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Zhongwen

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November 01, 2006

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I think it's meaningless and inappropriate to compare GLF with the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. I admit GLF is a serious and wrong economic policy, but chinese pain caused by that is far less than the pain from the war. time can cure the wound of GLF, but it's hard to cure the war wound. how do you think? Dear Sam.

Thanks for commenting Keanu. My sense is that a mother's pain over the loss of a child is the same, whether the child was killed by a fellow countryman or by a foreigner. Thus, the more such deaths, the more human suffering and pain.

But surely one has to come from the perspective that Mao didn't intend to do harm? (I know some people differ, but i don't think they are serious)

In that sense, I would use the CR as a much better comparison. I know people use the GLF because of the numbers dead, but to me, it should be about intent.

Also, it is highly unlikely that the GLF will ever be repeated, but I still have a lingering fear that something like the CR "could" potentially erupt if a haphazard attempt at democratic reform breaks out.

This should be the reason for educating people about the disaster that was the CR.

b,
Yes, the CR must be remembered. But I am not sure that intentions matter quite as much as you suggest. Perhaps Mao did not, at the outset, intend to kill so many. But, by 1959, when Peng Dehuai came forward at the Lushan Plenum, Mao knew that the GLF was not going as planned. But he chose to see Peng's argument as a personal political attack. And the GLF continued. Most of the people who died, died after 1959, after information at the highest levels was available that showed the policies were failing. But Mao denied reality, forced the GLF onward, and killed millions and millions of people. Perhaps he intended a communist utopia, but stubborn reality brought him only death.

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