"...Besides which, there isn't anything to put on the plus side of the Mao ledger. There is not a single decision from him that tries to help the welfare [of the people]. There just isn't. ..."However I do give the Japan Times a certain amount of credit for printing the article since the paragraphs surrounding the quote above nail not just Mao but his western sycophants and others in the "moral relativism" crowd.
Chang and Halliday have received mostly glowing reviews for their book, although some critics say they surely could have found something good to say about Mao. Halliday protests that they looked very carefully at all the evidence: "We showed that Mao is consistent -- from the age of 24 as a thinker and certainly from 1930 when he launches his first great purge, a horrible business before Stalin's great purges [1937-1938], to take over some other Communist base and kill, torture and discredit the local Communist leaders -- in using Marxist labels, jargon wherever he needs to.
"Also, and this is a very important point, you can't start balancing A against B. You can't start balancing Hitler's economic successes in the 1930s against the Holocaust and starting the Second World War. It is not a morally acceptable approach. Besides which, there isn't anything to put on the plus side of the Mao ledger. There is not a single decision from him that tries to help the welfare [of the people]. There just isn't. He condemns so many parts of humanistic morality. He condemns the slogans of the French Revolution. He condemns equality."I would be very surprised if the Grauniad (to pick a newspaper totally not at random) would print such a thing; indeed the Observer review (the Observer is the Grauniad on Sunday), while echoing the first part fails to draw the obvious conclusions:
These days, it is fashionable to point out that Adolf Hitler had redeeming features. He was good with dogs and other people's children. Mao was hateful with everybody - his women, his wives and his son and daughter. Jung Chang and Jon Halliday deny him credit for the one episode in his blood-soaked career which, his apologists claim, at least adds an element of heroism to the savage saga: the Long March was a fraud.Although neither the JT nor Grauniad draw parallels with today it is interesting to note that numerous tyrants such as Comrade Bob in Zimbabwe seem to show a similar lack of redeeming features. The question is whether the rest of the world is willing to let these people get on with culling their own populations or not.