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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

The ghost of Chairman Mao still haunts our world

November 15, 2009

Andrew E. Mathis
Examiner
November 12, 2009


Two items caught my eye reading the news today.
First, there was the report of Nepalese police
clashing with protesters in Kathmandu. The other
item was a declaration by the Chinese government
that, before the takeover of Tibet by the
People's Republic, the situation of serfdom in
Tibet was analogous to the slavery of black Americans before 1865.

First Nepal: Maoists? Really? They're not even
Maoist in China anymore. Well, apparently in
Nepal they are. Since the summer of 2008, the two
men who have served as prime minister of Nepal
have both been avowed Maoists. So if the
government is Maoist, then why are Maoists protesting?

Apparently they're protesting because the first
Maoist prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known
by the byname Prachanda, who resigned in May over
the president of Nepal (Ram Baran Yadav, who is a
member of the Nepali Congress Party) nullifying
Prachanda's firing of the Nepalese army's chief of staff.

Prachanda is wrong, by the way. Provided that the
president was acting within his constitutional
powers by refusing to fire the chief of staff —
and there's every indication that he was — then
Prachanda has no choice but to either accept it
or do what he did and resign. He does not then
get to threaten violence against the government
he left in a huff. It doesn't work that way.

As for those non-Maoists in China claiming Tibet
was essentially a slave state, well, that issue
is debatable. But two points arise first and
foremost: (1) It's really tasteless to make false
comparisons to slavery to try to get sympathy out
of a president who happens to be black; and (2)
Mao's experiments in collectivized farming took
far more lives than any feudal system in Tibet could have hoped to.

Who says so? Experts on the human tragedies of
collectivization of farming have made comparisons
between the human cost of Mao's Great Leap
Forward of the late 1950s and early 1960s and the
Soviet famines of the 1920s and 1930s, which were
the direct outgrowth of Stalin's move to collectivize Soviet farms.

Apparently no less a political figure than
Mikhail Gorbachev has also said that the Chinese
experiments in forced labor and collectivized
farming amount to government-run serfdom.

Perhaps the ghost of Mao would do better to go
haunting elsewhere. It ends up making China --
and Mao -- look pretty bad in hindsight.
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