China’s Cultural Revolution is History but the one raging in the U.S. Isn’t

December 12, 2018

Will the United States survive its current cultural revolution being led by Alt-Right billionaires, bullies, trolls, racists, and Donald Trump?

China survived its Cultural Revolution in the middle of the 20th Century and look where that led: WeForum.org reports, “China’s meteoric rise over the past half century is one of the most striking examples of the impact of opening an economy up to global markets.

“Over that period the country has undergone a shift from a largely agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse. In the process it has seen sharp increases in productivity and wages that have allowed China to become the world’s second-largest economy.”

There is a big difference between these two Cultural Revolutions. Mao’s Cultural Revolution was meant to benefit most of the people and punished the wealthy.  At first Mao failed to achieve all of his goals, but once Mao died and his Maoists lost power, China recovered like no country in history has ever done before.

However,  what happened in China will not happen in the United States, because the Cultural Revolution taking place in the U.S. will only benefit a small number of people, the wealthy.

The only thing Mao’s Cultural Revolution has in common with America’s Cultural Revolution is the propaganda designed to prop them up. Understanding the Mechanism of Propaganda teaches us: “At its most basic, propaganda is biased or misleading information circulated via some form of mass media with the intent of promoting a political agenda or viewpoint. Propaganda is deliberately not objective and is usually part of a larger psychological campaign to influence people toward a specific opinion. It may include outright lies or more subtle misinformation and censorship.”

Donald Trump learned how to use propaganda from masters at this game of deception like all the dictators Trump admires and worships.

Trump has been using a propaganda campaign since before he was elected president in 2016 to cast doubt on all media fact check sites because Trump wants the media to report only what he wants people to hear just like every dictator and tyrant in history.

If you Google “who is fact checking the fact checkers” you will run in to some of the propaganda designed to feed the confirmation bias of Trump’s base and to erase any doubts they might have.  These Trump followers are so willingly blind, they will not fact check the claims from the propaganda that claims the media and its fact checkers can’t be trusted.

Once that idea is planted in their minds, Trump’s rabid followers will dismiss everything they read from media fact check sites that does not match what they are hearing from Trump and the Alt-Right misleading, conspiracy theory media machine.

For Trump’s mindless mob it has become automatic to dismiss everything and only accept what Trump tells them.

However, Real Clear Politics has a Fact Check Review.

Fact Check Review Methodology

“The goal of the RCP Fact Check Review project is to understand how the flagship fact-checking organizations operate in practice, from their claim and verification sourcing to their topical focus to just what even constitutes a ‘fact’.” …   (Click the link above for more)

If you want to discover the rankings of the fact check sites, click the link above and scroll down to discover that in the first column, Snopes was 99-percent correct for the previous week, FactCheck.org was 90-percent correct, Politifact was 86-percent correct, the Washington Post was 85-percent correct and the New York Times was 83-percent correct.

Then compare that to Trump’s lies.  All of the fact check sites list Trump’s lies and according to Real Clear Politics, the media fact check sites are overwhelming accurate with the truth compared to Trump.

CNN.com reports, “Donald Trump lies. And he is doing a lot more of it lately.”

The sad fact is, once seduced by Trump, nothing in this blog post will matter to Trump’s Red Guard. Whoops, I mean supporters. To Trumpists, the media Trump hates is full of fake news and fact check sites can’t be trusted because they are always wrong. Only trust in Mao. I’m sorry. I’m bad. I meant to say Trump and didn’t mean to insult Mao.

If Donald Trump and the Alt-Right billionaires, bullies, trolls, and racists win the U.S. Cultural Revolution in the United States, it will make Mao’s Cultural Revolution look like preschool.  If you doubt that, click the link and read what Vox.com has to say about “White American men are a bigger domestic terrorist threat than Muslim foreigners. Since Trump took office, more Americans have been killed by white American men with no connection to Islam than by Muslim terrorists or foreigners.” … “between 2001 and 2015, more Americans were killed by homegrown right-wing extremists than by Islamist terrorists, according to a study by New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, DC.”

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Deng Xiaoping’s first Steps to Open China to the World

July 18, 2018

It’s time to leave Mao behind as part of China’s history. His era ended with his death and the arrest of the “Gang of Four”, including Mao’s widow, Jiang Qing. The “Gang of Four” was convicted of crimes against the state and Jiang said in court, “I was Chairman’s Mao’s dog. What he said to bite, I bit.”

Jiang was Mao’s third wife, and she was convicted in 1981 of “counter-revolutionary crimes” and imprisoned. In 1983, her death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. On June 5, 1991, she hung herself while still in prison. She was seventy-seven.

In 1977, Deng Xiaoping emerged as the dominant figure among pragmatists in the leadership. Under him, China launched far-reaching economic reforms.

One of the most famous maxims of Deng, dating back to the years before the Cultural Revolution, states that “It doesn’t matter whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.” That quote caused trouble between Mao and Deng because it meant Deng did not worry about whether a person was a revolutionary or not, as long as he or she was efficient and capable of doing their job under the socialist economy.

Once you understand that quote, you will understand China’s amazing economic reforms in the decades since Mao’s death and why one of Deng’s first steps in 1979 was to establish diplomatic relations with the United States.

Deng Xiaoping paid an official goodwill visit from January 20 to February 4, 1979, to the United States at the invitation of President Carter. This was the first visit by a Chinese leader to the United States after the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

During his visit, Deng exchanged views with President Carter on the international situation.

About Taiwan, Deng said that China was willing to solve the Taiwan question in a peaceful way. The Joint Press Communiqué issued by both sides said that both sides are of the view that differences in social systems of the two countries should not impede the enhancement of mutual friendly relations and mutual cooperation.

During the visit, China and the United States signed an agreement on cooperation in science and technology and a cultural agreement. They also signed agreements on cooperation in education, commerce, and space, and on the mutual establishment of consular relations and the opening of Consulates-General in each other’s country.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Mao Zedong’s Legacy: Part 2 of 2

July 4, 2018

Before I get to Mao’s Cultural Revolution, I want to point out a few of Mao’s achievements. In the “Land of Famines”, China’s last famine was in 1958-62. For the first time in China’s long history, there hasn’t been a famine since 1962, fourteen years to Mao’s death in 1976 and another forty-two years since then.

The Mao era started in October 1949.  Mao said the People’s Republic of China would be free of inequality, poverty and foreign domination. The population of China was 541,670,000. Women were given new rights at work and in marriage, and foot binding was abolished. To deal with disease, Mao launched programs to improve health care that never existed before, and most of the people were inoculated against the most common diseases. When Mao died, the average life expectancy had increased from 35 to 55, and it is now 76.

When Mao died, the population had increased to more than 700,000. Extreme poverty had been reduced by about 14 percent. Since his death, poverty was reduced to where it is today at 6.5 percent of the population.

With a poverty rate of about 95-percent, Mao had promised land reforms to divide the land more equally. In 1950, with Mao’s blessing, rural property owners were judged enemies of the people by the rest of the rural people and hundreds of thousands were executed for their alleged abuses and crimes against the people that denounced them.

Soon after discovering that the famine was real, Mao ended the Great Leap Forward and publicly admitted he had been wrong and stepped aside to let someone else run the country. The large communes were abandoned, and the peasants returned to their villages and were given land again.  At the time, Mao was popular with the people but he still resigned as the head of state.

Then Mao wrote his infamous “Little Red Book” and used it to start the Cultural Revolution.

Zhang Baoqing, an early Red Guard member in Beijing, said, “Chairman Mao started the Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976) to keep up the momentum for change. We thought if we followed Mao, we could not go wrong.”

Millions, mostly teenagers, willingly followed Mao’s advice.

The Cultural Revolutions stated goal was to preserve ‘true’ Communist ideology in the country by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society and to re-impose Mao Zedong Thought as the dominant ideology within the Party.

Britannica.com says, “Mao pursued his goals through the Red Guards, groups of the country’s urban youths that were created through mass mobilization efforts. They were directed to root out those among the country’s population who weren’t ‘sufficiently revolutionary’ and those suspected of being ‘bourgeois.’ The Red Guards had little oversight, and their actions led to anarchy and terror, as ‘suspect’ individuals—traditionalists, educators, and intellectuals, for example—were persecuted and killed. The Red Guards were soon reined in by officials, although the brutality of the revolution continued. The revolution also saw high-ranking CCP officials falling in and out of favor, such as Deng Xiaoping and Lin Biao.

“The revolution ended in the fall of 1976, after the death of Mao … The revolution left many people dead (estimates range from 500,000 to 2,000,000), displaced millions of people, and completely disrupted the country’s economy.”

Return to or Start with Part 1

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Mao Zedong’s Legacy: Part 1 of 2

July 3, 2018

Mao ruled China as its head of state from 1949 – 1959. To understand what Mao faced, it helps to know what life was like in China before 1949.

China had few railroads. Before 1949, there were 6,835 miles in service and most of those rail lines were in the northeast and coastal areas of China.

China did not have a paved highway system, did not have an electric grid linking every village and city. In fact, most of the electricity was only generated in a few cities like Shanghai and Beijing where wealthy foreigners lived. There was no telephone system in rural China and most of the cities where wealthy foreigners didn’t live. The average lifespan was 35. The literacy rate was only 15-to-25 percent, and poverty was worse than it was in 1981 when it was 88 percent. In 1949, when Mao became China’s leader, extreme poverty was closer to 95 percent.

China had just emerged from more than a century of wars: the Taiping Rebellion (about 20 million killed), the two Opium Wars started by England and France, the Boxer Rebellion, the chaos and anarchy after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1912, the long Civil War between the Chinese Communists and the Nationals (1927 – 1950), World War II (15 – 20 million killed by Japanese troops), the Korean War (180,000 Chinese troops killed), the failure of Mao’s Great Leap Forward that resulted in what’s known as Mao’s Great Famine, and the ravages of his Cultural Revolution.

Britannica.com says, “The disorganization and waste created by the Great Leap, compounded by natural disasters and by the termination of Soviet economic aid, led to widespread famine in which, according to much later official Chinese accounts, millions of people died. …”

“The official Chinese view, defined in June 1981, is that his leadership was basically correct until the summer of 1957, but from then on it was mixed at best and frequently wrong. It cannot be disputed that Mao’s two major innovations of his later years, the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution, were ill-conceived and led to disastrous consequences. His goals of combating bureaucracy, encouraging popular participation, and stressing China’s self-reliance were generally laudable—and the industrialization that began during Mao’s reign did indeed lay a foundation for China’s remarkable economic development since the late 20th century—but the methods he used to pursue them were often violent and self-defeating.”

Before anyone blames Mao’s policies on what’s known as Mao’s Great Famine, 1958-62, you should know about China as the “Land of Famines.”

The Oxford Research Encyclopedias says, “The fall of the Qing and the birth of China’s new Republican government in 1912 did not reduce the number, severity, or impact of famines. Destroying the imperial system of government that had lasted for two millennia proved far easier than building a new system. In the first decades after 1912 the collapse of central political authority, constant fighting between rival warlords, increasing foreign domination, and unprecedented environmental decline undermined efforts to prevent successive natural and manmade disasters from resulting in famines. … Xia Mingfang estimates that more than 15.2 million people died in ten major drought famines that struck during the Republican period (1912–1949), and another 2.5 million Chinese perished in thirty serious floods. Major disasters struck so frequently that many Chinese observers joined Western relief workers in calling China the ‘Land of Famine’.”

Continued with Part 2 on July 4, 2018

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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The Questionable Private Life of Chairman Mao: Part 5 of 5

September 23, 2017

As you have discovered, while many in the West have praised Dr. Li’s memoir of Mao as an accurate portrait of a manipulative egomaniac with little tolerance of dissent and a penchant for young women, the book was also criticized in China by those closest to Mao and by both eastern and western scholars of China.

In addition, some in the West have rejected or ignored what Dr. Li wrote about Mao and the famine during the Great Leap Forward. It’s as if, there are too many who only want the scandal, the rumors, the bad stuff.

According to the people that knew Mao best, most notably Dr. Li Zhisui, Mao was not aware that the situation that caused the great famine amounted to more than a slight shortage of food.

Li wrote, “But I do not think that when he spoke on July 2, 1959, he knew how bad the disaster had become, and he believed the party was doing everything it could to manage the situation.”

While many in the West believe most of what Li wrote of Mao in his memoir, those same people do not accept what Li says about the famine because to do so would be to admit Mao wasn’t the butcher of twenty, thirty, forty or sixty million people (depending on who you read and want to believe) due to the famine and starvation during the Great Leap Forward.

This is known as cherry picking, which is the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, confirmation bias, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict what you think.

Confirmation bias refers to a form of selective thinking that focuses on evidence that supports what believers already think while ignoring evidence that proves their thinking was wrong. Confirmation bias plays a stronger role when people base their beliefs on faith, tradition, and prejudice.  A perfect example is Fake President Donald Trump and his loyal supporters.

One example of confirmation bias is from Hong Kong-based historian Frank Dikotter’s book on the great famine where he claims that Mao was responsible for the famine and did nothing to save lives.

The point I want to make is if the West accepts the revised and sensationalized English version of Li’s memoir of Mao as accurate, how can anyone dispute what Li said about Mao not knowing the extent of the Great Leap Forward famine?  By 1959, Dr. Li had been Mao’s physician for almost three years and according to the doctor, he knew intimate details of Mao’s life at least during those few years during the famine.

On the other hand, if we accept that Dr. Li’s memory was wrong about Mao and the famine in 1959, how many other claims in his memoir of Mao are inaccurate?

In fact, Frank Dikotter sensationalized his book. the same as Random House did to Dr. Li’s memoir of Mao. by increasing the number of people that died by fifty percent to allow for possible under-reporting to come up with an unproven claim that 45-million died of starvation during the famine when in fact, the number of people that died may have been much lower.

Is it possible that Mao’s image outside of China has been unwittingly engineered by the western media to be worse than it should be?

Return to Part 4 or start with Part 1

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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The Questionable Private Life of Chairman Mao: Part 4 of 5

September 22, 2017

In addition, Li cannot be credited with the English edition of his flawed memoir since the original manuscript written by Li was translated from his native Chinese into English by Professor Tai Hung-chao, before being edited by Thurston that Dr. Li later accused of cutting substantial parts of his original manuscript without his knowledge.

I was also told by a friend that read the Chinese language edition of the memoir that it reads as if it were an accountant’s ledger.

In addition, Professor Tai, the translator, alleged that the English-language publisher Random House wanted more sensationalist elements to the book than that which Li had provided them, in particular requesting more information about Mao’s sexual relationships.

Despite Li’s own protests, Professor Tai said Random House overruled him, and put fictional sexual claims in Dr. Li’s memoir anyway.

Then there is an Open Letter published in April 1995, a statement that said many of the claims made in Li’s memoir were false. One-hundred-and-fifty people that had personally known or worked with Mao signed that letter.

Then there is Professor Frederick Teiwes, a western academic specializing in the study of Maoist China, who was also critical of Li’s memoir. Professor Teiwes argued in his book The Tragedy of Lin Biao: Riding the Tiger during the Cultural Revolution 1966-1971 (1996) that despite Li’s extensive claims regarding the politics behind the Cultural Revolution, Dr. Li was actually “on the fringe” of the events taking place in the Chinese government.

Does that mean Dr. Li was a fraud, a liar, and that Random House helped make that fraud worse?

Continued in Part 5 on September 23, 2017 or return to Part 3

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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The Questionable Private Life of Chairman Mao: Part 3 of 5

September 21, 2017

In 1994, a year before he died, Dr. Li Zhisui published his memoir of Mao, The Private Life of Chairman Mao.

Li based the book’s contents upon his own memories of Mao several decades after the actual events because he burned all of his personal diaries during the Cultural Revolution in case something he wrote about Mao might get him in trouble with the teenage Red Guard.

In 1988, Dr. Li left China for good with Lillian (his wife), who was suffering from kidney trouble and joined their sons, Chong and Erchong, and daughter-in-law Mei, near Chicago.

His decision to set down his account of Mao’s private life was not easy since he had destroyed the forty notebooks of his private diary during the Cultural Revolution almost thirty years earlier.

It wouldn’t be until after Dr. Li’s wife died of kidney failure in 1989, that he started writing his memoir. “In her last days in the hospital, before she slipped into a coma,” says Li, “she urged me to write this book …”

One of Li’s collaborators involved in editing and revisions of the memoir, the western historian Anne F. Thurston, noted that because of this, Dr. Li’s claims were “fallible” and might “be wrong”.

One of the many critics of Li’s memoir was Qi Benyu, a former member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China that was connected with the left wing of the Cultural Revolution Group and the red-guard power seizures of 1967.

Qi had no reason to love Mao since he was arrested and imprisoned by Mao’s in 1968 and stayed in prison until 1986, a decade before Li wrote and published his memoir. Before prison, Qi spent several years near Mao and says he never heard any rumors of Mao having extra-marital affairs despite the fact that other senior Party members were known to have done this. Qi also said that most of the Cultural Revolution part of Li’s memoir consisted of information gleaned from newspapers, journals, and other people’s writings.

Continued on September 22, 2017, in Part 4 or return to Part 2

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

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