Friday, December 27, 2013

You say it's your birthday

And your former subjects would like to forget you ever lived? We'll always have Venezuela;
The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, congratulated China on the 120th birthday of the founding father of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong.
"We congratulate China on Mao's 120th birthday, the Great Helmsman. He founded the Republic of China in 1949," Maduro twitted on Thursday.
Failing to mention that tens of millions of Chinese were to die violent deaths thanks to his taking power. But think of all the Spanish omelets yet to be made from broken eggs.

1 comment:

  1. The most wonderful Mao Zedong secured his legacy with The Great Leap Forward in 1958. He had a wonderful plan that trusted the Chinese people to be capable of anything. All they needed was optimism in the future and the willingness to work for the common cause.

    The Great Leap Forward
    === ===
    [edited] 700 million people were placed into 26,578 communes in 1958, an astounding accomplishment. Workers listened to political speeches on public address systems as they worked in the fields. If the communes lacked machinery, the workers used their bare hands. Major constructions were built in record time though the quality of some was dubious.

    The most famous communal scheme was 600,000 backyard furnaces to produce steel. These produced 11 million tonnes of steel each year.

    (But then ...)

    Quickly produced farm machinery fell to pieces when used. Many thousands of workers were injured after working long hours and falling asleep at their jobs. The backyard furnace steel was frequently too weak to be of any use. Buildings constructed with this steel did not last long.

    Backyard production took many workers away from the fields, so desperately needed food was not harvested. Poor weather in 1959 put the harvest well below what China needed. Parts of China starved. The backyard furnaces used too much coal. China’s rail system depended on coal and suffered accordingly.

    Mao took the blame: "The chaos caused was on a grand scale, and I take responsibility. Comrades, you must all analyse your own responsibility. If you have to fart, fart. You will feel much better for it." Mao remained as Party Chairman for life.
    === ===

    The lesson is clear for leaders of destiny. Imagine great schemes and exhort the peasants to greatness. Mao is still remembered for his grand vision. Alas, he wasn't a detail man.

    He reminds me of Obama, who has exhorted a universal healthcare system following his grand vision. I suppose the communes will come soon. The details are below his pay grade.