Mao, who killed millions, called himself "Emperor... and Marx in one", his former secretary reveals
In extraordinary new revelations. the 96 year old former secretary of China’s Mao Zedong tells of the political-mental confusions of the man who killed more than anyone else in history
The ageing former secretary of China’s former supreme leader Mao Zedong, has today revealed details about Asia’s greatest and most feared Communist leader that still have the power to shock a nation where discussion of Chairman Mao remains deeply sensitive.
Li Rui, 96, outlined the strange and complex mix between Mao’s Marxist ideology and the manner in which he self-consciously rooted himself in ancient Chinese traditions. (Psychiatrists find the condition difficult to define, but it is frequently referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder, or "DID".)
Mao would habitually refer to himself as "Emperor Qin and Marx in one", Li told English speaking Chinese media. The pre-Christian era Qin dynasty is known to historians for its vast conquests inside China and for its brutal dictatorial rule.
According to the Black Book of Communism, Mao’s own rule resulted in at least 65 million deaths from the Great Leap Forward, the massacres attending the Cultural Revolution, non-stop executions of political opponents, and huge numbers of deaths in the enormous labour camp system.
Li, however, focuses on the mentality of the man he observed at close quarters:
“Among all the leaders in the world, ancient and modern, what was most forceful about Mao Zedong was that when he was in power, he demanded everyone's thinking be in line with his,” he was quoted by The South China Morning Post as saying.
Li said he had seen the personal notes about who was to be persecuted for deviating in any way from Mao’s thinking.
Like so many who became close to communist leaders in the 20th century, Li himself suffered oppression when he fell out of favour and narrowly survived the Cultural Revolution, spending eight years in prison.
He is philosophical about modern day China:
“Although there was already an [official] consensus that the Cultural Revolution initiated by Mao was completely wrong, we still can't talk about it. We are not allowed to talk about past mistakes, the constitution movement or universal values," the Post quoted him as saying.
But, he added: "What's good is that nowadays, it would be impossible to have another Mao Zedong… people know more about our past history now.”
The world has changed and so has China, he said.
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