Posts Categorized: Chapter 6

Sun’s Legacy

Harold Schiffrin, in his biography of Sun Yat-sen, wrote: “If Sun Yat-sen had one consistent talent, it was for failure.” Sun was neither a great writer, nor a great thinker, nor a successful political leader. But his influence on modern Chinese politics remains. Sun, while theoretically supporting democracy, believed China would require three stages of… Read more »

Sun’s Third People’s Principle

The last of Sun’s principles outlined “the people’s livelihood,” minsheng zhuyi (民生主义), touching on economic reform. Sun advocated wealth and land redistribution, while explicitly attempting to distance himself from Marxism. What Sun seemed to be reaching for in his third principle was some expression of sympathy for the plight of ordinary Chinese. He wanted to signal… Read more »

Sun’s Second People’s Principle

Sun’s second principle concerned “the rights of the people,” minquan zhuyi (民权主义). Here Sun laid out his vision for China’s political system to come, a mixture of democratic and autocratic elements. “The individual should not have too much liberty, but the nation should have complete liberty,” he proclaimed. “When the nation can act freely, then China may… Read more »