Was Chairman Mao a pedophile?

In the Feb. 21 Straight Dope colum, Cecil responds to a reader’s question, “Was Chairman Mao a pedophile?” Cecil answers the question by relying almost entirely on unverified assertions in the memoir, The Private Life of Chairman Mao, by Li Zhisoui who had been Mao’s physician. What’s Wrong with “History by Memoir”? is addressed in the special issue of Revolution newspaper entitled “You Don’t Know What You Think You ‘Know’ About… The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future
http://revcom.us/revolution/current323-en.html. Also read “But How Do We Know Who’s Telling the Truth About Communism?" in this special issue. Revolution Books will host a discussion of this special issue at revcom.us this Sunday, Feb. 23, 4pm. A scientific methodology and analysis is crucial here for two reasons. One, there are urgent lessons to learn from history for anyone who refuses to accept the horrors in the world today, and we need to sharpen our tools to be able to get to the truth about reality including history. Secondly, while a violent and degrading rape culture is considered “the way things are” today, there were pathbreaking strides toward women’s liberation in socialist China with Mao’s leadership (1949-1976). Come Sunday to Revolution books at 1103 N. Ashland Ave. I have appreciated Cecil’s columns in the past for research done and facts provided. But this column is far from the “straight dope.” It’s harmful poison. I do note that in his column Cecil, appropriately(!), discards the characterizations of Mao made by fiction writer, and US military cheerleader, Tom Clancy.

Reported for move to appropriate forum and to add a link to the column in question.

Since this is a comment on one of Cecil’s columns, I’ve moved it to CoCC.

samclem, moderator

Well, I glanced over the OPs link, and don’t see where it proves that Chairman Mao was or wasn’t a pedophile. It seems the usual pro-Communist, anti-something (presumably Capitalism) glurge. If the OP would be so kind as to quote from his link the proofs that Chairman Mao wasn’t a pedophile or how what Cecil said was wrong it would help speed things along.

I understand women were as free to starve as men during Mao’s regime.

Ephebophilia (a desire for pubescent youths) seems to be a more accurate description of Mao’s sexual deviation. Since the age of consent in China was relatively low anyway, while it may be disturbing to Western mindsets, it wasn’t illegal.

Then again…Mao was a dictator, so technically the laws didn’t apply to him.

I’m surprised by this column too. When I read it I just assumed it was a very old one. In the Good Old Days of the column being a source for salacious information not easily findable anywhere else, there were lots of columns like this. Using one book as a source was acceptable when simply being able to find any info on a question was good enough for a humor column in the pre-Internet days. Now? It’s disappointing at best.

What I’m wondering is (if we assume the book Cecil relied on was accurate, which is a big assumption, I realize), what could the “parasitic STD” be? I assume that phrase means it was an STD caused by something other than the usual viral or bacterial infections. What kind of parasites spread themselves by human sexual contact?

Pthirus pubis fits the bill ;).

Scabies also can be spread by sexual contact.



Just popping in to say I have a copy of The Private Life of Chairman Mao, and it’s an excellent read. Well worth your time if it’s still out there.

Yes, Chairman Mao caused great economic catastrophe that set the Chinese economy back a decade with his Great Leap Forward. Oh, and the Great Leap Forward did cause somewhere between 20 million and 46 million deaths. Yes, he went forward with that even though other members of the Chinese Politburo warned that it could lead to absolute disaster.

Sure, as a political comeback strategy, Mao instituted the Cultural Revolution which tens of thousands of Chinese Communists were purged as in I saw a cockroach scampering a cross the floor, and I purged it with my shoe. Yes, the Great Leap Forward destroyed the careers of hundreds of thousands of teachers, college professors, completely annihilated post secondary education in China and caused an entire generation to be lost education wise. Yes, millions were uprooted from their homes, denounced, raped, beaten, and forced into a life of hard labor.

But, Mao wasn’t a pedophile. I mean, he wasn’t some kind of monster.

As delicious as these stories are about Mao being some self-styled emperor thinking he could turn back the clock by feeding off of the sexual lifeforce of young girls, there’s about a hundred accounts against it. It’s a very silly propaganda claim that’s lasted all-too long because of the book “The Private Life of Chairman Mao”. Well, here’s the refutation of that sensational myth:


via - http://chinastudygroup.net/2009/10/classic-csg-text-available-now-manufacturing-history-sex-lies-and-random-house’s-memoirs-of-mao’s-physician/

And as far as the Great Leap Forward goes, yes millions of people died due to the famine, but did you know that reduced birth rates were counted towards the total death count? Subtract reduced birth rates, and we get the actual number of deaths: from 1959 to 1961 between 3-10 million people died due to famine, a massive tragedy, no doubt, but an order of magnitude less than what we typically hear. Atop this, these years were nightmare agriculture years: droughts, floods, pests, etc. Ask any Sinologist about this, they’ll tell you the same.

You want the straight dope? Go to a big university and find 10 Chinese professors from various departments, of various ages, and ask them about Mao and China.

I’m unconvinced by those refutations. As has been explained above Mao seems to have been an ephebophile rather than a pedophile. That charge however pales when placed beside the countless millions of deaths for which Mao was responsible. And then, the final indignity (perhaps he was bored in his old age), he unleashes the horrors of the Cultural Revolution, led by his termagant of a wife and her cronies, on the Chinese people. Of course, one can find many Chinese who will defend Mao, but then one can also find many Russians who will speak in glowing terms of that old monster Stalin. The world is well rid of the both of them.

Ghandi slept with 17-year old girls, but had no sex with them.

Is there any man who was in a position of power or influence in the 20th century who has not been accused of being a pedophile yet?

Nope, haven’t heard or seen documented that reduced birth rates were counted. Your figures are off by an order of magnitude. From an account in that notorious Red-baiting newspaper, the N.Y. Times:

*"To this day, the party attempts to cover up the disaster, usually by blaming the weather. Yet detailed records of the horror exist in the party’s own national and local archives.

Access to these files would have been unimaginable even 10 years ago, but a quiet revolution has been taking place over the past few years as vast troves of documents have gradually been declassified. While the most sensitive information still remains locked up, researchers are being allowed for the first time to rummage through the dark night of the Maoist era…
Historians have known for some time that the Great Leap Forward resulted in one of the world’s worst famines. Demographers have used official census figures to estimate that 20 million to 30 million people died.

But inside the archives is an abundance of evidence, from the minutes of emergency committees to secret police reports and public security investigations, that show these estimates to be woefully inadequate.

In the summer of 1962, for instance, the head of the Public Security Bureau in Sichuan sent a long handwritten list of casualties to the local boss, Li Jingquan, informing him that 10.6 million people had died in his province from 1958 to 1961. In many other cases, local party committees investigated the scale of death in the immediate aftermath of the famine, leaving detailed computations of the scale of the horror.

In all, the records I studied suggest that the Great Leap Forward was responsible for at least 45 million deaths.

Between 2 and 3 million of these victims were tortured to death or summarily executed, often for the slightest infraction."*

Good point, you two. I guess I assumed it was talking about an internal parasite, spread by exchange of bodily fluids. Are there any internal parasites that spread that way? (Again, excluding bacteria and viruses.)

Indeed. Fuck Mao.

Jimmy Carter? Mikhail Gorbachev? Harry Truman?
Powers &8^]