Why didn't Mao Zedong order to kill locusts initially in the 4 pests campaign?

Why didn't Mao Zedong order to kill locusts initially in the 4 pests campaign?

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It looks somewhat strange that the order was centered into sparrows, rats, flies and mosquitoes, although all of those things have a point into the objectives the campaign had, I guess problems with locusts had to be way bigger than with sparrows in crops devastation before the campaign started. I mean, I hardly know about agriculture and I know how much of a threat they can be, even nowadays, much more it would be known on those times, that without considering the countless historical records about crops devastation by locusts.

So what's the reason they were left out in the campaign? It makes no sense that what was likely the biggest threat referring to crops devastation was left out intentionally, the most logical thing would have been a 5 pests campaign including the locusts according to the logic of the campaign.

Maybe it's just as simple as that it looked like they weren't the biggest problem and my guess is incorrect.

Thanks for your time.

Any time anyone makes a "top N" list, there are endless complaints about why X was left out or why Y is in the list (but not X). It's very hard to address these complaints. In this case, you could level the same complaint about why cockroaches weren't in the list, or bed bugs, lice, ticks, and so on.

Here's why sparrows were included: they were a common agricultural pest, eating large amounts of grain, and for the rural-obsessed Mao, were especially worth eradicating. He's not alone in campaigns against sparrows; Frederick the Great once tried by introducing a bounty for sparrow heads, but once the sparrows were gone from his country, other insects like caterpillars proliferated, forcing him to import sparrows from foreign countries. The US, after introducing sparrows in the 1850s, faced a zoological catastrophe and sparked a bitter "sparrow war" in the 1870s - the birds ate everything, and not just the insect pests they were supposed to.

So it made sense for sparrows to be at least considered a pest during 1950s China, even though there was vigorous opposition by some Chinese scientists, citing previous experience from Australia, Prussia, and the U.S. on sparrows and other introduced species. It's easy to take our present ecological knowledge for granted, and ignore the reality that just a few generations ago, we were committing ecological blunders all over the place. Typical for Mao at the time, he ignored the experts and went ahead without caution, and the rest is history.

Ironically, the near-extinction of sparrows in China caused insects like locusts to proliferate. So that's why locusts weren't included - because the sparrows were around.

Watch the video: Great Leap Forward Summary (September 2022).


  1. Walby

    This is the lie.

  2. Avraham

    I believe you have been misled.

  3. Tygoramar

    Sorry, but this option was not suitable for me. Maybe there are options?

  4. Mik

    I believe that you are wrong. I'm sure. Let's discuss this.

  5. Gerold

    This makes me really happy.

  6. Heh

    In my opinion, this is just the beginning. I suggest you try to search

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