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Ask David Horowitz: What Do We Need To Know About Maoism?

October 16, 2009


David Swindle Asks:

The news just came out that White House communications director Anita Dunn is influenced by Communist dictator Mao Tse Tung. This will no doubt prompt further investigations and challenges regarding Dunn’s political views.

I recall from Radical Son that when you were still a Marxist and first became acquainted with Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton one of your initial disagreements was over the merits of Maoism. Even as a Marxist you were opposed to Maoism. What do people need to know about this particular school of Marxism? How should we respond differently than if Dunn had picked Lenin, Guevara, or Trotsky?

David Horowitz responds:

Mao is the greatest mass murderer in human history. Jon Halliday and his wife who have written the definitive biography of Mao estimated that he killed 70 million people.

In the Sixties only the Progressive Labor Party, a minority sect derided by everybody else was Maoist. Dunn’s comment is a reflection of the continuing intellectual degradation of the left. There are plenty of Maoists teaching in universities however. The radical caucus of the Modern Language Association (professors of literature) is run by Maoist Barbara Foley.

“Ask David Horowitz” is a new feature in which readers can pose questions to NewsReal’s Editor-In-Chief to help better understand the issues of the day. If you have a question you would like to be considered for this feature then please email NewsReal’s managing editor David Swindle: DavidSwindle AT Gmail Dot com. Questions pertaining to ongoing subjects of discussion and items appearing on NewsReal are more likely to be used.

  1. October 16, 2009 12:56 pm

    Just remember one guiding principle of leadership, you can’t lead if no one will follow.

    Mao could not have been the tyrant and murderer he was if no one supported him in his efforts. Everyone thinks of tyrants as having absolute power which is patently false and a dangerous fallacy to follow.

    The truth about most tyrants is they are ALL really puppets of an oligarchy of moneyed elitists lurking in the background. Other words, no ideological and financial support, no tyrant! Another gangster analogy would be, No Crews, No Captains, No Boss! Comprendo de ja vue!

  2. Crispus Attucks permalink
    October 16, 2009 1:21 pm

    how is “quoting” the equivalent to being “influenced by”?, would you say the same for conservatives when the have quoted Mao, Lenin, etc –

    • Ole Sandberg permalink
      October 16, 2009 3:29 pm

      In the speech from which the quote is taken, Ms. Dunn clearly stated that Mao is one of the two “political philosophers” who has had the most profound influence on her. Google and you’ll find a recording of the speech.

    • Walt permalink
      October 16, 2009 6:35 pm

      She did more than quote Mao. You might actually want to look at the video clip. Also, that clip was from a speech she made earlier this year to a group of high school students, and not some gotcha thing from long long ago.

  3. Fred J Harris permalink
    October 16, 2009 1:28 pm

    Anita Dunn is not a killer type Maoist. She is a puppy dog and apple pie Maoist.
    Get the vibes from the White House, some people gonna have to suffer.

  4. therealend permalink
    October 16, 2009 2:43 pm

    When I was about 20, I bought the Book of Quotations of Chairman Mao Tse Tung, (that’s how his name was spelled back then) also known as the little red book, and managed to get through about half of it. At first it seemed like the greatest thing ever, but after a while, I couldn’t see where the PRC was putting anything in the book into practice. They did everything contrary to the teachings in the book. All the book turned out to be was just pablum for the masses. However, I still like to use a paraphrased quotation of Mao’s: “If you want gratitude, get a dog”. It’s apt for a lot of situations.

  5. L. Steven Beene II permalink
    October 16, 2009 4:04 pm

    As to Ms Dunn, no, there is no excuse for her loving Mao. If I were to take Hitler’s quotes, and even to start off with a disclaimor – I’d be lambasted.

    I mean, what did Hitler do that was right? He took a defeated, economically destroyed, demoralized, and fractured country, and in less than 15 years made it into a world power (or even super power). Now, that is TRUE, but his evil far outshadows his good acts.

    And lets be clear here: Hitler ONLY killed 8-12 million civilians. (can’t believe I said ONLY!), but Mao, in PEACE TIME, killed 50-80 million of his own people through starvation and the gulag system. His regime was BRUTAL. B-R-U-T-A-L. And, yes, forgetting “cultural differences” he had a prediliction for 10-13 year old girls. LOTS of them.

    Now, did he turn a backwards agri-country into a superpower? Yes – but so did Hitler, and Hitler killed less of his own people. Hitler’s toll, INCLUDING WWII, is not as high as Mao’s in peace time.

    So, no, her “it was a quote” quote is not acceptable. There were many people who fought against long odds – she could have picked ANY of them, but she picked Mao.

    Successful guerilla actions in WWII by the French, Slovaks, Czechs or any other could have been used.

    Same could be said about the Founding Fathers. Same could be said about Nelson Mandella. Get the point? No, she picked the worst mass murderer in 20th century history. Stalin wasn’t as bad, and that’s saying a lot.

    Give it some thought.


  6. Mick Hughes permalink
    October 16, 2009 4:08 pm

    Media Matters is a criminal front group for George Soros… you might as well just link to wikipedia.

  7. October 16, 2009 4:09 pm

    I am truly afraid of what all this means. I am stocking up on guns and ammo because I will not be taken.

    I am afraid!

  8. politicalmoxie permalink
    October 16, 2009 5:43 pm

    The best sentence I’ve read about Dunn’s love for Mao, was written by Matthew Vadum. With respect to her speech before a high school class as she sites Mother Teresa and Mao as her most admired whatever, Mr. Vadum says, “In a sane world, she’d be cleaning her desk out.”
    His twitter address is @vadum. His work also apprears here on News Real. He is a recognized authority on ACORN.

  9. faucetman permalink
    October 16, 2009 5:48 pm

    I know its hard to believe Crispus that the liberal progressives you admire are really arrogant anti American Commies. Like someone said about the little red book, they talk in CODE. They say democratic, they mean socialism. They say social justice, they mean redistributing YOUR income and reparations. Taking your job and giving it to a minority, hey you’ve had it awhile now, give someone else a chance (even though they didn’t earn it).

    The final score in this years superbowl was a 0 to 0 tie. Everyone celebrated and no feelings were hurt.

    Went to my kids play at school tonight. They put on quite a show. They performed a catchy tune, hmmmm hmmmm hmmmmm, Barak Husein Obama, hmmmm hmmmm hmmmmm, Barak Husein Obama. It was so inspiring. I went right home and turned in my guns to the local ACORN chapter. It was an inspiring place, they had so many young Asian girls there. There was a feeling of love in the air. There were many dirty old men there as well, not sure why.

    Isn’t it great here in the United States of Utopia. Hope….. Change……. Transformation

  10. politicalmoxie permalink
    October 16, 2009 5:57 pm

    The wonderful thing about the US is you can be a Communist, Socialist, Maoist, Marxist…whatever. That said, if you are one of the above… By God…if your name is on my voting ballot there should be truthful disclosure about your views and agenda.
    I also have a right to vocally approve/disapprove who you appoint/hire. Afterall, my taxes are helping to support any current administration, irrespective of my vote.

    • October 17, 2009 9:20 pm

      Names on a ballot need to be researched way ahead of voting day! The responsibility for researching candidates rests on the voter. Don’t wait for someone to hand you information…go get it yourself. Be an educated voter.

  11. October 17, 2009 5:01 am

    Nice short and to-the-point answer. It is in the interest of capitalists to have lots of living people: workers, clients, consumers, you name it. Such is not in the interest of socialists except as members of the armies they need for their internal and external wars. Another source of data on the vast numbers of people murdered by various socialist regimes in the 20th Century is the work of my colleague Rudy Rummel.
    Most of what other readers have written above rings true, even if a bit uneven. Steven, (Rudy and) I don’t agree with your numbers, and also I think the data show that Mao took a moderately unsuccessful third world country and ground it into the most abject poverty. Hitler started with a moderately unsuccessful first world country and brought on such economic mismanagement and bombing that it too was ground into miserable poverty.

  12. Julie Trevor permalink
    October 17, 2009 5:14 am

    therealend said:
    “However, I still like to use a paraphrased quotation of Mao’s: “If you want gratitude, get a dog”. It’s apt for a lot of situations.”

    I’ve heard that before but never in association with Mao. And that’s the point of my uneasiness with Ms. Dunn’s statements.

    What she said isn’t as alarming to me as where & how she said it-a group of HS kids.

    I’d like to add another observation

    She said she often goes to 2 philosophers; Mao & Mother Teresa.

    These 2 couldn’t be more in opposition to not only their philosophy, but their life works. And that for me says it all about the thinking of people on the left. I believe many align themselves with opposing philosophical tenets and in the end are interiorly conflicted.

    A soul conflicted is destined to failure.


    • therealend permalink
      October 17, 2009 5:16 pm

      I have a different take on her. She used Mao and Mother Theresa in a similar context to negate Mao’s horrible legacy. Her two favorite political philosophers? There is no equation. Mother Theresa saved lives. Mao did what could euphemistically be called purification of the prolitariat, or killing masses of humans for the sake of the revolution. This happened wherever Communism took hold. There is no escaping that fact. So how do you get to use Mao in an address to anybody? You have to soften his image by finding whatever linkage you can to somebody who is truly noteworthy and sane.

    • October 17, 2009 9:25 pm


      It isn’t conflict – It is design. By publicly aligning yourself with opposites you can easily move in whatever direction the polls require. It is the alignment within your heart and the outward expressions of that true alignment that shows which philosophy is the master and which is the decoy.

      • Julie Trevor permalink
        October 18, 2009 5:52 am

        perhaps it is by design to soften her (Dunn’s) aliances. I’ve never read the works/methods of Saul Alinski in total but this certainly sounds like a technique that could be atttributed to his style.

        Regardless of the reason for the choice of philosophers/Alinski takeover technique used by “them” the “awakened giant” of Americans are now relentless in exposing the Left/Neo-Communists for what they are – Dangerous.

  13. The Inquisitor permalink
    October 17, 2009 7:07 am

    David Horowitz, with all due respect you didn’t answer the question. What do people mean when they select Mao as opposed to Stalin as their guiding light? Is it just a personality cult with no difference in ideology? What do these people think they are saying when they pick Mao over Stalin or visa versa?

    I highly recommend “Mao” by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday which you mentioned. It is a fascinating and well written biography of Mao and history of that period in China. Also highly recommended is “Wild Swans” by Jung Chang, a three generational autobiography her life in China before and during Mao’s regime.

  14. hallison permalink
    October 17, 2009 7:22 am

    Having studied China’s 20th century history for the last decade, I’ve been horrified by the steps and behavior I see repeated by this administration. Mao’s personal history and anecdotes were invented to make him appear more benevolent while brutal thug behavior was implemented to keep people in line. Youth brigades were activated and encouraged to turn in parents, grandparents, neighbors for violating each new rule, which was cleverly couched in a progressively positive title. (“Fairness Doctrine” anyone?) 3 exceptional books detailing actual accounts are “Red China Blues” by Jan Wong, “Mao: The Untold Story” and “Wild Swans” both by Jung Chang. Mao was no benevolent, philosophist-leader, but rather a tyrannical dictator who caused the death and hardship of millions of Chinese and stunted the country’s growth by half a century.

  15. FelixPrismus permalink
    October 17, 2009 12:16 pm

    Wow, seventy million. And I thought Stalin was evil.

  16. Judy permalink
    October 17, 2009 1:53 pm

    The happy, benevolent, loving father figure facade that Mao presented, is similar to the facade presented by the Progressives and the White House as it relates to all within the Obama administration.The operative word is facade. What makes Ms. Dunn’s speech alarming is that she presented Mao as a benevolent Chinese Mother Teresa-like character and carefully left out his true, evil character. Even more troublesome is the fact that she has internalized Mao as her mentor and embraced his philosophy into the very fabric of her being. My conclusion is that her decisions and actions will be based in Maoist philosophy/actions.

  17. Jenn permalink
    October 17, 2009 6:09 pm

    Why does Anita Dunn’s tongue flick in and out when speaking? She looks like a serpent.

    • The Inquisitor permalink
      October 18, 2009 5:13 am

      “Why does Anita Dunn’s tongue flick in and out when speaking? She looks like a serpent.”

      Jenn, my theory is that there is a genealogical component to political ideology. Those who adhere to the ideology of Force — that force should be society’s organizing principle — have a stronger connection to their reptilian past than the rest of us. Dunn’s tongue flick is most likely a tell.

      • October 18, 2009 6:11 pm

        When you have a snake charmer in charge, what do you expect his minions to look like;=)

        I have an observation that I know I’ll be called out on, but as I said before, the truth is always the last candle to be lit.

        Why are so many on the hard core left such ‘scary looking’ people. I mean really, it’s like Halloween around the clock. You could have masks made of some these folks mugs and scare the bejesus out of small children! (and some Adults;-) Lynne Stewart! YIKES! Pelosi! I’ll get you my pretty!! Boxer! Get a bag, quick!

        Feel free to jump in and add your own. Photographic examples will cherished by all;-)

        IF you made masks though of most of the hard core right wingers in politics, most folks would roll all over the floor laughing!

  18. October 18, 2009 5:50 pm

    I noticed that some of you didn’t like my view on tyrants. Well it’s too bad, the truth is always the last candle to be lit!

    Here is a video that explains all the fallacies of our present governmental attitudes on both sides of the present political spectrum:

    People that don’t see things the way this video describes, are part and parcel of the present problems!

  19. November 18, 2009 12:35 am

    Miss Dunn , Why drag Mother Theresa into this? Miss Dunn should explain why she finds Mao so enthralling. Please explain.


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