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I think someone needs to read over Neutral point of view. I personally don't know enough about China's history to rewrite this article. -- Ansible


This article is worse than no article. Here it is, if anyone wants to use it: --Taw

Mao Tsetung was a real communist: He fought for a world without classes and without oppressors. He gave his whole life to the people. When poor peasants and workers rebelled against intolerable conditions, Mao stood with them and led them to take their struggle higher. He led the masses to wage armed struggle, to overthrow the system, and put the common people in charge of society.

After two decades of revolutionary warfare, Mao declared victory in 1949. He said, ``The Chinese people have stood up. Then Mao led the have-nots-- people who never had any power before -- to build socialism and revolutionize society from top to bottom.

Mao refused to become a party boss. When people right inside the Communist Party tried to bring capitalism back to China, Mao relied on the masses of people to fight these new oppressors.

Mao led the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which spread this truth to every corner of the world: It is right to rebel against reaction!

The famous ``Red Book was the most popular book on the planet. And from the Black liberation struggle to the war in Vietnam, the Chinese people supporMao was mass murderer. His crimes are well documented.ted revolutionary movements around the world.

With Mao's leadership, people on the bottom in China became conscious revolutionizers of society. All kinds of new things were accomplished -- things impossible under capitalism. In factories, hospitals, schools, farms, and in the arts -- the masses developed new socialist ways of doing things and relating to each other. Never before in history did the masses of working people have so much power to change the world.

When Mao died in 1976, new exploiters came to power in China and turned back the clock to capitalism. But Mao's legacy lives on strong.


Parody, or is someone out there really this nuts? - Tim


It is one view of communism that westerners refuse to look at. There are true believers in the world especially those who lived through it. Please don't dismiss the point of view just because you fail to agree. You have no right to call someone nuts only because you disagree. This article was extremely biased because it only represented one side. However, just because the view is different from yours does not mean the article does not have a point of view. When the Nationalist Chinese government was totally corrupted with all foreign aid money channelled into individual officials' pockets. Communism was an effective way to bring the poor people back on their feet. Watch some documentary film on PBS and you would understand why Mao got so many supporters. No it was not brainwashing. It was total poverty and desperation that drove the people into communism.


It wasn't just biased - it contained lot of factual errors. Revolution doesn't work the way it was described. It works using terrorism, mafia-like organizations, genocides, brainwashing, breaking human right, foreign military support, building system of mass oppression and spreading lots of "it's not so bad as conservatives are saying" propaganda in civilized countries (the last is the reason why it succeeds so often). And I'm not any westerner. Coutry I live in was occupied by communists until 1990. --Taw


The comment about mass murder needs some explaination. He caused many deaths such as in Cultural Revolution and Leap Forward and famine that followed. But those were at best due to failed policies or mobs got out of control. The term murder does not fit in the Neutral point of view rule. Whoever wrote it please justify.


Many of those people died in various camps. Unfortunatelly Chinese don't let foreign scientist study this in China, so it isn't documented as well as for example Nazi genocides. See Rummel, "Death by gevernment" for reference or external link on Genocide page.

BTW: who can be called "mass murderer" if not Mao ? Are you suggesting not using this term just to be politically correct ? --Taw

Mao is not "considered by some" to be a murderer. He is a murderer, and no other "point of view" has any place in an encyclopedia. One can add that some people consider him a political hero, despite his mass murders; but this is even questionable. - Tim

I think stating that Mao was a "murderer" is not in accordance with the neutral point of view. We need to say is considered by some (or even is considered by many) to be a murderer, and then to also mention the opposing view, which was widely held in China and had influence throughout the world. We should not be afraid of stating the facts objectively and trusting people to make rational judgements. --Eob

You got to be kidding. Mao is the biggest mass murderer of all time. That isn't a 'point of view' its a demonstrable fact. Should we also change the Adolf Hitler entry to say "Adolf Hitler is considered by some to be a not-so-great guy. Some believe he killed millions of Jews."? I think NPOV has run amok when we can't call a murderer a murderer. I say its not a violation of NPOV when you make a statement that you can back up with proof, ever read The Black Book of Communism? And as for "the opposing view" being "widely held in China", gee you think their State-run media, brutal suppression of free speech and prisons full of political dissidents could have something to do with that? --MemoryHole.com


Henry Kissinger has committed war crimes, and no other "point of view" has any place in an encyclopedia. One can add that some people consider him a political hero, despite his war crimes; but this is even questionable.

Is this comment supposed to be making some kind of point? - Tim

Obviously, the point is that assigning names like "mass murderer" and "war criminal" as if they are incontrovertable facts in an encyclopedia is exactly the opposite of what is supposed to be going on in an encyclopedia. It would be perfectly legitimate to say that "Mao's opponents accuse him of being one of the world's great mass murderers", just as it would be appropriate to say that Henry Kissinger's opponents would accuse him of being a war criminal. Otherwise, you are simply turning it into a non-neutral forum of opinions and value judgements.


Mao was a mass murderer and his crimes are well documented (even though exact size of it is still subject of speculation). It's the fact and it has nothing to do with neutral point of view. --Taw


OK, so we cannot agree on the second paragraph. So I am removing it and placing it here. I guess we will just have to stick to basic uncontroversial facts. For the record the two most recent versions of this paragraph were (the first is mine):

  • Mao is considered by many to be a mass-murderer second-only to Stalin. (See Genocide for details.) Others regard him as a hero who liberated China from foreign and capitalist oppression.
  • Mao was the second biggest (after Stalin) mass-murderer in history. (See Genocide for details).

Some people regard him as a hero who liberated China from foreign and capitalist oppression.


I was rewriting this when the previous edit was made; let's try to work this out. - Tim


I am okay with the current (rev. 14) article in terms of the deaths he caused and his failure to be a good ruler. However, I still think the article is biased with the omission of his credit as a revolutionist hero. What would China be today without him fighting away the corrupted Nationalist government?
Probably would be like Taiwan. A lot richer, with more freedom etc.
Yes, probably. It's only your speculation. You can say anything about history that never took place. Taiwan is just a lush green island with natural resources sufficient to feed its population. My own speculation is that if the Nationalist government were to rule China, more people would have died due to the famine. The officials would be fat as pigs as the common people died of hunger. Besides, China would be ruled by the Japanese now. The Japanese would have a strong hold of the entire Asia using China as a staging area for world domination. It is pointless to speculate, our time is probably better spent on watching the Star Trek episodes on changing temporal events on different timelines.

I'm not speculating. Every time country was divided to communist and non-communist parts, non-communist became much richer and much more free. Germany, Korea, China, Vietnam are most obvious examples. Main cause of famine was collectivization, and Japanese ocupation is *way* better than communist occupation. BTW. before split Taiwan had albost no industry, and it doesn't have so much resources.

Even the Taiwanese native hates the Nationalist government in Taiwan today if you want to know how corrupted they were/are. Most Chinese people considered Mao a hero in the first half of his life, but he became a monster after he was in power. Many blame all those killings on his failure to control the mobs of the Red Guards instead of accusing of him plotting the deaths of millions of people. Same is true for the deaths due to the famine. Do you really think any sane ruler of any country would want famine in his own country. You may say those were mass involuntary manslaughters (unintentional due to ignorance on how nature and agriculture works), instead of murders. There is no doubts that he was responsible for many deaths, but are they meditated murders or just negligence?

Well, Soviets deliberately caused famine on Ukraine, and Mao was also a communist, so it's quite probable that he caused it deliberately. --Taw


I agree the article is incomplete, and that the Nationalists were nasty people (who murdered 10 million people, btw). But the fact that someone else is evil cannot possibly justify your being evil. Overthrowing one genocidal regime does not justify being genocidal oneself. Mao is not a hero because he opposed the Nationalists - he is a villain because he was no different from the Nationalists: he merely killed people in the name of a different set of slogans. - Tim

I still have trouble with the term "murder". Is there a difference in term of one's intention? If you started a fire by mistake, are you a murderer? Or are you just a fool that responsible of many deaths when something you did got out of control? He may be guilty of all those political murders, but you should not count the famine deaths as murders. Those mob killings are murders commited by the individuals in the mobs some with hidden agenda on their own to get rid of their own enemies or to rob others of their valuables, should they be counted towards Mao? I am no supporter of Mao myself, but I don't agree that all the deaths he caused were murders.

If you hire a hitman, and the hitman kills his victim, you are guilty of murder, despite the fact that someone else did the actual killing. This is accepted in every court of law in every civilized society in the world. The people who killed in China acted with Mao's authority and under his direction. Thus Mao is as guilty as they are. Mao is guilty because he intentionally caused people to die - millions of people. He intentionally killed millions of people as a matter of policy. He acted and commanded people to act in specific ways because it would lead to the deaths of people he wanted to be dead. The idea that Mao inadvertently killed millions of people is absurd. You think that after his policies of terror left the first 5 million victims dead, he wasn't aware that by continuing with those same policies he would leave millions more dead? Having proven that his policies results in millions of people dying, he deliberately choose to continue with those same policies, proving his intention was to kill more millions of people. A simple awareness of just the rudimentary facts leaves no room for rational doubt. By the same standards of jurisprudence that apply to everyone in courts all over the world, Mao is guilty of murder. Millions of times over. - Tim


I removed the comparison of Mao with Stalin, because the numbers killed by each can only be estimated, and there is a great deal of overlap in estimates for the two. One estimate might put Stalin's total at 20 million, another at 60 million. One estimate might put Mao at 15 million, another at 70 million. The number Rummel uses, is based on adding together most-likely estimates of various incidents to reach a grand total. His totals usually fall at midrange of all the estimates. So the number for Stalin, 40 million, and for Mao, 35 million, are most likely numbers, according to Rummel's research. But they could differ considerably from the truth, in either direction - though not to such an extent as to make either person anything but a genocidal monster. The point, though, is that Mao may have killed more people than Stalin. It doesn't seem apparent, given what we know, but we shouldn't make assertions about who killed more, in the articles, without explaining the methodolgy in detail. - Tim


Okay, so now there are now about 5 paragraphs out of about 8 or 9 that directly or indirectly concern themselves with the number of people who died under his rule. I don't object to discussing the number of people who died under Mao, even in this amount of detail, but to this article right now focuses on this almost to the exclusion of almost everything else that concerns Mao, so clearly some additions are necessary to fill out the details. Some discussion of his role in the Long March or the war with Japan, the Little Red Book, the Nixon visit and ping pong diplomacy, for example? Every policy decision of Mao's during his rule is discussed only in terms of how many people were killed by it, and there is no discussion of his life before coming to power. Right now the article just comes across to me as a diatribe, and while I understand and sympathize with the agenda that lies behind it--certainly Mao did things a lot of people object to--it really doesn't address the broader issues surrounding Mao as a historical figure. Yeah yeah, I know that "he/she who proposes should dispose" in Wikipedia, but I don't have the detailed knowledge at the top of my head and don't have the research material at my fingertips.

I agree. The article as it stands (rev. 21) is biased towards only on his killings. He had done more than just that.
don't worry about facts at your fingertips - start some headers for people to fill in, and move the death-count to a header called 'evaluation of Mao's career'.
Okay, I made a first stab at reorganizing the article a bit. Hopefully, others can fill in the details or otherwise improve the organization further.


--- Removed section that Mao was disgraced within the party after the Cultural Revolution. It's wrong. The Gang of Four supported him up until they were arrested after his death. Added a paragraph about the official view of history from the PRC. Added a NPOV sentence about the death toll. There was a usenet discussion on this but the death toll in pre-Mao china. consider that the population of China in 1949 was 400 million where it was in 1900 while the people of China at Mao's death was about 700 million -- Chenyu


BTW, I don't like Mao. I just wanted to include an argument that I have heard (i.e. Mao was really bad, but China without Mao would have been worse). Also 7.4 million seems very high for the death toll of the Anti-Rightest Movement. Anyone have a cite? -- Chenyu