Friday, 22 March 2013

Learning Wisdom from Chairman Mao Zedong

The journal Nature suggests we can learn wisdom from Chairman Mao. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Recently, there was a short article in the journal Nature about the things we can learn from Chairman Mao Zedong.

Colin Macilwain suggests that while people in the west tend to live in the past, Chairman Mao wanted to leave the past behind and go on to something new and not be satisfied with things as they are.

Macilwain says that we tend to see Mao as a monster, but he nevertheless suggests that we could learn from him.

He ends his article with these words:

As for Chairman Mao, he'd have cheered a report from the Xinhua news agency on 6 February. The story, ‘Frugality fuels science breakthrough’, lauded a team of neutrino scientists for, among other things, finding cheap accommodation. I've never seen a story along these lines in Europe or the United States. And that, I'm afraid, suggests that decadence has set in.”

Macilwain contrasts Mao’s wisdom with the self-satisfaction he sees in western science and its funding. What he does not say is that Mao with his ruthless ways wholeheartedly embraced Darwinian evolution and brought misery, suffering and death to millions of his countrymen.


Macilwain, Colin. 2013. The unlikely wisdom of Chairman Mao. Nature 495 (7341):143.