White House Communications Director Anita Dunn needs to think twice about quoting Chairman Mao. Let’s consider these two well-known quotes, from Mao’s 1927 classic “Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan:”
For the present upsurge of the peasant movement is a colossal event. In a very short time, in China’s central, southern and northern provinces, several hundred million peasants will rise like a mighty storm, like a hurricane, a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to hold it back. They will smash all the trammels that bind them and rush forward along the road to liberation. They will sweep all the imperialists, warlords, corrupt officials, local tyrants and evil gentry into their graves. Every revolutionary party and every revolutionary comrade will be put to the test, to be accepted or rejected as they decide. There are three alternatives. To march at their head and lead them? To trail behind them, gesticulating and criticizing? Or to stand in their way and oppose them? Every Chinese is free to choose, but events will force you to make the choice quickly…
Secondly, a revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.
Mao was a revolutionary. Unlike many of his contemporaries, who attempted to build a viable left-wing movement out of intellectuals and workers, his idea was to use the peasants, those widely-despised “ignoramuses” who made up most of China’s population. And he succeeded, a fact that Dunn isn’t shy about trumpeting.
But Dunn, like her master, is now in power. There’s no indication, unlike Mao, that a “perpetual revolution” is in the offing. Au contraire, what we have is an attempt to build a perpetual mandarinate, one that really gives short shrift even to trade unionists who have been an important component of the Democrat Party’s coalition for a long time.
Substitute “tea baggers” for “peasants,” mix in some major desperation, and you have the makings of serious social unrest. If they find a real Mao Zedong–unlike the “imitation” one (like Lu Xun’s “Imitation Foreign Devil”) that Anita Dunn is–Barack Obama and his underlings are going to have a real mess on their hands.