Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai Shek - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Traditional 'common sense' values and duty to the state.
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#14501740
JohnRawls wrote:Batshit insane is a relative term. Labeling leaders batshit insane is a simplistic when you are at odds at what they have done or you have never tried to understand why have they done it. Be it Hitlers holocaust or Obamas healthcare there is always an underlying explanation to it. Things are not done, because the person in charge is "Batshit insane''. Actions can't be labeled good or bad if you take an impartial perspective. There is only action and reaction (then again you can say i am removing morality which in itself makes Mao look better).

But that is the whole paradigm of the situation. You are approaching it from moralistic point of view(That the leader must be batshit insane to kill people/hurt people to achieve a goal) while i try to be more amoral/altruistic in respect to all leader(That the head of the country tries to achieve the maximum benefit/achieve the goal with the means he has). Some fail, some don't.

Why i do this, is because moralistic point of view can't explain the realities of politics/diplomacy in general. (For example, Bush invaded iraq with no pretext or with a faulty context, which means he shouldn't have, which is contrary to reality).


Even if you took morality out of the Mao equation you still have a man who:

"[Ordered] The masses of China were mobilized to eradicate the birds, and citizens took to banging pots and pans or beating drums to scare the birds from landing, forcing them to fly until they fell from the sky in exhaustion. Sparrow nests were torn down, eggs were broken, and nestlings were killed.[1][3] Sparrows and other birds were shot down from the sky, resulting in the near-extinction of the birds in China.[4] Non-material rewards and recognition were offered to schools, work units and government agencies in accordance with the volume of pests they had killed."


Which of course had an extremely negative environmental impact. Even if you remove morality from the equation, that's still terrible policy. Putting farmers to work in backyard steel mills is terrible policy. If these policies didn't kill millions of people, and stunt China's economy they'd be comedic.

Bush had a penchant for bad policy, albeit to a much less flamboyant effect than that of Chairman Mao. No WMD's were found, the government lied to the populace about the war, and the fallout from that war lead to the power vacuum in Iraq that partially allowed ISIS to breed. Morals aside, that's a pretty big gaff. Dubyah is off topic though.
#14501752
Most of the Maos batshit insane action were done in the context of 'cultural revolution'. I time when Mao was at odds with the Soviet Union and the Great leap forward failed so his powerbase was shrinking and the whole Communist party i would say was under threat of collapse (Because if you were against the SU at that time, you had a lot of 'rogue' elements in your party most definately). Hence the policies that cant be explained were applied, which killed millions but in the end, let the communist party survive and prevented the country falling into a new civil war. Do you honestly believe that without Mao the country would be in any better state nowadays? (Note that it was all in the context of the cold war when both the SU and USA didn't really care about dividing countries and fighting proxy wars.) How horrible would a proxy war between the SU and USA be in a country with a billion population and nuclear weapons. Not to mention the fact that the rise of China(Economic rise) also grew out of the same communist party that Mao led. The current prosperity would not be possible without Maos brutality.

To understand Mao also a bit and his unyielding grasp for power, you need to remember where he grew up. He grew up in occupied and segmented China, divided by civil war and occupations. He was fighting against that almost his whole life. He would never let the country slip into that state(Again) under his rule even if he needed to sacrifice people, this is how i see it alteast.

You can blame Mao for not following SU orders and not being their puppet which caused 'The cultural revolution' Or 'The great leap forward' in the first place.
#14501765
JohnRawls wrote:Most of the Maos batshit insane action were done in the context of 'cultural revolution'. I time when Mao was at odds with the Soviet Union and the Great leap forward failed so his powerbase was shrinking and the whole Communist party i would say was under threat of collapse (Because if you were against the SU at that time, you had a lot of 'rogue' elements in your party most definately). Hence the policies that cant be explained were applied, which killed millions but in the end, let the communist party survive and prevented the country falling into a new civil war.


To understand Mao also a bit and his unyielding grasp for power, you need to remember where he grew up. He grew up in occupied and segmented China, divided by civil war and occupations. He was fighting against that almost his whole life. He would never let the country slip into that state(Again) under his rule even if he needed to sacrifice people, this is how i see it alteast.

You can blame Mao for not following SU orders and not being their puppet which caused 'The cultural revolution' Or 'The great leap forward' in the first place.



I'd say there's a big gap between not listening to the USSR and implementing The Great Leap Forward, but I've mad my case about that already. I'm of the opinion that, for most of the time, the ends do not justify the means. Mao is not an exception to the rule. Later in his life he was shoehorned to the side by other factions within the Communist Party. I'd say the reason for China's economic success is not because of Mao, but because of his sucessor: Deng Xiaoping.
#14501772
That is the case, but the whole countries stability was resoult of Maos brutal policies, without which either Deng would probably either be not Born or have a country to lead to this Great economic success. Arguably we would have another North/South China(like Korea) without Maos brutality.
#14501776
JohnRawls wrote:That is the case, but the whole countries stability was resoult of Maos brutal policies, without which either Deng would probably either be not Born or have a country to lead to this Great economic success. Arguably we would have another North/South China(like Korea) without Maos brutality.


It was an uneasy stability at best. Mao's position was dependent on factions within the Communist Party. Well here we are going in circles.

My point about Sun Yat-sen: His career as a revolutionary is more important than him being probably a social conservative.

Interestingly enough this is what Mao said about Yat-sen:

Things are always progressing. It is only forty-five years since the Revolution of 1911, but the face of China has entirely changed. In another forty-five years, that is, by the year 2001, at the beginning of the 21st century, China will have undergone an even greater change. It will have become a powerful industrial socialist country. And that is as it should be. China is a land with an area of 9,600,000 square kilometres and a population of 600 million, and it ought to make a greater contribution to humanity. But for a long time in the past its contribution was far too small. For this we are regretful.


Prophetic to say the least. Looking back the words speak more truth about the work of Xiaoping and his successors more so than himself. That's the way I see it at least.

Source: https://www.marxists.org/reference/arch ... wv5_55.htm
#14543337
Chiang Kai-shek was a right-wing nationalist republican. Although he was on the right of the political spectrum he was not a "conservative" however he was not a right-wing liberal either.

I sort of define conservatives as Burkean conservatives, those who favor slow change from the status quo and tend to oppose wide changes in society. It is possible to be right-wing without being conservative, although "conservative" is often used as shorthand for right-wing politics it isn't true in the political science sense of the term.

For instance many Tea Party Republicans in the USA are not conservatives because they seek to radically depart from the system of a mixed economy built over the past century and return us to a pre-1900 laissez-faire economy. They are right-wing libertarians on economics, but not conservatives since they want radical change instead of reform.

More traditional conservatives reject socialism and attempts at making people equal by government but are a bit more wary of laissez-faire capitalism. They may see a role for noblesse oblige in which the wealthy are expected to give something more back to society since it has been so good to them, even if it is not for the sake of leveling the field.

Chiang Kai-shek was on the right by virtue of being nationalist and anti-communist, however he also wanted modernization and fought the monarchy and the established aristocracy. He was more in favor of meritocracy which is complicated because on one hand he seems to have opposed royalty but meritocracy has a long history in China so it wasn't a radical departure, although this focused on the civil service.

Sun Yat-sen was also a nationalist republican but he was more of a centrist, even center-left nationalist. The problem was he died in 1925 and Chang Kai-shek died in 1975 and had a longer track record in power in order to see what he believed. Chang Kai-shek moved in a more capitalist direction over time, especially after 1948.

Another factor making them hard to place is religion. "Religious conservatism" often refers to the dominant religious traditions so in the west that means Christianity, in China this means Buddhism or traditional Chinese religion. However both men were Christians so they departed from the main religious tradition. I don't have any info as to whether this caused tensions, but I am sure religious conservatives would be wary in the USA if a Buddhist ran for president as a Republican.

In the end I view Chiang Kai-shek as a right-wing nationalist and Sun Yat-sen as either a liberal nationalist or left-wing nationalist, but neither were Burkean conservatives.
#14544365
I think we can definitely place people into their context historically when we evaluate their politics...

I don't think it is disputable that Chiang Kai Shek was an outright Fascist right winger

Sun Yat Sen was pretty conservative actually but he was willing to reform China economically and was willing to make deals and compromise with far more left leaning people as well.

If we only had to evaluate all historical figures in our CURRENT politics, pretty much they'd almost all be considered conservatives

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