Sir Senile H. Cortazzi, gray eminence of Japan Times book reviwes club, is together with Yonjuzuri sensei Jeff Kingston and sex equality crusader Michal Hoffman again in the forefront telling us what we should read.
Of the tree, Yonjuzuri sensei is the smartest, avoiding risk by praising a Korean soap-melodrama novel by Kyung-Sook Shin calling the novel hypnotic and powerfull. Unfortunately he gets lost in the end, since he does not know what to do with the rather burlesqe ending of the novel with the heroine, missing Korean provincial mother suddenly surfacing in the Vatican of all places. If this is a bestseller then, poor Korean readers. This means that the publishing industry in Soul, as many other key industries and services are in Christian hands; another nail in the coffin of ancient Korean Confucian Buddhist- Shaman culture. Michael Hoffman does not deviate from his robotic lack of own opinion by commenting on Melissa L. Wender's "groundbreaking anthology" of Korean sorrow in Japan. He ignores that this whole Christian/Western Japanology scholars obsession with Korean-Japan hostility issues reminds one of the Arab-Muslim contradictions. They feel bad in all Muslim contries but hate the contries where the feel good, like Denmark Sweden, Germany and France. To the best of our knowledge the Koreans in Japan are happier than the ones in Pyongyang and Soul or Russia and China for that matter. Michael Hoffman should review a book, published in Korea written by a Korean being happy in Japan. If he can find one, let us know.
Of course the dumbest of the "tree literary musketeers" is Sir Senile Cortazzi, shamelessly applauding "The Party" written by Richard McGregor an Australian journalist, the former Beijing bureau chief for the Financial Times, "exposing China's murky moguls". We are never the less grateful, since it is obvious from Sir S.Cortazzi's observations that it would be a waste of time and money to read "The Party".
Why? Bacause Richard McGregor falls in the same hole as most Western observers and politicians, trying to understand and mesure China and its resent past by mediocre Western-Democratic ideology and yardsticks. According to McGregor "The Chinese communist system is, in many ways, rotten, costly, corrupt and often dysfunctional" but he admits that "the system has also proved to be flexible and protean enough to absorb everything that has been thrown at it, to the surprise and horror of many in the West."
Cortazzi: McGregor asks how it became possible for the party, "locked in its ossified Leninist ways . . . secretive, corrupt, hostile to the rule of law and vindictive in the pursuit of its enemies," to preside over one of the greatest spurts of economic growth and wealth creation in recorded history. His book shows how the party has succeeded in removing itself from many areas of the life and work of Chinese people, while maintaining its own secret political life, directing the state from behind the scenes.
May be McGregor and Cortazzi should read up on their history.
After the revolution and a bloody civil war, with over 1.2 million casualties, Soviet Russia with Stalin as undisputed, merciless and capable leader, had consolidated its Western borders and began reemerging as a Far Eastern power, regaining influence in China.
This new Soviet Russia, leading a world wide movement towards abolishing monarchies and traditional social orders, establishing workers dictatorships or peoples republics globally, was considered a very serious threat by Japan, and American -British support of it in East Asia further strengthened anti- american sentiments in Tokyo as well as both Mao and Zhou Enlai disliked and feared Russian Communism. Knowing today that Soviet Russia and Communist China came out victoriously by the end of the Pacific War with the fall of Saigon in 1975, it is important to understand the nature of World Communism at it's beginning.
A detailed and comparable analyses of the root and organisational structure of Communism, basically concludes that all aspects as well as historic significance of Communism is rooted in and similar to Christianity.
Communism was simply a return of orthodox, fundamentalistic, absolute, monotheistic Christianity, with Lenin as son of God (Marx) and Stalin as his only true disciple and absolute leader of the sacred party, officially declaring the goal of world wide victory over all non communists; just like fundamentalist Christianity is committed to the final global christianisation of all peoples. Common to both organisations was the application of permanent terror of their subjects, with fear as governing instrument, and absolute control of all information and domination of all aspects to human activity, even interfering with the basic child-parent and husband-wife relationships.
What USA and European powers and analysts did not understand was that Chinese and Vietnamese Communism was totally different from the Communism of Russia and Europe, Moscow being a totalitarian Red Vatican. Unlike Europe, Mao's and Ho's communism did not replace a bankrupt moral world of Christianity among the exploited industrial proletariat, but on the contrary found a rather symbiotic coexistence with Buddhist- Confucian ethics in the mind of the ancient village dwelling Chinese and Indochinese peasant lending limitless human resources to Mao's and Ho's government.
The Maoist's victory was due to their social awareness and self reliance, both of which was totally alien to Christian-led Kuomintang, the decade long, continued Japanese victories over Chiang's armies and Chairman Mao's and Zhou's pragmatic attitude towards mutual understanding and secret agreements with both the Japanese high command as well as various anti-Chiang, Japanese-supported forces. Additionally over 150.000 japanese soldiers and officers went into service with the Chinese Red Army not wishing to return to a Japan under USA, making an important difference in the power balance between Mao and Chiang.
In 1972 when Japan and China established diplomatic relationship, and P.M. Tanaka apologised to Mao for invading China, Mao said: "You don't have to say sorry, your country made a great contribution to China. Why? Because if Imperial Japan did not enter the war, how could we communists become mighty and defeat Chiang Kai-shek? If it were not for Japan I would be hiding in some mountain cave today. No, we are grateful and do not want your war reparations."
It is due time, that Western scholars understand that European and Asian Communism is as different as Philippine Catholicism and Swedish Christianity. As we know, they are a world apart but that seems to have escaped both Sir Cortazzi's and McGregor's attention.
By Gabor Fabricius
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