arter that people nationwide got education at the pinch, no education - no success, no claims to dignity today

#32 Yizheng

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 12:16 AM

Good day to everyone! I have come across this thread and want to say that because of political conjuncture there are a lot of similar discussions, articles, researches about Stalin in Russia. And you know, even not neglecting tremendous losses of our people's lives and totalitarianism in those times there is a point of view that despite Stalin was a dictator and of course there is no good of any dictator but anyway he did not surrender our country like for example Gorbachev and others did. And like China our country had a greater part of the population illiterate before Soviets were established and arter that people nationwide got education at the pinch, no education - no success, no claims to dignity today

Oh yes, lots of similar debates in Russia and China I think, about role of Stalin, role of Mao. I think there is lots of common experience.
I will leave aside debate on Gorbachev and 'surrender' of the Soviet Union (which in my opnion, no one surrendered, but it, sadly, fell apart BECAUSE of what communism created), but when it comes to stuff like Stalin or Mao achieved literacy for the population who were priviously illiterate, well, people in lots of countries were previously illiterate, poor kids not going to school etc, but other countries have successfully raised literacy and spread schooling without killing millions of their own citizens and establishing a totalitarian system.

Sure, the communists had achievements in education. And others would not have? And maybe at less cost to the country overall?

#33 Marinka

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 01:47 AM

Mao appealed to reviving of nation pride and it was a right move (because Chinese are very proud people, even to the superiority complex extent sometimes). I feel very lucky I donít live under Stalin, but Stalin and Mao appealed to nation dignity and people nationwide were motivated to struggle for an ideal (communism, equality, fairness and so on) . Previously in China authority gave no incentives for poor people to develop, peasants were disrespected, no one considered their opinion. To be more exact introducing general education began earlier then under Stalin, and Maoís Cultural Revolution did harm for China. But history shows that HMT leaders were too weak to win and rule over the whole country so I suppose that Mao wasnít the best choice for country but it seems there was neither better nor stronger politician to rule then. One should consider what particular situation needs, whether it is worth to tighten the grip or loosen it, feeble government is no good also, but I think a wise leader should avoid extremities and of course it would be better for China never have "second Mao" again. Maybe I am not correct, but I try to be realistic. And, btw, the Soviet Union didn't fall apart because of people's dissapointment at it but because of the will of some politicians, 76% of the SU population were against the desintegraton

Edited by Marinka, 25 June 2009 - 03:31 AM.


#34 ahxiang

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 12:20 AM

Mao appealed to reviving of nation pride and it was a right move (because Chinese are very proud people, even to the superiority complex extent sometimes). I feel very lucky I donít live under Stalin, but Stalin and Mao appealed to nation dignity and people nationwide were motivated to struggle for an ideal (communism, equality, fairness and so on) . Previously in China authority gave no incentives for poor people to develop, peasants were disrespected, no one considered their opinion. To be more exact introducing general education began earlier then under Stalin, and Maoís Cultural Revolution did harm for China. But history shows that HMT leaders were too weak to win and rule over the whole country so I suppose that Mao wasnít the best choice for country but it seems there was neither better nor stronger politician to rule then. One should consider what particular situation needs, whether it is worth to tighten the grip or loosen it, feeble government is no good also, but I think a wise leader should avoid extremities and of course it would be better for China never have "second Mao" again. Maybe I am not correct, but I try to be realistic. And, btw, the Soviet Union didn't fall apart because of people's dissapointment at it but because of the will of some politicians, 76% of the SU population were against the desintegraton



You may want to read here
http://www.chinahist...t=#entry4976377
to see who Russian nationalists were. Stalin, a Georgian, should be called a Savior of Mother Russia - since he, not a Slavic and otherdox Russian, was one of the very few non-Jew Soviet commissars who ultimately thwarted the Zionist scheme to turn Russia into Israel.

Now about Mao and China. You have the convenience to go to the Soviet archives in Moscow to find out how the Soviets provoked the Sino-Japanese War, how the Soviets turned China into a "pool of blood" - Chuikov's word, and how the Soviets armed Mao to make sure that millions of veteran Chinese officers and soldiers were to be killed away in a civil war in a parallel to Russians' liquidation of Polish military as well as plan to shoot the same number of German officers.

#35 Marinka

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 12:55 AM

Undoubtedly, Stalin and Mao were men of bad genius; Mao also was in favor of nuclear war because in his opinion it will help to establish socialism worldwide, even if it demolishes half of world population or more. But we are happy that wasn’t implemented and I suppose Chinese people admire Chairman Mao not for his cruelty or madness or else, but for what exactly, I am curious?.. Nowadays there are ambiguous assessments of Stalin’s role in Russia; there are no celebrations of the anniversary of his birthday and some older people often recall those time with horror and hate, but saying the same things about Mao in China is a mauvais ton somehow, I discovered

Edited by Marinka, 26 June 2009 - 12:56 AM.


#36 Yizheng

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 04:28 AM

You may want to read here
http://www.chinahist...t=#entry4976377
to see who Russian nationalists were. Stalin, a Georgian, should be called a Savior of Mother Russia - since he, not a Slavic and otherdox Russian, was one of the very few non-Jew Soviet commissars who ultimately thwarted the Zionist scheme to turn Russia into Israel.

Now about Mao and China. You have the convenience to go to the Soviet archives in Moscow to find out how the Soviets provoked the Sino-Japanese War, how the Soviets turned China into a "pool of blood" - Chuikov's word, and how the Soviets armed Mao to make sure that millions of veteran Chinese officers and soldiers were to be killed away in a civil war in a parallel to Russians' liquidation of Polish military as well as plan to shoot the same number of German officers.

Zionist scheme to turn Russia into Israel? It's true a large number of the bolsheviks were Jewish, but there were a number of historical reasons that help explain that, and they weren't zionists, either. I think we agree that communism is a disaster, and I share your views on the devious game Moscow played with China, that had the tragic outcome of bringing Mao to power, but for all my dislike of communism, I do not want to follow the same mindset and be just as extreme, but on the other side, like happened here in Russia when suddenly all these anti-semitic, raving nationalist sort of people appeared when the Soviet Union fell.

Undoubtedly, Stalin and Mao were men of bad genius; Mao also was in favor of nuclear war because in his opinion it will help to establish socialism worldwide, even if it demolishes half of world population or more. But we are happy that wasnít implemented and I suppose Chinese people admire Chairman Mao not for his cruelty or madness or else, but for what exactly, I am curious?.. Nowadays there are ambiguous assessments of Stalinís role in Russia; there are no celebrations of the anniversary of his birthday and some older people often recall those time with horror and hate, but saying the same things about Mao in China is a mauvais ton somehow, I discovered

Yes, ambiguous assessment of Stalin's role here is the right word. Some recall those years with hate and horror, yes, but I've met enough others who are nostalgic and dream of another Stalin, even people who would not imagine could think this way, like those whose entire peoples were deported. It shows the very contradictory side of human nature, how easy it is to forget, and also how there is a masochist element in people at times. But as for people in China admiring Mao, well, I think it's mixed too, and I've certainly heard people say harsh words about Mao, but just in private conversation.

#37 brightness

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 08:33 PM

Do you konw that even today more and more chinese people admire Mao? It's hard to predict what china's today would be without Mao. It's not necessary to argue with you. History will give him a fair justice. Nothing could change the fact that Mao is one of the greatest leaders in China and around the world. Mao's influence is still strong.
Most of us have bias have no qualification to criticize Mao. Mr Deng had given his objective appraisal about Mao years ago .


With his portrait still hanging at the most prominent place, and his mosleum still occupying a space near the center of Chinese state power, people are "taught" to admire him. It's a little like the situation with Lincoln in the US, only orders of magnitude more so. In case it's not clear, Lincoln engaged far worse violations of constitutional rights than George W. Bush ever did, and that's just a start. Some day, after all their corpes, statutes and portraits are removed from public places, historians will start to have a more objective assessment of those historical characters. Deng couldn't possibly give an objective appraisal, seeing that he was one of Mao's henchmen in his youth, and that he might get overthrown by the party which still believed that they derived legitimacy from Mao; the "30/70" pronoucement was probably as far as he dared to push the issue.

#38 brightness

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 08:47 PM

Mao appealed to reviving of nation pride and it was a right move (because Chinese are very proud people, even to the superiority complex extent sometimes). I feel very lucky I donít live under Stalin, but Stalin and Mao appealed to nation dignity and people nationwide were motivated to struggle for an ideal (communism, equality, fairness and so on) . Previously in China authority gave no incentives for poor people to develop, peasants were disrespected, no one considered their opinion. To be more exact introducing general education began earlier then under Stalin, and Maoís Cultural Revolution did harm for China. But history shows that HMT leaders were too weak to win and rule over the whole country so I suppose that Mao wasnít the best choice for country but it seems there was neither better nor stronger politician to rule then. One should consider what particular situation needs, whether it is worth to tighten the grip or loosen it, feeble government is no good also, but I think a wise leader should avoid extremities and of course it would be better for China never have "second Mao" again. Maybe I am not correct, but I try to be realistic.


You may want to read up on the "Nanjing Decade." KMT was modernizing China rapidly, and unfortunately nationalisticly too. That was one of the reasons why Japan invaded China.

And, btw, the Soviet Union didn't fall apart because of people's dissapointment at it but because of the will of some politicians, 76% of the SU population were against the desintegraton


Well, the soviet economic system simply wasn't working. Sure, 76% may have wanted maintaining the USSR if it could be maintained at zero cost; unfortunately, there was cost, and very high cost, associated with running roughshods over other people. The 76% simply decided that having food and heat was more important than running roughshods over the other 24% and millions of people beyond the USSR borders.

#39 brightness

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 08:55 PM

Undoubtedly, Stalin and Mao were men of bad genius; Mao also was in favor of nuclear war because in his opinion it will help to establish socialism worldwide, even if it demolishes half of world population or more. But we are happy that wasnít implemented and I suppose Chinese people admire Chairman Mao not for his cruelty or madness or else, but for what exactly, I am curious?..


It has a lot to do with nationalism. Most Chinese on mainland are not taught that CKS was already successfully reforming Chinese legal system and pressuring outside powers to give back the privileges that they had gained under the previous "unequal" treaties. Fewer still are made aware of Mao's duplicity in dealing with foreign powers (both Japan and the Soviet Union).

Nowadays there are ambiguous assessments of Stalinís role in Russia; there are no celebrations of the anniversary of his birthday and some older people often recall those time with horror and hate, but saying the same things about Mao in China is a mauvais ton somehow, I discovered


Russians have put the soviet past behind them. The Chinese government, despite its remarkable achievement in the past three decades in allowing 1/5 of the world's population lift themselves out of abject poverty, is somewhat conditioned to its own lies and believes somehow its legitimacy derives from what it supposedly did more than half a century ago, in WWII and the Civil War; therefore they find the need to repeat those lies instead of switching focus to their more recent achievements.

#40 ahxiang

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 01:10 AM

Zionist scheme to turn Russia into Israel? It's true a large number of the bolsheviks were Jewish, but there were a number of historical reasons that help explain that, and they weren't zionists, either. I think we agree that communism is a disaster, and I share your views on the devious game Moscow played with China, that had the tragic outcome of bringing Mao to power, but for all my dislike of communism, I do not want to follow the same mindset and be just as extreme, but on the other side, like happened here in Russia when suddenly all these anti-semitic, raving nationalist sort of people appeared when the Soviet Union fell.



Brightness had excellent replies to Marinka. Deserves five stars.

For you Yizheng. Let's use Israel Epstein as an example. This guy was a stateless Jew who, with his family, found safe haven in Tientsin. Like other stateless Jews in Harbin, Tientsin and Shanghai, they enjoyed above-Chinese noble life in China - because majority Chinese could not tell one big nose from another, not to mention having any clue there were classes and castes among the Caucasian peoples from different countries. While enjoying life and prospering in China, the Jews, no matter where they were from, shared one consistent theme among themselves, namely, Zionism. Zionism, in another sense, was universal, which was equivalent to Marxism in the claim that proletarians have no motherland. If you want to dig deeper, then you will know from Epstein's self-account that his father was running a Jewish chamber of commerce and a Jewish club in Tientsin, together with the arch leader of the Zionist Society, Tientsin chapter. The motivation on the part of the Epsteins, in my opinion, was similar to the Korean exiles. While the Korean exiles in China attempted to provoke a conflict between Japan and China for sake of reviving the statehood of Korea, the Zionists, like Israel Epstein's father, agitated for the same objective. To reach the Zionist objective of creating an Israel, they found out the most expedient way was to disrupt the social order of the host country, such as China. Hence, you would see people like Israel Epstein colluded with the Chinese communist underground and the Comintern in the sabotage of the Chinese institution.

Donald Gibson's The Kennedy assassination cover-up may help you to get a better understanding of the intricacy involving the Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution. (Gibson was right on in linking up IPR, YMCA, and Morgans; however, he was wrong in assuming that Sorge worked for IPR, not the Russian GRU - which was correct in another sense, that of IPR agents from China to Japan to the USA working for the Russian GRU.)

Edited by ahxiang, 27 June 2009 - 01:31 AM.


#41 brightness

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 03:33 PM

Hey, AX,

Thank you for the compliment, much appreciated. The two of us have much to agree on many of the issues during the Republic era. I don't think you meant to convey anti-semitism in the rest of your post; IMHO, it is important not to write in a way that might invite the wrong interpretations.

It is dangerous enough to frame national self-confidence and self-improvement in terms of superiority to all others (instead of simply focusing on doing things that are beneficial to oneself, as things usually go, in cooperation with other nations), it would be all the more dangerous and self-destructive to build a natinal identiy on hating another group, especially if one is at the same time also believing that same hated group has special powers on the international stage. Both Germany and Japan embraced the idea that somehow the Jews controlled the world. Their policy choices however were diametricly opposed to each other. Hitler's Wagnerian grand-standing was doomed from the start: either his theory that Jews controlled the world was wrong if he is ever to find success in his racist program against Jews, or his theory itself would predict his own demise. Japanese on the other hand embraced Zionism and invited displaced Jews to settle in Japanese controlled territories, such as Shanghai, Manchuria, Northern China, and even parts of Japan itself; the policy motivation was to garner political sympathy from Jewish communities in the West and attract Jewish capital investment. The advocates of that policy cited the previous experience during Russo-Japanese War, crucial war loans made available by some Jewish American bankers who were horrified by Czarist pogroms. The Japanese policy was not a success in WWII either. The Jews fleeing Europe (and USSR earlier) had been deprived of their resources before leaving their native countries (more importantly, Japanese economic policies in occupied territories were far too rigid to allow Jewish refugees to build new prosperity), and American and British Jewish communities, while sympathetic to the plight of their co-religious, were not about to influence American and British policy vis Japan on that account alone.

As David Ben Gurion (first prime minister of Israel) famously said, "where there are two Jews, there are three opinions." It is important not to view all Jews as a monolith. When we talk about Soviets doing this doing that, we do not mean every Russian or even the majority of Russians doing this or doing that. World Jewish population not having a country of their own before 1948 made it all the more important to be mindful of the distinction between actions of particular individual Jews vs. any supposed categorical statement about "Jews." While refugees from Russia and Europe were probably keen on having a country of their own after the recent trama (even that is doutful, as most preferred going to the US instead of going to Palestine), China and Japan were more considered as temporary refuge (the only places that allowed them to enter; both the US and British mandate Palestine had strict visa requirements) than final destinations. As an instance of those "three opinions," Communism, Zionism and integrationism were three ideas that many members of Jewish community all over the world debated vigorously in the first few decades of the 20th century. Until the Holocaust, integrationists were by far the majority. Communism and Zionism were also quite diametricly opposed to each other, despite common socialist roots; one is internationalist, while the other is nationalistic.

As for Epstein, IMHO, he was just out to turn a buck (or ruble or whatever money was) from the ComIntern. Many of the early Chinese adherents of communism were also motivated by money from ComIntern. It doesn't say much of anything about the ideologies of all Jews or all Chinese. As we saw in subsequent events, most Jewish refugees were not interested in staying in China or Japan, much less building Zion there. Even after WWII, we are reminded of the dangers and injustice in over-generalization and "group-hate" when we see what happened to the Chinese diaspora in Indonesia, both in the 60's and in the late 90's; the Chinese there were scape-goated for both communist agitation and crony-capitalists whose political capital were built on suppressing communists previously! It's horrendous injustice to the victims, and ultimately self-defeating to the Indonesian perpetrators themselves.

(These are my personal opinions; I'm not speaking on behalf of CHF with this post)

ps. Chinese economy and standards of living were improving very rapidly during the first three decades of the 20th century. The post-1949 claim that all Chinese were always treated like subhuman compared to foreigners in the "old China" were untrue. While the average Chinese income were still much lower than the average of foreigners in China, there was sufficient overlap by the 1920's to make it unrealistic to generalize. "White Russians" (Russian aristocrats, Czarist soldiers and anti-Bolsheviks) arrived in China in the early 1920's as refugees of Russian civil war. Many of them had to resort to petty crimes and prostitution. Apparently, there were enough middle-class Chinese in the major cities to pay for their services. The worshipful attitude towards "big noses" were more prevalent in the countryside, where foreigners were rare. Japanese invasion in 1931, and subsequent massive destruction of the economy both in WWII and the Civil War reduced Chinese once again to abject poverty, which continued into the 1970's. Some of the well known development projects in recent years, such as JiangWan in Shanghai, were first planned in the late 1920's. It is my sincere hope that China doesn't draw destructive attention once again this time with its burgeoning nationalism. A little country like Singapore can afford to be nationalistic; the neighboring countries would just laugh it off. A big country, like Germany, the USSR, etc. can't afford to become overtly nationalistic, without turning its neighbors against it, and invite destruction by balance of power plays.

pps. Sun Yetsun was supportive of the idea of establishing a Jewish homeland, although I do not know his reasoning behind it or whether he was willing to offer a slice of China for building a Jewish homeland.

#42 ahxiang

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 02:10 PM

Hey, AX,

Thank you for the compliment, much appreciated. The two of us have much to agree on many of the issues during the Republic era. I don't think you meant to convey anti-semitism in the rest of your post; IMHO, it is important not to write in a way that might invite the wrong interpretations.

It is dangerous enough to frame national self-confidence and self-improvement in terms of superiority to all others (instead of simply focusing on doing things that are beneficial to oneself, as things usually go, in cooperation with other nations), it would be all the more dangerous and self-destructive to build a natinal identiy on hating another group, especially if one is at the same time also believing that same hated group has special powers on the international stage. Both Germany and Japan embraced the idea that somehow the Jews controlled the world. Their policy choices however were diametricly opposed to each other. Hitler's Wagnerian grand-standing was doomed from the start: either his theory that Jews controlled the world was wrong if he is ever to find success in his racist program against Jews, or his theory itself would predict his own demise. Japanese on the other hand embraced Zionism and invited displaced Jews to settle in Japanese controlled territories, such as Shanghai, Manchuria, Northern China, and even parts of Japan itself; the policy motivation was to garner political sympathy from Jewish communities in the West and attract Jewish capital investment. The advocates of that policy cited the previous experience during Russo-Japanese War, crucial war loans made available by some Jewish American bankers who were horrified by Czarist pogroms. The Japanese policy was not a success in WWII either. The Jews fleeing Europe (and USSR earlier) had been deprived of their resources before leaving their native countries (more importantly, Japanese economic policies in occupied territories were far too rigid to allow Jewish refugees to build new prosperity), and American and British Jewish communities, while sympathetic to the plight of their co-religious, were not about to influence American and British policy vis Japan on that account alone.

As David Ben Gurion (first prime minister of Israel) famously said, "where there are two Jews, there are three opinions." It is important not to view all Jews as a monolith. When we talk about Soviets doing this doing that, we do not mean every Russian or even the majority of Russians doing this or doing that. World Jewish population not having a country of their own before 1948 made it all the more important to be mindful of the distinction between actions of particular individual Jews vs. any supposed categorical statement about "Jews." While refugees from Russia and Europe were probably keen on having a country of their own after the recent trama (even that is doutful, as most preferred going to the US instead of going to Palestine), China and Japan were more considered as temporary refuge (the only places that allowed them to enter; both the US and British mandate Palestine had strict visa requirements) than final destinations. As an instance of those "three opinions," Communism, Zionism and integrationism were three ideas that many members of Jewish community all over the world debated vigorously in the first few decades of the 20th century. Until the Holocaust, integrationists were by far the majority. Communism and Zionism were also quite diametricly opposed to each other, despite common socialist roots; one is internationalist, while the other is nationalistic.

As for Epstein, IMHO, he was just out to turn a buck (or ruble or whatever money was) from the ComIntern. Many of the early Chinese adherents of communism were also motivated by money from ComIntern. It doesn't say much of anything about the ideologies of all Jews or all Chinese. As we saw in subsequent events, most Jewish refugees were not interested in staying in China or Japan, much less building Zion there. Even after WWII, we are reminded of the dangers and injustice in over-generalization and "group-hate" when we see what happened to the Chinese diaspora in Indonesia, both in the 60's and in the late 90's; the Chinese there were scape-goated for both communist agitation and crony-capitalists whose political capital were built on suppressing communists previously! It's horrendous injustice to the victims, and ultimately self-defeating to the Indonesian perpetrators themselves.

(These are my personal opinions; I'm not speaking on behalf of CHF with this post)

ps. Chinese economy and standards of living were improving very rapidly during the first three decades of the 20th century. The post-1949 claim that all Chinese were always treated like subhuman compared to foreigners in the "old China" were untrue. While the average Chinese income were still much lower than the average of foreigners in China, there was sufficient overlap by the 1920's to make it unrealistic to generalize. "White Russians" (Russian aristocrats, Czarist soldiers and anti-Bolsheviks) arrived in China in the early 1920's as refugees of Russian civil war. Many of them had to resort to petty crimes and prostitution. Apparently, there were enough middle-class Chinese in the major cities to pay for their services. The worshipful attitude towards "big noses" were more prevalent in the countryside, where foreigners were rare. Japanese invasion in 1931, and subsequent massive destruction of the economy both in WWII and the Civil War reduced Chinese once again to abject poverty, which continued into the 1970's. Some of the well known development projects in recent years, such as JiangWan in Shanghai, were first planned in the late 1920's. It is my sincere hope that China doesn't draw destructive attention once again this time with its burgeoning nationalism. A little country like Singapore can afford to be nationalistic; the neighboring countries would just laugh it off. A big country, like Germany, the USSR, etc. can't afford to become overtly nationalistic, without turning its neighbors against it, and invite destruction by balance of power plays.

pps. Sun Yetsun was supportive of the idea of establishing a Jewish homeland, although I do not know his reasoning behind it or whether he was willing to offer a slice of China for building a Jewish homeland.



Thanks for cautioning me as to the possibility that my post could be construed as being anti-semitic. Your abbrev caused me to recollect some comment on axishistoryforum.com, where someone pointed out that I had some ax to grind, which was what I privately thought to be so. I agree with you that extreme nationalism is dangerous to China. And I share your your views on the Chinese in Indonesia who suffered the fate of persecution [similar to Jews], under the impact of Mao's export of communism.

Nevertheless, we still need to ask Chinese to reflect on the history of the communist revolution as well as to check into the origin of the Russian Revolution. For today's Chinese, the foremost thing to do is to debunk the myth as to how the Soviets came to power in Russia and after that, it will be easier to discard the myth of Chinese Communists' ascension to power as a similar "alien invasion". You are right about making a difference between a few people of a certain group versus the whole group of a certain people. I don't believe the entire Jewish people could have foreseen that the dream of a homeland, which had been evasive for 2000 years, could have been executed in a way that impacted the world so much and as in the case of Russia and China, brought about so much bloodshed and damages. While I did not mean to equate a few people to a group of the people, some righteous Jew realized their own folly. As quoted by Mark Weber in "The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution and Russia's Early Soviet Regime -Assessing the Grim Legacy of Soviet Communism" ( linked at http://www.ihr.org/j...1p-4_Weber.html ), Russian-born Jewish writer Sonya Margolina stated that "The Jews of the entire world supported Soviet power, and remained silent in the face of any criticism from the opposition."

Your points on the comparison of Germany and Japan.
I mentioned somewhere else that before the rise of Hitler, Germany was in honeymoon with Soviet Russia, with hundreds of thousands of German officers trained inside of the Soviet territories, which was a purported cause of Stalin's purge of 1930s. The souring of German-Soviet relations in early 1930s could be said to be 物极必反, i.e., when a thing reaches its limit, it turns round; a thing turns into its opposite if pushed too far. The entire German communist leadership was Jewish, to be liquidated at the time of the signing of the German-Soviet non-aggression treaty. The lucky German-Jew survivors happened to be one dozen "Spanish [War]" doctors who changed route to China in lieu of the USSR.

About the Chinese economy and standards of living during the first three decades of the 20th century.
I cited the account of Zhang Guotao's mother somewhere on another thread to show how the majority Chinese' living standards were higher in late Manchu era than ROC years. Though, Chinese as a group fared much worse in comparison with the colonial masters. One example would be how E.J. Khan described the motivation of the dozens of the "Old China hands" for the venture in China, citing the prospect of living nicely...with a $2500-a-year salary, ..., a house, two polo ponies, four [Chinese] servants, and as many [Chinese or Monfolian] concubines as he fancies." Arthur Young, at the outbreak of the Shanghai battles in August, 1937, signed that the old good days were to be over.

About the "White Russians" (Russian aristocrats, Czarist soldiers and anti-Bolsheviks)
Over 15 years ago, I read Harriet Sergeant's "Shanghai", and was real impressed by the stories of exile stories of Russian White Army officers in China. Generally speaking, I found the Russians to be good writers as a whole. The downtrodden life of those Russian exiles, often cited in Chinese generals' self-encouragement statements as to fighting to the end to avoid falling into the same fate as the former, should be separated from those of the Russian Jews. The Russian White Army and Navy, being forced to sell their warships in Shanghai, Japan and manila etc for a change, represented the orthodox Russians whose families were being slaughtered by the Bolsheviks and property confiscated.

As a side note, I like to ask you to give some thoughts to the situation in North Korea and Iran using your balance and check approach. I found the two spots in the process of gyrating towards a tragic end. Similar to what happened in 1930-40s, when IPR dictated the American policies, today, think tanks like the Center for Strategic and International Studies or the Brookings Institution had full control of foreign policies which do not seem to have a strategy to peacefully resolve the crises in North Korea and Iran.

Edited by ahxiang, 28 June 2009 - 07:11 PM.


#43 brightness

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 07:54 PM

AhXiang,

No problem. the "AX" address in my previous post came from abbreviating the two syllables of your username; also, in stock market lingo "AX" means means an influencial market mover/shaker. I wasn't thinking of anyone "having an axe to grind."

I agree with you that the introduction of Bolshevism to Russia and China were devices to ruin those countries. Lenin was literally shipped to Russia (Finland being part of Russian Empire at the time) in a closed boxcar by Germans, as if he were some kind of contagious plague.

Ludwig von Mises and Federick Hayek were among the earliest critics of both the soviet system and the fascist system on economic grounds, and both were Jewish. Like David Ben Gurion said, two people have three opinions (not just Jews, IMHO). Some Jewish critics of Jews are prone to hyperboles (just like non-jewish anti-semites); Bobby Fischer is a classic example of that. I wouldn't quote their statements as facts. Over-generalization is usually wrong.

$2500 a year was a very high income in 1920, even in the US. The US Dollar was worth much more back then. The average public school teacher only made less than $1000 a year back then, even that was the result of a massive industrial boom (plus the effects of WWI monetary expansion and demonetization of silver in the previous half century). The typical prosperous store owner in major Chinese cities only made a few silver dollars a month, and he was an employer. An average laborer's daily income in the world had been about 1/10 ounce of silver for thousands of years (since when the Egyption pyramids were built, a time as far removed from Caesar/Agustus/JesusChrist/WangMang as we are distant from the latter group, around 1AD) before the 1870's silver demonetization. A silver dollar had 0.72ounce of silver. Most foreigners in China were making more money than their compatriots back home, just like most foreign traders in China do today. Trade and exchange is a great optimizer of resources, and those engaged in trade almost always benefit directly from it (with fluctuations, of course). The same thing was happening to Chinese too. ZhangGuoTao's mom may have been making the observation from her hometown in Jiangxi, not a metropolis like Shanghai. Early industrialization always lift up the major trading centers first, and as consequence reduce the relative standing of countryside. That's the same reason why NewEngland farm girls were sent away from farms to the mill towns; the farms were poverty stricken (relatively speaking) even as the American economy was entering the take-off stage.

BTW, just like Nazis lost the struggle against soviets due to their own ultra-nationalism, the White Russians also lost their struggle against the Reds due to their own ultra-nationalist chauvinistic handicaps. If Kolchak was willing to recognize Finish independence, Yedenich and Manheim would have captured St Petersberg (and possibly capturing Trotsky!); if Dennikin had been amenable to Ukrainian independence/autonomy, he would have captured Moscow in late 1919 if he did not have to divert the best parts of his calvary south to fight the Ukrainians, and subsequently had his entire supply line in the rear cut off by Ukrainians, leading to the collapse of White army in the north on their way to Moscow.

IMHO, both Iran and Korea issues are part of a greater plan of "dual-containment," against China and Russia. The strategy seems to be blocking both, especially China, from accessing strategic resources from outside, eventually forcing China and Russia into conflict over the oil and mineral resources in central asia and Siberia. I don't think the Chinese and Russian counter-strategy of "Shanghai Cooperation Council" would work if both countries continue to develop along nationalistic lines. When economic conditions get worse, two centralized geographical monopolies touching borders with each other can never really maintain a state of detente for long; like, as you mentioned too, Nazi Germany and the USSR. The solution to all this mess is really for both China and Russia each to turn into loose confederacies, so that they can avoid a war that they can not win (not to mention ushering in a far more efficient way of reallocating the current lopsided distribution of resources vs. labor without the political coercions that come with centralized nationalistic political monopoies; i.e. individual Chinese would have a much better chance at utilizing resources currently in Russian borders if they are not perceived as agents from Beijing, and individual Russians would have much better chance at seeing higher standards of living if the locals don't have to answer to overlords far away in Moscow; Manchurians and Siberians have much to gain by cooperating with each other, but their respective overlords in Beijing and Moscow tend to get in the way of that by fanning nationalism), and for the West to achieve the goal of such a war (forstalling the rise of an invincible totalitarian superpower, like Qin eventually became during Warring States era) without having to fight and die in the millions even if kill ratios are much higher for Russians and Chinese. Personally, I'm of the opinion that even if such a totalitarian superpower were to rise, it would quickly fall apart shortly afterwards, just like Qin did. But the dominant strategic thinkers of the West are not keen on living through it to find out. These are probably the sort of calculations that go through the minds of Neocons and their nominal critic/political enemies who pride themselves in "indirect approaches." The problem with this strategy is several fold:

(1) Active intervention by the West in those periphery "cordon" countries like Iran and Korea may well backfire; the whole geographic advantage of a sea power like the US/UK is that one can stay out of conflicts and develop economy without having to pay for wars, until other warmongers are exhausted from fighting, then come in be the decisive participant at relatively low cost. Early involvement all over the world defeats the natural geographical advantage.

(2) What to do even after winning such a war? Having an occupational force in China just like cold war occupation of Germany, in order to fend off the resurgent Russians and emerging Indians? What's the point of occupying China if all the ecnomic benefits can be reaped already through peaceful trading? China's location makes it a natural ally to any sea power seeking continental balance of powe at minimal cost, just like German states were natural allies to Britain for hundreds of years before German unification in the 1870's. Of course, an aggressively nationalistic German Empire became Britain's enemy #1 in the early 20th century; however, even after both WW1 and WW2, it was in the keen interest of the UK and the US to prop up Germany in order to maintain continental balance of power.

(3) What's strategic resource today may not be in a few decades. The cost of making oil from coal in China is about $50/bbl, lower than global oil price now, and much much lower than oil price would be under war conditions.

Methinks the professional strategic thinkers are linearly projecting too far ahead with current parameters. But hey, such simplistic thinking have long been known to lead to wars. WWII itself was to a large degree fought over the fear that the world was running out of oil soon, before the discovery of vast new oil fields in the 1950's. It would be tragedy indeed if hundreds of millions of people die because nukes started flying thanks to some silly strategic central planner's linear projections.

#44 Howard Fu

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 12:16 AM

Marinka,
You should know most people who come to this forum are oversea Chinese. Many of their parents or grand parents were forced to leave China to escape the revolution, like many Russian did. They were among the people who lost most in the revolution. So you probably can't hear too much good words about Russian and Chinese revolution from them.

In Stalin's time, Russia was a super power, but after the Soviet broke down Russia had become an 'emerging market'. This loss of status is probably the main reason why people miss Stalin in Russia. So did China. China was the richest and most advanced civilization for a really long time, but by the beginning of 20th century China had become one of the poorest country in the world. Hence the reason you see a lot superiority complex, which is a sad thing, because arrogance was why China declined at first place.

Talking about arrogance, everybody seems to have some, the English, French, Italian, Spaniards, Mongol, a long list. Everybody had their day if they had been around long enough. But modern world is changing so fast, arrogance has become something very few people can afford. American motor companies had 80% of the market at late as early 80s, but only one generation later they are facing the danger of extinction now. So arrogance is not a very useful thing in my opinion. People can live better without it in my opinion. But pride is different. Russia is a great country and Russians are proud people with good reasons. I sincerely believe Russia will become a great country again.

Edited by Howard Fu, 29 June 2009 - 12:23 AM.

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#45 Marinka

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 01:48 AM

Thank you, Howard Fu, and all sharing their opinions here!
I have cited both positive and negative points of view about Stalin and Mao, as each person and situation has the same. So what we can do now is learn from history for the future, learn to tell good from bad. And I recall a phrase from one Russian recent movie about Brezhnev regarding him ďHe is a good man but being a good man isnít an occupation yetĒ. In Russia nowadays politics is often considered being dirty thing in ordinary people's mind. We have easily admitted our socialistic past was a mistake, but this is a part of phenomenon of times or generations gap, existing in Russia and inappropriate in China where people worship their historical past. I also hope Russia will become stronger but now our people's attitude to improvement leaves much to be desiredÖAnd despite there are mostly overseas Chinese participating in discussion I trust their opinion because they are thinking and accomplished people and they use facts to explain their points of view.

Edited by Marinka, 29 June 2009 - 01:56 AM.





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