Studying Mao Zedong made me “Shivering All Over Though Not Cold” – Chen Xiaoya (陈小雅)

 Duowei 2005 08 Duowei 2005 8 14 9 56 27 445 496 From “Studying made me Shivering All Over Though Not Cold” by ÈôàÂ∞èÈõÖ, translated by CDT. (Original Chinese text is here.) Ms. Chen, formerly a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, is a Beijing-based independent scholar and author.

Duowei editor’s note: September 9th this year is the thirtieth anniversery of Mao Zedong’s death. Chen Xiaoya (
ÈôàÂ∞èÈõÖ), a mainland political scientist who has focused her research on Mao Zedong, has published three books in the last two years. „ÄäChinese Cowboy: A Behavioral and Psychological Analysis of the Case of Mao Zedong„Äã(Mirror Books, 2005);„ÄäChinese “Husband” – The “love affairs” of Mao Zedong„Äã (Hong Kong Softrepublic, 2005); and „ÄäChina’s “Wasted Films” – Mao Zedong’s Murder Cases„Äã(Mirror Books, 2006). Recently, Ms. Chen also wrote more than forty thousand characters of her reflections on Mao Zedong, as an appendix to her third book. The following is from the appendix:

“Through writing, I discovered that in Mao’s mind, he is always self-centered. Behind the illusion of his ‘kindness and love for people,’ the real him is playing the ‘people’s will’ in his palm, manipulating the ‘people’s will’ like wielding a stick, treating ‘people’s will’ like throwing away a used shoe. I discovered, he said one thing in ‘governance with kindness,’ and practiced something else. In many events, from the surface it looks like he played with fire and accidentally created a disaster. But from a historical perspective, he should have had experience already, therefore his actions can be judged as ‘premeditated.’ In Buddhist teachings, it is ‘obstinance’ which in particular one wants to avoid. Not only this, I have discovered that his hatred for intellectuals and his betrayal of his second wife may come from the same logic. I have discovered that each time he engaged in a debate, he always replaced the real problem with a philosophical one. Each time he used his crude philosophy to ‘win’ the argument, it always brought enormous disaster in real life.”

“Other than this, I also discovered that he once used the reason ‘to teach the Party a lesson’ to advocate ‘violent struggle.’ He once said explicitly that he agreed to give guns to mass organizations (during the Cultural Revolution). His ‘borrow someone else’s knife to kill others’ strategy came from his concern with avoiding the same historical legacy of Qin Shihuang emperor…… More solid evidence also points to the two ‘Rectification’ (Zheng Feng Êï¥È£é) movements he started (‘Yan’an Rectification Movement‘ and the 1956Ôºç57 Rectification Movement), and The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the methods and goals of which are incredibly similar. And his crackdown after arousing the ‘people’s will’ during these movements is full proof that it is false to say that he followed the ‘people’s will.’ The truth is he wanted to use the ‘people’s will.’ It was the ‘success’ of the Yan’an Rectification Movement that made him want to repeat the same process to attack his political opponents in 1957. But this time he failed. He was like a player who lost a chess game and wanted to win it back in the next match. He always mobilized all resources and strategies available to achieve his goal, like replaying ‘games’ with wooden pawns, he never saw that his rule was ruling humans who have lives and rights just like him……

In the past, I thought Mao’s method focused on changing people’s thoughts. Therefore his evilness was mainly the evilness of his thoughts. But through the murder and conspiracy cases revealed in this book, I started to realize his ‘shrewdness and crudeness’!

Finally, I also started to ask, for those political crimes labeled by him as ‘mistakes,’ ‘counter-revolutionary” or ‘sickness,’ what was the real foundation? Or what kind of political need caused him to make these final judgments? The ‘people’s will’ which always was given the highest authority, was treated like ‘heavenly rule’ by him – higher than law. But in what sense did this ‘people’s will’ actually represent the people? I have discovered, under the totalitarian regime, the highest ruler is often the person who is ‘most liberal minded’; there can not be real ‘people’s will’ when people do not have basic bodily freedom and political freedom. The publicly expressed so-called ‘people’s will’ is all induced by the propaganda apparatus or fostered under organized oppression. It does not originate from human conscience or needs in real life. Therefore, under the totalitarian regime, all ‘people’s will’ is really the ‘ruler’s will.’ All of those people who think they lived ‘autonomously’ and ‘freely’ and ‘independently,’ they all lived under differing degrees of delusion. Only those who lost their freedom, or profoundly realized their own ‘un-free’ situation could have an independent and autonomous awakened consciousness.

Of course, I am using the word ‘discovery’ here, only to express the shock that these realizations brought to me!”

See also
Emerging from under the shadow of Mao, an interview with Chan Xiaoya by Zhang Weiguo.

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September 9, 2006, 8:44 PM
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