The theory of evolution is closely related to all the disasters Mao brought upon China. As we have seen, the great famine of 1958-61 resulted from the application of Lysenko's model of "evolutionist science." Meanwhile, Mao and the Communist establishment ruled China with incredible cruelty and mercilessness. What kind of horrifying thinking lies behind a policy that deliberately leaves people to starve and forces them into cannibalism?
No doubt this relates to the whole Communist view of human nature. Earlier, the idea that human beings are animals lay at the basis of Soviet terror, and the same applies to China was mentioned. With Darwinist prejudice, Mao viewed those opposed to Communism as "animals" and so, Maoists were not at all touched by the anguish of people they regarded as a herd. To them, this was a logical, normal operation of nature. After revealing how low harvest levels had fallen in the Great Leap, The Black Book of Communism gives Mao's view in this regard:
Mao, in the tradition of Chinese leaders, but in contradiction to the legend that he encouraged to grow up around him, showed here how little he really cared for what he thought of as the clumsy and primitive peasants.77James Reeve Pusey also stresses Mao's Darwinist philosophy: "The thought of Mao Tse-tung was and remains a powerful mixture of Darwinian ironies and contradictions."78
Elsewhere, he writes:
Mao Tse-tung in an angry moment (as late as 1964) swore that "all demons shall be annihilated." He dehumanized his enemies, partly in traditional hyperbole, partly in Social Darwinian "realism." Like the Anarchists, he saw reactionaries as evolutionary throwbacks, who deserved extinction.The people's enemies were non-people, and they did not deserve to be treated as people.79Whoever views humans as animals has no qualms about performing experiments on them. During the Great Leap, new ways of nutrition were considered and mercilessly tested on people who were starving:In 1960, after one year of famine, ...the survivors were reduced to searching through horse manure for undigested grains of wheat and eating the worms they found in cowpats. People in the camps were used as guinea pigs in hunger experiments. In one case flour was mixed with 30 percent paper paste in bread to study the effects on digestion, while in another study marsh plankton were mixed with rice water. The first experiment caused atrocious constipation throughout the camp, which caused many deaths. The second also caused much illness, and many who were already weakened ended up dying.80The "Great Leap" was actually a kind of experiment in natural selection. Mao forced the Chinese into the most difficult conditions in order to eliminate the weak and those opposed to Communism. On the one hand, he tried to brainwash the peasants by starving them so as to make them dependent on him and the Communist organization. This basis of this attempt was Darwinism. At the same time as he began the Great Leap, Mao also initiated a "leap in education." The dialectical materialism and Darwinism played the main roles in this education campaign. In a speech from this period, Mao revealed the principles supporting his savagery when he said, "The foundation of Chinese Socialism rests on Darwin and the theory of evolution."81
Immediately after the Great Leap, on January 30, 1962, Mao explained the parallels between the Chinese Communist Party and Darwin in a speech delivered before members of the Party:
In history doctrines of natural scientists such as Copernicus, Galileo and Darwin were for a very long period not recognized by the majority of people, but instead were thought to be incorrect. In their time they were in the minority. When our Party was founded in 1921 we only had a few dozen members; we were also in the minority, but these few people represented the truth and represented China's destiny.82
In these words, Mao compared his party's efforts to Darwin's enterprise and expressed his respect and admiration for him. At first, he stated, few accepted his Communist Party's ideas, just as few people accepted the theories of Darwin. But that would not change the validity of either man's ideas. But just as in Darwin's case, Mao's ideas were all myths.
In the Great Leap, between 30 and 45 million people died because of the famine. Many peasants who resisted collectivization died of torture. Tens of thousands, because they showed the slightest negative attitude towards Communism, were labeled "class enemies," arrested and tortured. Chinese prisoners were treated like animals and finally executed.
In these prisons, the savagery of Chinese Communism was especially evident.