Sunday, August 10, 2008
Read Nick Cohen at once. He is on fire today. The story from Solzhenitsyn reminds me that Simone de Beauvoir was once very impressed by the paradise being created by Mao in China. She was shown what she wanted to see and returned to tell the French left of the greatness and humanity of the biggest serial killer the world has ever known - 70 million corpses at least. At about the same time a Russian diplomat noted there were no leaves on the trees. He knew why. The people, having been starved by Mao's decision to sell the harvests abroad to pay for his nuclear programme, were eating them. Nick is right to ask: have we learned nothing from the twentieth century?
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:52 am