Isn’t it fascinating how so many of the great socialist leaders of world history have never owned a business and made it prosper? They have great ideas on how to redistribute other people’s wealth, but have never actually produced any on their own. One such brilliant economist was Mao Zedong.
After conquering China by 1949, Mao set out to squash all political opposition–in his own communist party–through intimidation, arrests, torture, and execution. It worked very well for him! By the late 1950s he was unopposed in launching his economic plan that would make China a superpower. In the biography by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday (“Mao, the Unknown Story”), the economic-theorist Mao said, “Half of China may well have to die” to fulfill his dream of turning China into an economic marvel.
His plans for the state to completely take over all agriculture and industry in a massive collectivization scheme was called the “Great Leap Forward”. It was launched in May of 1958. All of China was turned into a giant collectivized commune. Politicians who knew nothing about agriculture or industry set impossible goals. Nothing but disaster was produced. Although propagandists in the government consistently lied about the amount of rice that was produced, the yields showed that China actually produced far less than what was
needed to feed the Chinese people. Millions upon millions of Chinese starved to death from 1958 to 1961 because of his economic buffoonery.
Mao had the Chinese build massive dams all across the country to produce electricity or to irrigate the fields. The dams were poorly made and many broke decades later, drowning tens of thousands of Chinese. Thanks, Mao.
Mao told the Chinese to build “backyard blast furnaces” so they could make pig iron and thus be a great industrial nation. Someone forgot to tell Mao that you need a demand for such stuff, otherwise it will
just sit in your yard and collect rust. (Maybe someone did mention that to Mao…and was executed.) Sure, the Chinese produced plenty of pig iron in those years. And it just sat there because no one in the world wanted it. Mao the brilliant economist, once again.
The masses of proletariats the socialists claim to love…starved to death and the survivors wallowed in poverty and tyranny all while Mao fared sumptuously every day…during the Great Leap Forward.