In 2008, distinguished Chinese journalist Yang Jisheng published a book entitled, “Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962.” In their introduction to the book, Edward Friedman and Roderick MacFarquhar briefly summarized Yang’s thesis:
“’Tombstone’ is about a hierarchical, authoritarian system of concentrated power in which every official is, as Yang puts it, a slave facing upward and a dictator facing downward. At the bottom of the system were the Chinese people, mostly farm households, who suffered under the murderous brutality of the lower-level officials, proving an iron law of bureaucracy: the pettier the bureaucrat, the harsher his rule.”
This is a perfect analysis of China under Mao Zedong. And I can tell you from experience it has not changed one iota under Xi Jinping. Except it isn’t just bureaucrats now who abuse those below them; it is anyone who thinks they can get away with it, especially if they have any authority over other people.
Mao’s “Great Famine” was the most murderous non-war event in human history, far worse than Hitler’s Holocaust or Stalin’s Great Terror. Yang estimated that at least 36 million people died during the famine. He might be lowballing. A demographic fact-finding study in the 1980s put the number at 42-43 million, and recently, historian Frank Dikötter (“Mao’s Great Famine”), after extensive archival research, reckoned 45 million deaths. Chinese people had to make horrendous choices during the famine, including keeping one child alive by starving others, eating relatives who recently died, or by digging up corpses from graves to consume. Some saved their lives by “informing on” innocent neighbors. This is communism in all its glory. Totalitarian atheistic power without one scintilla of conscience or godly respect for human life. We see it in America today (abortion), and it will get worse if Leftism ascends to the throne.
Mao Zedong is the greatest mass murderer in human history. Historians estimate his total number of innocent deaths as between 60-70 million from his accession to power in 1949 until his death in 1976. That is an average of over 6,000 people PER DAY that he killed. Yet Mao is China’s “god,” if you will, the “Great Leader.” His picture is on every Chinese yuan bill, and to speak against “Chairman Mao” is supreme blasphemy. Many Chinese people do know what he was. I’ve had Chinese friends talk to me (in private, of course) about the land that the communists stole from their family or their knowledge of the number of deaths Mao caused. But, the brainwashing in China is almost as bad as in Leftist America now. People in China are taught to adore Mao Zedong. And Xi Jinping.
As I have mentioned before, I lived ten years in China as a teacher. And I want to say upfront that there are many fine people in China. I have good friends there, decent folk, slaves of the system, the kind of people Yang Jisheng put at the bottom of the totem pole. And, materialistically, at least in the big cities, China is not the wrong place to live today. The countryside is a different matter, as I shall discuss in the future. All is not well in China; the country went into tremendous debt to build the massive skyscrapers and modern conveniences city-dwellers enjoy. They borrowed heavily and stole; they didn’t build their wealth based on a consumer-driven economy. And so Chinese debt is massive, and nobody, not even in China, knows how extensive it is. It might be the reason Xi Jinping hasn’t invaded Taiwan yet. Wars are expensive, and he is already hooked to the hilt. Socialism doesn’t work in more ways than one.
Back to the Yang Jisheng quote at the beginning of this article. During the first eight years I was in China, I worked for Western schools or companies and never had a complaint about how they treated me. The last two years I was there, I worked for Chinese companies and was robbed blind by my Chinese employers. When I asked the American embassy for help, they did nothing, of course, and when I sued my first boss for extortion, blackmail, and theft (easily provable), the Chinese judge rendered in his favor (that didn’t surprise me either). Such theft happens all over China—and not just to foreigners. I know more than one Chinese friend who had to leave his/her job because their boss wouldn’t pay them. One Chinese employer asked all his employees to continue to work long hours, even though he wouldn’t pay them anything. My best friend here in Thailand has a Chinese girlfriend whose boss, who drives a BMW, said she didn’t have the money to pay her employees. Anyone in China—not just bureaucrats—who have a sliver of power or authority thinks everyone below them is a slave who can be abused and exploited for the master’s benefit. Thieves exist everywhere, but it’s endemic in China now.
That’s the Chinese system. That’s communism. That’s what Mao Zedong taught his people. And many Chinese have learned that lesson very well.
Another recent example. Not long ago, I was contacted by a former student who claimed she was sick and wanted to borrow 200 yuan. She said she would pay me back that afternoon. In order to test my “thieving Chinaman” theory, I sent her the money (less than $30). Of course she didn’t pay me back, and even lied to me a few days later, saying she had never borrowed the money in the first place. That is what young people are learning there.
Americans have no clue how wonderful their country has been to them—and how the Democratic Party is trying to take that away to give America a Chinese-style system. Believe me, when people get desperate, they will do anything—including eating grandpa or their own children. We are utterly deluded if we think it can’t happen in America.
Let me tell you some more stories about China, the country the Democrats want America to mimic.
I still talk to a lot of people in China, mostly former students (I lived there from 2011-2022). One of them recently told me that after she finished her Master’s degree this summer, she wanted to take the Civil Service exam to get a government job. The government wouldn’t let her take the exam because her father (not her) was a member of a Christian prayer group. The Chinese government claims all religious believers are “afflicted with thought viruses.” Matters have “significantly deteriorated since last year,” said Nury Turkel, chair of the U.S. Commission of International Religious Freedom. Religious groups in China have been “ruthlessly persecuted.”
That’s a Leftist, totalitarian government.
Personally, I was twice denied a work visa renewal. Both schools I worked for wanted me to stay and there was no reason, health or otherwise, why I should leave. The government, arbitrarily, wanted me gone. So gone I was. Why I went back to other jobs the gods only know.
That is a Leftist, totalitarian government.
The last year I was in China (2022), Covid was still being used to control people. I had to get a (required) physical checkup to extend my visa. I went to the hospital to do it, but something was amiss with the Covid health code on my cell phone, and the guard at the gate wouldn’t let me in. Hospitals in China were gated with guards.
I couldn’t get into the hospital unless I could prove I wasn’t sick.
That is a Leftist, totalitarian government.
My situation wasn’t the worst. A young woman, 8-months pregnant, had early labor pains and was bleeding. She went to her local hospital, but they wouldn’t let her in, either, because she didn’t have the right Covid health code. She lost her baby.
The last six months I was in China, the police came to my school three times (twice to my apartment) just to hassle me. I had done absolutely nothing wrong, they just like to badger foreigners. I left the country at the end of that semester even though I had another year and a half left on my contract. Well, the company I was working for was stealing from me anyway, so it was time to go. For good.
That is a Leftist, totalitarian government. Isn’t that just what we want in America? Vote Democrat if you do.
I mentioned in my previous column how the only two Chinese employers I had stole incessantly from me, and the Chinese government did nothing to help me though my evidence was overwhelming. Undeniable. But the Chinese steal from each other, too. Recently, I was talking to a friend who has a new job. “My boss wants me to work overtime, but I’m too tired,” she told me. So I asked a question I already knew the answer to: “Would he pay you overtime?” Her response: “Of course not…There are many bosses like this.” All of them that I’ve heard about. That is theft, of course, but that’s China.
China has had a master-slave society forever, but it’s been exacerbated under Marxism. Anything goes, anything to survive, no morality. Mao Zedong had none, neither does Xi Jinping or any other government official. The people learn well, though as I have said, not all Chinese are lying, thieving scum. Just most of the bosses and all the government officials. And lots of the common people are following suit now, too.
These are just anecdotes, of course, and prove only what has happened to me and what I heard. But if these are tales of just one person, imagine the stories that could be told by the millions. I have a lot more, but this is sufficient.
As mentioned, I still talk to a many people in China, those who appreciate my attempts to help them. (Incidentally, in my ten years in China, I never had one Chinese bureaucrat or one Chinese administrator at a school thank me for sacrificing my time, effort, money, etc. to go to China to help their children. Not one. Well, I’m a “hairy foreign devil,” they owed me nothing. I should have been grateful to serve the Master Race. Hitler had nothing on these people, and current Americans know nothing about true racism.) The average recent college graduate I have talked to is struggling to get a job, and when they do, they are paid a little over $1,000 per month (before taxes)—with, of course, no overtime pay. They can only find employment in big cities where housing costs are exorbitant. They either rent a small, cheap apartment (usually shared), maybe the size of a hotel room (I had to do that once), or their parents help them buy a place (if they are lucky). China is less expensive than America, but $1,000 isn’t much, wherever you are. Not if you want to get ahead in life.
It’s worse, far worse, in the countryside. Li Keqiang, who served as Premier of China from 2013 until his recent retirement, was honest enough to admit (in other words, he was talking to his own people and it accidentally leaked out) that 600,000,000 people living in Chinese rural areas subsist on about $140 per month. That wouldn’t rent an apartment in a major city. Only about one in three can attend high school, and (I’ve heard) some students must carry their own desks to school with them. That’s almost half the people living in poverty.
China’s socialist “economic miracle” indeed. It sounds to me more like a Leftist, totalitarian government full of lying propagandists covering up the true situation in their barbarian country.
All is not well in China. I want to talk about China’s “economic miracle” in a subsequent article. Until then, believe absolutely nothing their lying media say. Xinhua is almost as bad as MSNBC.