In Defense of Madame Mao

In Defense of Madame Mao

Without Mao there could have been no Madame Mao. This elementary truism is now being sysematically obliterated by Chairman Hua’s Propaganda Department. In order to legitimize his earlier coup d’etat, Hua must create, against all evidence, a myth according to which his purging of Madame Mao and of the Maoist Radicals was entirely in harmony with Mao’s own original intentions. Flimsy and spurious clues are now being fabricated, alleging Mao’s earlier displeasure with his wife and with the small group of people who were in fact his only faithful followers among the top leadership. . . . The truth, of course, is that Chiang Ching and her friends owed everything to Mao: they had obtained their exalted position entirely thanks to his personal initiative, and retained it only through his continuous and active protection. They had no support from the Party, no support from the army, and—needless to say— no support from among the masses (a point of much less importance, however, since in a totalitarian state, the masses have no say in the selection of their rulers). The backing of Mao’s prestige alone could maintain them in power, 232 against the tremendous hostility and hatred that their own political ineptitude had earned them from all quarters. They would have been toppled much earlier, had it not been for this peculiar immunity afforded them by the “Great Helmsman’s” private favor. The swiftness and ease with which they were disposed of, as soon as Mao breathed his last, were but a final demonstration of this fact.

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima