Mao’s Millionaires: The New Red Nobility Of China Includes A Familiar Family

130px-Mao_Zedong_portraitWe recently discussed China’s new Red Nobility Class that rules the purportedly Communist nation as friends rake in billions in profits from businesses assisted by local party leaders in land seizures and non-enforcement of environmental laws. The inherent conflict with Communist values was brought to a new level with the disclosure that the granddaughter of Mao, Kong Dongmei, and husband Chen Dongsheng ranked 242nd with personal wealth estimated at five billion yuan (£524 million) on a rich list released this month by New Fortune, a Chinese financial magazine.


Kong, who is in her 40s, is the granddaughter of Mao and his third wife He Zizhen. She studied at the University of Pennsylvania. Her first business was a Communist book store in 2001. However, she had a 15 year extramarital affair with Chen who owns an insurance company, an auction house and a courier firm. Over the course of that affair (and their marriage in 2011) the couple had two daughters and a son. That may seem strange in a country that often cruelly enforces a one-child policy. However, this is not the first time that the Chinese ruling elite lives by a different set of rules than the masses. Besides, that new Chinese aristocracy is not going to replicate itself.

The Chinese continue to enforce a one-party authoritarian system purportedly based on Communist ideals. Notably, this week in 1966, Mao warned:

Those representatives of the bourgeoisie who have sneaked into the Party, the government, the army, and various spheres of culture are a bunch of counter-revolutionary revisionists. Once conditions are ripe, they will seize political power and turn the dictatorship of the proletariat into a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Some of them we have already seen through; others we have not. Some are still trusted by us and are being trained as our successors.

200px-Destroy_the_old_world_Cultural_Revolution_posterMy problem is not throwing off the yoke of Mao or his blood-soaked legacy. However, the Red Aristocracy in China has now retained the authoritarian controls and repression of the Communist regime while allowed the enrichment of a small ruling elite. That makes the entire country more like the pre-Revolution French nobility. They may want to take care however. On August 8, 1966, the party’s Central Committee proclaimed that “our objective is to struggle against and crush those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road.” Mao’s granddaughter appears to have taken a different road since she started selling Communist books in Beijing.

In my visits to China, I was told by many Chinese privately that no one is really a Communist anymore. Everyone is out to make a buck. However, the ruling elite is not about to let go of its control of production — and profits — simply because of the contradiction of a few Maoist millionaires.

Source: Telegraph

14 thoughts on “Mao’s Millionaires: The New Red Nobility Of China Includes A Familiar Family”

  1. Bron – I find it fascinating that you see this as a liberal/conservative issue. I guess I will assume you mean to paint China as liberal – please identify what traits you see in China that can be labeled “liberal” because I am not seeing many, far fewer than I can identify in the US.

    Difficulty level: if you use the word “communist” or its variants I will laugh my butt off at you until you can point out ANY part of China that is communist in any way shape or form that Marx or Stangle would recognize. Using the word does not make it true.

  2. Interesting.

    …” the purportedly Communist nation as friends rake in billions in profits from businesses assisted by local party leaders….”

    Well of course we in our western democracies are just so pure and uncorrupted (including all our political leaders) that we can throw stones at the excesses of China. Naturally we could not be accused of such activities. Yeah right.

    Let us start at the very bottom of the corruption ladder with the US Federal Politicians who are free to legally indulge in trading on insider information. Yeah. That’s right they can do this quite legally and profit from it and you cannot. Do so and you will be investigated , prosecuted and likely jailed.

    Of course no politician or group of politicians could ever be accused of drafting legislation favourable to particular business interests who have contributed millions to the party and particular member re-election campaigns.

    Equally no Federal agencies could ever be accused of turning a blind eye to gross fraudulent activity in the finance sector (lets take mortgage fraud to begin with) because investigating and prosecuting those involved may cause economic instability.

    Oh and I am still waiting for the Federal charges to be laid on all those involved in the MF Global customer funds theft fiasco. But do not worry they will not be, especially against the former MF Global Chairman and CEO Jon Corzine because he has the right political connections to ensure that the blatant theft of an estimated 1.6 thousand million in segregated customer accounts will be allowed to stand. Don’t you just love the USA. You can run a brokerage and steal thousands of millions from customers’ accounts and get away with it just so long as you have the right political clout. Not only that, you can admit publicly that your firm stole (but we call it a nicer name) funds from segregated customers accounts and you still get away free.

    One could go on and on but I won’t.

    Yeah we are so lucky in our Western democracies that we are not like China and thus we have the right to criticise them from our high pedestal because we are just so pure.

  3. In China the government controls business in order to enrich the rich and well connected – DAMN COMMIES!

    Here in the US business controls the government to enrich the rich and well connected – GAWD BLESS CAPITALISM!

    You can obviously see the diference.

  4. Who was the political science guy who coined the phrase “convergence”? The term described how we in the capitalist west would come more to socialism and the communists would converge towards capitalism. Maybe it was John Kenneth Galbraith. Give me some help here. It has come to pass. When I was in China in 1980 they had just opened the border and we were allowed from Hong Kong to go across to Shenshen (sp). One of the chinese guys from Hong Kong was trying to explain to me that in 30 years all those guys in Mao suits would be wearing Western style suits and competing on Wall Street. I scoffed. Boy was I wrong.

  5. Bron, Intelligence v Wisdom. A difference many simply don’t understand. I learned a lot about this doing surveillance. My clients were primarily attorneys, who are in the upper stanine of control freakdom. They would often say about a plaintiff[I worked mostly for insurance defense attorneys], “See if you can tape them doing” this or that. I would tell them I have absolutely NO control over what the plaintiff did. And that was often met w/ blank stares or scowls. So, my efforts were totally focused on trying to get the best shot..something over which I do have control, of whatever the plaintiff was doing in public. I evolved over my career. At first, I understood my lack of control over what the plaintiff did. I then came to accept it. But, when I learned to embrace this very basic fact is when I got very good @ what I did. During this time I was raising 2 children, w/ my wife, of course. Our son was more than a handful. Embracing this lack of control helped me through some pretty tough times. It continues to this day. Many people know the old Irish prayer about having the wisdom to know what you can and cannot control. Unfortunately, like most prayers, people just know the words by rote and are clueless to the meaning.

  6. The great thing about the Chinese is they have become worse than us! Pollution, crime, corruption, greed, avarice. All with fresh vegetables and rice!

  7. NICK:

    the problem is smart people think they can control everything and make it all work out all right. really smart people understand that “nature to be commanded must be obeyed.”

    While liberals are smart people, they arent really smart people.

    I am not saying I am in that rarefied air, I am just saying most of the really smart people I know understand that simple fact and most of the smart people I know think you can control human nature to create Utopia.

    And when they cant, being only smart, they bring out the guns and start forcing people to behave, because hey we are smart and know what is good for you.

  8. Greed is good…even in a communist country. When you let the wealthy control the economy and the government, the results are never good for the masses.

  9. This is what can happen when gov’ts merge with private industry.

  10. Communism is simply “evolving.” If people ever come to realize that greed is part of our dark side as humans, then they will cease looking for utopia.

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