Donald Hank
June 19, 2007
Mao in America
Similarities between a failed Chinese system and the ideology driving Western thought
By Donald Hank

There is no standard definition of Maoism, although a recurring theme for most definitions is the emphasis on an agrarian revolution as opposed to the Soviet-style urban revolution.

Unfortunately, that doesn't come close to describing what happened in the Cultural Revolution of China, Mao Zedong's salient achievement, which gutted China both spiritually and materially, killing millions and leaving the economy in ruins.

Zeroing in on the specific features of Maoism that caused this, I like to define Maoism thusly from the standpoint of reality rather than ideology:

    Maoism: a refinement of Marxism-Leninism wherein the disenfranchised classes are given maximum power and privileges while the former privileged classes are outlawed and divested of all power.

Thus there is a virulent and punitive aspect that is not present in the older forms of Marxism-Leninism.

Chairman Mao himself may not have agreed with this definition but it describes to a T what he actually promoted and what happened as a result in the 1970s.

What does this have to do with America today?

The American and European Left adored Mao. They studied his "Little Red Book," followed the events in China in the 1970s, and expected positive results from his experiment that would vindicate Communism, a system that was found wanting in the USSR. Jean Filhos, a left-of-center Parisian sculptor in whose atelier I worked in 1970, once urged me to travel to China. He was enthusiastic about Mao, who was all the rage in the circles he traveled in. The Left on both sides of the Atlantic still admires Mao.

To get a feel for how Maoism translated into reality and how Mao's China suffered from this relentless ideology, you need only view Yimou Zhang's film masterpiece "To Live," available on DVD for about $11 through or Blockbuster videos. This will show you where we could be headed with the gay agenda, for example, which is not content just to secure "rights" (actually privileges) for gays but in fact seeks to punish those who oppose their political agenda. This Maoist idea is being put into practice throughout the Western world in the form of hate crimes legislation: Sweden, England, France, Canada, Australia and, yes, the USA have all seen arrests of Christians and others who dared to non-violently oppose this sexual-orientation aspect of Western Maoism.

I am not suggesting that Mao had so much influence on Western culture that the Left is blindly allowing his ideas to dictate their behavior. I believe this may be a home-grown parallel phenomenon.

My point is that, because of the similarity between the modern Left and Mao, smart people should realize that we are heading for another failure similar to Mao's and that we should do everything in our power to avoid falling over the same cliff.

Although Mao's system proved even more disastrous than the Soviet one, the American Left are religious zealots who remain oblivious to the facts and cling tenaciously to their failed ideology.

And since they dominate the media, academia and much of government, the sheer power of their propaganda machine has overwhelmed our culture, permeating important areas of our lives, and even mentally overwhelming many "conservatives."

How could this be happening?

Keep in mind that a Western style of Maoist thought permeates the media and has translated into public policies.

Here are more examples of Maoist-type policies that have been mainstreamed and found wide acceptance even in many "conservative" circles:

— Radical feminism. The writings of feminist icons like Andrea Dworkin, which have had a domino-like influence, first on the feminists, then on ordinary people, then on government, reveal a deep hatred of "male culture" and all things traditional, particularly male-female marriage (which they derisively call patriarchy). As for anti-male bias, it is evident in TV ads, domestic violence campaigns, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) — which enshrines in law the notion that only males are capable of violence — and in "family" court. (See the books: "The War Against Boys," and "Who Stole Feminism" by Christina Hoff Sommers' and Warren Farrell's "The Myth of Male Power" and "Father and Child Reunion.")

— Affirmative action. This idea has shut thousands of qualified non-minority young people out of higher education by forcing schools to admit quotas of under-qualified minorities, who in turn have suffered because the majority of them were unprepared academically. It has also cost thousands of qualified non-minority workers jobs. This concept was carried to its logical extreme when Black Panther thugs were given free reign to wreak havoc on college campuses in the 60s and early 70s.

— Open-border policies and amnesty for illegal aliens. It is estimated that each illegal immigrant family costs the taxpayer $18,000-20,000 per year and that illegal immigrants take the lives of about 45,000 US residents annually. Yet border guards Compean and Ramos were criminalized for daring to oppose the incursion of actual criminals into our country.

Prosecutor Mike Nifong was a classic Maoist class warrior who saw only the social classes — female and black vs male and rich heterosexual — and not the facts of the case.

In Mao's system, it wasn't enough that the former landlord class should be abolished in favor of a classless society. Mao wanted the former privileged class to be eternally branded and punished, not absorbed into society. Thus the sins of the parents were visited on one's children. There was no redemption available. If your grandparents had been landlords, for example, you and your children could never become officers in the armed forces. Today, the tax payer plays the role of the rich privileged class. He, his children and his children's children are doomed eternally to pay for the excesses of the Left.

Some would argue that Mao was a homophobe and that it is therefore absurd to call the gay agenda Maoist.

But we are not comparing the demographics of the underdog vs the privileged groups in China and the US with each other. We are showing how the perceived underdog, whatever group he may belong to in the respective culture, is given privileges at the expense of the higher or middle classes. Thus, in China under Mao, the former rich landlords and the bureaucracy were cast as privileged classes and hence demonized while the peasants were cast as the underdog and hence were awarded privilege. In America, for example, Bible believing Christians, men, sexually traditional heteros and the rich are deemed privileged and hence are demonized, while gays, women and minorities are deemed the underdog and hence awarded privileges (such as a tailor-made definition of marriage unknown heretofore anywhere in the world).

In the West, the main reason these malignant manifestations of Maoism have triumphed is ignorance. High school and college history departments ignore the failed ideologies of the 20th century, focusing instead on diversions such as global warming, animal rights and other liberal issues. This opens the doors for a repetition of history's tragedies here and now.

For those not convinced that the identified tendencies in America can be legitimately identified as Maoist, let me point out something that would otherwise be inexplicable:

In China today, despite international pressure, radical feminism and the gay agenda are receiving zero attention on the part of a government that has meanwhile purged itself of Maoism.

After all, close to a billion people there saw first hand the results of other Maoist ideas put into practice. Even the crθme of Madison Avenue talent couldn't sell these movements there.

The Chinese have put Maoism in the past. Sadly, we seem to have reserved it for our future.

© Donald Hank

Comments feature added August 14, 2011

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Donald Hank

Until July of 2009, Don Hank was operating a technical translation agency out of his home in Wrightsville, PA. He is now retired and residing in Panama with his wife Zoila and their daughter Luisa... (more)


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