THE RETURN OF MAO
July 1 marked the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. To celebrate, the political landscape of China has become like a replica of today’s Stalinist North Korea or Mao’s China where self-glorification has no boundaries.
In addition to routine displays of self-congratulation for the Communist Party’s achievements in every possible aspect of human existence, one particular effort was evident in bringing back what the communists regard as the glory of Mao Zedong, the communist leader responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Chinese people during his brutal rule from 1949 to 1976.
Mao-era songs and music, known as “Red Songs,” were ordered to be performed nationwide. Two scholars, the economist Mao Yushi and the historian Xin Ziling, were singled out as traitors for slandering Mao in their articles and speeches.
Seizing this opportunity, foreign-born Maoists are seeing a resurgence too. Harpal Brar, the current chief of the Communist Party of Great Britain (MarxistLeninist), was featured prominently June 27 in the official party newspaper, the People’s Daily, praising the Chinese Communist Party’s great contribution to the International communist movement and the current leaders’ continuation of Mao’s anti-imperialism spirit.
Starting the first week of June, several foreign-born Maoists were profiled one by one in the People’s Daily’s “Strong China Forum,” a bastion of ultranationalism and ideological rhetoric, for their lifelong devotion to the Chinese communist cause. They included Solomon Adler, a com- munist agent who operated inside the Treasury Department during World War II; Joan Hinton, a radical Maoist and nuclear physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project with a lifetime dedication to bringing down “American imperialism” from her privileged dairy farm near Beijing; and Israel Epstein, a Soviet KGB spy turned die-hard Maoist and one of China’s chief foreign-born propagandists.
Nostalgia, Chicom style: A tourist dressed as a Communist Red Army soldier poses for photos in front of a communist leader Mao Zedong’s poster at an old Communist Party base in Yan’an, in northwestern China’s Shaanxi province, on June 30. Yan’an is celebrated as the birthplace of China’s communist revolution. Communist forces led by Mao Zedong, ousted from bases in the south, retreated to Yan’an during the Long March and from there plotted the revolution that brought them to power in 1949.