As Americans Turn Left, We Should Remember Socialism Killed 36 Million Chinese
As Americans Turn Left, We Should Remember Socialism Killed 36 Million Chinese By Helen Raleigh for The Federalist
Chinese whistleblower Yang Jisheng’s book, ‘Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962,’ is a powerful reminder that collectivism is evil.
After I finished reading Yang Jisheng’s book, Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962, an extensive analysis on the worst man-made calamity in human history, I couldn’t help but wonder: If Yang’s book were required reading for American college students, would so many young people embrace socialism so enthusiastically?
Yang opens the book with his father’s death in 1959. It was April, and Yang was a high school student. Since his school was far from the village where his father lived, Yang rarely saw his father during the school year. One day, a villager brought Yang the dreadful message—his father was dying of starvation. Yang rushed home. He found utter destitution.
The village felt like a ghost town. There were no animals running around, not even rats, and no living trees either. “All had been stripped of their leaves and bark by starving peasants,” he records. People ate whatever they could get their hands on, and when they were not searching for food, they barely had any energy to move or make a sound.
At the little hut his father lived in, Yang saw his father’s “eyes sunken and lifeless, his face gaunt, the skin creased and flaccid,” which reminded Yang of the human skeleton he saw in an anatomy class. Yang suddenly realized that “the term skin and bones referred to something so horrible and cruel.” Yang tried to feed his father some peanut sprouts—the only thing he could find—but his father was too weak to even swallow. He died three days later.
Despite losing his father to starvation, Yang “felt no suspicion and completely accepted what had been instilled in me by the Communist Party and the Communist Youth League.” Since the founding of Communist China in 1949, the CCP had sealed China off from the outside world. The government had a domestic monopoly on information and facts.
“From nursery school to university, the chief mission was to inculcate a Communist worldview in the minds of all students. The social science research institutes, cultural groups, news organs, and schools all became tools for the party’s monopoly on thought, spirit, and opinion, and were continuously engaged in molding China’s youth.” Furthermore, “all views diverging from those of the party were nipped in the bud.”
How to Kill 36 Million People
Growing up in this environment, young Chinese developed a fervent belief in Communist ideals and intolerance for dissenting voices. “Any words or deeds that diverged from these ideas would be met with a concerted attack.” Like many brainwashed young people, Yang believed that Chinese people’s suffering was the result of China being bullied by Western imperialism for nearly 100 years.
But under Mao’s leadership, China went on to implement the highest ideal of mankind: Communism, where everyone was supposed to have equal access to food, shelter, health care, and so much more. Yang was taught that such greater good was worthy of every bit of personal sacrifice. Yang was ready and willing to give his own life for the Communist ideal. Therefore, he regarded his father’s death and his own village’s misery as an isolated incident and minor setback for China’s march to paradise.