Xi Van Fleet, who lived under the bloody communist rule of Chinese leader Mao Zedong, says the goal of her new book “is to lay out the parallels of the two Cultural Revolutions that I experienced—[the one] 50 years ago and the one I experience with millions of Americans right now, the woke revolution.”
“And I’ve tried to lay out the parallels, to let people see that ‘woke’ is nothing new. It happened before,” says Van Fleet, author of the book “Mao’s America: A Survivor’s Warning.” “What’s going on in America is history repeating.”
Mao, who wrested control of what became the People’s Republic of China in 1949, imposed his violent Cultural Revolution from 1966 until his death in 1976.
“People like me, people [who] lived through the Cultural Revolution, we see through it right away. We know it is the same thing,” Van Fleet says, adding:
But for too many Americans, they don’t know, because they never learned the history. They do not know history of communism. They know very little of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, so they don’t know what it is. They just know it’s crazy.
Van Fleet joins this episode of “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss what it was like growing up in communist China under Mao, her No. 1 takeaway for those who read her book, and an excerpt published by The Daily Caller.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:
Samantha Aschieris: Joining today’s episode of “The Daily Signal Podcast,” is Xi Van Fleet, author of the newly released book, “Mao’s America: A Survivor’s Warning.” Thank you so much for joining us today.
Xi Van Fleet: Thank you so much for inviting me.
Aschieris: Now, I am really excited to be speaking with you about your new book. But before we do that, can you just tell us a little bit more about yourself?
Van Fleet: Yeah. I grew up in Mao’s China. I spent my first 26 years there, and I lived through the Cultural Revolution, which took place in 1966 to 1976 when Mao died. And that was pretty much my school years. And after I graduated from high school and there was nothing for us, for the young people, so we were all sent to the countryside to work with the peasants to get our so-called reeducation. And I spent three years doing hard labor in the countryside.
By then, Deng Xiaoping took over China. He was a reformer, and he opened up university. At the age of 19, I was able to go to college and study English. After that, I taught in a teachers’ training college. In 1986, I was so lucky to get the student visa to come here to study, to pursue my graduate study, which is English. And so, I have been living in United States since 1986.
Aschieris: Wow. Can you tell us a little bit more about what it was like growing up in China under Mao Zedong?
Van Fleet: Yeah, that’s a big question. Yeah. Do you have three days? Read the book. But to describe my school years was to describe the Cultural Revolution.
It’s all about chaos. When the Cultural Revolution started, I just finished my first grade, the first semester of my first grade. So, I had one semester of somewhat normal education. And then after the Cultural Revolution started, school was closed because all the school principals and administrators and teachers were ousted by the kids, the Red Guards.
So, there’s no school. And so, there’s no school for up to two years for me. But for others, they lost as many as four years, no school. And when I came back to school and all the textbook that we used before was considered not radical enough and was banned. And before we had new textbook come in and we only have one, and that was mostly [Mao’s] “The Red Book.” For a whole semester, that was our textbook, and we read it from beginning to the end, and over and over and over. And that was my education—or to be precisely, that’s my indoctrination.
Aschieris: Now, I wanted to dive in and talk more about your book. As I mentioned, it’s called “Mao’s America: A Survivor’s Warning.” It was released back on October 31st. I’ll be sure to leave a link in the show notes so our listeners can check it out. Let’s talk a little bit more about it. Why did you write it?
Van Fleet: Yes, there were a lot of books, I have to say. There was a lot of excellent books. A lot of them were memoirs and the stories of individuals’ experience either of the Cultural Revolution, of Mao’s China, and there are a lot of history books, and you can learn about history.
My book is neither.The goal of this book is to lay out the parallels of the two Cultural Revolutions that I experienced 50 years ago and the one I experience with millions of Americans right now, the woke revolution. And I’ve tried to lay out the parallels to let people see that woke is nothing new. It happened before. What’s going on in America is history repeating.
People like me, people lived through the Cultural Revolution, we see through it right away. We know it is the same thing. But for too many Americans, they don’t know because they never learned the history. They do not know history of communism. They know very little of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, so they don’t know what it is. They just know it’s crazy.
But the book that I wrote is to warn people: This is the same thing. It is Marxist revolution. Mao’s goal was to take power and in the process destroy the Chinese civilization. Anything traditional, anything that’s old needs to be dismantled. And what we are seeing here is the same thing.
Certain group of people desire power. In order to do that, they want to destroy America because that is an obstacle to their power. Same thing. And the same kind of revolution and the same goal. And it will be the same result. Mao’s revolution destroyed China. And the woke revolution, if we don’t stop it, will destroy America and gone with the freedom that we take for granted, so many of us take for granted.
Aschieris: Without giving away too many spoilers from the book, of course we want people to buy it and read it, what is the No. 1 takeaway you want people to have after reading your book?
Van Fleet: Yeah, mine, as I said, it’s not a history. It is my own experience that I experienced, that I witnessed. So, I want people to take it more seriously that I am telling you from my own witness account. So, understand the nature of the woke revolution and more than that, take action.
And I tell the readers how I got involved. Being very shy, and usually the Asian community are not knowing for [being] very outspoken. We usually are kind of quiet, and we work hard, but we usually are not politically very active. How I got out of that and become engaged and now become really a voice for the anti-communist movement, really.
So, I want people to know that if I can do it, they can do it as well. Not just to understand, that’s the first step, but really take action.
Aschieris: I wanted to read an excerpt from your book that was published by The Daily Caller. It reads, “While China is becoming less and less like the West, the West is becoming more and more like China.” Can you talk to us a little bit about this? What did you mean by this?
Van Fleet: Yes. And you know that after the Cultural Revolution, China was at the very brink of total collapse. And I think it’s already collapsed. The economy was in ruins, and people lost faith in communism because they have had enough.
The Cultural Revolution destroyed everything. And that was the time that Deng Xiaoping, the next one in power, realized the only way to save China and save [the Chinese Communist Party] is to bring in foreign investment. In other word, it was the capitalism that saved China’s communism.
So, we were taught in the West that by engaging with the West will help China to become more democratic. A lot of people believed it, including me. I thought, as long as this keeps open, and when you open with trade, the ideas also coming in, that I think eventually China will be more democratic, which was what I experienced and witnessed in the early 1990s.
When I went back to China, I was so amazed that people could talk openly. Openly, I mean to each other. They still could not talk on the media, whatever. But discussion was going on and people [were] talking about all the lies they were taught and then they were really, really excited about the future that China might hold.
And what happened? What happened really? What happened is, China never gave up communism. Now, they created a new model, and many people call it the China model; that is, Chinese dictatorship with the blood transfusion from capitalism.
They become more totalitarian. Meanwhile, during the process, many, many Western politicians actually drew in for that kind of power, like [current Chinese President] Xi Jinping had. So, by now, we see what happened during the exchange, and supposedly we’re going to help them to be more democratic.
Now, we see, especially during COVID, we’ve become more totalitarian. So, that is a lesson and that is a lesson that we just keep learning and never learned it, that you cannot, you cannot work with communism and hoping that you’ll become a “win-win” situation.
And as the Chinese said, “win-win” to them, they win twice. You probably heard about it. No, you can’t trust communism. The only way to deal with communism is defeat it, destroy it, because that was the greatest evil that we have ever seen. And it’s here, and that is the tragedy. It is here.
Now, I just saw some video footage, you probably saw it, too. In the pro-Palestinian protest, we see communist flags among the protesters. Communism is not only here, it’s going mainstream.
Aschieris: One thing I also wanted to ask you, this is another section of your book, another line that I wanted to highlight that I thought was really interesting. You write, “In China, Xi Jinping has revived Mao’s Cultural Revolution. In America, the progressives have launched the second phase of the counterculture revolution.” When did you first notice the second phase of the counterculture revolution begin?
Van Fleet: I think there’s a lot of signs, and I noticed along the way, but really the turning point is 2020. By then, it’s no longer a sign. By then, it is to me, with no doubt whatsoever, it was a full-blown Marxist revolution. So, to me that was the time when I decided I have to take action and get involved.
Aschieris: And just to circle back to the title of your book, “Mao’s America: A Survivors Warning.” What is your warning to our audience, our listeners who are tuning into this podcast?
Van Fleet: The warning is, what’s going on in America is a communist takeover. And the goal was very clear: absolute power. Just like what Mao did during the Cultural Revolution in China. And the result is total loss of our freedom and what’s awaiting for us is a totalitarian dictatorship.
Aschieris: Well, thank you so much for joining us today. Any final thoughts before we go?
Van Fleet: Please read the book. I wrote a book not because I want to write it. It’s because I had to write it. And one of my Twitter followers said the same thing. “I’m going to read it, not because I want to read it, but I have to read it.” And I hope that’s what your listeners will do, read it, understand it, and then getting involved. And we have to save this country.
Aschieris: Well, Xi Van Fleet, thank you so much for joining us today. As I mentioned, I will be sure to leave a link to your book, “Mao’s America: A Survivor’s Warning,” in the show notes so our listeners can take a look at it. Thank you so much for the time.
Van Fleet: Thank you.
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