By Judith Shapiro
In transparent and compelling prose, Judith Shapiro relates the good, untold tale of the devastating influence of chinese language politics on China's setting through the Mao years. Maoist China offers an instance of utmost human interference within the wildlife in an period within which human relationships have been additionally strangely distorted. lower than Mao, the normal chinese language excellent of "harmony among heaven and people" used to be abrogated in desire of Mao's insistence that "Man needs to overcome Nature." Mao and the chinese language Communist Party's "war" to bend the actual international to human will usually had disastrous outcomes either for people and the usual atmosphere. Mao's warfare opposed to Nature argues that the abuse of individuals and the abuse of nature are usually associated. Shapiro's account, instructed partly in the course of the voices of standard chinese language voters and officers who lived via and took part in a few of the damaging campaigns, is either eye-opening and heartbreaking. Judith Shapiro teaches environmental politics at American college in Washington, DC. She is co-author, with Liang Heng, of a number of renowned books on China, together with Son of the Revolution (Random condo, 1984) and After the Nightmare (Knopf, 1986). She used to be one of many first american citizens to paintings in China after the normalization of U.S.-China family members in 1979.
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Additional resources for Mao's War against Nature: Politics and the Environment in Revolutionary China (Studies in Environment and History)
Particularly important is whether the relationship to the land is perceived to be a lasting one. Elements often associated with democracies – such as intellectual freedom, political participation, government accountability and transparency, and local self-governance – are more important to sound environmental behavior than the form of government per se. Environmentally responsible behavior appears to involve restraint and sacrifice. 29 This viewpoint implies a tension between Western-style political freedoms and environmentalism; Singapore, a politically, if not economically authoritarian state, can point to one of the greenest records in Asia.
Although it is unclear whether Mao used this phrase himself, many Chinese attribute it to him and see it as the essence of his views on the value of a large population. ”31 Mao thus saw China’s population as a source of military strength and survival on the world stage. He boasted to Nehru in 1954 that although America had nuclear weapons, China had 600 million people and 9,600,000 square kilometers of land. 32 During a visit to 31 Mao’s War Against Nature Moscow in November 1957, Moscow, Mao shocked Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev with his casual calculations about human life: We shouldn’t be afraid of atomic missiles.
By 1959, the people had no grain, and in 1960 and 1961 there was a great famine. So Mao said, “open the wilderness to plant grain” [kaihuang zhong liangshi], and it was another disaster for the forests. The forests were cut without restraint so as to plant grain in the mountains. During the Cultural Revolution, there were even more crazy things. Everything was collective and nature belonged to the country, so there was no individual responsibility to protect nature. Tradition was destroyed. Because of the “Take Grain as the Key Link” policy in agriculture, only grain was planted and other crops were destroyed.
Mao's War against Nature: Politics and the Environment in Revolutionary China (Studies in Environment and History) by Judith Shapiro