Monday, December 30, 2013

A Chinese Double Standard

No one thinks of enshrining Hitler nor labels Jewish anger an overreaction when Auschwitz is brought up.

(From a Chinese media source criticizing a visit by the Japanese prime minister to a shrine honoring Japanese war dead)
China does, however, continue to honor Mao, who killed more Chinese than any Japanese war criminal, probably more than all of them put together. Also more people than Hitler killed.

For details, see Rummel's figures on Mao's democide.


Tibor said...

And a lot of Russians (including Russian government officials) still praise Stalin, or at least the Soviet Union.

Also (this is more disputable than with Mao or Stalin, but still he was an usurper of total power, although the previous regime was not all that great from the modern standpoint either and he was still probably better than Octavian) if you go to Rome, you can see people giving flowers to Julius Caesar's tombstone (it is not really a grave). But perhaps it is a bit different there, perhaps it is a tradition of some kind (like the one with the Trevi fountain) and actually has little to do with mourning Caesar.

If you can create an image of greatness around you which people can relate to and are not killed by local or foreign opposition in your life, then you can be someone who makes atheists believe in hell and still be remembered as a great hero by many. Especially it works well, if you can stir nationalist pride. Napoleon might be another example (still not as clear cut as Mao or Stalin, probably somewhere around Caesar)...and he was even defeated...twice.

Caesars of the world get flowers more than 2000 years after their death and Catos least an institute named after them occasionally :)

Tibor said...

On an unrelated note - did you delete the search bar from your blog? I can't find it anywhere but I know it used to be there.

Anonymous said...

David's favorite computer brand completely rooted by the NSA:

Anonymous said...

I can only agree and add this little reflection.

In the film Fatherland

Hitler wins the war, but his regime crumbles when a journalist digs up the truth about the Jews. This is of course rubbish, because, as the post discusses, the facts of Stalin's and Mao's murders, around 100 million between them are known, but still of little consequence.

There is little hope for sanity in a Western world where one can hold an academic position at a public university whilst disagreeing with the fact that Che Guevara was a psychopath, a murderer and a mass executioner.

If I were braver, I would put on a "My Che and Mao T-shirts are in the wash".

Mao had 73 million killed. If intellectuals valued Chinese lives as much as Chilean socialist ones, they would be 24 000 times as upset with Mao as with Pinochet. But those killed by Pinochet were in favour of "social justice", a concept that, as Hayek points out, has no meaning.

Conversely, intellectuals do not care a tenth or a hundredth as much about the Chinese, as they were murdered in the non-sensical name of social justice.

Tibor said...

undertallen: I would say that a state, especially a totalitarian one, can significantly alter what people (not all, but a lot of them) think about someone.

Say Hitler actually did win the war but the regime slowly changed (the way it seems to be changing in China) to a less repressive one. Still, the long years of propaganda would probably influence the people in Germany (and some of the conquered countries also, probably) so that they would consider him as less bad than they do now. I believe that is the case of Stalin (although, after his death, he was slightly defamed even in the soviet union...but the cult of personality among the "ordinary people" was probably too strong already).

Anonymous said...

Tibor, this was really my point about Fatherland. Germans and Westerners would today say that "well, the Jews were rich, enemies of the (national) socialist state", etc., etc. So, unfortunately, they had to go.

Just like the "rich" kulaks, who had the temerity of owning a cow had to be "dealt" with as Stalin told Churchill when he asked about their fate. 10 million were "dealt with". But, amongst intellectuals, no one cares. They are hopping mad about Pinochet though, a person who saved the Chileans from socialism and economic misery.

Tibor said...

undertallen: I don't have very good knowledge of Chile and its history, but I would say that while Pinochet's government may have prevented something bad happenning, it also caused a lot of harm. I cannot say which was worse. Still, it is more than acceptable to be mad about long as you are also mad about Chav├ęz or Castro. Otherwise it shows not righteousnes, but partisanship (a particularly blind one).

But it is true, that most "figures" in history are not black or white. You would be hard pressed to find anything good about Mao, Stalin or Hitler, but for example the recently deceased Mandela was both a freedom fighter who probably helped to end apartheid considerably AND a terrorist. But most people just want to see one side of that (depending on their preexistent biases), they simply want either heroes or villians, because it is easier to deal with those (and also their deaths) in your mind.

susupply said...

Tibor, Pinochet saved Chile from becoming a Castroite dictatorship. There were something like 12,000 foreign communists in Chile trained by Fidel Castro as paramilitary forces for Allende to use to take control of Chile.

Allende told Georgie Ann Geyer that there would be no more elections after him. Pinochet eventually restored democracy (and made Chile the most prosperous and freest country in Latin America). Pinochet and Joseph McCarthy are probably the two most slandered political figures in history.

Unfortunatley, David's father is still being slandered, by left-wing academics who aren't fit to have sharpened his pencils, over Pinochet. Most recently by Robert Reich;