China

China's Other Cultural Revolution

Black markets, books, music, and sex in Mao's Middle Kingdom

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Sovfoto/UIG/Getty Images

Set amid dusty sandstone-colored hills in northern Shaanxi, Yan'an is a hallowed place. Taken over by Communists at the end of the Long March in 1936, it served as the temporary Red Capital during the Second World War. Decades later, Yan'an had become the symbolic home of the ideal Communist man, one who merged with the collective in war and work alike. The "Yan'an spirit" heralded selfless dedication to the greater good, as people fused into a force powerful enough to move mountains.

But when a team of propaganda officials arrived in Yan'an in December 1974, they were shocked to find a thriving and sophisticated black market. The country was eight years into the Cultural Revolution, a massive effort to purge Chinese society of bourgeois influences and move it closer to communist purity. But beneath the surface, something rather different was underway.

One village had abandoned any attempt to wrest food from the arid soil, opting to specialize in selling pork instead. In order to fulfill their quota of grain deliveries to the state, the villagers used the profit from their meat business to buy back corn from the market. Local cadres, instead of enforcing the planned economy as they were supposed to, sided with the villagers and supervised the entire operation.

Yan'an was not alone in taking to the market. Entire communes in Luonan had divided up all collective assets and handed responsibility for production back to individual families. Many villagers abandoned two decades of monoculture, imposed by a state keen on grain to feed the cities and to barter on the international market, and cultivated crops that performed well on the black market. Some rented out their plots and went to the city instead, working in underground factories and sending back remittances to the village.

In parts of Pucheng, propitious couplets in traditional calligraphy largely displaced loud slogans in brash red; officials expressed little interest in reading newspapers, let alone keeping up with the party line. "Not one party meeting has been called, and not one of the prescribed works of Marx, Lenin, and Chairman Mao has been studied," complained one report. In some production brigades, telephone conferences were not a realistic prospect, since the lines had been cut down and were used by the villagers to dry sweet potatoes. Instead of working for the collectives, people with any kind of expertise offered their services to the highest bidder. There were doctors who gave private consultations for a fee. There were self-employed artisans.

Meanwhile, millions of people were going hungry, some of them eating mud or tree bark. In Ziyang, where one inspector had come across a starving family of seven surviving in a shed in the midst of winter, the local authorities had shrugged their shoulders. But elsewhere in the province, some cadres preferred to hand out the land to the villagers and let them try to survive by their own means rather than watch them die of hunger or steal the grain directly from the fields.

Such disobedience had a long history, but it became especially widespread after the mysterious 1971 death of Lin Biao, formerly Mao's heir apparent, and the man in charge of the army that had transformed the country into a garrison state after 1968. In some cases, local cadres took the lead, distributing the land to the farmers. Sometimes a deal was struck between representatives of the state and those who tilled the land, as the fiction of collective ownership was preserved by turning over a percentage of the crop to party officials. Bribery often greased the wheels of free enterprise, as villagers paid cadres to look the other way.

The Cultural Revolution had badly damaged the Communist Party. Now, in a silent revolution, millions upon millions of villagers surreptitiously opened black markets, shared out collective assets, divided the land, and opened underground factories. Cadres were defenseless against myriad daily acts of quiet defiance and endless subterfuge, as people tried to sap the dominance of the state and replace it with their own initiative and ingenuity. These were the unintended outcomes of the Cultural Revolution.

A Socialist World Turned Upside Down
The return to market principles was facilitated by divisions at the top. Partisan wrangling and factional infighting among the leadership had resulted in constant changes in government policy. Cadres started deliberately twisting and bending various state directives, taking them far beyond what the leadership intended. Some opened up every portion of collective property to negotiation, from control over the pigsty, the fish pond, and the forest to the exact dimensions of individual plots. They allowed a black market to thrive, realizing that their own livelihoods, including the food they ate, depended on free trade. They encouraged the villagers to leave the collectives and strike out on their own.

A good example comes from Fenghuang, an ancient town in Hunan where giant wooden wheels scooped up water from the river to irrigate the terraced rice fields. As elsewhere, the villagers seized three opportunities to expand their private plots. They did so first during Mao's Great Famine—the "Great Leap Forward" of 1958–61—trying to escape from starvation as best they could. Then they used the initial chaos of the Cultural Revolution to reclaim more land from the state. They had to retreat after that, surrendering their gains, but in 1972 they pushed forward again, expanding their plots by more than 50 percent.

Officially, private plots were not to constitute more than 5 percent of the land, and people were allowed to cultivate them only once their daily duties to the collective had been fulfilled. But in Fenghuang, as in many other places, some villagers, with the consent of the cadres, interpreted the loosening of agricultural policy as a license to withdraw from the people's communes and work all day on their own. Many went private, growing vegetables or fishing for shrimps. Wu Tingzhong, for instance, declined the basic food ration he was entitled to as a member of his production team and relied instead on his own plot to grow potatoes, vegetables, and tobacco in sufficient quantities to feed himself and sell a surplus worth 400 yuan a year. The entire production team soon followed his lead, pooling their resources to focus on cash crops.

It was a socialist world turned upside down, as those who answered the call of the market thrived while members of the collective remained mired in poverty. Wu Qinghua, a loyal follower who obeyed every order from the people's commune, earned barely enough work points to get by. He dressed in rags and lived in a converted latrine, borrowing money from the collective to help tide him over a bad season. Fenghuang was divided. The cadres leaned toward Wu Tingzhong.

Even when local officials and team leaders decided to close their eyes or bend the regulations, people like Wu Tingzhong and others still had to evade tax officials and other government agents. It was against the law to trade in commodities officially monopolized by the state, from grain to meat, cotton to silk, tea to tobacco. But here too, the state's grip weakened significantly. One example comes from Tang Huangdao, a villager who fried peanuts and cakes at night and sold them by the roadside to travelers. Like many others, he hid most of his wares in the fields, carrying only a small quantity of merchandise with him. When he was caught, everything was confiscated, but there was no other punishment.

Outside Tang's village in Henan, a blockade was sometimes imposed to prevent the sale of grain. In the months before and after the wheat harvest in early summer, checkpoints were set up along the main roads to stop people from carrying away bags filled with corn or wheat on their bicycles. But the villagers knew how to avoid the militia, carrying small amounts under cover of darkness or making multiple trips with hidden containers to avoid detection. In any event, a weakened state was no match for determined individuals who had honed their skills over many years of hardship. Villagers who had survived the horrors of Mao's Great Famine were not about to be intimidated by a tax officer hanging about at a roadblock in a conspicuous uniform.

Underground Industry
Returning the land to the cultivators was but one aspect of a silent revolution in the countryside. Some wealthier villages not only planted profitable crops for the market but began establishing local factories.

This was common in many parts of Guangdong. In Chao'an, where entire villages had been reduced to poverty after embroidery was declared "feudal" at the height of the Cultural Revolution, historic links with the overseas community were revived after the Ministry of Light Industry lifted the trading restrictions in 1972. Two years later, up to half the women in some villages once again specialized in drawn work and embroidery. Their output was worth 1.3 million yuan on the foreign market.

Others turned to manufacturing hardware and tools. While some of these village enterprises were collectively owned, many merely used the appearance of a collective to run a business entirely along private lines. A good example was Dongli Village, where all but 40 of the 420 families were members of a nail factory. They worked from home and were paid by the piece. All the profits went straight to the individual workers, who were also responsible for finding the raw material. Some bought it from street peddlers, others obtained recycled iron from the black market, and a few went to Shantou to buy in bulk. A good worker made five to 10 yuan a day, the equivalent of what an ordinary farmer made by working in a commune for an entire month.

The village enterprises contributed to the market in more than one way. They not only sold their wares through intermediaries, but also used their earnings to buy grain and fodder for their pigs, as well as imported goods that the planned economy could not provide, from fish oil to aspirin. They sent purchasing agents to compete with the state sector for scarce resources needed to run their businesses, buying up coal, steel, and iron.

These examples come from Guangdong, but rural enterprises were not limited to the south. In parts of Jiangsu, contracts were concluded between the production team and individual households as early as 1969, in blatant violation of the policies of the time. This process often began in regions where the land was unsuitable for agriculture. Along the coast, for instance, some villagers at first abandoned the sandy soil and switched to raising fish instead. Then they gradually turned their attention to industry. In Chuansha, where the state mandated that villagers grow cotton, the industrial portion of total production increased from 54 percent in 1970 to 74 percent five years later, a rate of growth far superior to the years of "economic reform" after 1978.

In Jiangsu province as a whole, industry represented a mere 13 percent of total output in the countryside in 1970 but a phenomenal 40 percent by 1976. These factories were often collective, if in name only. Tangqiao village, with help from the cadres, established a metalworking factory with 25 employees in 1970. A year later, it set up a power plant as well as a cardboard-box factory, several other metal shops, and an animal-feed processing plant. A brick factory followed in 1972, all of it in blatant disregard of the state's demand that the countryside grow grain. The village leaders now attracted political attention and started opening new enterprises under the umbrella of a "comprehensive factory." The facade of planned unity was abandoned the moment Mao died in 1976.

There were also underground factories that dispensed altogether with the pretense of collective ownership. Some were run by individuals, who merely used the name, and often the accountant, of the collective. In other words, they attached themselves to production teams and relied on state officials for protection.

Officials in the higher echelons of power could do very little to combat these trends. There were periodic campaigns to "cut the tail of capitalism," but they were met with widespread sabotage, as villagers slaughtered their animals and diverted collective resources for their own use.

When the garden economy created by private plots and rented land produced a surplus, villagers sometimes got on their bicycles and went to the city, selling vegetables, fruit, chickens, ducks, and fish. A few took their produce from door to door, and others gathered outside department stores, by railway stations, or near the factory gates, spreading out their wares on the ground or on small card tables. Public security services regularly chased them away, but they kept coming back. Sometimes the local authorities turned a blind eye, as people met at an agreed time to trade goods at makeshift bazaars.

Villagers migrated in large numbers, despite the restrictions imposed by the household registration system. During the Great Leap Forward, millions had resettled in the cities, working in underground factories or on construction projects. Many were sent home during the famine, but they kept on coming back, carrying out the dirty, dangerous, or demeaning jobs that city dwellers were unwilling to do. By the early 1970s, many villages had a well-established tradition of migration, knowing how to evade agents of the state, where to seek employment in the city, and how to look after family members left behind. Sometimes the cadres themselves encouraged a form of chain migration by agreeing to take care of children and the elderly, as remittances from workers in the city contributed to the survival of the entire village. The migrants continued to submit their quota of grain, either through relatives or by paying a fee directly to the village leader.

Circles of relative wealth appeared around the cities, as peddlers and farmers moved to fringe areas, where they cultivated vegetables or manufactured small goods sold to urban residents. Some set up food stalls or opened small restaurants near the local markets. Many lived in a twilight zone, constantly evading government control and running the risk of being sent back to their home villages, but large numbers managed to acquire the right to stay in the city.

The numbers were staggering, counteracting the efforts the state had made to curb the urban population in 1968–69. In Shaanxi, major cities across the province grew by a quarter of a million people in 1970, and again by a third of a million the following year, reaching a total of 3.6 million. In Hubei, the urban population grew by a mere third of a million between 1965 and 1970, but by half a million in the following two years. Even in Beijing, the authorities found it difficult to control people's movements.

Counter-Revolutionary Culture
The new freedoms being seized extended beyond movement and trade. While the contents of bookshops changed very little, with row after row of works by Mao, Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin, the range of books that circulated under the counter expanded enormously. Even at the height of the Cultural Revolution—as the Red Guards, Mao's militant ideologues, tried to eradicate all signs of a feudal past—some of them quietly pocketed titles that attracted their attention. Quite a few found their way on to a thriving black market. There were even reading groups that exchanged forbidden material and gathered to discuss common interests. One network of readers based in Beijing, with correspondents in other parts of the country, boldly called themselves the Fourth International Counter-Revolutionary Clique. Despite government suppression, these clubs continued to gain members, as a growing number of readers groped toward a critical perspective on the Cultural Revolution.

Not all the literature that circulated was high-minded. On the black market, novels with erotic passages commanded the highest prices, proportionate to the degree of political danger. In this puritanical society, even Stendhal's Le Rouge et le Noir was considered erotic; a copy could command the equivalent of two weeks' wages for an ordinary worker. Such novels were copied by hand, and sometimes crudely mimeographed with simple stencils or hand-cranked devices. At the height of the Cultural Revolution, many units had begun publishing their own bulletins or newspapers. Some of that equipment had escaped from the hands of the Mao Zedong Thought propaganda teams and was now being put to good use, as erotic novels and lewd songs circulated in factories, schools, and even government offices.

Other social activities condemned by the state flourished. There were underground singing clubs, as people gathered under the pretext of singing revolutionary songs, only to enact forbidden plays and sing banned tunes. In the Shanghai Number Two Machine Tool Plant, 100 young workers played forbidden music every Friday in the winter of 1969–70, attracting a lively audience from other factories. The old world made a comeback, as people reconnected with pastimes the Red Guards had decried as feudal or bourgeois. The only widespread children's game by the time of Lin Biao's death was skipping, but soon enough whips and tops, hopscotch, and diabolo could be seen in the streets of Beijing. The sale of traditional, painted silk kites was still restricted to foreigners, but some children knew how to fly ingenious contrivances made of strips of wood and bits of the People's Daily. Poker appeared in the narrow, winding alleys of the capital. Pigeons could be seen racing across the sky with small bamboo pipes attached to their tail feathers, producing an eerie, harmonious whistle. People started keeping birds in cages again, sometimes heading for the parks in the early morning to air their pets.

Underground artists found refuge from politics in art, painting in a manner purposely detached from "socialist realism." Many were deliberately apolitical, trying to carve out a personal space where they could reconnect with their inner selves. Their art was clandestine, but like the underground literary salons and singing clubs, informal groups of amateur artists shared their interests, using abandoned factories, deserted parks, or private flats in buildings with adequate dark hallways and isolated staircases. Some budding Beijing artists from diverse backgrounds came together in a group which received a name only much later: Wuming, or Nameless. "In an era when free association was a crime, the group had to be nameless, shapeless and spontaneous," the historian Wang Aihe writes. "There were no regulations, no membership, no unified artistic principles or style." Many of them came from families defined as "class enemies" and had endured broken homes, ravaged schools, and crumbling communities throughout the Cultural Revolution. They took to the brush, at first honing their skills by following the propaganda campaign and painting portraits of the Chairman. It was a good source of precious oil paint and linen canvas, which they used to begin experimenting in their spare time.

Religion also went underground, allowing people to remain secretly connected to their faiths. When lamas, imams, and priests were sent to re-education camps, ordinary Christians, Buddhists, Taoists, and Muslims stepped in to hold their communities together. Local gods were also stubborn, subverting the state's attempts to replace them with the cult of Mao. In some villages, local festivals and public rituals were discontinued and temples closed down, yet many villagers continued to worship at small shrines or altars inside their homes. They burned incense, offered vows, invoked the spirits, or otherwise communicated with a variety of gods away from the public eye, from ancestral spirits and patron deities to rain gods and fertility goddesses. The ultimate act of subversion was probably to turn the Chairman himself into a local deity.

Larger statues also survived, even as temples were demolished or turned into granaries. In some cases they were moved from one place to another, until by 1972 local communities felt it safe enough to give them a more permanent home. Sometimes a temple was built with collective funds under the pretense of establishing a school.

The family endured sustained attack during the Cultural Revolution, with senseless and unpredictable purges designed to cow the population, rip apart communities, and produce docile, atomized individuals loyal to no one but the Chairman. Family members were expected to denounce each other at public struggle meetings; love was considered a decadent, bourgeois emotion, and sex was taboo. In the words of Rae Yang, one of the Red Guards dispatched to rural China: "We did not have sex or even think about it. Sex was bourgeois. No doubt about it! In my mind, it was something very dirty and ugly. It was also extremely dangerous. In the books I read and the movies I saw, only the bad guys were interested in sex. Revolutionaries had nothing to do with it. When revolutionaries fell in love, they loved with their hearts. They didn't even touch hands."

But like so many other students sent to the countryside, Rae learned quickly by watching the farm animals. She was put in charge of breeding boars, having to guide their quivering genitals into a sow's vagina. "It was like watching pornographic movies day in and day out." Once Lin Biao had vanished, young people began to meet socially and quietly pair up, seeking privacy away from collective dormitories and crowded dining halls. In Manchuria, with temperatures plunging to 30 degrees below zero, young couples on state farms had little choice but to take to the great outdoors. Despite the cold they persisted, rushing back to the dormitories to embrace the heaters after less than 20 minutes.

For students who did not work on agricultural collectives controlled by the army, living among the villagers instead, the opportunities for sexual encounters were much greater. In some cases young people even lived together, a practice unimaginable in the cities. A few had children out of wedlock, refusing to marry for fear of being stuck in the countryside forever.

Except for those students from the cities, the vast majority of people in the countryside were far less coy about sex. When they first arrived among their peasant hosts, quite a few young students were taken aback by their open displays of affection. One day Wang Yuanyuan, a 16-year-old girl sent to Inner Mongolia, saw a couple making love by the side of a ditch and reported the affair to the brigade leader. "The old peasants, though, didn't treat it as anything and just laughed." As in so many other aspects of folk culture, the Cultural Revolution ran no more than skin deep.

Revolution from Below
After Deng Xiaopeng took the reins of state, he initially attempted to restore the planned economy to its pre-Cultural Revolution days. But he had neither the will nor the ability to fight the trend. Everywhere, in one way or another, people had been emboldened by the failure of the Cultural Revolution to take matters into their own hands. It was an uneven, patchy, and largely silent revolution, but eventually it would engulf the entire country. In the winter of 1982–83, the people's communes were finally officially dissolved. It was the end of an era.

The covert practices that had spread across the countryside in the last years of the Cultural Revolution now flourished, as villagers returned to family farming, cultivated crops that could be sold for a profit, established privately owned shops, or went to the cities to work in factories. Rural decollectivization, in turn, liberated even more labor in the countryside, fueling a boom in village enterprises. Rural industry provided much of the country's double-digit growth, offsetting the inefficient performance of state-owned enterprises.

And this change was driven from below. As Kate Zhou has written, "When the government lifted restrictions, it did so only in recognition of the fact that the sea of unorganized farmers had already made them irrelevant." The private entrepreneurs who transformed the economy were millions upon millions of ordinary villagers, who effectively outmaneuvered the state. If there was a great architect of economic reform, it was the people.

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  1. Another fine illustration that markets can no more be eliminated than gravity. You can build levees and dams, corrupt the flow of rivers, but the dams will silt up, the levees lock in the status quo, and Mama Nature cares not; the river wears them down, tops the banks, and goes on its merry way.

    The process sucks, but I take some patient satisfaction in knowing how pathetic their corruption is.

    1. The legacy of socialism: wiping out decades of productivity for the sake of satisfying the curiosity of morons.

    2. Life, uh, finds a way.

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  3. Maoists aren’t *real* atheists!

    /ducks

    1. Because socialism is also a religion, granted. But exploiting their enzyme patterns with opium in effect used duress to tax the Chinese to support British India, Turkey, Burma, The Balkans, Cochin-china (‘Nam) and their colonial and chemical industry masters (Germany, Scotland, Switzerland, Austria-Hungary and Delano’s yankee traders). And let’s be honest… the Opium Wars did not end during America’s Reconstruction. The Boxer revolt and the reforms of 1907 were also opium wars before the successful revolt of 1911. Furthermore, being stabbed from behind by the missionary-brainwashed Taeping faithful was another lesson they’ll not soon forget.

      1. The reason the West started selling opium in mass quantities to China was not about ‘exploiting’ anyone – its because of fears that too much silver was leaving the UK and opium was the only thing the Chinese would *voluntarily* accept in large enough quantities in lieu of silver for payment.

        The Brits were no more exploiting the Chinese with opium than the Chinese were exploiting Brits with the threat of cutting off tea sales.

        What they were ‘exploiting’ them with was huge amounts of local goodwill (because these traders were bringing in *voluntary* goods and trading – unlike the Chinese government which simply took in taxes and gave back whatever it felt like) and significantly superior firepower and maneuverability.

        1. Exactly. The British had a comparative advantage with their Indian-produced opium, and the only reason the Chinese wanted to keep it out was their mercantilism.

      2. Hank Phillips|6.5.16 @ 11:59AM|#
        “Because socialism is also a religion”

        eddie is a fucking ignoramus; you’d do well to mock the idiot or ignore him.
        He’s incapable of honest argument, since he presumes others are as stupid and dishonest as he is.

  4. Outside Tang’s village in Henan, a blockade was sometimes imposed to prevent the sale of grain. In the months before and after the wheat harvest in early summer, checkpoints were set up along the main roads to stop people from carrying away bags filled with corn or wheat on their bicycles.

    This is how you know your political philosophy is a sure-fire winner: imposing in peacetime what your enemies would do in war.

    1. Feature, not a bug. In their minds they were at war with the bourgeoise and anti-revolutionary forces. And they liked it that way because it’s easier to control people when they think enemies are everywhere.

  5. A year later, it set up a power plant as well as a cardboard-box factory, several other metal shops, and an animal-feed processing plant. A brick factory followed in 1972, all of it in blatant disregard of the state’s demand that the countryside grow grain.

    THOSE DISOBEDIENT CHINKS SHOULDA BEEN MURDERED EN MASSE.

    /commiekid

    1. So many peasants ,so little time.

    2. I’m once again growing some tomatoes which will mostly feed the critters and I’m sure once again by the end of the summer I’ll calculate that the cost of the plants and the fertilizer and my time will result in tomatoes that cost about 5 bucks apiece. I woulda been better off doing a couple hours extra work doing what I do well and paying a tomato farmer to grow my tomatoes. I can turn a ceiling fan installation into tomatoes the same way these guys can turn bricks and cardboard boxes into grain, more efficiently by using the division of labor and comparative advantage than by directly digging in the dirt.

      1. If the critters are getting your tomatoes, pick them at the first blush and let them ripen indoors. They still taste great.

        BTW, background gardening is good for three things: satisfying recreation, delicious vegetables that are vastly superior to most supermarket varieties, and health benefits. The health benefits arise from the incentive that the harvest creates to eat fresh vegetables and the usually mild but sometimes strenuous exercise required to start and maintain the garden. I reckon I get about $5 of harvest above cost for every hour I put into my garden. The only way it could possibly make enough money to be worth it if you didn’t enjoy it is if you were into canning. But then you’d have to have a huge garden to make it worthwhile.

    3. Read some more of Dikoetter’s books. The en masse murder did in fact happen.

  6. I will be interested to view mtrueman’s take on this; from what I understand, mtrueman claims to be a committed Maoist, yes? HM calls him, “Martin.”

    I seem to recall mtrueman prattling on and on about, “Barefoot Doctors,” and chicken blood.

    1. Were they pregnant barefoot doctors?

      1. Well, my wife was with our twins…*chuckles*…. Ahem, she actually worked both pregnancies, though the second one did slow her down a bit.

        Seriously though, according to this thread, I seriously doubt it.

        1. persuade others here of Mao’s righteousness.

          OMFG

          Gotta be a puppet, just gotta be. Or he’s posting from behind the Great Firewall with five censors looking over his shoulder.

          1. persuade others here of Mao’s righteousness.

            People in China are pretty well convinced, even though they were the ones getting mass-murderated. I once has some old biddy in my tutoring center threaten to call the cops over my disagreement with such.

        2. Wow. That is… that is pretty special.

          When your affection for hilariously inept social policy redounds on a single, badly instituted, hugely flawed and only somewhat effective program…

          1. It’s really not such a monstrous idea to introduce basic public health measures to millions of people. Even if communists do it.

            1. 1. Kill all the doctors
              2. Send quacks to the boonies
              3. ???
              4. Profit!

              1. “1. Kill all the doctors…”

                You’d be surprised just how many people lived in villages where there were no doctors to begin with.

                The profit is measured in longer healthier lives. The communists believed they owned these lives. Longer and healthier living meant more rice production, which the 5 year plan mandated. If you think the communists did wrong by promoting public health, then make your argument.

                Or would you rather move on to other, yet no less praiseworthy, aspects of Mao’s regime. The New Marriage Act of 1950 made marriage legal only on mutual consent, among other provisions favourable to women. They also stamped out foot binding without fierce resistance of the independent minded peasantry.

                1. The profit is measured in longer healthier lives. The communists believed they owned these lives. Longer and healthier living meant more rice production, which the 5 year plan mandated. If you think the communists did wrong by promoting public health, then make your argument.

                  And of course because it “mandated” it, that is exactly what occurred. No one ever died of starvation in a communist country that had “mandated” that they produce a surplus of grain.

                  1. “No one ever died of starvation in a communist country that had “mandated” that they produce a surplus of grain.”

                    There are examples of communist countries that didn’t undergo mass starvation, Vietnam and Cuba, for example. They probably benefited from the failed experiments in China.

                    1. You’re retarded.

                    2. “You’re retarded.”

                      At least I haven’t been educated to believe that Castro purposefully starved millions of Cubans.

                    3. Martin is a close and personal Internet friend of Kalzone Kraphole. Don’t expect him to argue with you in good faith. He’s just here to shitpost and grief.

                    4. They probably benefited from the failed experiments in China.

                      Oh, so you admit that China underwent mass starvation due to Mao’s policies?

                      The profit is measured in longer healthier lives. The communists believed they owned these lives. Longer and healthier living meant more rice production, which the 5 year plan mandated. If you think the communists did wrong by promoting public health, then make your argument.

                      What part of the mass starvation was measured in longer, healthier lives?

                      Maybe they lived longer lives due to the benefits of caloric restriction? Maybe the people who didn’t die of starvation lived longer, healthier lives due to “doctors” bringing chinese “medicine” to the countryside?

                    5. “Oh, so you admit that China underwent mass starvation due to Mao’s policies?”

                      What made you think otherwise? My support for his programme to introduce public health to the countryside?

                      “What part of the mass starvation was measured in longer, healthier lives?”

                      Longer and healthier lives come with the introduction of public health measures.

                      “healthier lives due to “doctors” bringing chinese “medicine” to the countryside?”

                      It seems you disapprove of amoeba free drinking water. Join the club.

                    6. My support for his programme to introduce public health to the countryside

                      Oh. I didn’t think someone might be silly enough to advance the idea that Mao did good things for the peasants that could somehow counterbalance how many of them he starved to death.

                      But I guess here you are.

                      It seems you disapprove of amoeba free drinking water. Join the club.

                      Wow, you are really quite remarkably stupid. Where did you get your master’s degree from?

                    7. “Mao did good things for the peasants that could somehow counterbalance how many of them he starved to death”

                      I don’t feel I need to counterbalance anyone’s death. I’m reporting the facts, ugly as they are. If you feel they are too much for you to face, then just read Brian and the other twerp. Skip my comments.

                      “Wow, you are really quite remarkably stupid.”

                      Yes. You got any good vagina jokes for me?

                2. So what? Despite the fact that Mao may have made a few token “improvements” to the lives of the Chinese people, it pales besides the death and destruction he caused in the name of Communist purity. Had the Chinese adopted the concept of universal rights they would not only have benefited from social reforms that favored the individual, they would have avoided the starvation and deprivation that Communism causes.

                  1. Had the communists never existed, China could easily have reverted to the warlordism that prevailed before and during the Japanese occupation. Not a good prospect for sound public health. China’s troubles didn’t begin with Mao and end with Deng. But I agree with you. Communists are no different from any other government. Look at the millions of conscripts sent into the meat grinder by capitalists during WW1.

                    1. Look at the millions of conscripts sent into the meat grinder by capitalists during WW1.

                      Yeah, you can’t post two comments around here without someone interjecting to praise the Kaiser.

                    2. “Yeah, you can’t post two comments around here without someone interjecting to praise the Kaiser.”

                      Or pretending that communists were alone and unique in willingly sacrificing millions of their subjects.

                    3. Yet no one is praising the non-communist mass murderers. Funny, that.

                  2. A Chinese-American friend of mine suggests :

                    I think that we should look at Mao’s great starvation as also a deliberate affirmative act that had great results. He saw the way the Black Death was connected to the Renaissance in Europe, and decided that, for China to have its own Renaissance, it was necessary for it to have its own Black Death.

                    1. Nonsense. Mao was a communist. What use would he have for the Renaissance?

                    2. What use would [Mao] have for the Renaissance?

                      Here is your answer.

                    3. Stick to vagina jokes. Just copy Brian if you have trouble with the punch lines.

                    4. Question: why does mtrueman wish he had a vagina?

                      Answer: so someone might feign interest in his China adventures.

                    5. When arguing with mtrueman, realize you are arguing with someone who has so much time on his hands that, per his blog, he :

                      tried out at least 10 different Linux distributions before settling on Puppy Linux.

                    6. Puppy Linux is pretty good if you don’t have a need to do heavy computing and/or have an old computer. It also works well installed on a USB.

                    7. look at Mao’s great starvation as also a deliberate affirmative act that had great results.

                      Thus showing the innate sociopathy of the communist mindset.

        3. Well, my wife was with our twins…*chuckles*…. Ahem, she actually worked both pregnancies

          Wait, serial pregnancies of twins? Is that possible?!

          1. Wait, serial pregnancies of twins? Is that possible?!

            Oh yes, but it’s uncommon. Usually a woman who experiences multiple births of two or more like that either has a strong family HX of multiple births, or when fertility RX is used to encourage pregnancy, and the mother specifically opts to keep a multiple birth arrangement (usually these produce fraternal, not identical twins).

            Apologies, I meant to type, “She worked through both pregnancies,” meaning our son (1st) and daughters (2nd, identical).

            1. Actually I was wondering what the odds are of having fraternal twins in separate pregnancies.

              1. Your wish is my command…

                About 1 in 3,000; my wife disagrees and pegs the odds closer to 1 in 4,000, based on latest data. Rates of use of fertility drugs and opting for/against a selective harvest is not provided in these stats.

                1. I started googling about extreme pregnancies and it got depressing really quickly.

    2. ” I seem to recall mtrueman prattling on and on about, “Barefoot Doctors,” and chicken blood.”

      Yes. Sadly, mtrueman is not sane.

      1. That dude wouldn’t shut up about that fucking (as noted above) “single, badly instituted, hugely flawed and only somewhat effective program”, as if the fact that it didn’t result in the destruction of millions of lives (like all of Mao’s other programs) means Mao was a success!
        You can’t teach that kind of stupid…

      2. “mtrueman is not sane”

        Irrelevant. Boiling water before drinking is both sane and in line with Mao’s policies.

        1. in line with Mao’s policies

          Kill the bourgeoisie, boil some water!

          1. I think you are getting the hang of communism in China.

    3. “I seem to recall mtrueman prattling on and on about, “Barefoot Doctors,”

      I support the barefoot doctors, a programme of Mao to introduce sanitation and public health measures to the countryside where the vast majority lived. It was responsible for millions living longer and healthier lives. The chicken blood is a hobby horse of another commenter here. It’s not responsible for saving lives or longer lives.

      1. It was responsible for millions living longer and healthier lives.

        It also gave everyone a pony and a unicorn.

        1. Yes, the health benefits of drinking amoeba free water can be wished away. Just close your eyes and stamp your feet.

          1. How did Mao raping little girls get the amoebas out of the water?

            1. “How did Mao raping little girls get the amoebas out of the water?”

              I see another vagina joke coming my way. OK, how did Mao raping little girls get the amoebas out of the water?

              1. It didn’t. Mao wasn’t a doctor. He was a mass-murdering, child-raping monster of the highest order. But you knew that already.

                1. “It didn’t. Mao wasn’t a doctor. He was a mass-murdering, child-raping monster of the highest order. But you knew that already.”

                  Your punch-line needs work. Read more of Brian’s jokes.

          2. Funny how some figured it out without all the mega-murder.

            1. “Funny how some figured it out without all the mega-murder.”

              You mean Castro? Yes, he managed to impose communism on Cuba without the murder. Send him a box of cigars if you feel moved to.

              1. Yeah, political opposition to Castro just vanished on its own like a fart in the wind!

                1. “Castro just vanished”

                  They must have been massacred in their millions. No other explanation is acceptable.

  7. Rock, Paper, Scissors. Loser has to go to Salon and bring back a link.

    1. I glanced at the headlines and it’s just not even fun derp, just grudging derp. They’re complaining about Trump and reveling in the self-destruction of the GOP, and two headlines later there’s an op-ed about supporting Sanders to the bitter end.

    2. Fine; here’s ole Mandy Marcotte’s special flavour of She-Ra Man Hater’s Club.

      Enjoy gouging your eyeball’s out of your sockets.

      (TW: Time has not been kind to Gloria Steinem… I am positive Crusty wouldn’t)

      1. Instability, she says?

        *ctrl-f*

        “muslim”

        *zero results*

        “Islam”

        *zero results*

        “terrorism”

        *two results… both in the same sentence, decrying America’s “domestic terrorism” e.g. spousal violence*

        Intersectionality can kiss my ass.

      2. And domestic violence here. If you were to add up all the Americans who were killed in 9/11, in two wars in Iraq, and in 14 years of war in Afghanistan, and then you added up all the women who were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the same period of time, more women were murdered. So we’ve lost more Americans to domestic terrorism than to foreign terrorism or war in the same period of time.

        That’s as far as I could make it. “Domestic terrorism”. Thought “terrorism” had an element of using violence to alter the behavior of a government. Hey, but if she wants to make the family into a mini government and become an AnCap, I’m fine by that.

        1. It’s also really fucking dumb. Terrorists inflict a huge number of casualties using very few people. That’s not in the remotest sense akin to spousal violence, which is the product of deeply flawed interpersonal behavior. If you compare terrorist acts to drunk driving you would come away with the conclusion that drunk drivers are hundreds times worse than terrorists, if you’re an idiot who conflates data in a stupid manner. It’s not only meaningless but wholly unproductive: if she really believe men as a group are terrorists, then she should be open to rounding them up in internment camps or at the very least completely dissociating from them. Which would be a net benefit for everyone.

          1. Let’s just classify all violence as terrorism. Make Obama’s morning signing of the drone kill list more fun.

            1. And in order to differentiate actual terrorism we’ll call it “workplace violence.”

          2. if she really believe men as a group are terrorists, then she should be open to rounding them up in internment camps

            In this day and age, what makes you think she isn’t?

            at the very least completely dissociating from them.

            I’m sure this happens naturally.

            1. Until she says so, I’m assuming nothing. The intellectual dishonesty on parade is damning enough. She’s earnest enough to conflate domestic violence and terrorism in print but not enough to find its natural conclusion. Go fuck yourself, Gloria. At least Valerie Solanas had the courage of her conviction, as batshit as it was.

      3. Amanda’s tagline says she’s a politics writer.

        I always saw her as comedy fiction.

      4. “Women from Alaska, often very young girls, are trafficked on boats to Minnesota and other states.”

        I am no expert at inland maritime navigation on your world, but this method of cattle transport seems inadequate

        1. This might help you visualize how backwoods people traffic in the wimminz. In boats. Over land.

        2. Well, the Mississippi is navigable up to Minneapolis.

          1. So down the Pacific, through the Panama Canal, and then back up to Minnasoda? Dammit, if it wasn’t for the Jones Act, there’d be cheaper Alaskan women in MN.

      5. “Time has not been kind to Gloria Steinem.”

        She’s Eighty-freaking-two. What did you expect?

        1. She’s Eighty-freaking-two. What did you expect?

          Considering she drinks and bathes in the blood of nubile virgins, I was expecting a slightly more taught appearance. Besides, I was actually referring more to her questionable mental state than appearance, though the two are completely interchangeable for the purposes of this comment.

          1. Yeah, but being a feminist she has to use inferior male virgins… they’re not nearly as effective.

          2. “Women have two choices: Either she’s a feminist or a masochist.”? I don’t know if she actually said this, but this photo is right-wing gold.

    3. Ha! Even Salon can have a diamond amongst the manure.

      1. She has a long history with Salon – from way back before they went unhinged.

  8. The obvious subtext here is that this is the roadmap for our revolution. Destruction of the State is caused by termites gnawing from within, rather than the traditional woodchippers. Organic, in all senses of that word.

    1. Wreckers never gonna stop, never stopping

    2. An ex would refer to arousal as feeling “organic,” which killed the mood a bit.

      1. There’s no MSG is vaginal secretions.

        1. “in”

          Arousal at the thought is what ruined my typing.

        2. That’s why when I eat out, I go for Chinese.

          1. The slant makes my neck hurt.

            1. Try approaching from a different slope.

              1. Renegade makes love like a tangent line, orthogonally.

            2. Oh, wait, wait… you just gotta orient yourself.

              1. An hour later, I want to eat out again.

                1. Time to nip this in the bud.

    3. I wondered when I’d 1st see the echo here. Must start doing often.

  9. The human spirit just doesn’t mesh with socialism/communism/Marxism.

    1. In Progressive Republic of Most Free Mammals, communism meshes with you

    2. “I am a meat popsicle”.

    3. “The human spirit ”

      … is material and can be formed and shaped by the will of man. What clown college taught you Marxism?

      1. “What clown college taught you Marxism?”

        But, then, you repeat yourself.

        1. “But, then, you repeat yourself.”

          I doubt either of you got it the first time.

          1. Geesh, stop it with the nerd sex tourist euphemisms.

  10. China has a long history of the peasants overthrowing the government. The current group of communists have to walk a fine line between keeping them happy and keeping them oppressed. Something will eventually give.

    1. Quit it, you’re making Tony salivate.

    2. “China has a long history of the peasants overthrowing the government.”

      Not really. They’ve long had troubles with people from the border lands like the Mongols and Manchus etc. They’ve also had trouble with religious movements like the Boxers. Peasants rising up and overturning the warlords? That would be the communists in 1949.

      1. They didn’t overthrow the warlords, they replaced the various warlords with a single, much more murderous warlord.

        1. “they replaced the various warlords with a single, ”

          Singular but collective. This is communism we are talking about. There was no dictatorship under Mao, lots of struggles and purges, but his inner councils remained and eventually set him aside and I think Mao was a marginalized figure by the time Nixon got around to visiting.

          1. Not really.

            Oh, Martin!

            You truly are the most ignorant motherfucker on the planet! I can understand not knowing about
            Ji xue liaofa
            , but trying to be Reason’s China hand while knowing nothing about one of the largest peasant revolts in history?

            Stop it before you embarrass yourself further.

            1. To quote myself:

              “They’ve also had trouble with religious movements”

              1. Of course you’d confuse the Yellow Turbans with the Taiping Rebellion.

                More! Beclown yourself even more, Martin!

                1. ” Taiping Rebellion.”

                  No, it was the Boxers I was confusing with the Taiping. Generous audience if that warrants a laugh around here.

                    1. Nice to see you branching out from the Latin. Word to the wise: pinyin is for kids.

                    2. If I could post in hanzi I would.

                      And what’s with the sarcasm? Are you some sort of ethno-linguistic chauvinist, Martin? Does interacting with a polyglot vex you somehow?

                    3. Are you some sort of ethno-linguistic chauvinist, Martin?

                      It would be the first time I’ve been called that. But my personal failing are many and you have a wealth of choice. Why not join our friend Brian who very swiftly moved from China to my sexual perversions? Whatever gets us away from chatting about chinese stuff…

                    4. I hear your mom got a surgical Chinese sideways vagina job.

                      Wait: you knew that already.

                    5. “vagina”

                      he he he. good one

                    6. “Good one.”

                      Stop quoting your mom.

          2. There was no dictatorship under Mao

            When you wish upon a star…

            1. Dictatorship of the party. It wasn’t a one-man show.

              1. It wasn’t a one-man show.

                True, he wasn’t quite as effective as Stalin or Pol Pot, but China had a lot more people and he certainly gave it the old college try.

                1. “True, he wasn’t quite as effective as Stalin or Pol Pot”

                  These are all communists. Collective leadership. You seem to be trying to make a victim of the party membership, absolving the party of its responsibility for these horrors, foisting on the shoulders of a single man. I disagree with this.

                  1. I disagree with this.

                    Ah, I see. The great visionary leaders are too good for the sinful party. Mao did all the good stuff, and the party did all the bad stuff.

                    1. “Mao did all the good stuff, and the party did all the bad stuff.”

                      Mao was a party member. That’s communist party.

    1. I was trying to figure out how the effect here is any different than period sex.

    2. When I broke my first, real hymen in my teens ? during an over-the-jeans dry-humping session with Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King playing in the background

      The more you know!

      1. Legolas! Still only counts as one.

  11. “Meanwhile, millions of people were going hungry, some of them eating mud or tree bark. In Ziyang, where one inspector had come across a starving family of seven surviving in a shed in the midst of winter, the local authorities had shrugged their shoulders. But elsewhere in the province, some cadres preferred to hand out the land to the villagers and let them try to survive by their own means rather than watch them die of hunger or steal the grain directly from the fields.”

    I wish more people could see the connection between the problems of central planning in China (and elsewhere) and the problems we’re seeing in America today. A lot of the problems with central planning are happening right in front of our faces, but since we’re so wealthy, and no one is starving to death in America, people think what happened in China because of central planning is irrelevant.

    But that description above about the horrible consequences of land reform (meant to help landless peasants) is the same kind of thing that’s happening to people on the ObamaCare exchanges today. Deductibles have skyrocketed, insurance premiums rise by double digits every year, and insurers and providers are abandoning the exchanges.

    1. The other day I was trying to explain to a very lefty doctor colleague how in the USA we call people with cars, air-conditioned homes with indoor plumbing, hdtv, smartphones, state-of-the-art kitchens, etc, etc as “living in poverty”. And how in these other socialist countries with far less ‘income inequality’, people living like that would be upper-middle-class at the very least, if not considered downright wealthy. IOW, I said to her, our capitalism has meant that even our ‘poor’ are rich compared to the rest of the world, and it’s the main reason why so many people want to come here.

      She wouldn’t have any of it. “How can you compare us to the third world, that’s ridiculous,” she said. We just need to be more like Sweden”.

      Bernie really has these people believing all his soundbites without even thinking for two seconds. I was close to needling her by saying “Oh, your idea of the perfect country is one that’s almost all white people?” but decided it wasn’t a good discussion to have in the middle of a nursing station in Oakland, CA. So I just suggested she google the average income and home size in Sweden, and see if they all live in Shangri-La.

      1. I just suggested she google the average income and home size in Sweden, and see if they all live in Shangri-La.

        I imagine the retort is,

        “But look at how well so many live on *just what they need*? rather than all this wasteful excess income and horrible *choice* which makes people live in big, wasteful homes, and use devices which suck up electricity we should never have had to produce…”

      2. According to the IMF:

        GDP per capita at purchasing power parity:

        Sweden: $47,922

        United States: $55,805

        We kick Sweden’s ass.

        Meanwhile, Sweden has less than 10 million people.

        We have about 325 million people.

        Sweden has become like “Merry Old England” for the left–a place that never was in a time that never could have been, where people are doing things that can’t be done, and everyone is happy.

        In reality, they’ve got diversity problems (see Rape Capital of the World), and they’re fiscal conservatives.

        “The government budget has improved dramatically from a record deficit of more than 12% of GDP in 1993. In the last decade, from 1998 to present, the government has run a surplus every year, except for 2003 and 2004. The surplus for 2011 is expected to be 99 billion ($15b) kronor.[41] The new, strict budget process with spending ceilings set by the Riksdag, and a constitutional change to an independent Central Bank, have greatly improved policy credibility.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Economy_of_Sweden#Government

        Our 2016 budget deficit is estimated to be about $600 billion. If the United States were like Sweden, we might cut spending by $600 billion. Sweden’s tax rates are double ours, but doubling the rates would lead to less than a doubling of revenue.

        1. “Meanwhile, Sweden has less than 10 million people.”

          Somebody the other day was talking to me about how they do things in Iceland.

          There are only 300,000 people in Iceland.

          Talking about how 325 million Americans should emulate a homogeneous culture consisting of 300,000 individuals is absurd.

          Maybe we should all buy camels and herd goats like we’re Bedouins.

          1. Iceland needs a phone app to make sure you arent screwing your cousin.

            1. So does Denmark.

              I think much of Scandinavia does, too.

              Scandinavian eugenics policies from the 1930s to 1970s didn’t help their genetic diversity.

  12. I guess there are two main differences between land reform in communist China and the ObamaCare exchanges. Nobody ends up starving to death because of ObamaCare, and when the peasants were starving to death in China, officials would look the other way and let them use market solutions to survive.

    With ObamaCare, on the other hand, if the peasants are getting priced out of the insurance market, Obama doesn’t care. They can pay the fine, live without health insurance, and light themselves on fire for all the progressives care.

    1. Kinda makes you glad that most progressives are afraid of guns.

      1. The scariest thing about them is that they seem to be incapable of learning from the past, from their own mistakes, etc.

        You can take them down the list of all the predictions we made about what would happen on the exchanges and why, and then you should them what’s happening and why–and their reaction is just mystification.

        How could anyone have known this?

        Well, let’s see . . . it’s happened a million times before; in fact, it always happens when you do A, B, C, . . .

        It’s like discussing math with people who can’t count–and refuse to count. . . . not even on their fingers. Counting is stupid. Math is stupid. And the only people who believe in it are rednecks!

        Yeah, thank God for the Second Amendment. I’d hate to have depend on reasoning with such people to defend my rights alone.

        1. “It’s like discussing math with people who can’t count”

          Exactly. Ok, that made me laugh. That is just perfect.

        2. Tried that, I did. I’ve been pointing out the inevitable failure on an actuarial basis since about two hours after I got the news this bullshit passed. I still do it. Send them quotes and links.

          “Of course, I want people to have health care. I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.” (Remember that? Such lol.)

          Blank stares. No clue what you’re talking about, Hamster. No, really, trying hard… yep, we got nothing.

          People won’t think. If they’re getting screwed, it’s bad but only because of those *insert kulaks and wreckers of choice*. If it paid for their lap band, and then when their teeth fell out it paid for their dental surgery and dentures, then Obamacare is good.

          I feel like Cassandra of Troy. My only consolation is that this is math. Hamster can be ignored, math cannot. It’ll come tumbling down even if everyone thinks all these facts and figures are silly to the bitter end.

        3. Don’t you get it? Obama and his hand picked team of experts are so super intelligent, that this time it was going to be different.

          1. I don’t think it’s that.

            I think it’s that people who oppose progressives are bigoted and privileged, and so their opposition is indefensible.

            And it has something to do with aesthetics. When Obama does what Bush did sans the drawl, it’s somehow perfectly acceptable.

            When Trump goes out to the left of Obama, that’s okay with Trump’s supporters, too–for aesthetic reasons, I think.

            It sure isn’t about the facts. I think everyone inside the Beltway knows that the next President is going to have to redo ObamaCare because it’s falling apart–I don’t know why the media isn’t talking about it. I guess it’s considered embarrassing to the left or Obama personally or something. And I suppose the aesthetics are more important to them than the facts.

            The facts are that ObamaCare is doing to the insurance markets and the people who depend on them what the CCP did to landless peasants during the Great Leap Forward.

    2. Oh, quit your bitchin’ Ken. Single payer will come in and save the day.

      1. Give me liberty or give me death I’ll bitch and moan and whine and complain about it.

    3. They’re kinda looking the other way by not really enforcing the mandate unless you’re stupid and honest on your tax forms.

      I didn’t have insurance (because of Obamacare) for over a year, but I just said I couldn’t afford it, and boom no fine. I didn’t have insurance for a couple of months in 2015, but I said that I did, boom no fine.

  13. OT: Norway going full retard. Crony applauds.

    1. Oh dear me some of those comments.

      I see a ‘Peak Lithium’ debate coming soon.

      1. There is one good comment:

        Nice picture from the early 1990s of condensation coming from cars on a cold day.

        1. I wonder if Norway had no oil they’d take this route.

          They see no problem exporting it though.

    2. “Politicians from both sides of the political spectrum have reportedly reached some concrete conclusions”

      No, they haven’t.

    3. Where are they going to get the energy to power all those electric cars?

    4. Back in 1990, California mandated that 10% of all vehicles be zero-emission by 2003.

      Those good intentions didn’t materialize either. I imagine that electric vehicles will eventually make up a significant fraction of the fleet once self-driving cars become practical. However, gasoline and diesel will always be better than electric for individually owned vehicles since they are used for both short commutes and long trips. Gasoline and diesel are really perfect transportation fuels.

    5. That’s the second dumbest thing a Scandinavian country’s ever done.

      This wins, though:

    6. Fusion and reindeer sleighs, or natural gas to power the electric industry? if they banned Tesla sales I’m sure Elon would still be effusive.

    1. I though pleading ignorance wasn’t a defense in law.

      1. That only applies to the peasants, not the King and his men.

      2. Only for the little people.

        Just about any other profession, the professionals are expected to be the experts in the field & held to a higher standard for malpractice than a lay person would.

  14. OT. Not sure if anyone has posted this, but:

    Phillipino Psychopath

    Don’t read the comments, you’ve been warned. Unless you want to see a bunch of good ol conservotards cheering on this lunatic for telling people to shoot anyone who might be a drug dealer. Reminds me of the time conservotards wanted to build a wall around CO because they legalized pot.

    1. Who knew the AP was such a pit of scum?

    2. Avatar
      Of course, I didn’t heed your advice. But I wish I did.

      “Vaargaz ? 3 hours ago

      “Human rights watchdogs have expressed alarm that his anti-crime drive may lead to widespread rights violations.”

      Commonly known as thug huggers and killer colliding cowards. He is speaking the only language drug traffickers and their lucrative cash machine fear. If we lined our own drug traffickers up in front of a firing squad drug use would drop precipitously and drugs would become so expensive due to shortages usage would diminish. Unfortunately, some of our illustrious Congressmen and their Big Pharma CEO owners, being the countries most prolific drug traffickers, would also feel the burn of a Rifle Sonata.”

      So drug use would drop if you killed the dealers?

      1. Sorry for the slight confusion with the word ‘avatar’ above my comment.

      2. So drug use would drop if you killed the dealers?

        Seems legit.

      3. That’s what these psychopaths seem to believe. And the idea that after he’s got his mobs shooting ‘drug dealers’, that his next move is political enemies, doesn’t seem to occur to them at all. I’m not going anywhere near the Philippines. Not that I was anyway, but I wouldn’t now in any case.

    3. Don’t read the comments, you’ve been warned.

      I didn’t take your advice. I should have.

  15. Like Republicans and Marx, Chinese socialists cannot envision “capitalism” other than as the cutthroat mercantilism defended by Adam Smith (e.g. in his defense of the Navigation Acts). Only in 1947, as national socialists stretched ropes in Nuremberg, did Ayn Rand write down the non-aggression principle. Are there 1000 people in Red China aware of this concept?

    1. I remember seeing a ChiCom as a guest on the Tonight Show back in the early 70’s.

      I was just a kid but hearing that ChiCom say “Yes, in America you are free. Free to starve.” was a shock. I couldn’t believe anyone could be that stupid. The Chinese govt had just finished starving 50 million people to death.

      Does that answer your question?

    2. the cutthroat mercantilism defended by Adam Smith (e.g. in his defense of the Navigation Acts)

      The ‘protection’ that Smith considered British shipping to need was not ‘trade protection’ as Morgen Witzel suggests; it was military protection (against the Dutch at the time). He did not endorse the Navigation Acts to develop the British economy; it was to survive if Britain was blockaded by a superior naval force.

      Your characterization of Smith is quite odd, considering that he is history’s most famous critic of the “mercantile system”.

  16. I am still scratching my head trying to figure out why Norwegians haven’t taken all of their politicians out and hanged them.

    No fossil fuel vehicles. Electric only. Where does that electricity come from?

    There has to be something in the water there.

    1. Solar. They are, after all, the land of the midnight sun.

    2. Isn’t their economy dependent on exporting fossil fuels?

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  19. I’ve been to a village in Yunnan, Luduke, where the cultural revolution passed essentially un-noticed and villagers. Some iconoclasm – a broken stone cross of a French Jesuit Priest who’d died years before, since repaired. The communists had also stolen the church bell years before, but the villagers continued to gather and sing and pray in the church which was untouched. Some also wore the cross prominently embroidered on their backs.

    China is so big and much of it is so isolated, (There was no road to Luduke when I first went, it was something like a 3 hour walk.) There are always going to be counter examples to the party line, whatever it is.

    1. I hear Chinese women have sideways vaginas. Is that true?

      Wait: how would you know?

      1. “Wait: how would you know?”

        It was actually a Hmong village. Now you know the secret of why the ‘H’ is there.

        1. Keep your nerd sex tourist perversion euphemisms to yourself.

          1. “euphemisms”

            This is not a euphemism. The vaginas are shaped like an ‘H’.

            “sex tourist ”

            Visiting a church is not what sex tourism is about. Visiting churches, for there was more than one, makes one a pilgrim, even if one is sexy.

            1. You nerd sex tourist cult people really creep me out.

              1. Thoughtful of you to share that with us.

                1. Sounds like something your mom would say.

                  1. “Sounds like something your mom would say.”

                    No, that would really creep you out. You gonna go with mother for a while, or switch back to sex pervert? Maybe surprise us with something new? Can you do Latin?

                    1. “No, that would really creep you out.”

                      We all know how creepy your mom gets.

                    2. There’s still an opening for Latin. The other twerp’s moved on to Chinese.

                    3. What’s the matter? I thought you were the old China hand here! Don’t tell me you got tripped up on a common proverb in the original Putonghua?

                    4. Your mom likes Latin flavor.

                    5. Too good for mtrueman’s mom.

    2. mtrueman|6.5.16 @ 1:52PM|#
      “I’ve been to a village in Yunnan, Luduke, where the cultural revolution passed essentially un-noticed and villagers.”

      Bull
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      shit.

      1. You’ve been taught to think differently, I know. Best go there yourself to check it out. That’s what I did.

      2. Suppose it was true. So what? Being a fucking tourist on a party-approved trip to some tiny village full of people you can’t really communicate with doing things that you would never dirty your own hands on for any meaningful length of time is supposed to establish what credential, exactly?

        I’m sure mtrueman would make a great party functionary in some glorious communist country, provided he survived the 95% chance of being executed before he made it that far, and for the handful of years before he was executed after falling out of favor. But party functionaries don’t put food on anyone’s table or clear “amoebas out of the water”. They spout bullshit and excuse atrocities. Hardly a necessary or praiseworthy job.

        1. “Being a fucking tourist on a party-approved trip to some tiny village full of people you can’t really communicate with doing things that you would never dirty your own hands on for any meaningful length of time is supposed to establish what credential, exactly?”

          My visit was not party-approved, though I had a visa issued by the government. They had no idea of my itinerary. I could communicate with the villagers, some of them could speak Chinese at least as well as I could.

          I’m relating my experience to show that China is a large and various place. Lots goes on their regardless of what the party dictates. In Luduke, we see a long and continuous devotion to Christianity. No need to take my word for it. You are free to visit. There’s even a road now.

  20. Ah nice to see mtrueman here seeing how isn’t he a Mao sympathizer?

    Other than all the murders , mtrueman you got yourself quite the idol

    1. Ask the idiot for a cite once; he has none. trueman spouts bullshit in the hopes someone believes it.
      Trueman is a bullshit artist, no more nor less. I have yet to see a claim from trueman that wasn’t bullshit.
      Right, trueman? If not, I’m waiting for the cite, you slimy POS.

      1. “Right, trueman? If not, I’m waiting for the cite, you slimy POS.”

        You’re welcome to wait. But I must have told you a dozen times. I don’t provide cites or footnotes. I leave that to my readers. If you haven’t grasped that by now, you should have. But keep waiting.

        1. Let’s summarize.

          Mao killed millions.

          Mao raped children.

          Mao made it illegal to question Mao.

          Mao then sent quacks to the countryside who told people to boil water and get chicken blood transfusions, among other mostly useless and sometimes outright harmful things.

          This makes him A Great Man.

          1. “who told people to boil water and get chicken blood transfusions”

            It’s the chicken blood that puts you off, isn’t it? Or do you really object to boiling your drinking water? Is that one of your useless things?

            1. Where is your praise for the man who discovered the benefits of boiling water in the first place? Mao isn’t fit to lick Louis Pasteur’s boots. He didn’t accomplish anything in his life except violence.

              1. I praise Louis Pasteur. I also praise those who took Pasteur’s work seriously, even if they were communists, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

                1. those who took Pasteur’s work seriously

                  You have not mentioned a single such person.

  21. Ah nice to see mtrueman here seeing how isn’t he a Mao sympathizer?

    Other than all the murders , mtrueman you got yourself quite the idol

  22. Could be wrong but is mtrueman the one who thought Mao had the right and correct ideas…however just did a sore job of implementation and selling?

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  25. As long as you had a Picture of Mao in your living room, it is my understanding that you only need to know who to bribe to pursue market directed activity. That’s the true socialist way!

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  31. RE: China’s Other Cultural Revolution
    Black markets, books, music, and sex in Mao’s Middle Kingdom

    Mao broke off with the old USSR because he couldn’t believe Comrade K would negotiate with “the imperialist Americans.”
    The famines Mao launched forced the Chinese people to recognize that totalitarian socialism (Stalinism) was going to eventually kill them.
    The Chinese people started to grow their own crops, trade for goods and generally ignored the bullshit that was force fed them by Mao’s government lackies, stooges and cronies.
    When Comrade Nixon went to the PRC, it was the beginning of the end of socialism, but not the ruling Chinese elites.
    Capitalism flourished on the black market there as in the old USSR and the Eastern Bloc countries.
    The Chinese ruling elites like what capitalism has done for them, but the masses are still oppressed because there can be no revolution there (or anywhere else) if the majority of people do not have guns.
    Let this be a lesson to anyone in favor of gun control.
    It can happen here.

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