March 18, 2019 | Jerry Bergman

Darwinism Inspired China’s Communist Holocaust

The Horrors of Communist China’s Holocaust Inspired by Darwinism

by Jerry Bergman PhD

As history separates us from Darwin’s death, the media is more willing to expose the harm of his ideas. This, plus the release of once-sealed records have revealed a great deal about the atrocities of recent history. This is the case of the horrors of Mao Zedong in Communist China.[1] That Darwin was a major influence in communist China should not surprise us. Darwin not only supported the survival-of-the-fittest ideology, but even

divided humanity into distinct races according to differences in skin, eye or hair color. He was also convinced that evolution was progressive, and that the white races—especially the Europeans—were evolutionarily more advanced than the black races, thus establishing race differences and a racial hierarchy.[2]

The flow of Darwinism to Marx, then Lenin and Stalin and lastly, Mao

Karl Marx (1818-1883) as a youth was an active evangelical Christian until, in college, he was introduced to Darwinism and other anti-theists ideas. As a result, he embraced and became an aggressive anti-Christian.[3] He claimed theistic religion was the opiate (drug) of the people that prevented them from supporting communist revolutions. Religion supported capitalist systems that, he claimed, exploited the workers. Marx unified the “science” of Darwinism and the communism system and “an historian can hardly fail to agree that Marx’s claim to give scientific guidance to those who would transform society has been one of the chief reasons for his doctrine’s enormous influence.”[4]

Marx was the founder of the main branch of communism that influenced both Lenin and Stalin, both whom were central in the development of Russian Communism. Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) and Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) were both reared as Christians (Stalin was even a seminary student for a time), and were active as youth in religious activities. Lenin’s father was a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church and baptized his children into it. His wife, Maria, was a Lutheran by upbringing.[5] Lenin and Stalin, in turn, influenced Mao Tse-tung (modernized to Zedong). Chairman Mao (1893-1976) became the leader of all China in 1949. Although reared in a religious family, he had rebelled against religion at about the time he studied Darwinism and Marxism. In the end, Darwinism had an enormous influence on several of the highest level revolutionary Chinese Communist party leaders, including Mao Zedong.[6]

As a youth, Mao, the cofounder of China’s modern communist party and the first Chinese Communist dictator, “devoured” many Western authors.[7]  Though reared by a religiously devout mother, as he read Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, Mao became “more and more skeptical” of religion, and more and more convinced that Darwinism was the future of governments.[8]

So effective was China’s transformation to Darwinism that, according to one study, the number of Darwinists today in China is higher than in most nations—74% compared to 56% in Russia and 52% in Spain and Egypt. Yet, few understand its contribution to China’s recent turbulent history.[9] Mao openly advocated achieving world communism by both violence and war which was an application of Darwin’s survival-of-the-fittest worldview. The policies that Mao developed to achieve his communist goals resulted in the murder of up to “30 million excess deaths.”[10] Chinese student, Kenneth Hsü reported that it was as a youth in China that he learned the importance of Darwinism. One example was documented by Theo Sumner’s experience on a trip to China with German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Theo personally witnessed Mao acknowledging the debt he had to Darwinism, especially to the Darwinist who also inspired Hitler and Ernst Haeckel.[11]

Hsü concluded that Mao was convinced that, “without the continual pressure of natural selection,” humans as a species would degenerate. This idea inspired Mao to, in Hsü’s words, advocate “the ceaseless revolution that brought my homeland to the brink of ruin.”[12] In the minds of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, treating people as animals was not wrong because they all believed that Darwin had “proved” humans were not God’s creation, but instead were animals descended from a “simple” one-celled organism by the survival-of-the-fittest mechanism. The extent that Darwinism was inculcated into the Chinese people is revealed by the fact that Mao was still using the Darwinian idiom “the triumph of the fittest” as late as 1957.[13]

When China accepted Darwinism, the government modified the Darwinian race hierarchy. In their opinion, the Chinese race was evolutionarily more advanced than others, thus establishing their own race differences and racial hierarchy.[14] Almost everyone else who accepted Darwinism did the same thing. Steven Rose, Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at Open University in the UK, wrote “During the 150 years since Darwin wrote such views on race, gender and eugenics, whilst sometimes subterranean, they have never entirely vanished; a sorry history, often told.”[15] This view affected their treatment of both fellow Chinese and other races, which are not races (there is but one human race), but actually just people groups.

The Chinese Holocaust

Llewellyn H. Rockwell wrote about the horrors of Mao’s rule in an article that was recently republished in Business Insider. Rockwell correctly observes that the slaughter by the Darwinian communists is “a scandal that few Westerners are even aware, or, if they are aware, they are not conscious of the bloody reality that prevailed in China between the years 1949 and 1976, the years of communist rule by Mao Zedong.”[16] New research is expanding the number murdered by Chinese communists. Rockwell noted that other researchers have attempted to estimate the number that died as a result of persecutions and the policies of Mao, but they

have always underestimated. As more data rolled in during the 1980s and 1990s, and specialists have devoted themselves to investigations and estimates, the figures have become ever more reliable. And yet they remain imprecise. …  It could be as high as 100 million or more. In the Great Leap Forward from 1959 to 1961 alone, figures range between 20 million to 75 million. In the period before, 20 million. In the period after, tens of millions more.[17]

We will probably never know the exact number except to say it is in the multi-millions. One can reasonably assume, though,  that, if Mao had not become a Darwinist and remained a Christian and allowed the Christian church to grow instead of ruthlessly suppressing it, that the Chinese Holocaust would never have occurred.[18] Similarly, it’s safe to assume that If Marx, Lenin or Stalin and not embraced Darwinism and remained Christians, Russia and China may have never experienced their genocides. Regardless of what the body count was, the Guinness Book of Records has long given Mao Zedong the awful distinction of “greatest mass murderer in history.”

The communization of China occurred in the usual three stages: purge, plan, and scapegoat. First, to bring about communism, the leaders committed purges to eliminate any opposition, real as well as potential. Lenin-style communism, which believed in nationalizing all means of production, required the government to confiscate the farms, the land, the industry and many businesses. Party bosses used informants and guerrillas to murder opponents of nationalization of land and property. Furthermore, the churches had to be destroyed because they were unnecessary for the workers’ paradise the communists were building. Besides that, Christians often opposed the government’s violence and injustice. The result was  “The land of … Confucianism (piety, social harmony, individual development) was seized by the strangest import to China ever: Marxism from Germany via Russia.”[19]

Rockwell Describes the Violence Used to Achieve the Darwinian Paradise

One of the first steps was to deal with the opposers of the revolution, called the counter-revolutionaries. These had to be suppressed, and the

violence began in the country and spread later to the cities. All peasants were first divided into four classes that were considered politically acceptable: poor, semi poor, average, and rich. Everyone else was considered a landowner and targeted for elimination. … the “rich” were often included in this group. The demonized class was ferreted out in a country-wide series of “bitterness meetings” in which people turned in their neighbors for owning property and being politically disloyal. Those who were so deemed were immediately executed along with those who sympathized with them.[20]

The violence was systematic. For example, Rockwell claimed

there had to be at least one person killed per village. The number killed is estimated to be between one and five million. In addition, another four to six million landowners were slaughtered for the crime of being capital owners. If anyone was suspected of hiding wealth, he or she was tortured with hot irons to confess. The families of the killed were then tortured and the graves of their ancestors looted and pillaged. …  the land….  was divided into tiny plots and distributed among the remaining peasants.

Darwin Affects the Women of China

Darwin had taught that women were inferior to men. Darwin wrote that the result of sexual selection was men becoming “more courageous, pugnacious and energetic than woman [with] a more inventive genius. His brain is absolutely larger … the formation of her skull is said to be intermediate between the child and the man.”[21]

By contrast, Mao’s slogan, ‘The times have changed; men and women are the same’ was propagated to millions of Chinese women in an attempt to convince them that men and women were equal. Women’s public roles as revolutionaries were glorified, a claim that worked to exploit women. One example,

the image of Iron Girls – strong, robust, muscular women who boldly performed physically demanding jobs traditionally done by men, such as repairing high-voltage electric wires – was widely promoted as a symbol of the Maoist slogan: ‘Whatever men comrades can accomplish, women comrades can too.’[22]

Rockwell considers this a ruse. He says of

party leaders … in reality, they cared little about gender equality or inequality as long as it was consistent with the socialist utopia they were attempting to construct…. Through political rhetoric, women were granted a superficially equal social status equivalent to that of men, but the cost was the annihilation of femininity and individuality.[23]

Deaths Accelerate Under Collectivization and Treachery

Industry existed in the cities, but their owners were subjected to ever tighter restrictions, constant scrutiny, crippling taxes, and pressure to give up their businesses for collectivization. There were many suicides among the small- and medium-sized business owners who saw their future as bleak. In Shanghai, suicide by jumping from tall buildings became so common that residents avoided walking near skyscrapers for fear that suicides might land on them.[24] Soon “As the rivers of blood rose ever higher”

Mao brought about the Hundred Flowers Campaign in two months of 1957 … People were encouraged to speak freely and give their point of view, an opportunity that was very tempting for intellectuals. The liberalization was short lived. In fact, it was a trick. All those who spoke out against what was happening to China were rounded up and imprisoned, perhaps between 400,000 and 700,000 people, including 10 percent of the well-educated classes. Others were branded as right wingers and subjected to interrogation, reeducation, kicked out of their homes, and shunned…. Some prisoners were worked to death, and anyone involved in a revolt was herded with collaborators and they were all burned.[25]

Fake Science Leads to Mass Starvation

Following land collectivization, Mao decided to tell the peasants what they would grow, if anything, how they would grow it, and where they would sell it, generating history’s most deadly famine.[26] Peasants by the thousands were forced to share most everything, and production goals were raised ever higher. To boost production, hundreds of thousands of people were moved from locations where production was high to where it was low. Failure forced movement from agriculture to industry.

Erosion and flooding soon became endemic. Many plants died, then the soil dried out and salt rose to the surface. To prevent birds from eating grain, the sparrows were killed, resulting in vastly increasing parasite populations. By 1957, disaster was everywhere. Some workers, too weak to effectively harvest their meager crops, died while watching rice rot. The government responded by telling people that fat and proteins were not necessary. Rockwell continues, claiming that the

black-market price of rice rose 20 to 30 times. Because trade had been forbidden between collectives millions were left to starve. … . Anyone caught hoarding grain was shot. Peasants found with the smallest amount were imprisoned. Fires were banned. Funerals were prohibited as wasteful. Villagers who tried to flee the countryside to the city were shot at the gates. Deaths from hunger reached 50 percent in some villages. Survivors boiled grass and bark to make soup and wandered the roads looking for food. Sometimes they banded together and raided houses looking for ground maize. Women were unable to conceive because of malnutrition. People in work camps were used for food experiments that led to sickness and death.

Scapegoating: Don’t Blame the Dear Leader

The third phase was scapegoating. The official reason for the calamity was anything but communism, or Mao.[27] The fault was the people, so the politically motivated roundups began again, and so came the heart of the Culture Revolution: Thousands of camps and detention centers were opened. In these prison camps

the slightest excuse was used to dispense with people — all to the good, since the prisoners were a drain on the system … . The largest penal system ever built was organized in a military fashion, with some camps holding as many as 50,000 people. … . Arrests were sweeping and indiscriminate. …  To question the reason for arrest was itself evidence of disloyalty, since the state was infallible. Once arrested, the safest path was instant and frequent confession. Guards were forbidden from using overt violence, so interrogations would go on for hundreds of hours, and often the prisoner would die during this process.

Those named in the “confession” were then hunted and sent to a labor camp. They were graded according to how many hours you could work with little food. The diet lacked meat, sugar or oil. These were considered too expensive.

The final phase of this incredible litany of criminality lasted from 1966 to 1976, during which the number killed fell dramatically to “only” one to three million. The government, now tired and in the first stages of demoralization, began to lose control, first within the labor camps and then in the countryside. And it was this weakening that led to the final, and in some ways the most vicious, of the communist periods in China’s history.

The remaining temples were barricaded. Traditional opera was banned, with all costumes and sets in the Beijing Opera burned. Monks were expelled. The calendar was changed. All Christianity was banned. There were to be no pets such as cats and birds. Humiliation was the order of the day.

The Horror Ends – Partly

Finally, in 1976, Mao died. His body was first preserved with formaldehyde, then like a god it was put on permanent display in an enormous mausoleum. His body lays inside a crystal coffin that is moved by elevator to an earthquake-proof bunker each night.[28] Within months, his closest advisers were imprisoned. And the reforms that began slowly picked up speed. Many civil liberties were restored and some camp torturers were actually prosecuted. Economic controls were gradually relaxed.

Once Mao’s communist Darwinian control was released, China was transformed, allowing human and private economic initiative to thrive. Eventually, tolerance of some degree of capitalism produced one of the most vibrant economies in our modern world.  Nevertheless, China remains under dictatorial control by the communist party, and continues to persecute and suppress religion. Echoes of the Stalinist and Maoist terror regimes, including starvation and bulging prison camps, continue in the “hermit kingdom” of North Korea, which would have collapsed long ago if not propped up by China.

Rockwell ends his article by stating that the above brief summary puts the reader into the tiny elite who know something about the “greatest death camp in the history of the world that China became between 1949 and 1976, an experiment in total control unlike anything else in history.”[29] As we have shared, this death camp was built on a foundation of Darwinian ideology.


[1] Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.  2017. The horrors of Communist China under Mao Zedong that most Westerners don’t know about. https://mises.org/wire/horrors-communist-china. 05/01/2017. Also https://www.businessinsider.com/horrors-of-communist-china-under-mao.

[2] Steven Rose. 2009. Darwin, Race and Gender. EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) Reports. 10(4):297-298.

[3] Jerry Bergman. 2014. The Darwin Effect. Its Influence on Nazism, Eugenics, Racism, Communism, Capitalism & Sexism. Chapter 14. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.

[4]Joravsky, David. 1961. Soviet Marxism and Natural Science; 1917-1932. London:  Routledge and Kegan Paul, p. 4.

[5] Jerry Bergman. 2014. The Darwin Effect. Its Influence on Nazism, Eugenics, Racism, Communism, Capitalism & Sexism. 2014. Chapter 15. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.

[6] Pusey, James Reeve. 1983. China and Charles Darwin.  Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.

[7] Devillers, Philippe. 1967. Mao. New York, NY: Schocken. p. 26.

[8]Snow, Edgar. 1961. Red Star Over China. New York, NY: Grove Press, pp. 128-129.

[9]Stephenson, Tony. 2009. “Darwin Survey Shows International Consensus on Acceptance of Evolution.”  British Council, www.britishcouncil.org/darwin.

[10]Benton, Gregor and Lin Chun (editors). 2010. Was Mao Really a Monster: The Academic Response to Chang and Halliday’s Mao: The Unknown Story. New York, NY: Routledge, p. 15.

[11] Hsü, Kenneth. 1986. The Great Dying: Cosmic Catastrophe, Dinosaurs and the Theory of Evolution.  New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, p. 13.

[12] Hsü, 1986, p. 13.

[13] Pusey, 1983, p. 452.

[14] Jerry Bergman. 2012. Hitler and the Nazi Darwinian Worldview: How the Nazi Eugenic Crusade for a Superior Race Caused the Greatest Holocaust in World History. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: Joshua Press.

[15] Rose, 2009, p. 297.

[16] Rockwell, 2017.

[17] Rockwell, 2017.

[18] Short, Philip. 1999. Mao: A Life.  New York, NY: Henry Holt.

[19] Rockwell, 2017.

[20] Rockwell, 2017.

[21] Darwin, Charles. 1871. The Descent of Man. London: John Murray. Vol. 2, pp. 316-317.

[22] Wenqi Yang and Fei Yan. 2017. The annihilation of femininity in Mao’s China: Gender inequality of sent-down youth during the Cultural Revolution. China Information. 31(1): 63-83.

[23] Yang and Yan. 2017. pp. 76-78.

[24] “High Tide of Terror”Time Magazine. March 5, 1956.

[25] Rockwell, 2017.

[26] Short, Philip. 1999. Mao: A Life. New York, NY: Henry Holt.

[27] Short, Philip. 1999. Mao: A Life.  New York, NY: Henry Holt.

[28] Short, Philip. 1999. Mao: A Life. New York, NY: Henry Holt.

[29] Short, Philip. 1999. Mao: A Life. New York, NY: Henry Holt.


Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.

(Visited 717 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.