Using Mao’s own Quotes Against Him

I saw this old video of Chinese youth rallying and chanting denunciations of “Khrushchevite revisionism”. Naturally this would excite any self-proclaimed Maoist. But then you remember the old saying, “What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed?” — Hannah Arendt, 1974

It’s a strange condition in which all the “free and happy” people in every “people’s democracy” all seem to unanimously agree with the leader and the central committee on all issues. If there is no press freedom, and the only information people get is in support of the party, how then can they come to their own conclusions about anything?

Here Mao refutes himself when he said in “Oppose Book Worship” that, “Unless you have investigated a problem, you will be deprived of the right to speak on it. Isn’t that too harsh? Not in the least. When you have not probed into a problem, into the present facts and its past history, and know nothing of its essentials, whatever you say about it will undoubtedly be nonsense.”

Clearly then, the top down Stalinist bureaucracy of Mao is, in and of itself, anti-Marxist. Not according to someone else, but by Mao’s own standards. This is what Slavoj Žižek means when he says that Stalinism betrays its own standards, it rejects its own premises. Stalinism fails on its own terms.

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