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Title: The Political Doctrines of Sun Yat-sen: An Exposition of the San Min
       Chu I

Author: Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger

Release Date: April 2, 2012 [Ebook #39356]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


The Political Doctrines of Sun Yat-sen

An Exposition of the Sun Min Chu I


Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger, Ph.D.

The Department of Government, Harvard University

Greenwood Press, Publishers

Westport, Connecticut

Copyright 1937, The Johns Hopkins Press

First Greenwood Reprinting 1973


[pg v]


The importance of introducing Western political thought to the Far East has long been emphasized in the West. The Chinese conception of a rational world order was manifestly incompatible with the Western system of independent sovereign states and the Chinese code of political ethics was difficult to reconcile with the Western preference for a reign of law. No argument has been necessary to persuade Westerners that Chinese political philosophy would be improved by the influence of Western political science.

The superior qualifications of Sun Yat-sen for the interpretation of Western political science to the Chinese have also been widely recognized in the West, particularly in the United States. Dr. Sun received a modern education in medicine and surgery and presumably grasped the spirit of Western science. He read widely, more widely perhaps than any contemporary political leader of the first rank except Woodrow Wilson, in the literature of Western political science. He was thoroughly familiar with the development of American political thought and full of sympathy for American political ideals. His aspiration to build a modern democratic republic amidst the ruins of the medieval Manchu Empire, Americans at least can readily understand.

What is only beginning to be understood, however, in the West is, that it is equally important to interpret Chinese political philosophy to the rest of the world. Western political science has contributed a great deal to the development of political power. But it has failed lamentably to illuminate the ends for which such power should be used. Political ethics is by no means superfluous in lands where a government of law is supposed to be established in lieu of a government of men. The limitation [pg vi] of the authority of sovereign states in the interest of a better world order is an enterprise to which at last, it may be hoped not too late, Westerners are beginning to dedicate themselves.

As an interpreter of Chinese political philosophy to the West Dr. Sun has no peer. Better than any other Chinese revolutionary leader he appreciated the durable values in the classical political philosophy of the Far East. He understood the necessity for preserving those values, while introducing the Western political ideas deemed most proper for adapting the Chinese political system to its new place in the modern world. His system of political thought, therefore, forms a blend of Far Eastern political philosophy and Western political science. It suggests at the same time both what is suitable in Western political science for the use of the Far East and what is desirable in Far Eastern political philosophy for the improvement of the West.

Dr. Linebarger has analyzed Dr. Sun's political ideas, and also his plans for the political rehabilitation of China, with a view to the interests of Western students of politics. For this task his training and experience have given him exceptional competence. The result is a book, which not only renders obsolete all previous volumes in Western languages on modern Chinese political philosophy, but also makes available for the political scientists and politicians of the West the best political thought of the Far East on the fundamental problems of Western politics.

Arthur N. Holcombe
Harvard University
[pg vii]


This book represents an exploration into a field of political thought which is still more or less unknown. The Chinese revolution has received much attention from publicists and historians, and a vast number of works dealing with almost every phase of Chinese life and events appears every year in the West. The extraordinary difficulty of the language, the obscurity—to Westerners—of the Chinese cultural background, and the greater vividness of events as compared with theories have led Western scholars to devote their attention, for the most part, to descriptions of Chinese politics rather than to venture into the more difficult field of Chinese political thought, without which, however, the political events are scarcely intelligible.

The author has sought to examine one small part of modern Chinese political thought, partly as a sample of the whole body of thought, and partly because the selection, although small, is an important one. Sun Yat-sen is by far the most conspicuous figure in recent Chinese history, and his doctrines, irrespective of the effectiveness or permanence of the consequences of their propagation, have a certain distinct position in history. The San Min Chu I, his chief work, not only represents an important phase in the revolution of Chinese social and political thought, but solely and simply as doctrine, may be regarded as a Chinese expression of tendencies of political thought current in the Western world.

The personal motives, arising out of an early and rather intimate family relationship with the Chinese nationalist movement centering around the person of Sun Yat-sen, that led the author to undertake this subject, have their advantages and disadvantages. The chief disadvantage lies in the fact that the thesis must of necessity [pg viii] treat of many matters which are the objects of hot controversy, and that the author, friendly to the movement as a whole but neutral as between its factions, may seem at times to deal unjustly or over-generously with certain persons and groups. The younger widow of Sun Yat-sen (née Soong Ching-ling) may regard the mention of her husband and the Nanking government in the same breath as an act of treachery. Devoted to the memory of her husband, she has turned, nevertheless, to the Left, and works on cordial terms with the Communists. She said: “... the Nanking Government has crushed every open liberal, democratic, or humanitarian movement in our country. It has destroyed all trade unions, smashed every strike of the workers for the right to existence, has thrown hordes of criminal gangsters who are simultaneously Fascist ‘Blue Shirts’ against every labor, cultural, or national revolutionary movement in the country.”1 The author, from what he himself has seen of the National Government, is positive that it is not merely dictatorial, ruthless, cruel, treacherous, or historically unnecessary; nor would he, contrarily, assert that the National Government lives up to or surpasses the brilliant ideals of Sun Yat-sen. He seeks to deal charitably with all factions, to follow a middle course whenever he can, and in any case to state fairly the positions of both sides.

The advantages may serve to offset the disadvantages. In the first place, the author's acquaintance with the Nationalist movement has given him something of a background from which to present his exposition. This background cannot, of course, be documented, but it may serve to make the presentation more assured and more vivid. In the second place, the author has had access to certain [pg ix] private manuscripts and papers, and has had the benefit of his father's counsel on several points in this work.2 The author believes that on the basis of this material and background he is justified in venturing into this comparatively unknown field.

The primary sources for this work have been Sun Yat-sen's own works. A considerable number of these were written originally in the English language. Translations of his major Chinese works are more or less fully available in English, German, French, or Spanish. The author's highly inadequate knowledge of the Chinese written language has led him to depend almost altogether upon translations, but he has sought—in some cases, perhaps, unsuccessfully—to minimize the possibility of misunderstanding or error by checking the translations against one another. Through the assistance of his Chinese friends, [pg x] he has been able to refer to Sun's complete works in Chinese and to Chinese books on Sun wherever such reference was imperatively necessary. A list of the Chinese titles thus made available is included in the bibliography. The language difficulty, while an annoyance and a handicap, has not been so considerable as to give the author reason to suppose that his conclusions would have been different in any significant respect had he been able to make free and continuous use of Chinese and Russian sources.

The author has thought of the present work as a contribution to political theory rather than to sinology, and has tried to keep the discussion of sinological questions at a minimum. In the transliteration of Chinese words and names he has adhered more or less closely to the Wade system, and has rendered most terms in the kuo yü, or national language. Despite this rule, he gives the name of President Sun in its more commonly known Cantonese form, Sun Yat-sen, rather than in the kuo yü, Sun I-hsien.

In acknowledging assistance and encouragement received, the author must first of all turn to his father, Judge Paul Myron Wentworth Linebarger, Legal Advisor to The National Government of China, counsellor to and biographer of Sun Yat-sen during the latter's lifetime. Without his patient encouragement and his concrete assistance, this book could neither have been begun nor brought to a conclusion after it was started. The author desires, however, to make it perfectly clear that this work has no relation to the connections of Judge Linebarger with the Chinese Government or with the Nationalist Party. No [pg xi] information coming to the knowledge of Judge Linebarger in the course of his official duties has been here incorporated. Anxiously scrupulous to maintain a completely detached point of view, the author has refrained from communicating with or submitting the book to Chinese Government or Party officials, and writes purely as an American student of China.

Professor James Hart, formerly at The Johns Hopkins University and now at The University of Virginia, Professor Arthur O. Lovejoy, The Johns Hopkins University, Professor Harley Farnsworth MacNair and Dr. Ernest Price, both of The University of Chicago, have rendered inestimable assistance by reading the manuscript and giving the author the benefit of their advice. Professor Hart has criticized the work as an enterprise in political science. Professor Lovejoy assisted the author by reading the first third of the work, and selections of the later parts, and applying his thorough and stimulating criticism; the author regrets that he was unable to adopt all of Professor Lovejoy's suggestions in full, and is deeply grateful for the help. Professor MacNair read the book as a referee for a dissertation, and made a great number of comments which have made the book clearer and more accurate; the author would not have ventured to present this work to the public had it not been for the reassurances and encouragement given him by Professor MacNair. Dr. Ernest Price, while at The Hopkins, supervised the composition of the first drafts; his judicious and balanced criticism, based upon sixteen years' intimacy with the public and private life of the Chinese, and a sensitive appreciation of Chinese values, were of great value to the author in establishing his perspective and lines of study. The author takes this opportunity to thank these four gentlemen for their great kindness and invaluable assistance.

It is with deep regret that the author abbreviates his acknowledgments and thanks for the inspiration and the [pg xii] favors he received in his study of Chinese politics from Dr. C. Walter Young; Professor Frederic Ogg, of The University of Wisconsin; Professors Kenneth Colegrove, William McGovern, and Ikuo Oyama, of The Northwestern University; Dr. Arthur Hummel, of The Library of Congress; Professor Frederick Dunn, of Yale University; Professor Arthur Holcombe, of Harvard University; Professor Quincy Wright, of The University of Chicago; and Dr. Wallace McClure, of The Department of State. Many of the author's Chinese friends assisted by reading the manuscript and criticizing it from their more intimate knowledge of their own country, among them being Messrs. Miao Chung-yi and Djang Chu, at The Johns Hopkins University; Professor Jên T'ai, of Nankai University; and Messrs. Wang Kung-shou, Ch'ing Ju-chi, and Lin Mou-sheng, of The University of Chicago, made many helpful suggestions. The author must thank his teachers at The Johns Hopkins University, to whom he is indebted for three years of the most patient assistance and stimulating instruction, in respect of both the present work and other fields in the study of government: Dr. Johannes Mattern; Dr. Albert Weinberg; Mr. Leon Sachs; and Professor W. W. Willoughby. Finally, he must acknowledge his indebtedness to his wife, Margaret Snow Linebarger, for her patient assistance in preparing this volume for the press.

Paul M. A. Linebarger.

December, 1936.

[pg 001]


The Problem of the San Min Chu I.

The Materials.

Sun Yat-sen played many rôles in the history of his times. He was one of those dramatic and somewhat formidable figures who engage the world's attention at the very outset of their careers. In the late years of the nineteenth century, he was already winning some renown in the West; it was picturesque that a Cantonese, a Christian physician, should engage in desperate conspiracies against the Manchu throne. Sun became known as a political adventurer, a forerunner, as it were, of such mutually dissimilar personages as Trotsky, Lawrence, and Major-General Doihara. With the illusory success of the revolution of 1911, and his Presidency of the first Republic, Sun ceased being a conspirator in the eyes of the world's press, and became the George Washington of China. It is in this rôle that he is most commonly known, and his name most generally recalled. After the world war, in the atmosphere of extreme tension developed, perhaps, by the Bolshevik revolution, Sun was regarded as an enigmatic leader, especially significant in the struggle between Asiatic nationalisms allied with the Soviets against the traditional capitalist state-system. It was through him that the Red anti-imperialist policy was pushed to its greatest success, and he was hated and admired, ridiculed and feared, down to the last moments of his life. When he died, American reporters in Latvia cabled New York their reports of Russian comments on the event.3 More, perhaps, than any other Chinese of modern times, Sun symbolized the entrance of China into [pg 002] world affairs, and the inevitable confluence of Western and Far Eastern history.

It is characteristic of Sun that he should have appeared in another and final rôle after his death. He had been thought of as conspirator, statesman, and mass leader; but with the advent of his party to power it became publicly apparent that he had also been a political philosopher. The tremendous prestige enjoyed by him as state-founder and party leader was enhanced by his importance as prophet and law-giver. His doctrines became the state philosophy of China, and for a while his most zealous followers sought to have him canonized in a quite literal fashion, and at one stroke to make him replace Confucius and the Sons of Heaven. After the extreme enthusiasms of the Sun Yat-sen cult subsided, Sun remained the great national hero-sage of modern China. Even in those territories where the authority of his political heirs was not completely effective, his flag was flown and his doctrines taught.

His doctrines have provided the theories upon which the Nationalist revolution was based; they form the extra-juridical constitution of the National Government of China. When the forces hostile to Sun Yat-sen and his followers are considered, it is amazing that his ideas and ideals should have survived. An empire established with the aid of Japanese arms, and still under Japanese hegemony, controls Manchuria; parts of north China are ruled by a bastard government, born of a compromise between enemies; a largely unrecognized but powerful Soviet Republic exists in outer Mongolia; the lamaist oligarchy goes on in Tibet; and somewhere, in central and western China, a Soviet group, not quite a government but more than a conspiracy, is fighting for existence. It is quite probable that nowhere else in the world can there be found a greater variety of principles, each scheme of principles fostered by an armed organization struggling with its [pg 003] rivals. In this chaos the National Government has made the most effective bid for authority and the greatest effort for the reëstablishment of order; through it the principles of Sun Yat-sen rule the political life of a population greater than that of the United States or of the Soviet Union.

It is difficult to evaluate the importance of political doctrines. Even if The Three Principles is judged by the extent of the population which its followers control, it has achieved greater results in practical politics in fifteen years than has Marxism in ninety. Such a criterion may well be disputed, but, whatever the test, it cannot be denied that the thought of Sun Yat-sen has played a major part in the political development of his native land. It may continue into the indefinitely remote future, or may succumb to the perils that surround its advocates; in any case, these doctrines have been taught long enough and broadly enough to make an impress on the age, and have been so significant in political and cultural history that they can never sink into complete obscurity.

What are these doctrines? Sun Yat-sen was so voluminous a writer that it would be impossible for his followers to digest and codify all his writings into one neat and coherent handbook; he himself did not provide one. Before printing became common, there was a certain automatic process of condensation which preserved the important utterances of great men, and let their trivial sayings perish. Sun, however, must have realized that he was leaving a vast legacy of materials which are not altogether coherent or consistent with one another. Certain of his works were naturally more important than others, but, to make the choice definitive, he himself indicated four sources which his followers might draw upon for a definitive statement of his views.4

[pg 004]

His Political Testament cites the Chien Kuo Fang Lo (The Program of National Reconstruction), the Chien Kuo Ta Kang (The Outline of National Reconstruction), the San Min Chu I (The Triple Demism, also translated as The Three Principles of the People), and the Manifesto issued by the first national congress of the Party.5 These four items differ quite sharply from one another in form. No one of them can be relied upon to give the whole of Sun's doctrines.

The Chien Kuo Fang Lo (The Program of National Reconstruction) is in reality three works, only remotely related to one another. The first item in the trilogy is the Sun Wên Hsüeh Shê (The Philosophy of Sun Wên); it is a series of familiar essays on the Chinese way of thought.6 The second is the Min Ch'üan Ts'u Pu, The Primer of Democracy, which is little more than a text on parliamentary law.7 The third is the Shih Yeh Chi Hua, known in English as The International Development [pg 005]of China, which Sun wrote in both English and Chinese.8 These three works, under the alternate titles of “The Program of Psychological Reconstruction,” “The Program of Social Reconstruction,” and “The Program of Material Reconstruction” form The Program of National Reconstruction.

The Chien Kuo Ta Kang, The Outline of National Reconstruction, is an outline of twenty-five points, giving the necessary steps towards the national reconstruction in their most concise form.9

The San Min Chu I is Sun's most important work. It comprises sixteen lectures setting forth his socio-political theories and his programs. The title most commonly used in Western versions is The Three Principles of the People.10

The last document mentioned in Sun Yat-sen's will was the Manifesto of the first national congress of the Kuomintang. This was not written by himself, but was drafted by Wang Ch'ing-wei, one of his closest followers, and embodies essentially the same ideas as do the other three items, even though Borodin—the emissary of the Third International—had been consulted in its preparation.11

Sun undoubtedly regretted leaving such a heterogeneous and ill-assembled group of works as his literary bequest. [pg 006] Throughout the latter years of his life he was studying political science in the hope that he might be able to complete a great treatise which he had projected, an analysis and statement of the programs of the Chinese nationalists. One attempt toward actualization of this work was frustrated when Sun's manuscripts and a great part of his library were burned in the attack launched against him by Ch'en Ch'iung-ming in 1922. His apology for the makeshift volume on the San Min Chu I is pathetic: “As I had neither time to prepare nor books to use as references, I could do nothing else in these lectures but improvise after I ascended the platform. Thus I have omitted and forgotten many things which were in my original manuscript. Although before having them printed, I revised them, added (passages) and eliminated (others), yet, those lectures are far from coming up to my original manuscripts, either in the subject matter itself, or in the concatenations of the discussion, or in the facts adduced as proofs.”12 Sun was in all probability a more assiduous and widely read student of political science than any other world leader of his day except Wilson; he studied innumerable treatises on government, and was surprisingly familiar with the general background of Western politics, in theory and practice. He was aware of the shabby appearance that these undigested occasional pieces would present when put forth as the bible of a new China, and earnestly enjoined his followers to carry on his labors and bring them to fruition.13

The various works included in the Chien Kuo Fang Lo, while satisfactory for the purposes Sun had in mind when he wrote them, are not enough to outline the fundamentals both of political theory and a governmental plan. The familiar essays have an important bearing on the formation of the ideology of a new China; the primer [pg 007] of democracy, less; the industrial plan is one of those magnificent dreams which, in the turn of a decade, may inspire an equally great reality. The outline and the manifesto are no more suited to the rôle of classics; they are decalogues rather than bibles.14 There remains the San Min Chu I.

The San Min Chu I is a collection of sixteen lectures delivered in Canton in 1924. There were to have been eighteen, but Sun was unable to give the last two. Legend has it that Borodin persuaded Sun to give the series.15 Whatever the cause of their being offered, they attracted immediate attention. Interest in Sun and in his ideas was at a fever heat; his friends turned to the printed lectures for guidance; his enemies, for statements which could be turned against him. Both friends and enemies found what they wanted. To the friends, the San Min Chu I presented a fairly complete outline of Sun's political and social thought in such a form that it could be preserved and broadcast readily. There was danger, before the book appeared, that the intrinsic unity in Sun's thinking would be lost sight of by posterity, that his ideas would appear as a disconnected jumble of brilliant inspirations. The sixteen lectures incorporated a great part of the doctrines which he had been preaching for more than a generation. To the enemies of Sun, the work was welcome. They pointed out the numerous simplifications and inconsistencies, the frequent contradictions in matters of detail, the then outrageous denunciations of the economic and political system predominant in the Far East. They ridiculed Sun because he was Chinese, and because he was not Chinese enough, and backed up their criticisms with passages from the book.16

[pg 008]

When Sun gave the lectures, he was a sick man. He carried an ivory-headed sword cane with him on the platform; occasionally, holding it behind him and locking his arms through it, he would press it against his back to relieve the intolerable pain.17 The business awaiting him after each lecture was vitally important; the revolution was proceeding by leaps and bounds. The lectures are the lectures of a sick man, given to a popular audience in the uproar of revolution, without adequate preparation, improvised in large part, and offered as one side of a crucial and bitterly disputed question. The secretaries who took down the lectures may not have succeeded in following them completely; Sun had no leisure to do more than skim through the book before releasing it to the press.

These improvised lectures have had to serve as the fundamental document of Nationalist China. Sun Yat-sen died without writing the treatise he had planned. The materials he left behind were a challenge to scholars and to his followers. Many persons set to work interpreting them, each with a conscious or unconscious end in view. A German Marxian showed Sun to be a forerunner of bolshevism; an American liberal showed Sun to be a bulwark against bolshevism. A Chinese classicist demonstrated Sun's reverence for the past; a Jesuit father explained much by Sun's modern and Christian background. His works have been translated into Western [pg 009] languages without notes; the improvised lectures, torn from their context of a revolutionary crisis, have served poorly to explain the ideology of Sun Yat-sen, and his long range political, social, and economic plans.

The Necessity of an Exposition.

Followers of Sun who knew him personally, or were members of that circle in which his ideas and opinions were well known, have found the San Min Chu I and other literary remains helpful; they have been able to turn to the documents to refresh their memories of Sun on some particular point, or to experience the encouraging force of his faith and enthusiasm again. They need not be reminded of the main tenets of his thought, or of the fundamental values upon which he based his life and his political activities. His sense of leadership, which strangers have at times thought fantastic, is one which they admire in him, since they, too, have felt the power of his personality and have experienced that leadership in the course of their own lives. His voice is ringing in their consciences; they feel no need of a guide to his mind. At the present day many members of Sun's own family, and a considerable number of his veteran disciples are still living; the control of the National Government is in their hands. They are people who need no commentary on Sun Yat-sen; to them, he died only yesterday.

Others, who met Sun only casually, or who could know him only through his writings, have a quite different impression of his thought. They perforce assume that he thought as he wrote, and fail to realize that virtually all his writings and speeches were occasional pieces, improvisations designed as propaganda. One of the most respected American authorities on China says that in the San Min Chu I “... there is a combination of sound social analysis, keen comment on comparative political [pg 010] science, and bombast, journalistic inaccuracy, jejune philosophizing and sophomoric economics.”18 This view is one which can scarcely be attacked, if one considers only the printed lectures, and overlooks the other utterances and the personality of Sun. To apply this, or any similar estimate (and there are many of them), to all of Sun Yat-sen's thought would be woefully inaccurate. It is not the critic's fault that Sun never found time to write a sober, definitive political treatise expressing his ideas; it is, nevertheless, the critic's responsibility to weigh the value of the San Min Chu I, and consider the importance which Sun himself attached to it, before judging Sun's whole philosophy by a hastily-composed and poorly written book.

Yet, if the Western student of modern Chinese history were to look elsewhere for some general exposition of Sun Yat-sen's political ideas, he would find none. He could discover several excellent translations of the sixteen lectures, and parts of the other work of Sun. He would be helped by the prefatory notes to some of these translations.19 A few treatises would be available to him on special phases of Sun's thought: the influence of Maurice William, and the influence of the Russian Communists.20 In addition, there would be the biographies, of which there are more than a dozen, and a few other useful although not general works. None of these sifts Sun's thought, seeking to separate the transitory from the permanent in his ideas. For this the searcher would have to rely on brief outlines of Sun's ideas, to be found in [pg 011] works dealing with modern China or the Chinese revolution.21

This relative scarcity of exegetic material concerning the ideology and programs of Sun is not the result of any inadequacy on the part of those persons, both Chinese and Western, who have devoted thought and time to his life or to the translation of his works. It is one thing to point out a task that has yet to be done; and quite another, actually to perform it. An interpretation or exposition of Sun's thought, to be worthy of the great significance of the original, must be very thorough; but scarcely enough time has elapsed to allow a perspective of all the materials, let alone an orientation of Sun in the Far Eastern scene. Yet the importance of Sun demands that something be done to bring his thought to the attention of the world, so that the usual distortion of his personality—arising from the lack of commentaries—may be avoided in present day works. In a sense, the time is not ripe for a definitive treatment of Sun, either as a figure in history or as a contributor to the significant and enduring political thought of modern times; any work now done will, as time passes, fall grotesquely far short of adequacy. On the other hand, there is so much material of a perishable nature—anecdotes and legends not yet committed to print, and the memories of living men—now available, that a present-day work on Sun may gain [pg 012] in color and intimacy what it loses in judgment and objectivity, may gain in proximity what it has to forgo in detachment. And, lastly, the complete absence of any systematic presentation of Sun's ideas in any Western language is so great a deficiency in the fields of Far Eastern history and world political thought, that even a relatively inadequate exposition of the thought of Sun Yat-sen may prove to be not without value. Sun himself never explained his philosophy, whether theoretical or applied, in any broad, systematic fashion; nor has anyone else done so.

If the permissibility of an exposition of Sun Yat-sen's thought be conceded, there still remains the vexing problem of a choice of method. While the far-flung peripheries of Sun's thought touch almost every field of knowledge and opinion, a systematic condensation of his views cannot hope to survey the same broad ranges. The problem of proportion, of just emphasis, involves the nice appraisal of the degree of importance which each of Sun's minor rôles had in his intellectual career as a whole. Nor do the difficulties concerning method end with the consideration of proportion; they merely begin, for there remains the far more important and perplexing problem of a technique of interpretation.

Interpretation obviously relates to the problem of language. The translation of theoretical terms from Chinese into English constitutes a formidable difficulty which proves, in several instances, to be insuperable. No satisfactory equivalent for min shêng (usually rendered “livelihood”) can be found in English; even simpler and less specialized terms are extremely difficult to render. Sometimes it would be convenient to employ four or five alternative translations for one Chinese term. Sun uses the word “nationalism” in the sense that a Westerner would, in advocating national consciousness in a China hitherto unfamiliar with the conception of nation-states; but, in [pg 013] a different context, he uses it in the sense of “patriotism.”22 These difficulties must be faced and, somehow or other, overcome. When the Western reader encounters a familiar term in an unexpected place, he must be prepared to meet a shift of meaning. No amount of definition can make a Chinese term, which has no exact Western equivalent, completely clear. It is simpler to grow accustomed to the term, to gather together its connotations, to understand something of the frame of reference wherein it is set, and thereby to learn it as a child learns a word. A dictionary is no help to a baby; in a realm of unfamiliar ideas even scholars must learn terms step by step.

Less obviously than language, the translation of ideas and of values is also involved in interpretation. In dealing with the intellectual content of a civilization as alien as that of China, the Westerner must be wary of the easy analogy. The full, forceful application of Western ideas and values in a world to which they are completely irrelevant produced strange results during the nineteenth century. Western notions of goodness and reasonableness did not fit the Chinese scheme of things. Under such a test a wildly distorted image of China was obtained. China seemed peculiar, topsy-turvy, fantastic. To themselves the Chinese still seemed quite matter-of-fact, and the Westerners thought even this odd and ridiculous: not only was China upside-down, but the Chinese did not know it! In any case, the present-day scholar, to whom so much material concerning the Chinese is available and China so near, has little justification for applying Western tests of virtue and rationality to things Chinese.

If the application of Western values to China is avoided, there is still the danger that the Chinese scheme of things may not be interpreted at all. The literal translation [pg 014] of Chinese terms strips them of their contexts. The result may be unintelligibility. The Chinese term jên is frequently rendered “benevolence,” a Western word which, while at times an approximate equivalent, fails to carry the full burden of meaning. Sun speaks of an interpretation of history antagonistic to dialectical materialism—the interpretation of history by jên. A “benevolent” interpretation of history means nothing whatever to a Westerner. If jên is translated into a different configuration of words, and given as “group-consciousness” or “social fellow-feeling,” the result, while still not an exact equivalent of the Chinese, is distinctly more intelligible.

To effect this translation of ideas and values, several methods are available. The issue cannot be dodged by a denial of its existence; the mere act of explanation involves some process, whether deliberate or unconscious, of translation and transvaluation. If the interpreter refuses to deal with the problem consciously, he will nevertheless be guided by his unrevealed assumptions. To give an accounting for what he has done, he must, first, admit that he is interpreting, and second, seek to make plain what he is doing, so that his readers may allow for the process. The demonstration of the consequences of interpretation minimizes their possible adverse effects. The simplest way to allow for the alterations (beyond mere reproduction) arising from interpretation would be to adopt a technique so widely known that others could, in their own minds, try to re-trace the steps of the process and negate the changes. Among such widely known techniques are the Marxian and the sociological.

Both these scarcely seem adapted to the problems presented by an interpretation of Sun Yat-sen. The Marxian terminology is so peculiarly suited to the ulterior purposes the Marxians keep in mind, and is so esoteric when applied to matters not related to the general fields in which the Marxians are interested, that it could scarcely [pg 015] be applied in the present instance. A non-Marxian would find it a hazardous task. The interpreter of Sun Yat-sen must interpret into something; what, depends on the audience. Dialectical materialism, in the abstract excellent as a technique, would scarcely make Sun understandable to most Americans of the present day. Sun himself rejected the Marxian method of interpretation; an American audience would also reject it; these two factors outweigh all the conceivable advantages.

The sociological technique of interpretation is quite another question. The various methods of analysis developed by each of the schools of sociologists are still the objects rather than the tools of study. Such men as Max Weber and Vilfredo Pareto have made contributions to Western social thought which enrich the scope and method of the social studies. Their methods of analysis are not weighted down by a body of extraneous considerations, as is the Marxian, and they promise an objectivity not otherwise attainable. On the other hand, they are still at that stage of development where the technique obtrudes itself; it has not, as has the inductive method in general, become so much taken for granted as to be invisible.

The sociological approach need not, however, be carried to the full extent thought necessary by its advocates. In the study of law, the consideration of extra-juridical materials is called sociological in contrast to the strictly juristic. If the legal scholar goes beyond the strict framework of the law, and considers other elements in man's behavior and knowledge while dealing with legal problems, he is apt to be called a sociological jurist. In doing so he is not committed, however, to belief in or use of any particular form of what is known as the science of society or sociology. He may adopt almost any sort of social outlook, or may be committed to any one of many doctrines of social value and to any one of widely varying methods of social study.

[pg 016]

This negative, broad sense of the sociological, when applied to the study of politics, has commonly meant that the scholars employing it began with the notion of the political, but, finding it too narrow, touched upon related fields. An interpretation of Sun Yat-sen's politics might be based on this method. It would still be a political work, in that it sought to associate his ideas with the ideas concerning government to be found in the West, but would be free, nevertheless, to touch upon non-political materials relevant to Sun's politics. The Chinese have had notions of authority and control radically different from those developed in the West; a purely juristic interpretation of the various Chinese politics would simply scrape the lacquer off the screen.

The Chinese have not had the sharp distinction of disciplines which runs through all Western learning. Since one of the most conspicuous ingredients in their thought—conspicuous, that is, to Westerners looking in from outside—has been the ethical, many Westerners have dismissed Chinese historical, political and more strictly philosophical thought as being loosely and amiably ethical but never getting anywhere. The Chinese did not departmentalize their learning to any considerable degree. Politics was not the special activity of a definite group of men, or the study of a select body of scholars. Politics ran through and across most of the activities in society, and was largely the interest of that intellectual élite by which China has been so distinguished on the roster of civilizations. In becoming everything, politics ceased being politics; that is, those elements in man's thought and behavior which Westerners have termed political were not separated and labelled. The Westerner must say that politics was everything in China, or that it was nothing.

An interpretation of Sun Yat-sen must keep in mind these differences between Chinese and Western categories. In doing so it will pass beyond the limits of what is commonly [pg 017] known as politics, since no sharp boundaries of “politics” are to be found in China. Yet, as an interpretation designed to serve Western readers, it must return again and again to Western politics, making comparisons when they are justified, pointing out differences between China and the West as they become relevant and clear. The interpretation will thus weave back and forth between conventional Western political science, with its state-mindedness, and the wholly different material of traditions and customs out of which Sun sought to construct an ideology and a system of working politics for China in the modern world.

How can this interpretation seek to avoid the misfortunes and errors into which so many similar attempts have fallen? It must proceed without the aid of such specialized techniques as dialectical-materialistic or Paretian analysis, and yet aim at the scientific, the rationally defensible, the objective. In seeking to apply a method in the interpretation of Sun Yat-sen, the work must face criticism of its method, must make the method explicit and simple enough to allow criticism. If the thought of Sun really is to emerge from the exposition, the exposition must allow itself to be judged, so that it can be appraised, and so that, one way or another, it may not interfere with the just evaluation of the materials which it seeks to present. Sun Yat-sen should not be judged poor because of a poor interpretation; nor, on the other hand, should his thought be adjudged more excellent or more exact than it seems to the Chinese, merely because the expositor has suggested an interpretation possibly more precise.

The technique adopted in the present work is a relatively simple one. It is an attempt to start de novo with certain concepts of society and government. Several simple although novel terms are introduced, to provide a foundation upon which the procedure may rest. One of [pg 018] these, for instance, is “ideology,” which in the present work refers to the whole psychological conditioning of a group of persons.23 No attempt is made, at the beginning or at any later phase of the exposition, to distinguish between the ideology as belief and the ideology as truth. Whether the Chinese were and are right, or the Westerners, are questions, not for the student of comparative political science, but for the philosopher and the psychologist. The interpretation seeks, as far as possible, to transpose certain parts of the traditional Chinese ideology, as they were, and as Sun Yat-sen re-shaped them, into one frame of reference provided by the ideology of twentieth-century America. What the “real truth” is, does not matter; the Marxians would say that both ideologies were inexact; so might the Roman Catholics. If the [pg 019] ideology of old China, and the ideology that Sun wished to see developed in the minds of the Chinese people of the future, can be made comprehensible in terms of contemporary American beliefs, of fact or of value, this venture will have been successful.

The Chinese ideology cannot be explained in its own terms; these exist only in the Chinese language. If Sun Yat-sen's own arrangement of his works is inadequate for the Chinese, rearrangement is a task for the Chinese and not for the Western scholars to perform. The Westerners who deal with Sun can contribute substantially only if they give what the Chinese cannot—enough of a reference to their own ideology to permit a broader scale for the analysis and the appreciation of Sun's thought. Their knowledge of their own world of ideas is the special tool which justifies their intervention in this Chinese field of knowledge.

In avoiding the unjustifiable imposition of Western ideas and values upon the Chinese, and yet orienting Sun's thought with respect to the West, the interpretation will have to resort to several fairly evident means. In the first place, it will have to transpose Chinese ideas into the Western ideology, and yet avoid distortions of meaning. This can be partly done by the use of neutral terms, of terms which are simple and clear enough to reproduce the Chinese, and nevertheless not so heavily burdened with connotations that they will cause a reading-in of Western ideas not relevant to the point in question. More simply, the Chinese ideas must be represented by terms which approximate the same set of values in the West that their originals have in China. This will sometimes require the use of unfamiliar periphrases: the words “music” and “rites” may be given as “the rhythm of life” and “conformity to the ideology.” Secondly, the Chinese ideology need not be given as a whole; it is improbable that it could, without a terrific expansion [pg 020] of the Western ideology to accommodate it; but enough of the Chinese ideology must be given to explain the significant differences between the Chinese system of controlling the behavior of men, and the Western. This latter involves the choice of material, and is therefore by its nature challengeable.

Again, in demonstrating significant differences instead of merely seeking analogous (and probably misleading) examples, the interpretation might turn to certain aspects of Chinese philosophy which appear as strikingly illustrative of the point of view of the Chinese. Confucius the political thinker is only a small part of Confucius the man and the philosopher; Chinese political thought, although a vast field, is only a small part of the social thought of the Chinese. Only an infinitesimal part of this comparatively minor area of Chinese study will suffice to make clear some, at least, of the sharp differences of outlook between China and the West.

A recapitulation of this declaration of technique may be found helpful, for an understanding of Sun Yat-sen by Westerners is necessary because of the vastly different background of his thought. Even apart from the strangeness of his thought to the West, it is scattered in the original, and must be pieced together. An exposition of his ideas which would, at one and the same time, present a systematic outline of his ideas, and transpose them into a frame of reference where Western scholars might grasp them, might be a labor meriting performance. His terms would have to be rendered by neutral words (not overladen with particular Western contexts) or by neologisms, or simply left in the original, to develop meaning as a configuration of related ideas is built up about them. The problem of interpretation cannot, however, be solved by settling the difficulty of language: there still remains the question of a technique which can pretend to the scientific, the exact, the rationally defensible. Despite their great [pg 021] merits, the Marxian and Paretian techniques are not suited to the present task. The point of view and means of study of political science may be kept, if a few necessary borrowings from sociological thought (not necessarily sociology) are introduced. Such borrowing includes the use of notions such as non-political society, patterns of authority, and ideology, none of which are to be found in the more law-minded part of political science. By seeking to point out the Chinese, then the Western, ideas involved, without confusing the two, the presentation may succeed in transposing the ideology of Sun Yat-sen, as well as his beliefs concerning working politics, into the English language and into an explanatory but not distorting background. To do this, a small sampling of certain aspects of old Chinese social thought and behavior will be a required preliminary.

[pg 022]

Chapter I. The Ideological, Social, and Political Background.

The Rationale of the Readjustment.

The San Min Chu I and related works of Sun Yat-sen represent in their entirety one of the most ambitious bodies of doctrine ever set forth by a political leader. They differ from such a document as the Communist Manifesto in that they comprehend a much greater range of subject matter and deal with it in much greater detail. They pertain not merely to the reconstitution of an economic or political system; they propose a plan for the reconstruction of a whole civilization, the reformation of a way of thought customary among a great part of the human race, and a consequent transformation of men's behavior. Conceived in the bold flights of a penetrating, pioneering mind, avowedly experimental at the time of their first utterance, these works of Sun have already played a most significant rôle in the Far East and may continue to affect history for a long time to come. They may quite legitimately be called the bible of new China.

Social change is a consequence of maladjustment. The thought of Sun Yat-sen is a program of change—change which, if it is to be understood, must be seen at its beginning and its end. The background from which Sun emerged and which was an implicit condition of all his utterances must be mentioned, so that the problems he faced may be understood. Only then will it be possible to turn to the plans he devised for the rethinking of Chinese tradition and the reorganization of Chinese polity. A vast maladjustment between the Chinese and the world outside led to the downfall of the Manchu Empire in China and has threatened the stability of every government [pg 023] erected since that time; Chinese society is in a state of profound unrest and recurrent turmoil. Sun Yat-sen contributed to the change, and sought a new order, to be developed from the disorder which, voluntarily or not, he helped in part to bring about.

The old order that failed, the interregnum (in the etymological sense of the word), and the new order proposed by Sun must be taken all together in order to obtain a just understanding of Sun's thought. No vast history need be written, no Decline and Fall of the Chinese Empire is necessary, but some indication of the age-old foundations and proximate conditions of Sun's thought must be obtained.

These may, perhaps, be found in a sampling of certain data from the thought and behavior of the Chinese as a group under the old system, and the selection of a few important facts from the history of China since the first stages of the maladjustment. An exposition of Sun's thought must not slur the great importance of the past, yet it dare not linger too long on this theme lest the present—in which, after all, uncounted millions of Chinese are desperately struggling for life—come to seem insignificant.

Confucianism is a philosophy so broad and so highly developed that any selection does violence to its balance and proportion, which are among its chief merits.24 Yet [pg 024] only those few facts can be taken from the history and thought of the Chinese which may assist the Westerner in becoming familiar with a few terms which recur again and again in the works of Sun Yat-sen. If the present work purported to be a study of Chinese history, or a complete analysis of the Chinese social system, such an extreme selectivity could not be condoned; since it, however, tries only to outline Sun's thought, the selection of a few Confucian doctrines and the complete ignoring of others, may be forgiven. All the schools of the past, and the literary traditions which developed from them, and social tendencies that were bound up with these have to be omitted, and those few ideas and customs described which bear directly on one single point—the most significant ideological differences between the Chinese and the West with respect to the political order, i. e. the control of men in society in the name of all society.25

[pg 025]

Nation and State in Chinese Antiquity.

The Confucian system, against which Sun Yat-sen reacted in part and in part sought to preserve, was a set of ideas and institutions developed as a reaction against certain conditions in ancient China. These conditions may be roughly described as having arisen from a system of proto-nationalisms, at a time when the old—perhaps prehistorically ancient—Chinese feudal system was rapidly declining and an early form of capitalism and of states was taking its place. The Chou dynasty (ca. 1150-221 B.C.) was in power at the time of this transition; under its rule the golden age of Chinese philosophy appeared—Confucius (552-479 B.C.) and Lao Tzŭ (ca. 570-ca. 490 B.C.) lived and taught.

Their philosophies, contrary to the popular Western beliefs concerning Chinese philosophies, were protests against a world which seemed to them well-nigh intolerable. The old Chinese system, which may seem to Westerners a highly mystical feudal organization, was in its century-long death-agonies; the virtues it had taught were not the virtues of the hour; the loyalties it had set up were loyalties which could scarcely be maintained in a time when rising states, acting more and more as states have acted in the West, were disrupting the earlier organization [pg 026] of society, waging struggles—in the manner that, centuries later, Machiavelli was to portray—of intrigue and warfare for the eventual hegemony over that whole area of eastern Asia which the Chinese of that time regarded as the civilized world.

The political aspects of the transition from the feudal to the proto-national system is described by one of the most eminent of the Western authorities on China in the following terms: “The aim of all the Leaders was to control western Ho-nan. There is the heart of ancient China.... All around about, in vaster regions occupied no doubt by less dense and more shifting populations, great States formed, increasing first towards the exterior, seeking (as we have seen in the case of China) to cut the communication of their rivals with the Barbarians, mutually forcing each other to change the directions of the expansion, exercising on each other a pressure from behind, and a converging pressure on the central overlordships. All schemed to conquer them. Thus an amalgamation was achieved. Whilst in the centre the Chinese nation was coming into being, on the outer borders States were being formed which, aiming at annexing the centre of China, ended by themselves also becoming Chinese.”26 Not only did the newer, political organization of society begin to make itself distinct from the family, feudal, and religious organization; it began to engage in activities which increased its resemblance to the Western system of nations. Tributes of textiles, horses, and compulsory labor were demanded. A non-feudal economy was encouraged; [pg 027] the state of Ch'i encouraged artisans and merchants, and favored the trade in fish and salt. Mining, metallurgy and currency were studied. State monopolies were created out of the products of forests, lakes, marshes, shell-fish beds, and salt pans. Mines also became “treasures of the state.”27

The history of these states reads like a page torn out of the history of early modern Europe. The struggle was half diplomatic and half military. From the beginning of the Spring and Autumn period (722-481 B.C.) to the end of the Age of Warring States (491-221 B.C.), China was subject to frequent war and unstable peace. The character of war itself changed, from a chivalrous exercise almost ritualistic in nature, to a struggle of unrestricted force. The units of government which were to develop into states, and almost into nations, began as feudal overlordships; traditional hatreds and sentiments were developed; diplomatic and military policies crystallized and became consistent; and activities of a state nature became increasingly prominent.

Concurrently, other factors operated to prevent an indefinite continuance of these struggles of proto-national states and to avoid the appearance of a permanent system of armed nations such as that which has appeared in modern Europe. The feudal system of China left a strong ethnical, linguistic and intellectual heritage of unity, which was stronger than the cultural disunities and particularities appearing in certain of the states. (The state of Chêng was particularly conspicuous in developing a peculiar state culture.)28 As the states became larger and larger with the passing of time, they tended not only to develop certain large differences between themselves, but to eradicate the minute local peculiarities of the old [pg 028] system, and in so doing to increase the general homogeneity which was also a heritage of the past ages. This general homogeneity found a living symbol in the persons of the Chou Emperors who, possessed of no more power than the Tennos under the Shogunate, acted, as did their Japanese analogues two thousand years later, as the quasi-religious personifications of the whole general community. It thus occurred that the old feudal system was destroyed by the growth of a general non-feudal economy and political order, which, in its turn, led to the development of the great imperial system under which China continued for many centuries. The period of the transition, during which the traditional feudal unity had been shaken and the new imperial unity not yet established, was a tumultuous and bloody one. The presence of a confederation under the hegemony of some one state—the so-called Presidency—provided a suitable framework for rivalries toward power, without particularly increasing the general peace.

The transition, as it took place, was neither apparent nor agreeable. The political turmoil was but slightly less than the intellectual unrest and disturbance. Everywhere faith and acceptance seemed to have been lost to humanity; licentiousness and impiety fed discord. The lack of harmony, made doubly vivid by the presence of a strong tradition of primeval Arcadian peace and unity under the mythological Emperors, was bitter to the scholars and men of virtue of the time. It was quite inevitable that protests should be raised which would hasten the advent, or return, of unity and peace. These protests form the subject of the work of Confucius and the other great philosophers, and schools of thinkers, of the Chou dynasty. It was, in later ages, upon these philosophies that the great structure of Chinese society developed and continued down until modern times.

[pg 029]

The Theory of the Confucian World-Society.

The various types of protest against the development of states and the consequent anarchy of the Chinese society considered as a whole cannot be considered in this work; many were primarily religious; Taoism, while ranking as one of the most conspicuous religions of the world, has little bearing on politics. Even Confucianism, which merits careful study, must be summarized and re-stated as briefly as possible. Confucianism has suffered from an ambiguity and exoticism of terms, when presented to the West; its full significance as a political philosophy can become fully apparent only when it is rendered in the words of the hour.

What was it that Confucius did in protest against the established discord of the world he knew? He struck directly at the foundations of politics. His criticisms and remedies can be fully appreciated only by reference to a theory of ideology.

Confucius perceived that the underlying problem of society was that of ideology; he seems to have realized that the character of a society itself essentially depends upon the character of the moral ideas generally prevalent among the individuals composing it, and that where there is no common body of ideas a society can scarcely be said to exist.29 He did not consider, as did Han Fei-tzŭ and the legalist school of philosophers, questions of law the preëminent social problem. He realized that state and law were remedies, and that the prime questions of organization were those anterior to the political, and that the state existed for the purpose of filling out the shortcomings of social harmony.30

[pg 030]

In a society—such as Confucius dreamed of—where there was no disagreement in outlook, policy would not be a governmental question; if there were no disharmony of thought and of behavior, there would be no necessity of enforcing conformance to the generally accepted criteria of conduct. From this standpoint, government itself is socially pathological, a remedy for a poorly ordered society. Men are controlled indirectly by the examples of virtue; they do good because they have learned to do good and do it unquestioningly and simply. Whatever control is exercised over men is exercised by their ideology, and if other men desire control they must seek it through shaping the ideas of others. At its full expression, such a doctrine would not lead to mere anarchy; but it would eliminate the political altogether from the culture of man, replacing it with an educational process. Ideological control would need to be supplemented by political only if it failed to cover the total range of social behavior, and left loopholes for conflict and dispute.

This doctrine is framed in quite different terms by Confucius, who spoke and wrote in an age when the mystical elements of the old feudal ideology still exercised powerful and persuasive influence, and when there was no other society than his own which he might make the object of his study. The central point of his teachings is the doctrine of jên. Liang Ch'i-ch'ao, one of the most brilliant modern exponents of ancient Chinese philosophy, wrote of this:

In the simplest terms, Jen means fellow-feeling for one's kind. Once Fan Chih, one of his disciples, asked Confucius what [pg 031] Jen meant. Confucius replied, To love fellow-men; in other words this means to have a feeling of sympathy toward mankind....

Intellectually the relationship becomes common purpose; emotionally it takes the form of fellow-feeling.31

This doctrine appears more specific in its application when it is realized that Confucius regarded his own society and mankind as coterminous. Barbarians, haunting the fringes of the world, were unconscious of jên; not being in sympathy with mankind, they were not as yet fully human.

Jên is a word which cannot be exactly translated into English. It is laden with a burden of connotations which it has acquired through the centuries; its variability of translation may be shown by the fact that, in the standard translations of the Chinese classics, it is written “Benevolence.” It might equally well be given as “consciousness of one's place and function in society.” The man who followed jên was one who was aware of his place in society, and of his participation in the common endeavors of mankind.

Jên, or society-mindedness, leads to an awareness of virtue and propriety (têh and yi). When virtue and propriety exist, it is obligatory that men follow them. Behavior in accordance with virtue and propriety is li. Commonly translated “ethics,” this is seen as the fruition of the force of jên in human society. Jên underlies and establishes society, from the existence of which spring virtue and propriety; these prescribe principles for human conduct, the formulation of which rules is li.32 Auxiliary to li is chêng ming. Chêng ming is the rightness of names: [pg 032] li, the appropriateness of relationships. Li, it may be noted, is also translated “rites” or “ceremonies”; a rendering which, while not inexact, fails to convey the full import of the term.

Chêng ming, the rectification of names, may be regarded as a protest against the discords in language that had developed during the transitional period from feudalism to eventual unity. Confucius, of course, did not have as sharp an issue confronting him as do the modern Western innovators in social and political ideology. Nevertheless, the linguistic difficulty was clear to him. The expansion of the Chinese written language was so great at that time that it led to the indiscriminate coining of neologisms, and there was a tendency towards a sophisticated hypocrisy in the use of words.33

Confucius saw that, in obtaining harmony, language needed to be exact; otherwise long and fruitless disputes over empty words might be engaged in or, what was even worse, words might not conform to the realities of social life, and might be used as instruments of ill-doing. Confucius did not, however, present a scheme of word-worship. He wanted communication to cement society, to be an instrument of concord. He wanted, in modern terms, a terminology which by its exactness and suitability would of itself lead to harmony.34 In advocating the rectification of names, Confucius differed from many other founders of philosophies and religions; they, too, wanted names rectified—terminology reorganized—to suit their particular doctrines; but there they stopped short. Confucius regarded the rectification of names as a continuous process, one which had to be carried on unceasingly if communication, for the sake of social harmony, was to remain just and exact.

[pg 033]

Chêng ming is highly significant in Confucian thought, and exhibits the striking difference between the Chinese and the older Western political study. If the terms by means of which the communication within a society is effected, and in which the group beliefs of fact or of value are to be found, can be the subject of control, there is opened up a great field of social engineering. Chêng ming states, in recognizable although archaic terms, the existence of ideology, and proposes the strengthening of ideology. In recognizing the group (in his case, mankind) as dependent upon ideology for group existence, Confucius delivered Chinese political thought from any search for an ontology of the real state. It became possible to continue, in the traditional pragmatic manner,35 thinking of men in simple terms referring only to individual men, avoiding the hypostatizations common in the West. In pointing out the necessity for the control of ideology by men, Confucius anticipated theories of the “pedagogical state” by some twenty centuries.

Li, in the terminology of the present work, is the conformity of the individual to the moral ideology, or, stated in another manner, the control of men by the ideology.36

Li, conformity to the ideology, implies, of course, conformity to those parts of it which determine value. Li [pg 034] prescribes the do-able, the thinkable. In so far as the ideology consists of valuations, so far do those valuations determine li. Hsü lists the operations of li in six specific categories:

(1) it furnishes the principles of political organization; (2) it furnishes details for the application of the doctrine of ratification; (3) it discusses the functions of government; (4) it prescribes the limitations of governmental authority; (5) it advances principles of social administration; and (6) it provides a foundation for crime and lawsuits. These are only the political functions of li. Its force is to be regarded as equally effective in every other type of human behavior.37

The approach to society contained in the doctrines of jên, chêng ming, and li is, therefore, one which largely eliminates the necessity for politics. Its influence may be estimated from three points of view: (1) to what degree was government different from what it might have been had it followed the line of development that government did in the West? (2) what was the range of governmental action in such a system? and (3) what was the relation of government to the other institutions of a Confucian society?

In regard to the first point, it will be seen immediately that government, once chêng ming has been set in motion, is not a policy-making body. There is no question of policy, no room for disagreement, no alternative. What is right is apparent. Politics, in the narrow sense of the word, ceases to be a function of government; only administration remains.

Secondly, government needs to administer only for two purposes. The chief of these is the maintenance of the ideology. Once right views are established, no individual is entitled to think otherwise. Government must treat the heterodox as malefactors. Their crime is greater than ordinary crime, which is a mere violation of right behavior; [pg 035] they pollute right thought, set in motion the forces of discord, and initiate evils which may work on and on through the society, even after the evil-thinkers themselves are dead. To protect the society actively against discord, the government must encourage the utterance of the accepted truth. The scholar is thus the highest of all the social classes; it is he who maintains agreement and order. The government becomes, in maintaining the ideology, the educational system. The whole political life is education, formal or informal. Every act of the leader is a precept and an example. The ruler does not compel virtue by law; he spreads it by his conspicuous example.

The other function of the government in maintaining the ideology lies in the necessity of dealing with persons not affected by the ideology. Barbarians are especially formidable, since both heretics and criminals may be restored to the use of their reason, while barbarians may not, so long as they remain barbarians. Accordingly, the government is also a defense system. It is a defense against open and physical disruption from within—as in the case of insurrectionaries or bandits—and a defense against forces from without which, as veritable powers of darkness, cannot be taught and are amenable only to brute force.

In connection with the third point, government itself appears as subject to li. It has no right to do wrong. The truth is apparent to everyone, and especially to the scholars. In this wise the Chinese governments were at the mercy of their subjects. No divine right shielded them when public opinion condemned them; ill-doing governments were twice guilty and contemptible, because of the great force of their examples. An evil emperor was not only a criminal; he was a heresiarch, leading many astray, and corrupting the virtue upon which society rested—virtue being the maintenance of a true and moral ideology, and conformity to it.

[pg 036]

The consequence of these teachings was such that we may say, without sacrificing truth to paradox, that the aim of Chinese government was anarchy—not in the sense of disorder, but in the sense of an order so just and so complete that it needed no governing. The laissez-faire of the Chinese was not only economic; it was political. The Great Harmony of Confucius, which was his Utopia, was conceived of as a society where the excellence of ideology and the thoroughness of conformity to ideology had brought perfect virtue, perfect happiness.

The other doctrines of Confucius, his practical teachings on statesmanship, his discourses on the family—these cannot be entered into here. Enough has, perhaps, been shown to demonstrate the thoroughness of Confucius' reaction against state and nation.38 This reaction was to continue, and to become so typical that the whole Chinese system of subsequent centuries was called Confucian,39 until the exigencies of a newer, larger, and more perilous world led to Sun Yat-sen's teaching of modern Chinese nationalism. Before taking up the doctrine of min tsu, it may be worthwhile to summarize the manner in which Chinese society, deliberately and accidentally, each in part, followed out the doctrines of Confucius in its practical organization.

The Chinese World-Society of Eastern Asia.

It would be, of course, absurd to pretend to analyze the social system of China in a few paragraphs; and yet [pg 037] it is necessary to the study of Sun Yat-sen that certain characteristics be at least mentioned. Several problems appear which are quite outstanding. What was the social position and function of each individual? How were refractory individuals to be disciplined in accordance with the requirements that the general opinion of society imposed? What were the ultimate ends which the organization of Chinese society was to realize? How were the educational system and the frontier defenses to be maintained? What was to be the position and power of the political organization?

At the outset it is necessary that a working demarcation of the political be established. Accepting, by definition, those coercive controls as political which are operated for the preservation of society as a whole, and are recognized within the society as so doing, we see immediately that the range of the political must have been much less in old China than it has been in the West. Western societies tend, at least in law, to emphasize the relationship between the individual and the society as a whole; free and unassociated individuals tend to become extraordinarily unstable. In the old Chinese society the control of the individual was so much an ideological one, that political control was infinitely narrower than in the West. But, in order to effectuate ideological control, there must be an organization which will permit pressure to be exercised on the individual in such a compelling manner that the exercise of external coercion becomes unnecessary. In a society in which the state has withered away, after an enormous expansion in the subject-matter of its control,40 the totalitarian state is succeeded by the totalitarian [pg 038] tradition, if—and the qualification is an important one—the indoctrination has been so effective that the ideology can maintain itself in the minds of men without the continuing coercive power of the state to uphold it. If the ideology is secure, then control of the individual will devolve upon those persons making up his immediate social environment, who—in view of the uniform and secure notions of right and justice prevailing—can be relied upon to attend to him in a manner which will be approved by the society in general.

In China the groups most conspicuous within the society were the family system, the village and district, and the hui (association; league; society, in the everyday sense of the word).

The family was an intricate structure. A fairly typical instance of family organization within a specific village has been described in the following terms: “The village is occupied by one sib, a uni-lateral kinship group, exogamous, monogamous but polygynous, composed of a plurality of kin alignments into four families: the natural family, the economic-family, the religious-family, and the sib.”41 The natural family corresponded to the family of the West. The economic family may have had a natural family as its core, but commonly extended through several degrees of kinship, and may have included from thirty to one hundred persons, who formed a single economic unit, living and consuming collectively. The religious family was an aggregate of economic families, of which it would be very difficult to give any specified number as an average. It [pg 039] was religious in that it provided the organization for the proper commemoration and reverence of ancestors, and maintained an ancestral shrine where the proper genealogical records could be kept; the cult feature has largely disappeared in modern times. The sib corresponded roughly to the clan, found in some Western communities; its rôle was determined by the immediate environment. In some cases—as especially in the south—the sib was powerful enough to engage in feuds; at times one or more sibs dominated whole communities; in the greater part of China it was a loose organization, holding meetings from time to time to unite the various local religious families which constituted it.

Family consciousness played its part in sustaining certain elements of the Confucian ideology. It stressed the idea of the carnal immortality of the human race; it oriented the individual, not only philosophically, but socially as well. The size of each family determined his position spatially, and family continuity fixed a definite location in time for him. With its many-handed grasp upon the individual, the family system held him securely in place and prevented his aspiring to the arrogant heights of nobility or falling to the degradation of a slavery in which he might become a mere commodity. A Chinese surrounded by his kinsmen was shielded against humiliations inflicted upon him by outsiders or the menace of his own potential follies. It was largely through the family system, with its religious as well as economic and social foundation, that the Chinese solved the problem of adequate mobility of individuals in a society stable as a whole, and gave to that stability a clear and undeniable purpose—the continued generation of the human race through the continuity of a multitude of families, each determined upon survival.

The family was the most obviously significant of the [pg 040] groupings within the society, but it was equalled if not excelled in importance by the village.42

Had the family been the only important social grouping, it might have been impossible for any democracy to develop in China. It so occurred that the family pattern provided, indeed, the model for the government, but the importance of villages in Chinese life negated the too sharp influence of a familistic government. It would have been the most awful heresy, as it is in Japan today, to revolt against and depose an unrighteous father; there was nothing to prevent the deposition or destruction of an evil village elder. In times of concord, the Emperor was the father of the society; at other times, when his rule was less successful, he was a fellow-villager subject to the criticism of the people.

The village was the largest working unit of non-political administration; that is to say, groups within and up to the village were almost completely autonomous and not subject to interference, except in very rare cases, from outside. The village was the smallest unit of the political. The District Magistrate, as the lowest officer in the political-educational system, was in control of a district containing from one to twenty villages, and negotiated, in performing the duties imposed upon him, with the village leaders. The villages acted as self-ruling communes, at times very democratic.43

[pg 041]

Next in importance, among Chinese social groups, after the family and the village was the hui. It was in all probability the last to appear. Neither ordained, as the family seemed to be, by the eternal physical and biological order of things, nor made to seem natural, as was the village, by the geographic and economic environment, the association found its justification in the deeply ingrained propensities of the Chinese to coöperate. Paralleling and supplementing the former two, the hui won for itself a definite and unchallenged place in the Chinese social structure. The kinds of hui may be classified into six categories:44 1) the fraternal societies; 2) insurance groups; 3) economic guilds; 4) religious societies; 5) political societies; and 6) organizations of militia and vigilantes. The hui made up, in their economic form, the greater part of the economic organization of old China, and provided the system of vocational education for persons not destined to literature and administration. Politically, it was the hui—under such names as the Triad and the Lotus—that provided the party organizations of old China and challenged the dynasties whenever objectionable social or economic conditions developed.

The old Chinese society, made up of innumerable families, [pg 042] villages, and hui, comprised a whole “known world.” Its strength was like that of a dinosaur in modern fable; having no one nerve-centre, the world-society could not be destroyed by inroads of barbarians, or the ravages of famine, pestilence, and insurrection. The ideology which has been called Confucian continued. At no one time were conditions so bad as to break the many threads of Chinese culture and to release a new generation of persons emancipated from the tradition. Throughout the centuries education and government went forward, even though dynasties fell and the whole country was occasionally over-run by conquerors. The absence of any juristically rigid organization permitted the Chinese to maintain a certain minimum of order, even in the absence of an emperor, or, as more commonly occurred, in the presence of several.

The governmental superstructure cemented the whole Chinese world together in a formal manner; it did not create it. The family, the village, and the hui were fit subjects for imperial comment, but there was nothing in their organization to persuade the student that the Emperor—by virtue of some Western-type Kompetenz Kompetenz—could remove his sanction from their existence and thereby annihilate them. There was no precarious legal personality behind the family, the village, and the hui, which could be destroyed by a stroke of law. It was possible for the English kings to destroy the Highland clan of the MacGregor—“the proscribed name”—without liquidating the members of the clan in toto. In China the Emperor beheld a family as a quasi-individual, and when enraged at them was prone to wipe them out with massacre. Only in a very few cases was it possible for him to destroy an organization without destroying the persons composing it; he could, for example, remove the privilege of a scholarship system from a district, prefecture, or province without necessarily disposing of all the scholars involved in the [pg 043] move. The government of China—which, in the normal run of affairs, had no questions of policy, because policy was traditional and inviolable—continued to be an administration dedicated to three main ends—the maintenance of the ideology (education), the defense of the society as a whole against barbarians (military affairs) and against the adverse forces of nature (public works on the most extensive—and not intensive—scale), and the collection of funds for the fulfillment of the first two ends (revenue). The Emperor was also the titular family head of the Chinese world.

The educational system was identical with the administrative, except in the case of the foreign dynasties. (Under the Manchus, for example, a certain quota of Manchu officials were assigned throughout the government, irrespective of their scholastic rank in contrast to the Chinese.) It was a civil service, an educational structure, and a ritualist organization. Selected from the people at large, scholars could—at least in theory—proceed on the basis of sheer merit to any office in the Empire excepting the Throne. Their advancement was graduated on a very elaborate scale of degrees, which could be attained only by the passing of examinations involving an almost perfect knowledge of the literature of antiquity and the ability to think in harmony with and reproduce that literature. The Chinese scholar-official had to learn to do his own thinking by means of the clichés which he could learn from the classics; he had to make every thought and act of his life conform to the pattern of the ideology. Resourceful men may have found in this a proper fortification for their originality, as soon as they were able to cloak it with the expressions of respect; mediocre persons were helpless beyond the bounds of what they had learned.

The combination of education and administration had one particular very stabilizing effect upon Chinese society. [pg 044] It made literacy and rulership identical. Every educated man was either a government official or expected to become one. There was no hostile scholar class, no break with the tradition. Struggle between scholars generally took the form of conflicts between cliques and were not founded—except in rare instances—on any cleavage of ideas. The Throne secured its own position and the continuity of the ideology through establishing intellectuality as a government monopoly. The consequences of the educational-administrative system fostered democratic tendencies quite as much as they tended to maintain the status quo. The scholars were all men, and Chinese, owing allegiance to families and to native districts. In this manner a form of representation was assured the government which kept it from losing touch with the people, and which permitted the people to exercise influence upon the government in the advancement of any special interests that could profit by government assistance. The educational system also served as the substitute for a nobility. Hereditary class distinctions existed in China on so small a scale that they amounted to nothing. The way to power was through the educational hierarchy.45 In a society [pg 045] which offered no financial or military short cuts to power, and which had no powerful nobility to block the way upward, the educational system provided an upward channel of social mobility which was highly important in the organization of the Chinese world order.

The scholars, once they had passed the examinations, were given either subsistence allowances or posts, according to the rank which they had secured in the tests. (This was, of course, the theory; in actuality bribery and nepotism played rôles varying with the time and the locality.) They made up the administration of the civilized world. They were not only the officials but the literati.

It would be impossible even to enumerate the many posts and types of organization in the administration of imperial China.46 Its most conspicuous features may be enumerated as follows: China consisted of half a million cities, towns, villages, and hamlets, each to a large extent autonomous.47 These were divided among, roughly, two thousand hsien, in each of which an over-burdened District Magistrate sought to carry out all the recognized functions of government in so far as they applied to his locality. He did this largely by negotiation with the [pg 046] leaders of the social groups in his bailiwick, the heads of families, the elders of villages, the functionaries of hui. He was supervised by a variety of travelling prefects and superintendents, but the next officer above him who possessed a high degree of independence was the viceroy or governor—whichever type happened to rule the province or group of provinces. Except for their non-hereditability, these last offices were to all intents and purposes satrapies. The enormous extent of the Chinese civilized world, the difficulty of communicating with the capital, the cumbersomeness of the administrative organization, the rivalry and unfriendliness between the inhabitants of various provinces—all these encouraged independence of a high degree. If Chinese society was divided into largely autonomous communes, the Chinese political system was made up of largely autonomous provinces. Everywhere there was elasticity.

At the top of the whole structure stood the Emperor. In the mystical doctrines which Confucianism transmitted from the animism of the feudal ages of China, the Emperor was the intermediary between the forces of nature and mankind. The Son of Heaven became the chief ritualist; in more sophisticated times he was the patron of civilization to the scholars, and the object of supernatural veneration to the uneducated. His function was to provide a constant pattern of propriety. He was to act as chief of the scholars. To the scholars the ideology was recognized as an ideology, albeit the most exact one; to the common people it was an objective reality of thought and value. As the dictates of reason were not subject to change, the power and the functions of the Emperor were delimited; he was not, therefore, responsible to himself alone. He was responsible to reason, which the people could enforce when the Emperor failed. Popular intervention was regarded as de jure in proportion to its effectiveness de facto. The Imperial structure might be called, [pg 047] in Western terms, the constitutionalism of common sense.48 The Dragon Throne did not enjoy the mysterious and awful prestige which surrounds the modern Tenno of Nippon; although sublime in the Confucian theory, it was, even in the theory, at the mercy of its subjects, who were themselves the arbiters of reason. There was no authority higher than reason; and no reason beyond the reason discovered and made manifest in the ages of antiquity.

The Impact of the West.

Mere physical shock could not derange the old Chinese society as easily as it might some other, dependent for its stability upon complex, fragile political mechanisms. China was over-run many times by barbarians; the continuity of its civilization was undisturbed. Each group of conquerors added to the racial composition of the Chinese, but contributed little to the culture. The Ch'in, the Mongols, the Manchus—all ruled China as Chinese rulers.

This strength of the Chinese society—in contrast to the Roman—must not, however, lead us to suppose that there were any extraordinary virtues in the Chinese social organization that made Chinese civilization indestructible. On the contrary, the continued life of the Chinese society may be ascribed, among others, to four conditions acting definitely and overwhelmingly in its favor: China's greater physical extent, homogeneity, wealth, and culture.

No barbarian conqueror, with the possible exception of the Mongol, would have been a match for an orderly and [pg 048] united China. Without exception, the barbarian incursions occurred in times of social and political disorder and weakness. That this is no freakish coincidence, may be shown by the contrast between China and any of the peripheral realms. None approached China in extent, in heaviness of population. Conquest of China was always conquest by sufferance of the Chinese.

Second, China's neighbors were divided among themselves. There was never any coalition extensive enough to present a genuine threat to a thriving China. The Chinese, in spite of diversities of spoken language, were united—so far as they were literate—by a common writing and literature; the common ideology had, moreover, fostered an extreme sympathy of thought and behavior among the Chinese. Persons speaking mutually unintelligible dialects, of different racial composition, and in completely different economic and geographical environments displayed—and, for all that, still display in modern times—an uncanny uniformity of social conditioning. China faced barbarians on many fronts; China was coördinated, homogeneous; the barbarians of North and South did not, in all probability, know anything of each other's existence, except what they heard from the Chinese.

Third, China's wealth was a socially fortifying factor. In all Eastern Asia, no other society or form of social organization appeared which could produce a higher scale of living. The Chinese were always materially better off than their neighbors, with the possible exception of the Koreans and Japanese.

Fourth, Eastern Asia was Chinese just as Europe was Graeco-Roman. The peripheral societies all owed a great part, if not all, of their culture to the Chinese. China's conquerors were already under the spell of Chinese civilization when they swept down upon it. None of them were anxious to destroy the heritage of science, arts, and invention which the Chinese had developed.

[pg 049]

With these advantages in mind, it is easy to understand the peculiarity of the Westerners, as contrasted with the other peoples whom the Chinese met and fought. The formidable physical power of the Chinese was, after the first few decades of intercourse, seen to be quite unequal to the superior military technique of the West. The Westerners, although different from one another at home, tended to appear as united in the Far East. In any case, Chinese unity availed little in the face of greater military power. The economic factor, while a great attraction to the Westerners, was no inducement to them to become Chinese; they were willing to gain Chinese wealth, and dreamed of conquering it, but not of making wealth in the Chinese manner. And lastly, and most importantly, the Westerners presented a culture of their own which—after the first beginnings of regular intercourse—was quite well able to hold its own against the Chinese.49

To the utter certainty of the Chinese way of life, the Westerners presented the equally unshakable dogma of Christianity. They regarded the Chinese—as did the Chinese them—as outlanders on the edge of the known world. They exhibited, in short, almost the same attitude toward the Chinese that the Chinese had toward barbarians. Consequently, each group regarded the other as perverse. The chief distinction between the Chinese and the Westerners lay in the fact that the Chinese would in all probability have been satisfied if the West had minded its own business, while the West, feverish with expansionism, cajoled and fought for the right to come, trade, and teach.50

[pg 050]

At times, the two races met on agreeable and equal terms. The Jesuit missionaries ingratiated themselves with the Chinese and, by respecting Chinese culture, won a certain admiration for their own. The eighteenth century in Europe was the century of chinoiserie, when Chinese models exercised a profound influence on the fine and domestic arts of Europe.51 The great upsurge of economic power in the period of the European industrial revolution led to increased self-assurance on the part of the Europeans. The new standards of value alienated them from those features of Chinese culture which the eighteenth century had begun to appreciate, and placed them in a position to sell to the Chinese as well as buy. More and more the economic position of the two societies changed about; the Westerners had come to purchase the superior artizan-made goods of China, giving in exchange metals or raw materials. A tendency now developed for them to sell their own more cheaply, and, in some cases, better manufactured products to the Chinese. The era of good feeling and mutual appreciation, which had never been very strong, now drew to a close.

The vassal states of China were conquered. The British fought the Chinese on several occasions, and conquered each time. The full extent of Western military superiority was revealed in the capture of Peking in 1860, and in the effectiveness—entirely disproportionate to their numbers—that Western-trained Imperial troops had in suppressing the Chinese T'ai-p'ing rebels.

[pg 051]

When Sun Yat-sen was a boy, the country was afire with fear and uncertainty. Barbarians who could neither be absorbed nor defeated had appeared. Instead of adopting Chinese thought and manners, they were vigorously teaching their own to the Chinese. The traditional Chinese mechanisms of defense against barbarians were not working.52 Something was vitally wrong. The Chinese could not be persuaded, as some other non-European peoples conquered in the age of Western world-dominion seem to have been, that all error lay with themselves, and that their own ideology was not worth the saving; nor could they, in face of the unfortunate facts, still believe that they themselves were completely right, or, at least, that their own notions of rightness were completely expedient. In view of the pragmatic foundations of the whole Chinese ideology and way of life, the seriousness of these consequences cannot be over-estimated. Little wonder that China was disturbed! The pragmatic, realistic method of organization that the Chinese had had, no longer worked in a new environment rising, as it were, from the sea.

The Western impact, consequently, affected China in two ways. In the first place, the amorphous Chinese society was threatened and dictated to by the strong, clearly organized states of the West. In the second place, [pg 052] the introduction of disharmonious values from the West destroyed, in large part, that appearance of universality, upon which the effectiveness of the Chinese ideology depended, and shocked Chinese thought and action until even their first premises seemed doubtful.

This, in short, was the dilemma of the Chinese at the advent of Sun Yat-sen. His life was to be dedicated to its solution; it is his analyses that are to be studied in the explanation of the Chinese society in the modern world.

The Continuing Significance of the Background.

Before proceeding to the exposition of Sun Yat-sen's theories and programs, it is necessary that a superlatively important consideration be emphasized: namely, that Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese, that the nation he worked for was China, and that the intellectual and social background of his labors was one completely different from that of the Euramerican world. A great part of the vaporous disputation which has hidden Chinese politics in a cloud of words has been the consequence of the ignoring, by Westernized Chinese as well as by Westerners, of the monumental fact that China is in only a few respects comparable to the West, and that the ideas and methods of the West lose the greater part of their relevance when applied to the Chinese milieu. Political dialecticians in China split Marxian hairs as passionately and sincerely as though they were in nineteenth-century Germany.53 Sun Yat-sen, though accused of this fantastic fault by some of [pg 053] his adversaries, was—as his theories show upon close examination—much less influenced by Western thought than is commonly supposed to be the case, and in applying Western doctrines to Chinese affairs was apt to look upon this as a fortunate coincidence, instead of assuming the universal exactness of recent Western social and political thought.

What are the features of the Chinese background that must be remembered in order to throw a just light upon the beliefs of Sun Yat-sen? Primarily, it must have become apparent, from the foregoing discussion of Confucianism and the old social order, that China, under the leadership of Sun Yat-sen, was beginning to draw away from an order of things which the West—or at least a part of the West—aspires to achieve: a world-society in which the state had withered away. This ideal, while never completely realized in China, was perhaps more closely attained than it has ever been in any other society. Modern actualities led away from this ideal. The West, dreaming of world unity, was divided and armed; China too had to abandon the old notions of universal peace, and arm. The West, seeking social stability, was mobile; China too had to move.

The old society was in its controls totalitarian. Diffuse and extensive controls operated fairly evenly throughout the system. The West possessed a state system which was fundamentally different. By limiting the range of law to the reinforcement of certain particular mores, the Westerners were able to obtain a terrific concentration of political power within the sphere of what they conceived to be legitimate state control. On the other hand the presence of a large number of activities not subject to state control led individuals to cherish their freedom—a freedom which in most cases did not impair the military and political effectiveness of the state in external action.

[pg 054]

Since Fascism seeks to reëstablish order and certainty, as does Communism (although an order and certainty of a different kind), by the extension of state activities; and since Sun Yat-sen proposed to improve the political position of China by developing a modern state (of narrow, but intense activities in contrast to the loose general controls of the old society), the drift in China may be regarded, in this respect, as Fascism in reverse. Beginning with the same premises—the regeneration of the nation—Mussolini was led to a course of policy diametrically opposite to that plotted by Sun Yat-sen.

Even, however, with his plans for developing a “machine state” in a society where states had long since perished, Sun Yat-sen did not propose to destroy Chinese morality and non-political discipline for the sake of instituting a sharp juristic law-and-order organization. He was anxious that the old Chinese morality and social knowledge be applied. In this, he differed from most of the other modern leaders of China, who were for veneering China with a Parliament and police without delay. Sun Yat-sen realized that a state was necessary in China, and hoped to establish one; he also hoped that, beyond the limits of the new state activity, individualism and disorder would not come to prevail, but that the old controls would continue to operate.

Accordingly, Sun Yat-sen's thought cannot be studied as a mere offshoot of recent Western thought. It must be realized that he proposed two ends which, of all the countries of the world, would be mutually compatible only in China: the development of a state, and the full continuation of non-political controls.54

[pg 055]

In fostering the continuation of ideological control, Sun Yat-sen hoped to modify the old ideology so that it would become applicable to the new situations. As will be made clear later, he was redefining the old world-view so that, without disturbing the consequences to which it would lead, it might apply in a novel and unprecedentedly disturbed world. He was, in short, switching the premises and trying to preserve the conclusions, modifying the actual behavior of the Chinese only in so far as it was necessary for the purpose of strengthening and invigorating the whole body politic of China.

Another strain of the ancient thought penetrates Sun Yat-sen's theories. Ideological control was not to the Confucians, as some Marxian critics aver,55 a rather naïve duplicity by which the gentry of China could maintain themselves in power indefinitely. Confucius can not be accused, save on the basis of unwarrantable reading-in, of insincerity in his teaching of order. He was conservative, and knew what he was doing, in seeking for the general self-discipline of men, and the rule of precept and virtue; but to believe that he desired one public philosophy and another private one goes beyond the realm of historically justifiable interpretation. An ideology may, of course, be deceptive to its promulgators, but the absence of any genuine class-society—as known in the West—must serve as a testimonial to the sincerity of Confucian teachings. The Confucian ideology was to the ancients not only an instrument for good; it was common sense.

[pg 056]

Sun Yat-sen did not, as a Western leader in his position might have done, seek to befuddle the masses for their own good. Since he proposed to entrust China's destinies to the votes of the masses, he could scarcely have believed them liable to fall victims to deceit over a great length of time. In teaching of the race-nation, and of the nature of Chinese society, Sun Yat-sen was telling the people what it would be good for them to believe; it was good for them because it was the truth—that is, most in accord with the actual situation of China in the general society of the world.

Few today would dare say what is really in the minds of European leaders such as Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler. These men may themselves believe what they say; or, not believing it, say it nevertheless because they think it the right thing for the masses, in the masses' own interests, to believe. Their respective enemies accuse them of saying what they do in order to mislead the masses and to dominate the masses for hidden purposes of their own. No such accusation has been levelled against Sun Yat-sen. Apart from his personal sincerity, his belief in the qualities of the common people was such that he did not consider it necessary to deceive them, even for their own good.

Consequently, in dealing with the various doctrines that Sun preached, it must be remembered that he himself believed what he was saying. He did not merely think that the people should regard the Chinese society as a race-nation; he thought that China was a race-nation. The modifications of the Confucian philosophy were to be contemplated, as was the original philosophy, as pragmatically true.56

[pg 057]

These two factors must be reckoned with—that Sun Yat-sen was teaching and working in the Chinese milieu, and that his ideology was an ideology not in the older pejorative sense of the word, which connoted duplicity, but an ideology in the sense of a scheme of exact knowledge which, by its very truthfulness, was a political and social instrument.

[pg 058]

Chapter II The Theory of Nationalism.

The Emergence of the Chinese Race-Nation.

It could, at first thought, be supposed that the reconstruction of Chinese society might have been necessitated by internal weakness just as much as by a changed environment. The process of organizing and developing a tight, clear scheme of political control organizations within the society (stateification), and delimiting the extent and aims of the society (nationalism) were the chief characteristics of this reconstruction.

It is only by means of a disregard of actual conditions that the supposition of an internal weakness so great as to require radical change can be maintained. While the latter days of the Manchu Empire represented a decline, it was a decline no more serious than others through which Chinese culture had passed and resurged many times in its history. It is still a debatable matter as to whether China had actually become intellectually and artistically sterile during this period. In any event, it is questionable whether the completely revolutionary reorganization of Chinese society—of the type that Sun Yat-sen found it necessary to support—would have been either worth-while or probable in the absence of Euramerican aggression, and the appearance, all about China, of a new, hostile, and unstable environment. If it had not been for the impact of the West it is conceivable—although all comment on this must remain mere speculation—that a social revolution such as those which occurred under Wang Mang (usurper-founder of the unrecognized Hsin Dynasty, 9-25 A.D.), Wang An-shih (prime minister, 1069-1076 A.D., under the Sung dynasty), or Hung Hsiu-ch'üan (founder of the rebel T'ai P'ing dynasty, 1849-1865), [pg 059] might have adjusted matters by a general redistribution of wealth and administrative reorganization.

In his earliest agitations Sun Yat-sen was opposed to the Manchus.57 In this connection he developed a peculiar and interesting theory concerning nationalism. He held, briefly, that the Chinese had, at the noon-day glory of their Empire, fallen under the lure of a cosmopolitanism which was not in accord with the realities of political existence. It was this lack of distinction between themselves and outsiders which had permitted hundreds of millions of Chinese to fall prey to one hundred thousand Manchus in the early seventeenth century,58 with the consequence that the Manchus, once on the throne of China, made every effort to erase their barbarian origin from the minds of the Chinese, and, with this end in view, did everything possible, as modern Japan is doing in Korea, to destroy the national consciousness of the Chinese.59 China, to Sun Yat-sen, had always been a nation, but its inhabitants did not believe it a nation. They had lost the precious treasure of nationalism. Without contradicting Sun Yat-sen, but differing from him only in the use of words, Westerners might say that the Chinese had once known nationalism as members of the antique Chinese states, but had later formed—in the place of a nation—a cosmopolitan society which comprehended the civilized world of Eastern Asia.60

[pg 060]

Sun Yat-sen did not blame Confucius for cosmopolitanism. There is, indeed, nowhere in his works the implication that Confucianism was an evil in itself, deserving destruction; why then did Sun Yat-sen believe that, even though the old ideology was not invalid for the organization of China internally, the old world-view had broken down as an effective instrument for the preservation of China?

First of all, Sun stated, in terms more general than did the ancients, the necessity of establishing the ideology on the basis of pragmatism. He stated:

We cannot say in general that ideas, as ideas, are good or bad. We must judge whether, when put into practice, they prove useful to us or not. If they are of practical value to us, they are good; if they are impractical, they are bad. If they are useful to the world, they are good; if they are not useful to the world, they are not good.61
[pg 061]

He states, also, that if the Chinese race is to survive, it must adopt nationalism. “... if we now want to save China, if we wish to see the Chinese race survive forever, we must preach Nationalism.”62 Hitherto they had been no more conscious of race than were the Europeans of the middle ages. To be sure, they were barbarians, whose features were strange; but the Chinese were not conscious of themselves as a racial unity in competition and conflict with other equal or superior racial unities. The self-consciousness of the Chinese was a cultural rather than a racial one, and the juxtaposition that presented itself to the Chinese mind was between “Ourselves of the Central Realm” and “You the Outsiders.”63 Sun Yat-sen became intensely conscious of being a Chinese by race,64 and so did many other of his compatriots, by the extraordinary race-pride of the White Men in China. In common with many others of his generation, Sun Yat-sen turned to race-consciousness as the name for Chinese solidarity.

There is nowhere in his works, so far as the writer knows, any attempt to find a value higher than the necessity of perpetuating the Chinese race. Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese; his followers were Chinese; whatever benefits they contemplated bestowing upon the world as a whole were incidental to their work for a powerful and continued [pg 062] China. At various times Sun Yat-sen and his followers expressed sympathy with the whole world, with the oppressed of the earth, or with all Asia, but the paramount drive behind the new movement has been the defense and reconstruction of China, no longer conceived of as a core-society maintaining the flower of human civilization, but regarded as a race abruptly plunged into the chaos of hostile and greedy nations.

Throughout his life, Sun Yat-sen called China a nation. We may suppose that he never thought that Chinese society need not necessarily be called a nation, even in the modern world. What he did do, though, was to conceive of China as a unique type of nation: a race-nation. He stated that races could be distinguished by a study of physical characteristics, occupation, language, religion and folkways or customs.65 Dividing the world first into the usual old-style five primary races (white, black, yellow, brown, and red), he divides these races into sub-races in the narrow sense of the term. The Chinese race, in the narrow sense of the term, is both a race and a nation. The Anglo-Saxons are divided between England and America, the Germans between Germany and Austria, the Latins among the Mediterranean nations, and so forth; but China is at the same time both the Chinese race and the Chinese nation. If the Chinese wish their race to perpetuate itself forever, they must adopt and follow the doctrine of Nationalism.66 Otherwise China faces the tragedy of being "despoiled as a nation and extinct as a race."67

Sun Yat-sen felt that China was menaced and oppressed ethnically, politically and economically. Ethnically, he believed that the extraordinary population increase of the [pg 063] white race within the past few centuries represented a trend which, if not counterbalanced, would simply result in the Chinese race being crowded off the earth. Politically he observed that the Chinese dependencies had been alienated by the Western powers and Japan; that China was at the mercy of any military nation that chose to attack; that it was a temporary deadlock between the conquering powers rather than any strength of China that prevented, at least for the time being, the partition of China and that a diplomatic attack, which could break the deadlock of the covetous states, would be even more deadly and drastic than simple military attack.68

It must be remembered that Sun Yat-sen saw a nation while the majority of his compatriots still envisioned the serene, indestructible society of the Confucians. Others may have realized that the Western impact was more than a frontier squabble on a grand scale; they may have thought it to have assumed epic proportions. But Sun Yat-sen, oppressed by his superior knowledge of the Western nations, obtained at the cost of considerable sympathy with them, struggled desperately to make his countrymen aware of the fact, irrefutable to him, that China was engaged in a conflict different not only in degree but in kind from any other in Chinese history. The Great Central Realm had become simply China. Endangered and yet supine, it faced the imperative necessity of complete reconstitution, with the bitter alternative of decay and extinction—a race tragedy to be compounded of millions of individual tragedies. And yet reconstitution could not be of a kind that would itself be a surrender and treason to the past; China must fit itself for the modern [pg 064] world, and nevertheless be China. This was the dilemma of the Chinese world-society, suddenly become a nation. Sun Yat-sen's life and thought were devoted to solving it.

The Necessity of Nationalism.

An abstract theorist might observe that the Chinese, finding their loose-knit but stable society surrounded by compact and aggressive nations, might have solved the question of the perpetuation of Chinese society in the new environment by one of two expedients: first, by nationalizing, as it were, their non-national civilization; or second, by launching themselves into a campaign against the system of nations as such. The second alternative does not seem to have occurred to Sun Yat-sen. Though he never ventured upon any complete race-war theory, he was nevertheless anxious to maintain the self-sufficient power of China as it had been until the advent of the West. In his negotiations with the Communists, for example, neither he nor they suggested—as might have been done in harmony with communist theory—the fusion of China and the Soviet Union under a nuclear world government. We may assume with a fair degree of certainty that, had a suggestion been made, Sun Yat-sen would have rejected it with mistrust if not indignation. He had spent a great part of his life in the West. He knew, therefore, the incalculable gulf between the civilizations, and was unwilling to entrust the destinies of China to persons other than Chinese.69

[pg 065]

Once the possibility of a successful counter-attack upon the system of nations is discounted, nationalism is seen as the sole solution to China's difficulties. It must, however, be understood that, whereas nationalism in the West implies an intensification of the already definite national consciousness of the peoples, nationalism in China might mean only as little as the introduction of such an awareness of nationality. Nationalism in China might, as a matter of logic, include the possibility of improved personal relations between the Chinese and the nationals of other states since, on the one hand, the Chinese would be relieved of an intolerable sense of humiliation in the face of Western power, and, on the other, be disabused of any archaic notions they might retain concerning themselves as the sole civilized people of the earth.70

A brief historical reference may explain the apparent necessity of nationalism in China. In the nineteenth century [pg 066] foreigners in China generally suffered reverses when they came into conflict with a village, a family, or a guild. But when they met the government, they were almost always in a position to bully it. It was commonly of little or no concern to the people what their government did to the barbarians; the whole affair was too remote to be much thought about. We find, for example, that the British had no trouble in obtaining labor auxiliaries in Canton to fight with the British troops against the Imperial government at Peking in 1860; it is quite probable that these Cantonese, who certainly did not think that they were renegades, had no anti-dynastic intentions. Chinese served the foreign enemies of China at various times as quasi-military constabulary, and served faithfully. Before the rise of Chinese nationalism it was not beyond possibility that China would be partitioned into four or five colonies appurtenant to the various great powers and that the Chinese in each separate colony, if considerately and tactfully treated, would have become quite loyal to their respective foreign masters. The menace of such possibilities made the need of Chinese nationalism very real to Sun Yat-sen; the passing of time may serve further to vindicate his judgment.

Sun Yat-sen's nationalism, though most vividly clear when considered as a practical expedient of social engineering, may also be regarded more philosophically as a derivation of, or at least having an affinity with, certain older ideas of the Chinese. Confucian thinking, as re-expressed in Western terms, implants in the individual a sense of his responsibility to all humanity, united in space and time. Confucianism stressed the solidarity of humanity, continuous, immortal, bound together by the closest conceivable ties—blood relationships. Sun Yat-sen's nationalism may represent a narrowing of this conception, and the substitution of the modern Chinese race [pg 067] for Confucian humanity. In fairness to Sun Yat-sen it must, however, be admitted that he liked to think, in Christian and Confucian terms, of the brotherhood of man; one of his favorite expressions was “under heaven all men shall work for the common good.”71

Nationalism was to Sun Yat-sen the prime condition of his movement and of his other principles. The Communists of the West regard every aspect of their lives significant only in so far as it is instrumental in the class struggle. Sun Yat-sen, meeting them, was willing to use the term “class struggle” as an instrument for Chinese nationalism. He thought of China, of the vital and immediate necessity of defending and strengthening China, and sacrificed everything to the effectuation of a genuine nationalism. To him only nationalism could tighten, organize, and clarify the Chinese social system so that China, whatever it was to be, might not be lost.

The early philosophers of China, looking upon a unicultural world, saw social organization as the supreme criterion of civilization and humanity. Sun Yat-sen, in a world of many mutually incomprehensible and hostile cultures saw nationalism (in the sense of race solidarity) as the supreme condition for the survival of the race-nation China. Democracy and social welfare were necessary to the stability and effectiveness of this nationalism, but the preservation and continuation of the race-nation was always to remain the prime desideratum.

The Return to the Old Morality.

Sun Yat-sen quite unequivocally stated the necessity for establishing a new Nationalist ideology in order to effectuate the purposes of China's regeneration. He spoke of the two steps of ideological reconstitution and political reconstitution [pg 068] as follows: “In order today to restore our national standing we must, first of all, revive the national spirit. But in order to revive the national spirit, we must fulfill two conditions. First, we must realize that we are at present in a very critical situation. Second ... we must unite ... and form a large national association.”72 He evidently regarded the ideological reconstitution as anterior to the political, although he adjusted the common development of the two quite detailedly in his doctrine of tutelage.

He proposed three ideological methods for the regeneration of China, which might again make the Chinese the leading society (nation) of the world. There were: first, the return to the ancient Chinese morality; second, the return to the ancient Chinese learning; and third, the adoption of Western science.73

Sun Yat-sen's never-shaken belief in the applicability of the ancient Chinese ethical system, and in the wisdom of old China in social organization, is such that of itself it prevents his being regarded as a mere imitator of the West, a barbarized Chinese returning to barbarize his countrymen. His devotion to Confucianism was so great that Richard Wilhelm, the greatest of German sinologues, wrote of him: “The greatness of Sun Yat-sen rests, therefore, upon the fact that he has found a living synthesis between the fundamental principles of Confucianism and the demands of modern times, a synthesis which, beyond the borders of China, can again become significant to all humanity. Sun Yat-sen combined in himself the brazen consistency of a revolutionary and the great love of humanity of a renewer. Sun Yat-sen has been the kindest of all the revolutionaries of mankind. And this kindness [pg 069] was taken by him from the heritage of Confucius. Hence his intellectual work stands as a connecting bridge between the old and the modern ages. And it will be the salvation of China, if it determinedly treads that bridge.”74 And Tai Chi-tao, one of Sun Yat-sen's most respected followers, had said: “Sun Yat-sen was the only one among all the revolutionaries who was not an enemy to Confucius; Sun Yat-sen himself said that his ideas embodied China, and that they were derived from the ideas of Confucius.”75 The invocation of authorities need not be relied upon to demonstrate the importance of Sun Yat-sen's demand for ideological reconstruction upon the basis of a return to the traditional morality; he himself stated his position in his sixth lecture on nationalism: “If we now wish to restore to our nation its former position, besides uniting all of us into a national body, we must also first revive our own ancient morality; when we have achieved that, we can hope to give back to our nation the position which she once held.”76

What are the chief elements of the old morality? These are: 1) loyalty and filial piety, 2) humanity and charity, 3) faithfulness and justice, and 4) peace. These four, however, are all expressions of humanity, to which knowledge [pg 070] and valor must be joined, and sincerity employed in expressing them.

The problem of loyalty was one very difficult to solve. Under the Empire it was easy enough to consider the Emperor as the father of the great society, and to teach loyalty to him. This was easy to grasp, even for the simplest mind. Sun Yat-sen urged loyalty to the people, and loyalty to duty, as successors to the loyalty once owed to the sovereign. He deplored the tendency, which appeared in Republican times, for the masses to assume that since there was no more Emperor, there was no more loyalty; and it has, since the passing of Sun Yat-sen, been one of the efforts of the Nationalists to build up a tradition of loyalty to the spirit of Sun Yat-sen as the timeless and undying leader of modern China.

Sun Yat-sen was also deeply devoted to filial piety in China, which was—in the old philosophy—simply a manifestation, in another direction, of the same virtue as loyalty. He called filial piety indispensable, and was proud that none of the Western nations had ever approached the excellence of the Chinese in this virtue.77 At the time that he said this, Sun Yat-sen was accused of being a virtual Communist, and of having succumbed to the lure of Soviet doctrines. It is at least a little strange that a man supposedly infatuated with Marxism should praise that most conservative of all virtues: filial piety!

Sun Yat-sen then commented on each of the other virtues, pointing out their excellence in old China, and their necessity to modern China. In the case of faithfulness, for example, he cited the traditional reliability of the Chinese in commercial honor. Concerning justice, he pointed out that the Chinese political technique was one fundamentally just; an instance of the application of this was Korea, [pg 071] which was-allowed to enjoy peace and autonomy as a Chinese vassal state for centuries, and then was destroyed shortly after becoming a Japanese protectorate. Chinese faithfulness and justice were obviously superior to that of the Japanese.

In politics the two most important contributions of the old morality to the Nationalist ideology of Sun Yat-sen were (1) the doctrine of wang tao, and (2) the social interpretation of history.

Wang tao is the way of kings—the way of right as opposed to pa tao, the way of might. It consisted, in the old ideology, of the course of action of the kingly man, who ruled in harmony with nature and did not violate the established proprieties of mankind. Sun Yat-sen's teachings afford us several applications of wang tao. In the first place, a group which has been formed by the forces of nature is a race; it has been formed according to wang tao. A group which has been organized by brute force is a state, and is formed by pa tao. The Chinese Empire was built according to wang tao; the British Empire by pa tao. The former was a natural organization of a homogeneous race; the latter, a military outrage against the natural order of mankind.78

Wang tao is also seen in the relation between China and her vassal states, a benevolent relationship which stood in sharp contrast, at times, though not always, to the methods later to be used by the Europeans in Asia.79 [pg 072] Again, economic development on a basis of the free play of economic forces was regarded as wang tao by Sun Yat-sen, even though its consequences might be adverse. Pa tao appeared only when the political was employed to do violence to the economic.80 This doctrine of good and bad aspects of economic relationships stands in distinct contrast to the Communist theory. He believed that the political was frequently employed to bring about unjust international economic relationships, and extenuated adverse economic conditions simply because they were the free result of the operations of a laissez-faire economy.

Economically, the interpretation of history was, according to Sun Yat-sen, to be performed through the study of consumption, and not of the means of production. In this he was indebted to Maurice William—at least in part.81 The social interpretation of history is, however, associated not only with economic matters, but with the ancient Chinese moral system as well. Tai Chi-tao, whose work has most clearly demonstrated the relationship between Confucianism and Sunyatsenism, points out in his diagram of Sun Yat-sen's ethical system that humanity (jên) was to Sun Yat-sen the key to the interpretation of history. We have already seen that jên is the doctrine of social consciousness, of awareness of membership in society.82 Sun Yat-sen, according to Tai Chi-tao, regarded man's development as a social animal, the development of his humanity, as the key to history. This would include, of course, among other things, his methods of production [pg 073] and of consumption. The distinction between Sun Yat-sen and the Western Marxian thinkers lies in the fact that the latter trace their philosophical genealogy back through the main currents of Western philosophy, while Sun Yat-sen derives his from Confucius. Nothing could be further from dialectical materialism than the socio-ethical interpretation that Sun Yat-sen developed from the Confucian theories.

The rôle played by the old Chinese morality in the ideology of Sun Yat-sen is, it is apparent, an important one. First, Sun Yat-sen believed that Chinese nationalism and the regeneration of the Chinese people had to be based on the old morality of China, which was superior to any other morality that the world had known, and which was among the treasures of the Chinese people. Second, he believed that, in practical politics as well as national ideology, the application of the old virtues would be fruitful in bringing about the development of a strong China. Third, he derived the idea of wang tao, the right, the royal, the natural way, from antiquity. He pointed out that violence to the established order—of race, as in the case of the British Empire, of economics, as in the case of the political methods of imperialism—was directly antithetical to the natural, peaceful way of doing things that had led to the supreme greatness of China in past ages. Fourth, he employed the doctrine of jên, of social-consciousness, which had already been used, by the Confucians, and formed the cornerstone of their teaching, as the key to his interpretation. In regard to the individual, this was, as we have seen, consciousness of social orientation; with regard to the group, it was the development of strength and harmony. It has also been translated humanity, which broadly and ethically, carries the value scheme with which jên is connected.

Even this heavy indebtedness to Chinese antiquity in adopting and adapting the morality of the ancients for [pg 074] the salvation of their children in the modern world, was not the total of Sun Yat-sen's political traditionalism. He also wished to renew the ancient Chinese knowledge, especially in the fields of social and political science. Only after these did he desire that Western technics be introduced.

The Return to the Ancient Knowledge.

Sun Yat-sen's doctrine of the return to the ancient Chinese knowledge may be divided into three parts. First, he praised the ancient Chinese superiority in the field of social science, but distinctly stressed the necessity of Western knowledge in the field of the physical and applied sciences alone.83 Second, he pointed out the many practical accomplishments of the ancient Chinese knowledge, and the excellence and versatility of Chinese invention.84 Third, his emphasis upon the development of talents in the material sciences hints at, although it does not state, a theory of national wealth based upon labor capacity.

Sun Yat-sen said, “Besides reviving our ancient Chinese morality, we must also revive our wisdom and ability.... If today we want to revive our national spirit, we must revive not only the morality which is proper to us, but we must revive also our own knowledge.”85 He goes on to say that the peculiar excellence of the ancient Chinese knowledge lay in the field of political philosophy, and states that the Chinese political philosophy surpassed the Western, at least in clearness.

He quotes The Great Learning for the summation, in a few words, of the highlights of this ancient Chinese social knowledge: “Investigate into things, attain the [pg 075] utmost knowledge, make the thoughts sincere, rectify the heart, cultivate the person, regulate the family, govern the country rightly, pacify the world.”86 This is, as we have seen, what may be called the Confucian doctrine of ideological control. Sun Yat-sen lavished praise upon it. “Such a theory, so detailed, minute, and progressive, was neither discovered nor spoken of by any foreign political philosopher. It is a peculiar intellectual treasure pertaining to our political philosophy, which we must preserve.”87 The endorsement is doubly significant. In the first place, it demonstrates the fact that Sun Yat-sen thought of himself as a rebuilder and not as a destroyer of the ancient Chinese culture, and the traditional methods of organization and control. In the second place, it points out that his Chinese background was most clear to him, and that he was in his own mind the transmitter of the Chinese heritage.

In speaking of Chinese excellence in the field of the social science, Sun Yat-sen did not confine his discussion to any one time. Whenever he referred to a political theory, he mentioned its Chinese origin if it were one of those known to Chinese antiquity: anarchism, communism, democracy. He never attacked Chinese intellectual knowledge for being what it was, but only for what it omitted: physical science.88 He was undoubtedly more conservative than many of his contemporaries, who were actually hostile to the inheritance.

[pg 076]

The summary of Sun Yat-sen's beliefs and position in respect to the ancient intellectual knowledge is so well given by Tai Chi-tao that any other statement would almost have to verge on paraphrase. Tai Chi-tao wrote:

Sun Yat-sen (in his teachings) completely includes the true ideas of China as they recur again and again from Yao and Shun, Confucius and Mencius. It will be clear to us, therefore, that Sun Yat-sen is the renewal of Chinese moral culture, unbroken for two thousand years ... we can see that Sun Yat-sen was convinced of the truth of his own words, and at the same time we can also recognize that his national revolution was based upon the re-awakening of Chinese culture. He wanted to call the creative power of China to life again, and to make the value of Chinese culture useful to the whole world, and in that way to realize cosmopolitanism.89
[pg 077]

Accordingly, Sun Yat-sen's doctrines may not only be regarded as having been based upon the tacit premises of the Chinese intellectual milieu, but as having been incorporated in them as supports. Sun Yat-sen's theories were, therefore, consciously as well as unconsciously Chinese.

Sun Yat-sen was proud of the accomplishment of the Chinese in physical and applied knowledge. He praised Chinese craftsmanship and skill, and extolled the talents of the people which had invented the mariner's compass, printing, porcelain, gunpowder, tea, silks, arches, and suspension bridges.90 He urged the revival of the talents of the Chinese, and the return of material development. This teaching, in conjunction with his advocacy of Western knowledge, leads to another suggestive point.

Sun Yat-sen pointed out that wealth was to the modern Chinese what liberty was to the Europeans of the eighteenth century—the supreme condition of further progress.91 The way to progress and wealth was through social reorganization, and through the use of the capacities of the people. It may be inferred, although it cannot be stated positively, that Sun Yat-sen measured wealth not merely in metals or commodities, but in the productive capacities of the country, which, as they depend upon the labor skill of the workers, are in the last analysis cultural and psychological rather than exclusively physical in nature.92

China, following the ancient morality, conscious of its [pg 078] intellectual and social heritage, and of its latent practical talents, needed only one more lesson to learn: the need of Western science.

Western Physical Science in the New Ideology.

The third element of the nationalist ideology proposed by Sun Yat-sen was the introduction of Western science. It is upon this that his break with the past arose; it is this that gives his ideology its partially revolutionary character, for the ideology was, as we have seen, strongly reconstitutional in two of its elements. Sun Yat-sen was, however, willing to tear down if he could rebuild, and rebuild with the addition of Western science. These questions immediately arise: why did he wish to add Western science to the intellectual background of modern China? what, in Western science, did he wish to add? to what degree did he wish Western science to play its rôle in the development of a new ideology for China?

Sun Yat-sen did not have to teach the addition of Western science to the Chinese ideology. In his own lifetime the terrific swing from arrogant self-assurance to abject imitativeness had taken place. Sun Yat-sen said that the Boxer Rebellion was the last surge of the old Chinese nationalism, “But the war of 1900 was the last manifestation of self-confidence thoughts and self-confidence power on the part of the Chinese to oppose the new civilization of Europe and of America.... They understood that the civilization of Europe and of America was really much superior to the ancient civilization of China.”93 He added that this superiority was naturally evident in the matter of armaments. This illustrates both consequences of the impact of the West—the endangered position of the Chinese society, and the consequent instability of the Chinese ideology.

[pg 079]

Sun Yat-sen did not regard the introduction of Western science into Chinese life as merely remedial in nature, but, on the contrary, saw much benefit in it. This was especially clear to him as a physician; his training led him to see the abominable practices of many of the Chinese in matters of diet and hygiene.94 He made a sweeping claim of Western superiority, which is at the same time a sharp limitation of it in fields which the conservative European would be likely to think of as foremost—politics, ethics, religion. “Besides the matter of armaments, the means of communication ... are far superior.... Moreover, in everything else that relates to machinery or daily human labor, in methods of agriculture, of industry, and of commerce, all (foreign) methods by far surpass those of China.”95

Sun Yat-sen pointed out the fact that while manuals of warfare become obsolete in a very few years in the West, political ideas and institutions do not. He cited the continuance of the same pattern of government in the United States, and the lasting authority of the Republic of Plato, as examples of the stagnation of the Western social sciences as contrasted with physical sciences. Already prepossessed in favor of the Chinese knowledge and morality in non-technical matters, he did not demand the introduction of Western social methods as well. He had lived long enough in the West to lose some of the West-worship that characterized so many Chinese and Japanese of his generation. He was willing, even anxious, that the experimental method, by itself, be introduced into Chinese thought in all fields,96 but not particularly impressed with the general superiority of Western social thought.

[pg 080]

Sun Yat-sen's own exposition of the reasons for his desiring to limit the rôle played by Western science in China is quite clear.97 In the first place, Sun Yat-sen was vigorously in favor of adopting the experimental method in attaining knowledge. He stood firmly for the pragmatic foundation of knowledge, and for the exercise of the greatest care and most strenuous effort in discovering it. Secondly, he believed in taking over the physical knowledge of the Westerners, although—in his emphasis on Chinese talent—he by no means believed that Western physical knowledge would displace that of the Chinese altogether. “We can safely imitate the material civilization of Europe and of America; we may follow it blindly, and if we introduce it in China, it will make good headway.”98 Thirdly, he believed that the social science of the West, and especially its political philosophy, might lead the Chinese into gross error, since it was derived from a quite different ideology, and not relevant to Chinese conditions. “It would be a gross error on our part, if, disregarding our own Chinese customs and human sentiments, we were to try to force upon (our people) a foreign type of social government just as we copy a foreign make of [pg 081] machinery.”99 Fourthly, even apart from the difference between China and the West which invalidated Western social science in China, he did not believe that the West had attained to anything like the same certainty in social science that it had in physical science.100 Fifthly, Sun Yat-sen believed that the Chinese should profit by observing the experiments and theories of the West in regard to social organization, without necessarily following them.

The great break between Sun Yat-sen's acceptance of Western physical science and his rejection of Western social science is demonstrated by his belief that government is psychological in its foundations. “Laws of human government also constitute an abstract piece of machinery—for that reason we speak of the machinery of an organized government—but a material piece of machinery is based on nature, whereas the immaterial machinery of government is based on psychology.”101 Sun Yat-sen pointed out, although in different words, that government was based upon the ideology and that the ideology of a society was an element in the last analysis psychological, however much it might be conditioned by the material environment.

Of these three elements—Chinese morality, Chinese social and political knowledge, and Western physical science—the new ideology for the modern Chinese society [pg 082] was to be formed. What the immediate and the ultimate forms of that society were to be, remains to be studied.

The Consequences of the Nationalist Ideology.

What are the consequences of this Nationalistic ideology? What sort of society did Sun Yat-sen envision? How much of it was to be Chinese, and how much Western? Were the Chinese, like some modern Japanese, to take pride in being simultaneously the most Eastern of Eastern nations and the most Western of Western or were they to seek to remain fundamentally what their ancestors had been for uncounted centuries?

In the first place, Sun Yat-sen's proposed ideology was, as we have seen, to be composed of four elements. First, the essential core of the old ideology, to which the three necessary revivifying elements were to be added. This vast unmentioned foundation is highly significant to the assessment of the nature of the new Chinese ideology. (It is quite apparent that Sun Yat-sen never dreamed, as did the Russians, of overthrowing the entire traditional order of things. His three modifications were to be added to the existing Chinese civilization.) Second, he wished to revive the old morality. Third, he desired to restore the ancient knowledge and skill of the Chinese to their full creative energy. Fourth, he desired to add Western science. The full significance of this must be realized in a consideration of Chinese nationalism. Sun Yat-sen did not, like the Meiji Emperor, desire to add the whole front of Western culture; he was even further from emulating the Russians in a destruction of the existing order and the development of an entirely new system. His energies were directed to the purification and reconstitution of the Chinese ideology by the strengthening of its own latent moral and intellectual values, and by the innovation of Western [pg 083] physical science and the experimental method. Of the range of the ideology, of the indescribably complex intellectual conditionings in which the many activities of the Chinese in their own civilization were carried on, Sun Yat-sen proposed to modify only those which could be improved by a reaction to the excellencies of Chinese antiquity, or benefited by the influence of Western science. Sun Yat-sen was, as Wilhelm states, both a revolutionary and a reconstitutionary. He was reconstitutionary in the ideology which he proposed, and a revolutionary by virtue of the political methods which he was willing to sanction and employ in carrying the ideology into the minds of the Chinese populace.

In the second place, Sun Yat-sen proposed to modify the old ideology not only with respect to content but also with regard to method of development. The Confucians had, as we have seen, provided for the continual modification and rectification of the ideology by means of the doctrine of chêng ming. It is a matter of dispute as to what degree that doctrine constituted a scientific method for propagating knowledge.102 Whatever the method of the ancients, Sun Yat-sen proposed to modify it in three steps: the acknowledgment of the pragmatic foundations of social ideas, the recognition of the necessity for knowledge before action, and the introduction of the experimental method. His pragmatic position shows no particular indication of having been derived from any specific source; it was a common enough tendency in old Chinese thought, from the beginning; in advocating it, Sun Yat-sen may have been revolutionary only in his championing of an idea which he may well have had since early childhood. His stress upon the necessity of ideological clarity as antecedent [pg 084] to revolutionary or any other kind of action is negatively derived from Wang Yang-ming, whose statement of the converse Sun Yat-sen was wont to attack. The belief in the experimental method is clearly enough the result of his Western scientific training—possibly in so direct a fashion as the personal influence of one of his instructors, Dr. James Cantlie, later Sir James Cantlie, of Queen's College, Hongkong. Sun Yat-sen was a physician; his degree Dr. was a medical and not an academic one; and there is no reason to overlook the influence of his vocation, a Western one, in estimating the influence of the Western experimental method.103

The overwhelming preponderance of Chinese elements in the new ideology proposed by Sun Yat-sen must not hide the fact that, in so stable an ideology as that of old China, the modifications which Sun advocated were highly significant. In method, experimentalism;104 in background, the whole present body of Western science—these were to move China deeply, albeit a China that remained [pg 085] Chinese. There is a fundamental difference between Sun's doctrine of ideological extension (“the need for knowledge”) and Confucius' doctrine of ideological rectification (chêng ming). Confucius advocated the establishment of a powerful ideology for the purpose of extending ideological control and thereby of minimizing the then pernicious effects of the politically active proto-nations of his time. Sun Yat-sen, reared in a world subject to ideological control, saw no real necessity for strengthening it; what he desired was to prepare China psychologically for the development of a clear-cut conscious nation and a powerful government as the political instrument of that nation. In spite of the great Chinese emphasis which Sun pronounced in his ideology, and in spite of his many close associations with old Chinese thought, his governmental principles are in a sense diametrically opposed to Confucianism. Confucius sought to establish a totalitarian system of traditional controls which would perpetuate society and civilization regardless of the misadventures or inadequacies of government. Sun Yat-sen was seeking to build a strong liberal protective state within the framework of an immemorial society which was largely non-political; his doctrine, which we may call totalitarianism in reverse, tended to encourage intellectual freedom rather than any rigid ideological coördination. The mere fact that Sun Yat-sen trusted the old Chinese ideology to the ordeal of free criticism is, of course, further testimony to his belief in the fundamental soundness of the old intellectual order—an order which needed revision and supplementation to guide modern China through the perils of its destiny.

Before passing to a brief consideration of the nature of the society to be developed through this nationalist ideology, it may be interesting to note the value-scheme in the ideology. There was but one value—the survival of the Chinese people with their own civilization. All [pg 086] other considerations were secondary; all other reforms were means and not ends. Nationalism, democracy, and min shêng were each indispensable, but none was superior to the supreme desideratum, Chinese survival. That this survival was a vivid problem to Sun, almost any of his lectures will testify. Tai Chi-tao, one of the inner circle of Sun Yat-sen's disciples, summarized the spirit of this nationalism when he wrote; “We are Chinese, and those things that we have to change first lie in China. But if all things in China have become worthless, if Chinese culture no longer has any significance in the cultural history of the world, if the Chinese people has lost its power of holding its culture high, we might as well wait for death with bound hands—what would be the use of going on with revolution?”105 Sun Yat-sen made concessions to cosmopolitanism, which he saw as ideal to be realized in the remote future. First and last, however, he was concerned with his own people, the Chinese.

What was to be the nature of the society which would arise from the knowledge and application of the new ideology? Sun planned to introduce the idea of a race-nation into the Chinese ideology, to replace the definite but formless we-you outlook which the Chinese of old China had had toward outsiders almost indiscriminately.106 The old anti-barbarian sentiment had from time to time in the past been very powerful; Sun Yat-sen called this nationalism also, not distinguishing it from the new kind of nationalism which he advocated—a modern nationalism [pg 087] necessarily connoting a plurality of equal nations. The self-consciousness of the Chinese he wished to restore, although on a basis of justice and the mutual recognition by the nations of each other's right to exist. But this nationalism was not to be a complete break with the past, for the new China was to continue the traditional function of old China—of being the teacher and protectress of Eastern Asia. It was the duty of China to defend the oppressed among the nations, and to smite down the Great Powers in their oppressiveness. We may suppose that this benevolence of the Chinese race-nation would benefit the neighbors of China only so long as those neighbors, quickened themselves by nationalist resurgences, did not see something sinister in the benevolent manifest destiny of the Chinese.

It was a matter of policy, rather than of ideology, as to what the Chinese nation was to include. There were possibilities of a conflict with the Communists over the question of Outer Mongolia. Physically, Sun saw the Mongols as one of the five component peoples of the Great Chung-hua Republic. At another time he suggested that they might become assimilated. He never urged the Mongols to separate from China and join the Soviet Union, or even continue as a completely independent state.107 There was always the possibility of uncertainty in the case of persons who were—by the five principle elements of race (according to Sun Yat-sen, blood, livelihood, language, religion, and mores)108—members of the Chinese race-nation but did not consider themselves such.

Chinese nationalism was to lead to cosmopolitanism. Any attempt to foster cosmopolitanism before solving the [pg 088] national problem was not only Utopian but perverse. The weakness of the Chinese had in great part been derived from their delusions of world-order in a world that was greater than they imagined, and the true solution to the Chinese question was to be found, not in any vain theory for the immediate salvation of the world as a whole, but in the diligent and patriotic activities of the Chinese in their own country. China was to help the oppressed nations of the earth, not the oppressed classes. China was to help all Asia, and especially the countries which had depended upon China for protection, and had been failed in their hour of need by the impotent Manchu Dynasty. China was, indeed, to seek the coöperation of the whole world, and the promotion of universal peace. But China was to do all this only when she was in a position to be able to do so, and not in the meantime venture forth on any splendid fantasies which would profit no people.

The survival of China was the supreme aim of Sun Yat-sen. How did he propose that China, once conscious of itself, should control itself to survive and go onwards to the liberation and enrichment of mankind? These are questions that he answered in his ideology of democracy and of min shêng.

[pg 089]

Chapter III. The Theory of Democracy.

Democracy in the Old World-Society.

In describing a few of the characteristics of the old ideology and the old society which may assist the clarification of the principle of democracy, it may prove useful to enter into a brief examination of what the word may mean in the West, to refer to some of the ideas and institutions of old China that were or were not in accord with the Western notion of democracy, and, finally, to see what connection Sun Yat-sen's theory of democracy may have either with the Western term or with elements in the Chinese background. Did Sun Yat-sen propound an entirely new theory as the foundation of his theory of democracy for the Chinese race-nation, or did he associate several hitherto unrelated ideas and systems to make a new whole?

The European word democracy may, for the purposes of this examination, be taken to have two parts to its meaning; first, with regard to the status of individuals in society; second, with respect to the allocation of political power in society. In the former sense, democracy may refer to an equalitarianism of status, or to a social mobility so easy and so general as to encourage the impression that position is a consequence of the behavior of the individual, and a fair gauge to his merit. In the latter part of the meaning, democracy may refer to the identification of the governed and the governors, or to the coincidence of the actions of the governors with the wishes of the governed. Each of these ideas—equalitarianism, free mobility, popular government, and representative government—has been referred to as the essence of democracy. One of them [pg 090] may lead to the discovery of a significance for democracy relevant to the scheme of things in the old Chinese society.

Egalitarianism and mobility were both present in old Chinese society. The Chinese have had neither an hereditary aristocracy equivalent to the Western, nor a caste-system resembling that of India or Japan, since the breakdown of the feudal system twenty-three centuries ago.109 The extra-legal egalitarianism of the Chinese has been so generally remarked upon by persons familiar with that nation, that further discussion of it here is superfluous. Birth has probably counted less in China than it has in any other country in the world.

The egalitarianism of intercourse was a powerful aid to social mobility. The Chinese never pretended to economic, political, or intellectual equality; the mere statement of such a doctrine would have been sufficient refutation of it to the members of the old society. Yet there were no gradations of weight beyond educational, political, and economic distinctions, and the organization of the old society was such that mobility in these was relatively free. Movement of an individual either upwards or downwards in the economic, political, or academic scale was retarded by the influence of the family, which acted as a drag either way. Movement was nevertheless continuous and conspicuous; a proof of this movement is to be found in the fact that there are really no supremely great families in China, comparable to the great names of Japan or of the Euramerican nations. (The closest approximation to this is the K'ung family, the family of Confucius; since the family is large, its eminence is scarcely more than nominal and it has no political power.).

Mobility in China was fostered by the political arrangements. The educational-administrative system provided a [pg 091] channel upwards and downwards. The government tended, for the most part, to be the way up, while the economic system was the way down for prominent official families. Few families managed to remain eminent for more than a few generations, and—with the great size of families—there was always room at the top. If a man were not advancing himself, there was always the possibility that a kinsman might win preferment, to the economic and political advantage of the whole family group.

Social relations—in the narrowest sense of the word—were characterized by an extreme attention to form as such, and great contempt for it otherwise. Ritualism never became a chivalry or a cult of honor. There was always the emphasis upon propriety and courtesy but, once the formalities were done with, there was little social distinction between members of different economic, political, or academic classes.110

In connection with control and representation, a great deal more can be said. In the first place, the relations between the governing ideologue in the Confucian teachings,111 and the governed accepters of the ideology in the Confucian system were to be discovered through yüeh.

[pg 092]

Yüeh, commonly translated “music” or “harmony,” plays a peculiar rôle in the Confucian teachings. It is the mass and individual emotional pattern, as li is the behavior pattern. If the people follow the proper behavior pattern, their emotional pattern must also be good. Consequently, the function of a truly excellent ruler was the scrutiny of yüeh. If he were a man of superior penetration, he should be able to feel the yüeh about him, and thus discover the temper of the populace, without reference to electoral machinery or any other government instrumentality. Yüeh is to be seen in the tone of voices, in the rhythm of behavior. If it is good, it will act with increasing effect upon itself. If bad, it serves as a warning to the authorities. As Prof. Hsü says, “For rulers and administrators yüeh has two uses; first, it enables them to ascertain the general sentiment of the people toward the government and political life; and second, it cultivates a type of individual attitude that is most harmonious with the environment. The joint work of li and yüeh would produce social harmony and social happiness—which is the ultimate aim of the State.”112

Yüeh is, however, a peculiar phenomenon, which can scarcely be called either representation or control. It is an idea rooted in the curiously pragmatic-mystical world-view of the Confucians, that same world-view which elevated virtue almost to the level of a physical substance, subject to the same sort of laws of disruption or transmission. Nothing like yüeh can be found in Western political thought; however significant it may have been in China, any attempt to deal with it in a Western language would have more than a touch of futility, because of the great chasm of strangeness that separates the two intellectual worlds at so many places.

A more concrete illustration of the old Chinese ideas of [pg 093] popular control may be found in the implications of political Confucianism, as Hsü renders them:

From the Confucian doctrine of stewardship, namely, that the king is an ordinary person selected by God upon his merit to serve as the steward of God in the control of the affairs of the people for the welfare of the people, there are deduced five theories of political democracy. In the first place, the government must respect public opinion. The will of the people is the will of God, and thus the king should obey both the will of the people and the will of God....

In the second place, government should be based upon the consent of the governed....

In the third place, the people have a duty as well as a right to carry on revolution as the last resort in stopping tyranny.... Revolution is regarded as a natural blessing; it guards against tyranny and promotes the vitality of the people. It is in complete harmony with natural law.

In the fourth place, the government exists for the welfare of the people.

In the fifth place, liberty, equality and equity should be preserved. The State belong equally to all; and so hereditary nobility, hereditary monarchy, and despotism are deplored. Confucius and his disciples seem to advocate a democracy under the form of an elective monarchy or a constitutional monarchy....

Local self-government is recognized in the Confucian system of government.... The Confucian theory of educational election suggests the distinctly new idea of representation.113

This summary could scarcely be improved upon although it represents a considerable latitude of interpretation in the subject-matter of the classics. The voice of the people was the voice of God. From other political writers of antiquity—Mêng Tzŭ, Mo Ti, Han Fei Tzŭ and the Legalists, and others—the Chinese received a variety of political interpretations, none of which fostered the development of autocracy as it developed in Europe.

[pg 094]

The reason for this is simple. In addition to the eventual popular control of government, and the necessity for the close attention of the government to the wishes of the people, the classical writers, for the most part, did not emphasize the position of government. With the increasing ideological solidarity of the Chinese world, the increasing antiquity and authority of tradition, and the stability of the social system, the Chinese states withered away—never completely, but definitely more so than their analogues in the West. There appeared, consequently, in China a form of laissez-faire that surpassed that of Europe completely in thoroughness. Not only were the economic functions of the state reduced to a minimum—so was its police activity. Old China operated with a government in reserve, as it were; a government which was nowhere nearly so important to its subjects as Western governments commonly are. The government system was one democratic in that it was rooted in a society without intransigeant class lines, with a considerable degree of social mobility for the individual, with the total number of individuals exercising a terrific and occasionally overwhelming pressure against the political system. And yet it was not the governmental system upon which old China might have based its claim to be a democracy. It could have, had it so wished, claimed that name because of the weakness or the absence of government, and the presence of other social organizations permitting the individual a considerable amount of latent pressure to exercise upon his social environment.

This arose from the nature of the large non-political organizations which sustained Chinese civilization even more than did the educational-administrative authorities. It is obvious that, in theory, a free and unassociated individual in a laissez-faire polity would be defenseless against extra-politically organized persons. The equities [pg 095] of modern democracy lie largely in the development of a check and balance system of pressure groups, affording each individual adequate means of exercising pressure on behalf of his various interests. It was this function—the development of a just statement of pressure-groups—which the old Chinese world-society developed for the sufficient representation of the individual.

There was no illusion of complete personal liberty. Such a notion was scarcely thinkable. Every individual had his family, his village, and—although this was by no means universally true—his hui, whether one or, less commonly, several. He was never left solitary and defenseless against powerfully organized interests. No more intimate community of interests could be discovered than that of a family, since the community of interests there would verge on the total. Ancient Chinese society provided the individual with mechanisms to make his interests felt and effective, through the family, the village, and the association.

In the West the line of influence runs from the individual, who feels a want, to the group which assists him in expressing it, to the government, upon which the group exercises pressure, in order that the government may use its power to secure what the first group wants from some other group. The line runs, as it were, in the following manner: individual-group-government-group. In China the group exercised its pressure for the most part directly. The individual need not incorporate himself in a group to secure the recognition and fulfillment of his interests; he was by birth a member of the group, and with the group was mobile. In a sense old Chinese society was thoroughly democratic.

On the basis of such a background, Sun Yat-sen did not believe that the Chinese had too much government, but, rather, too little. He did not cry for liberty; he denounced its excess instead. On the basis of the old social organization, which was fluid and yet stable, he sought to create a [pg 096] democracy which would pertain to the interests of the nation as a whole, not to the interests of individuals or groups. These could go on in the traditional manner. The qualifications implicit in Sun Yat-sen's championship of democracy must be kept in mind, and his acquaintance with the democratic techniques of the old society be allowed for. Otherwise his advocacy of the recognition of nationalist rights and his neglect or denunciation of individual liberties might be taken for the dogma of a lover of tyranny or dictatorship.

Old China possessed a considerable degree of egalitarianism, of social mobility, of popular control, and of popular participation, through the civil service, in what little government there was. In addition, ideological control ensured a minimum of conflicts of interests and consequently a maximum facility for self-expression without conflict with other individuals, groups, or society as a whole. Finally, the protection and advancement of individuals' rights and interests were fostered by a system of group relationships which bound virtually every individual into a group and left none to fall, solitary, at the mercy of others who were organized.

Why then did Sun Yat-sen advocate democracy? What were his justifications for it, in a society already so democratic?

Five Justifications of a Democratic Ideology.

Sun Yat-sen, realizing the inescapable necessity of nationalism, did not immediately turn to democracy as a necessary instrument for its promotion. He hated the Manchus on the Dragon Throne—human symbols of China's subjugation—but at first considered replacing them with a new Chinese dynasty. It was only after he had found the heirs of the Ming dynasty and the descendants [pg 097] of Confucius to be unworthy that he turned to republicanism and found democracy, with its many virtues.114 He early became enamored of the elective system, as found in the United States, as the only means of obtaining the best governors.115 In the final stage he had departed so far from his earlier way of thinking that he criticized Dr. Goodnow severely for recommending the re-introduction of a monarchy in China.

Sun Yat-sen, as a good nationalist, made earnest efforts to associate his doctrines with those of the sages and to avoid appearing as a proponent of Western civilization. It is, consequently, not unusual to discover him citing Confucius and Mencius on vox populi vox dei, and saying,

“The government of Yao and Shun was monarchical in name but democratic in practice, and for that reason Confucius honored these men.”116

[pg 098]

He considered that democracy was to the sages an “ideal that could not be immediately realized,”117 and therefore implied that modern China, in realizing democracy, was attaining an ideal cherished by the past. Democracy, other things apart, was a filial duty. This argument, while persuasive in Chinese, can scarcely be considered Sun Yat-sen's most important one in favor of democracy.

His most cogent and perhaps most necessary argument was based on his conception of national liberty as opposed to the liberty of the individual. He delivered a spirited denunciation of those foreigners who criticized the Chinese for being without liberty, and in the next breath complained that the Chinese had no government, that they were “loose sand.” (Another fashionable way of expressing this idea is by saying that “China is a geographical expression.”) He said: “If, for instance, the foreigners say that China is ‘loose sand,’ what do they finally mean by that expression? They mean to say that each individual is free, that everybody is free, that each one takes the maximum of liberty, and that, as a result, they are ‘loose sand’.”118 He pointed out that the Chinese had not suffered from the loose autocracy in the Empire, and that they had no historical justification for parroting the cry “Liberty!” simply because the Westerners, who had really lacked it, had cried and fought for it. He cited John Millar's definition of liberty, given in The Progress of Science Relative to Law and Government, 1787: “True liberty consists in this: that the liberty of each individual is limited by the non-infringement on the liberty of others; when it invades the liberty of others, it is no longer liberty.”119 Sun Yat-sen had himself defined liberty as [pg 099] follows: “Liberty consists in being able to move, in having freedom of action within an organized group.”120 China, disorganized, had no problem of individual liberty. There was, as a matter of fact, too much liberty.121 What the Chinese had to do was to sacrifice some of their individual liberty for the sake of the organized nation. Here we find a curious turn of thought of which several other examples may be found in the San Min Chu I: Sun Yat-sen has taken a doctrine which in the West applies to the individual, and has applied it to the nation. He believes in liberty; but it is not the liberty of the individual which is endangered in China. It is the liberty of the nation—which has been lost before foreign oppression and exploitation. Consequently he preaches national and not individual liberty. Individual liberty must be sacrificed for the sake of a free nation.122 Without discipline there is no order; without order the nation is weak and oppressed. The first step to China's redemption is min tsu, the union (nationalism) of the people. Then comes min ch'üan, the power of the people. The liberty of the nation is expressed through the power of the people.

How is the power of the people to be exercised? It is to be exercised by democratic means. To Sun Yat-sen, the liberty of the nation and the power of the people were virtually identical. If the Chinese race gained its freedom, that freedom, exercised in an orderly manner, could mean only democracy. It is this close association of nationalism (min tsu) and democracy (min ch'üan), this consideration of democracy as the expression of nationalism, that forms, within the framework of the San Min Chu I, what is probably the best nationalist argument for democracy—best, that is, in being most coherent with the Three Principles as a whole.

[pg 100]

If the view of democracy just expressed be considered an exposition of the fundamental necessity of democracy, the third argument may be termed the dialectical or historical championship of democracy. Sun Yat-sen believed in the existence of progress, and considered that there was an inevitable tendency toward democracy: the overthrow of the Manchus was a result of the “... world tide. That world current can be compared to the course of the Yangtze or the Yellow River. The flow of the stream turns perhaps in many directions, now toward the north, now toward the south, but in the end flows toward the east in spite of all obstacles; nothing can stem it. In the same way the world-tide passes ...; now it has arrived at democracy, and there is no way to stem it.”123 This belief in the inevitability as well as the justice of his cause encouraged Sun, and has lent to his movement—as his followers see it—something of the impressive sweep that the Communists see in their movement.

Sun Yat-sen did not devise any elaborate scheme of dialectical materialism or economic determinism to bolster his belief in the irreversibility of the flow to democracy. With infinite simplicity, he presented an exposition of democracy in space and time. In time, he saw a change from the rule of force to theocracy, then to monarchy, and then to democracy; this change was a part of the progress of mankind, which to him was self-evident and inevitable.124 In space he perceived that increasingly great numbers of people threw off monarchical rule and turned to democracy. He hailed the breakdown of the great empires, Germany and Russia, as evidence of the power of [pg 101] democracy. “... if we observe (things) from all angles, we see that the world progresses daily, and we realize that the present tide has already swept into the age of democracy; and that no matter how great drawbacks and failures may be, democracy will maintain itself in the world for a long time (to come). For that reason, thirty years ago, we promoters of the revolution, resolved that it was impossible to speak of the greatness of China or to carry out the revolution without advocating democracy.”125

A fourth argument in favor of democracy, and one which cannot be expanded here, since it involves reference to Sun Yat-sen's practical plans for the political regeneration of China, was his assertion that democracy was an adjunct to appropriate and effective public administration. Sun Yat-sen's plans concerning the selection of officials in a democratic state showed that he believed the merging of the Chinese academic-civil service technique with Western democracy would produce a paragon among practicable governments.

Fifthly and finally, Sun regarded democracy as an essential modernizing force.126 In the introduction of Western material civilization, which was always an important consideration to his mind, he felt that a certain ideological and political change had to accompany the economic and technological revolution that—in part natural and in part to be stimulated by nationalist political interference—was to revolutionize the min shêng of China, the economic and social welfare of the Chinese people. While this argument in favor of democracy is similar to the historical argument, it differs from the latter in that Sun Yat-sen saw the technique of democracy influencing not only the political, but the economic and social, life of the people as well. The growth of corporate responsibility, the development [pg 102] of a more rigid ethical system in matters of finance, the disappearance of too strict an emphasis upon the personal element in politics (which has clouded Chinese politics with a fog of conspiracy and intrigue for centuries), a trust in mathematics (as shown in reliance upon the voting technique for ascertaining public opinion), and the development of a new kind of individual aggressiveness and uprightness were among the changes which, necessary if China was to compete in the modern world, democracy might assist in effecting. While these desiderata do not seem large when set down in the vast field of political philosophy, they are of irritating importance in the inevitable trivalities upon which so much of day-to-day life depends, and would undoubtedly improve the personal tone of Sino-Western relations. Sun never divorced the theoretical aspects of his thought from the practical, as has been done here for purposes of exposition, and even the tiniest details of everyday existence were the objects of his consideration and criticism. In itself, therefore, the modernizing force of democracy, as seen in Sun's theory, may not amount to much; nevertheless, it must not be forgotten.127

Democracy, although secondary in point of time to his theory, is of great importance in Sun's plans for the political nature of the new China. He justified democracy because it was (1) an obligation laid upon modern China by the sages of antiquity; (2) a necessary consequence of nationalism, since nationalism was the self-rule of a free people, and democracy the effectuation of that self-rule, and democracy the effectuation of that self-rule; (3) the government of the modern age; China, along with the rest of the world, was drawn by the tide of progress into the [pg 103] age of democratic achievement; (4) the political form best calculated for the obtaining of good administration; and (5) a modernizing force that would stir and change the Chinese people so as to equip them for the competitions of the modern world.

In the lecture in which he criticized the inadequacies of democracy as applied in the West, Sun Yat-sen made an interesting comment on the proletarian dictatorship which had recently been established in Russia. “Recently Russia invented another form of government. That government is not representative; it is absolute popular government. In what does that absolute popular government really consist? As we know very little about it, we cannot judge it aright, but we believe that this (absolute popular government) is evidently much better than a representative government.”128 He went on immediately to say that the Three Principles were what China needed, and that the Chinese should not imitate the political systems advocated in Europe and America, but should adapt democracy in their own way. In view of his objection to a permanent class dictatorship, as opposed to a provisional party dictatorship, and the very enthusiastic advocacy of democracy represented by the arguments described above, it appears unlikely in the extreme that Sun Yat-sen, had he lived beyond 1925, would have abandoned his own plan of democracy for China in favor of “absolute popular government.” The phrase was, at the time, since Sun Yat-sen was seeking Russian assistance, expedient for a popular lecture. Its importance might easily be exaggerated.

The Three Natural Classes of Men.

Having in mind the extreme peril in which the Chinese race-nation stood, its importance in a world of Western or [pg 104] Western-type states, and seeing nationalism as the sole means of defending and preserving China, Sun Yat-sen demanded that the Chinese ideology be extended by the acquisition of knowledge. If this modernizing and, if a neologism be permitted, stateizing process were to succeed, it must needs be fostered by a well-prepared group of persons within the society.

In the case of the Confucian social theory, it was the scholars who took the ideology from the beliefs and traditions of the agrarian masses or whole people, rectified it, and gave it back to them. This continuous process of ideological maintenance by means of conformity (li) and, when found necessary, rectification (chêng ming) was carried on by an educational-political system based upon a non-hereditary caste of academician-officials called Mandarins by the early Western travellers. In the case of those modern Western states which base their power upon peculiar ideologies, the philosophy-imposing caste has been a more or less permanent party- or class-dictatorship. Superficially, the party-dictatorship planned by Sun Yat-sen would seem to resemble these. His theory, however, presents two bases for a class of ideologues: one theoretical, and presumably based upon the Chinese; and one applied, which is either of his own invention or derived from Western sources. The class of ideological reformers proposed in what may be called the applied aspect of his theory was to be organized by means of the party-dictatorship of the Kuomintang. His other basis for finding a class of persons whose influence over the ideology was to be paramount was more theoretical, and deserves consideration among the more abstract aspects of his doctrines.

He hypothecated a tripartite division of men:

Men may be divided into three classes according to their innate ability or intelligence. The first class of men may be called hsien chih hsien cho or the geniuses. The geniuses are endowed with [pg 105]unusual intelligence and ability. They are the creators of new ideas, fathers of invention, and originators of new achievements. They think in terms of group welfare and so they are the promoters of progress. Next are the hou chih hou cho or the followers.Being less intelligent and capable than the hsien chih hsien cho, they do not create or invent or originate, but they are good imitators and followers of the first class of men. The last are the pu chih pu cho, or the unthinking, whose intelligence is inferior to that of the other two classes of men. These people do what the others instruct them to do, but they do not think about it. In every sphere of activity all three classes of men are present. In politics, for example, there are the creators or inventors of new ideas and movements, then the propagators of these ideas and movements, and lastly the mass of men who are taught to practice these ideas.129

The harmony of this conception with the views of Confucius is evident. Presbyter is Priest writ large; genius is another name for scholar. Sun, although bitterly opposed to the mandarinate of the Empire and the pseudo-Republic, could not rid himself of the age-old Chinese idea of a class organization on a basis of intellect rather than of property. He could not champion a revolutionary creed based upon an economic class-war which he did not think existed, and which he did not wish to foster, in his own country. He continued instead the consistent theory of an aristocracy of intellect, such as had controlled China before his coming.

The aristocracy of intellect is not to be judged, however, by the old criteria. Under the old regime, a scholar-ruler was one who deferred to the wisdom of the ancients, who was fit to perpetuate the mysteries of the written language and culture for the benefit of future ages, and who was [pg 106] meanwhile qualified by his training to assume the rôle of counsellor and authority in society. In the theory of Sun Yat-sen, the genius leader is not the perpetuator but the discoverer. He is the social engineer. His work is similar to that of the architect who devises plans for a building which is to be built by workers (the unthinking) under the guidance of foremen (the followers).130 In this guise, the new intellectual aristocrat is a figure more akin to the romantic Western pioneers and inventors than to the serene, conservative scholars of China in the past.

The break with Western thought comes in Sun's distinguishing three permanent, natural classes of men. Though in their aptitudes the hsien chih hsien cho are more like modern engineers than like archaic literary historians, they form a class that is inevitably the ruling class. To Marxism this is anathema; it would imply that the Communist party is merely the successor of the bourgeoisie in leading the unthinking masses about—a more benevolent successor, to be sure, but still a class distinct from the led proletariat of the intellect. To Western democratic thought, this distinction would seem at first glance to invalidate any future advocacy of democracy. To the student interested in contrasting ideological control and political government, the tripartite division of Sun Yat-sen is significant of the redefinition in modern terms, and in an even more clear-cut manner, of the Confucian theory of scholarly leadership.

How were the geniuses of the Chinese resurgence to make their knowledge useful to the race-nation? How could democracy be recognized with the leadership and ideological control of an intellectual class? To what [pg 107] degree would such a reconciliation, if effected, represent a continuation, in different terms, of the traditions and institutions of the old Chinese world? Questions such as these arise from the fusion of the old traditions and new necessities.

Ch'üan and Nêng.

The contrast between ch'üan and nêng is one of the few aspects of Sun Yat-sen's theory of democracy which persons not interested in China may, conceivably, regard as a contribution to political science. There is an extraordinarily large number of possible translations for each of these words.131 A version which may prove convenient and not inaccurate, can be obtained by translating each Chinese term according to its context. Thus, a fairly clear idea of ch'üan may be obtained if one says that, applied to the individual, it means “power,” or “right,” and when applied to the exercise of political functions, it means “sovereignty” or “political proprietorship.” Nêng, applied to the individual, may mean “competency” (in the everyday sense of the word), “capacity” or “ability to administer.” Applied to the individual, the contrast is between the ability to have political rights in a democracy, and the ability to administer public affairs. Applied to the nation, the contrast is between sovereignty and administration.132

Without this contrast, the doctrine of the tripartite classification of men might destroy all possibilities of a practical democracy. If the Unthinking are the majority, how can democracy be trusted? This contrast, furthermore, serves to illuminate a further problem: the paradoxical necessity of an all-powerful government which the people are able to control.

[pg 108]

If this distinction is accepted in the establishment of a democracy, what will the consequences be?133

In the first place, the masses who rule will not necessarily govern. Within the framework of a democratic constitution, they will be able to express their wishes, and make those wishes effective; but it will be impossible for them to interfere in the personnel of government, whether merely administrative or in the highest positions. It will be forever impossible that a “swine-representative” should be elected, or that one of those transient epochs of carpet-baggery, which appear from time to time in most Western democracies, should corrupt the government. By means of the popular rights of initiative, referendum, election and recall, the people will be able to control their government in the broad sweep of policy. The government will be beyond their reach insofar as petty political interference, leading to inferiority or corruption, is concerned.

In the second place, the benefits of aristocracy will be obtained without its cost. The government will be made up of men especially fit and trained to govern. There will, hence, be no difficulty in permitting the government to become extraordinarily powerful in contrast with Western governments. Since the masses will be able to choose between a wide selection of able leaders, the democracy will be safeguarded.

Sun Yat-sen regarded this as one of the cardinal points in his doctrines. In retaining the old Chinese idea of a scholar class and simultaneously admitting Western elective and other democratic techniques, he believed that he [pg 109] had found a scheme which surpassed all others. He saw the people as stockholders in a company, and the administrators as directors; he saw the people as the owner of an automobile, and the administrators as the chauffeur.

A further consequence of this difference between the right of voting and the right of being voted for, but one to which Sun Yat-sen did not refer, necessarily arises from his postulation of a class of geniuses leading their followers, who control the unthinking masses. That is the continuity which such a group of ideological controllers would impart to a democracy. Sun Yat-sen, addressing Chinese, took the Chinese world for granted. A Westerner, unmindful of the background, might well overlook some comparatively simple points. The old system, under which the Empire was a sort of educational system, was a familiar feature in the politics which Sun Yat-sen criticized. In arguing for the political acceptance of inequality and the guarantee of government by a select group, Sun was continuing the old idea of leadership, modifying it only so far as to make it consistent with democracy. Under the system he proposed, the two great defects of democracy, untrustworthiness and lack of continuity of policy, would be largely eliminated.

The Democratic Machine State.

Throughout pre-modern Chinese thought there runs the idea of personal behavior and personal controls. The Chinese could not hypostatize in the manner of the West. Looking at men they saw men and nothing more. Considering the problems and difficulties which men encountered, they sought solutions in terms of men and the conditioning intimacies of each individual's life. The Confucian Prince was not so much an administrator as a moral leader; his influence, extending itself through imitation on the part of others, was personal and social rather than [pg 110] political.134 In succeeding ages, the scholars thought of themselves as the leaven of virtue in society. They stressed deportment and sought, only too frequently by means of petty formalities, to impress their own excellence and pre-eminence upon the people. Rarely, if ever, did the scholar-official appeal to formal political law. He was more likely to invoke propriety and proceed to exercise his authority theoretically in accordance with it.

Sun Yat-sen did not feel that further appeal to the intellectual leaders was necessary. In an environment still dominated by the past, an exhortation for the traditional personal aspect of leadership would probably have appeared as a centuries-old triteness. The far-seeing men, the geniuses that Sun saw in all society, owed their superiority not to artificial inequality but to natural inequality;135 by their ability they were outstanding. Laws and customs could outrage this natural inequality, or conceal it behind a legal facade of artificial inequality or equally artificial equality. Laws and customs do not change the facts. The superior man was innately the superior man.

Nevertheless, the geniuses of the Chinese revolution could not rely upon the loose and personal system of influence hitherto trusted. To organize Chinese nationalism, to give it direction as well as force, the power of the people must be run through a machine—the State.

A distinction must be made here. The term “machine,” applied to government, was itself a neologism introduced from the Japanese.136 Not only was the word but the thing itself was alien to the Chinese, since the same term (ch'i) meant machinery, tool, or instrument. The introduction of the view of the state as a machine does not imply that [pg 111] Sun Yat-sen wished to introduce a specific form of Western state-machine into China—as will be later explained (in the pages which concern themselves with the applied political science of Sun Yat-sen).

Sun was careful, moreover, to explain that his analogy between industrial machinery and political machinery was merely an analogy. He said, “The machinery of the government is entirely composed of human beings. All its motions are brought about by men and not by material objects. Therefore, there is a very great difference between the machinery of the government and the manufacturing machine ... the machinery of the government is moved by human agency whereas the manufacturing machine is set in motion by material forces.”137

Even after allowance has been made for the fact that Sun Yat-sen did not desire to import Western governmental machinery, nor even to stress the machine and state analogy too far, it still remains extraordinarily significant that he should have impressed upon his followers the necessity of what may be called a mechanical rather than an organic type of government. The administrative machine of the Ch'ing dynasty, insofar as it was a machine at all, was a chaotic mass of political authorities melting vaguely into the social system. Sun's desire to have a clear-cut machine of government, while not of supreme [pg 112] importance in his ideological projects, was of great significance in his practical proposal. In his theory the state machine bears the same resemblance to the old government that the Chinese race-nation bears to the now somewhat ambiguous civilized humanity of the Confucians. In both instances he was seeking sharper and more distinct lines of demarcation.

In putting forth his proposals for the reconstitution of the Chinese government he was thinking, in speaking of a state-machine, of the more or less clearly understood juristic states of the West.138 His concrete proposals dealing with the minutiae of administrative organization, his emphasis on constitution and law, and his interest in the exact allocation of control all testify to his complete acceptance of a sharply delimited state. On the other hand, he was extraordinary for his time in demanding an unusual extent, both qualitative and quantitative, of power for the state which he wished to hammer out on the forges of the nationalist social and political revolution.

In summarizing this description of the instrument with which Sun Yat-sen hoped to organize the intellectual leaders of China so as to implement the force of the revolution, it may be said that it was to be a state-machine, as opposed to a totalitarian state, based upon Western juristic theory in general but organized out of the materials of old Chinese political philosophy and the Imperial experience in government.139 The state machine was to be [pg 113] built along lines which Sun Yat-sen laid out in some detail. Yet, even with his elaborate plans already prepared, and in the midst of a revolution, he pointed out the difficulty of political experimentation, in the following words:

... the progress of human machinery, as government organizations and the like, has been very slow. What is the reason? It is that once a manufacturing machine has been constructed, it can easily be tested, and after it has been tried out, it can easily be put aside if it is not good, and if it is not perfect, it can easily be perfected. But it is very difficult to try out a human machine and more difficult still to perfect it after it has been tried out. It is impossible to perfect it without bringing about a revolution. The only other way would be to regard it as a useless material machine which can easily be turned into scrap iron. But this is not workable.140

Democratic-Political Versus Ideological Control.

Sun Yat-sen accepted an organization of society based upon intellectual differences, despite his belief in the justifiability and necessity of formal democracy, and his reconciliation of the two at first contradictory theses in a plan for a machine state to be based upon a distinction between ch'üan and nêng. It may now be asked, why did Sun Yat-sen, familiar with the old method of ideological control, and himself proposing a new ideology which would not only restore internal harmony but also put China into harmony with the actual political condition of the world, desire to add formal popular control to ideological control?

The answer is not difficult, although it must be based for the most part on inference rather than on direct citation of Sun Yat-sen's own words. In the consideration of the system of ideological control fostered by the Confucians, [pg 114] ideological control presented two distinct aspects: the formation of the ideology by men, and control of men by the ideology. The ideology controlled men; some men sought to control the ideology; the whole ideological control system was based upon the continuous interaction of cause and effect, wherein tradition influenced the men who sought to use the system as a means of mastery, while the same men succeeded in a greater or less degree in directing the development of the ideology.

In the old Chinese world-society the control of the ideology was normally vested in the literati who were either government officials or hoped to become such. The populace, however, acting in conformity with the ideology, could overthrow the government, and, to that extent, consciously control the content and the development of the ideology. Moreover, as the efficacy of an ideology depends upon its greater acceptance, the populace had the last word in control of the ideology both consciously and unconsciously. Politics, however, rarely comes to the last word. In the normal and ordinary conduct of social affairs, the populace was willing to let the literati uphold the classics and modify their teachings in accordance with the development of the ideology—in the name of chêng ming. The old ideology was so skilfully put together out of traditional elements that are indissociable from the main traits of Chinese culture, together with the revisions made by Confucius and his successors, that it was well-nigh unchallengeable. The whole Confucian method of government was based, as previously stated, on the control of men through the control of their ideas by men—and these latter men, the ideologues, were the scholar administrators of successive dynasties. The identification of the literati and officials, the respect in which learning was held, the general distribution of a leaven of scholars through all the families of the Empire, and the completeness—almost [pg 115] incredible to a Westerner—of traditional orthodoxy, permitted the interpreters of the tradition also to mould and transform it to a considerable degree. As a means of adjusting the mores through the course of centuries, interpretation succeeded in gradually changing popular ideas, where open and revolutionary heterodoxy would have failed.

Now, in modern times, even though men might still remain largely under the control of the ideology (learn to behave rightly instead of being governed), the ideology was necessarily weakened in two ways: by the appearance of men who were recalcitrant to the ideology, and by the emergence of conceptions and ideas which could not find a place in the ideology, and which consequently opened up extra-ideological fields of individual behavior. In other words, li was no longer all-inclusive, either as to men or as to realms of thought. Its control had never, of course, been complete, for in that case all institutions of government would have become superfluous in China and would have vanished; but its deficiencies in past ages had never been so great; either with reference to insubordinate individuals or in regard to unassimilable ideas, as they were in modern times.

Hence the province of government had to be greatly extended. The control of men by the ideology was incomplete wherever the foreign culture had really struck the Chinese—as, for instance, in the case of the newly-developed Chinese proletariat, which could not follow the Confucian precepts in the slums of twentieth-century industry. The family system, the village, and the guild were to the Chinese proletarians mere shadows of a past; they were faced individually with the problems of a foreign social life suddenly interjected into that of the Chinese. True instances of the interpenetration of opposites, they were Chinese from the still existing old society of China [pg 116] suddenly transposed into an industrial world in which the old ideology was of little relevance. If they were to remain Chinese they had to be brought again into the fold of the Chinese ideology; and, meanwhile, instead of being controlled ideologically, they must be controlled by the sharp, clear action of government possessing a monopoly of the power of coercion. The proletarians were not, indeed, the only group of Chinese over whom the old ideology had lost control. There were the overseas Chinese, the new Chinese finance-capitalists, and others who had adjusted their personal lives to the Western world. These had done so incompletely, and needed the action of government to shield them not only from themselves and from one another, but from their precarious position in their relations with the Westerners.

Other groups had not completely fallen away from the ideology, but had found major sections of it to be unsuitable to the regulation of their own lives. Virtue could not be found in a family system which was slowly losing its polygynous character and also slowly giving place to a sort of social atomism; the intervention of the machine state was required to serve as a substitute for ideological regulation until such a time as the new ideology should have developed sufficiently to restore relevance to traditions.

Indeed, throughout all China, there were few people who were not touched to a greater or less degree by the consequences of the collision of the two intellectual worlds, the nationalistic West and the old Chinese world-society. However much Chinese might desire to continue in their traditional modes of behavior, it was impossible for them to live happy and progressive lives by virtue of having memorized the classics and paid respect to the precepts of tradition, as had their forefathers. In all cases where the old ideas failed, state and law suddenly acquired [pg 117] a new importance—almost overwhelming to some Chinese—as the establishers of the new order of life. Even etiquette was established by decree, in the days of the parliamentary Republic at Peking; the age-old assurance of Chinese dress and manners was suddenly swept away, and the government found itself forced to decree frock-coats.

Successive governments in the new China had fallen, not because they did too much, but because they did too little. The sphere of state activity had become enormous in contrast to what it had been under more than a score of dynasties, and the state had perforce to intervene in almost every walk of life, and every detail of behavior. Yet this intervention, although imperative, was met by the age-old Chinese contempt for government, by the determined adherence to traditional methods of control in the face of situations to which now they were no longer relevant. It was this paradox, the ever-broadening necessity of state activity in the face of traditional and unrealistic opposition to state activity, which caused a great part of the turmoil in the new China. Officials made concessions to the necessity for state action by drafting elaborate codes on almost every subject, and then, turning about, also made concessions to the traditional non-political habits of their countrymen by failing to enforce the codes which they had just promulgated. The leaders of the Republic, and their followers in the provinces, found themselves with laws which could not possibly be introduced in a nation unaccustomed to law and especially unaccustomed to law dealing with life in a Western way; thus baffled, but perhaps not disappointed, the pseudo-republican government officials were content with developing a shadow state, a shadow body of law, and then ignoring it except as a tool in the vast pandemonium of the tuchunates—where state and law were valued only in [pg 118] so far as they served to aggrandize or enrich military rulers and their hangers-on.

This tragic dilemma led Sun Yat-sen to call for a new kind of state, a state which was to be democratic and yet to lead back to ideological control. The emergency of imperialism and internal impotence made it imperative that the state limit its activities to those provinces of human behavior in which it could actually effectuate its decrees, and that, after having so limited the field of its action, it be well-nigh authoritarian within that field. Yet throughout the whole scheme, Sun Yat-sen's deep faith in the common people required him to demand that the state be democratic in principle and practice.

It may begin to be apparent that, at least for Sun Yat-sen, the control of the race-nation by the ideology was not inconsistent with the political control of the race-nation by itself. In the interval between the old certainty and the new, political authority had to prevail. This authority was to be directed by the people but actually wielded by the geniuses of the revolution. The new ideology was to emerge from the progress of knowledge not, as before, among a special class of literary persons, but through all the people. It was to be an ideology based on practical experience and on the experimental method, and consequently, perhaps, less certain then the old Confucian ideology, which was in its foundations religious. To fill in the gaps where uniformity of thought and behavior, on the basis of truth, had not been established, the state was to act, and the state had to be responsible to the people.

At this point it may be remembered that Sun Yat-sen was among the very few Chinese leaders of his day who could give the historians of the future any valid reasons for supposing that they believed in republican principles. Too many of the militarists and scholar-politicians of the [pg 119] North and South paid a half-contemptuous lip-service to the republic, primarily because they could not agree as to which one of them should have the Dragon Throne, or, at the least, the honor of restoring the Manchu Emperor—who stayed on in the Forbidden City until 1924.141 Sun Yat-sen had a deep faith in the judgment and trustworthiness of the uncounted swarms of coolies and farmers whom most Chinese leaders ignored. He was perhaps the only man of his day really loved by the illiterate classes that knew of him, and was always faithful to their love. Other leaders, both Chinese and Western, have praised the masses but refused to trust them for their own good. Sun's implicit belief in the political abilities of the common people in all matters which their knowledge equipped them to judge, was little short of ludicrous to many of his contemporaries, and positively irritating to some persons who wished him well personally but did not—at least privately—follow all of his ideas.

To return to the consideration of the parts played by ideology and popular government in social control: there was another point of great difference between the old ideology and the new. The old was the creation, largely, of a special class of scholars, who for that purpose ranked highest in the social hierarchy of old China. Now even though the three natural classes might continue to be recognized in China, the higher standard of living and the increased literacy of the populace was to enlarge the number of persons participating in the life of ideas. The people were to form the ideology in part, and in part control the government under whose control the revolutionary geniuses were to form the rest of the ideology, [pg 120] and propagate it through a national educational program. In all respects the eventual control was to rest with the people of the Chinese race-nation, united, self-ruling, and determined to survive.

How, then, does the pattern of min ch'üan fit into the larger scheme of the continuation of Confucian civilization and ideological control? First, the old was to continue undisturbed where it might. Second, those persons completely lost to the discipline of the old ideology must be controlled by the state. Third, those areas of behavior which were disturbed by the Western impact required state guidance. Fourth, the machine state was to control both these fields, of men, and of ideas, and within this limited field was to be authoritarian (“an all-powerful state”) and yet democratic (“nevertheless subject to the control of the people”). Fifth, the ideology was to arise in part from the general body of the people. Sixth, the other parts of it were to be developed by the intellectuals, assisted by the government, which was to be also under the control of the people. Seventh, since the world was generally in an unstable condition, and since many wrongs remained to be righted, it was not immediately probable that the Chinese would settle down to ideological serenity and certainty, and consequently State policy would still remain as a governmental question, to be decided by the will of the whole race-nation.

To recapitulate, then the people was to rule itself until the reappearance of perfect tranquility—ta t'ung—or its nearest mundane equivalent. The government was to serve as a canalization of the power of the Chinese race-nation in fighting against the oppressor-nations of the world for survival.

The last principle of the nationalist ideology remains to be studied. Min tsu, nationalism, was to provide an instrumentality for self-control and for external defense [pg 121] in a world of armed states. But these two would remain ineffectual in a starved and backward country, if they were not supplemented by a third principle designed to relieve the physical impotence of the nation, to promote the material happiness of its individual members and to guarantee the continued survival of the Chinese society as a whole. Union and self-rule could be frustrated by starvation. China needed not only to become united and free as a nation; it had also to become physically healthy and wealthy. This was to be effected through min shêng, the third of the three principles.

[pg 122]

Chapter IV. The Theory of Min Shêng.

Min Shêng in the Ideology.

The principle of min shêng has been the one most disputed. Sun Yat-sen made his greatest break with the old ideology in promulgating this last element in his triune doctrine; the original Chinese term carried little meaning that could be used in an approach to the new meaning that Sun Yat-sen gave it. He himself stated that the two words had become rather meaningless in their old usage, and that he intended to use them with reference to special conditions in the modern world.142 He then went on to state the principle in terms so broad, so seemingly contradictory, that at times it appears possible for each man to read in it what he will, as he may in the Bible. The Communists and the Catholics each approve of the third principle, but translate it differently; the liberals render it by a term which is not only innocuous but colorless.143 Had [pg 123] Sun Yat-sen lived to finish the lectures on min shêng, he might have succeeded in rounding off his discussion of the principle.

There are two methods by means of which the principle of min shêng may be examined. It might be described on the basis of the various definitions which Sun Yat-sen gave it in his four lectures and in other speeches and papers, and outlined, point by point, by means of the various functions and limits that he set for it. This would also permit some consideration of the relation of min shêng to various other theories of political economy. The other approach may be a less academic one, but perhaps not altogether unprofitable. By means of a reconsideration of the first two principles, and of the structure and meaning of the three principles as a whole, it is possible to surmise, if not to establish, the meaning of min shêng, that is, to discover it through a sort of political triangulation: the first two principles being given, to what third principle do they lead?

This latter method may be taken first, since it will afford a general view of the three principles which will permit the orientation of min shêng with reference to the nationalist ideology as a whole, and prepare the student for a solution of some of the apparent contradictions which are to be found in the various specific definitions of min shêng.

Accepting the elementary thesis of the necessary awakening of the race-nation, and its equally necessary self-rule, both as a nation vis-à-vis other nations, and as a world by itself, one may see that these are each social problems of organization which do not necessarily involve [pg 124] the physical conditions of the country, although, as a matter of application, they would be ineffectual in a country which did not have the adequate means of self-support. Sun Yat-sen was interested in seeing the Chinese people and Chinese civilization survive, and by survival he meant not only the continuation of social organization and moral and intellectual excellence, but, more than these, the actual continued existence of the great bulk of the population. The most vital problem was that of the continued existence of the Chinese as a people, which was threatened by the constant expansion of the West and might conceivably share the fate of the American Indians—a remnant of a once great race living on the charity of their conquerors. Sun Yat-sen expressly recognized this problem as the supreme one, requiring immediate attention.144 Nationalism and democracy would have no effect if the race did not survive to practise them.

The old Chinese society may be conceived as a vast system of living men, who survived by eating and breeding, and who were connected with one another in time by the proper attention to the ancestral cults, and in space by a common consciousness of themselves as the standard-bearers of the civilization of the world. Sun Yat-sen, although a Christian, was not unmindful of this outlook; he too was sensible of the meaning of the living race through the centuries. He dutifully informed the Emperor T'ai Tsung of Ming that the Manchus had been driven from the throne, and some years later he expressed the deepest reverence for the ancestral cult.145 But in facing the emergency with which his race was confronted, Sun Yat-sen could not overlook the practical question of physical survival.

[pg 125]

He was, therefore, materialistic in so far as his recognition of the importance of the material well-being of the race-nation made him so. At this point he may be found sympathetic with the Marxians, though his ideology as a whole is profoundly Chinese. The destitution, the economic weakness, the slow progress of his native land were a torture to his conscience. In a world of the most grinding poverty, where war, pestilence, and famine made even mere existence uncertain, he could not possibly overlook the problem of the adequate material care of the vast populace that constituted the race-nation.

Min shêng, accordingly, meant primarily the survival of the race-nation, as nationalism was its awakening, and democracy its self-control. No one of these could be effective without the two others. In the fundamentals of Sun Yat-sen's ideology, the necessity for survival and prosperity is superlative and self-evident. All other features of the doctrine are, as it were, optional. The first two principles definitely required a third that would give them a body of persons upon which to operate; they did not necessarily require that the third principle advance any specific doctrine. If this be the case, it is evident that the question of the content of min shêng, while important, is secondary to the first premises of the San Min Chu I. The need for a third principle—one of popular subsistence—in the ideology is vital; the San Min Chu I would be crippled without it.

The Economic Background of Min Shêng.

What was the nature of the background which decided Sun Yat-sen to draw an economic program into the total of his nationalist ideology for the regeneration of China through a nationalist revolution? Was Sun Yat-sen dissatisfied [pg 126] with the economic order of the old society? Was he interested in a reconstitution of the economic system for the sake of defense against Western powers?

He was unquestionably dissatisfied with the economic order of things in the old society, but it was a dissatisfaction with what the old order had failed to achieve rather than a feeling of the injustice of the Chinese distributive system. He was bitter against a taxation system which worked out unevenly,146 and against the extortions of the internal-transit revenue officials under the Empire.147 He was deeply impressed by his first encounter with Western mechanical achievement—the S. S. Grannoch, which took him from Kwangtung to Honolulu.148 But he had served in the shop of his brother as a young boy,149 and knew the small farm life of South China intimately. On the basis of this first-hand knowledge, and his many years of association with the working people of China, he was not likely to attack the old economic system for its injustice so much as for its inadequacy.150

That there were injustices in the old system of Chinese economy, no one can deny, but these injustices were scarcely sufficient to provoke, of themselves alone, the complete alteration of economic outlook that Sun Yat-sen proposed. Chinese capitalism had not reached the state of industrial capitalism until after its contact with the West; at the most it was a primitive sort of usury-capitalism practised by the three economically dominant groups of old China—landholders, officials, and merchant-usurers.151 The disturbances which hurt the economic condition [pg 127] of the country, and thereby led to greater disturbances, had involved China in a vicious cycle of decline which could scarcely be blamed on any one feature or any one group in the old economy. The essential fault lay with the condition of the country as a whole, directly affected by the economic consequences of Western trade and partial industrialization.152

Sun Yat-sen's positive dissatisfaction with the economy of his time arose from the position which he felt China had in the modern business world. He believed that, by virtue of the economic oppression of the Chinese by the Western powers, China had been degraded to the position of the lowest nation on earth—that the Chinese were even more unfortunate than “slaves without a country,” such as the Koreans and the Annamites.153 The particular forms of this oppression, and Sun Yat-sen's plans for meeting it, may be more aptly described in the consideration of his program of economic national regeneration.154 The Chinese nation occupied the ignominious position of a sub-colony or—as Sun himself termed it—“a hypo-colony”; “Our people are realizing that to be a semi-colony is a national disgrace; but our case is worse than that; our country is in the position of a sub-colony (since it is the colony of all the Great Powers and not merely subject to one of them), a position which is inferior to an ordinary colony such as Korea and Annam.”155

[pg 128]

What, then, were the positive implications of the principle of min shêng in the nationalist ideology?

The Three Meanings of Min Shêng.

First, min shêng is the doctrine leading the nationalist democracy on its road to a high position among the nations of the earth; only through the material strength to be found in min shêng can the Chinese attain a position by which they can exert the full force of their new-formed state against the invaders and oppressors, and be able to lift up the populace so that democracy will possess some actual operative meaning. Min shêng is “... the center of politics, of economics, of all kinds of historical movements; it is similar to the center of gravity in space.”156 It provides the implementation of nationalism and democracy.

Secondly, min shêng means national enrichment. The problem of China is primarily one of poverty. Sun wanted consideration of the problem of the livelihood of the people to begin with the supreme economic reality in China. What was this reality? “It is the poverty from which we all suffer. The Chinese in general are poor; among them there is no privileged wealthy class, but only a generality of ordinary poor people.”157 However this enrichment was to be brought about, it was imperative.

Thirdly, min shêng, as the doctrine of enrichment, was also the doctrine of economic justice. If the nation was to become economically healthy, it could only do so on the basis of the proper distribution of property among its citizens. Its wealth would not bring about well-being unless it were properly distributed.

[pg 129]

More briefly, min shêng may be said to be the thesis of the indispensability of: 1) a national economic revolution against imperialism and for democracy; 2) an industrial revolution for the enrichment of China; and 3) a prophylactic against social revolution.

The significance of min shêng as the economic implementation of nationalism and democracy is clear enough to require no further discussion. Its significance as a doctrine for the promotion of the industrial revolution is considerable, and worth attention.

Western science was to sow the seed. Min shêng economy was to reap the harvest. By means of the details in Sun Yat-sen's programs which he believed sufficient for the purposes, the modernization of China, which was to be a consequence of Western science in the ideology, was to lead at the same time to the actual physical enrichment of the economic goods and services of the country. The advocacy of industrial development is, of course, a commonplace in the Western world, but in China it was strikingly novel. Sun Yat-sen did not regard industrialism as a necessary evil; he considered it a positive blessing, as the means of increasing the material welfare of the Chinese people.

Time and time again, Sun Yat-sen emphasized the necessity of modernization. His theory of nationalism led him to urge the introduction of Western physical science into the ideology. His theory of democracy was justified in part by the fact that democracy was to be regarded as a modernizing force. Now his principle of min shêng was also to lead to that great end—the modernization of China to a degree to permit the race-nation to regain in the modern world, which encompassed the whole planet, the position it had once had in the smaller world of Eastern Asia.

The wealth of old China had been one of the factors enabling it to resist destruction at the spear-points of its [pg 130] barbarian conquerors. Sun Yat-sen knew this, and knew also that the position of the United States—which had probably the greatest concentration of social and physical wealth and power under one political system that the world had ever known—made that nation impregnable in the modern world. Seeing that wealth was not only a blessing to individuals, but to nations as well, he was anxious that his beloved China should be guarded and assisted by the strength that the ideology of min shêng, once accepted and effectuated, could give it.

Min shêng is more than a vague aspiration for national welfare. The general theory of nationalism and democracy required an additional point to make them effective in the realities of international politics, and min shêng was to supply the hygienic and economic strength that the Chinese race-nation needed for competition and survival; but it was to do more.

Min shêng is at the same time the last step of Chinese resistance and the first of Chinese submission to Western culture. In seeking an economic policy and an ideology which would lead to increased wealth of the nation, the Chinese were preparing to resist the West with its own weapons. Min shêng is a submission in that it is a deliberate declaration of industrial revolution.

It is beside the point to consider the ideological bases of the Western industrial revolution. It was perhaps neither a voluntary nor a deliberate process at all; no man in the first few decades of the nineteenth century could have foretold what the end of a process of mechanization would bring, or was likely to advocate the intentional following of a policy which would transform the orientation and organization of man more thoroughly than had any previous religious, political, and economic transition. The industrial revolution of Euramerica, when viewed from the outside, presents the appearance of a colossal accident, whether for good or for bad, which was but half-perceived [pg 131] by the participants in it. Even today, when the ideology and the institutional outline of the agrarian-handicraft past is fading swiftly away in the new brilliance of Western machine-culture, the new certainty, the new order have not yet appeared. The great transition works its way beyond the knowledge or the intervention of individual men.

This was decidedly not the case in China. Industrialism was something which could be studied from the outside, which could be appraised, and then acclaimed or resisted. Emperor Meiji and his Genro, with a flash of intuition or an intellectual penetration almost unparalleled in the political history of the world, guided Japan into the swift current of mechanical progress; the island empire swept ahead of Asia, abreast of the most powerful states of the world. The Chinese court, under the resolute, but blind, guidance of the Empress Dowager, made a few feeble gestures in favor of modernization, but vigorously opposed any change which might seriously modify the order of Chinese society or the position of the Manchus. In the shadow of the foreign guns, industrialism crept into China, along the coasts and up the banks of the navigable rivers. One might suppose that the Chinese were in a position to choose, deliberately, for or against industrialism. They were not; in China, as in the West, the machine age first appeared largely as an accident.

It is here that the significance of Sun Yat-sen's min shêng becomes apparent. Above all other subsidiary meanings, it is a deliberate declaration of the industrial revolution. Modernism had been an accident; Sun Yat-sen wished to transform it into a program. What would be the ideological consequences of such an attitude?

In the first place, a plan was indicated for almost every type of human behavior. Sun Yat-sen himself drafted a [pg 132] preliminary scheme for a modern manufacturing and communications system.158 The road that China was to take would not be the miserable, halting progress of industrialism, complicated by delays and wars, which the West had known in the painful centuries of readjustment from the medieval to modern civilization; China would not stumble forward, but would deliberately select the swiftest and easiest way to a sound industrialism, and then take it.

Min shêng thus not only provides the Chinese with a way to make their nationalism, their democracy, and their stateification felt in the hour of their ultimate triumph; it gives them something to do to bring about that triumph.

On the basis of the outlines of the ideology and the social system that Sun Yat-sen proposed, viewed from the perspective of the old Confucian world-society, the reader will realize that this declaration of the industrial revolution is the boldest of Sun Yat-sen's acts, and that the meaning of min shêng as a program of complete modernization and reconstruction is superior to other possible meanings it may have, in regard to theoretical national or social revolution. There is nothing remote or philosophical about the significance of min shêng when so viewed; it is a plan to which a Lenin or a Henry Ford might subscribe with equal fervor—although a Tagore would deplore [pg 133] it. It is here that Sun Yat-sen appears as the champion of the West against the traditional technological stagnation of China. Yet just there, at the supreme point of his Westernism, we must remember what he was fighting for: the life of a race-nation and a civilization that was contradictory to the West. The stability of Confucianism could not serve as a cloak for reaction and stagnant thought. For its own good, nay, its own life, Chinese civilization had to modernize (i. e., Westernize economically) in order to compete in a West-ruled world. But what, more specifically, was the socio-economic position of Sun Yat-sen? Was he a Marxian? Was he a liberal? Was he neither?

Western Influences: Henry George, Marxism and Maurice William.

As previously stated there are three parts which may be distinguished in the ideology of the principle of min shêng. Min shêng is, first, the economic aspect of the national revolution—the creation of an active race-nation of China implementing its power by, second, technological revolution. Third, it connotes also the necessity of a social revolution of some kind. Western commentators have been prone to ignore the significance of min shêng in the first two of these meanings, and have concentrated on disputation concerning the third part. The question of the right system of distribution has become so prominent in much Western revolutionary thought that, to many, it sums up the whole moral issue concerning what is good and bad in society.159 They are uninterested in or ignorant [pg 134] of the great importance that the first two aspects of min shêng possess for the Chinese mind. The third part, the application of min shêng to the problems that are in the West the cause of social revolution, and to the possible application of social revolution to China, is important, but is by no means the complete picture.

In attempting to state the definitive position of Sun Yat-sen on this question several points must be kept in mind. The first is that Sun Yat-sen, born a Chinese of the nineteenth century, had the intellectual orientation of a member of the world-society, and an accepter of the Confucian ideology. Enough has been shown of the background of his theories to demonstrate their harmony with and relevance to society which had endured in China for centuries before the coming of the West. The second point to be remembered is that Westerners are prone to overlook this background and see only the Western influences which they are in such a good position to detect. Sun Yat-sen's mind grew and changed. His preferences in [pg 135] Western beliefs changed frequently. A few Westerners, seeing only this, are apt to call Sun unstable and devoid of reason.160

It would, indeed, be strange to find any Western political or ideological leader who thought in precisely the same terms after the world war and the Russian revolution as before. Sun Yat-sen was, like many other receptive-minded leaders, sensitive to the new doctrines of Wilson and Lenin as they were shouted through the world. He was, perhaps, less affected by them than Western leaders, because his ideology was so largely rooted in the ideology of old China.

Apart from the winds of doctrine that blew through the world during Sun's life-period, and the generally known Western influences to which he was exposed,161 there were three writers whose influence has been supposed to have been critical in the development of his thinking. These three were Henry George, Karl Marx, and Maurice William of New York. A much greater amount of material is needed for a detailed study of the influences of various individual theories on Sun Yat-sen than for a general exposition of his political doctrines as a whole. At the present [pg 136] time scarcely enough has been written to permit any really authoritative description of the relations between the ideology of Sun Yat-sen and the thought of these three men. It is possible, nevertheless, to trace certain general outlines which may serve to clarify the possible influence that was exercised on Sun, and to correct some current misapprehensions as to the nature and extent of that influence.

Sun Yat-sen's opposition to the “unearned increment” shows the influence of the thought of Henry George. Sun proposed an ingenious scheme for the government confiscation of unearned increment in an economy which would nevertheless permit private ownership of land. (Incidentally, he terms this, in his second lecture on min shêng, “communism,” which indicates a use of the word different, in this respect at least, from the conventional Western use.)162 The land problem was of course a very old one in China, although accentuated in the disorders resulting from the impact of the West. There can be little question that Sun's particular method of solving the problem was influenced by the idea of unearned increment.

He knew of Henry George in 1897, the year the latter died,163 and advocated redistribution of the land in the party oath, the platform, and the slogans of the Tung Meng Hui of 1905.164 Since, even at the time of the Canton-Moscow Entente, his land policy never approached the Marxist-Leninist program of nationalization or collectivization of land, but remained one of redistribution [pg 137] and confiscation of unearned increment, it is safe to say that Sun kept the theory of George in mind, although he by no means followed George to the latter's ultimate conclusions.165 It may thus be inferred that the influence of Henry George upon the nationalist ideology of Sun Yat-sen was slight, but permanent. An idea was borrowed; the scheme of things was not.

Sun Yat-sen encountered Marxism for the first recorded time in London in 1897, when he met a group of Russian revolutionaries and also read in the subject. The fact that Sun was exposed to Marxism proves little except that he had had the opportunity of taking up Marxism and did not do so.166 Again, the Tung Meng Hui manifesto of 1905 may have been influenced by Marxism. It was not, however, until the development of his Three Principles that the question of Marxian influence was raised. Sun Yat-sen made his first speech on the Principles in Brussels in the spring of 1905.167 By 1907 the three principles had taken on a clear form: nationalism, democracy, and min shêng, which the Chinese of that time seem to have translated socialism when referring to it in Western languages.168

The most careful Marxian critic of Sun Yat-sen, writing of the principle of min shêng and its two main planks, land reform and state capitalism, says: “This very vague program, which does not refer to class interests nor to the class struggle as the means of breaking privileged class interests, was objectively not socialism at all, but something [pg 138] else altogether: Lenin coined the formula, ‘subjective socialism,’ for it.”169 He adds, later: “Hence Sun's socialism meant, on the lips of the Chinese bourgeoisie, nothing but a sort of declaration for a ‘social’ economic policy, that is, a policy friendly to the masses.”170 T'ang Liang-li declares that the third principle at this time adopted “a frankly socialistic attitude,”171 but implies elsewhere that its inadequacy was seen by a Chinese Marxist, Chu Chih-hsin.172 This evidence, as far as it goes, shows that Sun Yat-sen had had the opportunity to become acquainted with Marxism, and that even on the occasion of the first formulation of the principle of min shêng he used none of its tenets. The revolutionary critic, T'ang Liang-li, who, a devoted and brilliant Nationalist in action, writes with a sort of European left-liberal orientation, suggests that the Third Principle grew with the growth of capitalist industrialism in China.173 This is true: economic maladjustment would emphasize the need for ideological reconstruction with reference to the economy. There is no need to resort to Marxian analysis.

That the third principle meant something to Sun Yat-sen is shown by the fact that when Sung Chiao-jen, who a few years later was to become one of the most celebrated martyrs of the revolution, suggested in the period of the first provisional Republic at Nanking that the Third Principle had better be omitted altogether, Sun was enraged, [pg 139] and declared that if min shêng were to be given up, the whole revolution might as well be abandoned.174

Since min shêng, in its third significance, that of the development of a socially just distributive system, was not Marxian nor yet unimportant, it may be contrasted once again with the communist doctrines, and then studied for its actual content. In contrasting it with Marxism, it might be of value to observe, first, the criticism that the Marxians levy against it, and second, the distinctions that nationalist and European critics make between min shêng and communism.

Dr. Karl Wittfogel, the German Marxist whose work on Sun Yat-sen is the most satisfactory of its kind, points out the apparent contradictions in the San Min Chu I: on the one hand, statements which are not only objectively but subjectively friendly to capitalism (on the excellence of the Ford plant; on the necessity for the coöperation of capital and labor)—on the other, the unmerciful condemnation of capitalism; on the one hand, the declaration that there is no capitalism in China—on the other, that capitalism must be destroyed as it appears; on the right, the statement that communism and min shêng are opposed—on the left, that the communist doctrines are a subsidiary part of the ideology of min shêng.175 How, asks Wittfogel, does this all fit together? He answers by pointing out the significance of Sun's theses when considered in relation to the dialectical-materialist interpretation of recent Far Eastern history:

His three principles incorporate

in their development the objective change in the socio-economic situation of China,
in their contradictions the real contradictions of the Chinese revolution,
in their latest tendencies the transposition of the social center of gravity of the revolution, which sets the classes in action, [pg 140]and whose aim is no longer a bourgeois capitalist one, but proletarian-socialist and peasant agrarian-revolutionary.

Sun Yat-sen is according to this not only the hitherto most powerful representative of the bourgeois-national, anti-imperialist revolutions of awakening Asia; he points at the same time outwards over the bourgeois class limitations of the first step of the Asiatic movement for liberation. To deny this were portentuous, even for the proletarian communist movement of Eastern Asia.176

The modifications which the Marxians have introduced into their programs with respect to the class struggle in colonial countries do not imply a corresponding modification of their ideology. The determinism adopted from Hegel, the economic interpretation of history—these and other dogmas are held by the Marxians to be universally valid despite their Western origin.

We have seen what Sun's chief Marxian exegete thinks of him. Now it may be worth while to consider the actual relations of Sun's doctrines with some of those in Marxism. In the first place, Sun Yat-sen, during his stay in Shanghai, 1919-1922 (with interruptions), was very much interested in Communism and friendly to the Russian people, but not at all inclined to adopt its ideology.177

[pg 141]

In reference to specific points of the Communist ideology, Sun Yat-sen was indebted to the Communists for the application of the principle of nationalism, as a means of propaganda, as anti-imperialism, although, as we have seen, it was fundamentally a thesis for the readjustment of the Chinese society from the ideological basis of a world-society over to a national state among national states.178 Second, his habit of taking Western doctrines and applying them to the Chinese nation instead of to Chinese individuals, led him to apply nationalism to the class war of the oppressed nations against the oppressing nations. There was no justification of intra-national class war in the nationalist ideology of Sun Yat-sen.179 In his doctrine of democracy, his application of a class-system based on intellect was a flat denial of the superior significance of the Marxian economic-class ideology, as was his favoring of the development of a five-power liberal government through ch'üan and nêng in place of a dictatorship of the proletariat operating through soviets. Finally, in relation to min shêng, his use of the Confucian philosophy—the interpretation of history through jên—was a contradiction of the materialist interpretation of history by the Marxians. It also contradicted the class struggle; the loyalty of the Chinese to the race-nation was to be the supreme loyalty; it was to develop from the ta chia, the great family of all Chinese; and class lines within it could not transcend its significance. Furthermore, purely as a matter of economic development, Sun Yat-sen regarded [pg 142] the class struggle as pathological in society. He said, “Out of his studies of the social question, Marx gained no other advantage than a knowledge of the diseases of social evolution; he failed to see the principle of social evolution. Hence we can say that Marx was a pathologist rather than a physiologist of society.”180 Finally, he did not accept the Marxian theory of surplus value or of the inevitable collapse of capitalism. He even spoke of capitalism and socialism as “two economic forces of human civilization” which might “work side by side in future civilization.”181

All in all, it may safely be said that Sun Yat-sen's ideology, as an adjustment of the old Chinese ideology to the modern world, was not inspired by the Marxist; that through the greater part of his life, he was acquainted with Marxism, and did not avail himself of the opportunities he had for adopting it, but consistently rejected it; and that while the Communists were of great use to him in the formulation and implementation of his program, they affected his ideology, either generally or with reference to min shêng, imperceptibly if at all.

This conclusion is of significance in the estimation of the influence of Maurice William upon the thought of Sun Yat-sen. It is, briefly, the thesis of Dr. William that it was his own book which saved China from Bolshevism by making an anti-Marxian out of Sun after he had fallen prey to the Bolshevist philosophy. Dr. William writes of the lectures on Nationalism and Democracy; “In these lectures Dr. Sun makes clear that his position is strongly pro-Russian and pro-Marxian, that he endorses the class struggle, repudiates Western democracy, and advocates China's coöperation with Bolshevist Russia against capitalist [pg 143] nations.”182 Dr. William then goes on to show, quite convincingly, that Sun Yat-sen, with very slight acknowledgments, quoted William's The Social Interpretation of History almost verbatim for paragraph after paragraph in the lectures on min shêng.

It would be unjust and untruthful to deny the great value that William's book had for Sun Yat-sen, who did quote it and use its arguments.183 On the other hand, it is a manifest absurdity to assume that Sun Yat-sen, having once been a communist, suddenly reversed his position after reading one book by an American of whom he knew nothing. Even Dr. William writes with a tone of mild surprise when he speaks of the terrific volte-face which he thinks Sun Yat-sen performed.

There are two necessary comments to be made on the question of the influence of Maurice William. In the first place, Sun Yat-sen had never swerved from the interpretation of history by jên, which may be interpreted as the humane or social interpretation of history. Enough of the old Chinese ideology has been outlined above to make clear what this outlook was.184 Sun Yat-sen, in short, never having been a Marxian, was not converted to the social interpretation of history as put forth by Dr. William. He found in the latter's book, perhaps more clearly than in any other Western work an analysis of society that coincided with his own, which he had developed from the old Chinese philosophy and morality as rendered by Confucius. Consequently he said of William's rejection of the materialistic interpretation of history, “That sounds perfectly reasonable ... the greatest discovery of the American scholar fits in perfectly with the (third) [pg 144] principle of our Party.”185 The accomplishment of Maurice William, therefore, was a great one, but one which has been misunderstood. He formulated a doctrine of social evolution which tallied perfectly with Chinese ideology, and did this without being informed on Chinese thought. He did not change the main currents of Sun's thought, which were consistent through the years. He did present Sun with several telling supplementary arguments in Western economic terms, by means of which he could reconcile his interpretation of social history not only with Confucian jên but also with modern Western economics.

The other point to be considered in relation to Maurice William is a matter of dates. The thesis of Maurice William, that Sun Yat-sen, after having turned Marxian or near-Marxian, was returned to democratic liberal thought by William's book, is based on contrast of the first twelve lectures in the San Min Chu I and the last four on min shêng. Dr. William believes that Sun read his book in the meantime and changed his mind. A Chinese commentator points out that Sun Yat-sen referred to The Social Interpretation of History in a speech on January 21, 1924; his first lecture on the San Min Chu I was given January 24, 1924.186 Hence, in the twelve lectures that Dr. William interprets as Marxian, Sun Yat-sen was speaking from a background which included not only Marxism, but The Social Interpretation of History, as well.

Only on the third part does the influence of the Western thinkers appear unmistakably. Henry George gave Sun Yat-sen the idea of the unearned increment, but Sun Yat-sen, instead of accepting the whole body of doctrine that George put forth, simply kept this one idea, and built a novel land-policy of his own on it. Marxism may have influenced the verbal tone of Sun Yat-sen's lectures, but it did not affect his ideology, although it shows a definite [pg 145] imprint upon his programs. Maurice William gave Sun Yat-sen a set of arguments in modern economic terms which he attached to his ideological thesis of the jên interpretation of history, which he based upon Confucianism. There is no evidence to show that at any time in his life Sun Yat-sen abandoned his Chinese ideological orientation and fell under the sway of any Western thinker. The strong consistency in the ideology of Sun Yat-sen is a consistency rooted in the old Chinese ideology. On minor points of doctrine he showed the influence of the West; this influence cannot be considered solely by itself. The present discussion of Western influences may, by its length, imply a disproportionate emphasis of Western thought in the political doctrines of Sun Yat-sen, but in a work written primarily for Westerners, this may be found excusable.

Min Shêng as a Socio-Economic Doctrine.

If one were to attempt to define the relations of the min shêng ideology to the various types of Western economic doctrines at present current, certain misapprehensions may be eliminated at the outset. First: Capitalism in its Western form was opposed by Sun Yat-sen; min shêng was to put through the national economic revolution of enrichment through a deliberately-planned industrialization, but in doing so was to prevent China from going through all the painful stages which attended the growth of capitalism in the West. “We want,” said Sun Yat-sen, “a preventive remedy; a remedy which will thwart the accumulation of large private capitals and so preserve future society from the great inconvenience of the inequality between rich and poor.”187 And yet he looked forward to a society which would ultimately be communistic, although never in its strict Marxian sense. [pg 146] “We may say that communism is the ideal of livelihood, and that the doctrine of livelihood is the practical application of communism; such is the difference between the doctrine of Marx and the doctrine of the Kuomintang. In the last analysis, there is no real difference in the principles of the two; where they differ is in method.”188 This is sufficient to show that Sun Yat-sen was not an orthodox Western apologist for capitalism; as a Chinese, it would have been hard for him to be one, for the logically consistent capitalist ideology is one which minimizes all human relationships excepting those individual-contractual ones based on money bargains. The marketing of goods and services in such a way as to disturb the traditional forms of Chinese society would have been repugnant to Sun Yat-sen.

Second: if Sun Yat-sen's min shêng ideology cannot be associated with capitalism, it can as little be affiliated with Marxism or the single-tax. What, then, in relation to Western socio-economic thought, is it? We have seen that the state it proposed was liberal-protective, and that the society from which it was derived and to which it was to lead back was one of extreme laissez-faire, bordering almost on anarchism. These political features are enough to distinguish it from the Western varieties of socialism, anarchism and syndicalism, since the ingredients of these ideologies of the West and that of Sun Yat-sen, while coincident on some points, cannot be fitted together.

Superficially, there is a certain resemblance between the ideology of the San Min Chu I and that of Fascism. The resemblances may be found in the emphasis on the nation, the rejection of the class war and of Marxism, the upholding of tradition, and the inclusion of a doctrine of intellectual inequality. But Sun Yat-sen seeks to reconcile [pg 147] all this with democracy in a form even more republican than that of the United States. The scheme of min ch'üan, with its election, recall, initiative and referendum, and with its definite demands of intellectual freedom, is in contradiction to the teachings of Fascism. His condemnation of Caesarism is unequivocal: “Therefore, if the Chinese Revolution has not until now been crowned with success, it is because the ambitions for the throne have not been completely rooted out nor suppressed altogether.”189 With these fundamental and irreconcilable distinctions, it is hard to find any possibility of agreement between the San Min Chu I and the Fascist ideologies, although the transitional program of the San Min Chu I—in its advocacy of provisional party dictatorship, etc.—has something in common with Fascism as well as with Communism as applied in the Soviet Union.

A recent well-received work on modern political thought describes a category of Western thinkers whose ideas are much in accord with those contained in the min shêng ideology.190 Professor Francis W. Coker of Yale, after reviewing the leading types of socialist and liberal thought, describes a group who might be called “empirical collectivists.” The men to whom he applies this term reject socialist doctrines of economic determinism, labor-created value, and class war. They oppose, on the other hand, the making of a fetish of private ownership, and recognize that the vast mass of ordinary men in modern society do not always receive their just share of the produce of industry. They offer no single panacea for all economic troubles, and lay down no absolute and unchallengeable dogma concerning the rightness or wrongness of public or private ownership.191 Professor Coker [pg 148] outlines their general point of view by examining their ideas with reference to several conspicuous economic problems of the present day: public ownership; labor legislation; regulation of prices; taxation; and land policies.192

According to Coker, the empirical collectivist is not willing to forgo the profit motive except where necessary. He is anxious to see a great part of the ruthlessness of private competition eliminated, and capital generally subjected to a regulation which will prevent its use as an instrument of harm to the community as a whole. While not committed to public ownership of large enterprises as a matter of theory, he has little objection to the governmental operation of those which could, as a matter of practical expediency, be managed by the state on a nonprofit basis.

Sun Yat-sen's position greatly resembles this, with respect to his more immediate objectives. Speaking of public utilities, he said to Judge Linebarger: “There are so many public utilities needed in China at the present time, that the government can't monopolize all of them for the advantage of the masses. Moreover, public utilities involve risks which a government cannot afford to take. Although the risks are comparatively small in single cases, the entire aggregate of such risks, if assumed by the government, would be of crushing proportions. Private initiative and capital can best perform the public utility development of China. We should, however, be very careful to limit the control of these public utilities enterprises, while at the same time encouraging private development as much as possible.”193 Sun had, however, already spoken of nationalization: “I think that when I hold power [pg 149] again, we should institute a nationalization program through a cautious and experimental evolution of (1) public utilities; (2) public domains; (3) industrial combines, syndicates, and cartels; (4) coöperative department stores and other merchandising agencies.”194 It must be remembered that there were two considerations back of anything that Sun Yat-sen said concerning national ownership: first, China had already ventured into broad national ownership of communications and transport, even though these were in bad condition and heavily indebted; second, there was no question of expropriation of capital, but rather the free alternative of public and private industry. An incidental problem that arises in connection with the joint development of the country by public and by private capital is the use of foreign capital. Sun Yat-sen was opposed to imperialism, but he did not believe that the use of foreign capital at fair rates of interest constituted submission to imperialism. He said, in Canton, “ ... we shall certainly have to borrow foreign capital in order to develop means of communication and transportation, and we cannot do otherwise than have recourse to those foreigners who are men of knowledge and of experience to manage these industries.”195 It may thus be said that Sun Yat-sen had no fixed prejudice against private capital or against foreign capital, when properly and justly regulated, although in general he favored the ownership of large enterprises by the state.

Second—to follow again Professor Coker—the Western empirical collectivists favor labor legislation, and government intervention for the protection of the living standards of the working classes. This, while it did not figure [pg 150] conspicuously in the theories of Sun Yat-sen,196 was a striking feature of all his practical programs.197 In his address to Chinese labor, on the international Labor Day, 1924, he urged that Chinese labor organize in order to fight for its own cause and that of national liberation. It had nothing to fear from Chinese capitalism, but everything from foreign imperialistic capitalism.198 Sun did not make a special hero class out of the workers; he did, however, advocate their organization for the purpose of getting their just share of the national wealth, and for resistance to the West and Japan.

Third, the empirical collectivist tends to advocate price-control by the state, if not over the whole range of commodities, at least in certain designated fields. Sun was, has been stated, in favor of the regulation of capital at all points, and of public ownership in some. This naturally implies an approval of price-control. He more specifically objected to undue profits by middlemen, when, in discussing salesmen, he said: “Under ideal conditions, society does not need salesmen or any inducement to buy. If a thing is good, and the price reasonable, it should sell itself on its own merits without any salesmanship. This vast army of middlemen should hence be made to remember that they should expect no more from the nonproductive calling in which they are engaged than any other citizen obtains through harder labor.”199 In this, too, [pg 151] min shêng coincides with empirical collectivism; the coincidence is made easy by the relative vagueness of the latter.

Fourth, in the words of Mr. Coker, “many collectivists look upon taxation as a rational and practical means for reducing extreme differences in wealth and for achieving other desired economic changes.”200 Sun Yat-sen agrees with this definitely; his land policy is one based upon taxation and confiscation of the amount of the unearned increment (which, not involving the confiscation of the land itself, is perhaps also taxation), and proposes to apply taxes extensively. Quite apart from the question of distributive justice, a heavy tax burden would be necessary in a country which was being rigorously developed.

Fifth, empirical collectivists believe in land control, not only in the cities, but in the open country as well, as a matter of agrarian reform. We have seen that the land figured extensively in the ideology of min shêng, and shall observe that Sun Yat-sen, in his plans for min shêng, stressed the importance of proper control of land.

In summing up the theory of distributive justice which forms a third part of the principle of min shêng, one may say that, as far as any comparison between a Chinese and a Western idea is valid, the positive social-revolutionary content of min shêng coincides with the doctrines of that group of Western politico-economic writers whom Coker calls empirical collectivists. The correspondence between the two may not be a mere coincidence of names, for in considering Sun Yat-sen's min shêng, one is struck by the empirical, almost opportunistic, nature of the [pg 152] theory. A great part of the activity of the Chinese, whether material or intellectual, has been characterized by a sort of opportunism; not necessarily an opportunism of insincerity, it may be more aptly described as a tendency to seek the golden mean, the reasonable in any situation. It is this habit of compromise with circumstance, this bland and happy disregard of absolutes in theory, which has preserved—with rare exceptions—the Chinese social mind from the torment of any really bitter and profound religious conflict, and which may, in these troubled times, keep even the most irreconcilable enemies from becoming insane with intolerance. This fashion of muddling through, of adhering to certain traditional general rules of reasonableness, while rendering lip-service to the doctrines of the moment, has been the despair of many Western students of China, who, embittered at the end, accuse the Chinese of complete insincerity. They do not realize that it is the moderateness of the Confucian ideology, the humane and conciliatory outlook that centuries of cramped civilized life have given the Chinese, that is the basis of this, and that this indisposition to adopt hard and fast systems has been one of the ameliorating influences in the present period of serious intellectual antagonisms. Generalizations concerning China are rarely worth much. It may be, however, that the doctrine of min shêng, with respect to its positive socio-economic content, may appear vague to the Western student, and that he may surmise it to be a mere cloak for demagogues. It could easily do that in the West, or in the hands of insincere and unscrupulous leaders. In China, however, it need not necessarily have been formulated more positively than it was, because, as we have seen, the intellectual temper of the Chinese makes any strict adherence to a schedule or a plan impossible. It is easy, always, to render the courtesies; it is hard to follow the specific content. Sun Yat-sen apparently [pg 153] realized this, and wished to leave a general body of doctrine which could be followed and which would not be likely to be violated. In any case, the theses of min shêng, both ideologically and programmatically, can scarcely be contrasted with the detailed schedules of social revolution to be found in the West.

Sun Yat-sen's frequent expressions of sympathy with communism and socialism, and his occasional identification of the large principles of min shêng with them, are an indication of his desire for ultimate collectivism. (It may be remarked, in passing, that Sun Yat-sen used the word collectivist in a much more rigid sense than that employed by Coker.) His concessions to the economic situation of his time, the pragmatic, practical method in which he conceived and advocated his plans, are a manifestation of the empirical element in his collectivism.

Ming shêng cannot, however, be thought of as another Western doctrine for national economic strength, national economic reconstitution, and national distributive justice; it is also a program for the improvement of the morale of the people.

How is the min shêng doctrine to fit in with the essentially conservative spirit of the nationalist ideology? If, as Sun proposed, the new ideology is to be compounded of the old morality, the old knowledge, and modern physical science, how is min shêng, referring to social as well as material programs, to be developed in harmony with the old knowledge? In the terminology of ultramodern Western political science, the ethical, the moral, and the emotional are likely to appear as words of derision. In a milieu characterized by the curiously warmblooded social outlook of the Confucians, such terms are still relevant to reality, still significant in the lives of men. The sentimental is intangible in politics; for that reason it is hard to fit into contemporary thought, but [pg 154] though it cannot be measured and fully understood, its potency cannot be disregarded; and for Sun Yat-sen it was of the utmost importance.

Min Shêng as an Ethical Doctrine.

Reference has been made to the Confucian doctrine of jên, the fellow-feeling of all mankind—each man's consciousness of membership in society. This doctrine was formulated in a society unacquainted with Greek logic, nor did it have the strange European emphasis upon sheer intellectuality which has played its way through Western thought. Not, of course, as profoundly introspective as Christianity, nor appealing so distinctly to the mystical in man's nature, it was nevertheless concerned with man's inner life, as well as with the ethics of his outward behavior. The Confucian was suffused throughout with the idea of virtue; the moral and the physical were inextricably intertwined. Its non-logical content scarcely approached the form of a religion; commentators on the old ideology have not called it religious, despite the prominence of beliefs in the supernatural.201 The religion of the Chinese has been this-worldly,202 but it has not on that account been indifferent to the subjective aspects of the moral life.203

The nationalist ideology was designed as the inheritor of and successor to, the old ideology of China. The doctrine [pg 155] of nationalism narrowed the field of the application of Confucianism from the whole civilized world to the state-ized society of the Chinese race-nation. The doctrine of democracy implemented the old teachings of popular power and intellectual leadership with a political mechanism designed to bring forth the full strength of both. And the doctrine of min shêng was the economic application of the old social ethos.

It is in this last significance, rather than in any of its practical meanings of recovery, development, and reform, that Sun Yat-sen spoke most of it to one of his followers.204 He was concerned with it as a moral force. His work was, among other things, a work of moral transformation of individual motives.205 Min shêng must, in addition to its other meanings be regarded as an attempt to extend the Chinese ideology to economic matters, to lead the Chinese to follow their old ethics. Sun Yat-sen had ample time in his visits to the West to observe the ravages that modern civilization had inflicted upon the older Western [pg 156] moral life, and did not desire that China should also follow the same course. The humanity of the old tradition must be kept by the Chinese in their venture into the elaborate and dangerous economy of modern life; the machine civilization was needed, and was itself desirable,206 but it could not overthrow the humane civilization that preceded it and was to continue on beneath and throughout it.

In this manner a follower of Sun Yat-sen seeks to recall his words: “I should say that min shêng focuses our ethical tradition even more than the other two principles; after a Chinese has become nationalistic and democratic, he will become socialized through the idea of his own personality as an instrument of good for human welfare. In this proud feeling of importance to and for the world, egotism gives way to altruism.... So, I say again that min shêng is an ethical endeavor ... this, the final principle (and yet, the first principle which I discovered, in the bitterness and poverty of my boyhood days), will come imperceptibly into our lives.”207

In a philosophy for intellectuals such attitudes need not, perhaps, be reckoned with; in an ideology for revolution and reconstitution, perhaps they should. Sun Yat-sen conceived of his own work and his ideology not only as political acts but as moral forces; min shêng was at once to invigorate the national economy, to industrialize the material civilization, and to institute distributive justice, and in addition to this, it was to open a new, humane epoch in economic relations. That is why the term, instead of being translated, is left in the Chinese: min shêng.

[pg 157]

Chapter V. The Programs of Nationalism.


Sun Yat-sen was a political leader as well as a political philosopher. His growth as a thinker was intimately associated with the development of his political activities. It would be difficult to say which came first, either in time or in importance, in his life—his teachings or his work. At times the line between the two becomes vague. Sun made vital commitments concerning his ideology in furthering his revolutionary work. These have to be sifted out from other utterances bearing only upon the immediate situation. This is not easy, but neither is it impossible. Lyon Sharman wrote, “It might be cogently argued that, in dealing with an easily absorbent, propagandist mind like Sun Yat-sen's one should not look to the shifting ideas for his real opinions, but to those formulations which he clung to tenaciously all his life.”208

The ideology of the San Min Chu I provides a broad scheme of terms and values by means of which the Chinese of the twentieth century could orient themselves simultaneously in the modern world and in the continuing world of Confucian civilization. Between this philosophy and the necessity of immediate practical action there stands an intermediate step—that of the plans. The plans provide a theory of means leading to the establishment of the ends set up in the ideology. The ideology, left on paper by itself, could not bring about China's salvation; it had to be spread and implemented with political action. Sun Yat-sen planned the programs and activities of the Chinese revolutionaries in some detail; he proposed policies [pg 158] reaching far out into the future. While, since his death, these plans have been modified to a greater or less degree,209 they have not lost all relevance to the course of affairs in China, and, in any case, possess an interest of their own in the history of political thought, as illustrating the political doctrines to which Sun Yat-sen's ideology led him. The first problem the plans had to include was that of providing a tool by which they could be set in motion.

What instrument could preach nationalism to the Chinese people and awaken them, and, having awakened them, lead them on to a victorious defense of their race and civilization? Sun's answer was: “The Kuomintang.” The nationalist revolutionary party was the designated heir to the leadership of the people, and even in his life-time Sun Yat-sen worked through the party that was almost entirely his own creation.

[pg 159]

This party had begun as a small group of the personal followers of Sun Yat-sen in the days when he was struggling against the Manchu monarchy almost singlehanded. Gradually this group increased and became a federation of the great secret orders which had resisted the Manchus for centuries. It developed into a modern parliamentary party under the name Kuomintang—literally nation people party—with the inauguration of the first republic, but was soon driven underground by the would-be emperor Yüan Shih-k'ai. It emerged again in South China at the end of the World War, was reorganized after the Communist model (so far as intra-party organization was concerned) before the death of Sun Yat-sen, led the revolution to the North, and, now, though somewhat less united than before, rules the greater part of China in the name of the Three Principles.210

Confucius preached the slow transformation of society by means of an intellectual leaven, scholar class, which, by re-forming and clarifying the ideology, could gradually minimize conflict among men and bring about an epoch of concord in which all men would live by reason as found in tradition. The function of the Kuomintang was, in Sun's mind, only remotely similar. The Kuomintang was designed to intervene in a chaos of wars and corrupt politics, to propagate the nationalist ideology, and avert a tragic fate which would otherwise be inevitable—the disappearance of China from the map of the world, and the extinction not only of Chinese civilization but—as Sun Yat-sen thought—of the Chinese race as well.

In the days before the downfall of the monarchy, and [pg 160] for the few years of defeat under the first republic, the Kuomintang was not highly organized. Sun Yat-sen's genius for leadership, and the fervor of his adherents—which can be understood only at first-hand, and cannot be explained in rational terms—were sufficient to hold the party together. But there was far too much discord as to final principles as well as to points of immediate action, and party activities were not so specialized as to permit maximum efficiency.211 Furthermore, there was the question of the relations of the party and the state. It was somewhat absurd for the partizans of Sun Yat-sen, having brought about the revolution, to stand back and let whomever would walk away with it. The party's power had ebbed with its success in 1911. There had to be some way of keeping the party in power after it had achieved the overthrow of its enemies, and won the revolutionary control of the country. Reorganization was definitely necessary if party effectiveness were to be raised to the point of guaranteeing the success of the next revolution—which Sun did not live to see—and party supremacy to the point of assuring the Nationalists control of the government after the revolution had been accomplished.

Reorganization was effected through the assistance of the Communists during the period of the Canton-Moscow entente (1923-1927).212 Under the leadership of the [pg 161] extraordinarily able Michael Borodin, the Soviet advisers sent from Russia completely re-shaped the internal structure of the Kuomintang and won for themselves positions of considerable confidence and influence, which they lost only when they attempted to transform the principles and objectives of the Party as thoroughly as they had the organization.

The Kuomintang of today, which is irreconcilably opposed to Marxism, still bears the imprint of Communist design.213 Though the working details of the Party organization do not, for the most part, appear directly relevant to the principle of min ch'üan of Sun Yat-sen, the arrangements for Party control illustrate the curious compromise between Chinese and Western democratic patterns, on the one hand, and the revolutionary requirements of absolutism, on the other, which have made Chinese republicanism seem a sham, if not a farce, to Western scholars who expect to find in China the same openness and freedom in democratic government to which they are accustomed at home.

During the life-time of Sun there was no question of an elective headship for the Party. In spite of the fact that the party stood for democracy, it seemed impossible [pg 162] that any alternative to Sun Yat-sen himself should be considered. Sun Yat-sen's complete willingness to continue as head of the Party without troubling to have himself elected from time to time has been variously interpreted: his friends term it the humble and natural recognition of a celebrated fact; his enemies regard it as the hallucination of an egotism as distorted as it was colossal. The truth would appear to be that Sun regarded the initiation and the guidance of the Nationalist revolution as his particular mission in life. He was, in a sense, the intellectual proprietor of the Three Principles. Unselfish in all personal matters, he had few doubts of his own capacity when he had discovered what he believed to be his duty, and unquestioningly set out to perform it. In the lawlessness and tumult of the revolution, it would have seemed absurd for Sun Yat-sen to submit to the periodical formula of reëlection for the sake of any merely theoretical harmony of action and theory.

Not only was Sun Yat-sen the leader of the Party; he was not even to have a successor. The first revised constitution of the Kuomintang provided for his life-time headship; the second stipulated that the post of Tsung Li should never be filled by any other person. As Tsung Li—the Party Leader, it is still customary to refer to Sun Yat-sen in China today. This, again, was not the display of a superhuman vanity so much as a practical requirement designed to offset the possibility of conflict and intrigue among the most conspicuous party chiefs, which would quite probably arise should the question of a succession to Sun Yat-sen ever be mentioned. There was, of course, the element of respect in this gesture—the implication that the magistral chair of Sun Yat-sen was too high a place for any common man to sit.

So far as leadership was concerned the Kuomintang was an autocracy until the death of Sun Yat-sen. In all [pg 163] other party matters attempts were made to cultivate democratic form and instil democratic morale. The prudence of this choice may seem to have been borne out by the course of history, since the Communists did not become ambitious, nor the Nationalists jealous, to the point of open conflict until after the death of Sun Yat-sen. Western thought will have to make extensive allowances before it can comprehend a democratic Party which operated under the unquestioned authority of a single man, without recourse to the formula of a plebiscite or election to a boss-ship in the form of a nominal post made significant only by the personal conspicuousness of the incumbent.

Had Karl Marx lived to work in the Russian Revolution, he might have occupied a position analogous to that which Sun Yat-sen did in the Chinese. In other respects the new Kuomintang organization was remarkably like the Communist. There was the extraordinarily complex, but somehow effective, mechanism of a Party Congress, a Central Executive Committee, and a Standing Committee. There was a Political Bureau and an agency for overseas agitation. There were also the wide ramifications of an extensive net work of auxiliary organizations designed to draw strength from every popular enthusiasm, and deflect it to the cause of the Nationalist revolution. In due time these agencies were turned about and swung into action against the Communists who had attempted to master them.

The precise details of Kuomintang organization need not be described. In general the pattern of authority proceeded from the whole membership, by a sequence of indirect elections, to the inner group of the Central Executive Committee, a body which possesses as much power in China as does its Soviet prototype.214 An instance of its [pg 164] power may be given: representatives are sent by the tang pu (Party Branches) to the Party Congress; in the event that delegates do not or cannot come, the C. E. C. has the power of appointing persons to serve pro tempore as the representatives of the otherwise unrepresented branches. Since the same committee examines delegates' credentials, it is apparent that the trustworthiness of the Party Congress can be assured in the same manner that, to the understanding of the present author, the earlier All-Union Congresses of Soviets and the C. P. were assured in the Russian Revolution. The pattern given the Kuomintang by the Russians gave the Party a strong central control able to assure orthodoxy within the Party; for some years, as a matter of history, differences of opinion within the Party could only be expressed by schism (as in the case of the “Kuomintang” of Wang Ch'ing-wei). While the aim of the Party was democracy, it cannot be said truthfully that democracy worked in a militant Party engaged in turning an anarchy into a revolution. The requirements of revolutionary endeavor, among other things, seem to include an iron-handed leadership of the right sort. Such leadership could, in the Sun Yat-sen ideology, be justified by reference to the three stages of the revolution.

The Kuomintang remained, so far as leadership was concerned, the creature of Sun Yat-sen. In structure it was extensively reorganized to resemble the Communist hierarchy found in Russia, with the administrative and legislative systems united into grades of conferences and committees. The Kuomintang also took over the Communist system of a registered and disciplined membership. To the time of the reorganization in 1923-1924, the [pg 165] Party had apparently admitted and expelled members in the informal, but effective, manner employed by the old Chinese hui—associations; guilds; or “tongs”—for centuries.215 Without a complete system of personnel book-keeping, it was impossible to keep adequate records of the performance of each member and comb through the membership for the purpose of eliminating undesirables and inactives. At the time of the reorganization the membership was required to be reënrolled; in many cases certificates of membership were granted (in physical appearance resembling a European passport) which, in view of the Party power, entailed a considerable grant of privileges with the more or less corresponding burden of duties. Party finances notably improved. In time this systematic method of recording membership was applied for the purposes of ousting persons with Communist or pro-Communist views, or eliminating individuals too friendly with foreign interests believed antagonistic to the Party or its purposes. “Party purges” have been frequent and drastic since the organization of a complete membership record.

The Kuomintang, as it was re-formed just before its swift rise to power and as it has essentially remained since, was a well-organized body of persons, subject to varying degrees of Party discipline, and trained in the methods of propaganda. The leadership was in the hands of Sun Yat-sen and, after his death, in the hands of his most trusted military and political aides. The membership, drawn from all parts of China and the world, was made [pg 166] up of persons from almost every class in society; representation was on the Russian plan, tending to centralize power in the C. E. C.216 Intra-party democracy was not, for the most part, put into practice because of the disturbed political and economic conditions. The Party and its predecessors have, in the forty-odd years of their combined existence, been facing what amounted to a state of perpetual emergency. Sometimes badly, but more often effectively, they have struggled to establish a state which in turn can found the democratic ideology of Sun upon which the democracy of the future must, they believe, be based.

Sun did not state definitely that the Party was to be dissolved after the task of its dictatorship was completed, and China had won a stable democratic government. That decision, of perpetuating the Party as one of many competing parties in the new democracy, or of abolishing it altogether, was presumably to be left to the Party leaders of the time. A precedent may be found in the behavior of Sun himself after the establishment of the Republic in 1912; he continued the Nationalist Party as one of the chief parties in the parliamentary republic. Yüan Shih-k'ai soon drove it underground again. From this it might be possible to conclude that the Party having done with its trusteeship, need not commit suicide as a party, but could continue in some form or another.

The Kuomintang forms the link between the theories of Sun and the realities of the revolutionary struggle; [pg 167] it ties together his plans for a new democracy in China and his strategies in the conflicts of the moment. First instrument of the ideology, it bears the burden of bringing about the revolution, and bringing the country to the stage of testing the administrative and political theories of the founder, and simultaneously inculcating the democratic principle in the minds of those who are to bear the heritage of Chinese organization and culture on to the future.

The genius of Sun Yat-sen, the Communist gift of organization, and the fervor of the membership brought about the defeat or submission—however nominal the latter may have been—of the warlords. By what stages, according to the theory of Sun Yat-sen, could national unity be realized? What, given power, should the Kuomintang do to guarantee the success of the revolution?

The Dragon Throne and State Allegiance.

The first task which the Kuomintang, once established, had to perform was a necessary preliminary to the other portions of its work—such as the leading of the first steps against the Western inroads, the opening up of the democratic technique of government, and the initiation of the first phases of min shêng. That task was to awaken the Chinese to the fact that they were a nation, and not only a nation, but an abused and endangered one as well.

We have seen that Sun Yat-sen regarded nationalism as a precious treasure which the Chinese had lost.217 He had said, many years before, in his Kidnapped in London, that the Manchus had followed a deliberate policy of intellectual suppression designed to extinguish or divert Chinese nationalism, and to make the great masses of Chinese on whom the Manchu power depended oblivious to the fact that they were the humiliated slaves of alien [pg 168] conquerors.218 Again, in the third lecture on nationalism, he said that while the Emperors Kang Hsi and Ch'ien Lung were at least honest in acknowledging themselves to be Manchus, extenuating their presence on the Dragon Throne by claiming the imperial hero-sages, Shun and Wen Wang, of antiquity as fellow-barbarians, the Manchu Emperors after Ch'ien Lung did everything they could to suppress Chinese nationalist ideas. They even did not hesitate to revise the classics of history in order to obliterate whatever historical consciousness the Chinese may have had of themselves.219 Sun Yat-sen pointed out that the strong group-consciousness of the Jews has kept Judea living through the centuries, even though the Jewish state was obliterated and the Jews themselves scattered to the four winds. He also praised the Poles,220 who were subjugated by aliens as were the Chinese, but kept their nationalist ideas and were consequently restored as an honored nation after the world war. Hence, the first step in the program of Chinese nationalism was to be the creation of a consciousness of that nationalism. If the Chinese did not regain their nationalism, “that precious treasure which makes possible the subsistence of humanity,”221 they might meet the fate of the Miao tribes whom the Chinese [pg 169] had pushed back into desolate lands and who faced an ignominious extinction.

This consciousness of themselves as a race-national unity was not of itself enough. The Chinese had lost the favored position that they had held since before the beginning of recorded history, and were no longer in a position to view the frailties of outside nations with the charity to which their once impregnable position had entitled them. It was no longer a mere question of pushing through a recognition that China, hitherto regarded by the Chinese as the ecumene of civilization, was a nation, and not even an equal to the other nations. This idea had to be developed into a force.

Sun Yat-sen wrote, of the significance of philosophy in action: “What is a principle? A principle is an idea, a belief, a force. As a rule, when men search for the truth of a thesis, they first reflect upon it, then their reflections grow into a belief, and that belief becomes a force. Hence in order to be firmly established, a principle must pass through the different stages of idea, belief, and force.”222 No more definite statement of the ideological consequences of thought could be found. Sun Yat-sen appreciated this, and realized that, in the carrying out of his ideology, the first necessity was the adoption of the ideology itself. All other steps must be secondary. The grouping of the important steps in the fulfillment of the program of nationalism may have differed from time to time,223 but the actual work of Sun Yat-sen was based [pg 170] upon the method indicated: the establishment of at least the preliminary notions of the ideology as a prerequisite to effective social action. (In this connection, and in anticipation of further discussion, it might be pointed out that the advantage of the Moscow-Canton entente was not one gained from the superior appeal of the Communist ideology, but from the superior agitation techniques which the Nationalists learned from the Communists, and which enabled them to bring into play the full latent social force in Sun Yat-sen's ideas.) But if mere national-consciousness were insufficient of itself, what else was needed?

Loyalty was necessary. Being aware of themselves as Chinese would not help them, unless they united and were loyal to that union. “To say that what the ancients understood by loyalty was loyalty toward the emperor, and that, since we no longer have an emperor, we (need no longer) speak of loyalty, and to believe that we can act as we please—that is a grave error.”224 Sun Yat-sen thus points out one of the most tragically perplexing of the problems of the new China.

He was urging return to the ancient morality. The ancient code of loyalty was one built up to the emperor. Although the emperor did not have much power, in comparison with some despots who have changed history, he was nevertheless the man at the apex of society. The Confucian society was one built in general upon the grand design of an enormous family; a design which was, nevertheless, flexible enough to permit the deposition of a wicked or mad emperor—something which the Japanese order of things could not in theory, although it did in fact, tolerate. Filial piety was piety toward one's own family head; loyalty was piety toward the family head of all civilized society.

Many writers have pointed out the discord and unhappiness [pg 171] which the abolition of the Empire brought to many Chinese. Their code of honor was outraged; the embodiment of their social stability was gone.225 The critics who made the comment could not, of course, deny the general trend away of political organization throughout the world from monarchy. They did question the competence of the Chinese to make the readjustment at the present stage of their history, or believed that the Chinese could not preserve their traditional civilization under a governmental system which was alien to the form if not to the spirit of the Chinese tradition. Although their criticisms may be influenced too heavily by an antiquarian appreciation of the excellencies of the Chinese Imperial system, or a desire to preserve China as a sort of vast museum with all its quaintnesses of yesteryear, there is some point to what they say, since the transition to national-state allegiance was not an easy one. There were two factors involved in it, besides the tremendousness of the educational task of convincing almost half a billion people that they were no longer ruled by a properly deputized agent of the universe, but were quite free to manage their world as they collectively saw fit. These factors were, first, the necessity of preventing any possible resurrection of the Dragon Throne, and second, the inculcation of allegiance to an intangible state.

Sun Yat-sen pointed out the enormous waste of blood and wealth involved in the change from one dynasty to another, when the highest post in the whole world was suddenly left open for the strongest man to seize. Republicanism would consequently tend to prevent civil wars in the future;226 the cumbersome, murderous old method of expressing the popular will, as the Confucian ideology provided, was to be done away with, and peaceful changes [pg 172] of political personnel developed. He asserted that the T'ai P'ing rebels, of whose memory he was fond, had failed in their fierce attempt to establish a fantastic pseudo-Christian, proletarian, collectivistic dynasty in the sixth and seventh decade of the nineteenth century because of the dispute that arose within their ranks as to leadership.227 He also pointed out that many of the militarists under the Republic knew well that the Dragon Throne was empty, but did not know that it was gone.

The story of the eradication of monarchy from Chinese society is an interesting one, relevant to the question of the old and the new loyalty. Sun Yat-sen's full force was thrown at first against the Manchus. He taught the other two principles of democracy and min shêng, but in his earlier years he attracted most attention by his anti-Manchu activities. Now, in allowing the principle of nationalism to do the work of the principle of democracy, Sun Yat-sen was using the anti-dynastic revolutionary potentialities of the situation to push along an anti-monarchical movement. The Chinese constitutional arrangement was such, under the Manchus, that a foreign monarch, who was a sovereign in his own right, quite apart from China, sat on the Chinese throne. The Manchu Emperor occupied the Dragon Throne. Many were willing to rebel against a Manchu; they might have hesitated had an indigenous prince occupied that position.

On the occasion of the establishment of the first Republic, in 1912, the Manchu Emperor was allowed to continue residence in Peking. Retaining his dynastic title and the use of the Forbidden City, he was to receive a stipend from the Chinese Republic and to be entitled to all the privileges normally accorded a foreign emperor by international law. There is a remote possibility, although the truth of this surmise cannot be substantiated, that he [pg 173] was left there as a sort of scarecrow, to prevent anyone from seizing the throne. Constitutional difficulties would have arisen if a pensioned Manchu Emperor and a native caesarian Emperor were to attempt to occupy the same throne.

This peculiar arrangement does not seem to have helped matters much. There was not enough pro-Manchu sentiment to support any restoration movement on a large scale, such as a reactionary insurrection, and the personal unpopularity of the one man, Yüan Shih-k'ai, who, as dictator of the first Republic (1912-1916), sought the throne, was enough to keep any active monarchical movement from succeeding. The one attempt of the Manchu partizans, in 1917, failed utterly.

That is not to say that the Dragon Throne was not missed. A general relaxation of political ethics was observable. The old tradition could not easily be reconciled to a juristic notion from outside. Sun Yat-sen sought most eagerly to impress upon the Chinese the necessity for state allegiance in place of monarchical devotion: “At present everybody says that morality was overthrown with the advent of the republic. The main reason is right here. Reasonably speaking we must practice loyalty even under a republican regime, not loyalty to a sovereign, but loyalty toward the nation, loyalty toward the people, loyalty toward our four hundred million men. Of course, loyalty toward four hundred million men is something much more exalted than loyalty toward one single man. Hence we must preserve the excellent virtue of loyalty.”228 A curious emphasis on the physical object of loyalty is present here. The Chinese, having no background of Western juristic hypostatizations, were unable to be faithful to a legal fiction; expressing state allegiance, Sun [pg 174] Yat-sen had to put it in its most tangible form, that of a concord of human beings.

Nevertheless, under the republic, the old virtue of personal loyalty should not interfere with state allegiance. Sun Yat-sen was willing and anxious that the Chinese should consider their loyalty as being directed to the nation; he did not wish that the officials of the nation, as men, should get it. In that case the very purpose of democracy would be defeated, and a monarchy or an oligarchy set up with the formulae of a democracy. Sun Yat-sen was as radically republican as any early American. “In regard to the government of the nation, fundamentally, it is the people who have the power, but the administration of the government must be entrusted to experts who have the capacity. We need not regard those experts as stately and honorable presidents and ministers, but merely as chauffeurs of automobiles, as sentinels who guard the gate, as cooks who prepare the food, as doctors who attend to sicknesses, as carpenters who build houses, as tailors who make clothes.”229 State allegiance had to be directed between the Scylla of a monarchical restoration and the Charybdis of nominally republican personal government. The old form had to be discarded, and the old habits turned in a new direction, but not in the easiest direction that they might take.

The problem of the supplanting of the Dragon Throne by a state was not an easy one. In the preparation of the Chinese people for the initiation of an active program of nationalism, the first elements of the nationalist ideology had to be inculcated. This involved race-consciousness. But the idea of race-consciousness and national-consciousness could not be exerted as a force unless the conscious union of the Chinese race-nation was accompanied by the erection of a powerful democratic state, and unless this [pg 175] state fell heir to the loyalty which had once been shown the Throne, or even a higher loyalty. This loyalty had to be based on the two suppositions that the Empire was gone forever, and that personal loyalty, even under the forms of a republic, should not be allowed to take its place. Only with a genuine state-allegiance could the Chinese advance to their national salvation.

Economic Nationalism.

The ideological establishment of a race-national outlook would have far-reaching consequences that might well continue working themselves out for centuries. The immediate exercise of this sense of unity was to be developed through a loyalty to state allegiance, which would also of itself be significant. These two new patterns—the one ideological, and the other institutional—running through the Chinese society and social mind were vitally necessary. But after the institutional habit of state-allegiance had been developed, what was the new democratic state, the instrument of the awakened race-nation, to do in the way of practical policies to give effect to the new consciousness and strength of Chinese nationalism?

Sun Yat-sen, whose principles tended to develop themselves in terms of threes,230 cited three perils constituting a threat to the Chinese society. The first was the peril to the Chinese race, which was faced with the possibility [pg 176] of decline in an expanding Western World and might even become vestigial or extinct. This peril was to be fought with race-nationalism. The second was the peril to the Chinese polity, the danger that China might become politically appurtenant to some foreign power of group of powers. This was to be fought with democratic race-nationalism. And the last, and most insidious, was the peril to the Chinese economy, the looting of China by the unfair economic measures of the great powers, to be met by a nationalist economic program. Sun Yat-sen was most apprehensive of the combined strength of these three pressures: “... I fear that our people are in a very difficult position; and I fear that we may perish in the near future. We are threatened by the three forces I have mentioned: namely, the increase of foreign population, the political force, and the economic force of the foreigners.”231

Of the three forms of the foreign oppression of China, the economic, because it did not show itself so readily, and was already working full force, was the most dangerous. It was from this oppression that China had sunk to the degraded position of a sub-colony. “This economic oppression, this immense tribute is a thing which we did not dream of; it is something which cannot be easily detected, and hence we do not feel the awful shame of it.”232

Sun Yat-sen, as stated above, was not hostile to the development of that portion of foreign capital which he regarded as fairly employed in China, and spent a great part of his life in seeking to introduce capital from outside. He did, however, make a distinction between the just operation of economic forces, and the unjust combination of the economic with the politically oppressive. Foreign capital in China was not oppressive because it [pg 177] was capital; it was oppressive because it held a privileged position, and because it was reinforced by political and military sanctions. There is no implication in Sun Yat-sen's works that the operations of finance, when not unjustly interfered with by political action, could, even when adverse to China, be regarded as wrong of themselves.

In what ways, then, did foreign capital so invest its position with unjust non-economic advantages that it constituted a burden and an oppression? There were, according to Sun Yat-sen, six headings under which the various types of economic incursion could be classified, with the consequence that a total of one billion two hundred million Chinese dollars were unjustly exacted from the Chinese economy every year by the foreigners.

First, the control of the Customs services having, by treaty, been surrendered by China, and a standard ad valorem tariff having also been set by treaty, the Chinese had to leave their markets open to whatever foreign commerce might choose to come. They were not in a position to foster their new modern industries by erecting a protective tariff, as had the United States in the days of its great industrial development.233 China's adverse balance in trade constituted a heavy loss to the already inadequate capital of the impoverished nation. Furthermore, the amount of the possible revenue which could be collected under an autonomous tariff system was lost. Again, foreign goods were not required, by treaty stipulation, to pay the internal transit taxes which Chinese goods had to pay. As a result, the customs situation really amounted to the development of a protective system for foreign goods in China, to the direct financial loss of the Chinese, and to the detriment of their industrial development. He estimated that half a billion dollars, Chinese, was lost yearly, through this politically established economic [pg 178] oppression.234 Obviously, one of the first steps of Chinese economic nationalism had to be tariff autonomy.

Second, the foreign banks occupied an unfair position in China. They had won a virtual monopoly of banking, with the consequence that the Chinese banks had to appear as marginal competitors, weak and unsound because the people were “poisoned by economic oppression.”235 The foreign banks issued paper money, which gave them cost-free capital; they discounted Chinese paper too heavily; and they paid either no or very little interest on deposits. In some cases they actually charged interest on deposits. A second step of economic nationalism had to be the elimination of the privileged position of the foreign banks, which were not subject to Chinese jurisdiction, and were thus able to compete unfairly with the native banks.

Third, economic oppression manifested itself in transportation, chiefly by water. The economic impotence of the Chinese made them use foreign bottoms almost altogether; the possible revenue which could be saved or perhaps actually gained from the use of native shipping was lost.

Fourth, the Western territorial concessions constituted an economic disadvantage to the Chinese. Wrested from the old Manchu government, they gave the foreigners a strangle-hold on the Chinese economy. Besides, they represented a direct loss to the Chinese by means of the following items: taxes paid to the foreign authorities in the conceded ports, which was paid by the Chinese and lost to China; land rents paid by Chinese to foreign individuals, who adopted this means of supplementing the tribute levied from the Chinese in the form of taxes; [pg 179] finally, the unearned increment paid out by Chinese to foreign land speculators, which amounted to an actual loss to China. Under a nationalist economic program, not only would the favorable position of the foreign banks be reduced to one comparable with that of the Chinese banks, but the concessions would be abolished. Taxes would go to the Chinese state, the land rent system would be corrected, and unearned increment would be confiscated under a somewhat novel tax scheme proposed by Sun Yat-sen.

Fifth, the Chinese lost by reason of various foreign monopolies or special concessions. Such enterprises as the Kailan Mining Administration and the South Manchuria Railway were wholly foreign, and were, by privileges politically obtained, in a position to prevent Chinese competition. This too had to be corrected under a system of economic nationalism. The new state, initiated by the Kuomintang and carried on by the people, had to be able to assure the Chinese an equality of economic privilege in their own country.

Sixth, the foreigners introduced “speculation and various other sorts of swindle” into China.236 They had exchanges and lotteries by which the Chinese lost tens of millions of dollars yearly.

Under these six headings Sun Yat-sen estimated the Chinese tribute to Western imperialism to be not less than one billion two hundred millions a year, silver. There were, of course, other forms of exaction which the Westerners practised on the Chinese, such as the requirement of war indemnities for the various wars which they had fought with China. Furthermore, the possible wealth which China might have gained from continued relations with her lost vassal states was diverted to the Western powers and Japan. Sun Yat-sen also referred to the [pg 180] possible losses of Chinese overseas, which they suffered because China was not powerful enough to watch their rights and to assure them equality of opportunity.

Sun Yat-sen did not expect that forces other than those which political nationalism exerted upon the economic situation could save the Chinese. “If we do not find remedies to that big leakage of $1,200,000,000.00 per year, that sum will increase every year; there is no reason why it should naturally decrease of its own accord.”237 The danger was great, and the Chinese had to use their nationalism to offset the imperialist economic oppression which was not only impoverishing the nation from year to year, but which was actually preventing the development of a new, strong, modern national economy.

What is the relation of the sub-principle of economic nationalism to the principle of min shêng?238 Economic nationalism was the preliminary remedy. The program of min shêng was positive. It was the means of creating a wealthy state, a modern, just economic society. But the old oppressions of imperialism, lingering on, had to be cleared away before China could really initiate such a program. Not only was it the duty of the Chinese national and nationalist state to fight the political methods of Western imperialism; the Chinese people could help by using that old Asiatic weapon—the boycott.

Sun Yat-sen was pleased and impressed with the consequences of Gandhi's policy of non-coöperation. He [pg 181] pointed out that even India, which was a subject country, could practise non-coöperation to the extreme discomfort of the British. The creation of race-nationalism, and of allegiance to a strong Chinese state, might take time. Non-coöperation did not. It was a tool at hand. “The reason why India gained results from the non-coöperation policy was that it could be practised by all the citizens.”239 The Chinese could begin their economic nationalist program immediately.

Sun Yat-sen pointed out that the basis for the weakness of China, and its exploitation by the foreigners, was the inadequacy of the Chinese ideology. “The reason why we suffer from foreign oppression is our ignorance; we ‘are born in a stupor and die in a dream’.”240 Conscious of the peril of the foreign economic oppression, the Chinese had to exert economic nationalism to clear the way for the positive initiation of a program of min shêng. In practising economic nationalism, there were two ways that the Chinese could make the force of their national union and national spirit felt: first, through the actual advancement of the programs of the whole of nationalism and the progress of the political and economic condition of the country; second, through non-coöperation, “... a negative boycott which weakens the action of imperialism, protects national standing, and preserves from destruction.”241

Political Nationalism for National Autonomy.

After the first steps of resistance to economic oppression, the Chinese nationalists would have to launch a counter-attack on the political oppression practised upon China by the Western powers. In his discussion of this, [pg 182] Sun Yat-sen described, though briefly, the past, the contemporary, and the future of that oppression, and referred to its methods. His theory also contained three answers to this oppression which need to be examined in a consideration of his theoretical program of Chinese nationalism: first, the question of China's nationalist program of political anti-imperialism; second, the nature of the ultimate development of nationalism and a national state; and third, the theory of the class war of the nations. In view of the fact that this last is a theory in itself, and one quite significant in the distinction between the doctrines of Sun Yat-sen and those of Marxism-Leninism, it will be considered separately. The first two questions of the program of nationalism are, then: what is to be the negative action for the advancement of China's national political strength, in opposing the political power of the West? and what is to be the positive, internal program of Chinese nationalism?

As has been stated Sun Yat-sen used the anti-dynastic sentiment current in the last years of the Manchus as an instrument by means of which he could foster an anti-monarchical movement. The great significance of his nationalism as a nationalism of Chinese vis-à-vis their Oriental-barbarian rulers quite overshadowed its importance as a teaching designed to protect China against its Western-barbarian exploiters. The triumph of the Republicans was so startling that, for a time, Sun Yat-sen seems to have believed that nationalism could develop of itself, that the Chinese, free from their Manchu overlords, would develop a strong race-national consciousness without the necessity of any political or party fostering of such an element in their ideology. Afire with all the idealism of the false dawn of the first Republic, Sun Yat-sen dropped the principle of nationalism from his program, and converted his fierce conspiratorial league into [pg 183] a parliamentary party designed to enter into amicable competition with the other parties of the new era.242 This pleasant possibility did not develop. The work of nationalism was by no means done. The concept of state-allegiance had not entered into the Chinese ideology as yet, and the usurper-President Yüan Shih-k'ai was able to gather his henchmen about him and plan for a powerful modern Empire of which he should be forced by apparently popular acclamation to assume control.

The further necessity for nationalism appeared in several ways. First, the Chinese had not become nationalistic enough in their attitude toward the powers. Sun Yat-sen, with his reluctance to enter into violent disagreement with the old ideology, was most unwilling that chauvinism should be allowed in China.243 He hoped that the Western powers, seeing a fair bargain, would be willing to invest in China sufficient capital to advance Chinese industrial conditions. Instead, he saw Japanese capital pouring into Peking for illegitimate purposes, and accepted by a prostituted government of politicians. With the continuation of the unfavorable financial policy of the powers, and the continuing remoteness of any really helpful loans, he began to think that the Chinese had to rely on their own strength for their salvation.244 Second, he realized that the [pg 184] foreigners in China were not generally interested in a strong, modern Chinese state if that state were to be developed by Chinese and not by themselves. Sun had understood from the beginning that the great aim of nationalism was to readjust the old world-society to nationhood in the modern world; he had not, perhaps, realized that the appearance of this nationhood was going to be opposed by foreigners.245 When he came to power in 1912, he thought that the immediate end of nationalism—liberation of China from Manchu overlordship—had been achieved. He was preoccupied with the domestic problems of democracy and min shêng. When, however, the foreign powers refused to let his government at Canton exercise even the limited authority permitted the Chinese by the treaties over their own customs service, and did not let Sun take the surplus funds allowed the Chinese (after payment of interest due on the money they had lent various Chinese governments), his appreciation of the active propagation of nationalism was heightened. He realized that the Chinese had to fight their own battles, and that, while they might find individual friends among the Westerners, they could scarcely hope for a policy of the great powers which would actually foster the growth of the new national China.246 Simultaneously, he found his advocacy of a nationalist program receiving unexpected support from the Soviet Union. His early contacts with the Russians, who were the only foreigners actually willing to intervene in his behalf with shipments of arms and money, made him interested in the doctrines lying behind their actions, so inconsistent with those of the other [pg 185] Western powers. In the Communist support of his nationalism as a stage in the struggle against imperialism, he found his third justification of a return, with full emphasis, to the program of nationalism.

Hence, at the time that he delivered his sixteen lectures, which represent the final and most authoritative stage of his principles, and the one with which the present work is most concerned, he had returned to an advocacy of nationalism after a temporary hope that enough work had been done along that line. In expelling the alien Manchu rulers of China, he had hoped that the old Chinese nationalism might revive, as soon as it was free of the police restrictions had placed on race-national propaganda by the Empire. He had found that this suspension of a nationalist campaign was premature because nationalism had not firmly entrenched itself in the Chinese social mind. In the first place, state allegiance was weak; usurpers, dictators and military commandants strode about the Chinese countryside with personal armies at their heels. Secondly, the foreign powers, out of respect to whom, perhaps, a vigorous patriotic campaign had not been carried out, did not show themselves anxious to assist China—at least, not as anxious as Sun Yat-sen expected them to be. Third, the inspiration offered by a power which, although temporarily submerged, had recently been counted among the great powers of the world, and which had rejected the aggressive policy which the rest of the Western nations, to a greater or less degree, pursued in the Far East, was sufficient to convince Sun Yat-sen of the justice of the doctrines of that power. Soviet Russia did not stop with words; it offered to associate with China as an equal, and the Soviet representative in Peking was the first diplomat to be given the title of ambassador to China.

The sharpening of the nationalist policy into a program of anti-imperialism seems to have been the direct result of [pg 186] the Communist teachings, one of the conspicuous contributions of the Marxians to the programmatic part of the theories of Sun Yat-sen. As earlier stated, their ideology influenced his almost not all. Their programs, on the other hand, were such an inspiration to the Chinese nationalists that the latter had no hesitation in accepting them. Hu Han-min, one of the moderate Kuomintang leaders, who would certainly not go out of his way to give the Communists credit which they did not deserve, stated unequivocally that the Chinese did not have the slogan, “Down with Imperialism!” in the 1911 revolution, and gave much credit to the Bolsheviks for their anti-imperialist lesson to the Chinese.247

In describing the political aggression of the Western states upon the Chinese society, Sun Yat-sen began by contrasting the nature of the inter-state vassalage which the peripheral Far Eastern states had once owed to the Chinese core-society. He stated that the Chinese did not practise aggression on their neighbors, and that the submission of the neighboring realms was a submission based on respect and not on compulsion. “If at that time all small states of Malaysia wanted to pay tribute and adopt Chinese customs, it was because they admired Chinese civilization and spontaneously wished to submit themselves; it was not because China oppressed them through military force.”248 Even the position of the Philippines, which Sun Yat-sen thought a very profitable and pleasant one under American rule, was not satisfactory to the Filipinos of modern times, who, unlike the citizens of the [pg 187] vassal states of old China, were dissatisfied with their subordinate positions.249

He pointed out that this benevolent Chinese position was destroyed as the West appeared and annexed these various states, with the exception of Siam. He then emphasized that this may have been done in the past with a view to the division of China between the various great powers.250

This partitioning had been retarded, but the danger was still present. The Chinese revolution of 1911 may have shown the powers that there was some nationalism still left in China.251

[pg 188]

The military danger was tremendous. “Political power can exterminate a nation in a morning's time. China who is now suffering through the political oppression of the powers is in danger of perishing at any moment. She is not safe from one day to the other.”252 Japan could conquer China in ten days. The United States could do it in one month. England would take two months at the most, as would France. The reason why the powers did not settle the Chinese question by taking the country was because of their mutual distrust; it was not due to any fear of China. No one country would start forth on such an adventure, lest it become involved with the others and start a new world war.253

If this were the case, the danger from diplomacy would be greater even than that of war. A nation could be extinguished by the stroke of a pen. The Chinese had no reason to pride themselves on their possible military power, their diplomacy, or their present independence. Their military power was practically nil. Their diplomacy amounted to nothing. It was not the Chinese but the aggressors themselves that had brought about the long-enduring stalemate with respect to the Chinese question. The Washington Conference was an attempt on the part of the foreigners to apportion their rights and interests in China without fighting. This made possible the reduction of armaments.254 The present position of China was not one in which the Chinese could take pride. It was humiliating. China, because it was not the colony of one great power, was the sub-colony of all. The Chinese were not even on a par with the colonial subjects of other countries.

The shameful and dangerous position thus outlined by Sun could be remedied only by the development of [pg 189] nationalism and the carrying-on of the struggle against imperialism.

Anti-imperialism was the fruit of his contact with the Bolsheviks. His nationalism had approached their programs of national liberation, but the precise verbal formulation had not been adopted until he came in contact with the Marxian dialecticians of the Third International. His anti-imperialism differed from theirs in several important respects. He was opposed to political intervention for economic purposes; this was imperialism, and unjust. The economic consequences of political intervention were no better than the intervention itself. Nevertheless, at no time did he offer an unqualified rejection of capitalism. He sought loans for China, and distinguished between capital which came to China in such a manner as to profit the Chinese as well as its owners, and that which came solely to profit the capitalists advancing it, to the economic disadvantage of the Chinese. In his ideology, Sun Yat-sen never appears to have accepted the Marxian thesis of the inevitable fall of capitalism, nor does he seem to have thought that imperialism was a necessary and final stage in the history of capitalism.

In short, his program of anti-imperialism and the foreign policy of Chinese political nationalism, seem to be quite comparable to the policy held by the Soviets, apart from those attitudes and activities which their peculiar ideology imposed. In practical matters, in affairs and actions which he could observe with his own eyes, Sun Yat-sen was in accord with the anti-imperialism of Soviet Russia and of his Communist advisers. In the deeper implications of anti-imperialism and in the pattern of the Marxian-Leninist ideology underlying it in the U.S.S.R., he showed little interest. Ideologically he remained Chinese; programmatically he was willing to learn from the Russians.

[pg 190]

The internal program of his nationalism was one which seems to have been influenced by the outlook developed by himself. His vigorous denunciation of Utopian cosmopolitanism prevents his being considered an internationalist. He had, on the occasion of the institution of the first Republic, been in favor of the freedom of nations even when that freedom might be exercised at the expense of the Chinese. The Republic might conceivably have taken the attitude that it had fallen heir to the overlordship enjoyed by the Manchu Empire, and consequently refused representation to the Mongols, Manchus, Tibetans, and Mohammedans. It was, however, called the Republic of Chung Hua (instead of the Republic of Han), and a five-striped flag, representing its five constituent “races,” was adopted. Sun Yat-sen later gave a graphic description of the world-wide appeal of Woodrow Wilson's principle of national self-determination. He did not think that the principle, once enunciated, could be recalled; and stated that the defeat of the minor and colonial nations at the Versailles Conference, which drafted a very unjust treaty, was an instance of the deceitfulness of the great powers.

His nationalism did not go so far as to permit his endorsing the entrance of the People's Republic of Outer Mongolia into the Soviet Union. This doctrine of nationalism as a correlative of democratic national autonomy was his second principle, that of democracy; his first principle, that of race-nationalism, had other implications for the destiny of Mongolia. His positive program of nationalism was dedicated, in its “political” exercise, to the throwing-off of the imperialist bondage and the exercise of the self-rule of the Chinese people.

It is only if one realizes that these three sub-principles of nationalism were re-emphases of the three principles that their position in the theory of the nationalist program becomes clear. Nationalism was to clear the way for [pg 191] min shêng by resisting the Western economic oppression of the Chinese, and thus allowing the Chinese to enrich themselves. Nationalism was to strike down the political oppression of imperialism by eradicating the political holds of the West upon China, and thus allowing the Chinese people to rule itself. So long as China was at the mercy of Western power, any self-government that the Chinese might attempt would have to be essayed at the sufferance of the aggressors. Finally, nationalism was to reinforce itself by the application of race-nationalism to race-kinship; China was not only to be self-ruling—it was to help the other nations of Asia restore their autonomy and shield them with its tutelary benevolence.

When one considers that to Sun Yat-sen democracy and autonomy are inextricably associated, the full significance of his stressing nationalism as a means to democracy appears. The Chinese people could not rule themselves if they were to be intimidated by the Western powers and Japan. They could not rule themselves completely if large portions of them were under alien jurisdiction in the treaty ports. These forms of political oppression were wounds in the body of Chinese society. Chinese nationalism, associated with democracy, required that the whole Chinese people be associated in one race-nation and that this race-nation rule itself through the mechanism of a democratic state.

Here the code of values imposed by Sun Yat-sen's thinking in terms of the old ideology becomes apparent. The development of nationalism in China, while it threatened no one outside and sought only for the justification of China's interests at home, was an accentuation of the existence of the race-nation. The race-nation, freeing itself (political nationalism) and ruling itself (democracy), was to become more conscious of itself. Sun implicitly denied the immediate necessity for a general world-authority; [pg 192] perhaps he did so because he realized that in the present world, any supreme authority would be predominantly Western. The Chinese race-nation, once politically free, had a definite duty to perform on behalf of its peripheral states and on behalf of the suppressed states of the whole world. The first demand, however, was for the freedom of China; others could not be helped by China until China herself was free.

The political application of nationalism envisaged (1) the elimination of existing foreign political control (imperialism) in China; (2) the strengthening of the country to such a degree that it would no longer be a hypo-colony or sub-colony, and would not have to live under the constant threat of invasion or partition; and (3) the resulting free exercise of self-rule by the Chinese people, through a nationalist democracy, so arranged that self-rule of China did not conflict with the equal right of self-rule of other peoples but, on the contrary, helped them.

The Class War of the Nations.

Now come to a consideration of the second part of the sub-principle of political nationalism. This is the theory held by Sun concerning the class war of the nations. It serves to illustrate three points in Sun Yat-sen's thought: first, that Sun never permitted a Western theory to disturb the fundamentals of Chinese ideology as he wished to re-orient it; second, that Sun frequently took Western political theories which had been developed in connection with the relations of individuals and applied them to the relations of nations; and third, that Sun was so much impressed with the cordiality and friendship proffered him by the Communists that he sought to coöperate with them so far as his Chinese ideology permitted him.255

[pg 193]

One notes that the question of distributive justice is not as pressing in China as it is in the modern West. One also observes that the old Chinese ideology was an ideology of the totalitarian society, which rejected any higher allegiance of states or of classes. And one sees that Sun Yat-sen, in proposing a democracy, suggested an ideology which would continue the old Chinese thesis of eventual popular sovereignty as reconciled with administration by an intellectually disciplined elite. Each of these three points prevented Sun from endorsing the intra-national class struggle.

He regarded the class struggle, not—as do the Marxians—as a feature of every kind of economically unequal social organization, but as a pathological development to be found in disordered societies. He considered the Marxian teachings in this respect to be as different from really adequate social doctrines as pathology is from physiology in medical science. The mobility of the old Chinese society, combined with the drags imposed by family, village, and hui, had resulted in a social order which by and large was remarkably just. By presenting the principle of min shêng as a cardinal point in an ideology to be made up of old Chinese morality, old Chinese knowledge, and Western science, he hoped to avoid the evils of capitalism in the course of ethically sound enrichment, development and arrangement of China's economy.

[pg 194]

At the same time Sun was faced with the spectre of imperialism, and had to recognize that this unjust but effective alliance of economic exploitation and political subjection was an irreconcilable enemy to Chinese national freedom. He saw in Russia an ally, and did not see it figuratively. Years of disappointment had taught him that altruism is rare in the international financial relations of the modern world. After seeking everywhere else, he found the Russians, as it were, on his door-step offering him help. This convinced him as no theory could have. He regarded Russia as a new kind of power, and ascribed the general hatred for the Soviet to their stand against capitalism and imperialism: “Then all the countries of the world grew afraid of Russia. This fear of Russia, which the different countries entertain at present, is more terrible than the fear they formerly held, because this policy of peace not only overthrew the Russian imperialism, but (purposed) to overthrow also imperialism in the (whole world).”256 This fight against imperialism was a good work in the mind of Sun Yat-sen.

In considering the principles of Sun more than a decade after they were pronounced, one cannot permit one's own knowledge of the events of the last eleven years to make one demand of Sun Yat-sen a similar background. That would amount to requiring that he be a prophet. At the time when he spoke of the excellence of Russia he had no reason to question the good faith of the Communists who were helping him. It is conceivable that even the Bolsheviks who were aiding and advising the Nationalists did not realize how soon the parting of the ways would come, how much the two ideologies differed from one another, how much each of the two parties endangered the other's position. At the time Sun spoke, the Communists were his allies in the struggle against imperialism; [pg 195] they had agreed from the beginning that China was a country not suited to communism; and Sun Yat-sen, relying on them not to use him in some wider policy of theirs, had no cause to mistrust or fear them. What has happened since is history. Sun Yat-sen can scarcely be required to have predicted it. His comments on imperialism, therefore, must be accepted at face value in a consideration of the nationalist program in his theories.

The method by means of which Sun reconciled his denial of the superiority of class to nation is an interesting one, profoundly significant as a clue to the understanding of his thought. He estimates the population of the world at 1500 million. Now, of this total 400 million are members of the white race, who constitute the most powerful and prosperous people in the modern world. “This white race regards (its 400,000,000 representatives) as the unit which must swallow up the other, colored races. Thus the Red tribes of America have already been exterminated.... The Yellow Asiatic race is now oppressed by the Whites, and it is possible that it will be exterminated before long.”257 Thus, as Sun viewed it, imperialism before the war was racial as well as economic. The White Peril was a reality. This emphasis on the doctrine of race shows the emphasis that Sun put upon race once he had narrowed down the old world-society to the Chinese race-nation. The most vigorous Rassenpolitiker, such as Homer Lea or Lothrop Stoddard,258 would approve heartily of such a [pg 196] system of calculation in politics. Sun Yat-sen differed with them, as he differed with the Marxians, and with the race-theorists in general, by not following any one Western absolute to the bitter end, whether it was the class war or the race struggle.

Russia fitted into this picture of race struggle. One hundred and fifty million Russians left the camp of the 400 million white oppressors, and came over to the just side of the 1100 million members of oppressed nations. Consequently the figures came out somewhat more favorably for the oppressed, in spite of the fact that the imperialist powers were still economically and militarily supreme. Sun Yat-sen quoted an apocryphal remark of Lenin's: “There are in the world two categories of people; one is composed of 1,250,000,000 men and the other of 250,000,000 men. These 1,250,000,000 men are oppressed by the 250,000,000 men. The oppressors act against nature, and in defiance of her. We who oppose might are following her.”259 Sun regarded the Russian Revolution as a shift in the race-struggle, in which Russia had come over to the side of the oppressed nations. (He did, of course, refer to Germany as an oppressed nation at another time, but did not include, so far as we can tell, the German population in the thesis under consideration.)

On this basis China was to join Russia in the class struggle of the nations. The struggle was to be between the oppressed and the oppressors among the nations, and not between the races, as it might have been had not Russia come over to the cause of international equality.260 [pg 197] After the class struggle of the nations had been done with, the time for the consideration of cosmopolitanism would have arrived.

In taking class lines in a scheme of nations, Sun was reconciling the requirements of the old ideology and the international struggle against imperialism. It is characteristic of his deep adherence to what he believed to be the scheme of realities in political affairs that he did not violate his own well-knit ideology in adopting the Marxian ideology for the anti-imperialist struggle, but sought to preserve the marvellous unity of his own society—a society which he believed to have been the most nearly perfect of its time. The race-interpretation of the international class struggle is at one and the same time an assertion of the natural and indestructible unity of Chinese society, and the recognition of the fact that China and Russia, together with the smaller nations, had a common cause against the great advances of modern imperialism.

Racial Nationalism and Pan-Asia.

The dual orientation of Sun Yat-sen's anti-imperialist programs has already been made partly evident in the examination of this belief in a class war of the nations. A much more nearly complete exposition of this doctrine, although with the emphasis on its racial rather than on its economic aspects, is to be found in the third sub-principle of the nationalist program: the race-national aspect of the national revolution. Each of the three principles was to contribute to this implementation of nationalism. [pg 198] Min shêng was to provide the foundation for economic nationalism. Democracy was to follow and reinforce political nationalism, which would clear away the political imperialism and let the Chinese, inculcated with state-allegiance, really rule themselves.

At the end of his life, even after he had delivered the sixteen lectures on the three principles, Sun Yat-sen issued another call for the fulfillment in action of his principle of nationalism. This, too, praised Russia and stressed the significance of the defection of Russia from the band of the white oppressing powers; but it is important as showing the wider implications of Sun Yat-sen's race-national doctrines. During the greater part of his life, Sun spoke of the Chinese race-nation alone. His racial theory led him into no wider implications, such as the political reality of race kinship. In this last pronouncement, he recognized the wide sweep of consequences to which his premises of race-reality had led him. This call was issued in his celebrated Pan-Asiatic Speech of November 28, 1924, given in Kobe, Japan.261

The content of the speech is narrower than the configuration of auxiliary doctrines which may be discussed in connection with it. These are: the race orientation of the Chinese race-nation; the possibility of Pan-Asia; and the necessary function of the future Chinese society as the protector and teacher of Asia, and of the whole world. These points in his theoretical program were still far in the future when he spoke of them, and consequently did not receive much attention. In the light of the developments of the last several years, and the continued references to Sun's Pan-Asia which Japanese officials and propagandists have been making, this part of his program requires new attention.

[pg 199]

The speech itself is a re-statement of the race-class war of the nations. He points out that “It is contrary to justice and humanity that a minority of four hundred million should oppress a majority of nine hundred million....”262 “The Europeans hold us Asiatics down through the power of their material accomplishments.”263 He then goes on to stress the necessity of emulating the material development of the West not in order to copy the West in politics and imperialism as well, but solely for the purpose of national defense. He praises Japan, Turkey, and the Soviet Union as leaders of the oppressed class of nations and predicts that the time will come when China will resume the position she once had of a great and benevolent power. He distinguishes, however, between the position of China in the past and Great Britain and the United States in the present. “If we look back two thousand five hundred years, we see that China was the most powerful people of the world. It then occupied the position which Great Britain and the United States do today. But while Great Britain and the United States today are only two of a series of world powers, China was then the only world power.”264 Sun also refers to the significant position of Turkey and Japan as the two bulwarks of Asia, and emphasizes the strangely just position of Russia.

In his earlier days Sun Yat-sen had been preoccupied with Chinese problems, but not so much so as to prevent [pg 200] his taking a friendly interest in the nationalist revolutions of the Koreans against the Japanese, and the Filipinos against the Americans. This interest seems to have been a personally political one, rather than a preliminary to a definition of policy. He said to the Filipinos: “Let us know one another and we shall love each other more.”265 The transformation of the ideology in China did not necessarily lead to the development of outside affiliations. The Confucian world-society, becoming the Chinese race-nation, was to be independent.

In the development of his emphasis upon race kinship on the achievement of race-nationalism, Sun Yat-sen initiated a program which may not be without great meaning in the furthering of the nationalist program. He showed that the Chinese race-nation, having racial affinities with the other Asiatic nations, was bound to them nationally in policy in two ways: racially, and—as noted—anti-imperialistically. This theory would permit the Chinese to be drawn into a Pan-Asiatic movement as well as into an anti-imperialist struggle. This theory may now be used as a justification for either alternative in the event of China's having to choose aides in Russo-Japanese conflict. China is bound to Russia by the theory of the class war of the nations, but could declare that Russia had merely devised a new form for imperialism. China is bound to Japan by the common heritage of Asiatic blood and civilization, but could declare that Japan had gone over to the pa tao side of Western imperialism, and prostituted herself to the status of another Westernized-imperialized aggressive power. Whatever the interpretations of this [pg 201] doctrine may be, it will afford the Chinese a basis for their foreign policy based on the San Min Chu I.

When Sun Yat-sen spoke, Russia and China had not fought over the Chinese Eastern Railway and the Chinese Communist problem, nor had Japan and China entered into the Manchurian conflict. He was therefore in no position to see that his expressions of approval for Pan-Asianism and for pro-Soviet foreign policy might conflict. In one breath he praised Japan as the leader and inspirer of modern Asia, and lauded Russia as the pioneer in a new, just policy on the part of the Western powers. He saw little hope that the example of the Soviet Union would be followed by any other Western power, although he did state that there was “ ... in England and America a small number of people, who defend these our ideals in harmony with a general world movement. As far as the other barbarian nations are concerned, there might be among them people who are inspired by the same convictions.”266 The possibility of finding allies in the West did not appear to be a great one to Sun Yat-sen.

Sun did something in this speech which he had rarely hitherto done. He generalized about the whole character of the East, and included in that everything which the Westerners regarded as Eastern, from Turkey to Japan. We have seen that the Chinese world of Eastern Asia had little in common with the middle or near East. In this speech Sun accepted the Western idea of a related Orient and speaks of Asiatic ideals of kindliness and justice. This is most strange. “If we Asiatics struggle for the creation of a pan-Asiatic united front, we must consider ... on what fundamental constitution we wish to erect this united [pg 202] front. We must lay at the foundations whatever has been the special peculiarity of our Eastern culture; we must place our emphasis on moral value, on kindliness and justice.”267 This Pan-Asian doctrine had been the topic of frequent discussion by Japanese and Russians. The former naturally saw it as a great resurgency of Asia under the glorious leadership of the Japanese Throne. The Russians found pan-Asianism to be a convenient instrument in the national and colonial struggle against imperialism for communism.

Sun Yat-sen joined neither of these particular pan-Asiatic outlooks. The foreign policy of the Chinese race-nation was to fight oppressors, and to join the rest of Asia in a struggle against white imperialist domination. But—here is the distinction—how was China to do these things? Sun Yat-sen never urged the Chinese to accept the leadership of the Western or Japanese states, however friendly they might be. China was to follow a policy of friendship and coöperation with those powers which were friendly to her and to the cause of justice throughout the world. Sun praised the old system of Eastern Asia, by which the peripheral states stood in vassalage to China, a vassalage which he regarded as mutually voluntary and not imperialistic in the unpleasant sense of the word.

In the end, he believed Chinese society should resume the duty which it had held for so many centuries in relation to its barbarian neighbors. China should be rightly governed and should set a constant instance of political propriety. Sun even advocated ultimate intervention by [pg 203] the Chinese, a policy of helping the weak and lifting up the fallen. He concluded his sixth lecture on nationalism by saying: “If we want to ‘govern the country rightly and pacify the world,’ we must, first of all, restore our nationalism together with our national standing, and unify the world on the basis of the morality and peach which are proper (to us), in order to achieve an ideal government.”268

We may conclude that his racial sub-principle in a program of nationalism involved: 1) orientation of Chinese foreign policy on the basis of blood kinship as well as on the basis of class war of the nations; 2) advocacy of a pan-Asiatic movement; and 3) use of China's resurgence of national power to restore the benevolent hegemony which the Chinese had exercised over Eastern Asia, and possibly to extend it over the whole world.

The General Program of Nationalism.

It may be worthwhile to attempt a view of the nationalist program of Sun Yat-sen as a whole. The variety of materials covered, and the intricate system of cross-reference employed by Sun, make it difficult to summarize this part of his doctrines on a simple temporal basis. The plans for the advancement of the Chinese race-nation do not succeed each other in an orderly pattern of future years, one stage following another. They mirror, rather, the deep conflict of forces in the mind of Sun, and bring to the surface of his teachings some of the almost irreconcilable attitudes and projects which he had to put together. In the ideological part of his doctrines we do not find such contrasts; his ideology, a readjustment of the ideology of old China, before the impact of the new world, to conditions developing after that impact, is fairly homogeneous and consistent. It does not possess the rigid and iron-bound consistency required to meet the logic of [pg 204] the West; but, in a country not given to the following of absolutes, it was as stable as it needed to be. His programs do not display the same high level of consistency. They were derived from his ideology, but, in being derived from it, they had to conform with the realities of the revolutionary situation in words addressed to men in that situation. As Wittfogel has said, the contradictions of the actual situation in China were reflected in the words of Sun Yat-sen; Marxians, however, would suppose that these contradictions ran through the whole of the ideology and plans. It may be found that in the old security transmitted by Sun from the Confucian ideology to his own, there is little contradiction; in his programs we shall find much more.

This does not mean, of course, that Sun Yat-sen planned things which were inherently incompatible with one another. What he did do was to advocate courses of action which might possibly have all been carried out at the same time, but which might much more probably present themselves as alternatives. His ardor in the cause of revolution, and his profound sincerity, frequently led him to over-assess the genuineness of the cordial protestations of others; he found it possible to praise Japan, Turkey, and the Soviet Union in the same speech, and to predict the harmonious combination, not only of the various Asiatic nationalisms with each other, but of all the nations of Asia with Western international communism. The advantage, therefore, of the present treatment, which seeks to dissever the ideology of Sun Yat-sen from his plans, may rest in large part upon the fact that the ideology, based in the almost timeless scheme of things in China, depended little upon the political situations of the moment, while his plans, inextricably associated with the main currents of the contemporary political situation, may have been invalidated as plans by the great political changes that occurred after his death. That is not to say, [pg 205] however, that his plans are no longer of importance. The Chinese nationalists may still refer to them for suggestions as to their general course of action, should they wish to remain orthodox to the teachings of Sun. The plans also show how the ideology may be developed with reference to prevailing conditions.

Clearly, some changes in the plans will have to be made; some of the changes which have been made are undoubtedly justified. Now that war between the Soviet Union and Japan has ceased to be improbable, it is difficult to think of the coördination of a pan-Asiatic crusade with a world struggle against imperialism. Chinese nationalists, no longer on good terms with the Japanese—and on worse terms with the Communists—must depend upon themselves and upon their own nation much more than Sun expected. At the time of his death in 1925 the Japanese hostility to the Kuomintang, which became so strikingly evident at Tsinanfu in 1928-9, and the fundamental incompatibility of the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China, had not manifested themselves. On the other hand, he could not have foreseen that the imperialist nations, by no means cordial to the Chinese Nationalists, would become as friendly to the Chinese nationalism as they have. The United States, for instance, while not acting positively against the political restrictions of Western imperialism (including its own) in China, has been friendly to the Nanking government, and as far as a rigid policy of neutrality permitted it, took the side of China against Japan in the Manchurian conflict in and after 1931. Such developments cannot easily be reconciled to the letter of the plans of Sun Yat-sen, and, unless infallibility is expected of him, there is no reason why they should.

[pg 206]

His plans possess an interest far more than academic. It is not the province of this work to judge the degree to which the Nationalists carried out the doctrines of Sun, nor to assess the relative positions of such leaders as Chiang Chieh-shih and Wang Ching-wei with respect to orthodoxy. The plans may be presented simply as a part of the theory of Sun Yat-sen, and where there is possibility of disagreement, of his theory in its final and most authoritative stage: the sixteen lectures of 1924, and the other significant writings of the last years of his life.

The first part of his plans for China—those dealing with the applications of nationalism—may be more easily digested in outline form:

1. The Kuomintang was to be the instrument of the revolution. Re-formed under the influence of the Communist advisers, it had become a powerful weapon of agitation. It was, as will be seen in the discussion of the plans for democracy, to become a governing system as well. Its primary purpose was to carry out the advancement of nationalism by the elimination of the tuchuns and other anti-national groups in China, and by an application of the three principles, one by one, of the nationalist program.

2. The Kuomintang should foster the ideology of nationalism and arouse the Chinese people to the precarious position of their country. In order to make nationalism politically effective, state allegiance had to supplant the old personal allegiance to the Dragon Throne, or the personal allegiance to the neo-feudal militarists.

3. Nationalism should be exerted economically, to develop the country in accord with the ideology of min shêng and to clear away imperialist economic oppression which interfered with both nationalism and min shêng.

4. Nationalism had to be exerted politically, for two ends: Chinese democracy, and Chinese autonomy, which Sun often spoke of as one. This had to be done by active political [pg 207]resistance to aggression and by the advancement of a China state-ized and democratic.

5. Nationalism had also to be exercised politically, in another manner: in the class war of the nations. China should fight the racial and economic oppression of the ruling white powers, in common with the other oppressed nations and the one benevolent white nation (Soviet Russia).

6. Nationalism had to reinforce itself through its racial kinships. China had to help her fellow Asiatic nations, in a pan-Asia movement, and restore justice to Asia and to the world.

This recapitulation serves to show the curious developments of Sun Yat-sen's nationalist program. Originally based upon his ideology, then influenced by the race-orientation of a good deal of his political thought, and finally reconciled to the programmatic necessities of his Communist allies, it is surprising not in its diversity but in its homogeneity under the circumstances. This mixture of elements, which appears much more distinctly in Sun's own words than it does in a rephrasing, led some Western students who dealt with Sun to believe that his mind was a cauldron filled with a political witch-brew. If it is remembered that the points discussed were programmatic points, which changed with the various political developments encountered by Sun and his followers, and not the fundamental premises of his thought and action (which remained surprisingly constant, as far as one can judge, throughout his life), the inner consistency of Sun Yat-sen will appear. These plans could not have endured under any circumstances, since they were set in a particular time. The ideology may.

In turning from the nationalist to the democratic plans of Sun Yat-sen, we encounter a distinct change in the type of material. Orderly and precise instead of chaotic and near-contradictory, the democratic plans of Sun Yat-sen [pg 208] present a detailed scheme of government based squarely on his democratic ideology, and make no concessions to the politics of the moment. Here his nationalism finds its clearest expression. The respective autonomies of the individual, the clan, the hsien and the nation are accounted for; the nature of the democratic nationalist state becomes clear. Programmatically, it is the clearest, and, perhaps, the soundest, part of Sun's work.

[pg 209]

Chapter VI. The Programs of Democracy.

The Three Stages of Revolution.

Sun Yat-sen's doctrine of the three stages of revolution attracted a considerable degree of attention. By the three stages of the revolution he meant (1) the acquisition of political power by the teachers of the new ideology (the revolution), (2) the teaching of the new ideology (tutelage), and (3) the practice of government by the people in accord with the new ideology (constitutional democracy). Enough of Sun Yat-sen's teaching concerning the new ideology has been shown to make clear that this proposal is merely a logical extension of his doctrine of the three classes of men.

Western writers who have acquainted themselves with the theory seem, in some instances, inclined to identify it with the Marxist theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, into which the proletarian revolution is to be divided into three stages—the conquest of political power by the masses; the dictatorship of the proletariat; and the inauguration (in the remote future) of the non-governmental class-less society.269 It scarcely seems necessary to go so far afield to discover the origin of the theory. As a matter of record, Sun Yat-sen made his earliest recorded announcement of this theory in 1905, when he was not at all under the influence of Marxism, although he was acquainted [pg 210] with it.270 Finally, the theory forms so necessary a link between his theory of Kuomintang control of the revolution, and his equally insistent demand for ultimate democracy, that it may be regarded as a logically necessary part of his complete plan. The coincidence between his and the Marxian theories would consequently appear as a tribute to his acumen; this was the view that the Communists took when they discovered that Sun Yat-sen was afraid of the weaknesses of immediate democracy in a country not fit for it.

One might also observe that, once the premise of revolution for a purpose is accepted, the three stages fit well into the scheme of age-old traditional political thought advocated by the Confucians. Confucius did not see the value of revolution, although he condoned it in specific instances. He did, however, believe in tutelage and looked forward to an age when the ideology would have so impregnated the minds of men that ta t'ung (the Confucian Utopia) would be reached, and, presumably, government would become superfluous. That which Sun sought to achieve by revolution—the placing of political power in the hands of the ideological reformers (or, in the case of the Marxist theory, the proletariat, actually the Communist party, its trustee)—Confucius sought, not by advocating a general conspiracy of scholars for an oligarchy of the intellectuals, but the more peaceful method of urging princes to take the advice of scholars in government, so that the ideology could be established (by the introduction of “correct names,” chêng ming) and ideological control introduced.

The three stages of revolution may resemble Communist doctrine; they may have been influenced by Confucian teaching; whatever their origin, they play an extremely important part in the doctrines of Sun Yat-sen, and in the [pg 211] politics springing from his principles. If the Kuomintang is the instrument of the revolution, the three stages are its process. The clearest exposition of this theory of the three stages is found in The Fundamentals of National Reconstruction, a manifesto which Sun Yat-sen issued in 1924:

3. The next element of reconstruction is democracy. To enable the people to be competent in their knowledge of politics, the government should undertake to train and guide them so that they may know how to exercise their rights of election, recall, initiative, and referendum....

5. The order of reconstruction is divided into three periods, viz.

(a) Period of Military Operations;
(b) Period of Political Tutelage;
(c) Period of Constitutional Government.

6. During the period of military operations the entire country should be subject to military rule. To hasten the unification of the country, the Government to be controlled by the Kuomintang should employ military force to conquer all opposition in the country and propagate the principles of the Party so that the people may be enlightened.

7. The period of political tutelage in a province should begin and military rule should cease as soon as order within the province is completely restored....

He then goes on to describe the method by which tutelage shall be applied, and when it should end. It should end, Sun declares, in each hsien (district; township) as the people of the hsien become self-governing, through learning and practice in the democratic techniques. As soon as all the hsien within a province are self-governing, the provincial government shall be released to democratic control.

23. When more than one half of the provinces in the country have reached the constitutional government stage, i. e. more [pg 212]than one half of the provinces have local self-government full established in all their districts, there shall be a National Congress to decide on the adoption and promulgation of the Constitution....

(Signed) Sun Wen

12th day, 4th month, 13th year of the Republic (April 12, 1924).271

Sun Yat-sen was emphatic about the necessity of a period of tutelage. The dismal farce of the first Republic in 1912, when the inexperience and apathy of the people, coupled with the venality of the militarists and politicians, very nearly discredited Chinese democracy, convinced Sun Yat-sen that effective self-government could be built up only as the citizens became ready for it. A considerable number of the disputes concerning the theory of self-government to be employed by the policy-making groups of the National (Kuomintang-controlled) Government have centered on the point of criteria for self-government. Even with the insertion of a transition stage, and with a [pg 213] certain amount of tutelage, difficulties are being encountered in the application of this theory of the introduction of constitutional government as soon as the people in a hsien are prepared for it. Other considerations, military or political, may make any venture beyond the secure confines of a benevolent Party despotism dangerous; and the efficacy of tutelage can always be questioned. The period of tutelage was set for 1930-1935; it is possible, however, that the three stages cannot be gone through as quickly as possible, since the Japanese invasions and the world economic depression exercised a thoroughly disturbing influence throughout the country.

A final point may be made with regard to the three stages of the revolution as Sun Yat-sen planned them. Always impetuous and optimistic in revolutionary endeavor, Sun Yat-sen expected that the military conquest would be rapid, the period of tutelage continue a few years, and constitutional democracy endure for ages, until in the end ta t'ung should reign upon earth. The transition period was not, as in the theory of the Confucians and the Marxians, an indefinite period beginning with the present and leading on down to the age of the near-perfection of humanity. It was to Sun Yat-sen, in his more concrete plans, an interval between the anarchy and tyranny of the warlord dictatorships and the coming of Nationalist democracy. It was not a scheme of government in itself.

To recapitulate: Sun Yat-sen believed that revolution proceeded or should proceed by three stages—the (military) revolution proper; the period of tutelage; and the period of constitutional democracy. His theory resembles the Communist, although it provides for a dictatorship of [pg 214] the patriotic elite (Kuomintang) and not of any one class such as the proletariat; it also resembles the Confucian with respect to the concepts of tutelage and eventual harmony. Military conquest was to yield swiftly to tutelage; tutelage was to lead, hsien by hsien, into democracy. With the establishment of democracy in more than one-half of the provinces, constitutional government was to be inaugurated and the expedient of Party dictatorship dispensed with.

This theory, announced as early as 1905, Sun did not insist upon when the first Republic was proclaimed in 1912, with the tragic results which the history of that unfortunate experiment shows. In the experience derived from that great enthusiasm, Sun appreciated the necessity of knowledge before action. He was willing to defer the enjoyment of democracy until the stability of the democratic idea in the minds of the people was such that they could be entrusted with the familiar devices of Western self-government.

What kind of a democratic organization did Sun Yat-sen propose to develop in China on the basis of his Nationalist and democratic ideology? Having established the fundamental ideas of national unity, and the national self-control, and having allowed for the necessity of an instrument of revolution—the Kuomintang—and a process of revolution—the three stages, what mechanisms of government did Sun advocate to permit the people of China to govern themselves in accord with the Three Principles?

The Adjustment of Democracy to China.

It is apparent that, even with tutelage, the democratic techniques of the West could impair the attainment of democracy in China were they applied in an unmodified form, and without concession to the ideological and institutional [pg 215] backgrounds of the Chinese. The Westerner need only contemplate the political structure of the Roman Republic to realize how much this modern democracy is the peculiar institution of his race, bred in his bone and running, sacred and ancient, deep within his mind. The particular methods of democracy, so peculiarly European, which the modern—that is, Western or Westernized—world employs, is no less alien to the imperial anarchy of traditional China than is the Papacy. Sun Yat-sen, beholding the accomplishments of the West in practical matters, had few illusions about the excellence of democratic shibboleths, such as parliamentarism or liberty, and was profoundly concerned with effecting the self-rule of the Chinese people without leading them into the labyrinth of a strange and uncongenial political system.

In advocating democracy he did not necessarily advocate the adoption of strange devices from the West. While believing, as we have seen, in the necessity of the self-rule of the Chinese race-nation, he by no means desired to take over the particular parliamentary forms which the West had developed.272 He criticised the weakness of Western political and social science as contrasted with the strength of Western technology: “It would be a gross error to believe that just as we imitate the material sciences of the foreigners, so we ought likewise to copy their politics. The material civilization of the foreigners changes from day to day; we attempt to imitate it, and we find it difficult to keep step with it. But there is a vast difference between the progress of foreign politics [pg 216] and the progress of material civilization; the speed of (the first) is very slow.”273 And he said later, in speaking of the democracy of the first Republic: “China wanted to be in line with foreign countries and to practice democracy; accordingly she set up her representative government. But China has not learned anything about the good sides of representative governments in Europe and in America, and as to the bad sides of these governments, they have increased tenfold, a hundredfold in China, even to the point of making swine, filthy and corrupt, out of government representatives, a thing which has not been witnessed in other countries since the days of antiquity. This is truly a peculiar phenomenon of representative government. Hence, China not only failed to learn well anything from the democratic governments of other countries, but she learned evil practices from them.”274 This farce-democracy was as bad as no government at all. Sun Yat-sen had to reject any suggestion that China imitate the example of some of the South American nations in borrowing the American Constitution and proclaiming a “United States of China.” The problem was not to be solved so easily.

In approaching Sun Yat-sen's solution the Western student must again remember two quite important distinctions between the democracy of Sun Yat-sen and the democracy of the West. Sun Yat-sen's principle of min ch'üan was the self-control of the whole people first, and a government by the mass of individuals making up the people secondarily. The Chinese social system was well enough organized to permit the question of democracy to be a question of the nation as a whole, rather than a question of the reconciliation of particular interests within the nation. Special interests already found their outlet in [pg 217] the recognized social patterns—so reminiscent of the institutions envisaged by the pluralists—of the ancient order. In the second place, China was already a society which was highly organized socially, although politically in ruins; the democratic government that Sun Yat-sen planned had infinitely less governing to do than did Western governments. The new Nationalist government had to fit into rather than supplant the old order. As a consequence of these distinctions, one may expect to find much less emphasis on the exact methods of popular control of the government than one would in a similar Western plan; and one must anticipate meeting the ancient devices and offices which the usage of centuries had hallowed and made true to the Chinese.

One may find that democracy in China is not so radical a novelty as it might at first thought be esteemed. A figure of speech, which somewhat anticipates the exposition, may serve to prepare one for some of the seeming omissions of Sun Yat-sen's plan for a democracy. The suggestion is this: that the democracy of Sun Yat-sen is, roughly, a modernization of the old Imperial system, with the Emperor (as the head of the academic civil service) removed, and the majority placed in his stead. Neither in the old system nor in the new were the minorities the object of profound concern, for, to the Chinese, the notion of a minority (as against the greater mass of the tradition-following people) is an odd one. The rule of the Son of Heaven (so far as it was government at all) was to be replaced by the rule of the whole people (min, which is more similar to the German Volk than the English people). The first Sun Yat-sen called monarchy; the second, democracy.

The old ideology was to yield to the new, but even the new as a review of it has shown, was not broad enough completely to supplant the old. The essential continuity [pg 218] of Chinese civilization was not to be broken. Democracy as a Western institution could be nothing more than a sham, as the parliaments at Peking had showed; democracy in China had to be not only democracy, but Chinese as well.

It is not, therefore, extraordinarily strange to find the ancient institutions of the Empire surviving by the side of the most extreme methods of popular government. The censorate and the referendum, the examination system and the recall, all could work together in the democracy planned by Sun Yat-sen. Even with the idea of popular rule adopted in the formal Western manner, Sun Yat-sen proposed to continue the idea of natural and ineradicable class differences between men. The Chinese democracy was not to be any mere imitation of the West; it was to be the fundamentally new fusion of Chinese and Western methods, and offered as the solution for the political readjustment of the Chinese society in a world no longer safe for it.

The Four Powers.

Sun Yat-sen divided all men into three categories: the geniuses, the followers, and the unthinking. To reconcile this theory of natural inequality with democracy, he distinguished between ch'üan, the right to rule as sovereign, and nêng, the right to administer as an official. He furthermore considered the state similar to a machine. How should the unthinking, who would possess ch'üan, the right to rule, be granted that right without attempting to usurp nêng?

This was to be accomplished by two means. The Four Powers were to be given to the people, in order to assure their possession of ch'üan. The Five Rights were to assure that the government might be protected in its right to nêng, in its right to have only the most competent officials. Together the Four Powers and the Five Rights implement [pg 219] a scheme of government so novel that Sun Yat-sen himself believed it to be a definite contribution to political method. The learned Jesuit translator of the San Min Chin I does not even term it democracy, but neo-democracy instead.275

The Four Powers represent an almost extreme limit of popular control. Sun Yat-sen divided the four into two groups: the first two are powers of the people over the administrators—the power of election and the power of recall; the second two are powers of the people over the laws—the power of initiative and the power of referendum. Having secured the government from undue interference, Sun Yat-sen had no reluctance in giving these powers to the people. He said: “As for our China, since she had no old democratic system, she ought to be able to make very good use of this most recent and excellent invention.”276

These four powers are perhaps the most Western element in the whole theory of Sun. History does not record the technique by which the Chinese chose Yao to be their Emperor, and even where actions comparable to elections were performed, it was not by use of the ballot-box or the voting machine, or drilling on an appointed field. The Chinese way of getting things done never tended that much to formality. A man who wanted to be a village head might be quietly chosen head by a cabal of the most influential persons, or at a meeting of many of the villagers. He might even decide to be head, and act as head, in the hope that people would pay attention to him and think that he was head. The Four Powers represent [pg 220] a distinct innovation in Chinese politics for, apart from a few ridiculous comic-opera performances under the first Republic, and the spurious plebiscite on the attempted usurpation of Yüan Shih-k'ai, the voting method has been a technique unknown in China. It is distinctly Western.

Another distinction may be made with a certain degree of reservation and hesitancy. It is this: the Chinese, without the elaborate system of expedient fictions which the West terms juristic law, were and are unable to conceive of corporate action. A law passed by the Peking parliament was not passed by the dictator in parliament, or the people in parliament; it was simply passed by parliament, and was parliament's responsibility. The only kind of law that the people could pass would be one upon which they themselves had voted.

Seen in this light, the Four Powers assume a further significance greater than the Western political scientist might attribute to them. In America there is little difference between a law which the people of Oregon pass in the legislature, and one which they pass in a referendum. To the Chinese there is all the difference in the world. The one is an act of the government, and not of the people; the other, the act of the people, and not of the government. The people may have powers over the government, but never, by the wildest swing of imagination, can they discover themselves personified in it. A Chinese democracy is almost a dyarchy of majority and officialdom, the one revising and checking the other.

Sun Yat-sen did not comment on the frequency with which he expected these powers to be exercised, nor has the political development of democratic China gone far enough to afford any test of experience; it is consequently impossible to state whether these powers were to be, or shall be, exercised constantly as a matter of course, or whether they shall be employed by the people only as [pg 221] courses for emergency action, when the government arouses their displeasure. The latter seems the more probable, in view of the background of Chinese tradition, and the strong propensities of the Chinese to avoid getting involved in anything which does not concern them immediately and personally. This probability is made the more plausible by the self-corrective devices in the governmental system, which may seem to imply that an extensive use of the popular corrective power was not contemplated by Sun Yat-sen.

Sun Yat-sen said:

Now we separate power from capacity and we say that the people are the engineers and the government is the machine. On the one hand, we want the machinery of the government to be all-powerful, able to do anything, and on the other hand we want the engineer, the people, to have great power so as to be able to control that all-powerful machine.

But what must be the mutual rights of the people and of the government in order that they might balance? We have just explained that. On the people's side there should be the four rights of election, recall, initiative, and referendum. On the government's side there must be five powers.... If the four governing powers of the people control the five administrative powers of the government, then we shall have a perfect political-democratic machine....277

The Five Rights.

Sun Yat-sen implemented his theory of democracy by assigning Four Powers to the people and Five Rights to the government. This latter doctrine is one of the most disputed points in his proposal. Some writers see in it nothing more than a crass conjunction of the theory of Montesquieu and the practices of the Chinese Imperial system.278 His followers are disposed to regard the doctrine [pg 222] of the Five Rights as the product of intrepid imagination, which succeeded in reconciling the traditional scheme of Chinese things with the requirements of modern self-government.

Sun made the point that both Chinese and Western governments had in the past had tripartite governments. He illustrated this by a diagram:279

Constitution of China

The Examining Power (Kao Shih ch'üan)
The Imperial Power (Chun ch'üan)
The Legislative Power
The Executive Power
The Judicial Power
The Power to Impeach (Tan k'ê ch'üan)

Foreign Constitutions

The Legislative Power combined with the Power to Impeach
The Executive Power combined with the Examining Power
The Judicial Power

Sun Yat-sen believed that in separating the Five Rights from one another he would make clear certain differentiations [pg 223] of function which had led to numberless disputes in the past, and would present to the world a model government.

Thus far, the Five Rights seem the complement of the Four Powers. The two sets of controls, of people over the government, and of the government over the people, assure China that a neo-democratic administration will have no less continuity and power than did its Imperial predecessor, and nevertheless be subject to the will of the majority of the four hundred odd million sovereigns. Contemplated in this manner, the Five Rights are an amalgamation of the Western theory upon the Chinese, and significant as a novelty in democratic administrative theory rather than as institutions altering the fundamental premises and methods of democracy.

If, however, a further step is taken, and the Five Powers are associated with Sun Yat-sen's doctrine of the three naturally unequal classes of men, they assume a somewhat less superficial significance. If the rule of the people is placed over the administration by the geniuses, the geniuses must be assured a method of entering the government service. The oligarchy of the intellectuals is to be reconciled with the dictatorship of the majority. The old Chinese system of a trained class of scholars, entrance to which was open on a competitive system to members of almost all classes of society, had to be preserved in the new China, and at the same time disciplined and purified of unworthy or unsuitable elements, while simultaneously subject to the policy-making authority of the majority.

The preservation of a leader class was to be assured by an examination division in the new democratic government, and its purification and discipline continued by a supervisory or censoring division. The administrative setup of the nationalist democracy would appear as follows, [pg 224] when the present official translations of the Chinese names for the divisions (Yuan) are adopted:

1.   The division of the executive (Executive Yuan).
2.   The division of the legislative (Legislative Yuan).
3.   The division of the judicial (Judicial Yuan).
4.   The division of censorship, impeachment and accounting (Control Yuan).
5.   And the division of the examination system (Examination Yuan).

It is an illustration of the further difference between the democracy of Sun Yat-sen and Western democracy, that each of the divisions, even the legislative, was to have a single head. The whole government was to be departmentally, not camerally, organized.

The system of Five Powers emphasizes the implied dyarchy of government and people in the San Min Chu I by assigning to the government itself functions which, in the usual course of events, are supposed to be exercised by the people themselves in Western democracies. The people are supposed to eliminate unfit officials and decide on the merits and trustworthiness of incumbents. By the expedient of non-reëlection, the people are supposed to remove officials, who are incapable or unsuitable for public office. The two functions have been taken over by the Examination and Control Yuans, respectively; the Four Powers of the people are not, in all probability, instruments for continual popular intrigue and meddling in government, but almost revolutionary implements for shifting the course or composition of the government.

The Five Rights are instruments for the self-government of the official class (Examination and Control), and for the government of the people by the official class (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial). The Four Powers are the instruments for the government of the official class [pg 225] by the people. Out of the checks and balances of government and people the integrity, efficacy, and stability of Sun Yat-sen's democracy was to be assured.

The exercise of the Four Rights of the people could, in the theory of Sun Yat-sen, be used to check the development of an arrogant, inefficient or irresponsible bureaucracy, in that the people would assist in the selection of officials and would be able to remove incompetents at any time. The civil service mechanism of the government would, on the other hand, resist the too free play of popular caprice. No incompetent person would be elected to office, since the civil service would extend even to elective offices. The voters could remove a bad official but they could not replace him with an untrained person; they would have to select their candidate from the roster of scholar-officials eligible for the rank of the office in question. The people were to supervise the operations of the age-old Chinese civil service, as revivified by the nationalists; they were to appoint and remove officers, to repeal and enact laws; but in no case were they to tear down the structure of the civil service and inaugurate a spoils democracy such as that found in the United States. This blending of extreme democracy and traditional administrative hierarchy would result, said Sun Yat-sen, in perfect government.

The democratic nationalist government was to supersede the Empire. In between there was no central government, since the various military leaders paid scant respect to the unfortunate clique of diplomats and officials who carried on the few functions left to the powerless Peking government.280 The new government was not, therefore, [pg 226] so much a new political order to be set up in place of the old as a political order to be built up out of military chaos. The social system, although shaken and affected by Western ideas, continued much as usual, and was to be woven into the new socio-political patterns that Sun Yat-sen projected.

The Nationalist government was to be the nation's answer to the foreign aggression. The White Peril, which had flooded Asia, could only be held back by the dykes of a militant nationalist movement, expressing itself in a formal state such as the Westerners themselves had developed, and which fitted them to undertake the conquest of the world. This government was to be the agent of the whole Chinese people who, casting off the oppression of the militarists and the imperialists, was to rise again with its ancient power, formidable and ready to fight if necessary, more ready to bring about world-coöperation and peace if possible. It was to be a government made up of a trained officialdom such as ancient China had possessed for centuries, which had led to the integration of control and culture (in the narrowest sense of the word), and of a people ruling by checking that officialdom: an all-powerful state-machine ruled by an all-powerful people.281 A state was to appear in the world of states and enclose the Chinese people, by political power, more effectively than could the Great Wall.

This aspect of democracy, the self-rule of the Chinese society vis-à-vis the linked despotism of militarists, renegades and imperialists, was, although the most important facet of democracy, not the whole story. In order to systematize the loose democracy of old China, in order to [pg 227] lead all force to the top, where it could be exerted outwards, the democratic plan had to plan links with the traditional system. The government could not be democratic if it were not tied to the people. The people could not govern themselves, as apart from governing the officialdom making up the National government, unless they had mechanisms with which to do so. Although the family, the hui and the hsien provided self-government, this self-government had to be associated with the scheme of nationalist and national self-government in order to guarantee the latter's effectiveness. Beyond or beneath the national democracy of China there was to be a system of democracy (the politicalization, as it were, of the old social organs) running through society. What these separate or subordinate organs were to be, what relations they were to have with the national government, and what other intermediate institutions were to facilitate those relations must be studied to gain a complete picture of the democracy of Sun Yat-sen.

Confederacy Versus Centralism.

One of the most involved questions in the political thought of the Chinese revolution has been the problem of provincial autonomy. The Chinese provinces differ considerably more from one another in economic conditions, language and race than do the American states; it has been said that one of the causes of the overthrow of the Manchu monarchy was the encroachment of the Imperial central power, in its last desperate attempts to modernize itself and cope with the last crisis, upon the old autonomy of the provinces.282 Institutionally, the provinces were relatively independent; this degree of independence was, however, minimized by the general unimportance of government [pg 228] in Chinese society. The Chinese, toward each other, feel conscious of family, village and provincial ties; face to face with the foreigners, they are beginning to know themselves as Chinese. Until the wave of nationalism swept the country, provincial rivalry was a live issue; even today, it cannot be called forgotten.

Sun Yat-sen's opinions on many points of government remained stable through his life. The fundamental ideas and ideals seem to have been expanded, rather than changed, as his theory met the test of his growing experience and the lessons of the revolution; but even with expansion, they remain, for the most part, consistent. Sun Yat-sen was steadfast in his beliefs.

This cannot be said of his and his successors' opinions on the problem of province versus nation. There is no one doctrine dealing with the question of provincial autonomy. There may be a trend, however, which can be described as a swing from definite emphasis upon the province toward neglect of that unit of administration. This trend may be illustrated by several points.

At the time of the first Republic the provinces were treated much as are states in the United States. The members of the Senate of the Republic (Ts'an Yi Yuan) were to be elected by the Assemblies of the provinces, and, when representing persons not under the jurisdiction of a provincial Assembly, by Electoral Colleges. The House of Representatives was to be elected directly by the people, in the proportion of one member to each eight hundred thousand of population, with the reservation—again in propitiation of provincial vanity—that no province should have less than ten representatives.283 The [pg 229] first Republic was distinctly federal although by no means confederate.

Sun Yat-sen did not immediately shift from this position. As late as 1919-1922, when he was preparing his official biography, he spoke enthusiastically to his biographer of the potentialities of democratic provincial home rule.284 He still believed in the importance of the provinces as units of a future democracy in China.

From the time that Sun went South, and the Kuomintang was reorganized, to the present, the tendency in the Sun-Kuomintang theory seems to have been toward minimization of the importance of the provinces in the democracy to be set up. The Party Declaration of the Kuomintang at its First National Convention in 1924 in Canton criticised several political viewpoints prevalent; among these was that of the Confederalists, so called. The Declaration states, in part: “Undoubtedly regional self-government is in entire accord with the spirit of democracy and is a great need of our nation. But a true regional self-government can be realized only when our national independence is won, for without national freedom, local freedom is impossible.... Many social, economic and political problems facing the individual provinces can be solved only by the nation as a whole. So the success of the peoples' revolution is a prerequisite to the realization of provincial autonomy.”285

Sun Yat-sen himself stated, a few months earlier, a point of view which may seem inconsistent with the Party Declaration:

[pg 230]
18. The Hsien is the unit of self-government. The province links up and provides means of co-operation between the Central Government and the local governments of the districts.286

Whatever the occasion for the slight difference of opinion, it has been the policy of the Kuomintang to emphasize hsien rather than provinces as units of self-government. The Party itself is quite centralized. The Resumé of the Kuomintang Third National Congress Resolutions Concerning Political Matters, adopted March 27, 1929, states unequivocally: “The traditional policy of attaching greater importance to provincial government than to Hsien or district government must be corrected or even reversed.” It adds, “The provincial government, on the other hand, shall act only as a supervisor of local self-government, standing in between the Hsien or district government on the one hand, and the Central Government on the other.”287

The province is thus reduced to the lowest possible level. It is not probable that this tendency was influenced by Marxism, but it certainly resembled the Marxian idea of a vast confederation of self-governing communes, acting, by some proletarian metempsychosis, as a highly centralized instrument of revolution.288 The doctrine of the hsien-province-nation relationship which places emphasis upon the first and the last is the authoritative one, and is quite harmonious with the earlier picture of Imperial China which, apart from the strictly governmental, was a vast confederacy of largely autonomous communities. In the picture of the new democratic national government which emerges from this doctrine, the central government may be regarded as a centralism versus the provinces, and a super-government in relation to the hsien; that is, while the [pg 231] people govern themselves as groups in the hsien, they will govern themselves as one people in the National Government. The province will remain as a convenient intermediary between the two.

This is one of the few doctrines of Sun Yat-sen upon which no one definitive and final pronouncement is to be found and concerning which, consequently, recourse must be had to the history of the development of the Sun Yat-sen political philosophy.

The Hsien in a Democracy.

The hsien, or district, was one of the most important social institutions in old China. The lowest official, the hsien Magistrate, represented the Empire to the people of the hsien, while within the villages or the hsien the people enjoyed a very high degree of autonomy. The hsien was the meeting point of the political system and the extra-legal government, generally of a very vaguely organized nature, by which the Chinese managed their own affairs in accord with tradition. An estimate of the position of the hsien may be gleaned from the fact that China has approximately four hundred eighty million inhabitants; apart from the cities and towns, there are about half a million villages; and the whole country, with the exception of certain Special Municipalities, such as Shanghai, is divided into nineteen hundred and forty-three hsien.289

The hsien, however significant they may be in the social system of China, both past and present, cannot be described in a work such as this. It is not inappropriate, however, to reiterate that they form what is perhaps the most important grouping within China, and that much of [pg 232] Chinese life is centred in hsien affairs. It is by reason of hsien autonomy that the Chinese social system has been so elastic as to permit the shocks of invasion, insurrection, conquest, famine and flood to pass through and over China without disrupting Chinese social organization.

Sun once quoted the old Chinese proverb about the Lu Shan (mountains): “We cannot find the real shape of the Lu Shan—for we ourselves are on it.” From the viewpoint of the Western reader this proverb could be turned against Sun in his treatment of the hsien. He was passionately emphatic in discussing the importance of the hsien with his foreign friends;290 in his writings, addressed to his countrymen, he, as they, simply assumed the importance of the hsien without troubling to make any cardinal point of it.

The hsien is in the unit of the most direct self-government of the people, without the interference of any elaborate set-up from officialdom. Apart from its age-old importance, it will gain further significance in the democracy of Sun Yat-sen.

Some of the functions to be assigned to the people in a hsien are assessment, registration, taxation, and/or purchase of all lands in the hsien; the collection of all unearned increment on lands within the hsien; land profits to be subjected to collection by the hsien, and disbursement for public improvements, charitable work, or other public service. Add this to the fact that the hsien have been the chief agencies for police, health, charity, religious activity and the regulative control of custom—sometimes with the assistance of persons—through the centuries, and the great importance of the hsien in the nationalist democracy becomes more clear.

[pg 233]

The Family System.

Sun Yat-sen's democracy differs further from the parliamentary, mechanical democracy of the West in that it incorporates the family system.291 Of course Sun understood the extraordinary part that the family plays in China—a part more conspicuous, perhaps, than in any other country. He pointed out that the family required in China much of the loyalty which in the West is given to the state. “Among the Chinese people the family and kinship ties are very strong. Not infrequently the people sacrifice their lives and homes for some affair of kinship; for instance, in Kuangtung, two clans may fight regardless of life and property. On the other hand, our people hesitate to sacrifice themselves for a national cause. The spirit of unity has not extended beyond the family and clan relationships.”292

Speaking of the early Emperors and the revolution, he said: “You see, gentlemen, the methodology of Yao, like that of ours, was to begin his moral and political teachings with the family, then the nation-group, then the world.”293 How did Sun Yat-sen propose to join the strength of the family spirit and of nationalism, to the common advantage?

He planned to reorganize the already existing clan organizations in each district. These organizations have existed from time immemorial for the purposes of preserving [pg 234] clan unity, commemorating clan ancestry, performing charitable functions, and acting as a focus—although this last was not an avowed purpose—for clan defense. The reorganization which Sun proposed would probably have involved some systematizing of the organization for the purposes of uniformity and official record, as well as effectiveness.

Once the district headquarters were reorganized, they could be combined throughout a province into a provincial clan organization. Such organizations already exist, but they are neither systematic nor general. After the clan was organized on a provincial basis throughout the provinces, the various provincial organizations could be gathered together in a national clan organization.

It is only when one contemplates the strength of the family system in China that the boldness of this plan becomes apparent. A series of vast national clan organizations would include practically every Chinese. Not content with this, Sun proposed inter-clan organizations, certain clans being more related to one another. A further series of national inter-clan organizations would draw together the allegiance of numberless individuals. There was always the possibility that a convention of all the clans might be called—although Sun was not sanguine about this last.294

This methodology, according to Sun Yat-sen, would automatically bring about nationalism. The Chinese people were already vigorously attached to their families and clans. A union of all the families and clans would lead the Chinese to realize that they were one people—one enormous family, as it were—and cause them to [pg 235] join together as a nation. Since there are only about four hundred surnames in China, the alliance of the clans was not so far-fetched a suggestion as it might seem. Some clans have a membership running into the millions, and clan spirit is so great that, in spite of the absence of legislation, the Chinese marriage system is still largely exogamic on this clan basis.

The suggestion of clan organization is relevant to Sun Yat-sen's democracy, in that the clan was one of the democratizing influences in old China. An individual who failed to exert appreciable pressure on the government, or on some other group, might appeal to his clan for assistance. The Chinese record of relationships was kept so extensively that there were few men of wealth or power who did not have their kinsmen commanding their assistance. The non-political authority of the family system controlled many things which have been within the scope of the police power in the West, and the adjustments of society and the individual were frequently mitigated in their harshness by the entrance of the clan upon the scene. A stable Chinese democracy with a clan system would be remarkably like the traditional system. The recourse of political democracy would have been added, but the familiar methods of political pressure upwards through the clan to the government might, not inconceivably, prove the more efficacious.

[pg 236]

Chapter VII. The Programs of Min Shêng.

The Three Programs of Min Shêng.

The new ideology of Sun Yat-sen, as has been shown, demanded three fulfilments of the doctrine of min shêng: a nationalistic economic revolution, a deliberate industrial revolution, and a social revolution. The last was to be accomplished negatively rather than positively. It was to aim at the reconstruction of the Chinese economy in such a manner as to avoid the necessity of class war. Since Chinese society was to be revolutionized by the development of a nation and a state, with all that that implied, and was to be changed by a transition from a handicraft economy to an industrial one, Sun Yat-sen hoped that these changes would permit the social revolution to develop at the same time as the others, and did not plan for it separately and distinctly. The three revolutions, all of them economic, were to develop simultaneously, and all together were to form a third of the process of readjustment.

In considering the actual plans for carrying out the min shêng principle, the student encounters difficulties. The general philosophical position of the min shêng ideology in relation to the ideologies of nationalism and democracy, and in connection with such foreign philosophies as capitalism and Marxism, has already been set forth. The direct plans that Sun Yat-sen had for the industrial revolution in China are also clear, since he outlined them, laboriously although tentatively, in The International Development of China;295 but whereas the ideology and [pg 237] the actual physical blueprints can be understood clearly enough, the general lines of practical governmental policy with regard to economic matters have not been formulated in such a way as to make them indisputable.

Sun Yat-sen was averse to tying the hands of his followers and successors with respect to economic policy. He said: “While there are many undertakings which can be conducted by the State with advantage, others cannot be conducted effectively except under competition. I have no hard-and-fast dogma. Much must be left to the lessons of experience.”296

It would be inexpedient to go into details about railway lines and other modern industrial enterprises by means of which Sun sought to modernize China. On the other hand, it would be a waste of time merely to repeat the main economic theses of the new ideology. Accordingly, the examination of the program of min shêng will be restricted to the consideration of those features that affected [pg 238] the state, either directly or indirectly, or which had an important bearing upon the proposed future social organization of the Chinese. Among the topics to be discussed are the political nature of the national economic revolution, the political effect of the industrial revolution upon the Chinese, and the expediency of Sun's plans for that revolution; the nature of the social revolution which was to accompany these two first, especially with reference to the problem of land, the problem of capital, and the problem of the class struggle; the sphere of state action in the new economy; and the nature of that ideal economy which would be realized when the Chinese should have carried to completion the programs of min shêng. Railway maps and other designs of Sun, which have proved such an inspiration in the modernization of China and which represent a pioneer attempt in state planning, will have to be left to the consideration of the economists and the geographers.297

The program of min shêng was vitally important to the realization of the Nationalist revolution as a whole, so important, indeed, that Sun Yat-sen put it first in one of his plans:

The first step in reconstruction is to promote the economic well-being of the people by providing for their four necessities of life, namely, food, clothing, shelter, and transportation. For this purpose, the Government will, with the people's co-operation, develop agriculture to give the people an adequate food supply, promote textile industries to solve their clothing problem, institute gigantic housing schemes to provide for them decent living quarters, and build roads and canals so that they may have convenient means of travel.

[pg 239]

Next is the promotion of democracy....

The third step is the development of nationalism....298

The plans for realizing min shêng were to be the most necessary and the most difficult. In the change from a world-society to a race-nation, the Chinese had their own social solidarity and the experience of the Western nations to guide them. There was little in the development of a nation that had not already been tried elsewhere. The only real obstacles were the ignorance of the people, in relation to the new social environment in which their whole society was involved, and the possibility of opposition from the politically oppressing powers.

In the development of democracy the Chinese could rely in part upon the experience of the West. The Kuomintang could observe the machinery of democratic states in regular operation abroad. Although the new democracy of the five powers and the four rights was differed from the democratic methods of the West, still, as in mechanics, certain fundamental rules of political organization in its technical details could be relied upon. The Chinese people had a democratic background in the autonomy of the various extra-political units.

In min shêng neither the experience of the West nor the old Chinese background would be of much value. More than the other two principles and programs, min shêng sought to alter the constitution and nature of Chinese society. Yet in min shêng the Chinese were to be [pg 240] guided only negatively by Western experience. Into their society, passing through a great economic upheaval, they must introduce, by a trial-and-error method, the requirements for economic unity, efficiency, and justice.

The National Economic Revolution.

After the pitiable failure of the 1912 Republic, Sun Yat-sen began to place an especially heavy emphasis on the necessity of a national economic revolution which would carry on the achievements of the national political revolution. He placed an even greater stress upon the necessity of min shêng in the revolutionary ideology, and became more and more clearly conscious of the danger imperialism constituted to the Chinese race-nation. He believed that, as the 1912 revolution had been created by the sword, the new economic revolution might be furthered by the pen, and with this in mind he wrote The International Development of China. At the time that he wrote this work, he seems to have been convinced of the fruitlessness of purely military effort, and the superior value of pacific economic organization.299

This organization was to be effected through capital brought in from the outside. As it developed that capital would not come in, that instead of continuing the terrific pace of production which the World War had demanded, the nations returned to comparative laissez faire, and let their economies slump, Sun was persuaded that the whole revolution would have to be carried on by the Chinese themselves, with the possible help of the Communist Russians, and of Japan. He found the reorganized Kuomintang to be the instrument of this last revolution, both politically and democratically, and began to emphasize Chinese resistance to the outside, rather than appeal for help from the barbarian nations.

[pg 241]

It is this last attitude which one finds expressed in the acts of the last years of his life. The national revolution was to be made a reality by being intimately associated with the economic life and development of the country. The plans made for economic development should be pushed as far as possible without waiting for foreign help. The Chinese should use the instrument of the boycott as a sanction with which to give weight to their national policy.300 They had to practise economic nationalism in order to rid themselves of the incubus of imperialism which was sucking the life-blood of their country. In this connection between nationalism and min shêng, the economic aspect of the nationalist program was to be the means, and the national aspect of the min shêng program the consequence. Unless Chinese, both as members of a state and as individuals stirred by national sentiment, were moved to action against Western economic aggression, they might consider themselves already doomed.

How did Sun propose to promote the national economic revolution,301 as distinguished from the industrial revolution and the social revolution? He gave, in the first place, as earlier stated, the economic part of his theories a greater weight than they had hitherto enjoyed, and placed them first in his practical program. Secondly, he tended to associate the national political revolution more and more with the real seat of economic power: the working class. [pg 242] In this introduction of the working class into the labors for the fulfilment of min shêng as a national economic revolution, he was doing two things. He was hoping to bring the standards of Chinese labor up to those of the West, and he was making use of the political power of labor in China as an added instrument of the national economic revolution.

The Chinese nation could and should not continue, as a nation, on a scale of living lower than that of the Western nations. He urged the Chinese workers, as the class most affected, to fight for the economic advancement of themselves and of their nation. “Comrades, the people meeting here are all workers and represent a part of the nation. A great responsibility rests on Chinese labor, and if you are equal to the task, China will become a great nation and you a mighty working class.”302 The Chinese workers were performing not only a duty that they owed to themselves—they were also acting patriotically.

In advancing the national economic revolution by advancing themselves, they could not afford to lose sight of the political part of the revolution. “Beyond the economic struggle for the shortening of the working day and the increase of wages, there are before you other much more important questions of a political character. For our political objectives you must follow the three principles and support the revolution.”303 The two parts of the revolution could not be separated from one another.

[pg 243]

Besides the economic part of the national revolution, there was another readjustment of which Sun did not often speak, because it was not an open problem which could be served by immediate political action. This was the problem of the transition of China from an autarchic to a trading economy. The old Chinese world had been self-sustaining, so self-sustaining that the Emperor Tao Kuang wrote to George III of England that he did not desire anything that the barbarians might have, but, out of the mercy and the bounty of his heart, would permit them to come to China in order to purchase the excellent things that the Chinese possessed in such abundance.304 The impact of the West had had serious economic consequences,305 and the Chinese were in the unpleasant position of having their old economic system disrupted without gaining the advantages of a nationally organized economy in return. They had the actual privilege of consuming a greater variety of goods than before, but this was offset by the fact that the presence of these goods threw their domestic markets and old native commercial system out of balance, without offering a correspondingly large potentiality of foreign export. Furthermore, the political position of the Western powers in China was such, as Sun Yat-sen complained, that trade was conducted on a somewhat inequitable basis.

The consequences of a national economic revolution could not but be far-reaching. The political changes in the economic situation demanded by Sun Yat-sen in his program of economic nationalism—the return of tariff autonomy, [pg 244] the retrocession of the occupied concessions, etc.—would have a great positive and immediate effect; but there would be a long system of development, not to be so easily predicted or foreseen, which would inevitably appear as a result of Chinese nationhood. If China were to have a state strong enough to perform the economic functions which Sun wished to have imposed upon it, and were to take her place as one of the great importing and exporting nations of the world, it is obvious that a real economic revolution would have to be gone through.

Here again the liberal-national character of Sun's ideology and programs with respect to relations with the West appears. The Fascist states of the present time exhibit a definite drift from free trade to autarchy. In China the change from an autarchic world-society to a trading nation constituted the reverse. Sun Yat-sen did not leave a large legacy of programs in this connection, but he foresaw the development and was much concerned about it.

The Industrial Revolution.

The program of industrial revolution was planned by Sun Yat-sen with great care. The same belief which led him to urge the social revolution also guided him in his plans for the industrial revolutionizing of the Chinese economy, namely, his belief that China could profit by the example of the West, that what the West had done wastefully and circuitously could be done by the Chinese deliberately and straightforwardly. He proposed that the change from the old economy to the new be according to a well thought out plan. “However, China must develop her industries by all means. Shall we follow the old path of western civilization? This old path resembles the sea route of Columbus' first trip to America. He set out from Europe by a southwesterly direction through the Canary Islands to San Salvador, in the Bahama group. But nowadays [pg 245] navigators take a different direction to America and find that the destination can be reached by a distance many times shorter. The path of Western civilization was an unknown one and those who went before groped in the dark as Columbus did on his first voyage to America. As a late comer, China can greatly profit in covering the space by following the direction already charted by western pioneers.”306 By calling in the help of friends who were familiar with engineering and by using his own very extensive knowledge of Chinese economic potentialities, Sun Yat-sen drafted a broad long-range plan by means of which China would be able to set forth on such a charted course in her industrial revolution. This plan, offered tentatively, was called The International Development of China in the English and The Outline of Material Reconstruction in the Chinese version, both of which Sun himself wrote.

This outline was originally prepared as a vast plan which could be financed by the great powers, who would thereby find markets for their glut of goods left over by the war. The loan was to be made on terms not unprofitable to the financial powers, but nevertheless equitable to the Chinese. Sun Yat-sen hoped that with these funds the Chinese state could make a venture into state socialism. It was possible, in his opinion, to launch a coöperative modern economy in China with the assistance of international capitalism, if the capital employed were to be remunerated with attractive rates of interest, and if the plan were so designed as to allow for its being financially worthwhile. He stated:

Before entering into the details of this International development scheme four principles have to be considered:

1.   The most remunerative field must be selected in order to attract foreign capital.
2.   The most urgent needs of the nation must be met.
3.   The lines of least resistance must be followed.
4.   The most suitable positions must be chosen.307

He was not oblivious to the necessity of making each detail of his plan one which would not involve the tying-up of unproductive capital, and did not propose to use capital advanced for the purposes of the industrial revolution for the sake of military or political advantage.

This may be shown in a concrete instance. He spoke of his Great Northeastern railway system as a scheme which might not seem economically attractive, and then pointed out that, as between a railway system running between densely-populated areas, the latter would be infinitely the more preferable. But, said he, “... a railway between a densely populated country and a sparsely settled country will pay far better than one that runs end to end in a densely populated land.”308

Even though he came to despair of having this scheme for the development of China carried out by international financial action, the expediency of his plans remained. He sought the fulfillment of this outline throughout his life; it has remained as a part of his legacy, challenging the Chinese people by the grandeur of its conception and the precision of its details.

It is a work which cannot easily be summarized in a discussion of political doctrines. Fully comparable in grandeur to the Russian Piatiletka, it provides for a complete communication system including all types of transport, the development of great ports, colonization and reclamation projects, and the growth of vast industrial areas comparable to the Donbas or the Kuzbas. The plan, while sound as a whole and not inexpedient in detail, is not marked by that irregularity of proportion which marks [pg 247] planning under capitalism; although not as fully worked out as the later Russian projects, Sun's plan, in 1922, was considerably more advanced than any Russian plan of that time. Sun shared with Lenin a passionate conviction of the inevitable necessity of industrialization; but while Lenin saw in industrialism the strengthening of that revolutionary bulwark, the proletariat, Sun believed in industrialism as a benefit to the whole nation.

This plan is the obvious fruit of Sun's advocacy of the adoption of the Western physical sciences. Here there is little trace of his ideological consistency with the old premises of Chinese society. He does not challenge them, but he does present a concrete plan which refers only incidentally to the political or the ideological. It is heavy with the details of industrial revolution. Sun Yat-sen's enthusiasm shows clearly through the pages of this work; he wrote it at a time when his health was still comparatively good, and when he was not harassed by the almost explosive dynamics of the situation such as that in which he delivered the sixteen lectures on the San Min Chu I. Here the practical aspects of his thinking show forth, his willingness to consider and debate, the profound and quiet enthusiasm for concrete projects which animated him and which was so infectious among his followers.

It were, of course, unfeasable to attempt any detailed description and assessment of the plan.309 The great amount of point by point elaboration worked over by Sun Yat-sen in order to make his plan appealing precludes the consideration of any one project in detail as a sample. Failing this, the magnitude of the plan may be gauged by a recapitulation of the chief points in each of his programs. [pg 248] It must be remembered, however, that each one of these subheads might necessitate hundreds of millions of dollars for execution, involving the building of several industrial cities or the reconstruction of a whole industry throughout the country. The printing industry, for example, not even mentioned in the general outline given below, was discussed as follows:

This industry provides man with intellectual food. It is a necessity of modern society, without which mankind cannot progress. All human activities are recorded, and all human knowledge is stored in printing. It is a great factor of civilization. The progress and civilization of different nations of the world are measured largely by the quantity of printed matter they turned out annually. China, though the nation that invented printing, is very backward in the development of its printing industry. In our international Development Scheme, the printing industry must also be given a place. If China is developed industrially according to the lines which I suggested, the demand for printed matter will be exceedingly great. In order to meet this demand efficiently, a system of large printing houses must be established in all large cities in the country, to undertake printing of all kinds, from newspapers to encyclopedia [sic!]. The best modern books on various subjects in different countries should be translated into Chinese and published in cheap edition form for the general public in China. All the publishing houses should be organized under one common management, so as to secure the best economic results.

In order to make printed matter cheap, other subsidiary industries must be developed at the same time. The most important of these is the paper industry. At present all the paper used by newspapers in China is imported. And the demand for paper is increasing every day. China has plenty of raw materials for making paper, such as the vast virgin forests of the northwestern part of the country, and the wild reeds of the Yangtze and its neighboring swamps which would furnish the best pulps. So, large plants for manufacturing paper should be put up in suitable locations. Besides the paper factories, ink factories, type [pg 249]foundries, printing machine factories, etc., should be established under a central management to produce everything that is needed in the printing industry.310

With this comment on printing as a small sample of the extent of each minor project in the plans, let us observe Sun's own summary:

The Development of a Communications System.
100,000 miles of Railways.
1,000,000 miles of Macadam Roads.
Improvement of Existing Canals.
Hangchow-Tientsin Canals.
Sikiang-Yangtze Canals.
Construction of New Canals.
Liaoho-Sunghwakiang Canal.
Others to be projected.
River Conservancy.
To regulate the Embankments and Channel of the Yangtze River from Hankow to the Sea thus facilitating Ocean-going ships to reach that Port at all seasons.
To regulate the Hoangho Embankments and Channel to prevent floods.
To regulate the Sikiang.
To regulate the Hwaiho.
To regulate various other rivers.
The Construction of more Telegraph Lines and Telephones and Wireless Systems all over the Country.
The Development of Commercial Harbors.
Three largest Ocean Ports with future capacity equalling New York Harbor to be constructed in North, Central and South China.
Various small Commercial and Fishing Harbors to be constructed along the Coast.
Commercial Docks to be constructed along all navigable rivers.
Modern Cities with public utilities to be constructed in all Railway Centers, Termini, and alongside Harbors.
Water Power Development.
Iron and Steel Works and Cement Works on the largest scale in order to supply the above needs.
Mineral Development.
Agricultural Development.
Irrigational Work on the largest scale in Mongolia and Sinkiang.
Reforestation in Central and North China.
Colonization in Manchuria, Mongolia, Sinkiang, Kokonor, and Thibet.311

The industrial revolution is to min shêng what the present program of socialist construction is to the Marxians of the Soviet Union, what prosperity is to American democracy. Without industrialization min shêng must remain an academic theory. Sun's program gives a definite physical gauge by means of which the success of his followers can be told, and the extent of China's progress estimated. It provides a material foundation to the social and political changes in China.

The theory of Sun Yat-sen in connection with the continuation of the old system is a significant one. His political doctrines, both ideological and programmatic, are original and not without great meaning in the development of an adequate and just state system in modern China. But this work might have been done, although perhaps not as well, by other leaders. The significance of Sun in his own lifetime lay in his deliberate championing [pg 251] of the cause of industrial revolution as the sine qua non of development in China. In the epoch of the first Republic he relinquished the Presidency in favor of Yüan Shih-k'ai in order to be able to devote his whole time to the advancement of the railway program of the Republic. In the years that he had to spend in exile, he constantly studied and preached the necessity of modernizing China. Of his slogan, “Modernization without Westernization!” modernization is the industrial revolution, and non-Westernization the rest of his programs and ideology. The unity of Sun Yat-sen's doctrines is apparent; they are inseparable; but if one part were to be plucked forth as his greatest contribution to the working politics of his own time, it might conceivably be his activities and plans for the industrial revolution.

He spoke feelingly and bitterly of the miserable lives which the vast majority of his countrymen had to lead, of the expensiveness and insecurity of their material existences, of the vast, tragic waste of human effort in the form of man-power in a world where machine-power had rendered muscular work unnecessary. “This miserable condition among the Chinese proletariat [he apparently means the whole working class] is due to the non-development of the country, the crude methods of production, and the wastefulness of labor. The radical cure for all this is industrial development by foreign capital and experts for the benefit of the whole nation.... If foreign capital cannot be gotten, we will have to get at least their experts and inventors to make for us our own machinery....”312 Howsoever the work was to be done, it had to be done. In bringing China into the modern world, in modernizing her economy, in assuring the justice of the new economy which was to emerge, Sun found the key in the physical advancement of China, in the building [pg 252] of vast railway systems, in creating ports “with future capacity equalling New York harbor,” in re-making the whole face of Eastern Asia as a better home for his beloved race-nation.

The Social Revolution.

In considering the social revolution which was to form the third part of the program of min shêng, four questions appear, each requiring examination. It is in this field of Sun's programs that the terms of the Western ideology are most relevant, since the ideological distinctions to be found in old China as contrasted with the West do not apply so positively in problems that are to appear in a society which is to be industrially modern. Even in this, however, some of the old Chinese ideas may continue in use and give relevance to the terms with which Sun discusses the social revolution. Private property, that mysterious relation between an individual and certain goods and services, has been almost a fetish in the West; the Chinese, already subject to the collectivisms of the family, the village and the hui, does not have the deep attachment to this notion that Westerners—especially those who do have property—are apt to develop. Consequently, even though the discussion of Sun's programs with regard to distributive justice are remarkably like the discussions of the same problem to be found in the West, the possibility, at least, of certain minor though thoroughgoing differences must be allowed for, and not overlooked altogether. The four aspects to this problem which one may distinguish in Sun's program for min shêng are: what is to be the sphere of state action? what is to be the treatment accorded private ownership of land? what is to be the position of private capital? and, what of the class struggle?

Sun Yat-sen said: “In modern civilization, the material essentials of life are five, namely: food, clothing, shelter, [pg 253] means of locomotion, and the printed page.”313 At other times he may have made slightly different arrangements of these fundamental necessities, but the essential content of the demands remained the same.

Behind his demand for a program to carry out min shêng there was the fundamental belief that a government which does not assure and promote the material welfare of the masses of its citizens does not deserve to exist. To him the problem of livelihood, the concrete aspect of min shêng, was one which had to be faced by every government, and was a means of judging the righteousness of a government. He could not tolerate a state which did not assure the people a fair subsistence. There was no political or ethical value higher than life itself. A government which did not see that its subjects were fed, sheltered, clothed, transported, and lettered to the degree which the economic level of its time permitted, was a government deserving of destruction. Sun Yat-sen was not a doctrinaire on the subject of classes; he would tolerate inequality, so long as it could be shown not to militate against the welfare of the people. He was completely intolerant of any government, Eastern or Western, which permitted its subjects to starve or to be degraded into a nightmare existence of semi-starvation. Whatever the means, this end of popular livelihood, of a reasonable minimum on the scale of living for each and every citizen, had to prevail above all others.314

[pg 254]

Within the limits of this supreme criterion, Sun Yat-sen left the government to its own choice in the matter of the sphere of state action. If the system of private initiative could develop more efficiently than could the government in certain fields, then leave those fields to private effort. If and when private initiative failed to meet rigid requirements to be established by the government it was not merely the privilege, it was the obligation of the government to intervene. Sun Yat-sen seems to have believed that government action would in the long run be desirable anyhow, but to have been enough of a political realist at the same time to be willing to allow the government a considerable length of time in expanding its activities. In a developing country like China it seemed to him probable that the ends of ming shêng could best be served in many fields by private enterprise. “All matters that can be and are better carried out by private enterprise should be left to private hands which should be encouraged and fully protected by liberal laws....”315

From the outset, Sun Yat-sen's plan of empirical collectivism demanded a fairly broad range of state action. “All matters that cannot be taken up by private concerns and those that possess monopolistic character should be taken up as national undertakings.”316 This view of his may be traced, among others, to three suppositions he entertained concerning Bismarck, concerning "war socialism," and concerning the industrial revolution in China. Sun shows a certain grudging admiration for Bismarck, whom he believed to have offset the rising tide of democratic socialism in Germany by introducing state socialism, [pg 255] in government control of railroads, etc. “By this preventive method he imperceptibly did away with the controversial issues, and since the people had no reason to fight, a social revolution was naturally averted. This was the very great anti-democratic move of Bismarck.”317 Secondly, he believed that the “... unification and nationalization of all the industries, which I might call the Second Industrial Revolution ...” on account of the world war would be even more significant than the first.318 It intensified the four elements of recent economic progress, which tended to prove the falsity of the Marxian predictions of the future of capitalism, namely: “a. Social and industrial improvements (i. e. labor and welfare legislation); b. State ownership of the means of transportation and of communication; c. Direct taxes; d. Socialized distribution (the coöperative movement).”319 Finally, Sun believed that the magnitude of the Chinese industrial revolution was such that no private capital could establish its foundations, and that the state had perforce to initiate the great undertakings of industrialism.

Concerning Sun's beliefs regarding the sphere of state action in economic matters, one may say that his ideology of empirical collectivism required a program calling for: 1) the protection of private enterprise and the simultaneous launching of great state enterprises at the beginning; 2) the intermediate pursuance of a policy by means of which the state would be the guarantor of the livelihood of the people, and establish the sphere of its own action according to whether or not private enterprise was sufficient to meet the needs of the people; and 3) a long range trend toward complete collectivism.

[pg 256]

With respect to the question of land, Sun Yat-sen believed in his own version of the “single tax,” which was not, in his programs, the single tax, since he foresaw other sources of revenue for the state (tariffs, revenue from state enterprises, etc.). According to the land-control system of Sun Yat-sen the land-owner would himself assess the value of his land. He would be prevented from over-assessing it by his own desire to avoid paying too high a tax; and under-assessment would be avoided by a provision that the state could at any time purchase the land at the price set by the owner. If the land were to go up in value the owner would have to pay the difference between the amount which he formerly assessed and the amount which he believed it to be worth at the later time. The money so paid would become “... a public fund as a reward, to all those who had improved the community and who had advanced industry and commerce around the land. The proposal that all future increment shall be given to the community is the ‘equalization of land ownership’ advocated by the Kuomintang; it is the Min-sheng Principle. This form of the Min-sheng Principle is communism, and since the members of the Kuomintang support the San Min Principles they should not oppose communism.” Continuing directly, Sun makes clear the nature of the empirical collectivism of his min shêng program, which he calls communism. “The great aim of the Principle of Livelihood in our Three Principles is communism—a share in property by all. But the communism which we propose is a communism of the future, not of the present. This communism of the future is a very just proposal, and those who have had property in the past will not suffer at all by it. It is a very different thing from what is called in the West ‘nationalization of [pg 257] property,’ confiscation for the government's use of private property which the people already possess.”320 Sun Yat-sen declared that the solution to the land problem would be half of the solution of the problem of min shêng.321

Sun Yat-sen believed in the restriction of private capital in such a way as to assure its not becoming a socially disruptive force. That is a part of his ideology which we have already examined. In the matter of an actual program, he believed in the use of “harnessed capital.”322 He had no real fear of capital; imperialist foreign capital was one thing—the small native capital another. The former was a political enemy. The latter was not formidable. In a speech on Red Labor Day, 1924, when his sympathies were about as far Left as they ever were, in consideration for the kindliness of the Communist assistance to Canton, he said: “Chinese capitalists are not so [pg 258] strong that they could oppress the Chinese workers,”323 and added that, the struggle being one with imperialism, the destruction of the Chinese capitalists would not solve the question.

The restriction of private capital to the point of keeping it harmless, and thus avoiding the evils which would lead to the class war and a violent social revolution, was only half the story of capitalism in China which Sun Yat-sen wanted told in history. The other half was the advancement of the industrial revolution by the state, which was the only instrumentality capable of doing this great work. “China cannot be compared to foreign countries. It is not sufficient (for her) to impose restrictions upon capital. Foreign countries are rich, while China is poor.... For that reason China must not only restrict private capital, but she must also develop the capital of the State.”324 The restrictions to be placed upon private capital and upon private land speculation were negative; the development of state-owned capital and of capital which the state could trust politically were positive, as was the revenue which should be gained from the governmental seizure of unearned increment. In some cases the state would not even have to trouble itself to confiscate the unearned increment; it could itself develop the land and profit by its rise in value, applying the funds thus derived to the paying-off [pg 259] of foreign loans or some socially constructive enterprise.325

Ideologically, Sun Yat-sen was opposed to the intra-national class war. Class war could, nevertheless, be justified in the programs of Sun in two ways: 1) if it were international class war, of the oppressed against the oppressing nations; and 2) if it were the class war of the nationalist Chinese workers against foreign imperialism. In these two cases Sun Yat-sen thought class-war a good idea. He did not think class war necessary in contemporary China, and hoped, by means of min shêng, to develop an economy so healthy that the pathological phenomena of the class struggle would never appear. On the other hand, in justice to Sun, and to those Marxians who would apologize for him to their fellow-Marxians, there can be little doubt that Sun Yat-sen would have approved of the class war, even in China, if he had thought that Chinese capitalism had risen to such power that it obstructed the way of the Chinese nation to freedom and economic health. Even in this he might not have set any particular virtue upon the proletariat as such; the capitalists would be the enemies of the nation, and it would be the whole nation which would have to dispose of them.

A finically Scrupulous and detailed examination of Sun Yat-sen's programs for min shêng is intellectually unremunerative, since it has been established that min shêng may be called empirical collectivism; collectivism which is empirical cannot be rigidly programmatic, or it loses its empirical character. Sun, not accepting the dialectics of historical materialism, and following the traditionally Chinese pragmatic way of thinking, could not orient his revolution in a world of economic predestinations. With the characteristic Chinese emphasis on men rather than on rules and principles, Sun Yat-sen knew that if China [pg 260] were ruled by the right sort of men, his programs would be carried through in accordance with the expediency of the moment. He does not appear to have considered, as do some of the left wing, that it was possible for the revolutionary movement to be diverted to the control of unworthy persons. Even had he foreseen such a possible state of affairs, he would not, in all probability, have settled his programs any more rigidly; he knew, from the most intimate and heart-breaking experience, how easy it is in China to pay lip-service to principles which are rejected. The first Republic had taught him that.

One must consequently regard the programs of national economic revolution, of industrial revolution, and of social revolution as tentative and general outlines of the course which Sun wished the Nationalist Kuomintang and state to follow in carrying out min shêng. Of these programs, the one least likely to be affected by political or personal changes was that of the industrial revolution, and it is this which is most detailed.326 His great desire was that the Chinese race-nation continue, not merely to subsist, but to thrive and multiply and become great, so that it could restore the ancient morality and wisdom of China, as well as become proficient in the Western sciences.

A last suggestion may be made concerning the programs of Sun Yat-sen, before consideration of the Utopia [pg 261] which lay at the end of the road of min shêng. His plans may continue to go on in min shêng because they are so empirical. His nationalism may be deflected or altered by the new situation in world politics. His optimism concerning the rapidity of democratic developments may not be justified by actual developments. The programs of min shêng are so general that they can be followed to some degree by governments of almost any orientation along the Right-Left scale. The really important criterion in the programs of min shêng is this: the people must live. It is a simple one to understand, and may be a great force in the continued development of his programs, to the last stage of min shêng.

The Utopia of Min Shêng.

Sun Yat-sen differs from the empirical collectivists of the West in that he has an end to his program, which is to be achieved over a considerable period of time. The means are such that he can be classified with those Western thinkers; his goal is one which he took from the ideals in the old ideology and which he identified with those of the communists, although not necessarily with the Marxists. He said, at the end of his second lecture on min shêng:

Our way is community of industrial and social profits. We cannot say, then, that the doctrine of min shêng is different from communism. The San Min Chu I means a government of the people, by the people, and for the people—that is, the state is the common property of all the people, its politics are participated in by all, and its profits are shared by all. Then there will be not only communism in property, but communism in everything else. Such will be the ultimate end of min shêng, a state which Confucius calls ta t'ung or the age of great similarity.327
[pg 262]

Perhaps no other passage from the works of Sun Yat-sen in relation to min shêng could illustrate his position so aptly. He describes his doctrine. He labels it “communism,” although, as we have seen, it is quite another thing than Marxism. He cites Lincoln. In the end he calls upon the authority of Confucius.

To a Westerner, the ideal commonwealth of Sun Yat-sen bears a remarkable resemblance to the world projected in the ideals of the ancient Chinese. Here again there is “great similarity,” complete ideological harmony, and the presumable disappearance of state and law. Property, the fount of war, has been set aside, and men—animated by a profound and sincere appreciation of jên—work together, all for the common good. The Chinese will, in this Utopia, have struck down might from the high places of the world, and inaugurated an era of the kingly way throughout the earth. Their ancient doctrines of benevolence and peace shall have succeeded in bringing about cosmospolitanism.

There are, however, differences from the old order of ideals. According to the Marxists, nationality, after it has served its purpose as an instrument in the long class struggle, may be set aside. Speculation of this sort is rare among them, however, and it is difficult to envision their final system. To Sun Yat-sen, however, there was the definite ideal that the Chinese live on forever. This was an obligation imposed upon him and his ideology by the teleological element in the old ideology which required that humanity be immortal in the flesh and that it be immortal through clearly traceable lines of descent. The individual was settled in a genealogical web, reaching through time and space, which gave him a sense of certainty that otherwise he might lack. This is inconsistent [pg 263] with the Marxian ideal, where the family system, a relic of brutal days, shall have vanished.

The physical immortality of the Chinese race was not the only sort of immortality Sun Yat-sen wished China to have. His stress on the peculiar virtues of the Chinese intellectual culture has been noted. The Chinese literati had sought an immortality of integrity and intellect, a continuity of civilization without which mere physical survival might seem brutish. In the teleology of Sun's ideal society, there would no doubt be these two factors: filial piety, emphasizing the survival of the flesh; and jên, emphasizing the continuity of wisdom and honor. Neither could aptly continue unless China remained Chinese, unless the particular virtues of the Chinese were brought once again to their full potency.328

The family system was to continue to the min shêng Utopia. So too were the three natural orders of men. Sun Yat-sen never advocated that the false inequality of the present world be thrown down for the purpose of putting in its place a false equality which made no distinction between the geniuses, the apostles, and the unthinking. The Chinese world was to be Chinese to the end of time. In this the narrowness of Sun Yat-sen's ideals is apparent; it is, perhaps, a narrowness which limits his aspirations and gives them strength.

The Chinese Utopia which was to be at the end of min shêng was to be established in a world, moreover, which might not have made a complete return to ideological control, in which the state might still survive. The requirements of an industrial economy certainly presupposes an enormous length of time before the ideology and the society shall have been completely adjusted to the peculiarities [pg 264] of life in a world not only of working men but of working machines. The state must continue until all men are disciplined to labor: "When all these vagrants will be done away with and when all will contribute to production, then clothing will be abundant and food sufficient; families will enjoy prosperity, and individuals will be satisfied.

“Then the question of the ‘people's life’ will be solved.”329

Thus Sun Yat-sen concluded his last lecture on min shêng.

[pg 265]


The bibliography of works in Western languages dealing with Sun Yat-sen is short. The author has made no attempt to gather various fugitive pieces, such as newspaper clippings. He believes, however, that the following bibliography of Western works on Sun is the most nearly complete which has yet appeared, and has listed, for the sake of completeness, two Russian items as yet unavailable in the United States.

The first half of the bibliography presents these Western materials, arranged according to their subject. Within each category, the individual items are presented in chronological order; this has been done in order to make clear the position of the works in point of time of publication—a factor occasionally of some importance in the study of these materials.

The second half of the bibliography lists further works which have been referred to or cited. The first group of these consists of a small collection of some of the more important Chinese editions of, and Chinese and Japanese treatises upon, Sun Yat-sen's writings. The second group represents various Western works on China or on political science which have been of assistance to the author in this study.

Chinese names have been left in their natural order, with the patronymic first. Where Chinese names have been Westernized and inverted, they have been returned to their original Chinese order, but with a comma inserted to indicate the change.

A. Major Sources on Sun Yat-sen Which are Available in Western Languages.

I. Biographies of Sun Yat-sen.

Ponce, Mariano, Sun Yat-sen, El fundador de la Republica de China, Manila, 1912.

A popular biography. Valuable for the period just before 1912.

Cantlie, James and Sheridan-Jones, C., Sun Yat-sen and the Awakening of China, New York, 1912.

Also a popular work. Valuable for the description of Sun Yat-sen's education.

Linebarger, Paul (and Sun Yat-sen), Sun Yat-sen and The Chinese Republic, New York, 1925.

The only biography authorized by Sun Yat-sen, who wrote parts [pg 266] of it himself. A propaganda work, it presents the most complete record of Sun's early life. Does not go beyond 1922.

Vilenskii (Sibiriakov), V., Sun' Iat-Sen—otets kitaiskoe revoliutsii, Moscow, 1925. The same, Moscow, 1926.

Not available.

Lee, Edward Bing-shuey, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, His Life and Achievements(English and French), Nanking, n. d.

A synopsis, by a spokesman for the Nationalist Party.

Wou, Saofong, Sun Yat-sen, Sa Vie et Sa Doctrine, Paris, 1929.

An excellent outline, largely from Chinese sources.

Restarick, Henry Bond, Sun Yat-sen, Liberator of China, New Haven, 1931.

Useful for a description of Sun Yat-sen's life in Honolulu, and of some of his overseas connections.

—— (R.-Ch. Duval, translator), Sun Yat-sen, Liberator de la Chine, Paris, 1932.

de Morant, George Soulie, Soun Iat-sènn, Paris, 1932.

A romantic work based upon Chinese sources, and the Chinese translation of Linebarger's work.

Linebarger, Paul; Linebarger, Paul M. A. (editor), The Gospel of Sun Chung-shan, Paris, 1932.

Sharman, (Mrs.) Lyon, Sun Yat-sen, His Life and Its Meaning, A Criticall Biography, New York, 1934.

The most complete biography of Sun Yat-sen. Well documented and prepared. Mrs. Sharman's work will remain authoritative for many years to come. Its main fault is its somewhat hyper-sensitive criticism of Sun Yat-sen's personality, with which the author never comes in contact.

Linebarger, Paul, The Life of Sun Chung-san, Shanghai, 1932. Fragmentary proofsheets. See note in Preface.

Reissig, Paul, Sun Yat Sen und die Kuomintang, Berlin, n. d. A Lutheran missionary tract.

II. Translations of the Sixteen Lectures on the San Min Chu I.

Anonymous, The Three Principles, Shanghai 1927.

Of no value.

Tsan Wan, Die Drei Nationalen Grundlehren, Die Grundlehren von dem Volkstum, Berlin, 1927.

A translation of the lectures on Nationalism; excellent as far as it goes.

d'Elia, Paschal M., S. J. (translator and editor); Le Triple Demisme de Suen Wen, Shanghai, 1929.

The only annotated translation. The style is simple and direct, and the notes accurate, for the most part, and informative. The [pg 267] uninitiated reader must make allowances for Father d'Elia's religious viewpoints. This is probably the most useful translation.

Price, Frank W. (translator), Chen, L. T. (editor); San Min Chu I, The Three Principles of the People, Shanghai, 1930.

The translation most widely known and quoted.

d'Elia, Paschal M., S. J., The Triple Demism of Sun Yat-sen, Wuchang, 1931.

A translation of the French version.

Hsü, Leonard Shihlien; Sun Yat-sen, His Political and Social Ideals, Los Angeles, 1933.

The most complete selection of the documents of Sun Yat-senism available in English. Dr. Hsü has assembled his materials remarkably well. His chapter “The Basic Literature of Sunyatsenism” is the best of its kind in English.

III. Other Translations of the Chinese Works of Sun Yat-sen.

Anonymous; Zapiski kitaiskogo revoliutsionera, Moscow, 1926.

Not available.

—— Memoirs of a Chinese Revolutionary, Philadelphia, n. d.

Not documented and apparently unreliable. English version of the above.

Wittfogel, Karl; Sun Yat Sen, Aufzeichnungen eines chinesischen Revolutionärs, Vienna and Berlin, n. d. (ca. 1927).

The most complete Marxist critique, containing also an excellent short biography.

Tsan Wan; 30 Jahre Chinesische Revolution, Berlin, 1927.

An excellent translation of one of the short autobiographies of Sun Yat-sen.

Wei Yung (translator); The Cult of Dr. Sun, Sun Wên Hsüeh Shê, Shanghai, 1931.

Also referred to as The Outline of Psychological Reconstruction. It comprises a series of popular essays discussing the problems involved in modernization of the Chinese outlook, and presenting Sun Yat-sen's theory of knowledge versus action.

IV. Works in English by Sun Yat-sen.

Sun Yat-sen; Kidnapped in London, Bristol, 1897.

Sun Yat-sen's first book in English. Expresses his Christian, modernist, anti-Manchu attitude of the time.

—— How China was Made a Republic, Shanghai, 1919.

A short autobiography of Sun Yat-sen; see note in Preface.

—— The International Development of China, New York and London, 1929.

Sun Yat-sen's bold project for the industrialization of China. [pg 268] First proposed in 1919, the work calls for a coördinated effort of world capitalism and Chinese nationalism for the modernization of China. Also called the Outline of Material Reconstruction.

V. Commentaries on the Principles of Sun Yat-sen.

Li Ti tsun; The Politico-Economic Theories of Sun Yat-sen.

This work has not been published, but portions of it appeared in the Chinese Students' Monthly, XXIV, New York, 1928-1929, as follows: “The Life of Sun Yat-sen,” no. 1, p. 14, November, 1928; “The Theoretical System of Dr. Sun Yat-sen,” no. 2, p. 92, December 1928, and no. 3, p. 130, January 1929; and “The Sunyatsenian Principle of Livelihood,” no. 5, p. 219, March 1929. It is most regrettable that the whole work could not be published as a unit, for Li's work is extensive in scope and uses the major Chinese and foreign sources quite skilfully.

Tai Chi-tao (Richard Wilhelm, translator); Die Geistigen Grundlagen des Sunyatsenismus, Berlin, 1931.

An informative commentary on the ethical system of Sun Yat-sen. Tai Chi-tao is an eminent Party leader.

Antonov, K.: Sun'iatsenizm i kitaiskaia revoliutsiia, Moscow, 1931.

Not available to the author.

William, Maurice; Sun Yat-sen Vs. Communism, Baltimore, 1932.

A presentation, by the author of The Social Interpretation of History, of the influence which that work had on Sun; useful only in this connection.

Linebarger, Paul; Linebarger, Paul M. A. (editor); Conversations With Sun Yat-sen, 1919-1922.

For comment on this and the following manuscript, see Preface.

Linebarger, Paul; A Commentary on the San Min Chu I. Four volumes, unpublished, 1933.

Tsui, Shu-Chin, The Influence of the Canton-Moscow Entente upon Sun Yat-sen's political Philosophy, in The Chinese Social and Political Science Review, XVIII, 1, 2, 3, Peiping, 1934.

A dissertation presented to Harvard University. Dr. Tsui covers the ground very thoroughly; his conclusions challenge the general belief that the Communists influenced Sun Yat-sen's philosophy. Ranks with the works of Tai Chi-tao, Hsü Shih-lien, and Father d'Elia as an aid to the understanding of the Three Principles.

Jair Hung: Les Idées Économiques de Sun Yat Sen, Toulouse, 1934.

A doctoral thesis presented to the University of Toulouse, treating, chiefly, the programmatic parts of the principle of min shêng.

Tsiang Kuen; Les origines économiques et politiques du socialisme de Sun Yat Sen, Paris, 1933.
[pg 269]

A doctoral thesis presented to the University of Paris, which deals with the institutional and historical background of min sheng.

Li Chao-wei; La souveraineté nationale d'après la doctrine politique de Sun-Yet-Sin, Dijon, 1934.

A doctoral thesis presented to the University of Dijon, concerning the four popular powers of election, recall, initiative, and referendum.

B. Chinese Sources and Further Western Works Used as Auxiliary Sources.

I. Chinese and Japanese Works by or Concerning Sun Yat-sen.

Anonymous; Tsung-li Fêng An Shih Lu (A True Record of the Obsequies of the Leader), Nanking, n. d.

Bai-ko-nan (Mei Sung-nan); San-min-shu-gi To Kai-kyu To-so (The San Min Chu I and the Struggle between Capitalism and Labor), Tokyo, 1929.

Chung Kung-jên; San Min Chu I Li Lun Ti Lien Chiu (A Study of the Theory of the San Min Chu I), Shanghai, 1931.

Huang Huan-wên; Sun Wên Chu I Chen Ch'üan (The Real Interpretation of the Principles of Sun Wên), Nanking, 1933.

Lin Pai-k'ê (Linebarger, Paul M. W.), Hsü Chih-jên (translator); Sun I-hsien Chüan Chi (The Life of Sun Yat-sen), 4th ed., Shanghai, 1927.

The Chinese translator has appended an excellent chronology of Sun's life.

Sun Fu-hao; San Min Chu I Piao Chieh (An Elementary Explanation of the Sun Min Chu I), Shanghai, 1933.

Sun Yat-sen, Hu Han-min, ed.; Tsung-li Ch'üan Chi (The Complete Works of the Leader), 4 vol. in 1; 2nd ed., Shanghai, 1930.

The best collection, but by no means complete.

Sun Yat-sen; Sun Chung-shan Yen Chiang Chi (A Collection of the Lectures of Sun Chung-shan), 3rd ed., Shanghai, 1927.

Sun Yat-sen; Tsung-li Yü Mo (The Posthumous Papers of the Leader), Nanking, n. d.

Têng Hsi; Chung Shan Jên Shêng Shih Hsia Tan Yüan, (An Inquiry into the Origin of Chung Shan's Philosophy of Life), Shanghai, 1933.

Tsao Kê-jen; Sun Chung Shan Hsien-shêng Ching Chi Hsüeh Shê (The Economic Theory of Mr. Sun Chung-shan), Nanking, 1935.

II. Works on China or the Revolution.

Amann, Gustav; Sun Yatsens Vermächtnis, Berlin, 1928.

Bland, J. O. and Backhouse, E.; China Under the Empress Dowager, Philadelphia, 1910.

[pg 270]

Beresford, Lord Charles; The Break-up of China, London, 1899.

Bonnard, Abel; En Chine (1920-1921), Paris, 1924.

Burgess, J. S.; The Guilds of Peking, New York, 1928.

Buxton, L. H. Dudley; China, The Land and the People, Oxford, 1929.

Chen Tsung-hsi, Wang An-tsiang, and Wang I-ting; General Chiang Kai-shek: The Builder of New China, Shanghai, 1929.

Chinese Social and Political Science Review, The, Peking (Peiping), 1916-. The foremost journal of its kind in the Far East.

China Today, New York, 1934-. Communist Monthly.

China Weekly Review, The, Shanghai, 1917-.

The leading English-language weekly in China, Liberal in outlook.

China Year Book, The, Shanghai, 1919-?

A necessary reference work for government personnel, trade statistics, and chronology. Perhaps inferior to the corresponding volumes in other countries.

Close, Upton, pseud. (Hall, Josef Washington); Challenge: Behind the Face of Japan, New York, 1934.

——; Eminent Asians, New York, 1929.

Coker, Francis; Recent Political Thought, New York, 1934.

Creel, H. G.; Sinism, A Study of the Evolution of the Chinese World-view, Chicago, 1929.

Cressey, George Babcock; China's Geographic Foundations, New York, 1934.

de Groot, J. J. M.; Religion in China, New York and London, 1912.

Djang, Chu (Chang Tso); The Chinese Suzerainty, Johns Hopkins University doctoral dissertation, 1935.

Douglas, Sir Robert K.; Europe and the Far East 1506-1912, New York, 1913.

Ellis, Henry; Journal of the Proceedings of the Late Embassy to China..., Philadelphia, 1818.

Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, New York, 1930-.

Articles on “Kuomintang” and “Sun Yat-sen.”

Erdberg, Oskar; Tales of Modern China, Moscow, 1932.

Erkes, Eduard; Chinesische Literatur, Breslau, 1922.

Foreign Office of Japan, The (?); The Present Condition of China, Tokyo (?), 1932.

No author nor place of publication is given in this work, which presents a description of those features of Chinese political and economic life that might be construed as excusing Japanese intervention.

Fundamental Laws of the Chinese Soviet Republic, The, New York, 1934.

Goodnow, Frank Johnson; China: An Analysis, Baltimore, 1926.

Granet, Marcel; Chinese Civilization, New York, 1930.

[pg 271]

Harvey, E. D.; The Mind of China, New Haven, 1933.

Holcombe, Arthur N.; The Chinese Revolution, Cambridge (Massachusetts), 1930.

——; The Spirit of the Chinese Revolution, New York, 1930.

Hsia Ching-lin; Chow, James L. E.; and Chang, Yukon (translators); The Civil Code of The Republic of China, Shanghai, 1930.

Hsieh, Pao Chao; The Government of China (1644-1911), Baltimore, 1925.

Hsü, Leonard Shih-lien; The Political Philosophy of Confucianism, New York, 1932.

Hsü, Pao-chien; Ethical Realism in Neo-Confucian Thought, Dissertation, Columbia University, n. d.

Suggests the position of Sun Yat-sen in the history of Chinese philosophy.

Hu Shih; and Lin Yu-tang; China's Own Critics, Peiping, 1931.

Isaacs, Harold (editor); Five Years of Kuomintang Reaction, Shanghai, 1931.

Johnston, Reginald; Twilight in the Forbidden City, London, 1934.

Koo, V. K. Wellington; Memoranda Presented to the Lytton Commission, New York, n. d.

Kotenev, Anatol M.; New Lamps for Old, Shanghai, 1931.

Kulp, D. H.; Family Life in South China: The Sociology of Familism, New York, 1925.

Latourette, Kenneth; The Chinese: Their History and Culture, New York, 1934.

Lea, Homer; The Valor of Ignorance, New York, 1909.

Liang Ch'i-ch'ao; History of Chinese Political Thought, New York and London, 1930.

Li Chi; The Formation of the Chinese People, Cambridge (Massachusetts), 1928.

Lin Yutang; My Country and My People, New York, 1936.

Linebarger, Paul Myron Wentworth; Deutschlands Gegenwärtige Gelegenheiten in China, Brussels, 1936.

Lou Kan-jou; Histoire Sociale de l'Epoque Tcheou, Paris, 1935.

MacNair, Harley Farnsworth; China in Revolution, Chicago, 1931.

——; Modern Chinese History—Selected Readings, Shanghai, 1923.

Mänchen-Helfen, Otto; China, Dresden, 1931.

Maybon, Albert; La Politique Chinoise, Paris, 1908.

Sun Yat-sen presented a copy of this book to Judge Linebarger, and enthusiastically recommended it.

[pg 272]

Maybon, Albert; La Republique Chinoise, Paris, 1914.

Mayers, William Frederick; The Chinese Government, A Manual of Chinese Titles, Categorically Explained and Arranged, with an Appendix, Shanghai, 1897.

McGovern, William Montgomery; Modern Japan, Its Political, Military, and Industrial Organization, London, 1920.

Myron, Paul, pseud. (Linebarger, Paul M. W.); Our Chinese Chances Through Europe's War, Chicago, 1915.

Meadows, Thomas Taylor; The Chinese and Their Rebellions, London, 1856.

One of the permanently outstanding books on China; dealing primarily with the T'ai P'ing rebellion, it presents an extraordinarily keen analysis of the politics of the old Chinese social system.

Ogden, C. K. and Richards, I. A.; The Meaning of Meaning, New York and London, 1927.

It is largely upon this work that the present author has sought to base his technique of ideological analysis.

Peffer, Nathaniel; The Collapse of a Civilization, New York, 1930.

Price, Ernest Batson; The Russo-Japanese Treaties of 1907-1916 Concerning Manchuria and Mongolia, Baltimore, 1933.

Pages 1-13 present stimulating suggestions as to the nature of “China.”

Reichwein, Adolf; China and Europe: Intellectual and Artistic Contacts in the Eighteenth Century, New York, 1925.

Roffe, Jean; La Chine Nationaliste 1912-1930, Paris, 1931.

Roy, Manabendra Nath; Revolution und Konterrevolution in China, Berlin, 1930.

Ruffé, R. d'Auxion de; Is China Mad? Shanghai, 1928.

The author, violently hostile to Sun Yat-sen, presents some details of Sun's life not published elsewhere.

Smith, Arthur; Village Life in China, New York, 1899.

Sheean, Vincent; Personal History, New York, 1935.

Shryock, John Knight; The Origin and Development of the State Cult of Confucius, New York, 1932.

Starr, Frederick; Confucianism, New York, 1930.

Stoddard, Lothrop; The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, New York, 1930.

T'ang Leang-li; The Inner History of the Chinese Revolution, New York, 1930.

——; Wang ching-wei, Peiping, 1931.

Tawney, Richard Henry; Land and Labour in China, London, 1932.

Thomas, Elbert Duncan; Chinese Political Thought, New York, 1927.

Treat, Payson J.; The Far East, New York and London, 1928.

[pg 273]

Trotsky, Leon; Problems of the Chinese Revolution, New York, 1932.

Tyau Min-ch'ien T. Z.; Two Years of Nationalist China, Shanghai, 1930.

van Dorn, Harold Archer; Twenty Years of The Chinese Republic, New York, 1932.

Vinacke, Harold Monk; Modern Constitutional Development in China, Princeton, 1920.

Wang Ch'ing-wei et al.; The Chinese National Revolution, Peiping, 1930.

Weale, E. L. Putnam, pseud. (Simpson, Bertram Lennox); The Vanished Empire, London, 1926.

Weber, Max; Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie, Tübingen, 1922.

Wieger, Leon, S. J.; Chine Moderne, 10 volumes, Hsien-hsien, 1921-32.

An enormous scrapbook of translations from the Chinese illustrating political and religious trends. Catholic point of view.

——; Textes Historiques: Histoire Politique de la Chine, Hsien-hsien, 1929.

—— and Davrout, L., S. J.; Chinese Characters, Hsien-hsien, 1927.

Wilhelm, Richard (Danton, G. H. and Danton, A. P., translators); Confucius and Confucianism, New York, 1931.

——; Geschichte der chinesischen Philosophie, Breslau, 1929.

——; Ostasien, Werden und Wandel des Chinesischen Kulturkreises, Potsdam and Zürich, 1928.

Perhaps the best of all works introductory to Chinese civilization.

Williams, S. Wells; The Middle Kingdom, New York, 1895.

——; A Syllabic Dictionary of the Chinese Language, Tungchou, 1909.

Wu Ch'ao-ch'u, The Nationalist Program for China, New Haven, 1930.

Wu Kuo-cheng; Ancient Chinese Political Theories, Shanghai, 1928.

Ziah, C. F.; Philosophie Politique de la Chine Ancienne (700-221 AV. J.-C.), Paris, 1934.

[pg 274]

Chinese-English Glossary.

The author has not sought to prepare a lexicon of modern Chinese political terms. He presents, however, a list of those Chinese words which have frequently been left untranslated in the text, together with the ideographs by which they are written in China, and brief definitions. Variant meanings, however significant, have been omitted. Peculiar definitions, to be found only in the present work, have been enclosed in brackets. To locate the phrases, and discussions of them, consult the index.

chêng; right; rectified
chu; used as a compound with i, below, to make chu-i: principle, -ism
ch'üan; power
hui; society; guild
hsien; district (a political subdivision)
i; propriety
jên; humanity; fellow-feeling; benevolence, etc. [consciousness of social orientation]
li; rites; ceremonies [ideological conformity]
min; people; Volk
ming; name [terminology, or, a part of ideology]
nêng; capacity
pa; violence; violent; tyrant; tyrannous
san; three
shêng; life; regeneration; livelihood
ta; great
tao; path; way; principle
têh; virtue
tsu; unity; kinship
t'ung; harmony; concord
wang; king; kingly
yüeh; rhythm
[pg 275]


Proper Names and Special Terms

America (see also United States), 62, 220

American Indians, 124

Anglo-Saxons, 62

Annam, 127

Austria, 62

Beresford, Lord Charles, 187

Bismarck, 254 ff.

Bolsheviks (see Russians, Marxian philosophy)

Borodin, 5, 7, 161

Boxer Rebellion, 78

British Empire, 71, 199

Burgess, J. S., 41..

Cantlie, Sir James, 84

Canton, 7, 66, 126, 233

Catherine I of Russia, 243

Catholic Church, 54n., 122

Chang Tso (Djang Chu), 186n.

Ch'en Ch'iung-ming, 6

Chen, Eugene, 159n.

Chêng, state of, 27

chêng ming, 31ff., 83ff., 104, 114, 210

ch'i, 110

Chiang Chieh-shih (Chiang Kai-shek), 102n., 158n., 163n., 206

Chien Kuo Fang Lo (see The Program of National Reconstruction)

Chien Kuo Ta Kang (see see The Outline of National Reconstruction)

Ch'ien Lung, the Emperor, 168

Ch'in dynasty, 47

Ch'in Shih Huang Ti, the, 26n., 37

Chinese Eastern Railway, the, 201

Ch'ing dynasty (see Manchu dynasty)

Chou dynasty, 25, 28

Christianity, 49, 67, 133n., 155n.

ch'üan, 107ff., 141, 218

chun ch'üan, 100n.

Chung Hua, The Republic of, 190

Cohen, Morris, 8n.

Coker, Francis W., 147ff.

Communists, 10, 64ff., 66, 106, 122, 160, 161, 163ff., 189, 205, 246ff.

Confucianism, 23ff., 60, 66ff., 82ff., 90ff., 106, 109, 113ff., 210

Confucius (K'ung Ch'iu), 25ff., 60, 76, 97, 105, 261

Creel, H. G., 23n.

Cressey, George B., 127n.

Davrout, L., 32n.

d'Elia, Paschal M., 4n.

Donbas region, 246

Douglas, Sir Robert K., 243n.

Dutch, the, 44n.

Empress Dowager, Tzŭ Hsi, the, 131

England, 62, 150n., 188

Erdberg, Oskar, 161n.

Fascism, 54, 146ff., 244

Ford, Henry, 132

Four Books, The, 75

France, 188

Gandhi, M. K., 156n., 180

Genro, the, 131

George III of England, 243

George, Henry, 72, 136ff., 144, 256

Germany, 62, 100, 196, 254ff.

Goodnow, Frank J., 97

Granet, Marcel, 23n.

Great Britain (see British Empire, England)

Great Learning, The, 74

Greeks, the, 133

Hai Ching Kung, the, 44n.

Hamilton, Alexander, 77

Han Fei-tzŭ, 29, 93

[pg 276]

Harvey, E. D., 154n.

Hawaii, 61n.

Hitler, Adolf, 56

Holcombe, Arthur N., 11n.

Hongkong, 51n.

Honolulu, 126

hou chih hou chou, the, 105

Hsieh, Pao-chao, 45n.

hsien, 45, 211ff., 230ff.

hsien chih hsien chou, the, 104, 106

Hsin dynasty, 58

Hsü, Leonard Shih-lien, 4n.

Hu Han-min, 4n., 186

hui, 38, 41, 95, 165

Hulutao port, 260

hung fang, 100n.

Hung Hsiu-ch'üan, 58

Hung Jair, 236n.

“ideology,” 18ff.

India, 90, 181

International Development of China, The, 4

Isaacs, Harold, 161n.

Japan, 28, 40, 47, 48, 51, 59, 63, 90, 170, 184, 188, 199ff., 240, 260

jên, 14, 30ff., 72ff., 141, 142, 144ff., 154, 263

Jên T'ai, 31n.

Jews, the, 168

Joffe, Adolf, 64

Johnston, Sir Reginald, 119

Kailan Mining Administration, The, 179

K'ang Hsi, the Emperor, 168

“Kang Têh” (see P'u Yi)

Koo, V. K. Wellington, 122n.

Korea (Chosen), 48, 59, 70, 127, 200

Kulp, D. H., 38n.

Ku Hung-ming, 77

K'ung family, 90

Kung, H. H., 122n.

Kuo Hsing-hua, 44n.

Kuomintang, the, 104, 158ff., 205

Kwangtung Province (see Canton)

Kuzbas region, 246

Lao Tzŭ, 25

Latins, the, 62

Latourette, Kenneth Scott, 91n.

Lea, Homer, 195

Lee, Frank C., 122n.

Legge translations, the, 23n., 75n.

Lenin, V. I., 132, 230n., 247

li, 31ff., 104, 115

Li Chao-wei, 219n.

Li Chi, 86n.

Li Ti-tsun, 137n.

Liang Ch'i-ch'ao, 30, 31n.

Lin Shen, President, 122n.

Lincoln, Abraham, 262

Linebarger, Paul Myron Wentworth, 8n., 84

Lotus society, the, 41

Lovejoy, Arthur O., 18n.

Lynn, Jermyn Chi-hung, 221n.

Macao, 49

Machiavelli, Niccolò, 26

“machine state,” 54

MacNair, Harley Farnsworth, 11n.

Malaysia, 186

Manchu (Ch'ing) dynasty, 22, 43, 44n., 47, 58ff., 96, 111, 119, 124, 131, 159ff., 167ff., 172ff., 182, 190, 227

“Manchukuo” (“Manchoukuo”), 71

Manchuria, 2, 51, 201, 205, 260

Mandarins, 104ff.

Manifesto of the first Party congress, 4

Mannheim, Karl, 18n.

Marx, Karl, 72n., 163

Marxian philosophy, 14ff., 52, 55, 70, 72, 81n., 106, 125, 134n., 137ff., 144, 192ff., 209ff., 236, 257ff.

Marxism-Leninism, 81, 136, 182, 189, 192ff.

[pg 277]

Mayers, William Frederick, 45n.

Meiji Emperor, the, 82, 131

Mencius (Mêng Tzŭ), 76, 93, 97

Miao tribes, 168

Mill, John Stuart, 98n.

Millar, John, 98

min, 217

min ch'üan, 99, 100n., 209ff.

Min Ch'üan Ts'u Pu (see The Primer of Democracy)

min shêng, 12, 101, 121, 122ff., 141, 180, 193, 236ff.

min tsu, 36, 99, 120

Ming dynasty, 96, 124

Ming T'ai Tsung, the Emperor, 124

Mo Ti, 93

Mohammedans, 190

Mongol (Yüan) dynasty, 47

Mongolia, 2, 87, 190

Montesquieu, Charles de S., Baron, 112, 221

Mussolini, Benito, 56

National Government of China, The, 3

nêng, 107ff., 141, 218

New Deal, the, 238n.

New Life Movement, the, 102n.

Outline of National Reconstruction, The, 4

pa tao, 71, 200

Pan-Asia, 197ff.

Pareto, Vilfredo, 15ff.

Peffer, Nathaniel, 10n.

Peru, 165

Philippines, 186, 187n., 200

Philosophy of Sun Wên, The (see Sun Wên Hsüeh Shê)

Piatiletka (The Five-Year Plan), 132, 238n., 246

Plato, 79

Poland, 168

Political Testament, The, 2

Ponce, Mariano, 97

Portuguese, the, 49

Presidency of ancient states, the, 28

Price, Frank W., 4n.

Primer of Democracy, The, 4

Program of National Reconstruction, The, 4

pu chih pu chou, the, 105

P'u Yi, 119n.

Radcliffe-Brown, A. R., 91

Rea, George Bronson, 183

Reichwein, Adolf, 50n.

Republic, The, 79

Rome, 215

Roy, Manabendra Nath, 52n.

Russians (see also Soviet Union), 49, 51, 100, 103n., 137, 194ff., 240

San Min Chu I, 4ff.

Sharman, Lyon, 1n.

Sheean, Vincent, 161n.

shen ch'üan, 100n.

Shih Yeh Chi Hua, 4

Shryock, John K., 36n.

Shun, the Emperor, 97, 168

Siam, 187

Smith, Adam, 237

Smith, Arthur, 40n.

South Manchuria Railway, The, 179

Soviets in China, 2, 212

Soviet Union (U. S. S. R.), 64, 147, 155n., 184ff., 189, 199, 201

Spring and Autumn Period, 27

Stalin, Joseph, 56, 158n.

Starr, Frederick, 23n.

Stoddard, Lothrop, 197

Sun-Joffe Manifesto, The, 64

Sun Wên Hsüeh Shê, 4

Sun Yat-sen, Mme. (née Soong Ching-ling), 122n., 158n., 159n., 253n.

Sung Chiao-jên, 138

Sung dynasty, 58

ta chia, 141

ta t'ung, 120, 210, 261

[pg 278]

Tagore, Sir Rabindranath, 132, 156n.

Tai Chi-tao, 69

Tai-p'ing Rebellion, the, 50, 58, 172

Taiwan (Formosa), 44n., 51n.

T'ang Liang-li (T'ang Leang-li), 5n., 56n.

tang pu, 164

Taoism, 25

Tao Kuang, the Emperor, 243

Tawney, R. H., 45n.

têh (), 31ff.

Thomas, Elbert Duncan, 25n.

Tibet, 2, 190

Triad Society, the, 41

Triple Demism, The (see San Min Chu I)

Ts'an Yi Yüan, the, 228

Tsao Kun, 119n.

Tsiang Kuen, 236n.

Tsinanfu, 205

Tsui Shu-chin 10n.

Tsung Li, 162

Tung Meng Hui, 136ff.

Turkey, 199, 201

Tyau, Minch'ien T. Z., 5n.

United States of America, The, 79, 97, 112, 130, 187n., 188, 199, 205

Versailles Conference, the, 190

Vilenskii (Sibiriakov), V., 4n.

Vinacke, Harold Monk, 227n.

Vladislavich, 243

Wang An-shih, 58

Wang Ch'ing-wei, 5, 164, 206

Wang Mang, 58

wang tao, 71

Wang Yang-ming, 80n., 84

Warring States, the Age of, 27

Washington Conference, the, 188

Weale, Putnam (B. L. Simpson), 50, 225

Weber, Max, 15

Wei Yung, 4n.

Wên Wang, the, 168

Wieger, Leon, 32n.

Wilhelm, Richard, 23n., 68

William, Maurice, 10, 72, 142ff.

Williams, S. Wells, 44, 122n.

Wilson, Woodrow, 6, 190

Wittfogel, Karl, 4n.

Wou Saofong, 111n.

Wu Pei-fu, 222n.

Yangtze river (the Ch'ang Chiang), 100

Yao, the Emperor, 76, 97, 219, 233

Yellow river (the Huang Ho), 100

Yen Shing Kung, the, 44n.

yi (i), 31ff.

Yoshemitsu, the Ashikaga Shogun, 183

Yuan, the Five, 224

Yüan dynasty (see Mongol dynasty)

Yüan Shih-k'ai, 159, 166, 173, 183, 220, 251

yüeh, 91ff.


China Today (March, 1935), I, No. 6, p. 112. This is the leading English-language journal of the Chinese Communists. Mme. Sun's letter to the paper is characteristic of the attitude toward Nanking adopted throughout the magazine.
These manuscripts consist of the following chief items: Linebarger, Paul Myron Wentworth, Conversations with Sun Yat-sen 1919-1922 (written in 1933-1935); the same, A Commentary on the San Min Chu I (four volumes, 1932-1933); and Sun Yat-sen, How China Was Made a Republic (Shanghai, 1919). These are all typescripts, with autograph corrections by their respective authors. The manuscripts of Judge Linebarger represent his attempts to replace, from memory, books which were destroyed at the time of the bombardment of the Commercial Press in Shanghai by the Japanese. He had prepared a two-volume work on the life and principles of Sun Yat-sen and had left his manuscripts and other papers in the vaults of the Press. When the Press was bombed the manuscripts, documents, plates and Chinese translations were all destroyed; the only things remaining were a few pages of proof sheets for The Life and Principles of Sun Chung-san, which remain in the possession of the present author. Judge Linebarger attempted to replace these volumes. He had a few notebooks in which he had kept the outlines of his own speeches; he had not used these, because of the secondary value. When, however, the major volumes were lost, he returned to these notebooks and reconstructed his speeches. They were issued in Paris in 1932 under the title of The Gospel of Sun Chung-shan. He also prepared the Commentary and the Conversations from memory. These manuscripts possess a certain somewhat questionable value. Judge Linebarger himself suggested that they be allowed the same weight that testimony, based upon memory but delivered under oath, upon a subject ten years past would receive in a court of justice. The seven volumes described are in the possession of the present author. Other materials to which the author has had access are his father's diaries and various other private papers; but since he has not cited them for references, he does not believe any description of them necessary. Finally, there are the manuscripts of Sun Yat-sen and the Chinese Republic, which contain a considerable amount of material deleted from the published version of that work, which appeared in New York in 1925. For comments on other source material for Sun Yat-sen which is not generally used, see Bibliography.
Lyon Sharman, Sun Yat-sen, His Life and Its Meaning, New York, 1934, p. 405.
He did this in his Political Testament, which is given in almost every work on Sun Yat-sen or on modern Chinese politics. It was written in February and signed in March 1925, shortly before his death.
The Chinese text of these is given in Hu Han-min, ed., Tsung-li Ch'üan Chi (The Complete Works of the Leader), 4 vol. in 1, Shanghai, 1930. This collection comprises the most important works of Sun which were published in his lifetime. Edited by one of the two scholars closest to Sun, it is the standard edition of his works. English versions of varying amounts of this material are given in Paschal M. d'Elia, The Triple Demism of Sun Yat-sen, Wuchang, 1931; Frank W. Price, San Min Chu I, The Three Principles of the People, Shanghai, 1930; and Leonard Shih-lien Hsü, Sun Yat-sen, His Political and Social Ideals, Los Angeles, 1933. Each of these works will henceforth be cited by the name of its editor; for brief descriptions and appraisals, see the bibliography.
The only English version of this work is one prepared by Wei Yung, under the title of The Cult of Dr. Sun, Shanghai, 1931. Fragments of this work are also to be found in Vilenskii (Sibiriakov), V., Sun' Iat-sen, Otets Kitaiskoi Revoliutsii, (Sun Yat-sen, Father of the Chinese Revolution), Moscow, 1925; Zapiski Kitaiskogo Revoliutsionera, (Notes of a Chinese Revolutionary), Moscow, 1926; Memoirs of a Chinese Revolutionary, Philadelphia, n. d.; and Karl Wittfogel, Sun Yat Sen, Aufzeichnungen eines chinesischen Revolutionärs, Vienna & Berlin, n. d. (ca. 1927).
This work has not been translated into any Western language.
Sun Yat-sen, The International Development of China, New York and London, 1929.
This is given in Hsü, cited above, and in Min-ch'ien T. Z. Tyau, Two Years of Nationalist China, Shanghai, 1930, pp. 439-442. Dr. Tyau substitutes the word “Fundamentals” for “Outline,” a rather happy choice.
See bibliography for a complete list of the translations. d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 36-49, dedicates a whole chapter to the problem of an adequate translation of the Chinese phrase San Min Chu I. He concludes that it can only be rendered by a nelogism based upon Greek roots: the triple demism, “demism” including the meaning of “principle concerning and for the people” and “popular principle.”
T'ang Leang-li, The Inner History of the Chinese Revolution, New York, 1930, p. 166.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 58.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 58.
See Lyon Sharman, Sun Yat-sen, His Life and Its Meaning, New York, 1934, p. 292, for a stimulating discussion of the parts that the various documents played in the so-called "cult of Sun Yat-sen."
Sharman, cited, p. 270.
A typical instance of this sort of criticism is to be found in the annotations to the anonymous translation of the San Min Chu I which was published by a British newspaper in 1927 (The Three Principles, Shanghai, 1927). The translator and annotator both remained anonymous; the translation was wholly inadequate; and the annotations a marvel of invective. Almost every page of the translation was studded with notes pointing out and gloating over the most trivial errors and inconsistencies. The inflamed opinion of the time was not confined to the Chinese.
Paul M. W. Linebarger, Deutschlands Gegenwärtige Gelegenheiten in China, Brussels, 1936, p. 53. Judge Linebarger repeats the story told him by General Morris Cohen, the Canadian who was Sun's bodyguard throughout this period.
Nathaniel Peffer, China: The Collapse of a Civilization, New York, 1930, p. 155.
d'Elia, cited; Hsü, cited; and Wittfogel, cited.
Maurice William, Sun Yat-sen Versus Communism, Baltimore, 1932; and Tsui Shu-chin, The Influence of the Canton-Moscow Entente upon Sun Yat-sen's Political Philosophy, in The Social and Political Science Review, XVIII, 1, 2, 3, Peiping, 1934; and other works listed in bibliography, pp. 268-269.
Two such are the chapters on Sun Yat-sen's thought to be found in Harley Farnsworth MacNair, China in Revolution, Chicago, 1931, pp. 78-91 (Chapter VI, “The Ideology and Plans of Sun Yat-sen”) and Arthur N. Holcombe, The Chinese Revolution, Cambridge (Massachusetts), 1930, pp. 120-155 (Chapter V, “The Revolutionary Politics of Sun Yat-sen”). The former is the shorter of the two, and is a summary of the various documents involved. The distinction between the ideology and the plans is so convenient and illuminating that the present writer has adopted it. Except for the comments on the influence of William upon Sun Yat-sen, it is completely reliable. The latter is a discussion, rather than an outline, and admirably presents the gist of Sun's thought.
Holcombe, cited, p. 136 ff.
The word “ideology” is one of the catchwords of the hour. The author regrets having to use it, but dares not coin a neologism to replace it. He does not desire that “ideology” be opposed to “truth,” but uses the word in its broadest possible sense, referring to the whole socio-psychological conditioning of a group of people. He does not, therefore, speak of ideologies as a collection of Paretian derivations, fictions which mask some “truth.” He considers his own background—or Pareto's, for that matter—as ideological, and—in the sense of the word here employed—cannot conceive of any human belief or utterance not ideological. The task he has set himself is the transposition of a pattern of Chinese ideas concerning government from the Chinese ideology to the Western-traditionalist ideology of the twentieth century. Whether one, the other, neither, or both, is “right,” is quite beside the point, so far as the present enterprise is concerned. In calling the whole non-physical background of a society the ideology of that society, the author can excuse his novel use of the term only if he admits that he establishes the new meaning by definition, without any necessary reference to the previous use of the term. He has no intention of following, in the present work, any “theory of ideology” or definition of “ideology” established by political philosophers, such as Marx, or sociologists such as Weber, Mannheim, or Pareto. (Professor A. O. Lovejoy suggested the following definition of the term, “ideology,” after having seen the way it was employed in this work: Ideology means a complex of ideas, in part ethical, in part political, in part often religious, which is current in a society, or which the proponents of it desire to make current, as an effective means of controlling behavior.”)
Confucianism may be read in the Legge translations, a popular abridged edition of which was issued in 1930 in Shanghai under the title of The Four Books. Commentaries on Confucius which present him in a well-rounded setting are Richard Wilhelm, Confucius and Confucianism, New York, 1931; the same, Ostasien, Werden und Wandel des Chinesischen Kulturkreises, Potsdam, 1928, for a very concise account and the celebrated Geschichte der chinesischen Kultur, Munich, 1928, for a longer account in a complete historical setting; Frederick Starr, Confucianism, New York, 1930; H. G. Creel, Sinism, Chicago, 1929; and Marcel Granet, La Civilization Chinoise, Paris, 1929. Bibliographies are found in several of these works. They deal with Confucius either in his historical setting or as the main object of study, and are under no necessity of distorting Confucius' historical rôle for the purpose of showing his connection with some other topic. The reader may gauge the amount of distortion necessary when he imagines a work on Lenin, written for the information and edification of Soviet Eskimos, which—for the sake of clarity—was forced to summarize all Western thought, from Plato and Jesus Christ down to Immanuel Kant and Karl Marx, in a few pages providing a background to Lenin.
There is a work on Confucianism upon which the author has leaned quite heavily: Leonard Shih-lien Hsü, The Political Philosophy of Confucianism, New York, 1932. Dr. Hsü is interested in sociological political theory. The novelty of his work has aroused a great amount of criticism among Chinese scholars of the older disciplines, whether the relatively conservative and established Western disciplines or the ultra-conservative schools of the truly classical literati. His work cannot be recommended for any purposes other than those which Dr. Hsü himself had in mind; there are several other works, the product of philosophers, historians, and literary historians, which will present a portrait of Confucius and Confucianism more conventionally exact. In its own narrow but definite field Dr. Hsü's work is an impressive accomplishment; he transposes the Confucian terms into those of the most advanced schools of social thought. A reader not forewarned might suffer by this, and read into Confucius an unwarranted modernity of outlook; if, however, the up-to-dateness is recognized as Dr. Hsü's and not Confucius', the work is valuable. It puts Confucius on common ground with modern social theory, ground on which he does not belong, but where his ideas are still relevant and interesting. The present author follows Dr. Hsü in this transposition of Confucius, but begs the reader to remember that this is one made for purposes of comparison only, and not intended as valid for all purposes. (He must acknowledge the stimulating criticism of Mr. Jan Tai, of the Library of Congress, who made it clear that this distortion of Confucius was one which could be excused only if it were admitted.)—An interesting presentation of Confucius as transposed into the older political theory, untouched by sociology, is to be found in Senator Elbert Duncan Thomas, Chinese Political Thought, New York, 1927.
Granet, Chinese Civilization, cited, p. 84. Granet's work, while challenged by many sinologues as well as by anthropologists, is the most brilliant portrayal of Chinese civilization to the time of Shih Huang Ti. His interpretations make the language of the Odes (collected by Confucius) intelligible, and clear up the somewhat obscure transition from the oldest feudal society to the epoch of the proto-nations and then to the inauguration of the world order.
Granet, cited, pp. 87-88.
Richard Wilhelm, Geschichte der chinesischen Philosophie, Breslau, 1929, p. 19.
One could therefore say that membership in a society is determined by the outlook of the individual concerned.
In modern Western political thought, this doctrine is most clearly demonstrated in the Marxian thesis of the withering-away of the state. The Marxists hold that, as the relics of the class struggle are eliminated from the new society, and classlessness and uniform indoctrination come to prevail, the necessity for a state—which they, however, consider an instrument of class domination—will decline and the state will atrophy and disappear.
Liang Ch'i-ch'ao, History of Chinese Political Thought during the early Tsin Period, translated by L. T. Chen, New York, 1930, p. 38.
Liang Ch'i-ch'ao (cited, p. 48 and following) discusses these points.—The author is indebted to Mr. Jên Tai for the explanation of the relation of these various factors in the Confucian ideology.
Leon Wieger and L. Davrout, Chinese Characters, Hsien-hsien, 1927, p. 6.
Hsü, cited above, chapter three, contains an excellent discussion of the doctrine of rectification.
A stimulating discussion of the pragmatism of early Chinese thought is to be found in Creel, cited.
It must be pointed out in this connection that Confucius advocated an ideology which would not only be socially useful but scientifically and morally exact. He did not consider, as have some Western thinkers of the past century, that the ideology might be a quite amoral instrument of control, and might contain deliberate or unconscious deception. Hsü writes, in his Confucianism, cited, p. 93, of the various translations of the word li into English: “The word li has no English equivalent. It has been erroneously translated as ‘rites’ or ‘propriety’. It has been suggested that the term civilization is its nearest English equivalent; but ‘civilization’ is a broader term, without necessarily implying ethical values, while li is essentially a term implying such values.” Li is civilized behavior; that is, behavior which is civilized in being in conformance with the ideology and the values it contains.
Hsü, cited, p. 103.
Confucius the individual was quite nationalistically devoted to his native state of Lu, and, more philosophically, hostile to the barbarians. Hsü, cited, p. 118.
John K. Shryock, The Origin and Development of The State Cult of Confucius, New York, 1932, traces this growth with great clarity and superlative scholarship. The work is invaluable as a means to the understanding of the political and educational structure commonly called “Confucian civilization.”
This expansion took place in China in the reign of Ch'in Shih Huang Ti, who used the state of Ch'in as an instrument by means of which to destroy the multiple state-system and replace it with a powerful unitary state for all China. He sought to wipe out the past, raising the imperial office to a position of real power, and destroying the whole feudal organization. He abolished tenantry and supplanted it with a system of small freeholds. Although his immediate successors did much to restore the forms and appearances of the past, his work was not altogether undone. Himself hostile to Confucius, his actions implemented the teachings to an enormous degree. See Granet, cited, pp. 96-104.
D. H. Kulp, Family Life in South China, New York, 1925, p. xxiv.
H. G. Creel, cited, p. 10. Creole writes as follows of the significance of the village: “The village life is very important, for it appears to be the archetype from which the entire Chinese conception of the world and even of the cosmos grew. The village was, as has been said, small. It was based on agriculture. It was apparently a community of a peaceful regularity and a social solidarity beyond anything which we of the present can imagine.”
Arthur Smith, one of the few Westerners to live in a Chinese village for any length of years, wrote: “It is a noteworthy fact that the government of China, while in theory more or less despotic, places no practical restrictions upon the right of free assemblage by the people for the consideration of their own affairs. The people of any village can, if they choose, meet every day of the year. There is no government censor present, and no restriction upon the liberty of debate. The people can say what they like, and the local Magistrate neither knows nor cares what is said.... But should insurrection break out, these popular rights might be extinguished in a moment, a fact of which all the people are perfectly well aware.” Village Life in China, New York, 1899, p. 228. This was written thirteen years before the fall of the Ch'ing dynasty.
J. S. Burgess, The Guilds of Peking, New York, 1928. This is perhaps the best work on the subject of the guilds which has yet appeared. The information was gathered by the students of the author, who as a teacher had excellent facilities for developing contacts. The students, as Chinese, were able to gather data from the conservative guild leaders in a manner and to a degree that no Westerner could have done. The classification here given is a modification of Burgess'.

S. Wells Williams, The Middle Kingdom, New York, 1895, p. 405. Dr. Williams, whose work is perhaps the most celebrated single work on China in the English language, wrote as follows concerning the nobility under the Ch'ing:

“The titular nobility of the Empire, as a whole, is a body whose members are without power, land, wealth, office, or influence, in virtue of their honors; some of them are more or less hereditary, but the whole system has been so devised, and the designations so conferred, as to tickle the vanity of those who receive them, without granting them any real power. The titles are not derived from landed estates, but the rank is simply designated in addition to the name....” He also pointed out that, under the Ch'ing, the only hereditary titles of any significance were Yen Shing Kung (for the descendant of Confucius) and Hai Ching Kung (for the descendant of Kuo Hsing-hua, the formidable sea adventurer who drove the Dutch out of Taiwan and made himself master of that island).

William Frederick Mayers, The Chinese Government, A Manual of Chinese Titles ..., Shanghai, 1897, devotes one hundred and ninety-five pages to the enumeration of the Ch'ing titles. His work, intended to be used as an office manual for foreigners having relations with Chinese officials, remains extremely useful as a presentation of the administrative outline of the Chinese government in its last days before the appearance of Sun Yat-sen and the Kuomintang. Pao Chao Hsieh, The Government of China (1644-1911), Baltimore, 1925, is a more descriptive work dealing with the whole administration of the Ch'ing dynasty. No work has as yet appeared in the West, to the knowledge of the present author, which describes the historical development of government in China in any detail.
The figures given are those of the present day, which may be more or less exact for the past century. For earlier times, the number will have to be reduced in proportion with the remoteness in time. See Richard Henry Tawney, Land and Labour in China, London, 1932.
Richard Wilhelm, Confucius and Confucianism, cited, pp. 130-132. The connection between the naming of names and the operation of the popular check of revolution is made evident by Wilhelm in a brilliant passage. If a righteous ruler died a violent death at the hands of one of his subjects, he was murdered; were he unrighteous, he was only killed. Confucius himself used such terms in his annals. His use of varying terms, terms carrying condemnation or condonement, even of such a subject as regicide, electrified the scholars of his day.
An exception must be made in the case of the first Russian colony in Peking, which was lost in two centuries and became virtually indistinguishable from the mass of the population. The Portuguese, at Macao, displayed that tendency to compromise and miscegenate which marked their whole progress along the coasts of Asia, but they maintained their political supremacy in that city; today the Macanese are largely of Chinese blood, but Portuguese-speaking, and proud of their separateness.
Too many works have been written on the relations of the Chinese and Westerners to permit any citations, with one exception. Putnam Weale's The Vanished Empire, New York, 1925, is an extraordinarily vivid history of the collision of the civilizations. It is not particularly commendable as a factual record, but as a brilliant and moving piece of literature presenting the Chinese viewpoint, it is unexcelled.
See Adolf Reichwein, China and Europe: Intellectual and Artistic Contacts in the Eighteenth Century, New York, 1925, which makes apparent the full extent to which modern Europe is indebted to China for the luxuries of its culture.
In this connection, it might be pointed out that the attractive strength of the two civilizations has not, as yet, been adequately studied, although there is an enormous amount of loose generalization on the subject: “The Chinese are becoming completely Westernized,” or “The Chinese, in spite of their veneer, are always Chinese; they will, in the end, absorb their conquerors.” But will they? In the face of a modern educational and propaganda system, there is at least room for doubt; it is not beyond all conjecture that the Chinese of Manchuria might be Japanized as easily as the fiercely chauvinistic Japanese might be sinicized. The only adequate answer to the question would be through detailed studies of the social conditioning and preferences of Chinese under foreign influence (as in Hongkong, Taiwan, Manchuria), and of foreigners under Chinese influence (the White Russians in China, the few other Westerners in preëminently Chinese milieux).
An example of this is to be found in Manabendra Nath Roy, Revolution und Konterrevolution in China, Berlin, 1930. Roy was one of the emissaries of the Third International to the Nationalists, and his ineptness in practical politics assisted materially in the weakening of the Communist position. His work quite seriously employs all the familiar clichés of Western class dispute, and analyzes the Chinese situation in terms that ignore the fact that China is Chinese.
This same line of attack seems, in the West, to be employed only by the Catholic church which, while opposing any avowedly collectivistic totalitarian state, seeks to maintain control on an ideological and not a political basis, over almost all aspects of the life of its members. No political party or governing group seems to share this attitude.
Karl A. Wittfogel, in his Sun Yat-sen, cited, as well as Roy, in the work cited, thinks very little of the justice of Confucianism. The extreme mobility of Chinese society, which largely precluded the development of any permanent class rule, is either unknown to them or ignored. If the ideologue-officials of old China composed a class, they were a class like no other known, for they provided for the continuous purging of their own class, and its continuous recruitment from all levels of society—excepting that of prostitutes and soldiers.

T'ang Leang-li writes, in The Inner History of the Chinese Revolution, New York, 1930, p. 168, as follows concerning Sun Yat-sen's early teaching of nationalism:

“Previous to the Republican Revolution of 1911, the principle of nationality was known as the principle of racial struggle, and was in effect little more than a primitive tribalism rationalized to serve as a weapon in the struggle against the Manchu oppressors. It was the corner-stone of revolutionary theory, and by emphasizing the racial distinction between the ruling and the oppressed classes, succeeded in uniting the entire Chinese people against the Manchu dynasty.” (Italics mine.) In speaking of min ts'u as a primitive tribalism which had been rationalized as a weapon, Dr. T'ang might lead some of his readers to infer that Sun Yat-sen did not believe what he taught, and that—as a master-stroke of practical politics—he had devised an ideological weapon which, regardless of its truthfulness, would serve him in his struggles. But, it may be asked, what was Sun Yat-sen struggling for, if not the union and preservation of the Chinese people?

See sections, below, on the programs of nationalism.
d'Elia translation, p. 131. Sun Yat-sen said: “Formerly China too entertained the ambition of becoming mistress of the whole world and of rising above all other countries; so she (too) advocated cosmopolitanism.... When the Manchus entered the Great Wall, they were very few; they numbered 100,000 men. How were those 100,000 men able to subject hundreds of millions of others? Because the majority of Chinese at that time favored cosmopolitanism and said nothing about nationalism.”
d'Elia translation, pp. 126 ff.
It seems to the present writer that, whatever criteria are selected for the determination of the nationhood of a given society, uniqueness certainly is not one of the qualities attributed to a “nation.” It is not appropriate for the author to venture upon any extended search for a “true nation”; he might observe, however, that in his own use—in contrast to Sun Yat-sen's—he employs the term in a consciously relative sense, contrasting it with the old Chinese cosmopolitan society, which thought itself unique except for certain imitations of itself on the part of half-civilized barbarians. A “nation” must signify, among other things, for the purposes of this work, a society calling itself such and recognizing the existence of other societies of more or less the same nature. Sun Yat-sen, on the other hand, regarded a nation as a group of persons as real as a family group, and consistently spoke of the Chinese nation as having existed throughout the ages—even in those times when the Chinese themselves regarded their own society as the civilized world, and did so with some show of exactness, if their own viewpoint is taken into account.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 130-131. d'Elia's italics, covering the last two sentences in the quotation, have been omitted as superfluous. As an illustration of the difference between the translation of d'Elia and that of Hsü, the same paragraph might also be cited from the latter translation. “The ethical value of everything is relative and so nothing in the world is innately good or innately bad. It is determined by circumstances. A thing that is useful to us is a good thing; otherwise, a bad thing. Also, a thing that is useful and advantageous to the world is a good thing; otherwise, a bad thing.” Hsü translation, cited, pp. 210-211. Excepting for occasional purposes of comparison, the translation of Father d'Elia will be referred to in citing the sixteen lectures on the San Min Chu I.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 70. The curiously significant use of the word “forever” is reminiscent of the teleology of the Chinese family system, according to which the flesh-and-blood immortality of man, and the preservation of identity through the survival of descendants, is a true immortality.
Wo-men Chung-kuo jen and ni-men wai-kuo jen.
Paul M. Linebarger, The Life and Principles of Sun Chung-shan, p. 102. There is here told the anecdote of Sun Yat-sen's first encounter with race-hatred. At Ewa, Hawaii, in 1880, Sun, then a young lad just arrived from China, met a Westerner on the road. The Westerner threatened him, and called him “Damn Chinaman!” and various other epithets. When Sun Yat-sen discovered that the man was neither deranged nor intoxicated, but simply venting his general hatred of all Chinese, he was so much impressed with the incident that he never forgot it.
Hsü translation, cited, p. 168; d'Elia translation, cited, p. 68.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 70.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 71.
Sun Yat-sen said: “A scrap of paper, a pen, and a mutual agreement will be enough for the ruin of China ... in order to wipe her out by common agreement, it suffices that the diplomats of the different countries meet somewhere and affix their signatures.... One morning will suffice to annihilate a nation.” d'Elia translation, cited, p. 170.

The danger of relying too much on foreign aid can be illustrated by a reference to Sun-Joffe Manifesto issued in Shanghai, January 26, 1922. Sun Yat-sen, as the leader of the Chinese Nationalist movement, and Adolf Joffe, as the Soviet Special Envoy, signed a joint statement, the first paragraph of which reads as follows:

“Dr. Sun Yat-sen holds that the Communistic order or even the Soviet System cannot actually be introduced into China, because there do not exist here the conditions for the successful establishment of either Communism or Sovietism. This view is entirely shared by Mr. Joffe who is further of the opinion that China's paramount and most pressing problem is to achieve unification and attain full national independence, and regarding this great task he has assured Dr. Sun Yat-sen that China has the warmest sympathy of the Russian people and can count on the support of Russia.”

See T'ang Leang-li, cited, p. 156.

In view of the subsequent Communist attempt, in 1927, to convert the Nationalist movement into a mere stage in the proletarian conquest of power in China, in violation of the terms of the understanding upon which the Communists and the Chinese Nationalists had worked together, the leaders of the Kuomintang are today as mistrustful of what they term Communist politico-cultural imperialism as they are of capitalist politico-economic imperialism. It is curious that the APRA leaders in Peru have adopted practically the same attitude.

It is necessary to remember that in the four decades before 1925, during which Sun Yat-sen advocated nationalism, the word had not acquired the ugly connotations that recent events have given it. The nationalism of Sun Yat-sen was conceived of by him as a pacific and defensive instrument, for the perpetuation of an independent Chinese race and civilization. See Paul M. W. Linebarger, Conversations with Sun Yat-sen, 1919-1922, Book I, ch. 5, “Defensive Nationalism,” and ch. 6, “Pacific Nationalism,” for a further discussion of this phase of Sun Yat-sen's thought.
tien sha wei kung.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 184. A reference to clan organization, to be discussed later, has been deleted.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 181 (summary of the sixth lecture on nationalism).
Richard Wilhelm's preface to Die Geistigen Grundlagen des Sun Yat Senismus of Tai Chi-tao (The Intellectual Foundations of Sun-Yat-senism), Berlin, 1931 (henceforth cited as “Tai Chi-tao”), pp. 8-9; “Die Grösse Sun Yat Sens beruht nun darauf, dass er eine lebendige Synthese gefunden hat zwischen den Grundprinzipien des Konfuzianismus and den Anforderungen der neuen Zeit, eine Synthese, die über die Grenzen Chinas hinaus für die ganze Menschheit noch einmal von Bedeutung werden kann. Sun Yat Sen vereinigt in sich die eherne Konsequenz des Revolutionärs und die grosse Menschenliebe des Erneuerers. Sun Yat Sen ist der gütigste von allen Revolutionären der Menschheit gewesen. Und diese Güte hat er dem Erbe des Konfuzius entnommen. So steht sein geistiges Werk da als eine verbindende Brücke swischen der alten und der neuen Zeit. Und es wird das Heil Chinas sein, wenn es entschlossen diese Brücke beschreitet.”
Tai Chi-tao, cited, p. 65.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 186.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 187-8. Sun Yat-sen's discussion of the old morality forms the first part of his lecture on nationalism, pp. 184-194 of the d'Elia translation.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 66. The translation employs the words.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 129. In connection with the doctrine of wang tao, it may be mentioned that this doctrine has been made the state philosophy of “Manchukuo.” See the coronation issue of the Manchuria Daily News, Dairen, March 1, 1934, pp. 71-80, and the Japan-Manchoukuo Year Book, Tokyo, 1934, pp. 634-635. The advocacy of wang tao in a state which is a consequence of one of the perfect illustrations of pa tao in the modern Far East, is astonishing. Its use does possess significance, in demonstrating that the shibboleths of ancient virtue are believed by the Japanese and by “Emperor Kang Teh” to possess value in contemporary politics.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 528, 529.
See below, for discussion of the influence that Henry George, Karl Marx, and Maurice William had upon the social interpretation of history so far as economic matters were concerned.
See “The Theory of the Confucian World Society,” above.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 341.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 199.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 194.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 194. The original quotation, in Chinese and in English, may be found in James Legge, translator, The Four Books, Shanghai, 1930, p. 313.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 194-195.
Judge Paul Linebarger, in Conversations with Sun Yat-sen (unpublished), states that Sun said to him: “China will go down in history as the greatest literary civilization the world has ever known, or ever will know, but what good does this deep literary knowledge do us if we cannot combine it with the modernity of Western science?” p. 64, Book Four.
Tai Chi-tao, cited, p. 62. The passage reads in full: “Sun Yat-sen umfasst vollkommen die wahren Gedanken Chinas, wie sie bei Yau und Schun und auch bei Kung Dsï und Mong Dsï wiederfinden. Dadurch wird uns klar, dass Sun Yat Sen der Erneuerer der seit 2000 Jahre ununterbrochenen chinesischen sittlichen Kultur ist. Im vergangenen Jahr hat ein russischer Revolutionär an Sun Yat Sen die folgende Frage gerichtet: ‘Welche Grundlage haben Ihre Revolutionsgedanken?’ Sun Yat Sen hat darauf geantwortet: ‘In China hat es ein sittlichen Gedanken gegeben, der von Yau, Schun, Yü, Tang, Wen Wang, Wu Wang, Dschou Gung his zu Kung Dsï getragen worden ist; seither ist er ununterbrochen, ich habe wieder an ihn angeknüpft und versacht, ihn weiter zu entwickeln.’ Der Fragende hat dies nicht verstehen können und sich weiter erkundigt; Sun Yat Sen hat noch mehrmals versucht, ihm seine Antwort zu erklären. Aus dieser Unterredung können wir ersehen, dass Sun Yat Sen von seine Gedanken überzeugt war, gleichzeitig können wir ersehen, dass seine Nationalrevolution auf dem Widererwachen der chinesischen Kultur beruht. Er hat die schöpferische Kraft Chinas wieder ins Leben rufen und den Wert der chinesischen Kultur fur die ganze Welt nutzbar machen wollen, um somit den Universalismus verwirklichen zu können.” Allowance will have to be made, as it should always in the case of Tai Chi-tao, for the author's deep appreciation of and consequent devotion to the virtues of Chinese culture. Other disciples of Sun Yat-sen wrote in a quite different vein. The present author inclines to the opinion, however, that Tai Chi-tao's summary is a just rendition of Sun Yat-sen's attitude. Sun Yat-sen loved and fought for the struggling masses of China, whose misery was always before his pitying eyes; he also fought for the accomplishments of Chinese civilization. In modern China, many leaders have fought for the culture, and forgotten the masses (men such as Ku Hung-ming were typical); others loved the populace and forgot the culture. It was one of the elements of Sun Yat-sen's greatness that he was able to remember both.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 199-202.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 259.
This idea, of wealth as national capacity to produce, is of course not a new one. It is found in the writings of Alexander Hamilton, among others.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 337.
Wei Yung, translator, The Cult of Dr. Sun, Sun Wên Hsüeh Shê, cited. See the discussion on dietetics, pp. 3-9.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 337.
Wei Yung's translation, cited, is an English version of The Outline of Psychological Reconstruction of Sun Yat-sen. This work is devoted to a refutation of the thesis, first propounded by Wang Yang-ming (ca. 1472-1528), that knowledge is easy and action difficult. In a society where the ideology had been stabilized for almost two millenia, this was undoubtedly quite true. In modern China, however, faced with the terrific problem of again settling the problem of an adequate ideology, the reverse was true: knowledge was difficult, and action easy. This was one of the favorite aphorisms of Sun Yat-sen, and he devoted much time, effort, and thought to making it plain to his countrymen. The comparative points of view of Wang Yang-ming and Sun Yat-sen afford a quite clear-cut example of the contrast between an established and unsettled ideology.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 336-345. This discussion occurs in the fifth lecture on democracy, incidental to Sun Yat-sen's explaining the failure of the parliamentary Republic in Peking, and the general inapplicability of Western ideas of democracy to China.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 344.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 344.
It might again be pointed out that Sun Yat-sen differed with Marxism which, while it, of course, does not hold that all knowledge is already found, certainly keeps its own first premises beyond all dispute, and its own interpretations sacrosanct. The dialectics of Marx and Hegel would certainly appear peculiar in the Chinese environment. Without going out of his way to point out the difference between Sun's Nationalism and Marxism-Leninism, the author cannot refrain—in view of the quite popular misconception that Sun Yat-sen was at one time almost a Marxist convert—from pointing out the extreme difference between the premises, the methods, and the conclusions of the two philosophies.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 344.
Hsü, Confucianism, cited, contains two chapters relevant to the consideration of this problem. Ch. III, “The Doctrine of Rectification” (pp. 43-61), and Ch. XI, “Social Evolution” (pp. 219-232), discuss rectification and ideological development within the Confucian ideology.
As an illustration of Dr. Sun's continued activity as a medical man, the author begs the reader's tolerance of a short anecdote. In 1920 or 1921, when both Judge Linebarger and Sun Yat-sen were in Shanghai, and were working together on the book that was to appear as Sun Yat-sen and the Chinese Republic, the younger son of Judge Linebarger—the brother of the present author—fell ill with a rather obscure stomach disorder. The Western physicians having made little or no progress in the case, Sun Yat-sen intervened with an old Chinese herbal prescription, which he, a Western-trained physician, was willing to endorse. The remedy was relatively efficacious—more so than the suggestions of the European doctors. Even though Sun Yat-sen very early abandoned his career of professional medical man for that of revolutionist, he appears to have practised medicine intermittently throughout his life.
Sun Yat-sen wrote, in Wei Yung translation, cited, p. 115: “In our age of scientific progress the undertaker [sic!], seeks to know first before undertaking. This is due to the desire to forestall blunders and accidents so as to ensure efficiency and economy of labor. He who is able to develop ideas from knowledge, plans from ideas, and action from plans can be crowned with success in any undertaking irrespective of its profoundness or the magnitude of labor involved.”
Tai, cited, p. 66: “Wir sind Chinesen, und was wir zunächst zu ändern haben liegt in China. Aber wenn alle Dinge in China wertlos gewerden sind, wenn die chinesische Kultur in der Kulturgeschichte der Welt keine Bedeutung mehr hat, und wenn das chinesische Volk die Kraft, seine Kultur hochzuhalten, verloren hat, dann können wir gleich mit gebundenen Händen den Tod abwarten; zu welchem Zweck brauchen wir dann noch Revolution zu treiben!”
An interesting discussion of this attitude is to be found in Li Chi, The Formation of the Chinese People, Cambridge (Massachusetts), 1928.
See Tsui Shu-chin, cited, pp. 96-146. The work of Tsui is good for the field covered; his discussion of the contrasting policy of the Communists and of Sun Yat-sen with respect to nationalities may be regarded as reliable.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 67 and following.
See above, “The Nation and State in Chinese Antiquity.”
The present state of Western knowledge of the sociology of China is not sufficient to warrant reference to any authorities for the description of egalitarianism and mobility. These matters are still on that level of unspecialized knowledge where every visitor to China may observe for himself. The bibliography on the social life of the Chinese on pp. 240-242 of Kenneth Scott Latourette, The Chinese: Their History and Culture, New York, 1934, contains some of the leading titles that touch on the subject. Prof. A. R. Radcliffe-Brown of the University of Chicago informed the present author that he contemplates the planning of an extensive program of socio-anthropological field work in Chinese villages which will assist considerably in the understanding of the sociology of old China.
Hsü, Confucianism, cited, p. 49, states the function of the Confucian leaders quite succinctly: “... the Confucian school advocates political and social reorganization by changing the social mind through political action.”
Hsü, cited, p. 104.
Hsü, cited, pp. 195-196.

Mariano Ponce, Sun Yat Sen, El fundador de la Republica de China, Manila, 1912, p. 23.

“Y tampoco era posible sustituirla por otra dinastía nacional. Sólo existen al presente dos familias en China, de donde podían salir los soberanos: uno es la descendencia de la dinastía Ming, de que usurparon los mandchüs el trone, hace más de dos siglos y medio, y la otra es la del filósofo Confucio, cuyo descendiente lineal reconocido es el actual duque Kung. Ni en una, ni en otra existen vástagos acondicionados para regir un Estado conforme á los requerimientos de los tiempos actuales. Hubo de descartarse, pues, de la plataforma de la ‘Joven China’ el pensamiento de instalar en el trono á una dinastía nacional. Y sin dinastía holgaba el trono.

“No sabemos si aún habiendo en las dos familias mencionados miembros con condiciones suficientes para ser el Jefe supremo de un Estado moderno, hubiese prosperado el programa monarquico.

“Lo que sí pueda decir es que desde los primeros momentos evolucionayon las ideas de Sun Yat Sen hacia el republicanismo....”

Ponce then goes on to point out Sun Yat-sen's having said that the decentralized system of old government and the comparative autonomy of the vice-regencies presented a background of “a sort of aristocratic republic” (“une especie de república aristocrática”).

Ponce, cited, p. 24. “... la única garantía posible, el único medio por excelencia para obtener los mejores gobernantes....”
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 234.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 235.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 255.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 266, note 1. Father d'Elia discusses the reasons which made it seem more probable that Sun was transliterating the name Millar into Chinese rather than (John Stuart) Mill.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 256 and following.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 271.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 273.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 242-243.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 223 and following. Dr. Hsü (cited, p. 263 and following) translates these four epochs as following: hung fang, “the stage of the great wilderness”; shen ch'üan, “the state of theocracy”; chun ch'üan, “the stage of monarchy”; and min ch'üan, “the stage of democracy.”
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 241-242.
Linebarger, Conversations, cited, Book II, ch. 2.
It is of interest to note that the “New Life Movement” inaugurated by Chiang Chieh-shih is concerned with many such petty matters such as those enumerated above. Each of these small problems is in itself of little consequence; in the aggregate they loom large.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 331.
Hsü translation, cited, p. 352. It is interesting to note that the translation by Father d'Elia gives a more literal translation of the names that Sun Yat-sen applied to these categories. He translates the Chinese terms as pre-seeing, post-seeing, and non-seeing.
Hsü translation, cited, p. 352.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 348.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 352. Sun Yat-sen defined democracy thus: “... under a republican government, the people is sovereign.”
Tai Chi-tao, cited, p. 25, refers to this distinction as being between force (Gewalt) and power (Macht). To the people belonged, and rightfully, the force which could sanction or refuse to sanction the existence of the government and the confirmation of its policies. The government had the power (Macht), which the people did not have, of formulating intelligent policies and carrying them out in an organized manner.
Liang Chi-ch'ao, cited, pp. 50-52.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 279 and following.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 368.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 368-9. Dr. Wou Saofong, in his Sun Yat-sen (Paris, 1929), summarizes his thesis of Sun Yat-sen in somewhat different terms: “... Sun Yat-sen compare, le gouvernement à un appareil mécanique, dont le moteur est constitué par les lois ou les ministres, tandis que l'ingénieur que dirige la machine était autrefois le roi et aujourd'hui le peuple,” p. 124. (Italics mine.) This suggestion that the state-machine, in the theory of Sun Yat-sen, is composed of laws as well as men is quite interesting; Sun Yat-sen himself does not seem to have used this figure of speech and it may be Dr. Wou's applying the juristic interpretation on his own initiative. Sun Yat-sen, in his sixth lecture on democracy, says, “Statesmen and lawyers of Europe and America say that government is a machine of which law is a tool.” (d'Elia translation, cited, p. 368.)
It must always remain one of those conjectures upon which scholars may expend their fantasy what Sun Yat-sen would have thought of the necessity of the juristic state, which involved a quite radical change throughout the Chinese social organism, had he lived to see the ebb of juristic polity and, for all that, of voting democracy. It is not unlikely that his early impressions of the United States and his reading of Montesquieu would have led him to retain his belief in a juristic-democratic state in spite of the fact that such a state would no longer represent the acme of ultra-modernism.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 378 and following.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 369.
Reginald Johnston, Twilight in the Forbidden City, cited above, presents an apparently true account of the conspiracies of the various Northern generals which centered around the person of P'u Yi. According to Johnston Tsao Kun was defeated in his attempt to restore the Manchu Emperor only by the jealousies of his fellow-militarists.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 406.
Father d'Elia devotes the whole second chapter of his introduction to the consideration of a suitable rendition of San Min Chu I, which he calls the Triple Demism. (Work cited, pp. 36-49.) Again on p. 402, he explains that, while he had translated min shêng as socialism in the first French edition of his work, he now renders it as the economic Demism or sociology. The most current translation, that of Frank Price, cited, gives the principle of livelihood. Paul Linebarger gave it as socialism as far back as 1917 (The Chinese Nationalist Monthly, December, 1917, Chicago) in Chicago, at the time when Lin Shen, Frank C. Lee and he were all working for Sun in that city. Dr. H. H. Kung, a high government official related by marriage to Mme. Sun Yat-sen, speaks of the three principles of liberty, democracy, and economic well-being (preface to Hsü, Sun, cited, p. xvi). Dr. V. K. Wellington Koo, one of China's most eminent diplomats, speaks of social organization (Memoranda Presented to the Lytton Commission, New York City, n. d.). Citations could be presented almost indefinitely. Min means “people,” and shêng means “life; vitality, the living, birth, means of living” according to the dictionary (S. Wells Williams, A Syllabic Dictionary of the Chinese Language, Tungchou, 1909). The mere terms are of very little help in solving the riddle of min shêng. Laborious examination is needed, and even this will not, perhaps, lead us to anything more than probability. Sun Yat-sen, in his lectures, called it by several different names, which seem at first sight to contradict each other.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 91-92.
Linebarger, Conversations, cited, Bk. IV, p. 62: “I must confess that the idea of using the sacred cult of ancestor worship as a political machine is very abhorrent to me. In fact, I think that even the rashest fool would never attempt to use this intimate cult with its exclusively domestic privacy as a revolutionary instrument.”
Linebarger, Sun Yat-sen and the Chinese Republic, New York, 1925, pp. 68-9.
The same, pp. 135-139.
The same, pp. 104-105.
The same, pp. 122-123.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 472.
Karl A. Wittfogel, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft Chinas, Leipzig, 1931. The author, the German Marxian who wrote the best Marxist critique of Sun Yat-sen, is the only scholar to seek a really complete picture of the old Chinese economy by the technique of modern Western economic analysis. Described by the author as an “attempt,” the first volume of this work runs to 737 pages. It is valuable for the large amount of statistical material which it contains, and for its systematic method; its Marxian bias narrows its interest considerably.
Both works of Wittfogel, cited above, are useful for the understanding of the transition from the old economy to the new. For a general view of the economic situation and potentialities of China, see George B. Cressey, China's Geographic Foundations, New York, 1934. The bibliography on Chinese economy to be found in Latourette, cited above, vol. II, pp. 116-119, is useful.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 97.
See below, section on the national economic revolution.
Hsü translation, cited, pp. 186-187. The d'Elia translation gives a more exact rendering of Sun Yat-sen's words (p. 97), but, by following Sun Yat-sen in calling China a hypo-colony, is less immediately plain to the Western reader than is the translation of Dr. Hsü, who in this instance uses “sub” and “hypo” interchangeably.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 443.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 452.
His International Development of China, New York, 1922 (republished 1929), is a colossal plan which could only be compared with the Piatiletka or with the New Deal in the United States, since Sun Yat-sen suggested that—in order to avoid the consequences of a post-war depression—the nations of the world might cooperate in the equal exploitation of Chinese national resources with the Chinese. He proposed the modernization of China by a vast international loan which could permit the Western nations to maintain their war-time peak production, supplying China (1929 ed., p. 8). He concludes the work: “In a nutshell, it is my idea to make capitalism create socialism in China so that these two economic forces of human civilization will work side by side in future civilization” (p. 237). The work is, however, generally regarded as a transportation plan, since Sun Yat-sen sketched out a railway map of China which would require decades to realize, and which overshadowed, by its very magnitude, the other aspects of his proposals.
At the risk of digression, one might comment on an interesting element of the Euramerican ideology which is in sharp contrast to the Chinese. The West has, apparently, always been devoted to dichotomies of morality. The Greeks had reason and unenlightenment, and whole series of ideals that could be fought for and against, but the real division of good and bad in the West came, of course, with Christianity, which accustomed Westerners to think for centuries in terms of holiness versus evil—they being, geographically, holy, and the outsiders (heathen), evil. Now that the supernatural foundations of Christianity have been shaken by the progress of scientific and intellectual uncertainty, many Westerners find an emotional and an intellectual satisfaction in dividing the world into pure and unclean along lines of sometimes rather abstruse economic questions. This new morality seems to be based on distributive economics rather than on deity. It is employed, of course, by the Marxians, but their adversaries, in opposing them with equal passion, fall into the same habit. It is shocking and unbelievable to such persons to discover that there is a society whose ideology does not center around the all-meaningful point of the ownership of the means of production. Their only reaction is a negation of the possibility of such thought, or, at least, of its realism. The intellectual position of Sun Yat-sen in the modern world would be more clearly appreciated if the intellectuals of the West were not adjusting their ideological and emotional habits from religion to economics, and meanwhile judging all men and events in economic terms. The present discussion of Sun Yat-sen's economic ideology is a quite subordinate one in comparison to the examination of his ideology as a whole, but some persons will regard it as the only really important point that could be raised concerning him.
Tsui, cited, p. 345, quotes Nathaniel Peffer: “... Peffer said that Dr. Sun never ‘attained intellectual maturity, and he was completely devoid of the faculty of reason. He functioned mentally in sporadic hunches. It was typical of him that he met Joffe, read the Communist Manifesto, and turned Communist, and then read one book by an American of whom he knew nothing, and rejected communism all in a few months.’ ” Sun Yat-sen knew Marxism, years before the Russian Revolution. The Communist Manifesto was not new to him. He was extraordinarily well read in Western political and economic thought. Sun Yat-sen never turned Communist, nor did he subsequently reject communism any more than he had done for years.
The author hopes, at some future time, to be able to fill in the intellectual background of Sun Yat-sen much more thoroughly than he is able to at the present, for lack of materials. One interesting method would involve the listing of every Western book with which Sun Yat-sen can be shown to have been acquainted. It might be a fairly accurate gauge of the breadth of his information.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 461-468. Father d'Elia's note on the relative positions of Henry George and Sun (p. 466) is interesting. For a discussion of the actual program proposed by Sun, see below, “The Program of Min Shêng section on land policy.
Lyon Sharman, Sun Yat-sen, cited, p. 58.
The same, pp. 98-99. There is an inconsistency of wording here, which may or may not be the fault of the translator. The oath refers to the “equitable redistribution of the land” (p. 98); the platform speaks of “the nationalization of land” (p. 98); and one of the slogans is “Equalize land-ownership!”
See also the discussion in Tsui, Canton-Moscow Entente, cited, pp. 371-376; and in Li Ti-tsun, “The Sunyatsenian principle of Livelihood,” The Chinese Students' Monthly, XXIV (March 1929), pp. 230. Li declares that Sun envisioned immediate redistribution but ultimate socialization, but does not cite his source for this. Li's discussion of sources is good otherwise.
Sharman, p. 58; the same authority for the statement as to the 1905 manifesto.
Sharman, p. 94.
Wittfogel, Sun Yat-sen, cited, p. 61.
Wittfogel, Sun Yat-sen, cited, p. 66: “Dieses sehr unpräzise Programm, das die Frage der Klasseninteressen und des Klassenkampfes als des Mittels zur Brechung privilegierter Klasseninteressen nicht aufwirft, war objektiv gar nicht Sozialismus, sondern etwas durchaus anderes: Lenin hat die Formel Subjektiver Sozialismus dafür geprägt.”
Wittfogel, Sun Yat-sen, cited, p. 67: “So bedeutete denn Suns ‘Sozialismus’ im Munde der Chinesischen Bourgeoisie nichts als ein Art Bekenntness zu einer ‘sozialen,’ d.h. massenfreundlichen Wirtschaftspolitik.”
T'ang, cited, p. 46.
T'ang, cited, p. 172.
T'ang, cited, p. 172.
T'ang, cited, pp. 171-172.
Wittfogel, cited, pp. 117-118.

Wittfogel, cited, p. 140: “... Seine Drei Prinzipien verkörpern in ihrer Entwicklung den objektiven Wandel der ökonomisch-sozialen Situation Chinas, in ihren Widersprüchen die realen Widersprüche der chinesischen Revolution, in ihren jüngsten Tendenzen die Verlagerung des sozialen Schwerpunktes der Revolution, die Klassen in Aktion setzt, deren Ziel nicht mehr ein bürgerlich-kapitalistisches, sondern ein proletarisch-sozialistisches und ein bauerlich-agrar-revolutionäres ist.

“Sun Yat-sen ist demnach nicht nur der bisher mächtigste Repräsentant der bürgerlich-nationalen, antiimperialistischen Revolutionen des erwach-enden Asiens überhaupt, er weist zugleich über die bürgerliche Klassen-schranke dieser ersten Etappe der asiatischen Befreiungsbewegung hinaus. Dies zu verkennen, wäre verhängnisvoll, gerade auch für die proletarisch-kommunistische Bewegung Ostasiens selbst.”

Statement of Judge Linebarger to the author. See also Linebarger, Conversations, references to Communism which occur throughout the whole book.
Tsui, cited, p. 144. It would involve a duplication of effort for the present author to repeat the material of Dr. Tsui's excellent monograph on Sun Yat-sen and the Bolsheviks. Since the purpose of the present work is to undertake an exposition of the Nationalist political ideology and programs against the background of the old Chinese ideology, such an emphasis upon one comparatively small point in Sun Yat-sen's doctrines would be entirely disproportionate as well as superfluous. The reader is referred to the work of Dr. Tsui for any details of these relations that he may wish to examine.
See Tsui, cited, and section below, on the class struggle of the nations.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 450. See also Tsui, cited, pp. 353-354; and Li, cited, pp. 229 and following.
Sun, Development of China, cited, p. 237.
Maurice William, Sun Yat-sen Versus Communism, Baltimore, 1932, p. 4.
William, in his Sun Yat-sen Versus Communism, cited, proves beyond doubt that Sun Yat-sen was strongly indebted to him for many anti-Marxian arguments.
See above, Chapter One, second, third, and fourth sections.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 423.
Tsui, cited, pp. 121-123, n. 72.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 472.
Hsü translation, cited, p. 422. The Hsü version will be cited from time to time, whenever Father d'Elia's interesting neologisms might make the citation too disharmonious, in wording, with the comment.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 294.
Francis W. Coker, Recent Political Thought, New York—London, 1934, pp. 545-562, Ch. XX, “Empirical Collectivism.”
Coker, cited, pp. 546-547.
Coker, cited, pp. 548-549. Throughout the discussion of empirical collectivism the present author will cite, by and large, the categories given by Coker. Any special exceptions will be noted, but otherwise the discussion will be based on Coker's chapter on “Empirical Collectivism,” cited above.
Linebarger, Conversations, cited, Book III, p. 31.
Linebarger, Conversations, cited, Book III, p. 30.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 475.
See, however, the d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 298-301, for a reference to labor unions and a statement for their need of competent and honest leadership.
See Wittfogel, Sun Yat-sen, cited, “Die Arbeiter,” pp. 97-99. T'ang, Hsü, and the various biographies of Sun almost all contain references from time to time to Sun's friendliness toward and approval of organized labor.
Wittfogel, Sun Yat-sen, cited, pp. 325-329. The next speech of Sun Yat-sen given in Wittfogel's work is Sun's indignant attack on “the so-called Labor Government” of England, which permitted the old methods of British Far Eastern imperialism to continue.
Linebarger, Conversations, cited, Book III, p. 18. This work, while it cannot be given the weight of direct quotations from Sun's own writings or speeches, does contain a good deal about the policies of min shêng which does not appear elsewhere. The author has sought to avoid citation of it where direct sources are available, since the nature of the material makes it by no means so authoritative as others might be.
Coker, cited, p. 551.
E. D. Harvey, The Mind of China, New Haven, 1933, deals extensively with these supernatural elements. The reader who turns to it should keep in mind the fact that the supernatural plays a rôle in China distinctly less important than that which it did, say, in medieval Europe, and that a strong agnostic, rather than a skeptical, spirit among the Chinese has preserved them from the grossest errors of superstition.
Latourette, cited, p. 129. Dr. Latourette's sketch of Chinese religious thought is especially good, as indeed it might be, since he is one of the most celebrated American scholars in the field of Western religion in China.
H. G. Creel, work cited, p. 127.
The author cannot give a documentary citation for this observation. It was communicated to him many times by his father, Judge Paul Linebarger, who stated that Sun Yat-sen was most apt to talk in terms of morality and morale by preference. The fact that Sun Yat-sen came from a Chinese Confucian background into a Western Christian one cannot be ignored. He did not permit his Christianity to sway him from what he considered his necessary lines of behavior in politics; it did not, for example, prevent him from being extremely cordial to the Soviet Union at the time that that state was still more or less outcaste. And yet, speaking of the Christian God, he is reputably reported to have said: “God sent me to China to free her from bondage and oppression, and I have not been disobedient to the Heavenly mission”; and, again, to have said on the day before his death: “I am a Christian; God sent me to fight evil for my people. Jesus was a revolutionist; so am I.” (Both quotations from appendix to the d'Elia translation, p. 718.)
Sun Yat-sen authorized the biography, cited, which Judge Linebarger wrote of him. It was a propaganda work, and neither he nor the author had any particular expectation that it would ever be regarded as a source, or as an academically prepared document. The last chapter of this authorized biography bears the title, “Conclusion: Sun the Moral Force.” This, perhaps, is significant as to Sun's own attitude.
Note the contrast between the thought of Sun in this respect and that of Tagore or Gandhi. This has been pointed out by many Western writers on China.
Linebarger, Conversations, cited, Book III, p. 20.
Sharman, cited, p. 282.
The reader must bear in mind the fact that what is presented here is Sun Yat-sen's political program for China. In many instances the course of affairs has deviated quite definitely from that program, and it can be only a matter of conjecture as to what Sun Yat-sen would do were he to return and observe the Nationalist movement as it now is. It is manifestly impossible to trace all the changes in this program. The actual developments have conformed only in part with Sun Yat-sen's plans, although the leaders seek to have it appear as though they are following as close to Sun Yat-sen's democratic politics as they can. Many persons who were close to Sun Yat-sen, such as Mme. Sun Yat-sen, believe that the National Government has betrayed the theory of Sun Yat-sen, and that Generalissimo Chiang Chieh-shih has made himself the autocrat of the National Government. It is, of course, impossible within the scope of this thesis to enter into this dispute. Who rules the Soviet—Stalin, or the Communist Party? Who rules China—Chiang Chieh-shih, or the Kuomintang? In each case there is the question of whether the leader could get along without the party, and whether the party could get along without the leader, as well as the question of the leader's sincerity. These issues, however burning they might be in real life, could not be adequately treated in a work such as this. The author has sought to present Sun Yat-sen's theory of applied politics. Where events which Sun Yat-sen foresaw have come to pass, the author has referred to them. He does not wish to be understood as presenting a description of the whole course of events in China.
Here, again, one must remember that Mme. Sun Yat-sen, Eugene Chen, and others charge that the Party no longer rules, that it has been prostituted by Chiang Chieh-shih, and now serves only to cloak a military despotism. It may be noted, so far as the other side of the question is concerned, that a greater number of the persons who were eminent in the Party before Sun Yat-sen died have remained in it than have left it.
See T'ang, work cited for an excellent description of the mutations of the revolutionary party. T'ang criticizes the present personnel of the Kuomintang severely, but the reader must keep in mind the fact that he has since become reconciled with the present leadership, and make allowances for the somewhat emphatic indignation voiced at the time of writing the book. The brilliance of the author guarantees that the story is well told, but it is not told for the last time. See also, Min-ch'ien T. Z. Tyau, Two Years of Nationalist China, Shanghai, 1930, for a summary that is as excellent as it is short. Various changes have occurred in party function, organization, and personnel since that time, but they have not—to the knowledge of the author—been completely and adequately covered by any one work.
For a history of this period, see T'ang, Sharman, or Tsui Shu-chin, all cited above. The Communist side of the story is told by Harold Isaacs (editor), Five Years of Kuomintang Reaction, Shanghai, 1932, and in the various works of the Stalinist and Trotskyist groups concerning the intervention of the Third Internationale in China. Two graphic personal accounts cast in semi-fictional form, are Oscar Erdberg, Tales of Modern China, Moscow, 1932, and Vincent Sheean, Personal History, New York, 1935; these present the Communist and the left-liberal viewpoints, respectively. The dramatic story of the Entente, the separation, and the ensuing conflict are not yet remote enough to have cooled into material ready for the historian.
The Kuomintang, in accepting the Communist administrative structure, was not violating traditional Chinese patterns altogether. It has been pointed out that the revised structure of the Kuomintang resembled older Chinese guild patterns as well as the new Russian style (Sharman, work cited, p. 262).
Here, again, one might refer to the disputes as to the orthodoxy and integrity of the present leadership. The preëminence of Generalissimo Chiang Chieh-shih, which cannot be doubted, is seen by persons friendly to him as a strong and beneficent influence upon the C. E. C. Persons hostile to him charge that he has packed the C. E. C. with his adherents, and controls it as he chooses.
An interesting piece of research could deal with the method of recruitment and registration in the Kuomintang before the coming of the Communist advisers. There was rarely any doubt as to who was, or was not, a member, but there was constant trouble as to the good standing of members. Recruitment seems to have been on a basis of oath-taking, initiation, etc.; what Party discipline there was seems to have been applied only in the most extreme cases, and then crudely.
It is interesting to note that the Kuomintang is to a certain degree democratic in representing the various occupational groups in China. Tyau, cited above, p. 25 and following, lists the percentages in the membership in the Kuomintang according to occupation, as they stood in 1930: Party work, 5.84%; government service, 6.61%; army and navy, 3.26%; police, 4.09%; labor (in general), 7.32%; agriculture, 10.43%; navigation, 1.20%; railway, 1.14%; commerce, 10.47%; students, 10.47%; teaching, 21.31%; independent professions, 1.66%; social work, 1.68%; unemployed, O.54%; unclassified, 3.13%; incomplete returns, 15.09%.
See above, pp. 59 and following.
Sun Yat-sen, Kidnapped in London, cited, passim.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 122-123.
The present instances are all taken from the third lecture on nationalism, d'Elia translation, cited pp. 127-128. The Hsü translation, in spite of its many merits, is not strong on geography. Thus, in the translation referring to Poland which has just been cited, the Hsü reading runs: “Although Persia was partitioned by foreigners over a century ago, Persian nationalism was not lost; consequently the Persians have been able to restore their country to independence; and now Persia has the status of a second or third class power in Europe” (p. 208), this in spite of the fact that Persia is translated correctly further on (p. 327). Another misreading is: “After the war, two new Slavic states were born, namely Czechoslovakia and Jugoslovakia” (p. 217). These minor errors are, however, among the very few which can be discovered in the whole book, and do not mar the text to any appreciable extent.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 132.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 63.
T'ang, cited, pp. 168 and following, gives the various documents of the First National Congress of the Kuomintang, which place the application of nationalism first in their programs. “The Manifesto On Going to Peking,” issued by Sun November 10, 1924, refers to various points to be achieved; the first is, “National freedom from external restriction will enable China to develop her national economy and to increase her productivity.” (Hsü translation, p. 148.) This might imply that the execution of min shêng was to be coincidental with or anterior to the fulfillment of nationalism; it probably does not.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 187.
Discussions of this are to be found in Sir Reginald Johnston's Twilight in the Forbidden City, cited.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 244.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 245-247.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 187. Numerals have been written out by the present author.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 365. Italics are omitted.
This is not due to any mystical veneration of numbers, or religious influence. In spreading doctrines which would have to be followed by the unlettered as well as by the scholars, Sun Yat-sen found it necessary to develop the general outline of his principles in such a way as to give them a considerable mnemonic appeal. Thus, the three principles—and the three French (liberty, equality, fraternity) and American (of, by, for the people) principles—and the triple foreign aggression, the four popular powers, the five governmental rights. The use of the number three permitted Sun Yat-sen to weave together the various strands of his teaching, and to attain a considerable degree of cross-reference. It cannot be shown to have induced any actual distortion of his theories.
Hsü translation, cited, p. 213. See also d'Elia translation, p. 134.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 114.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 101.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 113. The whole present discussion of economic oppression is drawn from the latter part of the second lecture. Except in the case of direct quotation, no further reference will be given to this section, which occurs at pp. 97-115 of the d'Elia translation.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 106.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 113.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 113.
In referring to a sub-principle, the author is following Sun Yat-sen's arrangement of his ideas, even though the exact term, “sub-principle,” is not to be found in Sun's works. Each of the three principles can be considered with respect to national unity, national autonomy, and national survival. The correlation of the three principles, each with itself and then the two others, logically leads to the appearance of nine sub-principles. The writer has not followed any artificial compulsion of numbers, merely for the sake of producing a pretty outline, but has followed Sun Yat-sen in seeking to make clear the specific relations of each of the three principles to the three cardinal points which they embody.
d'Elia translation, cited, pp. 179-180.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 180.
d'Elia translation, cited, p. 180.
Tsui, cited, pp. 113-114.
Linebarger, Conversations, cited, pp. 21 and following, Book I.
Among the persons whom he entrusted with the task of seeking foreign capital for the just and honorable national development of China through international means were George Bronson Rea and Paul Linebarger. Mr. Rea was given a power of attorney by Sun to secure loans for railway purposes to an unlimited amount. Mr. Rea never used the document, but kept it among his papers. (Statement of Mr. Rea to the author in Washington, spring of 1934, at the time that the former was “Special Counsellor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Manchoukuo,” despite his former Chinese connections.) Judge Linebarger was also unsuccessful. Sun Yat-sen was more interested in having Judge Linebarger stop any assistance offered by the Consortium to the Northern “Republic of China” than in having him procure any actual funds.
It is obvious that a strong China would be a horrid nightmare to Japan. Not only would the Chinese thwart the use of their man-power and natural resources, as stepping stones to Asiatic or world hegemony; they might even equal the Japanese in audacity, and think of restoring the Japanese to the position of Chinese vassals which they had enjoyed in the time of Yoshemitsu, the third Ashikaga Shogun.
Tsui, cited, pp. 115-116.