By Edmund S. K. Fung
Edmund Fung examines a huge part of improvement in China's lengthy quest for democracy. The momentum for democracy, he contends, grew most powerful among 1929 and 1949 via civil competition to the one-party rule of the Guomindang. The Nationalist period contained the germs of a reformist, liberal order, the legacy of which are visible within the pro-democracy stream of the post-Mao interval. This booklet fills an incredible hole within the old literature on chinese language intellectuals among could Fourth radicalism and the chinese language Communists' accession to strength.
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Extra info for In Search of Chinese Democracy: Civil Opposition in Nationalist China, 1929-1949
15 In Search of Chinese Democracy The relationship between liberalism and democracy is generally rendered as a nexus between liberty and equality. "Democracy is concerned with social cohesion and distributive evenness," writes Giovanni Sartori, "liberalism esteems prominence and spontaneity. Equality desires to integrate and attune, liberty is self-assertive and troublesome.... "38 From that perspective, China's modern thinkers, drawing on the cultural resources of both Chinese and Western thought, were more inclined toward democracy, taking a greater interest in the insertion of popular power into the state than in the technique of limiting the state's power.
Eastman, The Abortive Revolution, p. 152. , p. 153. , p. 178. 13 In Search of Chinese Democracy systems of governance is yet assured, even in the countries of the West where it has developed. "31 Following the lead of Eastman, most scholars in the West have held that during the Nationalist period democratic forces were underdeveloped and politically peripheral. Eastman used Anglo-American democracy to judge China's democrats, a criterion that tends to dismiss all those who do not measure up to an idealized standard of values and institutions appropriate for democracy as undemocratic or not really democratic.
For a critique of the political culture paradigm, see, for example, He Baogang, "A Methodological Critique of Lucian Pye's Approach to Political Culture," Issues and Studies 28:3 (March 1992): 92-113. Vitaly A. Rubin, Individual and State in Ancient China: Essays on Four Chinese Philosophers, Steven I. Levine, trans. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976), pp. 27-28. For a historical study of the minben thought, see Jin Yaoji, Zhongguo minben sixiangshi (A history of the Chinese primacy-of-the-people thought) (Taibei: Taiwan Shangwu yinshuguan, 1993).