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.

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