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Tao of Mao Special: the ABCs of Revisionism (part 1)

The other day I encountered a lefty ABCs board book aimed at children entitled "A is for Activism".  After perusing its contents and discovering that it was generally left-liberal nonsense, with some abstract anarchism here and there ("Z is for Zapatista"), I decided I would write my own ABC rhyming book where the letters accorded to more precise leftist concepts.  After all, I have a daughter and I would like an ABC board book capable of teaching her difficult concepts, or at least with funny rhymes that would make her want to discuss these difficult concepts, from the hard left tradition.

While I was writing my ABCs book, however, I kept thinking up semi-sectarian, leftist in-joke rhymes that were generally inappropriate for the kind of book I wanted to write.  I mean, I wanted a book that would introduce my kid to general concepts of the communism to which I ascribe and not filled with arcane movement jokes and insults.  Even still, I couldn't help thinking up an alternate ABCs while I was writing my original ABCs.  (Important note: any internet communist with artistic skills who is interested in illustrating an ABCs of communism for children, even though it will probably never sell but might be passed around commie circles, please contact me ASAP!)  And because I found some of my alternate rhymes rather funny––and yes, I know that my humour is probably considered to be asinine by most people––I couldn't let them die.  Hence, I decided to turn this other ABCs project into a small series of Tao of Mao comic strips, like the ones I used to make back when I first started this blog.

Since more than one dedicated reader has demanded that I produce more of these shitty and insulting comics––apparently they find all the leftist in-jokes and sectarian mockery hilarious––I figured that my misanthropic ABCs were the best way to crank out a Tao of Mao special so as to satisfy the fans of the original (and shitty) series that I figured nobody would ever care about back in 2009 when I spent hours and hours making them for some reason that I cannot explain.  Hell, as I've said before, I never thought anyone would read this blog (which should explain my first ranty and uncritical post about Nietzsche that still bothers some people who wander onto this blog now and then), and so those comic strips were initially sent into the void.

Thankfully, I'm now more adapted to the mechanics of Blogger than I was in 2009 so I'm not going to post these comic strips in the same cut-up, panel-by-panel vertical way that they were posted in the past.  Instead, I'm linking the pages as jpegs that interested readers can click and expand––hopefully this less messy method will still provide a measure of readability.

Some caveats before posting the first two pages of The Tao of Mao's ABCs of Revisionism… First of all, this is meant to be a humorous break in serious posting (please recall that one of the old subtitles of this blog was "humour", something I haven't embraced for a long time) and so if you're offended then, well, I guess you should write your own humorous counter-comic.  Secondly, the rhyme for the letter K was provided by internet comrade Adri when we were joking about my original ABCs project––I hope they don't sue me for using their suggestion.

Without further ado here is the 1st Page:

Letters A through F

And here is the 2nd Page:

Letters G through L [with K thanks to comrade Adri]

I hope everyone enjoys.  Believe me, the following letters will probably be more offensive.  I'm sure that some of you will try to imagine what I will do with the letters M through Z.  And once again, if anyone with drawing skills is interested in collaborating on my original ABCs project, where the letters aren't leftist insults (though they are connected to an MLM type of communism), feel free to contact me at your convenience.

[Yet again, I would humbly like to suggest that those readers with expendable cash consider donating to this blog, especially if they find these comics hilarious, since I'm not being paid an hourly wage to produce this kind of thing.]


  1. I'm not sure which letter I like best. Just kidding K is obviously tops.

    1. You know I was considering making it "Kronstadt" but then I remembered your suggested "K" and thought that would be better.

    2. My personal favorite is H because I regularly interact with a Hoxhaite. Smart guy, he has a Hoxha quote ready for every occasion and has a detailed notebook of selections from the various writings of Hoxha. He's pretty knowledgeable in history so he can easily beat any lame "Anti-Stalinist" in a historical argument. But of course, he hits a stumbling block whenever someone askes his position on something and he quotes something he read from Hoxha's Diary. Most of the time people just seem to react "Cool, you quoted Hoxha, why should I care?" And that my friend is perhaps the best argument against Hoxhaism. Unlike the Tinqqinist tendency, MLM or even contemporary Trotskyism, I haven't seen any attempt from the few remaining Hoxhaite sects to analyse the world around them and create new theoretical parmigiams for the changing times, because once Kruschevite revisionism fell, then what is the point of "Anti-Revisionism for Anti-Revisionism's sake". (though that isn't to say that Khrushchev isn't the devil) Expecually if your Anti-Revisionism entails that you behave just like every other "revisionist" party in practice.

      Though I will concede that despite the recent criticisms against them on r/communism, the American Party of Labor seems to be composed of extremely knowledgeable and intelligent fellows. But they seem to be little more than an internet party that occasionally embarrasses it's self on May day with poorly written speeches.

      And I went off topic. Ah well, I hope you don't mind me rambling about Hoxhaism. Good fellows they are though. And thanks for the comic, It was a pleasant surprise to end a particularly good day.

    3. I had a big laugh at "H". How very snide of you JMP!!!

  2. Tao of Mao! Tao of Mao!
    I love this.

    Also, I have always wanted to illustrate a children's book - I am better at doing cute, cartooney things than I am at "realistic" looking things. Maybe I can get my drawing teacher to give me some pointers ;)

  3. I'd rather you do not use phrases such as "Tao of Mao", which frankly has nothing to do with the actual content of whatever you are trying to create anyway. While Mao himself was very well-versed in Chinese philosophy and history and stated that both relatively progressive and relatively reactionary aspects existed in Chinese philosophy, this "hand-waving" and seemingly "humorous" use of the word "Tao" for anything related to China even if it has nothing to do with the actual content is an implicit form of Orientalism which as a Chinese Maoist-influenced socialist I frankly find a bit offensive. Consider why you won't create something and label it the "Logos of Stalin"? "Tao" is to Chinese philosophy what "Logos" is to Greek philosophy, and as far as Mao is concerned, Chinese philosophy in general is not inferior to Greek philosophy and it is Orientalist to infantilise it by associating it with a "comic strip" designed for children.

    Just because you are a Maoist doesn't mean you can't be racist or prejudiced against Chinese culture. Orientalist assumptions are frankly wide-spread among the Western left of any type, including Western Maoists. So I really hope you take what I say here seriously.

    I get a bit annoyed with Western people (including Western socialists and Maoists) saying "Tao of this" and "Tao of that" on anything that's apparently related to China or the Chinese, (in this case just the name of "Mao") even if it's completely off-topic and not relevant to the actual content. I'd actually have more respect for someone who argues that Chinese philosophy in general is completely reactionary from a serious Marxist-Leninist perspective, because at least that's taking it seriously. Of course I won't agree with such a position, and in fact nor would Mao himself who had a more dialectical view of Chinese philosophy, history and culture.

    Rejecting Chinese philosophy from a honest and serious Marxist-Leninist perspective is not racist, even though I would theoretically disagree with such a stance (and in fact so would Mao), because it's a fair argument. Not taking Chinese philosophy seriously, or implicitly treating it as more primitive and more "infantile" than Western philosophy is a form of Orientalist cultural racism. In the eyes of the old Western colonialists and imperialists, the "Oriental" was "half-demon" and "half-child". Of course you are certainly not the first one to use "Tao of ..." in an infantile way, it's actually quite common to some extent in mainstream Western bourgeois discourse, but as a Western Maoist you really should know better.

    1. First of all the reason why it is called "tao of mao" is precisely because of the way the term "tao" is abused and, on that note, I would have no problem using the term "logos" in a comic strip if I was a Stalinist, or something equally absurd for (say) Trotsky.

      Secondly, this has nothing to do with rejecting Chinese philosophy or saying that Western philosophy is superior. Nor do I think it is "completely reactionary", infantile, or any of the assumptions you attribute to the title which you have made several bizarre assumptions about. I am well aware of orientalism and eurocentrism, and in fact a lot of the jokes in the older versions of the comic (and indeed some in the alphabet) are precisely about this problem.

      Thirdly, this comic strip is not designed for children. I began by saying I had an idea for a children's ABCs, and was working on one, but this series is not that, and I was clear about this fact. Rather, it is a return to a comic strip that I was doing years ago and that people have been bugging me to do again and intended for adults who understand orientalism, leftist sectarian, and the misuse of concepts. There is no possible way this comic would appeal to a child.


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