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Stalin, Mao, Communism, and their 21st-Century Aftermath (Part IV)—A Commentary by Adam R. Bogart, PhD

Part IV of Dr. Faria’s book examines the reign of Mao in China.

         This is the one section of the book that absolutely shocked me. I had no idea that Mao was in a special class of amoral viciousness all his own. Of course, I knew that he was a brutal communist dictator, but it is his motivations that stand him alone, apart from all of the other Marxist totalitarians, because they seem to be completely apolitical. No other Marxist leader had killed as many as he did, and all in the service of maintaining his own power. I don’t think one could say this of even Stalin. Despite how wrong Marxism turned out to be, a good deal of Stalin’s nefarious activities was done in its service. Stalin loved power—that will never be denied—but it could be argued that he genuinely wanted to build up the Soviet state to be a world power from 1929–1939, and many of his cruel actions were directed towards this goal. Of course, with Stalin’s paranoia we are more likely to see excessive butchery that doesn’t seem to be related to advancing Soviet interests, but that needs to be separated from Stalin’s general consideration that human life meant nothing. I always felt (besides his paranoia fueled purges and killings of vengeance) that it wasn’t so much that Stalin enjoyed killing but rather he was satisfied to kill or not kill depending on whether he thought he needed to. That’s precisely why Stalin is often described as indifferent to human life. If one is indifferent to human life, it means they make no moral distinction between letting a person live and letting them die. Gulag prisoners knew that Stalin might commute their sentenced (whatever it ultimately was) if they wrote him about a new idea that he liked, and the idea in practice worked well. For example, a gulag prisoner once wrote Stalin about a new engine design he had that was 10% more efficient in using fuel than what was being used previously. He was able to demonstrate it worked, and Stalin wrote to Beria to let him go, as he seemed to be a clever man. On the other hand, writing letters to Stalin asking for a commutation of sentence, but based on emotional arguments hoping to arouse Stalin’s sympathy never worked. He didn’t even respond to them. Dr. Faria shows us how much worse Mao was than even that.

         Dr. Faria simply compares Mao to Stalin on many points, such as I attempted with one or two above. We can than see that Mao was nothing like Stalin and that shockingly, Stalin did have many positive traits that were recognized by others, such as Lenin. As Faria says, “In contrast, Mao was lazy, insubordinate, and disliked by many who knew him personally. He was able to seize power only by duplicity and forced his subordinates to kowtow to him in abject submission. Mao turned the Red bases where he ruled into impoverished wastelands and was ultimately responsible for the death of 40 to 60 million Chinese. At times, Mao even defied Stalin and the Soviets, who sustained him with money, arms, and other assistance through the years. By subterfuge, violence, atrocities, and propaganda in China as well as propaganda generated by Western writers abroad in the late 1930s, such as Edgar Snow’s ‘Red Star Over China’ (1937), and, as we will see, with help from Stalin and the American moles in the Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) administration, Mao eventually came to rule all of Mainland China for 27 disastrous years. During his years in power, Mao never got into a bath or shower. Instead, his servants rubbed him every day with a hot towel. He also enjoyed daily massages.” It is also to be noted that Stalin had a positive cult of personality surrounding him, while Mao was hated and feared by all of his followers.

         Stalin had low cunning, but he was also extremely intelligent, and loved to read on many subjects vociferously. He didn’t like intellectuals, though I suppose (similar to Hitler) it was formal education he hated. Both dictators did value education and knowledge. They simply didn’t think they needed to sit in a classroom to acquire it (unfortunately they didn’t understand that self-learning by book is not successful when attempting to apply that learning practically). Mao was also in possession of low cunning, but his was a fairly dull mind, and save for how he might restain his power, there was little else on his mind of substance.

         Given the overt leftism of the Roosevelt administration, it is no surprise that his communist moles help support both Mao and Stalin. Their propaganda campaigns were spreading negativity about Chiang Kai-shek, and glorifying Mao.

         And doing this only hurt the United States, as they had an enormously capable man like Chiang as a potentially powerful ally. Dr. Faria treats Chiang Kai-shek’s accomplishments well, so it is not required to list them all here.

         It is interesting that Mao won the Chinese Civil War because he was more ruthless and brutal than his opponents. It was the same with the Reds in the Russian Civil War. The Whites were of a very heterogeneous composition politically. They each had their own reasons for wanting a restoration of the monarchy, and some didn’t even want that. They were similar in two respects: 1) they wanted the Bolsheviks out, and 2) they had no idea how ruthless the Bolsheviks were in battle, because they retained a modicum of professional military bearing. They could not have imagined the Bolsheviks would have employed tactics so amoral! Apparently, both Lenin and Mao won their civil wars because of the same reasons.

         Mao and his brainwashed followers executed up to two million people during the Great Cultural Revolution (beginning 1966). In this respect, he was similar to Stalin, as his benign sounding words often betrayed his much more sinister and violent intentions. Stalin’s purges were partially the equivalent of the Great Cultural Revolution, as they were well orchestrated fakes which had a true purpose of continuing to instill terror into the population.

         The Cultural Revolution was essentially the exposition of show trials in the streets. Mao and his cronies whipped up class envy and knew it would result in the common citizen denouncing, torturing, and killing others they perceived to be affluent and powerful. This was rarely the case, but like Stalin and the Kulaks, Mao also needed plenty of non-existent scapegoats. Stalin knew Kulaks never existed as a class, but with enough lies, he was able to churn out hatred for them as scapegoats responsible for what was his own brutality and failed policies.

Stalin, Mao, Communism, and their 21st-Century Aftermath in Russia and China (January 2024) by Dr. Miguel A. Faria was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. You can order the book from Cambridge Scholars Publishing. It is a beautiful hardback book, fully illustrated with over a hundred illustrations, including an insert with glossy color prints. For a 25% discount, enter code PROMO25 to redeem during your online purchase. Or email Cambridge Scholars Publishing at

Reviewed by Adam Bogart, PhD

Adam Bogart, PhD, is a Behavioral Neuroscientist at the Sanders Brown Center for Aging University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Behavioral Neuroscience Kent State University Kent, OH. Post-doctoral fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center Bronx, NY. MS Immunology conjointly Adelphi University/Mount Sinai Medical Center New York City, NY.

This article may be cited as: Bogart, A.R. Stalin, Mao, Communism, and their 21st-Century Aftermath (Part IV)—A Commentary by Adam R. Bogart, PhD., June 24, 2024. Available from:

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