This is my respond to a FM's post.
The following is my point of view of Mao as an overseas Chinese and I’m sure it will be quite different from Chinese in mainland.
* Interesting to compare Mao to Washington. I believe Washington had a easier time and he did not govern too long. His influence is far less than Mao to his citizens.
* ‘70 good and 30 bad’ is more political and would be sounded off from folks like Deng. The reverse (70% bad and 30% good) is more accurate for most historians I guess.
Mao is great in the beginning and poor in his governance and policy like purging the ‘rightist intellectuals’, Big Leap Forward (backward for me), Cultural Revolution (Counter-CR to me)…
It could be the Peter’s Principle – when some one becomes incompetent (governance in Mao’s case) when promoted from a position (founding China) s/he is competent.
He did raise the spirit of a nation (after hundreds of years of humiliation) while millions were starving to death.
My simple conclusion. Mao is a national hero with reservation and his time made him one. He has vision, talents… The folks surrounded him did not provide good guidance esp. in governance, or he did not want to listen to others’ opinions. Chou could have helped China more if he could influence Mao more. When Mao became semi God, he ignored that he would be judged harshly by history.
He has strengths and weaknesses of a human being. He should not get all the blame and glory. His advisors and his citizens should bear some of the blame.
All leaders should be judged by his benefits to his citizens and his nation's cultures. Based on this, I do not think Mao is a good leader even he is a national hero.
His era is a lesson for China, if not for the world.