As Americans Turn Left, We Should Remember Socialism Killed 36 Million Chinese
Chinese whistleblower Yang Jisheng's book, 'Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962,' is a powerful reminder that collectivism is evil.
By Helen Raleigh
February 23, 2021
After I finished reading Yang Jishengâ€™s book, Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962, an extensive analysis on the worst man-made calamity in human history, I couldnâ€™t help but wonder: If Yangâ€™s book were required reading for American college students, would so many young people embrace socialism so enthusiastically?
Yang opens the book with his fatherâ€™s death in 1959. It was April, and Yang was a high school student. Since his school was far from the village where his father lived, Yang rarely saw his father during the school year. One day, a villager brought Yang the dreadful messageâ€”his father was dying of starvation. Yang rushed home. He found utter destitution.
The village felt like a ghost town. There were no animals running around, not even rats, and no living trees either. â€œAll had been stripped of their leaves and bark by starving peasants,â€ he records. People ate whatever they could get their hands on, and when they were not searching for food, they barely had any energy to move or make a sound.
At the little hut his father lived in, Yang saw his fatherâ€™s â€œeyes sunken and lifeless, his face gaunt, the skin creased and flaccid,â€ which reminded Yang of the human skeleton he saw in an anatomy class. Yang suddenly realized that â€œthe term skin and bones referred to something so horrible and cruel.â€ Yang tried to feed his father some peanut sproutsâ€”the only thing he could findâ€”but his father was too weak to even swallow. He died three days later.
Despite losing his father to starvation, Yang â€œfelt no suspicion and completely accepted what had been instilled in me by the Communist Party and the Communist Youth League.â€ Since the founding of Communist China in 1949, the CCP had sealed China off from the outside world. The government had a domestic monopoly on information and facts.