Thursday, June 23, 2005

Chinese Famine of 1958-1961

Chinese Famine of 1958-1961 - An account of the genesis and the course of the disastrous induced famine of the late 1950's, as part of the Great Leap Forward. Or, as many have called this horrible social movement, the Great Leap Backwards.

Communism doesn't really work. All the governments that have tried it either are now gone or have introduced liberal amounts of capitalism into their economies. I would hope that the example of the Chinese famine and other communist blunders would discourage future attempts at communist style state control of national economies but it probably won't.

From the site:

To understand the cause of the Chinese famine, first the reader must look back to the Soviet famine of 1931-3. Under Stalin, peasants and others were forced into large collective farms where the state dictated farming methods and production quotas – any and all private farming efforts were strictly forbidden. To make matters worse, Stalin placed Trofim Denisovitch Lysenko in charge of agricultural science in the Soviet Union.

To put matters bluntly, Lysenko was a quack. He rejected modern genetics theory, for example, as "fascist" and instead adopted a modified form of Lamarckism that incorporated some Marxist ideas. In keeping with these ideas, Lysenko argued that seeds could be dramatically altered by merely altering their environment. For example, Lysenko believed that if seeds were soaked in extremely cold water, they would then grow in cold environments. The Soviets wasted valuable time and money instituting Lysenko's harebrained schemes, and Lysenko used his position to promote the careers of other pseudo-scientists with similarly bizarre ideas (2).

Although the result of instituting Lysenko's pseudoscience and Stalin's collectivization techniques caused a famine that killed millions in the USSR, Mao and other Chinese Communists were enamored of Stalin and insisted on replicating the Soviet experience in China (apparently against the advice of the Kruschev and other Soviet officials).


Baron Bodissey said...

This is interesting, because just now on Dymphna's post on Gates of Vienna, commenter Mark Humphrys is discussing the same topic.

Miland said...

Thanks for the notice. I hadn't noticed this at the Gates of Vienna site. I have been trying to diversify my blog as I have had way to many North American/USA posts lately. I picked a Chinese theme and have inadvertently (but happily) fit in with a theme that others are writing about. Why do millions have to die for communism to work?

Dymphna said...

Well, millions died, andd even then communism didn't work. They broke all the eggs, but no omelet.

树上的男爵 said...

It's extremely tragic. From Plato's Repubic, people have been always dreaming to establish a paradise for human beings on the ground. The Great Revolution of France, the Soviet and the Red China were the lastest attempts. Will they be the end? I don't think so.