To be Fair

You know you’re onto something important when you create something that attracts its fair amount of negative criticism. Of course it depends what you’re creating. A breakfast cereal….NO. a new never before seen theme in the creative arts…in our case a Tarot deck? YES

Mass Murderer? Killed Millions of people on purpose with famine?Really? Strangely enough the population doubled under Mao.

Mass Murderer? Killed Millions of people on purpose with famine? Really? Strangely enough the population doubled under Mao.

To be fair, most of our criticism comes from westerners who have been breast fed on anti communism during the Hoover/McCarthy era or “Red Scare”, where everything associated with communism was evil, but we take the criticism very very seriously….which is why we keep making more pro communist art lol. We find it interesting that we’re constantly told how evil Mao was to the Chinese but we have yet to receive any criticism from anyone from China, and we have many Chinese fans of our deck.

Recently we were told that it was “dreadful” to produce a tarot honouring The Cultural Revolution because Mao was responsible for millions dying in the famine.

This is assinine of course, considering that Mao was actively trying to increase the population, not decrease it during this time. He did not plan a famine. The population grew from 54 million in 1949 to 940 million in 1976. The Great leap forward (1958-1961) was when the Great Famine started. October 1st 1949 was when the Republic of China was founded. One of the founders was Mao Tse Tung. Under his founding of the Republic to the time of his death, the population almost doubled. What does this tell you about Mao? Does this sound like a man who “killed millions on purpose” through a famine? It’s interesting to note that the birth rate increased in the same year that Mao co- founded the republic.

Our 4 of Pentacles represents a starving man during The Great Famine

Our 4 of Pentacles represents a starving man during The Great Famine

Secondly, people confuse the Great Famine happening at the time of The Cultural Revolution. This actually happened during the Great Leap Forward due to bad planning, as we shall see later in this writing. It’s important to put things into context as people will tell you things like “Mao killed millions with a famine” as though to say this was some kind of elaborate plan. It was not. China historically had/has a problem with famine. As a country, China also has the largest amount of people in the world, with 1 in 5 people coming from China until fairly recently. It certainly is a sad tragedy when millions die during a famine. I am Irish and while i did not live through the infamous potato famine which caused many to flee to America, i know of the devastation it causes entire societies when there are so many starving. Again we have to keep in mind that China had over 500 million people during the time of The Great Leap Forward. The official and accepted report was that 33 million people died during the Great famine of that same era. The Chinese government claims that 22 million deaths were attributed to the famine, as according to their government statistics, there was 15 milllion excess death rates compared to the average. That leaves it at roughly 6 or 7 percent of the population being killed by famine.

We don't shy away from the fact that the Great Famine affected the people in such a profound way during The Cultural Revolution

We don’t shy away from the fact that the Great Famine affected the people in such a profound way during The Great Leap Forward

Mao also allowed women to choose their occuptation, when before this was not allowed. The following shows some of his laws that he brought into being for China…

*outlawed prostitution,

*outlawed foot binding, (a practice that kept women basically chained to their homes) liberating women.

*outlawed arranged/forced marriages

*outlawed underage marriages

*Men and Women have equal rights to property.

*Women have right to use her own family name

*outlawed abortion, including children born out of wedlock

* No man or woman may discriminate/mistreat/harm any children born out of wedlock or children from a previous marriage.

Someone shared our Strength card illustration in a meme recently outlinding the difference between western feminism and the way it was depicted in communist art. It’s an honour to be featured in this collage because we do believe that femminism depicted in communist art is more empowering to women than what the liberal feminists are doing. Have a look and you can judge for yourself.

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A note of interest also is that China’s one child policy was brought in AFTER Mao died. Blaming Mao for this is a bit like blaming Reagan for Drone bombing Pakistan. He forbid the aborting of female children. In fact he did not support birth control. Funny that. His actions seem to back up his quotes…

“Of all things in the world, people are the most precious”- Mao Zedong.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) became corrupt after the death of Mao, and the one child policy was put into effect in the early 80’s. Even though during the end of Mao’s life they were encouraging smaller families, this was not brought into law while he was alive.

Another criticism thrown at us, or i should say a question, was “Are you going to create a Tarot deck based on the Nazis and Adolf Hitler?”. The answer is no, because Nazism doesn’t interest us, nor can we find anything inspirational in it. The truth is, there is a big difference between sending millions of Jews to their deaths and bad planning while in power (Mao’s fault was that he did not have good planning – he had many of the farmers become steel workers, thus less crops were grown. In a country historically plagued by famine this was obviously not a good move)

So we wanted to put this together for those of you who perhaps don’t really know about what went on during the era. We also would invite you to listen to our friend Jason Unhrue’s video titled Mao’s Famine Debunked. He explains it much better than i can.

Communism and the Bible

We had a discussion today about the Bible and Kingship. It is well known that Jesus was one of the most well known and earliest Communists. This is seen throughout his teachings of giving to the poor and needy and also the teachings against hoarding wealth. Jesus taught people to give their riches to the poor, to lay on banquets for those who can’t possibly pay you back, teaching that it is better to share the wealth rather than store it, for wealth does not last and wealth is not recognised in Heaven. Good deeds are recognised. Love is recognised. Caring for your fellow human beings is recognised. Wealth, fame, fortune are things only remembered on earth because these speak to the material world. Yet as a King, Jesus was not recognised. It is said that they were expecting a military type leader to lead the Jews against Roman occupation. It is also said that Jesus was not recognised as a King because he bore no riches, no granduer, nor was even someone that was considerably handsome to look at. In other words he was very average, very everyday person, to be considered a King. In the bible we need to look back to see where the first King came from

1 Samuel ch 8 vs 4 -5 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “ “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

It is here, it seems, that a new chapter in Israel came into being. It would seem to me that before this there were, in Israel’s history, leaders of the people, leaders who while either feeling inclined by themselves or by God, led the people without excessive wealth. It’s interesting to see what God says about this through Samuel:

Samuel Ch 8 vs 6 – 9 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.  As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

God does not see the people innocently asking for a king. Instead they see them rejecting him as their king. God was already their king with God’s personally appointed Samuel as their leader, so they were rejecting the idea of a leader, and instead wanted a flesh and blood king.

Samuel Ch 8 vs 10 – 18 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king.He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

Herein lies the problem and this was already seen by God. Kings of royalty are not the same as leaders. Royalty see the people as servants. Leaders, at least i think in theory, see the people as their equals. While a leader may lean upon the public for financial aide while he goes about his duties FOR the people, i don’t feel it was ever meant to be beyond one’s needs. In other words a leader was not there to exploit the people that he leads. This of course does not stand up nowadays. It would appear that almost all of those who rule over a people or nation are excessively wealthy by default (when compared with the average person of that nation). When we look back on a leader like Moses, it doesn’t appear that Moses was excessively rich. It is true he spent his childhood and much of his young life in Egyptian royalty, but he does not appear to be a wealthy leader. King’s seem to be a different matter. So, it would seem that from leadership, the Israelities leaped into Kingship…

Samuel Ch 8 vs 19 – 22  But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”  When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord.  The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.

After leadership came Kingship and when Jesus arrived, the need for Kingship in the traditional sense was gone. The people needed a leader. By this stage the Romans had taken over and there was no King that the Jews could call their own. Jesus reintroduced leadership, thus breaking away from an imperialist based system and getting back to a community based system. From here the early Christians, following Christ’s teachings seem to have adopted a communal ideology…

“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.…There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need” (Acts 4:32–35 ESV).

Sadly nowadays even Christianity has turned to capitalism despite Christianity’s roots. So it seems that the struggle of man in his spirituality is having faith that the Lord will provide even against the odds. It is very easy to be faithless in a society where money is King, not God.

The Cultural Revolution Tarot can be found on our site for 40 U.S dollars (at the time of writing). For the brits, this relates to little over 26 pounds. Go buy our controversial kick ass work of art and you won’t be dissappointed

Greed Consciousness

As children most of us throughout the world are taught not to be greedy. We are encouraged to share, to play fairly with other children. We can see, at least in capitalist countries, that once someone comes of age, these virtues begin to wane in importance, and in many cases the complete opposite positions are upheld.

Where once the child being greedy was a bad thing, it is now something to be commended. We see young adults being told to seek out high paying jobs, being groomed by the media through rich self obsessed “celebrities” and “socialites”. Parents aspire to see their kids growing up “secure” and often this is confused with their child having financial stability way beyond their everyday needs. The majority of wealth is aquired through the labours of others, whether you own a business or work for a business/organisation. Coming of age, we are taught to sue each other for the least little thing and taught to be oportunistic, even to the point of exploitation. Just look at companies that destroy the drinking water of indigeous people as a side effect of their greed, without any mention of any health care as consolation, or wiping out their livelihoods without so much as an apology. As capitalists, they can get away with doing this because they can pay everyone off who has the ability to hold them accountable in tangible way.

Some forms of aquiring wealth falls under illegal activity. This comes in the form of drug dealing, prostitution, even illegal taxation. The American government itself taxes it’s citizens, yet taxation is unconstitutional and so this falls into an illegal aquiration of wealth.

So why do we teach our children to share, to not be greedy? Is it so that we do not have to listen to arguments between the children? Is it so that we do not have to listen to crying children all day long? Or do we set out with some moralistic idealism that we hope to instill in them? Finally, is it because we love all of our children equally and want the best for everyone of them, yet do not love the children of other parents enough to care too much if our child shares with THEM or not? Maybe it is all of these reasons combined.

I am inclined to believe that God is upset with the extreme class divide for the last reason i mentioned.

“Is it because we love all of our children equally and want the best for everyone of them”

We are said to be all God’s children, not just the jews. He is said to love us all equally, and so i’m sure it grieves his spirit when he sees rich capitalist countries working the Third World countries like dogs. Those in the Third World work long hours for little to no pay, while capitalists reap the benefits from their hard labour.

Here then is why capitalism and christianity cannot truly co-exist though very easily, if at all, because you cannot really say you believe Jesus’ teaching of “it is easier for a Camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich person to enter heaven” and amass huge riches. To Quote a part of Wikipedia’s entry of Joyce Meyer:

“In November 2003, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a four-part special report[9] detailing Meyer’s “$10 million corporate jet, her husband’s $107,000 silver-gray Mercedes sedan, her $2 million home and houses worth another $2 million for her four children,” a $20 million headquarters, furnished with “$5.7 million worth of furniture, artwork, glassware, and the latest equipment and machinery,” including a “$30,000 malachite round table, a $23,000 marble-topped antique commode, a $14,000 custom office bookcase, a $7,000 Stations of the Cross in Dresden porcelain, a $6,300 eagle sculpture on a pedestal, another eagle made of silver bought for $5,000, and numerous paintings purchased for $1,000 to $4,000 each,” among many other expensive items – all paid for by the ministry. The articles prompted Wall Watchers[11] (a Christian nonprofit watchdog group) to call on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate Meyer and her family”

Make of it what you will