Historical lessons of the CCP

How crazy is this world now? I hear that sentiment every single day and I have a solid belief it’s going to continue to get crazier.

Recently I went into a deep dive into the founding member of the Chinese Communist Party Mao Tse-Tung. Change the names, the dates and you may recognize the script.

It was estimated that anywhere from 20 million to 45 million Chinese died of starvation between 1959-61 as Mao introduced the “Great Leap Forward” campaign.

It is clear he was inspired by the Russian Revolution post-World War I where the farm owners no longer owned their property but “the state” did and the farm owners became peasants tending to the land for the “collectivization” for the good of all. That was the narrative but instead was the premise for neutering the power of the landowner.

I might mention that all of this occurred after Oct. 1, 1949, in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, Mao announced the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. His main opposition at the time Chiang Kai-shek and his followers fled to the island of Taiwan, where they formed the Republic of China. If you fail to understand the issue today surrounding China and Taiwan that may be a bridge in information for all of us.

Over the next few years, Mao Tse-Tung instituted sweeping land reform, sometimes through persuasion and other times through coercion, using violence and terror when he deemed it necessary. He seized warlord land, converting it into people’s communes.  Within a year, an appalling famine set in and entire villages died of starvation.

Mao was eventually run out of office but continued to control the narrative and after a period of being out of office came back into power. It is widely reported that Mao had a true gift of convincing the Chinese citizens that “they” were the problem and that the only avenue to drain the swamp was to get him back in office.

This mirrors what happened in the potato famine of Ireland that killed a million Irish. Mao refused offers of international food relief in order to convince the rest of the world that his plans were a success.

Some people say the world’s great tyrants were able to control critical thinking which in turn lead to genocide. The greatest irony of all is that as Mao Tse-Tung died in 1976 at the age of 82 the overwhelming majority of Chinese citizens thoughts he was a great leader.

All great nations throughout the course of history go through a period of tyrannical control because the nation lost its ability to feed itself. Consider the rhetoric that is ongoing in the United States about reliable fuel and food production. How many of us in agriculture feel the need to be paid today for not farming? How many acres are going into conservation easements where you are tenants of land but lost control of what we do with it? The short answer is far too many.

Editor’s note: The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the views of High Plains Journal. Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at [email protected].