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Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in The Great Leap
12-18-2016, 08:43 PM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2016 03:57 AM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #1
Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in The Great Leap
http://monthlyreview.org/commentary/did-...p-forward/

It should be noted ahead of time that the the author doesn't try to make Mao out to be a hero or even necessarily support either his particular tendency within Marxism, or general policies as a whole. Nor does it take an overall stance on the merit of The Great Leap Forward itself. Rather, it simply focuses on the fact that bourgeois sources, both Chinese and western, are largely distorted, inconsistent, and slanted against Mao, Maoism, and communism as a whole; that the sources they rely upon for "death toll figures" are vastly unreliable and inauthentic, exaggerated, and that most western views toward communism in general are grounded in popular sensationalism rather than objectivity. There is apparently substantial evidence that shows many or even most of the deaths in Mao's China can be attributed to natural disaster rather than policy, but western sources conveniently ignore this.

The article is very long, but worth reading whether you are a communist (MLM or otherwise) or anti-communist; for the intricate details and data it provides.

As for me, my thoughts tend to echo the authors in that maybe one day a sensible discussion on what really happened in China (and other places where "communist movements" took place) can occur, but unfortunately such discussions seem far away given the very substance of what this article is about. The most important thing, is that the facts be gathered from reliable sources and be consistent, and for western sources regarding this subject, that has been far from being the case as the author observes. They have an agenda (to slander communism) that prevails over facts.

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12-18-2016, 10:23 PM
Post: #2
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
What a horrifying exercise in ideological apologetics.

There is consensus among scholars who have studied the Great Leap Foward in a serious way that the policy errors of the Maoist regime led directly to the deaths of tens of millions. Perhaps it is 15 million, perhaps it is 50, but the magnitude of the horror is extraordinary in either case. We know that these "losses" were known by the top leadership, and tolerated in the name of the advancement of the ideological cause. We know that widespread state violence was used not only to enforce the procurement policies that lead to starvation, but themselves killed hundreds of thousands or millions of people directly. We know that the "problems of the first few years" were so severe as to cause the largest famine ever known.

Most tragically, we know that improving life expectancy and basic standard of living can be accomplished without the overwhelming loss of life, because it has happened to nearly every country in the world during the 2nd half of the 20th century. Nothing irreplaceable was accomplished by the millions dying, all the benefits obtained could easily have been replicated under almost any other economic regime.

Having wasted my time reading this article, it amounts to nothing more than an exercise in minimizing, evading, and misdirecting. Nothing of substance is said that contradicts the mountains of scholarship on the topic.

To quote: "Mistakes were made and many must have been demoralized when they realized that some of the results of the Leap had been disappointing." What a heartless, idiotic thing to say about the deaths of tens of millions. Orwell exposed the banality of this sort of apologetic argument, with its passive voice, its vague dissembling, its lack of intellectual or moral rigor, and that was decades before the GLF had even occured.

-Jester
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12-19-2016, 03:42 AM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2016 04:43 AM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #3
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in The Great Leap
And, your post just proves the article's legitamcy all the more.

Where is the reliable and consistent evidence of this so-called scholarship consensus?

Where is the evidence to suggest all the deaths (whatever that number is, bourgeois sources are so inconsisent they state anywhere from like 10 million to lofty claims of 100+ mill) can all be attributed to Mao and his policies?

Where is the evidence that this resulted in widespread famine, let alone the extremely exorbitant claim that this was the largest famine in the history of the human species?

And since China's population actually INCREASED between the years of 1958 to 1963, where is the evidence of the common bourgeois narrative that the GLF was an extermination/population control programme, rather than a plan developed to industrialize and collectivize China's economy?

Thus far, you have provided nothing but the sensationalism, slander and propaganda of western scholars, who have an anti-communist/pro-imperialist slant, rather than facts.

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"Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class, made into law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of the existence of your class." - Marx (addressing the bourgeois)
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12-19-2016, 06:12 AM
Post: #4
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
It turns out, if you ignore everything on the basis that it disagrees with you because it's "bourgeois," then everything that remains does indeed reinforce your warped view.

Or you could actually read some of the scholarly literature, rather than just parroting ideologically flattering essays. None of your questions have particularly difficult answers.

The evidence that Mao's policies resulted in widespread famines is abundant. The existence of the famine and the key role played by policy decisions is not controversial, not even with the government of China. It can be seen in the agricultural output figures, in the demography, in contemporary accounts of the period, in interviews with people who survived. The birth rate dropped by nearly *half*. What's the alternative hypothesis, that babies became extremely unfashionable for a couple years?

Estimates vary because China is enormous, population data is poor, and counting excess mortality is always tricky business. If you employ conservative methods, you find "only" 15 million or so excess deaths. If you try to estimate the true number, you end up with higher figures, but are forced to rely on less conservative assumptions.

In 1960, the peak of the famine, the population of China does indeed shrink. In an ordinary, non-famine year, there would be rapid population growth. Shrinking population is indicative of a *severe* famine. Look at any population graph of China; the "hole" caused by the famine is obvious.

I've long since lost any interest in hearing your views on most anything, and it is clear you have chosen neither to listen nor to learn. But this nonsense needs to be called out for what it is: the Maoist equivalent of holocaust denial.

-Jester
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12-19-2016, 07:29 AM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2016 09:37 AM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #5
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-19-2016 06:12 AM)Jester Wrote:  It turns out, if you ignore everything on the basis that it disagrees with you because it's "bourgeois," then everything that remains does indeed reinforce your warped view.

Great way of turning things around, but yea, bullshit. I have nothing to gain here, I am interested in facts, not ideology. I've made it quite clear by now that I have many ideological disagreements with Maoism and I'm not a MLM.

But Western sources are ideologically driven because they must be anti-communist, lest they become discredited in the eyes of their peers. Some of them were even paid off by institutions like the CIA. Their agenda is to justify capitalism's legitmacy while demonizing and slandering socialism, not actual facts or a meaningful historical analysis which are of little interest to them. It is you here who has the ideological ulterior motive, not I.


Quote:Or you could actually read some of the scholarly literature, rather than just parroting ideologically flattering essays. None of your questions have particularly difficult answers.

I will, and I will investigate the credibility of their sources deeply. Every little nook and cranny.

Quote:The birth rate dropped by nearly *half*. What's the alternative hypothesis, that babies became extremely unfashionable for a couple years?

Your number is a bit inflated (I wouldn't expect anything less from a capitalist apologist), it was more like 25-30% if we are talking from 1959-61, the so-called 3 year period. But moreover, this makes it out like I hold the position that there were no hard times and difficulties with the GLF, which is untrue. No one is debating this. In fact, I am still very skeptical of the GLF in general since trying to build socialism out of a primarily agrarian economy is very difficult at best, impossible at worst. I would probably say overall that only Fidel Castro was able to pull this off on a relatively successful level but the material conditions in 1959 Cuba were still quite different from 1959 China. But I am also skeptical of western bourgeois sources that have a painfully obvious agenda, who will do and say absolutely anything to protect and uphold said agenda. If you cannot understand that, then there is no reaching you.

In difficult times, yes, birth rates decrease because people do not want or cannot have an extra mouth to feed. No one said otherwise.

However, this is still a stretch at best to make a case for wide spread famine, and entirely insufficent for making the claim as the biggest famine in history. Nor does it tell us anything if all of this can be attributed solely to Mao's policies. Mao himself admitted he made numerous errors, but this doesn't give capitalists ammunition to consider his movement a conquest for blood and population control rather than an attempt to industrialize and build socialism. It also doesn't take into account the droughts, piss poor weather, and the fact that it was actually capitalists and reformists, who of course opposed the revolution, that had control of the Chinese goverment - the bourgeois once again doing their best to sabatoge the revolution per usual. But of course, you never hear about that in western sources. Gee, I fucking wonder why.

Quote:Estimates vary because China is enormous, population data is poor, and counting excess mortality is always tricky business. If you employ conservative methods, you find "only" 15 million or so excess deaths. If you try to estimate the true number, you end up with higher figures, but are forced to rely on less conservative assumptions.

Translation: the data is unreliable and wildly inconsistent. Glad we can agree on that.

Quote:In 1960, the peak of the famine, the population of China does indeed shrink. In an ordinary, non-famine year, there would be rapid population growth. Shrinking population is indicative of a *severe* famine. Look at any population graph of China; the "hole" caused by the famine is obvious.


Comrade, you are absolutely wrong here. The Chinese population went up, not down, in 1960 from the prior year. The birth rate went down and the death rate went up, and China's population in 1960 was STILL higher than the prior year, even if only by a small amount. 1960 did have the smallest annual population increase in Chinese history, but that is a very different thing from the population actually falling. And in fact, it went up every year between 1949-2004. You want population graphs? Here you go:

http://www.chinatoday.com/data/china.population.htm

That was actually a chart not a graph, but the larger point remains. You were saying what now, about a severe famine?

Quote:I've long since lost any interest in hearing your views on most anything

Woe is me, my views are shunned by a capitalist loving, imperialist supporting liberal. I don't think I can bear the thought Rolleyes

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"Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class, made into law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of the existence of your class." - Marx (addressing the bourgeois)
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12-19-2016, 10:29 AM
Post: #6
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
Quote:To read too many books is harmful.
~Mao

Mao always refused to brush his teeth.

Millions of sparrows, maybe hundreds of millions, were killed in China as a direct result of Mao's edict. Thus the Chinese had to try to take a great leap forward since they could no longer fly forwards.

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12-19-2016, 04:26 PM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2016 04:28 PM by kandrathe.)
Post: #7
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in The Great Leap
How about Dali Yang, Professor and Chairman in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago, whose peasant parents survived that ordeal?

Calamity and Reform in China: State, Rural Society and Institutional Change Since the Great Leap Famine

Synopsis by William Harms.

Quote:No one is sure exactly how many people perished as a result of the spreading hunger. By comparing the number of deaths that could be expected under normal conditions with the number that occurred during the period of the Great Leap famine, scholars have estimated that somewhere between 16.5 million and 40 million people died before the experiment came to an end in 1961, making the Great Leap famine the largest in world history.

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12-19-2016, 05:12 PM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2016 05:23 PM by Jester.)
Post: #8
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-19-2016 07:29 AM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  Your number is a bit inflated (I wouldn't expect anything less from a capitalist apologist), it was more like 25-30% if we are talking from 1959-61, the so-called 3 year period. But moreover, this makes it out like I hold the position that there were no hard times and difficulties with the GLF, which is untrue.

Of what do you think these "hard times and difficulties" consisted? Lack of food. What do you call it when a lack of food increases the death rate? A famine.

I'm sure it's super hard to "build socialism". It'll cause a lot of "difficulties". Or, we can dispense with the disturbing euphemisms, and call it was it was: A policy disaster that caused tens of millions of excess deaths (and missing births) from famine.

Quote:That was actually a chart not a graph, but the larger point remains. You were saying what now, about a severe famine?

I was saying that a severe famine caused tens of millions of excess deaths, and missing births. If you can't see that from even *your* data, then you're blind. Your own source shows a drop from a birth rate of approximately 36/1000 in the mid-1950s to 18/1000 in the worst year, a 50% decrease. The death rate spikes from 12 to 18 - a 50% increase. You're telling me that deaths increased by 50%, and births dropped by 50%, because of unnamed "difficulties"? This is a famine, of enormous scale.

Denying the famine is is not only ahistorical and irrational in the face of the overwhelming evidence, it is also deeply disturbing.

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12-19-2016, 07:06 PM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2016 09:26 PM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #9
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
Quote:Denying the famine is is not only ahistorical and irrational in the face of the overwhelming evidence, it is also deeply disturbing.

That would be true if the evidence was actually overwhelming, but it is far from it. You have yet to provide even a shred of evidence for this "overwhelmingness".

I also like how you conveniently ignore the fact that I proved your claim that the Chinese population decreased in 1960, as being incorrect.

Unless the Chinese have somehow mastered the strange art of dying without actually being born, both the figures and attibuting the figures entirely to policy remains a stretch at best. Too many historians count people who were never born to begin with as famine deaths to skew the numbers much higher than they should be, and I am sure that isn't the only maniuplative way among the faulty methods they used to come to their outrageous conclusions.

I will leave you with this:

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/patnaik260611.html

the death rate in 1960 China, the worst year of the GLF and of Mao's regime in general, was about the same as an AVERAGE/non-famine year in capitalist India around the same time period and it was in fact higher in India that same year. And yet, there was supposedly no famine in India at this time. If we assume this to be true, then how can you use this to prove there was widespread famine in China at the same time? The answer is simple - you can't. And if there WAS indeed a famine in capitalist India at this time, then how come that gets glossed over and deemed as acceptable, but viewed as an attrocity in "socialist" China? We know both know the answer to that. The birthrate in China was lower than in India, but that by itself is far from being conclusive enough to support your hypothesis. Germany today has a lower birthrate than China did in 1960 by more than half, but as far as I know, there is no widespread famine going on in Germany right now. You are yet another bourgeois hack exposed. The only thing worse is the people who actually believe the manipulative crap you and your fellow ideologues spew as truth.


@Kandrathe

While it is entirely possible and believable that Mr. Yang's parents did personally survive and suffer the GLF, the problem with this is that it is an anecdote. No one is saying there wasn't suffering, hardship and death. What is being questioned are the actual figures, how much of those figures can be attributed to policy in relation to death by natural causes and by the massive natural disasters that occurred in 1959-1961, and the extremely unreliable, inconsistent, and even outright false methods (like the one I mentioned above to Jester about how many sources count unborn people toward death toll numbers) used to come to these conclusions. Also being questioned is the motive behind the research (which is probably influential for pre-determining the outcome of the research itself), that it is primarily for free-market and neo-liberal pandering, anti-communist slandering, and sensationalism rather than for actual data and a genuine understanding of historical context...on top of that then these untrue and inflated numbers, are used to produce & reinforce said anti-communist sensationalism, are also used as a shield to deny or even legitimize all the attrocities of capitalist development, neo-colonialism, imperialism and of course capitalism's big brother, fascism.

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12-19-2016, 09:15 PM
Post: #10
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-19-2016 07:06 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  I also like how you conveniently ignore the fact that I proved your claim that the Chinese population decreased in 1960, as being incorrect.

*rolleyes*

If you use World Bank data, the population shrinks. If you use your "China today" data, the population increases by a very small amount - annual growth of about 1/3 of a %. The exact numbers are not known, because the data is poor. But in either case, there are clearly tens of millions of missing people.

Quote:Unless the Chinese have somehow mastered the strange art of dying without actually being born, both the figures and attibuting the figures entirely to policy remains a stretch at best. Too many historians count people who were never born to begin with as famine deaths to skew the numbers much higher than they should be, and I am sure that isn't the only maniuplative way among the faulty methods they used to come to their outrageous conclusions.

There are perfectly well understood methods for estimating both excess deaths and missing births. They are used to estimate mortality from famines everywhere. If you want to exclude missing births on first principles, feel free, but it still stands as perfectly good (indeed, overwhelming) evidence for the existence and magnitude of the famine.

Quote:I will leave you with this:

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/patnaik260611.html

the death rate in 1960 China, the worst year of the GLF and of Mao's regime in general, was about the same as an AVERAGE/non-famine year in capitalist India around the same time period and it was in fact higher in India that same year. And yet, there was supposedly no famine in India at this time. The birthrate in China was lower than in India, but that by itself is far from being conclusive enough to support your hypothesis.

The comparison is not between China and India, but between China in (say) 1955 and China in 1960. Do you have an explanation for the sudden spike in deaths? Or any explanation at all about the enormous drop in births? Or just more misdirection?

India was, at the time, a tragedy of underdevelopment, where famine was frequent and living standards were awful - among the poorest, most deprived people who have ever lived. If your only defense is that China managed to be "only" as poor as India during the GLF, then you're welcome to it. Nevermind the profound ignorance of referring to India in 1960 as "capitalist" at the height of the Nehruvian socialism...

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12-19-2016, 09:39 PM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2016 10:22 PM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #11
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
Jawaharlal Nehru was a social democrat, more or less the Indian version of Bernie Sanders - aka he was a reformist capitalist. India in 1960 was undoubtedly capitalist, albeit a very inefficient form of it.

I edited my post above, there is a reason I bring up India in comparison to China, especially if you read the link.

China and India were super poor btw, not because of socialism, but because of decades of neocolonoialism. Something that you, as a liberal, support - regardless of whatever meaningless lip service you pay the poor. But I'm done with you, since this is going nowhere.

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12-19-2016, 10:39 PM
Post: #12
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-19-2016 09:39 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  But I'm done with you, since this is going nowhere.

For anyone else reading, and interested in the scholarly (rather than schoolyard) discussion on the topic, my suggestion is to start with Cormac O'Grada, probably the foremost scholar on famine in the economic history field, for an excellent (and highly critical) overview of the recent work on the Great Leap Forward.

There is still a great deal we do not know about this period, about the regional variations in mortality, about what the central leadership knew and did compared with local officials, about the long-run demographic impact of the famine, and yes, even about the overall magnitude of excess mortality.

-Jester
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12-20-2016, 05:30 AM (This post was last modified: 12-20-2016 01:19 PM by kandrathe.)
Post: #13
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in The Great Leap
It was an anecdote his parents told him, which led him to research and write a book about it. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the head of political science department at university of Chicago will be careful to get his facts straight in his published work.

Quote:"This is a very impressive achievement. What is so good about it is the theoretical and statistical sophistication, the emphasis on regional variation, and the learning it displays, not only with regard to China but in general. It contains much new material of enormous value."

Thomas P. Bernstein, Columbia University

"On the basis of a wealth of primary and secondary sources, the book provides a vigorous treatment of the origin and consequences of the Great Leap Forward as well as the institutions and processes involved in China's rural reforms. Yang's book is an impressive scholarly addition to our study of contemporary Chinese politics."

Journal of Asian Studies

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12-21-2016, 06:08 PM (This post was last modified: 12-21-2016 07:52 PM by kandrathe.)
Post: #14
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-19-2016 10:39 PM)Jester Wrote:  
(12-19-2016 09:39 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  But I'm done with you, since this is going nowhere.

For anyone else reading, and interested in the scholarly (rather than schoolyard) discussion on the topic, my suggestion is to start with Cormac O'Grada, probably the foremost scholar on famine in the economic history field, for an excellent (and highly critical) overview of the recent work on the Great Leap Forward.

There is still a great deal we do not know about this period, about the regional variations in mortality, about what the central leadership knew and did compared with local officials, about the long-run demographic impact of the famine, and yes, even about the overall magnitude of excess mortality.

-Jester
I found a working paper by O'Grada published in 2008, Cormac Ó Gráda; (2008) 'The ripple that drowns? Twentieth century famines in China and India as economic history'. Economic History Review, 61 (S1):5-37.

I tried to discover who Joseph Ball is (not his real name). His Stalin and Mao apologist web site (whois: re-evaluationmao.org) is delisted. Odd how holocaust denial is vilified, but Stalin and Mao revisionists are viewed only as misinformed cranks. A reminder to our first amendment loving US readers; Holocaust denial is considered a crime in many places.

I did find a commentary from the time (2007) by a blogger, Oliver Kamm;
Oliver Kamm Wrote:Joseph Ball (plainly yet another nom de keyboard) helpfully provides a more rounded geographical and ideological perspective on his website:

Joeseph Ball Wrote:Opponents of communism often try to discredit Mao by drawing attention to his mainly positive view of Stalin. Why should this view discredit Mao? Stalin is routinely alleged to have killed as many people as Hitler during his collectivization drive and the purges of the 1930s. A simple examination of population figures accepted by western commentators shows that this is not the case. Stalin's regime created the world's first socialist economic system and defeated fascism. Like Mao, the negative features of his rule have been greatly exaggerated. The successes have been ignored.

It is not an error to treat the far Right and the far Left as comparable forces in malignity. I will go so far as the historian Robert Conquest in feeling that Nazism is a greater historical evil than Communism. Yet the disrepute and the mode of argument of the political fringes are parallel and not divergent.

http://oliverkamm.typepad.com/blog/2007/...niers.html

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12-21-2016, 07:51 PM (This post was last modified: 12-21-2016 09:58 PM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #15
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
Quote:Odd how holocaust denial is vilified, but Stalin and Mao revisionists are viewed only as misinformed cranks. A reminder to our first amendment loving US readers; Holocuast denial is considered a crime in many places.

There is nothing odd about it. Holocaust denial is blatantly racist and falls under hate speech, no matter how you slice it. Supporting Stalin or Mao ideologically or even their policies, is not racist, regardless of how disagreeable you find them. It isn't the same at all, and to compare the two as even being in the same ballpark just indirectly panders to pro-fascist/Nazi rhetorics of 'free speech', as well as the currently fashionable but intellectually dishonest right-wing notion that fascism is the same as communism. But I think you know this very well already.

And if it makes you feel any better, there are places where communist symbology are or have been banned in the past. Further, in many of these countries, neo-fascist parties are perfectly acceptable. And for the same US 1st Amendment loving readers here, do keep in mind there was a time in this supposed free-speech loving country, that being openly communist was banned - in both the early 1920's, as well as the somewhat more famous era of McCarthyism following WW2.

Even today, left-wing demonstrations, movements and protests tend to be far more policed, and demonized in the media, than right-wing ones. That probably has something to do with the fact that America and many of its western allies love to decry fascism, but in reality, have a soft spot for it. All this, from a country that is guilty of nearly endless human rights violations from its inception to this very moment, responsible for terrorism and counter-terrorism en masse while having the audacity to paint all those who resist its hegemony as 'terrorists', all the while being the imperialist front runner for the most economically and socially exploitative system ever contrived. The hypocrisy is astounding.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bans_on_Communist_symbols

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12-21-2016, 10:36 PM (This post was last modified: 12-22-2016 12:17 AM by kandrathe.)
Post: #16
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in The Great Leap
I'm in the camp of supporting all speech, even the right to be an idiot with hateful speech, or our quibbling about perceptions of truth. Because, policing of thoughts is a subjective exercise, and prone to be abused by thought police. Consider the argument posed in, Holocaust Denial and Academic Freedom by Stanley Fish. Prof. Fish is a leading activist voice in enacting speech codes on campus. But, the article does express the problem with the ideas of the absurd, or in this case the hateful. How do you not give credence to a nonsense argument, while dismissing it without arguing against it?

In an interesting coincidence, on my trip in this morning the discussion was that both Trump, and Obama agree that the state of discourse in western democracy is damaged by hyper vigilant political correctness. There is a difference between denigrating, or demeaning (rude) speech, and that clarifying positions or thoughts on sensitive issues. We need to be able to have conversations on immigration reform, or affirmative action without resorting to labeling our opponents as racists. It is also clear in the "climate science" debate. In the press, and on the internet, unless you are a full on "believer" you are a heretic, climate denier. For some topics, there is no room for doubt or skepticism.

IMHO, we need to not label people, period.

Calling people names shuts down good discussions. Discussions that might persuade that person to reconsider their views.

Quote:Supporting Stalin or Mao ideologically or even their policies, is not racist, regardless of how disagreeable you find them. It isn't the same at all, and to compare the two as even being in the same ballpark just indirectly panders to pro-fascist/Nazi rhetoric of 'free speech', as well as the currently fashionable but intellectually dishonest right-wing notion that fascism is the same as communism. But I think you know this very well already.
So, playing the advocate of the devil here, what is inherently racist about Fascism? In communism, the state is the custodian of everything and it is the state that owns everything. In Fascism, the state has control over everything. In simple words, Communism means state ownership and fascism means state control. But, the important part is that in the dictatorships of Mao, and Stalin the state was in totalitarian control. Therefore, the line between fascism, Maoism and Stalinism is blurry at best.

According to the list we outlined in the "other thread",
Quote:3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
The ideology could be racist, but the scapegoats could be "the 1%", or "Muslims", or "climate change deniers"... But, I digress. The point I was making, especially regarding revising Stalin, is that the Great Purge had racial, as well as political elements. The non-Russians (Poles, Finns, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians) in the Soviet Union were more "terrorized" by NKVD troika. Yet, Stalin revisionists aren't viewed as racist pro-Russian, as much as they are portrayed as trying to sanitize Soviet history. Then, also, there was Stalin's anti-Semitic shift after WWII. Seizing Crimea is likely the result of Putin's neo-Stalinist proto-Fascist nationalism. Whereas, Mao's Great Leap Forward seems to be more of a colossal administrative screw up, with totalitarian denials and cover ups.

I think many more "left-wing demonstrations" lead to violence, usually instigated by external anarchist agitators.

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12-21-2016, 11:16 PM (This post was last modified: 12-22-2016 09:23 AM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #17
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
While fascism as a whole is somewhat more complex in terms of racist ideology, the specific type of fascism in question when holocaust denial is the subject, is Nazism. I don't think there is any reasonable person, besides white supremists, Nazis, fascists of most stripes, the KKK or similar organizations (all of which are far from "reasonable"), that would deny both the Nazi regime and Nazism as an ideology is inherently racist. Almost all historical examples of fascism however have included some institutionalized form of racial or ethnic oppression, it just so happens that the Nazi's brand of it is the most prominent example. Because of this, and because of many of its underlying premises of masculinity, chauvinism, national superiority and xenophobic tendencies towards any threat (internal or external, perceived or real); it is extremely difficult if not impossible to be fascist without being a racist (being racist without being fascist though, is quite a bit easier - many liberals make racist remarks without even realizing they are being racist, for instance). I think the following article here breaks it down quite well. Marxist views of fascism are mentioned, though the article isn't written from that particular premise but it nevertheless is quite thorough in making its point:

http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analys...g-a-racist


Quote:I'm in the camp of supporting all speech, even the right to be an idiot with hateful speech, or our quibbling about perceptions of truth. Because, policing of thoughts is a subjective exercise, and prone to be abused by thought police.


I am definitely not in this camp, and have had disagreements with other comrades on this issue. I firmly believe fascists, white nationalists and other racist groups should NOT be allowed free speech or any sort of platform to convey or perpetuate their disgusting ideas. Indeed, my views regarding fascists are quite authoritarian, and unapologetically so. But, for good reasons explained below.

Speech has causality. Pacifism has never stopped fascists - I can't think of a single historical example of this ever happening. Organizing for racial extermination, segregation, oppression, or superiority has nothing to do with "free speech". The consequences of said "speech" are absolutely in no way compatible with freedom by any measure. Their speech is intrinsically tied to death camps & slave plantations when they fly that swastika or their confederate flags. "Freedom" to be fascist is not "freedom" at all, any more than the "freedom" to rape is "freedom" at all. Their speech is weaponized, and it is so in a racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, ageist, xenophobic, nationalistic, militaristic direction. They are organizing for the most hierarchical, coercive, repressive elements of capitalist society to be seen not only as necessary, but even as heroic.

No platform for fascists is simply the realization of knowing what the consequences of not physically confronting fascism are: The consequences are that no one will have freedom of anything. Except of course, white, straight males. There is no reasoning with fascists, but we shouldn't be trying to reason with them anyways since they hold nihilistic moral and political positions that are entirely untenable. It cannot be confronted or overcome by simple ideals like love, diplomacy, or other abstracts. It has to be confronted with direct FORCE, even its most famous figure acknowledged this fact:

"Only one thing could have stopped our movement - if our adversaries had understood its principle and from the first day smashed with the utmost brutality the nucleus of our new movement." - Hitler

^^He was right, but we won't make the same error again. Indeed, we will heed his advice, and will crush the scum seeking to continue his rotten-to-the-core, cancerous ideological legacy, and we will do so with the upmost brutality and violence as we deem necessary. All his followers can join their fuhrer on the best endeavor they will partake: being maggot food.

Fascism was designed to exploit the political terrain as it stood, and no platform is an attempt to alter that terrain to halt fascism. It must be stopped by any means necessary, up to and including the use of bullets. There will be no gulags, re-education camps, or prisons for fashies - none of that. Just plain ol' bullets, simple as that. Then, we will burn all their corpses into ash, lest we suffer from a fascist zombie apocalypse. There will be NO fascist martyrs this time around. Sounds violent? It is, but a far less violent and horrible measure than the alternative of letting fascists have things their way. Fascism needs to be looked upon and be treated for what it really is: a cancer with absolutely no redeemable qualities to the human species.

Quote:We need to be able to have conversations on immigration reform, or affirmative action without resorting to labeling our opponents as racists.

Too often, immigration reform is just a euphemism for "send all the beaners back to Mexico where they fucking belong", and being against affirmative action is like saying "dont attack my white privilege". Both are heavily reactionary and racist positions, even if they use less volatile language than what I put in quotations above during discourse, at the end of the day it boils down to being the same thing.

Quote:I think many more "left-wing demonstrations" lead to violence, usually instigated by external anarchist agitators.

Most of that violence is enforced by the police and state itself, I'd say. When fascists organize, the police show up to protect the demonstration. When leftists organize for any reason, whether for economic reasons, minority, women, LGBTQ rights, the police usually show up to oppress them.

Quote:In communism, the state is the custodian of everything and it is the state that owns everything.

There is no classes, and therefore no state in communism. What you are thinking of I bet, is the transitional period between capitalism and communism, called 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat', or in a larger context, socialism. In this phase, classes and thus a state still exist, but that state is now controlled by an organized, revolutionary working class instead of the capitalists. As a result, the state will be used to restructure and reorganize society along socialist lines while at the same time used to prevent the former ruling class from sabotaging the construction of socialism, and ultimately communism. Capitalism is the dictatorship of the bourgeois, socialism is DotP. Communism is a stage reached only when all reactionary elements of the former society have been eradicated and everything is produced for human consumption/need instead of for profit (as in capitalism) or for restructuring social organization (as in socialism), all class distinctions and the social processes (i.e. wage labour) that necessitate them, along with the state itself, are abolished.

Regarding Stalin's anti-semitism, this is just another good reason for communists of all stripes to distance themselves from him as far as possible. His anti-semitism should be reviled as much as anyone elses that holds such despicable views. That being said, the reason holocaust denial gets more attention I think, is largely because of the ideological nature of the respective systems and their actions. The Nazi regime was explicitly anti-semetic ideologically and it fostered a system that was built upon this premise for the systematic oppression and extermination of not only Jews, but also Gypsies, blacks, disabled persons, leftists/communists or others they viewed as a threat or inferior to them. Stalin might have been anti-semetic also, but his regime wasn't organized or constructed on such a premise in general; and further, his dislike of Jews can probably be attributed to his huge paranoia that they were a nationalist bourgeois organization hell bent on the destruction of the Soviet Union (which of course, was/is utterly ridiculous - many of the original Bolsheviks were Jewish), rather than along ethnical lines as it was for Hitler. This of course, doesn't make it any more excusable, but nevertheless is probably why it recieves less attention than holocaust denial.

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"Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class, made into law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of the existence of your class." - Marx (addressing the bourgeois)
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12-21-2016, 11:27 PM
Post: #18
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-21-2016 10:36 PM)kandrathe Wrote:  So, playing the advocate of the devil here, what is inherently racist about Fascism?

Unlike Communism, Fascism it is not a fundamentally socioeconomic model. It is, at its very base, about a "people" being strong through purity, and using that strength to empower the nation against its enemies, foreign and domestic. Racism fits so conveniently into that worldview that it is almost an inherent part. Conceivably, one could use other kinds of xenophobia than just race (Religion? Nation?), but denigrating the "other" and exalting the "people" will almost inevitably result in racism, or something very like it.

-Jester
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12-22-2016, 04:40 PM
Post: #19
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-21-2016 11:27 PM)Jester Wrote:  
(12-21-2016 10:36 PM)kandrathe Wrote:  So, playing the advocate of the devil here, what is inherently racist about Fascism?

Unlike Communism, Fascism it is not a fundamentally socioeconomic model. It is, at its very base, about a "people" being strong through purity, and using that strength to empower the nation against its enemies, foreign and domestic. Racism fits so conveniently into that worldview that it is almost an inherent part. Conceivably, one could use other kinds of xenophobia than just race (Religion? Nation?), but denigrating the "other" and exalting the "people" will almost inevitably result in racism, or something very like it.

-Jester
Well, I agree Stalinism was a broader, less focused despotic brutality. Ideologically, communism isn't driven by the same nationalistic fervor, then again, fascism (say Italian pre 1938) wasn't racist. In Italy, it began as anti-socialism, anti-communism. It eventually got around to a uomo fascista, as it absorbed the racist anti-semitic ideas of it's ally. Others to consider as variants, are the Ba'athist regimes in the middle east. Also, regarding China, considering Uyghurs, and Tibetans, how can CCCP policy not be seen as ethnic cleansing? In fact, regionally, throughout East Asia, racial purity issues abound.

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12-22-2016, 05:14 PM
Post: #20
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-21-2016 11:16 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  While fascism as a whole is somewhat more complex in terms of racist ideology, the specific type of fascism in question when holocaust denial is the subject, is Nazism. I don't think there is any reasonable person, besides white supremists, Nazis, fascists of most stripes, the KKK or similar organizations (all of which are far from "reasonable"), that would deny both the Nazi regime and Nazism as an ideology is inherently racist. Almost all historical examples of fascism however have included some institutionalized form of racial or ethnic oppression, it just so happens that the Nazi's brand of it is the most prominent example. Because of this, and because of many of its underlying premises of masculinity, chauvinism, national superiority and xenophobic tendencies towards any threat (internal or external, perceived or real); it is extremely difficult if not impossible to be fascist without being a racist (being racist without being fascist though ...
I'd agree, in practice, the ideology attracts and absorbs the brutal bigots, therefore eventually devolves into a nationalitic bullyism.

(12-21-2016 11:16 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  I think the following article here breaks it down quite well. Marxist views of fascism are mentioned, though the article isn't written from that particular premise but it nevertheless is quite thorough in making its point:

http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analys...g-a-racist
From this article, the conclusion is the same as mine, "Therefore whilst racism and fascism are different from one another, in that racism has and still does occur without the development of fascism, the experience of fascism in power is that it is intrinsically linked to imperialism and racism. "


(12-21-2016 11:16 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  
Quote:I'm in the camp of supporting all speech, even the right to be an idiot with hateful speech, or our quibbling about perceptions of truth. Because, policing of thoughts is a subjective exercise, and prone to be abused by thought police.


I am definitely not in this camp, and have had disagreements with other comrades on this issue. I firmly believe fascists, white nationalists and other racist groups should NOT be allowed free speech or any sort of platform to convey or perpetuate their disgusting ideas. Indeed, my views regarding fascists are quite authoritarian, and unapologetically so. But, for good reasons explained below.
In a world where ideas and free expression are thought to be dangerous, you get consequences like the Communist Control Act of 1954.

(12-21-2016 11:16 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  
Quote:We need to be able to have conversations on immigration reform, or affirmative action without resorting to labeling our opponents as racists.

Too often, immigration reform is just a euphemism for "send all the beaners back to Mexico where they fucking belong", and being against affirmative action is like saying "dont attack my white privilege". Both are heavily reactionary and racist positions, even if they use less volatile language than what I put in quotations above during discourse, at the end of the day it boils down to being the same thing.
So... because some or many rednecks are bigots, you approved of shutting down political discourse? The problem with our immigration system is simple... we have no guest worker program. After implementing a guest worker visa to allow for those seeking economic opportunity in the US. I'd proposed a simple change; if you are not a citizen, or documented alien, then you will be documented temporarily, giving you adequate time to seek other status. If you have no legal status, you will be deported. Personally, I don't think we have or allow for enough legal immigration.

(12-21-2016 11:16 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  
Quote:In communism, the state is the custodian of everything and it is the state that owns everything.
There is no classes, and therefore no state in communism. What you are thinking of I bet, is the transitional period between capitalism and communism, called 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat', or in a larger context, socialism. In this phase, classes and thus a state still exist, but that state is now controlled by an organized, revolutionary working class instead of the capitalists. As a result, the state will be used to restructure and reorganize society along socialist lines while at the same time used to prevent the former ruling class from sabotaging the construction of socialism, and ultimately communism. Capitalism is the dictatorship of the bourgeois, socialism is DotP. Communism is a stage reached only when all reactionary elements of the former society have been eradicated and everything is produced for human consumption/need instead of for profit (as in capitalism) or for restructuring social organization (as in socialism), all class distinctions and the social processes (i.e. wage labour) that necessitate them, along with the state itself, are abolished.
But, this is the ideological state of communism that has never existed.

(12-21-2016 11:16 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  Regarding Stalin's anti-semitism, this is just another good reason for communists of all stripes to distance themselves from him as far as possible. His anti-semitism should be reviled as much as anyone elses that holds such despicable views. That being said, the reason holocaust denial gets more attention I think, is largely because of the ideological nature of the respective systems and their actions. The Nazi regime was explicitly anti-semetic ideologically and it fostered a system that was built upon this premise for the systematic oppression and extermination of not only Jews, but also Gypsies, blacks, disabled persons, leftists/communists or others they viewed as a threat or inferior to them. Stalin might have been anti-semetic also, but his regime wasn't organized or constructed on such a premise in general; and further, his dislike of Jews can probably be attributed to his huge paranoia that they were a nationalist bourgeois organization hell bent on the destruction of the Soviet Union (which of course, was/is utterly ridiculous - many of the original Bolsheviks were Jewish), rather than along ethnical lines as it was for Hitler. This of course, doesn't make it any more excusable, but nevertheless is probably why it receives less attention than holocaust denial.
What is shocking to me is how early on, Soviet;s were protecting Jews by relocating them from the Nazi's as a war time effort (maybe facetious). Only to see Stalin's revolving door of State Enemies after WWII, and the establishment of Israel, eventually swing toward antisemitism.

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