Friday, September 17, 2010

Every Three Seconds

Imagine if you will a person being killed every three seconds.

Count that off 1.. 2... 3... Gone.
And repeat, every three seconds again and again and again for four years. That comes to about 45 million people.

Mao's Great Leap Forward killed 45 million people in four years.

In other words:
11,250,000 per year
30,800.82 per day
1,283.37 per hour
21.39 per minute

And yet for many Communism is quirky and lovable and just needs to be done "right".

How is it that Fascism is forever (and rightfully so tainted) but Communism gets off?

This is only the "Great Leap Forward". There was also the Hundred Flowers Campaign (where "healthy criticism" was quickly deemed "harmful and uncontrollable"), the Cultural Revolution (*only* 1.5 million), and the aptly named Anti-Rightist Movement ("re-education through labour" and "in some cases death").

And that's just China. What about Russia, Cambodia, Cuba? The Holodomor in the Ukraine. North Korea?

Back to Andrew Stuttaford:
That helps put all the posters of Chairman Mao that decorated Western campuses back in the 1960s into some sort of context. Sadly, the attitudes that made such posters so popular are still with us today.

That would be like having a Hitler poster on your dorm wall just after VE day.

Well, maybe atrocities and murders don't count when it's Chinese that die. Lord knows Japanese WW2 war crimes don't get the same play as German or even US ones.


Joanna said...

It's like the story about Bono clapping his hands and saying "Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies" -- and the big Scottish guy in the crowd who yelled "Then stop clapping, you evil bastard!"

Except I don't feel like a bad person for laughing at Bono.

The Jack said...

Puts the whole Anita "Mao was my favorite philosopher" Dun into perspective.

You laugh at it, but it makes you feel bad.