Mao: The Unknown Story
Quoted in Jung (Wild Swans) Chang's exhaustive new biography of Mao Tse-Tung, the great leader's own words suggest that if he were alive today he'd be bashing a tambourine at Hillsong or testing personalities for Scientology.
How about: "Morality does not have to be defined in relation to others ... People like me want to ... satisfy our hearts to the full, and in doing so we automatically have the most valuable moral codes."
And: "I don't know about the past, I don't know about the future. They have nothing to do with the reality of my own self ... Some say one has a responsibility for history, I don't believe it ... I am only concerned about developing myself. I have my desire and I act on it. I am responsible to no one."
In other words, as Scientologists and Hillsongers fervently believe: to hell with you lot, if God hadn't meant me to be rich, he wouldn't have invented Tom Cruise nor the losers (aka battlers) who make me feel superior.
The book is a ripping read and explains a lot about why China is like it is today: still trapped in Mao's thrall nearly 30 years after his death.
Mao: the Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Jonathan Cape, $59.95.