Friday, September 28, 2007

More November madness

The great news is that Mum and Jen are coming to visit for a week in November to help finish off the painting in the kitchen.

I haven now finished the 700 page biography of Mao Ste Tung and it was quite an eye opener.

It is not that I had any notions that he was as champion of the people or that I was expecting to hear that he was misunderstood. I was however amazed by the psychopathic way in which he lived his entire adult life dominating and persecuting those around him to achieve and then maintain a position of power. He and most of his close associates relied on sleeping pills to get any rest and an unusually high proportion of those people and his family lost their minds presumably as a result of the environment in which they lived.

I have also read a little about Hitler and Stalin and I honestly cannot understand what drove these people to do what they did. I simply don't get the motivation. Perhaps that's why I'll (probably) never be a dictator.

It also strikes me as odd that the only country that appears to have been able to come to terms with it's past and admit that mistakes were made under dictatorship is Germany, the Communists (although I don't believe there was a socialist agenda in China) seem to have clung to enough power to stop the countries moving on and freely reforming themselves.


  1. Anonymous9:09 pm

    This is a bit heavy, William.
    If you still have the book I may try to read it when we are over, having almost finished the cambodia sagas.
    They get a bit depressing.
    It gives you an insight into the Myanmar situation.
    Have a good weekend.

  2. Anonymous9:43 pm

    I believe with Germany there were close cultural and Christian ties with the Western ideas of democracy and freedom and the people were also freed from a dictator that many feared anyway. The European states have a long history of tradition and close ties with their neighbors, so to reject Nazism was not a far stretch for Germany.

    China had this long, isolated history and very feudal and cut off from other cultural ideas, so I believe they had no sound base to return to. That's why we need to know about history and learn from it so we don't make the same mistakes again. Sorry, this may be kinda dry, but this subject is a passion of mine.


  3. Anonymous10:21 pm

    You would probably also have gone mad if you had enforced a population of 20 million to wear blue pyjamas, without having first made sure you had a monopoly on blue pyjama production.As for communism, whilst most of the former elite still enjoy privileges beyond the communal norm, they will hardly repudiate a system that has provided hem with such privilege.

  4. Anonymous7:49 am

    What happened to light and easy to read blogs?

  5. Anonymous7:16 pm

    I think that one of the reasons on reflection is that the communists never really lost power, the worst of the dicators just died. Hitler lost clearly and admited as much by killing himself. It will be interesting what Iraq looks like in 10 years time although there are examples of ex dictatorships in south america of which I know nothing!