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Mao Mavens


There’s a revealing story in today’s New York Times about an auction (“the Mao sale”) of Chinese communist artwork and other artifacts through Sothebys. Now, there’s no doubt that some of this stuff does have a certain interest, both historical and aesthetic, but I just wonder how the Times would have reacted to a similar sale devoted to the relics of the Nazi era.

Just as a reminder, Communism in China is responsible for the deaths of some 6-10 million people as a result of ‘direct action’ (to use the chilling terminology of The Black Book of Communism), with another 20-40 million perishing in the ideologically-motivated famine that followed Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’). To add to the carnage, it is estimated that a further twenty million died in the Great Helmsman’s concentration camps.

Communism and Nazism: two death cults that continue, it seems, to be judged by two very different standards.


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