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 that in his version of republican revolution the Nationalist Party would strive to “equalize” things through taxation and some kind of a government land buy-back program…It was a noble idea that had very little prospect of ever being put into practice. (Wealth and Power, page 135)