Anybody out there who might be yearning for the blessings of central economic planning or socialism should probably read Yang Jisheng’s book, Tombstone, published late last year, about Mao Zedong’s “Great Leap Forward” of 1958-1962. Failing that, he or she should definitely read this Wall Street Journal article by Bret Stephens, based on an interview with Mr. Yang.,
“To this day,” writes Stephens, “few people realize that Mao’s forced famine was the single greatest atrocity of the 20th century, exceeding by orders of magnitude the Rwandan genocide, the Cambodian Killing Fields and the Holocaust.”
Thirty-six million Chinese — that’s thirty-six million — died, starved to death, as a direct result of Mao’s Great Leap Forward, including Yang Jisheng’s own father. And we’re not even talking about the tens of millions who apparently died in The Great Helmsman’s prisons and concentration camps.
“I will not cede more power to the state,” wrote William F. Buckley, decades ago, in Up from Liberalism. ”I will not willingly cede more power to anyone, not to the state, not to General Motors, not to the CIO. I will hoard my power like a miser, resisting every effort to drain it away from me. I will then use my power, as I see fit. I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth. That is a program of sorts, is it not? It is certainly program enough to keep conservatives busy, and liberals at bay. And the nation free.”
Posted from Park City, Utah