Mao on the differences between studying China, Japan and Germany

The burden of growing up in China. A youthful Mao reflects:

The study of how to be a citizen is the study of the history, geography, political doctrine, and artistic climate of one’s country … Certainly, the study of being a person or a citizen is easy, while the study of being a Chinese is difficult. There are five thousand years of history, the land extends over seven thousand li, political doctrine is extremely complex, and human feelings and customs are broad and complex. How can we approach all this? If we were Japan, with only three islands within our borders, or Germany, with a history of only half a century and land equivalent in size to our two provinces of Guangxi and Guangdong alone, how easy things would be! (Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 1, p. 79)

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Mao on freedom, east and west

More from the young Mao, even before he was a communist:

China has freedom but the Western countries have despotism. China’s politics and laws are simple and  taxes are light, but the Western countries are just the opposite (The Writings of Mao Zedong, vol. 1, p. 22)