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China is super intriguing - Frank Dikotter revolution trilogy

Provience

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Just got me a 3 pack of books :rasta:

The Tragedy of Liberation 1945-1957
Mao's Great Famine 1958-1962
The Cultural Revolution 1962-1976

Frank Dikötter is the author of the People's Trilogy, a series of books that document the impact of communism on the lives of ordinary people in China on the basis of new archival material. The first volume, entitled Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, won the 2011 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, Britain's most prestigious book award for non-fiction. The second instalment, The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution, 1945-1957, was short-listed for the Orwell Prize in 2014. The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976 concludes the trilogy and was short-listed for the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize in 2017. His last book is entitled How to be a Dictator.


Frank has been Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong since 2006. Before coming to Hong Kong he was Professor of the Modern History of China at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.


Born in the Netherlands in 1961, he was educated in Switzerland and graduated from the University of Geneva with a Double Major in History and Russian. After two years in the People's Republic of China, he moved to London where he obtained his PhD in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 1990. He stayed at SOAS as British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and as Wellcome Research Fellow before being promoted to a personal chair as Professor of the Modern History of China in 2002. His research and writing has been funded by over 2 US$ million in grants from various foundations, including, in Britain, the Wellcome Trust, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, The Economic and Social Research Council and, in Hong Kong, the Research Grants Council and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. He holds an honorary doctorate from Leiden University and is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.


He has published a dozen books that have changed the ways historians view modern China, from the classic The Discourse of Race in Modern China (1992) to China before Mao: The Age of Openness (2007). Frank Dikötter is married and lives in Hong Kong.

Contact Frank Dikötter on his Facebook Page by clicking here or by sending an email to dikotter @ mac dot com.

https://www.frankdikotter.com/



i'm going to try my hand at this book reading stuff. anybody else read the things?

by all rights, china should be the worlds super power of enlightenment. somewhere along the way from feudalism into modernization, they reaaaally fucked themselves up. if anybody has any good books about the subject, or really good books on chinese history in general, drop a line :)



edit: 1911 revolution to oust Qing empire, 1927-34 ccp vs nationalist civ war
 
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Don Dedera "A Little War Of Our Own' Documenting The Pleasant Valley Feud". I live among descendants of this Feud, streets are named after the families. A lot of facts here make it a good read on the subject.

Jinx Pyle has things to say on the Fued in his "Pleasant Valley Wars" and "Mountain Cowboys". His Book "Looking through the Smoke" describes the how the Forest Service affected their livelihood, Cattle. He also Bags on the Forest Service for not maintaining the Forest by burning ladder fuels the way the Cattlemen and before them the Native Americans did.
Jinx Pyle also brings to light the attempts of the Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversities attempts to drive humans to the cities so the West may be repopulated with Wolves and Grizzly Bears.:rolleyes:
 
The Cultural Revolution was a giant disaster.

absolutely, but that is basically all i've ever really known about it.

it also kind of leads me to the next curious thing, which is why the USA threw much of it's weight behind South Korea to "stop the spread of communism" but was near blind to the spread of communism in china. Apparently i'm also a victim of chinese propaganda in thinking that the cultural revolution was really bad, but that the commie takeover wasn't so bad. it was all fucked. WWII just put on pause the chinese commi v nationalist civil war and ultimately really gave the commies power as the US was pussyfooting to russia and focusing on europe/japan investment.

not that i'm super pro-american intervensionalism, i'd just appreciate some more consistency :laughing:


edit: well hell, "what would china look like if not for the fuckin' commies?" turns out, the answer is "taiwan", on a huge scale

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Nat...olitical-party

https://www.britannica.com/place/Taiwan

https://guidetotaipei.com/article/is...-part-of-china


edit2: https://thediplomat.com/2019/02/the-...haunts-taiwan/ <- this article a pretty excellent perspective on taiwan under chinese nationalist party rule

Taiwan-based human rights activist and academic Linda Arrigo believes removal of the statues may not be the best option.

“With removal, it is too easy to forget the legacy of White Terror — I think the remaining statues should be left in place, maybe with red paint, with large explanatory signs of the history next to them,” she said.

for anybody who supports removing/sanitizing statues or symbols of turbulent times in a nations past, i fully agree with this human rights activist stance. erasure placates temporary guilt, it is fuckballs for growth, healing, reality, remembrance.

edit: i'll need to make a post just for some snippets and quotes :rasta:

concerning the earliest re-education camps and weaponized discussion:

Some of them refused to be re-educated, Liu Guoliao , enrolled in a training course for vagrants, was a proud man, stubbornly proclaiming "My head is made of steel, bones and cement. It is beyond reform!"
 
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Jinx Pyle has things to say on the Fued in his "Pleasant Valley Wars" and "Mountain Cowboys". His Book "Looking through the Smoke" describes the how the Forest Service affected their livelihood, Cattle. He also Bags on the Forest Service for not maintaining the Forest by burning ladder fuels the way the Cattlemen and before them the Native Americans did.
Jinx Pyle also brings to light the attempts of the Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversities attempts to drive humans to the cities so the West may be repopulated with Wolves and Grizzly Bears.:rolleyes:

Talk to old timers here in NM they will tell you after the cattle were pulled out in the fall they set the remaining grass on fire so that the next spring there was lots of green grass for the catttle. Then the college trained idiots came in and told them what they had been doing for generations was wrong and they had a better more enlightened way of doing things, so now we have wild fires every summer that destroy thousands of acres and cost millions of dollars to try and contain :mad3:
 
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Timeline documentaries on YouTube (now that you know what it is :flipoff2: ) has put out some really good docs on China. Let me dig them up.

The US considered the Nationalist loss to be a disaster, but the US was bogged down in a lot of other stuff so bascialy took a 'Can't win 'em all' stance toward the issue.

Ok so both the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution were informed by the Sino-Soviet splilt.
  • 1953 - Stalin dies
  • 1956 - Kruschev denounces Stalin in a closed Party Congress - Mao gets wind of it and besides, Soviet officials are now openly denouncing and insulting Stalin if not publicly. This happens during a Sino-Soviet summit, and Mao is outraged. Stalin was a big hero to them.
  • 1958 - Great Leap Forward begins. Because Mao saw the Kruschev era as counter-revolutionary or 'revisionist', Mao wants to institute 'complete socialism' by basically amputating the nation. That this involved many odd policies like killing all the birds because they ate grain, thus causing an explosion of bugs that.... ate grain, is odd, and really interesting. So is taking all of your sycthes and plows and melting them down into really shitty pig iron to build shitty pig iron bridges in the cities. People had to plow and sow with their bare hands or wood, millions starve 23-54 million.
  • 1962 - Even the CCP is horrified by the famines and deaths, Great Leap ends. Officials had already been undoing Mao's work. Mao retires from economic decision making to his harems of 12-year-olds and drinking, eating, and contemplating Marxist-Leninist theory. No, he seriously had harems, thousands of girls.
  • 1962 - Mao is pissed that the Soviets don't nuke America over Cuba. Add fuels to the fire.
  • 1966 - Mao gets a lot more power back, finally has enough of the anti-Stalinist Soviet bullshit, Cultural Revolution beings. Purges. Struggle Sessions.
  • 1966-1976 Students and young people rampage and terrorize China (sound familiar?). People are tortured in public squares to confess their revisionist and 'Rightist' sins (struggle sessions). There are massacres all over. Guangxi Massacre involves ritualistic cannibalism.
  • 1969 - Sino-Russian border war, on both sides of Mongolia. It's only coming to light now how major this was.
  • 1971 - Lin Baio tries to stage a coup. Fails, flees to USSR, plane crashes, dies.
  • 1972 - Mao gets depressed, backs off from being a leader again, except for a summit with Nixon. The Nixon summit cements the Sino-Soviet split, Russia seethes. "Friendship with Russia ended, US is best friend now".
  • 1972-1976 Gang of Four runs China while Mao again wallows in hedonism
  • 1976 - Mao dies. Gang of Four arrested. Cultural Revolution ends
  • 1977 - Deng Xiaping becomes new leader of China, begins the economic reforms still going on today
So both events are basically China saying to the USSR: You are not Communist enough, then instituting really dipshit Commie policies.

The BLM movement and all of that anti-which, Felarca, By Any Means Necessary, Porland, Seattle... that shit is Maoist Chinese meddling in US Universities and Politics. China figures that a good way for the US to be reduced is if we have our own Cultural Revolution. Why do you think they are tearing down statues and focus on that so much?

That shit is a forced meme. Black people and young men/young gay men don't give a shit about history OR statues. This has been coming a long time. It started really getting pushed on reddit when China bought into that platform a couple of years ago. I mean, all of a sudden you had thread after thread of weird people talking about Christopher Columbus.

Nobody here really seemed to believe me or listen to how significant that was. Some fringe media is sort of picking up on it, Tucker Carlson mentions it. But not really enough. Nobody in power and the GenPop of normies seems to understand how significant it is that people just all of a sudden started freaking about statues.

That is straight-up, core, Cultural Revolution.
 
started this thread as a place to take notes, hopefully i'll be able to have them makes sense or as follow on points for further info.

Here is Timeline's documentary on the Sino-Soviet split. A lot of really good background info on the Cultural Revolution and insights into Mao:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azBOK69FirU



Here is the link to Timeline on Youtube, you can subscribe then you will always have them in the left panel of yourYoutube to remind you.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC88...aHZmcvzvubDFRg

Here is a link to Timeline's China documentaries. I'm working my way through them right now. Dan Snow is featured as a creator/owner of Timeline, don't know how long the Docs will remain on Youtube. Dan Snow is a popular historian, but I think a solid guy and the Docs seem devoid of much politics. Highly recommend 'Battlefield Britain' that he did with his dad, especially the Spanish Armada episode.

https://www.youtube.com/c/TimelineCh...ch?query=china
 
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alright, well i made it through all three of these books a couple weeks ago. gotta say, i really enjoyed them. they are dense in the aspect that each book is about 350 pages long with about 35 pages of references, I do not believe there is a single page of text without as near a primary source to back it up as possible. While they are generally chronological, Frank Dikotter does jump around in the timelines for reference and context. i.e. something that happened in 1948 may start with an event in 1925 and give information leading up to and something that happened in 1968 may end with a reference into the 1970's to show where it lead, and then the next topic may get back to the general timeline. Writing in that way makes for a much more coherent message or storyline.

With the primary focus being "a peoples tale", there is much weight and effort given to the impact, notes and interviews of individuals as well as many party members. mao is obviously unavoidable as a central figure, but he isn't the sole focus which is refreshing. yes, the accounts are largely damning of mao and collectivization in general. There is also considerable effort to balance the sheer vastness of numbers (i.e. 45 million deaths directly related to the 1958 famine) and the dryness of validating those numbers with individual tales of people driven to suicide, cannibalism or the forced murder of ones own children. It is enough to keep the book from being overly emotionally taxing and prevent the loss of the emotional argument, keep it relatable, for most people to find some connection.

Of the three books, if i could only choose 1, the standout for me is "the tragedy of liberation". It is the first chronologically, but was the last book written published in 2013. Largely because my driving question in reading the series wasn't "was mao a bad dude" but "how do a people as numerous and storied as the Chinese accept the utter destruction of communism". the tragedy of liberation does much to focus on that.

It is interesting to note that the post WWII period to CCP "victory" in 1948/9, an estimated 5,000,000 chinese were killed and the tactics used during the great leap forward, the cultural revolution, the red terror and even the one child policy were well established early on during this time.

Mao was supported by stalin as much as stalin attempted to disregard him, but mao certainly took the following passage to heart from the communist manifesto to heart in the establishment of his regime.

http://www.slp.org/pdf/marx/comm_man.pdf

Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.

Chaing Kai Shek, the head of the Chinese Nationalist Party (not a nazi) made this statement in 1940/41 after the Japanese invasion. as brutal as the japanese were during the war, the phrase below should live large in everybodies memory as the japanese were never close to the destruction that the communists would bring

Chiang Kai Shek

"Communism is a disease of the heart, the Japanese are but a disease of the skin"

of course, Kai Shek went on to flee to Taiwan, upsetting the general order of things and headed the longest martial law state in the history of the notion and earned a reputation not wholly unlike that of Chilean General Pinochet. Kai Shek may well have killed thousands of people labeled as "communists", but the mao killed millions of people labeled as "rightists" and taiwan today is in significantly a better place than even Tibet, let alone beijing. At this particular moment with increased chinese aggression from Xi Xingping, they are rightly nervous as Hong Kong protests have largely been crushed, numerous anti-soverignty laws passed, increased tensions and border fighting with India, large inroads into Africa and S. America and such, so hopefully the people of Taiwan can avoid getting brutalized by the CCP for at least another 100 years.....

While Lenin and later Stalin focused much of their revolutionary efforts primarily on the cities and industry hubs, mao started his revolution in the countryside. Creating classes where there largely were not any, creating division and slaughter and brutally purging resistance. He later quipped that it would be fine if 50% of the people died because people are born and replaced pretty easily, but the reality was that he would prefer 1-10% of the people killed so as to enable control over the 90-99% that remained.

The book about the Famine and the Cultural Revolution are as factual as the first book and written in the same easy to read, story telling style, but those periods are also more commonly looked at. All together, the series is an excellent take on maoist china and i look forward to my kid being old enough that i can share them with him :beer:



edit: the following section from 1872 forward for Communist Manifesto written by Engles and Marx shows just how quickly (under 25 years) they realized, through practical demonstration, that their ideals were completely unworkable bunk. of course, they didn't live long enough, and nobody ever will, to figure out how to perfect their system.

“However much the state of things may have altered during the last 25 years, the general principles laid down in the Manifesto are, on the whole, as correct to-day as ever. Here and there some detail might be improved. The practical application of the principles will depend, as the manifesto itself states, everywhere and at all times, on the historical conditions for the time being existing, and, for that reason, no special stress is laid on the revolutionary measures proposed at the end of Section II. That passage would, in many respects, be very differently worded to-day. In view of the gigantic strides of Modern Industry since 1848, and of the accompanying improved and extended organisation of the working-class, in view of the practical experience gained, first in the February revolution, and then, still more, in the Paris Commune,3 where the proletariat for the first time held political power for two whole months, this programme has in some details been antiquated. One thing especially was proved by the Commune, viz., that “the working-class cannot simply lay hold of ready-made State machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.” Further, it is self-evident, that the criticism of socialist literature is deficient in relation to the present time, because it comes down only to 1847; also, that the remarks on the relation of the Communists to the various opposition-parties (Section IV.), although in principle still correct, yet in practice are antiquated, because the political situation has been entirely changed, and the progress of history has swept from off the earth the greater portion of the political parties there enumerated. “But then, the Manifesto has become a historical document which we have no longer any right to alter.”

i.e. everything we said was bullshit, technology advanced in a different way and progress and liberty have proven their success and workers revolutions the world over have been failures. the manifesto should be considered nothing more than an oddity of history, much like an earthen pot with interesting pictures painted on it.
 
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this fits the theme as well

http://www.slp.org/what_is.htm

"what is socialism"

[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
WhoOwns.gif
[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Socialism is the collective ownership by all the people of the factories, mills, mines, railroads, land and all other instruments of production.[/FONT]
IsNot.gif
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Socialism does not mean government or state ownership. It does not mean a closed party-run system without democratic rights. Those things are the very opposite of socialism.

"Socialism," as the American Socialist Daniel De Leon defined it, "is that social system under which the necessaries of production are owned, controlled and administered by the people, for the people, and under which, accordingly, the cause of political and economic despotism having been abolished, class rule is at end. That is socialism, nothing short of that." And we might add, nothing more than that![/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Remember: If it does not fit this description, it is not socialism—no matter who says different. Those who claim that socialism existed and failed in places like Russia and China simply do not know the facts.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Socialism will be a society in which the things we need to live, work and control our own lives—the industries, services and natural resources—are collectively owned by all the people, and in which the democratic organization of the people within the industries and services is the government. Socialism means that government of the people, for the people and by the people will become a reality for the first time.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
NotTried.gif
[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Socialism has never existed. It did not exist in the old U.S.S.R., and it does not exist in China. Socialism will be a society in which the things we need to live, work and control our own lives—the industries, services and natural resources—are collectively owned by all the people, and in which the democratic organization of the people within the industries and services is the government. Socialism means that government of the people, for the people and by the people will become a reality for the first time.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]to say that socialism has never been tried is pretty outrageous of a claim. As it pertains to China, socialism and collectivization was launched early on in the countryside. landowners, or anybody deemed a landowner, were systematically killed, removed or otherwise shammed and destroyed of position. Collective farming, collective canteens and collective housing, for the rural farmers had little else that could be claimed as "owned" were brought about very early on and resulted, every single time, in massive reductions in output. Multiple times it was decided to move in, then inch back. Post mao, it was largely walked back into the pseudo capitalism that people claim china has today simply because it was such a dramatic failure in every regard. It may be argued, and i'm sure modern socialists do and will, that because china had a state party that did extract resources from the countryside, that the state is to blame for the failures of socialism in the chinese country side. This isn't wholly unfounded, but the cities are not, and never will be, self sustaining in that regard, nor were they under the various forms of feudalism. There MUST be redistribution of resources from areas capable of surplus (farms) and areas unsustainable (cities). call it people, call it one party state, but the mechanism must exist. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]just posting this in here for all the people who claim "yeah, but socialism isn't communism"...well, according to the communists, communism "the abolition of private property" in all regards, socialism is the lesser statement of "collective owenership of factories, mills, mines, railroads, land and all other instruments of production" and, at the core, the collectivization of land (Land Reform) is, above all others, the most damaging means of production to remove from privatization when it is not found in incredible excess. [/FONT]
 
alright, well i made it through all three of these books a couple weeks ago....

Thanks. I'm adding them to my list.

Get a hold of Stephen Kotkin's trilogy on Stalin (well, book #3 hasn't been published yet). It's available as audiobook and well worth reading/listening.
 
Thanks. I'm adding them to my list.

Get a hold of Stephen Kotkin's trilogy on Stalin (well, book #3 hasn't been published yet). It's available as audiobook and well worth reading/listening.

awesome, i'll look for it, thanks. I ended up doing a whole bunch of side reading while going through that series. i've been halfway looking for some more thorough czar-lenin-stalin stuff, so those sound right in line.


you might know, who had made the quote or comment about turning the tanks to the east right through moscow at the end of WWII for the allies...they had the right idea, if you believe in war for the preservation of general humanity type of think
 
"Socialism," as the American Socialist Daniel De Leon defined it, "is that social system under which the necessaries of production are owned, controlled and administered by the people, for the people, and under which, accordingly, the cause of political and economic despotism having been abolished, class rule is at end. That is socialism, nothing short of that



nothing short of that
 
"Socialism," as the American Socialist Daniel De Leon defined it, "is that social system under which the necessaries of production are owned, controlled and administered by the people, for the people, and under which, accordingly, the cause of political and economic despotism having been abolished, class rule is at end. That is socialism, nothing short of that



nothing short of that

yes, that is why, when people make calls for "democratic socialism" or whatever hipster lingo they want to use (BLM, CRT, ANTIFA, Etc.) and everybody else piles on shit that they are supporting dangerous ideology that destroys individualism and private property, they are correct. The various morons that want to say "but but, this socialism is different or lesser...." no, your timeline might be different, but if you want to claim socialism, then according to the socialists, your aims are the same.
 
yes, that is why, when people make calls for "democratic socialism" or whatever hipster lingo they want to use (BLM, CRT, ANTIFA, Etc.) and everybody else piles on shit that they are supporting dangerous ideology that destroys individualism and private property, they are correct. The various morons that want to say "but but, this socialism is different or lesser...." no, your timeline might be different, but if you want to claim socialism, then according to the socialists, your aims are the same.

tumblr_lpyw2pNhaZ1r0w4bgo1_500.jpg
 
Margaret Thatcher once say that 'The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money'


A true statement. It's not a sustainable system.
 
Margaret Thatcher once say that 'The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money'


A true statement. It's not a sustainable system.

that's what makes Mao interesting and in a way Kim successful (though i admittedly don't really know shit about pol-pot or ho-chi-min). Mao was plenty willing to starve out everybody to reduce the population to a point where it would be functional with communism. despite his best effort, he just couldn't reach the bottom :laughing: Kim has managed to find some level where it seems to work though i'm not sure anybody is able to put up valid research into the amount of abuse required. it must be high to persist this long.

private property and self determination can provide enough, but it isn't always enough for everybody. it is certainly less provided though once the great loss of motivation for betterment is removed, ownership degradation comes into play and the massive inefficiencies of redistribution based on numbers and not quality get involved.
 
so you are openly going to support socialism?

as you quoted, according to the socialists, it is ultimately that and nothing more....and nothing less

edit: if so, you would be well served to distance yourself from the D party

well served? It's not the socialist party, Sheesh.
 
I read a book per week since age 11.
It's why I understand the difference between Socialism and US Democrats.
And it's why I wear a mask. Not forced. Not manipulated. Not indoctrinated. Freely. By choice.
 
Margaret Thatcher once say that 'The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money'


A true statement. It's not a sustainable system.

It's not sustainable because people are assholes looking out to have more than others. In every system, the system gets gamed. Are you the guy that equally dishes out, let's say food? You're probably fat while everyone else isn't. And you trade more food for luxury.

Democracy isn't sustainable either. 1% bla bla bla.
 
It's not sustainable because people are assholes looking out to have more than others. In every system, the system gets gamed. Are you the guy that equally dishes out, let's say food? You're probably fat while everyone else isn't. And you trade more food for luxury.

Democracy isn't sustainable either. 1% bla bla bla.

Bullshit. Nice to see you making all sorts of ASSumptions about me.
People aren't assholes, they are just being people. It's natural to strive to better yourself.
Without that basic trait we'd still be living in trees.
 
There is a quick little podcast story kind of related. It mentions confusiosism and its impact on China

Danielle Bolelli had a free episode drop where he has 4 Other historian podcasters do segments.

FBF5DEF1-C5ED-4E44-BF39-871902480948.png


CD15ABB3-2F30-4721-BDBA-ED54C34CE2B9.jpeg
 
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