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MAO'S VIEWS ON NATURE

German Edition Klicken Sie hier für Deutsch

INTELLECTUAL ORIGINS OF CHINA'S MODERN ENVIRONMENTAL HORRORS

 

 

“Mao often proclaimed his prediction that humans could force nature into obedience. In May 1958, he commented, “Make the high mountain bow its head; make the river yield its way.’ It is an excellent sentence. When we ask the high mountain to bow its head, it has to do so! When we ask the river to yield the way, it must yield!”[6] In November, he remarked, “We have always maintained that we must give {Taiwan} serious attention tactically but regard it with contempt in the class struggle.[7]  Similarly, in a critique of an essay by Stalin stating that men could not affect astronomy, geology, and other natural processes, Mao argued, “This argument is incorrect. Man’s ability to know and change Nature is unlimited.”[8] His acolytes apparently admired him for this: General Yang Shangkun is said to have boasted, “No other world leader looks down with such disdain on great mountains and powerful rivers.”[9]

 

 

Shapiro, Judith. Mao’s War Against Nature: Politics and the Environment in revolutionary China. Cambridge University Press, 2001, p 68.

 

See also our report on Marxism and Nature.




[6] Mao Zedong, “Speeches at the Second Session of the Eighth Party Congress (8-23 May 1958),” The First Speech (8 May 1958), in Joint Publications Research Service, Miscellany of Mao Zedong Thought (1949-1968).  Part I (Arlington, VA; 1974) (herafter cited as JPRS), p.96.

[7]. “Talks with Directors of Various  Cooperative Areas,” (30 November 1958), JPRS, p136.

 

[8] “Critique of Stalin’s ‘Economic Problems of Socialism in the Soviet Union’ 1959 (?)” {sic}, JPRS, p.192.

[9] Simon, Winchester, The River at the Centre of the World: A Journey Up the Yantgze, and Back in Chinese Time (London: Viking Press, 1997), p.199.