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Comparing Lincoln to Mao

If you were ask to give a short narrative for those two very important historical figure, what words were to come into your mind?

Abraham Lincoln was consistently voted by US scholars as the greatest US president. He was even immortalized in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. However, don’t the ill informed Americans know he is the greatest mass murderer in US history? During his term of presidency, the US fought the most destructive and bloodiest war ever, WWII caused less destruction than the US Civil War. 3% of US population died in combat, starvation or even mistreatment in prisoner of war camps. Lincoln exercised his authority to suspend habeas corpus, arresting and temporarily detaining thousands of suspected secessionists without trial.

His blood thirsty generals like Grant, Sherman and Sheridan laid waste to a slew of cities in the South. Sherman ordered his troops to burn crops, kill livestock and consume supplies. Finally he destroyed civilian infrastructure along his path of advance. This strategy is one of the components of total war. During Sherman’s march to sea he ordered Atlanta, the capital of Georgia burnt to the ground for no good reason. Basically, wherever the Union troop went a path of devastation was left in its wake.

“The March to the Sea was devastating to Georgia and the Confederacy. Sherman himself estimated that the campaign had inflicted $100 million (about $1.4 billion in 2010 dollars) in destruction, about one fifth of which “inured to our advantage” while the “remainder is simple waste and destruction.” The Army wrecked 300 miles (480 km) of railroad and numerous bridges and miles of telegraph lines. It seized 5,000 horses, 4,000 mules, and 13,000 head of cattle. It confiscated 9.5 million pounds of corn and 10.5 million pounds of fodder, and destroyed uncounted cotton gins and mills.”

Is this how Lincoln should be remembered?

It is obvious it is not. Based on the accolade given to him by US historians or public, he is one of the greatest US president if not the greatest. Lincoln also shared similar standing with worldwide audience. Lincoln was credited as the man who saved the union and freed the slaves. Basically he is recognized as the president who put the US on the path to future greatness. How does Mao Zedong compared to him?

Let’s put aside ideology for a moment and compare Mao’s achievement to Lincoln. Mao, is a guy who fought for over twenty years as a rebel (in fact, he was labelled by the authority as the worst kind of bandit). What exactly did he fight for? Fame and fortune? No, he and many individuals like him sacrificed so much to fight for equality and independence for his people. As a historical figure, Mao is the guy who gave land to landless farmers and gave them equal right to the rich and powerful. He also organized a very effective resistance to the invading Imperial Japanese Army.

Some detractors like to point out that the lion share of the fighting and casualties was bear by the Nationalist army. However, the various Nationalist army, despite suffering horrendous losses actually have little tangible results to show for. The key word here is “effective”. The Red Army grow from around fifty thousand in 1937 to close to a million strong by 1945. Contrary to common belief, the Soviet Union was too busy fighting the German invasion to supply even miniscule arms or supply to the Chinese Communist. In fact, the Soviet Union recognized the Republic of China’s government under Jiang Jieshi and supplied them with a decent amount of arms prior to 1941. From 1937 to 1945, the Red Army under Mao captured more than half a million pieces of small arms by attacking the Imperial Japanese Army and the various puppet Chinese collaborationist armies. Of course it is not a walk in the park for the communist lead forces either, in some stages they also suffered catastrophic losses but it bounced back stronger due to the enormous support it receives from the people.

So it comes as no surprise to realistic China watchers that the poorly equipped Communist would triumph over the 4 million strong Nationalist armies. The movement by Mao is not a simple armed movement. In addition to the land reform that gave each farming family their own farmland, it provided equal opportunity to women by giving them the same right as men. To top it off, the Communist party is the first government in China to give universal education.

By the late 1950s, China which was known as the sick man of Asia was able to successfully built up an industrial base. In the 1960s China came to possess nuclear, rocket, satellite technology and was pretty much self sufficient in all heavy industry. By the 1970s, the PRC took back the seat of permanent member in the UN security council and was universally recognized by the majority of the nations. At the time of his death Mao, China’s life expectancy has almost been doubled from a low base of 36. All school aged children are literate, before 1949 the literacy rate was less than 15%. Despite being embargoed by the strongest world economy bloc since its inception, the PRC was able to achieve tremendous growth. This is no simple task as to maintain its own independence, the PRC also has to break with the 2nd most powerful bloc in the world.

Mao has no illusion that China is a 3rd world nation and aligned China’s interest with them. He would not accept China in a position of subservient in exchange for simple material gain. He gradually built up the foundation of China. China’s position grew stronger relative to pretty much every countries from the 1950s to the 1970s. It was most pronounced actually compare to the two super power at that time. In the 1950s, China was isolated and only recognized by the communist bloc and was poor and dependent. By the 1970s China has break out of the imposed international sanction and was negotiating on equal footing with both the USSR and USA.

Is Mao achievement any less significant than what Lincoln has done for the US? Or is he vilified for making China strong and the Chinese people free.

Categories: Analysis, history Tags: ,
  1. April 8th, 2013 at 22:26 | #1

    I bet if we do this simple survey in China and U.S., we’d get our answers as to how propagandistic each society is: simply ask for opinions about the other country’s leader on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being complete negative and 10 being complete positive). The society with the most negative result would be the one pumped with the most negative propaganda.

  2. pug_ster
    April 9th, 2013 at 02:44 | #2

    I think what you didn’t say is that Lincoln actually started the Civil war in order to ‘preserve the union.’

  3. Zack
    April 9th, 2013 at 06:22 | #3

    the most depraved thing i’ve observed amongst Westerners and even some western educated Chinese is how entrenched the notion of Mao being a mass murderer on the level of Stalin or Hitler apparently is. Often you’ll hear ‘hitler, stalin, mao etc’ in the same sentence .Such notions are of course intellectually dishonest considering the immense difference between deaths resulting from intentional genocide and deaths resulting from poor policies. It’s like calling the US leaders responsible for the ‘dust bowl’ phenomenon in the US during the 30s, mass murderers.

  4. Black Pheonix
    April 9th, 2013 at 06:39 | #4

    Actually the 3% number that died in US civil war is merely for the combat related deaths.

    Estimated 1 million “freed slaves” were neglected and abandoned by the government policies, and left to starvation and diseases (small pox).

    That would raise the total deaths in US Civil War Era to 1.8 million, about 6% of the US population (31.4 million).

    *in comparison: The Great famine of Mao’s time caused on high estimate 30 million deaths out of 667 million, which is about 4.5% of the population.

    Then in essence, Mao’s policies caused proportionally less deaths than Lincoln’s.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/16/slavery-starvation-civil-war

    “After combing through obscure records, newspapers and journals Downs believes that about a quarter of the four million freed slaves either died or suffered from illness between 1862 and 1870. He writes in the book that it can be considered “the largest biological crisis of the 19th century” and yet it is one that has been little investigated by contemporary historians.”

  5. Black Pheonix
    April 9th, 2013 at 08:29 | #5

    A couple from Texas even compared Lincoln to Hitler,

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/texas-secessionist-kilgore-hitler-and

  6. N.M.Cheung
    April 9th, 2013 at 08:31 | #6

    To most Chinese Mao’s greatness is indisputable, and the Chinese history of the last 64 years since the founding of the People’s Republic validated it. But that does not mean he’s beyond criticism, and history will have her final judgment. For me the decision to enter the Korea War was one of them. Mao and the Chinese leadership may have been forced by events beyond their control, MacArthur’s threat, Stalin’s setting a trap to divert and gaining time against nuclear monopoly, or a sense of invulnerability after sweeping out the Nationalists armies. Yet the history of the 50’s and early 60’s were shaped inevitably by that decision, the separation of Taiwan, isolation from the developed world with sanction by U.N., and Mao’s decision to launch Great Leap Forward. Today we are still haunted by that decision, the Kim dynasty and its nuclear threat with the megalomaniac boasting of war by the junior Kim.

  7. Black Pheonix
    April 9th, 2013 at 10:26 | #7

    Yes, history will be the judge.

    Except, People who do not know their own history seem to be the judge of other people’s histories.

  8. April 9th, 2013 at 18:43 | #8

    @YinYang
    Is instilling a certain value brain washing? The big difference among public opinion in China and US today also must include self perception. US citizens are brought up to believe that the US is the greatest country in history and its form of government is the only correct way. Whereas in China pragmatism prevails. Another great divergence is also perception of threat (which is instilled by both the government and media).

    On the surface, the US espouses freedom and liberty but the majority of US citizens would accept curtailment of those values in order to preserve “freedom and liberty”. Which is why so many of US foreign policy ended badly. I will just count those after WWII. The present partition of the nation of Korea, and later that of Vietnam. The support of countless dictatorship throughout the world are all done in the name of preserving “freedom”. Of course the justification was that there is a great bogeyman called communism.

    However, the ending of the so-called “communist threat” did not stop US government from fermenting fear in its populace. China and Russia still ranks high on the list of threat. Of course the Taliban, Al-Queda, Iran and the DPRK now tops the list. Since we are talking about civil war here, we cannot simply leave out “domestic threat”. I will leave out the fringe element and concentrate on the mainstream. The political belief of both the “right” and “left” are actually the same in that both sides regard the other’s policy as the biggest threat to “freedom and liberty”.

  9. April 9th, 2013 at 18:58 | #9

    @pug_ster and N.M.Cheung
    Haha, that would actually be unfair. It is like saying that Hitler single-handedly started WWII. The American Civil War is destined to happen due to increase differences in values and also economical development between the North and South. It just happened under Lincoln’s watch.

    For example, did old Kim started the Korean war? Because without the Japanese occupation and subsequent US and Soviet partition, the war would never had happened. Likewise without guys like Hitler, Churchill or Stalin, WWII would still occurred due to historical legacy.

    That’s why it is too simplistic to say that Mao started the anti-right movement, GLF or CR. Or to say that without Mao China would have no technological advancement from the 1950s to 1970s. Yes, he did played a big role in leading China but he certainly won’t be achieved all that alone, it is a collective effort. I am not absolving Mao’s mistake, we should be critical of his mistake but give credit when it is due too. In mainstream western narrative, most of what is written is on his mistakes and they attribute that to Mao’s malicious character. That is simply dishonesty or intellectual deficiency.

    I will do a comparison of Churchill and Mao in the future. Mao is a saint compare to that fellow.

  10. April 9th, 2013 at 19:17 | #10

    @Zack
    I agree. Mao is an angel compare to those guys. The CCP never has anti minority policy (as alleged by mainstream western press). In fact in the 1950s, the PRC’s policy of giving preferential treatment to minority students and active recruitment of minority government cadre is unheard off. Simply compare the minority policy of the US, Canada, Australia, UK and NZ’s to China in the 1950s and 1960s. If Mao is a monster, how should leaders in those English speaking model democracies be called?

    Mao also never gave any directive ordering the killing or assassination of any opponents. If anybody can find me evidence of he doing that please feel free to contact me as I am willing to pay $500 from my pocket to publish this discovery. Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini gave direct orders killing thousands. Roosevelt and Churchill presides over military that launched indiscriminate killing of civilian in wars. Just look up UK’s bombing campaign of Germany and the US’s bombing of Japan.

    Today’s even Noble’s laureate like Obama give direct order killing human beings without trial.

    @Black Pheonix
    Thanks for the info.

  11. qfrealist
    April 11th, 2013 at 00:15 | #11

    Mao is continuously labeled as a mass murderer (having noted previous article on Hiddenharmonies about the true death rate in the GLF) even by such anti US – New World Order alternative news sites such as Infowars.com by Alex Jones who continually bashes Mao and China not realizing that the Chinese Govt is one of the few govt around that isnt controlled or infiltrated by the western globalist elite banking cartell, like the Western Govts including Australia and Canada and most of the EU, that started all the wars from 19th cent. to the present.

  12. DalianPaul
    April 11th, 2013 at 00:19 | #12

    YinYang :I bet if we do this simple survey in China and U.S., we’d get our answers as to how propagandistic each society is:

    I find it intensely propagandistic and, in the words of another commenter ‘intellectually dishonest’ to conduct a comparison that lists on the negative side of one person against only the positive side of another.

    I don’t think you need a survey to determine that!

  13. DalianPaul
    April 11th, 2013 at 00:27 | #13

    Ray :@YinYang Is instilling a certain value brain washing? The big difference among public opinion in China and US today also must include self perception. US citizens are brought up to believe that the US is the greatest country in history and its form of government is the only correct way. Whereas in China pragmatism prevails. P>

    I guess you’ve never heard of the patriotic education campaign, the young pioneers etc. China, in this respect, is exactly the same as the USA. The youth are brought up with the idea that ‘China is the greatest country in history and its form of government is the only correct way’ in spades. To suggest otherwise – or to suggest there is a major difference – is mere folly!

  14. pug_ster
    April 11th, 2013 at 02:50 | #14

    @DalianPaul

    Well, China doesn’t bring Democracy to other countries using guns.

  15. April 11th, 2013 at 05:58 | #15

    DalianPaul :

    Ray :@YinYang Is instilling a certain value brain washing? The big difference among public opinion in China and US today also must include self perception. US citizens are brought up to believe that the US is the greatest country in history and its form of government is the only correct way. Whereas in China pragmatism prevails. P>

    I guess you’ve never heard of the patriotic education campaign, the young pioneers etc. China, in this respect, is exactly the same as the USA. The youth are brought up with the idea that ‘China is the greatest country in history and its form of government is the only correct way’ in spades. To suggest otherwise – or to suggest there is a major difference – is mere folly!

    @DalianPaul
    I think you’ve hit on a VERY good point here. “… to suggest that there is a major difference – is mere folly!” I agree with you 100%. Here is the problem, it isn’t the Chinese media, policy makers, & public who is constantly insisting to the rest of the world that “we’re more morally righteous”, “we’re exceptional”, “we know better than everyone else”, or “our values are universal” or the most ridiculously delusional one – “God bless America”. THAT has been America’s doing (& a few other western nations’ doing), not only America’s media & government, but also the American public. I am certainly very glad that at least a few people like you realizes that brainwashing & propaganda is not the exclusive domain of those that are designated “authoritarian states”.

  16. April 11th, 2013 at 19:02 | #16

    @DalianPaul
    I think you are totally clueless. If you take the time to read the article, it is clearly stated that PRC view itself as an oppressed 3rd world nation. China’s education and foreign policy are thus align to this world view. The PRC would support the weaker side in most political struggles all the way from Korea, Vietnam to Africa and South America. That is why the PRC can get enough vote to be readmitted back into UN despite opposition from the US.

    The young pioneers as such are taught to hate evil with passion (忌恶如仇) and fight for world justice. Unfortunately, that is one of the biggest cause of the excess during the CR. There is no espousing of notion of superiority. If so please so proof, it can be in the form of government slogan or action. The Chinese public today are more prone to criticize their own government for failing than placing blame on external forces for internal woes, unlike some other government.

  17. DalianPaul
    April 13th, 2013 at 09:03 | #17

    @Ray

    Is this the way you normally welcome newcomers … or only for those who disagree with your views?

    On topic, I disagree that the people in the PRC view themselves as an oppressed 3rd world nation with China’s education subsequently aligning with this (world?) view.

    I mentioned the campaign for patriotic education, which although you carefully ignored, I assume yo u are aware began in the early 90’s. One of the foundations of the campaign was the instillation in Chinese youth that they the country was a victim, that they by inference are victims of all that foreign countries brought to China in the prior centuries (and oh how that was perverse and wrong). However, this period of suffering, this period of humiliation was only overcome by the martyrs, volunteers, party members, the people fighting the good communist fight. That without the party, China would never have overcome this period. That it was the party that unified the people to make China strong again … without the party that China would never have recovered from the imperialists.

    It matters not a jot if you believe that is true or that you don’t. The argument you made was this:

    “The big difference among public opinion in China and US today also must include self perception. US citizens are brought up to believe that the US is the greatest country in history and its form of government is the only correct way. Whereas in China pragmatism prevails.”

    The Chinese youth have been educated (first) from a very young age to believe that the China of today could not be the China of today if it had not been for the Communist Party, that no other system would work, and any other system would not have brought them deliverance.

    As for your request for a slogan or action, I will reference the Young Pioneers slogan, pledge and anthem, that these children from aged 6 are taught to recite:

    Slogan: 准备着,为共产主义事业而奋斗!
    “Be prepared, to struggle for the cause of Communism!”

    Reply: 时刻准备着!
    “Always be prepared!”

    Pledge:
    我是中国少年先锋队队员。我在队旗下宣誓:我热爱中国共产党,热爱祖国,热爱人民,好好学习,好好锻炼,准备着:为共产主义事业贡献力量。
    ” I am a member of the Young Pioneers of China. Under the Flag of the Young Pioneers I promise that: I love the Communist Party of China, the motherland, and the people; I will study well and keep myself fit, and to prepare for: contributing my effort to the cause of communism.”

    We are the heirs of communism,
    Inheriting the glorious tradition of the forebearers of the Revolution;
    [To] love the motherland and the people,
    [While] the crimson red scarf flutters [or waves] at [our] chest.
    [We] do not fear hardship, nor the enemy,
    Studying hard and struggling with resolve;
    Towards victory, [we] courageously advance,
    Towards victory, [we] courageously advance,
    Towards victory, [we] courageously advance;
    We are the heirs of communism.

    We are the heirs of communism,
    Along the glorious path of the forebearers of the Revolution;
    [To] love the motherland and the people,
    “Young Pioneer Members” is our proud name.
    Ever be prepared, to contribute [i.e. to the cause],
    [And] to destroy completely the enemy.
    For [our] ideal, [we] courageously advance,
    For [our] ideal, [we] courageously advance,
    For [our] ideal, [we] courageously advance;
    We are the heirs of communism.

    So, in what way are the youth of China taught about its country & governing system that is different to: “US citizens are brought up to believe that the US is the greatest country in history and its form of government is the only correct way.”

    One last point. The Young Pioneers did not exist during the Cultural Revolution. They were disbanded and replaced by the Little Red Guards.

  18. Black Pheonix
    April 14th, 2013 at 07:52 | #18

    @DalianPaul

    You are off topic, and going off tangent with your highly generalized assertions.

    “So, in what way are the youth of China taught about its country & governing system that is different to: “US citizens are brought up to believe that the US is the greatest country in history and its form of government is the only correct way.”

    You are the one making the comparison, the question should be “in what way are the youth of China similar to US citizens brought up to believe that the US is the greatest country in history”?

    I don’t see you actually making any points with your statements, which do not actually compare any thing.

    Here is the Boy Scout of America pledge and motto for comparison.

    “Boy Scout Oath or Promise

    On my honor, I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

    Note that the Boy Scout Oath has traditionally been considered to have three promises. Those three promises are delineated by the semicolons in the Oath, which divide it into three clauses. The three promises of the Scout Oath are, therefore:

    Duty to God and country,
    Duty to other people, and
    Duty to self
    DUTY TO GOD AND COUNTRY: Your family and religious leaders teach you to know and serve God. By following these teachings, you do your duty to God.

    Men and women of the past worked to make America great, and many gave their lives for their country. By being a good family member and a good citizen, by working for your country’s good and obeying its laws, you do your duty to your country. Obeying the Scout Law means living by its 12 points.

    DUTY TO OTHER PEOPLE: Many people need help. A cheery smile and a helping hand make life easier for others. By doing a Good Turn daily and helping when you’re needed, you prove yourself a Scout and do your part to make this a better world.

    DUTY TO SELF: Keeping yourself physically strong means taking care of your body. Eat the right foods and build your strength. Staying mentally awake means learn all you can, be curious, and ask questions. Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character.”

    So, the Boy Scouts are indoctrinated to their “Duty to God”, which is also their “duty to country”, which made their country “Great”.

    A religious and patriotic indoctrination? Holy mission? Pretty much.

    Boy Scout Motto

    Be Prepared!

  19. DalianPaul
    April 14th, 2013 at 08:12 | #19

    @Black Pheonix

    I am off-topic and making generalizations? I am responding directly to the comment in the discussion:

    “Is instilling a certain value brain washing? The big difference among public opinion in China and US today also must include self perception. US citizens are brought up to believe that the US is the greatest country in history and its form of government is the only correct way. Whereas in China pragmatism prevails.”

    Please do point out where I made these generalizations in my last post – the assertions I made are based on fact. And your attempt to rephrase the question or refocus the debate on what happens solely in the US IS off-topic when you consider the paragraph above.

    The simple point I was making is that in both China and the USA, both systems do indeed brainwash from an early age that each country is the greatest in history and that its form of government is the only correct way. If you can’t see this from the Young Pioneers pledge and, indeed the Boy Scouts pledge, then I can only assume you are choosing not to look.

    As for your comment: “A religious and patriotic indoctrination? Holy mission? Pretty much”.

    My answer: Absolutely.

    A question for you on the Young Pioneers pledge: Do you view this a political & patriotic indoctrination? A political mission?

  20. Black Pheonix
    April 14th, 2013 at 08:44 | #20

    @DalianPaul

    “My answer: Absolutely.

    A question for you on the Young Pioneers pledge: Do you view this a political & patriotic indoctrination? A political mission?”

    I’ll take your admission on the Boy Scout.

    I don’t see the Young Pioneers’ pledge mentioning any thing about China being “great”.

    If you see some thing specific, point it out. (I pointed out “Duty to God”, etc., in Boy Scout’s pledge).

    If you don’t have any thing specific, (and you are just quoting the entire pledge and then make some assertions), then you are being “generalized”.

  21. DalianPaul
    April 14th, 2013 at 10:02 | #21

    @Black Pheonix

    How good of you to ‘accept my admission’ on the Boy Scout pledge. I was quite happy to accept the assertion based on the overall themes employed but it seems that you are not prepared to do so.
    Themes such as: ‘duty to god’ and ‘duty to country’.

    Now let us touch, once again, on the Young Pioneers:

    These such as “duty to country” & “duty to government system”
    “[To] love the motherland and the people”
    “I promise that: I love the Communist Party, the motherland, and the people”
    “[To] love the motherland and the people,[While] the crimson red scarf flutters [or waves] at [our] chest.”
    “We are the heirs of communism, Inheriting the glorious tradition of the forebearers of the Revolution;”

    In fact, your claim that simply because I have quoted the entire pledge (and song), without identifying any specific key phrases or words, that any assertion is a ‘generalization’ is simply being disingenuous.

    The entire pledges and song lyrics are designed as a pledge and anthem to the communist party system and to the country. No need for specifics.

    Insert God for party & the two (pledges) are virtually identical.

  22. Black Pheonix
    April 14th, 2013 at 10:06 | #22

    “Insert God for party & the two (pledges) are virtually identical.”

    OK, but which part did they say China was “great”? (which was the central part of your implication that China was doing the same as “US citizens are brought up to believe that the US is the greatest country in history”).

  23. DalianPaul
    April 14th, 2013 at 10:39 | #23

    @Black Pheonix

    This is hilarious.

    Where does it state in any of the Scout’s pledge that the US is the greatest country in history.

    Both encourage love for their countries. The YP’s pledge explicitly imbues the notion that from the age of 6 they must love the Communist Party of China.

    Both are equally as comparable.

    And as for selective quoting, of which you just accused me in the other thread. The original assertion was that the US did the following/China did not, to which i make the case, both do: ” the greatest country in history AND [my emphasis] its form of government is the only correct way.”

    I see nothing in the scouts pledge on form of government. Yet, I can be magnanimous to admit that this is the case in reality. Yet, you choose to quote only half the argument …

  24. Black Pheonix
    April 14th, 2013 at 10:53 | #24

    @DalianPaul

    “Where does it state in any of the Scout’s pledge that the US is the greatest country in history.”

    I never said it.

    You on the other hand, “in what way are the youth of China taught about its country & governing system that is different to: “US citizens are brought up to believe that the US is the greatest country in history and its form of government is the only correct way.”

  25. Black Pheonix
    April 14th, 2013 at 10:55 | #25

    @DalianPaul

    “I see nothing in the scouts pledge on form of government. Yet, I can be magnanimous to admit that this is the case in reality. Yet, you choose to quote only half the argument …”

    Scout and Young Pioneers were NOT even in the original post. I don’t know which “half” of the argument you are going off on tangent on, but it certainly was not part of the original argument.

    as such, you are done, with your “magnanimous”-ness.

    Any more will be considered SPAM.

  26. April 14th, 2013 at 18:19 | #26

    @DalianPaul
    HH only welcomes people who has constructive arguments to add. By not contributing any counter argument to the article, and instead spamming the comment section with your personal agenda means you are a troll.

    Black Phoenix has given a good enough rebuttal by showing that the Boy Scout’s pledge is in many ways similar to the Young Pioneers.

    I will add that the US pledge of allegiance goes even further:

    I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

  27. April 15th, 2013 at 04:01 | #27

    A joyful, great, refreshing read…

  28. April 15th, 2013 at 11:56 | #28

    I think DalianPaul’s debate tactics are typical of the tactics we see used in the West in their ideological diatribes against those whom they find politically undesirable. They set certain standards (in this case, brainwashing or the lack thereof), then use those standards to judge you & demonstrate your flaws as a society. Throughout the entire debate, the burden is placed on you to demonstrate why you are closer to his established standards/rules/criteria than he claims, and it is simply assumed that these established “norms” should be universally applied to all people (when I say ‘you’, this could refer to a Chinese person or any other person taking a politically unorthodox/unacceptable stand in contradiction to the western mainstream).

    I think the best way to take back the initiative in such a debate is to 1. make the opponent take on the burden of proof on them, and 2. challenge the validity of the underlying assumptions and norms (i.e. why is it that brainwashing is so ‘unacceptable’, when the US itself does it all the time).

    In this particular case, the moment that DalianPaul made the claim that China’s ‘brainwashing’ was ‘no different’ than that of the US, that’s an easy opening to turn things around & point out that it is the Americans who are constantly touting their exceptionalism and moral superiority, & therefore it is up to the Americans (& those who are pro-US) to prove that superiority. If you claim that China & the US are ‘no different’ from each other, then by definition no claims of moral superiority exist.

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