mises.org / Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. / May 2, 2017
It’s a scandal that few Westerners are even aware, or, if they are aware, they are not conscious, of the bloody reality that prevailed in China between the years 1949 and 1976, the years of communist rule by Mao Zedong.
How many died as a result of persecutions and the policies of Mao? Perhaps you care to guess? Many people over the years have attempted to guess. But they have always underestimated. As more data rolled in during the 1980s and 1990s, and specialists have devoted themselves to investigations and estimates, the figures have become ever more reliable. And yet they remain imprecise. What kind of error term are we talking about? It could be as low as 40 million. It could be as high as 100 million or more. In the Great Leap Forward from 1959 to 1961 alone, figures range between 20 million to 75 million. In the period before, 20 million. In the period after, tens of millions more.
As scholars in the area of mass death point out, most of us can’t imagine 100 dead or 1000. Above that, we are just talking about statistics: they have
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