• Experimenting with Half Mankind

    blackhat(19032) 2010-10-06 16:21:44
    评论 In the summer of 1966, the official Peking press reported that on 16 July Mao Tse-tung, the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party,then in his seventieth year, had organized and led a mass swim in the Yangtze. Somewhat fuzzy photographs were published of what appeared to be his large round head bobbing in the water. Reports said he had swum nearly ten miles in just over sixty minutes and he was described as 'radiant with vigour and in buoyant spirits'.1 This was merely one of the prodigies which appeared to have taken place in China in the quarter-century between Mao's accession to power and his death in 1976. It was widely believed China was steadily overcoming the economic problems facing large, backward and heavily populated countries, and was doing so within the framework of an enthusiastic national consensus. Visitors returned fervent admirers of Mao's brand of Communism.China, one of them wrote, was 'a kind of benign monarchy ruled by an emperor-priest who had won the complete devotion of his subjects'. Its people, another predicted, would be 'the incarnation of the new civilization of the world'. Simone de Beauvoir testified: 'life in China today is exceptionally pleasant'. The country had become, said another witness, 'almost as painstakingly careful about human lives as New Zealand'. David Rockefeller praised 'the sense of national harmony' and argued that Mao's revolution had succeeded 'not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high morale and community of purpose'. Another American visitor found the changes 'miraculous The Maoist revolution is on the whole the best thing that happened to the Chinese people in centuries.' What attracted most admiration was the improvement in moral tone. 'Of the many communes I visited,' Felix Greene reported, 'all except one denied any knowledge of any children born out of wedlock.' 'Law and order', another American visitor found, '. . . are maintained more by the prevailing high moral code than by any threat of police action.' Yet another insisted that government tax collectors had become 'incorruptible'and that intellectuals were anxious to prove their lack of 'contempt for peasants' by 'lugging buckets of manure in their free time'. These testimonies recalled the uncritical praise lavished by visitors on Stalin and his regime during the horrors of collectivization and the great purges. When taxed on this point, admiring visitors replied that the lessons of Soviet mistakes had been learnt, largely through the extraordinary genius of Mao. He was, Jan Myrdal wrote, 'third in line with Marx and Lenin' and had solved the problem of how 'the revolution can be prevented from degenerating'. He 'combined', wrote an American political scientist, 'qualities which rarely coexistin one being in such intensity'. Han Suyin argued that, unlike Stalin, Mao 'is extremely patient, and believes in debate and re-education',and had 'an ever-present concern with the practical application of democracy'. When a problem arose, an American sinologist reported, Mao 'invariably' responded 'in a uniquely creative and profoundly ethical way'. Felix Greene believed that the hunger for power had been eliminated and that there was 'no evidence of that jockeying for power or of the personal rivalry that we have so often seen in the Kremlin'. Mao was not merely a soldier, a leader, a poet, philosopher, teacher, thinker and charismatic: he was also a kind of saint. What struck Hewlett Johnson most about him was 'something no picture has ever caught, an inexpressible look of kindness and sympathy, an obvious preoccupation with the needs of others . . .these formed the deep content of his thoughts.' Needless to say, these travellers' tales, as in Stalin's Russia, bore little or no relation to the truth, which was more interesting and infinitely more depressing. And Mao's public image, too, was as remote from the reality as Stalin's. Mao was not a saint. There wasnothing of the scholar or the mandarin about him. He was a big,coarse, brutal, earthy and ruthless peasant, a kulak indeed; an educated version of his father. Khrushchev, not unjustly, compared him to 'a bear, swaying from side to side as he moved, calmly andslowly'. Talking to the Politburo in 1956, Mao warned: 'We must not blindly follow the Soviet Union . . . . Every fart has some kind of smell, and we cannot say that all Soviet farts smell sweet.' Three years later, admitting the failure of the 'Great Leap', he told the same group: 'Comrades, you must all analyse your own responsibility. If you have to shit, shit! If you have to fart, fart! You will feel much better for i t . ' Again, in 1974, reviewing the shortcomings of the Cultural Revolution he philosophized: 'The need to shit after eating does not mean that eating is a waste of time.'7 A Belgian Communist described him, during the great Red Guards rally in Heavenly Peace Square on 18 August 1966, retiring from time to time to take off his vest and wipe his chest and armpits, remarking, 'It's unhealthy to let sweat dry on your body. 英文版(20章): 中文版(19章):