Mao Zedong, the biggest mass murderer in history.

Sara B

Mao Zedong is the former communist leader of China, as well as the founder of the People's Republic of China(PRC), established in 1949. When Mao Zedong was 24 years old, he was introduced to the teachings of Karl Marx, and later, he adopted the ideas of Marxist-Leninist.

Mao was convinced that communism was the only way to lead a successful revolution, especially knowing that Russia was ruled by Stalin, another communist at that time. Except Mao wanted to do communism his way, differently.

Mao stated that the Chinese revolution had to start on the ground. It became the cornerstone of his philosophy in the countryside with the peasants. However, Lenin, Stalin, and Marx argued that peasants could only serve as auxiliaries but never as the leading force.

Mao disagreed, stating:

Without the poor peasants, there will be no revolution," he wrote prophetically. However, Mao's unorthodox views made him criticized by his superiors within the Communist Party.

In 1927 Mao got his big break; he became Commander in Chief of the Red Army. When the Shangai massacre occurred, leading to a split between left-wing and right-winged factions in the KMT (also known as the Chinese nationalist party), Chiang Kai-shek established himself as the leader of the right-winged faction.

Mao observed the destruction of the party's working class and took this opportunity to implement his method. Mao's Red Army became a militia, and his main objective was to have total control of the Communist Party.

Mao and his militia head to the villages. He turns peasants against landowners; his army gives a list of who they want to destroy. He states they are tyrants and traitors, and August 7, 1927, marks the beginning of the Chinese Civil War. Mao learned that fear and violence would work to control a country.

Mao states:

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun

At this time, he witnessed torture and murder firsthand; he was always the observer, never the deliverer. It has been reported that during this time, he stated that the violence was a ¨wonderful¨ and a ¨kind of ecstasy never before experienced¨.

At this point, he realized he could control people through fear; however, controlling what people think can make one extremely powerful. His teachings became referred to as Maoism and were developed to realize a socialist revolution in the agricultural, pre-industrial society of the Republic of China.

In 1931 Japan invaded China. On September 18, 1931, a section of a railway track was destroyed near Mukden. The railway was Japanese-owned, and they blamed the Chinese Nationals; they retaliated and invaded Manchuria.

Not only was China being taken over by Japan, but the internal Civil War was still going on. Moa then broke through Nationalist enemy lines and began his retreat. Mao led what is known as the Long March.

A military retreat into the mountains to evade the pursuit of the National Army of the Chinese Nationalist Party. Mao took the communist party from the south of China to the north, which took a year and was over 4,000 miles. The march ended in Shaanxi, in the north, on October 20, 1935.

At this point, Mao was the undisputed leader of the Chinese Communists. Many went willing to join forces with Mao. China was still at war with Japan; however, Mao's army was growing at one point up to 400,000. Mao used the communist military to defeat the Japanese.

By 1949, Mao Zedong had also defeated the Nationalist party and declared the creation of the People's Republic of China. It also led the US to suspend diplomatic ties with the PCR for decades.

The Chinese people celebrated, seeing good things to come since the Civil War ended and WWII. However, the worst was yet to come.

More violence was in store for China under what many called Mao's ¨new democracy¨ Mao. Many saw it as a chance for salvation in China; as Moa stated, it would be, according to the party propaganda.

According to He Yanling, a Mao survivor, he states:

"We thought when the Communist party was in power it would follow the US democratic path. We genuinely believed that Mao would implement it," he said. "But after people gain power, it's easy to become dictatorial."

However, a few years after Mao took over, he abandoned the new democratic principles and began his thought reform, campaigns, and anti-rightism. In 1958 Mao launched the plan for the Great Leap Forward. He established people's communes in the countryside, and many were assigned jobs.

The peasants were stripped of all their possessions and forced to live and work on the job. Everything became that of the government. Those who did not perform did not eat, leading to famine and death.

Mao vowed to double agricultural production; it was an economic failure; instead, people starved to death and died, which led to the Great Chinese Famine and caused the death of over 30 million people.

No one knew what was happening since Mao owned the propaganda paper, and the outside world only knew the good or would portray it.

At this point, Mao knew he had to restrategize; maybe people were being influenced by those who did not believe the same way he did. So he wrote a book called the Little Red Book. The teaching of all his beliefs and sayings.

He thought that young people could purify society and used the book to educate the children as the perfect target. Children can be molded young. He used this to grow his army of children and teenagers, notably during the Cultural Revolution of 1966.

His ¨rebel armies¨ were told to kill anyone that did not agree with his thinking and teachings. It included all teachers, the elderly anyone with a thought that did not align with his instructions. As well as all art, classical literature, Chinese paintings, temples, and any examples of Chinese architecture were destroyed. As a result, many were murdered, exiled, tortured, and sent to labor camps, with many committing suicide. Including those in his party, they were on the list if he felt betrayed.

In 1971 the Cultural Revolution officially ended, but not before millions died. On September 9, 1976, Mao Zedong died at 82. It is said that up until his death, people feared him. He was in power for 27 years, and his statue and picture still hang all over China. It is reported that over 40 million people died under his reign, which gives him the title of the biggest mass murderer in history.

***A very brief overview***

On a personal note, I feel that it is important to remember what has happened in the past, as we all know history repeats itself. Writing this article made me think of what is happening in our world right now, and some of the parallels I have noticed, especially with the indoctrination of children.

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I share legends, myths, and bizarre history, sometimes news. Living nomadically since 2018, currently in Colombia.

Pasadena, CA
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