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  #46  
Old 05-09-2020, 18:40
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raven raven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameron33 View Post
It seems like we’re arguing at cross purposes. I’ve never been a supporter of Communism, or claimed Mao did a good job during that period. I just feel that the notion that all famines are man-made and that any government that presides over a famine, or severe food shortage, is therefore guilty of genocide, is illogical - absurd even.

All famines are due to an interaction of natural factors, human factors and government policy. The underlying cause of famine in any country is poverty. Economic policy errors or indeed natural disasters do not create the threat of famine in advanced western countries.

And it is also true that by building the industrial base and improving the rural infrastructure, Mao's policies during and after the Great Leap Forward prevented incidents of famine recurring, which until that point had been a recurring tragedy in China over the last two centuries.

Mao’s mistakes during the period of famine/GLF are a huge black mark agains an otherwise impressive record, but that doesn’t make him comparable to Hitler. Mao was on the “wrong side of history” for the West, which means that his “wrongs” are amplified and exaggerated, often to absurdity, while his “rights” are downplayed. Btw, a bit of light research will suggest that the couple of infamous quotes which posit that Mao intentionally “sacrificed” half the population or whatever were taken completely out of context. Again, we get back to the complexity of the issue and need for thorough background research. I’m no authority, but at least have read a few different sources from different perspectives on the issue, ie fairly rudimentary stuff.

For me, the balance of research I have read (on both sides) points to political cockups on a local and national level, in the context of a very poor nation in a period of great historical upheaval, but not purpose mass murder. It will never belong in the category of wrong as, say, Japan’s Unit 731 whereby “doctors” performed vivisection and other gruesome experiments on live prisoners, including children, at the behest of the emperor. Something well known in China, but less known about in the West, or indeed Japan. Indeed, the US was so eager for the findings of this “research” that they granted immunity to dozens of high level Japanese torturers in exchange for it. Imagine how people would spin *that* about Mao had it been him buying such information.... I include this merely as an example of different perspectives on how a narrative can be downplayed or amplified. And how the notion of mass murderer or evil are incredibly subjective and rooted in personal/national experience, level of intent (IMO) and who gets to write the history.
No one has claimed Mao was guilty of genocide nor claimed that famines are entirely man-made
I feel we need to agree to disagree even though it bothers me when someone albeit someone I don't know expresses sympathy (at least) with a mass murderer. His policies left millions dead it's ridiculous to claim it all came down to bad weather and misfortune
Of course history is written by the winner etc we all know that ... and we are aware of Japan's barbarism during the war as we are aware of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and whilst not ignored they are downplayed as it doesn't suit the victor's narrative .....in fact for all your bemoaning poor Mao he's not actually that prevalent in the West when we come to roll out the Hitler's and Stalin's Mao's name is not usually on the roll call...I suspect it's partly because there's an element of the left that turns a blind eye to the evil perpetrated under a twisted interpretation of communism but also suspect that we tend to want our victims to look like us...we relate to the victims of the Holocaust more than we do the Chinese peasants under Mao for example.....and partly of course because China is still under Communist rule...and they too run arguments weirdly similar to yours re Mao being a little misguided but not really a bad bloke.....

It sounds like you have a lot of personal feelings tied up in this ... the only sort of equivalent but not really I can throw in is feeling at a certain time really tired of hearing all the problems in the North of Ireland placed at the door of the IRA, people can be crude and ignorant in their judgements...but does realising that absolve the IRA? Of course not...that was a conflict far from black and white but it still doesn't mean they were freedom fighters....nothing is black and white...people and conflicts rise out of circumstances.... and people can throw crude assumptions around but that doesn't mean the IRA were justified and it doesn't mean Mao wasn't responsible for mass murder...I'm not equating the two just the way of thinking when things can also feel like they hit a nerve....but it's dismissing the torture and murder of millions to claim Mao was just a bit misguided
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  #47  
Old 06-09-2020, 23:15
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River Boy River Boy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raven View Post
..... why not express your love for Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Amin, Milosevic, Mugabe...all the greats....? Why Mao?
With all these individuals being named, I thought I would throw in the notion that Communism is the thing to blame rather than the individual. This is not because the individual is a victim of Communism but rather because Communism facilitates this kind of person into a position of power.

For me, though Mao may have killed more people, I don't consider him worse than Stalin, for example, rather I just consider him to have had more lives to affect considering China's great populace. In another context he might not have killed so many but, as with any of them, if they had unlimited power they'd just have killed everyone in the world except their own inner clique.

Yes they were evil people but the important lesson for the world to take is not to look out for potential dictators, because they're everywhere. Instead it is to avoid allowing a situation transpire that facilitates their rise to power. Hence, why I would like to hear more left-wing artists offer clarity on denouncing names like Mao and Stalin and the extremism they represent, as they do so readily with the right.
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  #48  
Old 07-09-2020, 11:31
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You surely are aware that Hitler, Hussein, Amin and Mugabe were not communists right?
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  #49  
Old 07-09-2020, 15:32
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Originally Posted by Routine Builder View Post
You surely are aware that Hitler, Hussein, Amin and Mugabe were not communists right?
Yes, but the thread seems to be about the left rather than the right.
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  #50  
Old 07-09-2020, 20:49
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Those individuals really don't really support your argument though...

Though of course go too far right or too far left and you'll meet up

Individuals create and/or distort ideologies ... communism isn't inherently evil...fascism is but that's it's entire intent. Communism at its core is founded on a desire to see complete equality....of course that's been corrupted, distorted and horrific things done in its name and not always condemned for fear it seems that that will bring the essential principles crashing down ...failing to see the irony is the kindest thing you could say...but you could just as easily argue capitalism is an ideology that has inflicted mass suffering and death.....let's not mention religion...but outside of fascism none of these ideologies (and all have many strands within) cause suffering. People do. And people shape ideologies to suit
__________________
"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more," - Byron

'I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.' (from Sea Fever - John Masefield)


"Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all" - Emily Dickinson
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  #51  
Old 08-09-2020, 08:42
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Routine Builder Routine Builder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Boy View Post
Hence, why I would like to hear more left-wing artists offer clarity on denouncing names like Mao and Stalin and the extremism they represent, as they do so readily with the right.
Funny thing is that the left wing is more known than the right for sniping at each other. I think the last four years have demonstrated that ad nauseum. It's the right who usually balk at self reflection and self criticism whether it be Conservatives not reacting to Boris expelling Brexit pragmatists, or american republicans still backing Trump unreservedly after nearly four years of incoherent political cacophony with nothing to show for it.

Also most political bands speak about what's happening now rather than 50-60 years ago because that's what hitting hard today and that's what resonates with their audiences. For the last 10 years, the conservatives have been in government and that was preceded by a centre left government partly responsible for an illegitimate war. So I imagine the far left let alone the extreme left, would be felt as a force in peoples' lives. At the same time, admitting my self confessed limited musical knowledge here, I don't see political bands talking about Milosovic, Hitler or Amin but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

It would be cool if Stormzy interrupted his Glastonbury set (lol I'm talking about live gigs as if they're still a thing!) to introduce a new song about Mao but it wouldn't hit home for people. And most bands are full of young people who for the most part are unaware that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

And quite honestly I've seen plenty of left leaning artists criticise Corbyn for the past four years (MSP included) so I find your insistence that they must go further and condemn historical leftwing dictators, somewhat confusing.
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Last edited by Routine Builder; 08-09-2020 at 09:06.
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