A famous, perhaps spurious quotation attributed to the monster Josef Stalin has it that “one death is a tragedy, a million a statistic.” Heartless, but revealing. The recent story of Charlie Gard has garnered more attention than the painful deaths of thousands in Syria or Africa. A recent article by Professor Ilya Somin helps to put all this into contemporary perspective: the Great Leap Forward (1958-62) of Mao’s Communist China, the biggest mass murder in history, led to the deaths of “up to 45 million people.”
Professor R. J. Rummel, in his celebrated book, Death by Government, documented the millions of civilians murdered by their own governments. His tabulations of the deaths by totalitarian governments are beyond sobering. The Soviet total comes in at 61 million, the Nazis are 21million. Rummel’s data show Red China at 76 million – undercounted by at least 7 million if we consider the revision upward of his count for the Great Leap Forward. Other estimates will put the Chinese total well beyond 83 million.
Somin’s revised count puts Mao’s crime in stratospheric context, although it does not include the following horrors of the Red Guard period. The total count of the slaughter of innocents by twentieth century governments now goes well over 150 million. These deaths were not accidental; but consciously broken eggs in the confection of the omelette of the workers’ paradise. Rummel notes that the governments involved were totalitarian, authoritarian right-wing or Communist, but most expansionist. The crimes of authoritarian governments are at least two orders of magnitude greater than those of the democracies. Nazi crimes are always newsworthy, but where do we hear of the far greater crimes of the People’s Republic of China? Japan is chided for insufficient apologies for the crimes of the now defunct Empire of Japan. But where is the outrage over Chinese communist crimes? Who criticizes the current whitewashing of Stalin? The Blame America crowd points to the civilian deaths from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings of 1945, necessary to end a war we did not start, but where is the outrage over the Communist mass murders? The very same Communist government responsible for these mass murders is still very much in power. Many Chinese today have parents, grandparents, and other relatives slaughtered by Mao’s minions. They cannot speak out for fear of persecution, but who will speak up for them and the dead? Are they to become forgotten statistical wraiths? Don’t the guilty deserve an opportunity for absolution? Germany long ago forswore the unspeakable crimes of the Nazi government and brought to justice those guilty. The PRC merely says Mao made some mistakes. The PRC is a vicious tyranny; mass murder may no longer be practiced, but there is still cruel repression of dissidents, including Christians and practitioners of Falun Gong. It ruthlessly quashed the nationwide protests of 1989 centered in Tiananmen Square. The viciousness of the culture under the PRC dictatorship can be encapsulated in the blowtorches used to prepare dogs for slaughter during the Yulin dog festival. We used to celebrate Captive Nations Week, to call attention to the cruel Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe. How can we justify not doing the same for those suffering under Communism in China and Korea? How can we justify not naming the enemy correctly: it is communism. Where are the calls for the International Criminal Court to bring to justice the criminals responsible for Mao’s mass murders?
Could it be that there is implicit acceptance of the Marxist claim that revolutionary violence is not violence, that there should be no enemies to the left?
Sidebar: is this situation not similar to the call for Trump to single out white nationalists for rebuke, but to keep silent about black nationalists? And how does ‘nationalism’ become something evil, except by comparison with left-wing internationalism?
This is not just dead history; there are contemporary implications. The problem with North Korea was started by Soviet expansion into Korea in the last days of World War II. The civil war in China after the withdrawal of the Japanese occupiers was won by the Communists, with help from the U.S. American communists and fellow travelers lobbied for aid to Chiang Kai-shek to be cut off. He was portrayed as a fascist murderer, while Mao was a gentle lover of democracy. Truman eventually did cut off aid to Chiang and the nationalists, leading to the Communist victory in 1949 and the debate over Who Lost China? Then in 1950 the North Korean puppet government invaded the South, at Stalin’s urging. The PRC soon entered the war, with great loss of American life. The PRC is still our enemy, despite the trade between it and our country. (I note that a branch of the Chinese military illegally channeled contributions to the 1996 Clinton campaign through the DNC. Remember Johnny Chung and others in the Chinagate conspiracy? There was no independent investigator looking into this collusion.) The PRC is planning to become the world’s foremost superpower. The PRC’s expansionist claims in the South China Sea and its theft of American and European trade and technical secrets betray this ambition. Its Made in China 2025 project gives their ambition a date. Let’s not forget that twenty-first-century warfare will be as different from the twentieth as the twentieth was different from the nineteenth. Cyberwarfare is just one aspect of the new threats. A good pop view of cyberwarfare will be found here.
Commercial relations are well and good, but let’s call an evil spade evil and not trust beyond what can be verified. Let’s not sell the rope that will be used to hang us.
Troglo (L. H. Kevil)