Essays on Modern Chinese Philosophy

Essays on Modern Chinese Philosophy

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Sun Yat-sen and the Nationalist Revolution
Sun Yat-sen was an early Chinese revolutionary who founded the nationalist movement. This movement was almost entirely Western in its beginnings. Sun Yat-sen was almost entirely Western educated, including secondary school in Hawaii. He originally intended to pursue a military career, but instead decided to go to medical school in Hong Kong. He knew little of classical Chinese studies, thinking them useless, he gained respect it seemed more for his grasp on world trends. Because of his mostly Western education, even in Hong Kong, his knowledge of China itself was limited.
Sun's aims were, at first, little adapted to both traditional Chinese attitudes or to the realities of Chinese life. Because of his knowledge of the prevailing Western modes of thought he believed “that, with the progress of civilization and the advance of science, Western ideas and institutions could be adopted quickly and easily by the Chinese.” (de Barry & Lufrano, 2000, p. 315) However, the gap between the perceived sluggish Chinese past and Sun's vision for the future was a great despair for the nationalist movement. This was shown in the failure in the 1911 movement that caused Sun to re-think the movement and to create the Nationalist Party as an open political party.
This Nationalist Party held many of the same beliefs that his earlier movement did, one of the main difference is that he began to incorporate Leninst ideas after seeing the success of the Soviet revolution. Sun created the “Three Peoples Principles” that served as the center of the Nationalist ideas. These were the principles of nationalism, democracy and people's livelihood. Another difference is that Sun's first revolutionary attempt was d...


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...presented with an opportunity to voice approval of the government. If they vote against the current government, or do not vote, they can be seen as a reactionary and thus are an enemy of the state.
Mao was not initially the leader of the Communist party, he started at the bottom and slowly moved his way into the top position where he could enact his ideas on a much larger scale than on his home province of Hunan. He held many of the same beliefs as the anarchists did, but rather than follow traditional methods he thought that the only way to be successful in revolution is to use violence. Once the peasants had overthrown the landowners Mao wanted to implement two big changes, the equalization of land ownership as well as his democratic dictatorship to allow the peasants a voice in the government and to oppress those who are still fighting for the old feudal ways.

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