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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Statue raises questions about Maoists in China

While I post a lot of stories and statements by Maoist groups it is interesting to note that there are still Maoists in the country where Mao Zedong (泽东) himself lived and ruled.
It’s been years since the counter-revolutionary Deng Xiaoping (邓小) ruled China and tried to de-Mao that country. Since that time, China has been ruled by various technocrats who seem to follow in Deng’s path, yet they still like to use Mao as a symbol of China’s Communist system.
But they reinvented Mao as being more like a US George Washington[1]—a person celebrated for being a founding father, but not someone whose theories are actually relevant to today’s China. Mao’s image can be found on money. Books of his biography are still printed by the Foreign Languages Press of Beijing.
But that biography glosses over the Cultural Revolution and a lot of things that Mao promoted, but the present rulers of China don’t approve of.
The Communist Party of China has left and right factions, but few if any actual Maoists. But there are Maoists in China and their influence seems to show up from time to time.  The latest incident is report from the Raw Story of a gold and jade statue of Mao that was placed in his home state of Hunan Province. The statue reportedly cost $16 million and has precious gems on it.

The statue, 80 cm (32 inches) tall but weighing more than 50 kilograms, was put on display in the southern boom town of Shenzhen, China National Radio (CNR) reported.
The city was little more than a fishing village a few decades ago, and its booming prosperity epitomises China’s transformation since the days of Mao’s command economy.
The figure depicts the founder of the People’s Republic of China reclining in a chair, legs crossed.
A team of 20 artists took eight months to complete the ¥ 100 million yuan ($16.5 million) work, which is accented with precious stones and rests on a base of white jade, CNR said.
The article said it was unclear who actually paid for and ordered the statue. Local officials surely did, but the central government of China seemed unsure who specifically ordered and paid for it.
Also in Raw Story;
But conflicting signals have emerged from China’s leadership about their approach towards commemorating the 120th anniversary of Mao’s birth on December 26.
President Xi Jinping, (习近) who has moved to cut back on lavish banquets and other over-indulgences since taking office, told officials in Mao’s home province of Hunan last month that celebrations should be “solemn, simple and pragmatic”.
The state-run Global Times, which is close to the ruling Communist Party, reported Thursday that an event titled “Reddest is the Sun and Dearest is Chairman Mao” scheduled for Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the anniversary, has been rebilled as a “New Year’s Gala” and its poster redesigned.
So while the present Rulers of China don’t want a lot of lavish praise of the former great helmsman, it appears there are local leaders in Hunan who are far more enthusiastic of Mao. I have seen some videos of supporters of Mao and his wife Jiang Qing and that is rare enough. Maybe there are Maoists in other parts of China as well.
The statue is a contradiction of Mao since he didn’t promote such lavish and ostentatious monuments. On the other hand he allowed the Communist Party of China to create a lavish cult of personality.
The present government in China doesn’t really want to go back to Maoist politics and economics. Actual Maoism is as discouraged as much as right-wing or pro-western ideas. China has that information wall it uses to keep out unfavorable information from the internet. I would guess they don’t like anything positive about Jiang Qing (江青) or hard core Maoism. I’ve noticed that people from China have read my blog. I don’t know who they are or what they find interesting about it. I also don’t know if China has tried to censor or prevent people from reading this blog since it is further to the left than the present Chinese government. Many Maoists I know of have never heard from any Chinese Maoist political groups. If they ever emerge as a serious political force again they will be glad to know there are supportive people around the world.

-សតិវ អតុ

[1]George Washington, in his farewell address, warned people to avoid political factions and parties. US politicians since that time have ignored that. Washington warned against foreign intervention and what we call today imperialism. That has been ignored by politicians throughout the history of the US. Washington believed Christian morality needs to be part of the US culture and government and that has been a hot topic of debate going on today.

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