Even though he’s been dead since 1976 and his politics were swept away decades ago as if they were dust to be replaced with a Chinese socialist form of capitalism, there must be a reason for the Western media keeping Mao Zedong alive.
In fact, The Economist is doing its share to keep this ghost in the mind of a Western audience.
The answer might be to feed another kind of monster. The Economist for May 28 published Boundlessly loyal to the great monster to feed the Sinophobia mob’s fears of China and probably to boost sales.
To achieve this, The Economist left out a few facts and threw truth into the flaming maw of a Western fire-breathing dragon.
The only thing worth repeating was a quote from Mao Yushi (no relation to the Mao that died in 1976). Mao Yushi says it is time to end the “idolization” and “superstition” surrounding Mao Zedong and assess him as an ordinary man.
Although this may be a good suggestion, it will not be that easy to make happen. Too many people in China think of Mao as the George Washington of China and the man that liberated China from feudal landlords and the brutal upper class supported Nationalist dictatorship of Chiang Kai-shek.
In fact, most of Mao’s mistakes were made during the last decade of his 83 years during the Cultural Revolution, where he flipped society upside down by putting adolescents and those that were mostly illiterate and living in severe poverty in charge of the country while demoting the educated and middle class to the lowest socio-economic status level after stripping their wealth and privileges away.
Many of the people that Mao liberated from feudalism also know that Mao had a softer heart and was a different person long before he ruled China. Discover Mao Zedong, the poet
Continued on June 30, 2011 in Keeping Mao Alive in the West – Part 2
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.
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