Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Inspired by Mao

What would prompt the Dean of NC State's College of Humanities and Social Sciences Jeffrey P. Braden to send an email to students and tell them to make new friends in college and then reminisce about the friends he made in his college years.
“Finally, a bit of advice. The friends you make in college will be your friends for life, and will influence what you do and how you think throughout your life time-so choose wisely. Some of the best friends I made as a student were Plato, Henry David Thoreau, Mao Tse-tung, Margaret Mead, and Maya Angelou. My colleagues are eager to make similar introductions for you!”
Think about that. He's so proud of his connection to Mao that he brags about it to undergraduates right after mentioning a noted pacifist, Henry David Thoreau. Doesn't he have any knowledge of the tens of millions whose deaths Mao is directly responsible for? Would he brag of learning about Hitler or Stalin? Why should Mao be on his list of his "friends for life"?

Did any of the students receiving that email note that inclusion or does it just float over the head of students these days?

Perhaps Braden is just following the model of Obama's communications chief Anita Dunn who listed Mao as one of her "two favorite philosophers." And then there is the former SEIU guy that Obama appointed as manufacturing czar who told an audience that the free market "is nonsense" and that they all agree "with Mao that political power comes largely from the barrel of a gun." Would it be acceptable for a White House official to quote Hitler when talking about economic policy? Why should Mao be any better.

When did it become permissible to cite Mao as someone to quote and even admire? Do these admirers of Mao even know history? I recommend that these useful idiots read The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression.