Mao in History: Sympathy for the Devil

“After our armed enemies have been crushed, there will still be our unarmed enemies…” Mao Zedong

During the 1930’s and 40’s China was torn by a civil war between the forces of Communist leader Mao Zedong and Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek. After Japan attacked both China and the United States at the start of World War II, the US gave some financial and military support to the anti-Communist Chiang; but Soviet agents in the US government undermined Chiang’s interests in various ways. Four years after the defeat of Japan, Mao’s Communists took control of all of mainland China. Chiang and his supporters fled to Taiwan.

Mao’s victory in China was the worst imaginable disaster for the Chinese people. Over the next thirty years Mao’s Communist government killed between forty-five million and seventy-five million innocent Chinese civilians in implementing his “Great Leap Forward” and “Cultural Revolution” movements.1 Chiang, meanwhile, established an authoritarian government in Taiwan that gradually evolved, with US support, into a democracy. The people living under Chiang’s rule prospered financially, and enjoyed relatively high standards of living, even before the political reforms that made Taiwan a true democracy in the 1980’s.

The American Communists who undermined Chiang’s American support have the blood of millions of Chinese civilians on their hands, but don’t expect to hear that in a typical college history class. Most of America’s history professors and textbook writers, being the arch-leftists they are, downplay or completely ignore Mao’s crimes, while emphasizing and exaggerating Chiang’s shortcomings.

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Whitewashing Communism

A bourgeois, property-owning democracy tends to breed its own antibodies. These antibodies immunize it, in large degree, against the lunacies of its intellectuals and artists.” Irving Kristol

During the twentieth century Communist governments murdered roughly a hundred million of their own citizens, tortured and tormented millions more, and robbed hundreds of millions more of individuality, human dignity, and hope. Joseph Stalin alone ordered the deaths of some twenty to thirty million Soviet citizens, including six or seven million in the Ukraine in a single year. When not committing atrocities against their own people, Communists committed even worse atrocities against the people they captured or conquered during their wars of aggression. (In WWII Berlin, for example, soldiers of the advancing Soviet Army raped some ten thousand German women literally to death, according to hospital records.)

Within the United States a virtual army of Communist spies and sympathizers labored to promote the interests of mass murderers like Stalin and Mao. Soviet spies provided Stalin’s government with the secrets of the atom bomb. Soviet agents in the State department shaped American policy in ways that facilitated Communist conquest in places like Hungary and China. During WWII, Communists in the federal government’s Office of War Information even pressured Hollywood to make movies portraying the Soviet Union in a positive light.

But don’t expect to hear these things in a college history class. Most history professors are so committed to their left wing political beliefs that they downplay or ignore most of Communism’s crimes, and demonize anti-Communists in our own country.

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Judicial Activism in Context

“The very definition of a republic is ‘an empire of laws, and not of men.’” John Adams

Over the last few decades Americans have gotten used to the idea that Supreme Court Justices can and should create new “Constitutional” principles, as grounds for overturning laws that they, the justices, do not like. In an off-the-record conversation with Supreme Court clerks, Justice Thurgood Marshall once described this judicial philosophy quite candidly: “You do what you think is right, and let the law catch up.” (Justice Marshall had the good sense to abstain from statements like that in public.) A close look at American history will show that the kind of judicial activism Justice Marshall was talking about was not seen as either normal or proper when our nation was founded. But, ironically, the very scholars we trust to teach American history to the next generation of voters have been hiding the historical context of the issue.

Having judges create new government policies based on what they “think is right” violates in both letter and spirit the Separation of Powers principle that the Founding Fathers labored so hard to build into the US Constitution, and it was extremely rare until the late twentieth century; but don’t expect to hear that in a typical college history class.

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Forgetting Federalism

“That government is best which governs least.” Thomas Paine

Today the United States Government spends trillions of dollars annually, on everything from prescription drugs to teapot museums. It already exerts significant control over the relationships between doctors and patients, and Congress is grasping for still more power over the health care industry. The government owns banks and car companies. It confiscates money from unpopular businesses and groups of people, and transfers some of the money (after infrastructure costs) to more-favored business and groups.

The government uses taxpayers’ money to buy corn, then “lends” more tax dollars to third world governments that have no ability to repay the “loans,” so those governments can buy the corn from the US government with US money. It levies punitive taxes on cigarette sales, and subsidizes tobacco growers. For a while in the 1990’s the government forbid condom companies to advertise their products on television, while spending taxpayers’ money on TV adds to promote condom use. The national government dictates the marijuana laws your state has to implement, the curriculum at your local public schools, and the amount of water your toilet can use when it flushes.
It wasn’t always this way.

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Academia and The Second Amendment

“Political power flows from the barrel of a gun.”  Mao Tse-Tung

According to college professors and other leftists, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution does not guaranty individual citizens a right to keep and bear arms. As with many other classroom representations of history, this one is designed to influence the way the next generation thinks about (and votes on) current political issues.

Liberals and conservatives disagree on the meaning of the Second Amendment. The argument is fueled by the somewhat ambiguous wording of the Amendment: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Advocates of gun rights claim that the Second Amendment ensures a right of gun ownership for all individuals. Advocates of gun control take the position that Second Amendment rights are restricted to members of state-sanctioned militias, which no longer exist, hence there is no constitutional right to own guns. There are arguments to be made for both sides, but only one side is presented in a typical college history class. 

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