The radicalization of China in the twentieth century

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Author: Ying-shih Yu
Date: Spring 1993
From: Daedalus(Vol. 122, Issue 2)
Publisher: American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Document Type: Article
Length: 9,879 words

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The Chinese have adopted a more radical way of thinking since 1900. Radicalization has a direct relationship with both the marginalization of Chinese intellectuals and the marginalization of modern China. Radicalization occurred in a few key areas in China and had political and intellectual implications. Radicalism was an attempt to restore order to the community rather than an attempt to cause destruction.

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Since the turn of the century, a radical mode of thinking has dominated the Chinese mind. The history of Chinese thought in the twentieth century may be interpreted as a process of rapid radicalization. As a matter of fact, never in China's long intellectual tradition of over 2.5 millennia had she been as thoroughly radicalized as in modern times.

Radicalism in the Chinese intellectual tradition, however, has its limits. The critique developed within the tradition is essentially an internal one. Traditional critics in general and Confucians in particular have tended to take the Way (Tao or Dao) to be immanent in the world of everyday life. This is expressed in the opening statement of the Confucian classic, The Doctrine of the Mean, "The Way cannot be separated from us for a moment. What can be separated is not the Way." This would suggest that we have always lived in the Way. But on the other hand, the Way as transcendence must also be distinguished from the world of everyday life. Indeed, it would not be conceivable that the Way could have generated critical principles as it actually did without this transcendent dimension. However, it is an undeniably unique feature of the Chinese critical tradition that political and social criticism consists primarily in the interpretation of the Way, not in the discovery or invention of an alternative Way. In his Interpretation and Social Criticism, Michael Walzer, of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, argues that since the moral world has long been in existence, neither discovery nor invention is necessary. It is rather in interpretation where the real possibility of social criticism lies. Moral principles and values are always unclear and uncertain in meaning; they require constant interpretation and reinterpretation on our part, particularly in time of crisis.[1] Walzer's emphasis on the importance of interpretation as a critical method fits in remarkably well with the Chinese critical tradition. But we must hasten to add that the very idea that an alternative Way can be discovered or invented to take the place of the one already in existence does not seem to have ever occurred to traditional Chinese critics.

Even popular radicalism in the Chinese tradition rarely, if ever, questioned the ultimate legitimacy of the Way. For example, the Scripture of Great Peace (T'ai-p'ing ching or Taipingjing),(*) a Taoist religious text datable to the second century, has been identified by many modern scholars as one of the earliest works containing "rebel ideologies."[2] The text advocates radical reforms and attacks social and economic inequalities of its time. But the critical method adopted in the text is dearly interpretation. By reinterpreting the Way in terms of Great Peace (or Great Equality), the author(s) of the text did not mean to demolish the Confucian order established since the beginning of the Han dynasty. On the contrary, there is every indication that the authors intended to cleanse the Way of its impurities. Little wonder that historians today, Marxist and non-Marxist alike, are often puzzled by the "Confucian model" they detect in the social structure represented in this text.[3] Rebel ideologies of later ages, even though sometimes inspired by religious ideas of non-Chinese origins, do not suggest an alternative social order substantially different from the traditional egalitarian model. In this respect, Chinese popular radicalism is probably not very dissimilar to its English counterpart as exemplified in London during the Restoration. There reformers "did not agitate merely to tear things down, but to restore to the community a customary order which the authorities themselves had allowed to come undone."[4]


With this traditional picture as a contrast, let me now move on to the modern era. Radicalization of the Chinese mind at the turn of the century began with a strategic move from "interpretation" to "discovery" on the part of the Chinese intellectual elite. At the end of the nineteenth century, Chinese critics discovered that there was a new and better Way in the West which could displace and replace the old Way, not unlike Plato's philosopher who, having seen the sunlight, returned to the cave to tell his former fellow-prisoners what he discovered about truth. Antonio Gramsci, a leading Socialist theoretician, discussing the Russian Bolsheviks and their revolution, wrote:

An elite consisting of some of the most active, energetic, enterprising and disciplined members of the society emigrates abroad and assimilates the culture and historical experiences of the most advanced countries of the West, without however losing the most essential characteristics of its own nationality, that is to say without breaking its sentimental and historical links with its own people. Having thus performed its intellectual apprenticeship it returns to its own country and compels the people to an enforced awakening, skipping historical stages in the process.[5]

This could be an equally accurate description of the Chinese intellectual elite in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, except that we must also include Japan among "the most advanced countries." Yen Fu (Yan Fu, 1854-1921) was among the earliest "returned students" who, through his interpretive translation of Thomas H. Huxley's Evolution and Ethics and Herbert Spencer's A Study of Sociology, galvanized a whole generation of Chinese intellectuals into a fury of reform-related activity. It must be emphatically noted that when he was working on the translation of Evolution and Ethics from 1895 to 1896, Yen Fu was the foremost radical thinker in China. "Respect the people and rebel against the ruler; respect the present and rebel against antiquity" was the gospel he preached to everybody. Moreover, in a well-known essay, "In Refutation of Han Yu (Yu)" (1895), he dismissed as historically false the account of the origins of human culture given in Han Yu's "An Inquiry on the Way" ("Yuan Tao [Dao]"). Throughout the essay, Yen Fu not only explicitly questioned the legitimacy of the Confucian political order but also implied that the democratic system practiced in the modern West is much closer to the true Way as envisioned by ancient Chinese sages. Thus, Yen Fu began the process of radicalization, marked by the transition from interpretation to discovery as a critical method.

However, the transition was not easy. Generally speaking, from the 1890s to the Revolution of 1911, Chinese radicalism still took the form of interpretation, but it was, in fact, thinly disguised discovery. We can see clearly in the case of Yen Fu the earliest application of the method of discovery disguised as interpretation. He discovered in the West a much better alternative to the Confucian political order and he also discovered, much to his liking, social Darwinism and the ethic implicit in it. Interestingly, in his translator's commentaries on Thomas H. Huxley, John Stuart Mill, and Montesquieu, he often made laudatory references to the classical Taoist (Daoist) texts, Lao-tzu (Laozi) and Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi). In his commentaries on Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu, he pointed out that Western ideas like freedom, democracy, science, and evolution could be found in these two texts in their embryonic forms. Thus, following the Chinese commentarial tradition, Yen Fu appears to be merely reinterpreting the Chinese Way through a subtle shift in emphasis from Confucianism to Taoism. But, as his "In Refutation of Han Yu" makes clear, he was actually advocating a radical change in China from an authoritarian political system to a democratic one.[6]

If Yen Fu tempered his early radicalism with evolutionary gradualism, K'ang Yu-wei (Kang Youwei, 1858-1927) and T'an Ssu-t'ung (Tan Sitong, 1864-1898) boldly developed full-blown radicalism in modern China for the first time. Unlike Yen Fu, both K'ang and T'an as political reformers pushed for not only "whole-sale change" but "immediate change" as well. Of the two, T'an must be judged as the more radical because he was ready to break away from the Chinese tradition. There can be no doubt that both had been exposed to Western learning available in China before their reform program took its final shape. Current research shows that K'ang Yu-wei's theory of the three-stage social evolution, supposedly derived from his study of the Kung-yang (Gongyang) Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals of Confucius, was in part owed to Yen Fu's social Darwinism.[7] At any rate, it is now common knowledge that their reform program was formulated with a Western model in the background. However, both still found it necessary to disguise discovery as interpretation. In the case of K'ang, the disguise was more deceptive because his reinterpretation of Confucius as a reformer was inextricably entangled in a great variety of classical texts. By contrast, T'an did not pretend to build his radical vision on any particular classical text. However to the extent that he called his philosophical treatise Jen-hsueh (Renxue, "A Study of Humanity"), he was certainly making no claim to discovery. On the contrary, it suggests that he was merely trying to reinterpret the Confucian ideal of jen (ren), even though his reinterpretation involved the idea of "ether" in nineteenth-century science. As the modern Chinese intellectual historian Chang Hao says, "the impact of T'an's discovery of the West was beyond gaining scientific knowledge. It opened his eyes in ways that inevitably had a bearing directly or indirectly on his moral outlook."[8] It is significant to note that the emphasis in the Jen-hsueh is placed not on the discovery of the West but on the interpretation of the Confucian vision of humanity.

The last phase of discovery disguised as interpretation was well represented by the Kuo-ts'ui (Guocui, National Essence) movement organized around the journal Kuo-ts'ui hsueh-pao (Guocui xuebao, Journal of National Essence, 1905-1911). Major contributors to the journal included Chang Ping-lin (Zhang Binglin, 1869-1935), Liu Shih-p'ei (Liu Shipei, 1884-1919), Huang Chieh (Huang Jie, 1874-1935), Teng Shih (Deng Shi, 1877-1941), Ch'en Ch'u-ping (Chen Qubing, 1874-1933), and Ma Hsu-lun (Ma Xulun, 1884-1970). It is rather ironic that since the May Fourth period, the entire kuo-ts'ui group has been generally identified as cultural conservatives. In their own days, they were bona fide radical scholars. All were revolutionaries as opposed to the constitutionalists led by K'ang Yu-wei and his leading disciple Liang Ch'i-ch'ao (Liang Qichao, 1873-1929). They were intellectually more radicalized than either K'ang Yu-wei or T'an Ssu-t'ung in their attitude toward the Confucian tradition. It was due to their efforts that an iconoclastic undercurrent in the history of Chinese thought was rediscovered. Anarchists of the Wei-Chin (Jin) period (220-419) like Pao Chin-yen (Bao Jinyan) and left-wingers of the Wang Yang-ming (Wang Yangming) school like Li Chih (Li Zhi, 1527-1602), for example, were restored to grace for the first time. Additionally, several of the kuo-ts'ui scholars, notably Chang Pinglin and Liu Shih-p'ei, sojourned in Tokyo during the first decade of the twentieth century and, as a result, were exposed to a variety of Western ideas and theories through Japanese translation. They not only went much further to discover the West but also were often intensely excited about their new discoveries.

If Yen Fu introduced Western ideas and theories to the Chinese reading public, kuo-ts'ui scholars set for themselves the central task of applying some of these ideas and theories to the study of the Chinese cultural heritage. As one of the editorial rules of the Kuo-ts'ui Journal makes abundantly clear, "With regard to Western learning, we shall also elucidate all those new theories and special insights that prove to be capable of illuminating Chinese learning."[9] It is undoubtedly true that the avowed purpose of the kuo-ts'ui movement was a quest for cultural identity in the face of the ever-growing Western influence. However, a general investigation of the writings of some of the leading kuo-ts'ui scholars will show, rather paradoxically, that what they identified as China's "national essence" turned out to be, more often than not, basic cultural values of the West such as democracy, equality, liberty, and human rights. This identification was justified on either of the following grounds: First, as Huang Chieh, an editor of the Journal of National Essence and a well-known classicist, put it, "kuo-ts'ui consists not only in what is indigenous and still suitable but also in what is borrowed but capable of being adapted to the needs of our nation." Second, they took these Western values as universal and insisted on their genesis in an early China completely independent of the West. A large part of the kuo-ts'ui historiography deals with these themes.[10] The theory of social evolution of the Spencerian variety together with its historical laws was now applied to interpret almost every aspect of Chinese history.


Finally, during the May Fourth era beginning with the literary revolution in 1917, a paradigmatic change took place in the development of radicalism in modern China. From this time on, whether in criticizing the tradition or advocating changes, Chinese intellectuals would almost invariably invoke some Western ideas, values, or institutions as ultimate grounds for justification. It was now neither necessary nor possible to disguise discovery as interpretation.

The May Fourth Movement has been referred to by several other names, such as the "New Culture movement," the "Renaissance," and the "Enlightenment." Each name implies a particular historical interpretation regarding the nature and significance of the movement. The two Western terms, "Renaissance" and Enlightenment," require some observations. The application of these two Western historical terms to the May Fourth Movement is predicated on the assumption that the Chinese past can be reconstructed according to the historical model of the West. This assumption did not begin with the May Fourth era but is traceable to the kuo-ts'ui historiography as well as to Liang Ch'i-ch'ao's advocacy of New History. In the two essays on this topic, written in 1901 and 1902, Liang not only adopted the European scheme of periodization (ancient, medieval, and modern) as the model of universal validity but also accepted the Spencerian theory of social evolution as a self-evident truth.[11]

In recent years, however, it seems quite popular, in China as well as in the West, to interpret the May Fourth Movement as the Chinese Enlightenment.[12] I accept the term "enlightenment," however, only in a symbolic sense, not as a historical analogy. As mentioned earlier, the discovery of the West by modern Chinese critics reminds us of Plato's philosopher who returns to his cave after having discovered the sunlight in the outside world. This Platonic symbolism is particularly appropriate for the "returned" Chinese intellectuals of the May Fourth generation. So, too, is Gramsci's characterization of the Russian elite, as well as the following case about Hu Shih, a famous intellectual in the May Fourth Movement. In 1916, Hu Shih wrote a self-congratulatory poem in classical style on his birthday. In it he said that he dreamed that he made a trip to Heaven as an "immortal" where he discovered a few "magical drugs" unknown to other "immortals." He intended to return to the human world and use them to cure diseases. Obviously, his "Heaven" is America and his "human world" is China.[13] On March 8, 1917, just months away from his journey home, Hu Shih read a book about the Oxford Movement and was deeply touched by a quotation of John Henry Newman's, supposedly from the Iliad: "You shall know the difference now that we are back again." At the end of the entry in his diary, he remarked: "This sets the precedent for us returned-students."[14] Like the Russian elite in Gramsci's description, Hu Shih did not break his "sentimental and historical links with his own people." He returned to China and compelled the people to an "enforced awakening." For good or for bad, he did make a difference.

When Hu Shih arrived in Shanghai in July of 1917, he found to his dismay that his motherland was almost exactly the same as he had left it in 1910. But China had not come to a standstill during his absence. He had left an imperial China and had returned to a republican one. A new storm of radicalization was gathering. His explosive article on literary revolution, with a follow-up one by chief editor Ch'en Tu-hsiu (Chen Duxiu, 1879-1942), had appeared in the New Youth magazine early in the year. However, it would be unfair to blame this new wave of radicalism, especially in its total rejection of tradition, on a few May Fourth leaders including Hu Shih and Ch'en Tu-hsiu. Contempt for tradition, a built-in feature of radicalism, had well begun with some of the kuo-ts'ui scholars. It continued to grow after the Revolution of 1911, as R. F. Johnston, the British teacher of the last emperor of China, observed:

It is a bewildering phenomenon. . . that just when we Europeans were

realizing with amazement the high value of China's social and political

philosophy, her ethics, her art and literature, the Chinese themselves

were learning to treat these great products of her own civilization with

impatient contempt.[15]

We can ignore the European part of Johnston's statement, but the Chinese part must be accepted as an eyewitness account of the general Chinese mentality that made the May Fourth Movement possible.

Since the end of the nineteenth century, radicalization of the Chinese mind proceeded at an astonishingly accelerated speed. When Hu Shih returned to China in 1917, most of the major radical thinkers of the earlier generations were still alive, and some were still politically and intellectually active. These included Yen Fu, K'ang Yu-wei, Liang Ch'i-ch'ao, Chang Ping-lin, and Liu Shih-p'ei. But in the eyes of Hu Shih and Ch'en Tu-hsiu, not to mention the younger generation, they were already men of the past. All were conservatives; some were even reactionaries. How could this possibly be the case? It becomes ever more puzzling if we consider the fact that by Hu Shih's own admission, China did not make much progress between 1910 and 1917. Ordinarily when we judge someone as either ahead of or behind his time, our frame of reference is the status quo or what the German sociologist Karl Mannheim calls "the existing framework of life." With reference to the status quo in China on the eve of the May Fourth Movement, none of the above thinkers can be summarily dismissed as intellectually out-of-date. However, this puzzle disappears once we realize that while intellectuals of the May Fourth generation regarded these early radical leaders as outdated, their frame of reference was not the status quo in China but some new truths they had recently discovered in the outside world, especially in the West. In this way, radical ideas in China rose and fell in quick succession according, by and large, to the inner logic of the world of thought and were virtually unrelated to the realities of society.[16]

In The Conservative Mind from Burke to Eliot, the American critic Russell Kirk points out that since 1790 at least five major schools of radical thought have emerged. They are the rationalism of the philosophes, the romantic emancipation of Rousseau and his allies, the utilitarianism of the Benthamites, the positivism of Comte's school, and the collectivistic materialism of Marx and other socialists. In addition, Kirk also mentions Darwinism as a force that has done much to undermine the first principles of a conservative order.[17] It is extraordinary that practically all these major schools of radical thought, as well as others, which have taken the West almost two centuries to absorb and digest, arrived in China within a short span of three or four decades. From hindsight, twentieth-century China has been so inundated with radicalisms from the West that thorough and rapid radicalization was hardly avoidable.

Mao Tse-tung (Mao Zedong) once characterized the intellectual climate of modern China as a "search for truth from the West." There has been more or less a consensus among historians that a profound sense of the crisis of national survival on the part of Chinese intellectuals was initially responsible for setting in motion this "search."

It is neither possible nor necessary here to examine every imported idea that helped to radicalize the Chinese mentality. For illustration, let us take only one or two examples. The idea of total demolition of tradition as a precondition for the building of a new society was wholly inconceivable to the traditional Chinese imagination, but it was one of the absolute presuppositions of the May Fourth iconoclastic antitraditionalism.[18] Many radical ideas undoubtedly helped but perhaps none more effectively than the Enlightenment notion of rationality and modernity, as Stephen Toulmin, a philosopher at Northwestern University, explains:

The belief that any new construction is truly rational only if it

demolishes all that was there before and starts from scratch, has played

a particular part in the intellectual and political history of France. . . but

no one who enters the spirit of Modernity whole-heartedly can be

immune to its influence. The most spectacular illustration of this is the

French Revolution....[19]

May Fourth intellectuals' early conversion to Marxism was certainly made much easier by their deep faith in "science" in its extreme positivistic sense. The very term "scientific socialism" carried with it a weight of authority which must have crushed many resisting wills. In this connection, mention may also be made of the enormous and long-enduring influence of social Darwinism.[20] It paved the way for the wholehearted acceptance by May Fourth intellectuals of the Marxist iron law of social evolution as self-evident truth.

However, not all the May Fourth intellectual leaders were radicals. Hu Shih, for example, must be recognized as a moderate liberal even though he did have his radical moments. Since radicalization sped up immeasurably after the May Fourth Movement of 1919, Hu Shih was soon to be dismissed as a conservative or, worse still, as a "counter-revolutionary" by radical Marxists and other revolutionaries. It is amazing that only one year after the May Fourth incident Ch'en Tu-hsiu was already converted to Marxism. Hu Shih's debate with the other May Fourth leader, Li Ta-chao (Li Dazhao, 1888-1927), over "Problems vs. Isms" (whether piecemeal solutions to concrete problems or holistic ideological choices ought to be the central concerns of the intellectuals) broke out as early as July or August of 1919.[21] It was the first ideological confrontation between liberalism and Marxism and it signaled the beginning of the final, highest stage of radicalization in twentieth-century China.

There can be no doubt that May Fourth Marxist radicals were always inclined to transform China totally by recourse to what Karl Mannheim calls a "systematic possibility," meaning that to deal with a single undesirable social fact, the whole system of society in which such a fact is possible ought to be transformed.[22] However, as their pursuit of the possible was always made in the abstract as opposed to the concrete, this possibility became forever out of reach. Scientific socialism turned out to be more utopian than utopian socialism. Moreover, from the very beginning, Chinese Marxism was cast in the negative mold of May Fourth iconoclastic antitraditionalism. Thus, it generated a radicalism of a highly destructive nature. I would like to suggest that Mao Tse-tung may well be interpreted as Chinese Marxist radicalism incarnate. He was a genius in destruction but wholly incapable of constructive work. Throughout his life he was in constant pursuit of an abstract possibility and unable to settle with anything concrete. In the 1940s, he designed a new democracy apparently in concrete terms, but never intended to put it into practice. He was the founding father of the People's Republic of China, yet his dissatisfaction with it was so deep that he never ceased to attack it by launching one campaign after another until his death. His destructive work culminated in the Cultural Revolution. It seems as if he deliberately worked against the actualization of the very possibility he himself had always pursued.


It is sometimes said that ideas have lives of their own, but this is no more than a metaphor. In reality, it is the holders of ideas, especially the intellectuals, who give them lives. In order to understand why China since the turn of the century has been radicalized, I must now move from phenomenology of mind to sociology of knowledge.

Radicalization of the Chinese mind is an immensely complex topic deserving of a much fuller treatment. I would venture to suggest, however, that it grew first and foremost out of two interrelated historical developments which may be called, respectively, the marginalization of China in the world and the marginalization of intellectuals in Chinese society. I shall try to explain how this double marginalization helped to trigger the long process of radicalization in modern China.

By marginalization of China in the world I refer not to the historical reality itself, but the perception of it on the part of Chinese intellectuals. In reality, the replacement of the tributary system by the treaty system in the 1840s already marked the beginning of the end of the traditional Sinocentric world order. It would take Chinese intellectuals five more decades to see the full implications of this historic event. Their immediate response to the humiliating treaty of Nanking (Nanjing) of 1842 was rather a traditional one. Limited by experiences of barbarian invasions in the past, they interpreted China's defeat mainly in terms of the technological superiority of the West. It did not occur to them that the Chinese political and social order as a whole was no longer adequate to cope with a barbarian threat of an altogether different nature. Discussing China's foreign policy toward the West in 1842, the reform-minded scholar Wei Yuan (1794-1856) came to the conclusion that China would be able to control the barbarians only if she were resolved to learn their superior techniques: warships, firearms, and methods of training soldiers.[23] On the other hand, his reformism was still very much in the Confucian ching-shih (jingshi, statecraft) tradition, showing not even the slightest trace of any Western influence. Two decades later the prophetic reformer Feng Kuei-fen (Feng Guifen) was among the earliest Chinese intellectuals to recognize the importance of Western learning to China's survival in the modern world. In his influential essay, "On the Adoption of Western Learning" (written in 1862), he advanced beyond Wei Yuan by pointing out that in order to learn the superior techniques of the barbarians, China must first grasp the fundamentals of Western leaning including mathematics, mechanics, optics, light, chemistry, and other branches of the natural sciences. His faith in the traditional political and social order, however, remained unshaken; Chinese ethics and Confucian teachings, he insisted, must continue to serve as the original foundation.[24] The prominent scholar-official Chang Chih-tung's (Zhang Zhidong) famous saying, "Chinese learning for the fundamental principles, Western leaming for practical application" (1898), was clearly a crystallization of the ideas originally developed in Feng Kuei-fen's writings.[25]

In 1894-1895, Chinese intellectuals discovered for the first time the shocking truth about China being marginalized. Culturally, Japan had been borrowing from China since the T'ang (Tang) dynasty (618-907), if not earlier. In the eyes of many nineteenth-century Chinese intellectuals, Japan was one of China's cultural satellites in the East Asian world. When a Chinese scholar was told in the early 1870s that Japan had recently turned away from Chinese civilization and had begun to transform itself on the Western model ranging from legal institutions to social customs, he became so upset as to compare the Meiji Emperor to the First Emperor of Ch'in (Qin) who "committed books to flames and swept away all the Confucians."[26] Needless to say, no one in China could have possibly foreseen that precisely because of her success in westernization, Japan was able to defeat China decisively in the war of 1894-1895.

Criticizing the anachronism of the Sinocentric self-conception of the Chinese (t'ien-hsia or tianxia meaning "all beneath the sky"), the eminent translator of Chinese classics, James Legge, in 1872 made the following remarks:

During the past forty years her (i.e., China's) position with regard to the more advanced nations of the world has entirely changed. She has entered into treaties with them upon equal terms; but I do not think her ministers and people have yet looked the truth fairly in the face, so as to realize the fact that China is only one of many independent nations in the world, and that the "beneath the sky," over which her emperor has ruled, is not all beneath the sky, but only a certain portion of it which is defined on the earth's surface and can be pointed out upon the map. But if they will not admit this, and strictly keep good faith according to the treaties which they have accepted, the result will be for them calamities greater than any that have yet befallen the empire.[27]

Legge's observation was not only accurate but startlingly prophetic. China's first war with Japan was a calamity. Even though by the 1890s Chinese ministers and her people no longer considered China as "all beneath the sky" vis-a-vis the West, they nevertheless continued to regard Japan with traditional arrogance. This is evident in the views expressed by advocates of war in the court as well as among the intellectuals during the period from 1894-1895. China may well have become only one of many nations in the world, but her central position in East Asia, however, was not open to challenge, especially from one of her cultural satellites. It is not without symbolic meaning that the war was fought, at least ostensibly, on account of China's claim of suzerainty over Korea, a claim that Japan refused to recognize.

From the above discussion it seems safe to say that as far as its perception was concerned, the marginalization of China did not fully manifest itself until the end of the first Sino-Japanese war. It was a catastrophe of this magnitude that finally awakened Chinese intellectuals to the painful truth that China had been marginalized not only in the world but in East Asia as well. As the Rutgers historian Michael Gasster pointed out in his study of origins of modern Chinese radicalism, "After 1894-95, the even more astonishing humiliation dealt to China by her hitherto lightly regarded neighbor, Japan, had almost immediate consequences in domestic politics and the intellectual world, as evidenced by the activities and ideas of K'ang Yu-wei, Yen Fu, and Sun Yat-sen."[28] The discovery of the marginalization of China led immediately to the radicalization of the Chinese mind. Within two weeks of the conclusion of the Treaty of Shimonoseki (April 17, 1895), ending the war, K'ang Yu-wei was joined by more than 1,200 examination candidates in Peking to present the famous "Ten Thousand Word Memorial" to the throne advocating comprehensive institutional reforms. Yen Fu's translation of Evolution and Ethics and T'an Ssu-t'ung's A Study of Humanity were both a psychological aftermath of the war. Psychologically speaking, Liang Ch'i-ch'ao was not exaggerating when he said that the war of 1894-1895 "awakened China from a slumber of four thousand years."[29] Never before had the Chinese intellectual world been radicalized on such an enormous scale and within such a short time.

From an exclusively political point of view, the post-1895 radicalization resulted directly from the intellectuals' sudden awareness of the crisis of national survival. There can be no question that the immediate goal of both K'ang Yu-wei's reform movement and Sun Yat-sen's more radical program of revolution was to "Save China" (chiu-kuo or juiguo) from being conquered by imperialist powers.

In culture, as in politics, the Middle Kingdom complex has been constantly at work since the end of the nineteenth century.[30] When Chinese intellectuals discovered the unpleasant truth about China being marginalized politically as well as culturally, they immediately confronted the difficult task of how to open China to Western influence without at the same time relinquishing her millennia-old status as a center of culture. The history of this bizarre intellectual enterprise can be divided into two distinct periods, corresponding exactly to "discovery disguised as interpretation" and "discovery undisguised."

During the period of discovery disguised as interpretation, the general strategy adopted by Chinese intellectuals was to interpret those Western ideas, values, and institutions particularly suited to the needs of China's modernization as long as they were discovered by ancient Chinese sages independently of the West. We can easily see where the ingenuity of this strategy lies: To the extent that it advocated changes on the Western model, its main thrust was clearly radical, not conservative; however, to the extent that it disguised "discovery" as "interpretation," the purpose of retaining China's status as a center of culture was also well served. For example, the theory of Chinese origins of Western learning meant that Western sciences, technologies, music, parliamentary system, economics, religion (Christianity), and law all had originated in classical China and somehow had found their ways to Europe. In this case, two points particularly deserve attention: First, although this theory had its early sporadic beginnings in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it gained sudden but wide popularity from 1895 to 1900. Second, during these few years the theory was elaborately developed by scholars who were eagerly receptive rather than resistant to Western learning.[31] As a cultural phenomenon it lends considerable support to our observation that, since the end of the first Sino-Japanese war, the change-oriented mentality of Chinese intellectuals has been shaped, at the psychological level, by their discovery of the truth about China being marginalized to the periphery of human culture. The theory of "Chinese origins of Western learning" came into vogue at the beginning stage of radicalization because, perhaps, it functioned as a safe conduct to Chinese intellectuals assuring them, as it were, that to learn from the West was also the way to bring China back to the center.

My second example is the theory of the Western origin of the Chinese race proposed by the French scholar Terrien de LaCouperie (1844-1894) in the 1880s. Based on a highly dubious interpretation of Chinese etymology, he suggested that the Yellow Emperor (Huang-ti or Huangdi), supposedly the father of the Chinese race, was actually the generic title of the kings of Susiana (Nakhunti). The Yellow Emperor led a group of Chaldeans known as "Baks" from Mesopotamia to Central Asia and finally reached China in the third millennium B.C. The Baks under the leadership of the Yellow Emperor (Huang-ti or Nakhunti) eventually defeated the natives and conquered China. The Baks, whom LaCouperie identified as the ruling aristocracy known as Pai-hsing (Baixing, Hundred Surnames) in early Confucian texts, created the earliest civilization in China.[32] The theory is pure fantasy unworthy of even refutation. What is amazing about it, however, is the fact that in the first decade of the twentieth century, practically all Chinese historians of the Kuo-ts'ui school including Huang Chieh, Chang Ping-lin, and Liu Shih-p'ei accepted this theory without showing a slightest sense of embarrassment. In his "Foreword" to the inaugural issue of the Journal of National Essence, Huang Chieh repeatedly referred to the Han Chinese as "we, the race of the Baks."[33] Chang Ping-lin asserted that not only the Chinese race came from Chaldea but China in high antiquity also shared many cultural traits with the Greeks, Romans, Saxons, Franks, and Slavs.[34] Liu Shih-p'ei was even more explicit. He speculated that the Han Chinese and the Caucasians were originally of the same race but later migrated to China and Europe respectively as a result of a population explosion.[35] One cannot help wonder how such critical and learned scholars could possibly be so credulous and absurd. What mattered here was not historical scholarship but cultural psychology. Like the theory of the Chinese origin of Western learning, it happened to meet the deep psychological needs of Chinese revolutionary intellectuals at this particular juncture in history. On one hand, as anti-Manchu revolutionaries they wanted to distance themselves from the ruling ethnic group (Manchus) as far as possible, historically as well as culturally. On the other hand, as cultural radicals they took Western values as universal values and insisted on their genesis in early historic China. By invoking the theory of the Western origin of the Chinese race, they could thus conveniently kill two birds with one stone. Moreover, as historians they wanted Chinese history to retain its central place in world history, as in the past. If the Chinese race were of Western origin, then China would still be seen as in the very center of the West-dominated modern world, not on the periphery.

With the paradigmatic shift from interpretation to discovery, radicalization began to take a wholly new shape and relate to China's marginalization in a very different way. By the 1910s, as Chinese intellectuals had been increasingly gaining direct access to the West, the old strategy to defend the centrality of Chinese culture vis-a-vis the Western hegemony totally collapsed. Neither the theory of Chinese origins of Western learning nor the identification of values and ideas dominant in the modern West as China's national essence was acceptable to a new generation of intellectuals who came of age in the early years of the Republic. As Hu Shih wrote in the introduction of his doctoral dissertation in 1917,

How can we Chinese feel at ease in this new world which at first sight appears to be so much at variance with what we have long regarded as our own civilization? For it is perfectly natural and justifiable that a nation with a glorious past and a distinctive civilization of its own making should never feel quite at home in a new civilization, if that new civilization is looked upon as part and parcel imported from alien lands and forced upon it by external necessities of national existence. And it would surely be a great loss to mankind at large if the acceptance of this new civilization should take the form of abrupt displacement instead of organic assimilation, thereby causing the disappearance of the old civilization. The real problem, therefore, may be restated thus: How can we best assimilate modern civilization in such a manner as to make it congenial and congruous and continuous with the civilization of our own making?[36]

Hu Shih's theory sheds new light on the radicalization and marginalization of China. It is then its oldness, not Chineseness, that must be held accountable for the marginalization of Chinese culture to the periphery in the modern world. The real trouble with China was that due to her long isolation from the outside world, she had lagged behind the West in social evolution. Since Hu Shih regarded the universal and modern aspects of what he calls the "new civilization" of primary importance and its Westernness secondary, he could, therefore, advocate China's "complete acceptance of the civilization of the new world" without being troubled by the inferiority complex that had haunted Chinese intellectuals of earlier generations. This also explains why he later preferred "modernization" or "cosmopolitanization" to "Westernization" as descriptive terms for China's cultural borrowings from the West. In 1917, Hu Shih heralded a new approach to cope with China's marginalization and along with it a new way to radicalize.

From 1917 onward, efforts to repossess the center of culture for China on the part of Chinese intellectuals generally take the form of incessantly seeking to import the latest products in the cultural market from the West. As a result, a new frame of mind has been formed among the Chinese intellectual elite which may be called the neoterist mentality, a mentality obsessed with change, with what is new. This mentality is best described in the vivid words of the British political philosopher, Michael Oakeshott: "We are willing to try anything once, regardless of the consequences. One activity vies with another in being |up-to-date': discarded motor-cars and television sets have their counter parts in discarded moral and religious beliefs: the eye is ever on the new model."[37] Since the radical would be nothing if not also a neoterist, China's marginalization and radicalization have thus grown, reinforcing each other at every turn. The tremendous overflow of radical ideas from the West and their rise and fall in quick succession in post-May Fourth China must be understood in this light.

As radicalization eventually led China to totalitarianism in 1949, the flow of ideas from the West came to an abrupt stop. However, China's drive toward the center of the world, recently intensified by revolutionary violence, continued to run its course. This is demonstrated in the so-called "Great Leap Forward" movement of 1958-1960 launched personally by Mao. On one hand, with iron and steel production, he announced that China would catch up with Britain in fifteen years and, on the other hand, with the "people's commune," he was very proud of the fact that China had actually beat the Soviet Union by entering into the Communist stage first.[38] Since he believed that spiritual regeneration must take precedence over economic development, he sensed no contradiction at all to say that a country still fifteen years behind Britain in production had already won the political contest against the Soviet Union. To a considerable extent it was also the same belief in the unfathomable power of the human spirit and will, especially his own, that drove him to the peak of a lifelong radicalism - the so-called Cultural Revolution.


Radicalization can be examined from a sociological point of view by linking it to the fact that the Chinese intelligentsia has been ever-increasingly marginalized from the center to the periphery in society since the end of the nineteenth century. This does not suggest, however, that the social marginalization of the Chinese intellectual began with the arrival of Western imperialism. As a matter of fact, historically the decline of the social position of the shih (shi, scholar) vis-a-vis the merchant had been going on slowly but steadily since the sixteenth century, if not earlier. As noted by the early nineteenth-century scholar Shen Yao (1798-1840), "While in the old days sons of scholars forever remained as scholars, in later times only sons of merchants could become scholars.... China's center of gravity has tilted towards commerce, and consequently heroes and men of intelligence mostly belong to the merchant class."[39] However, this process of social change suddenly accelerated toward the end of the century as the total collapse of the imperial system was drawing near. As a result, "China's center of gravity" moved further away from the shih who, according to the old Chinese system of social stratification, headed the list of the ssu-min (simin, four major functional orders), the other three being nung (nong, farmers), chiang (jang, artisans and craftsmen), and shang (merchants and tradesmen).

As far as its bearing on radicalization was concerned, the social marginalization of the Chinese intellectual also reached a turning point in the early years of the twentieth century when the traditional shih was being rapidly transformed into what we now call chih-shih-fen-tzu (zhishi fenzi, intellectual). This transformation, ironically, went hand in hand with the educational reform that had been carried out with ever-increasing speed after the first Sino-Japanese war. From 1895 to the end of the Ch'ing (Qing) dynasty in 1911, new schools of various levels based on Western and Japanese models grew all over China. In the meantime, it also suddenly became fashionable for students to go abroad for education, especially to Japan. The net result of these developments was the replacement of the state examination system by a modern school system. When the examination system was finally abolished in 1905, a long Chinese tradition in education and learning which had produced the shih since 622 without interruption was brought to an end. Therefore, symbolically, the year 1905 serves well as a dividing line between the traditional "scholar" and the modern "intellectual."

There are, however, as many continuities between the traditional shih and the modem chih-shih-fen-tzu as discontinuities. But in one area of vital importance, the modern "intellectual" must be clearly distinguished from the traditional "scholar": The former is no longer directly linked to state power as the latter certainly was. Around the time of the abolition of the examination system, according to a rough official estimate, China had tens of thousands of chu-jen (juren), the intermediate degree, and several hundreds of thousands of shengyuan (shengyuan), the lowest degree holders, who were eager to improve their social status by earning the prestigious chu-jen and chin-shih jinshi) degrees.[40] To these numbers, we must also add millions of degree aspirants who, having toiled for years in preparation, were ready to climb the ladder of success. Now, all of a sudden, the ladder was pulled away and they were thus deprived of the traditional status as shih which had made them an integral part of the ruling apparatus in late imperial China. This may well have been one of the unintended consequences of the educational reform of the Ch'ing court.

As the traditional shih turned into the modern chih-shih-fen-tzu, Chinese intellectuals also became politically marginalized in the sense that they now stood on the periphery of state power. Unlike chin-shih or chu-jen degrees, diplomas from new schools or even higher degrees from foreign colleges and universities did not automatically entitle their holders to state employments. As a result, modem intellectuals have been more readily susceptible to radicalization than the traditional shih. Captain James H. Reeves, the United States military attache in Peking, made the following observation in 1912:

The revolution has been largely effected through the work of Chinese who have gone to school in Japan during the last ten to fifteen years.... During the past few years the remark has been heard on all sides that the returned Japanese students [i.e., those Chinese who had returned from Japan] were revolutionary in spirit.... [they] returned to China republicans rather than monarchical reformers.[41]

At the same time, attention must also be called to the fact that in the imperial past, some shih turned into rebels only when they had repeatedly failed in examinations. Hung Hsiu-ch'uan (Hong Xiuchuan), the leader of the T'aiping Rebellion, is one example.

Discussing the interests of Asian intellectuals, Max Weber once characterized the Chinese shih (whom he calls "the Confucians") as "aesthetically cultivated literati and polished salon conversationalists rather than politicians."[42] Generally speaking, this is true. But we must hasten to add that the shih could also be highly politicized and radicalized in times of sustained national crisis, as amply illustrated by the students movements under the Han and Sung (Song) dynasties, the political protest of the Tung-lin (Tonglin) scholars in the late Ming dynasty, and the joint petition for reform by K'ang Yu-wei and 1,200 examination candidates in 1895. However, political radicalization of the shih had its prescribed limits. It was often expressed by way of internal criticism aiming primarily at restoration or modification of the imperial order; it did not question the legitimacy of the order itself. It invariably took the form of remonstrance or petition to the throne as if in the spirit of loyal opposition.

With the advent of the modern chih-shih-fen-tzu, the situation has been fundamentally altered. Marginalized to the periphery, they generally refuse to identify themselves with the political establishment against which they protest. Comparing K'ang Yu-wei's petition to the emperor in 1895 to the student movement of May Fourth will make this point clear. It may be argued that K'ang's movement is midway between tradition and modernity. The May Fourth Movement is decidedly a modern political action appealing to the patriotic feelings of the masses rather than petitioning to the government. To a considerable degree this radical mode of Chinese intellectuals can also be understood in terms of marginalization. Under a government dominated by warlords, intellectuals had no legitimate ways of seeking public office except, perhaps, through personal ties.

As in the case of China's marginalization, we can also conveniently divide the marginalization of intellectuals in Chinese society into two distinct periods with the abolition of the examination in 1905 as a symbolic though imprecise milepost. In the decade of 1895-1905, the last generation of shih still stood inside the power structure of the imperial state, even though they were considerably marginalized to the periphery. Nevertheless, the shih in the last years of imperial China continued to recognize, though not entirely without reluctance, the legitimacy of the Confucian order. They disguised discovery as interpretation and advocated changes within the limit of monarchical reform. By contrast, modern intellectuals, especially since 1905, stood outside the center of the imperial power. Armed with ideas imported from the West, they openly questioned the raison d'etre of the imperial system.(43)

As much as I would like to distinguish the shih from the chih-shih-fen-tzu, I must point out that spiritually the latter has continued much of what had been cultivated by the former. For example, the idea that the intellectual must always be identified with public-mindedness is not a cultural borrowing from the modern West, but from Confucian heritage traceable ultimately to the sage himself. At any rate, the two most famous mottoes of the Confucian scholar and statesman, Fan Chung-yen (Fan Zhongyan, 989-1052), are still very much alive in the mind of practically every educated person in China even to this day: "The shih must take the whole world as his own responsibility"; "The shih is one who ought to be the first to worry about the troubles of the world but last to enjoy its pleasures." It was with this spirit that numerous modern intellectuals had plunged themselves into revolution after revolution until, more often than not, they were totally consumed by its flame. The real tragedy in the history of Chinese revolutions is that it was always the radicalized Chinese intellectuals who imported and sowed the seeds of revolution while the harvest was, without exception, reaped by those anti-intellectual elements who knew best how to manipulate the revolution in order to seize its power. For the intellectuals, the seeds of revolution turned out to be seeds of their own destruction.


This essay attempts to do two things: First, it tries to delineate the Chinese mind in the twentieth century primarily in terms of a process of radicalization. Attention is particularly drawn to the distinctive shape this radicalization takes, and the unique way in which it takes form. This is still very much an ongoing process in China today; a review of the past may therefore throw some light on the present. Second, radicalization is linked directly to the marginalization of China in the modern world and the marginalization of intellectuals in Chinese society. While some may link the first marginalization with the Middle Kingdom complex or simply nationalism, I consider "Middle Kingdom" too political and "nationalism" too general to serve my purposes. For Chinese intellectuals, the overriding concern has been to keep China from losing its status as a center of culture. Needless to say, this double marginalization does not wholly explain radicalization in twentieth-century China. It has been singled out because it seems to hold a key for unlocking one of the doors of the twentieth-century Chinese mind.

Radicalization is only one among the many faces of modern China. The term must not be taken to suggest that Chinese intellectuals of all levels have been radicalized since the turn of the century or the rise of the May Fourth Movement. In conclusion, if I may be permitted to indulge in a personal note, I also come from Anhui, the native province of both Ch'en Tu-hsiu and Hu Shih, and during the second Sino-Japanese war lived in a small village about sixty to seventy miles away from Ch'en's birthplace (Huai-ning or Huaining) for eight years (1937-1945). 1 heard of Ch'en's name only once when he was accused, falsely, as I later learned, of having changed the old Confucian dictum into "filial piety is the first of all evils and adultery the first of all virtues." I also spent a year (1945-1946) in the neighboring county, T'ung-ch'eng (Tongcheng), whose literary school had been singled out for abuse by the May Fourth leaders of new literature, especially Ch'ien Hsuan-t'ung (Qian Xuantong, 1887-1939). But there I was still encouraged to write prose and poetry in the classical style. It was only after I returned to the big cities such as Nanking, Shanghai, Peking (Beijing), and Shenyang in 1946 that I began to be exposed to the influence of radical ideas of Western origin. In those postwar years (1946-1949), as far as I can recall, neither Marxism nor iconoclastic antitraditionalism dominated the daily life of ordinary urban intellectuals. So, I have often been puzzled by the question as to how widespread and penetrating the May Fourth Movement or Marxism really was prior to 1949 in China as a whole.

If, however, we look at the campuses of major universities in post-may Fourth China, we see an entirely new face. The inevitable conclusion: though radicalization may have been confined only to scattered centers in a vast China, it did occur where it mattered most, both intellectually and politically.


(1) Michael Walzer, Interpretation and Social Criticism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985). (2) For a brief reference to this, see John K. Fairbank, Edwin O. Reischauer, and Albert M. Craig, East Asia: Tradition and Transformation (Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1989), 79. (3) On the Scripture of the Great Peace, see Max Kaltenmark, "The Ideology of the T'ai-p'ing ching," in Holmes Welch and Anna Seidel, eds., Facets of Taoism (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1979), 19-52. (4) Margaret C. Jacob and James R. Jacob, eds., The Origins of Anglo-American Radicalism (New Jersey and London: Humanities Press International, Inc., paperback ed., 1991), 5. (5) Antonio Gramsci, Selections From the Prison Notes of Antonio Gramsci, ed. and trans. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (New York: International Publishers, 1971), 19-20. Also quoted and discussed in Walzer, Interpretation and Social Criticism, 62-63. (6) Benjamin I. Schwartz, In Search of Wealth and Power: Yen Fu and the West (Boston, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1964). (7) T'ang Chih-chun, K'ang Yu-wei yu Wu-hsu pien-fa (K'ang Yu-wei and the Reform of 1898) (Peking: Chung-hua Book Company, 1984) and James Reeve Pusey, China and Charles Darwin (Cambridge, Mass.: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1983), 89-91. (8) Hao Chang, Chinese Intellectuals in Crisis: Search for Order and Meaning, 1890-1911 (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1990), 72. (9) Kuo-ts'ui hsueh-pao (Journal of National Essence) (1) (1905): 2. (10) Hu Feng-hsiang, "Historiography of the National Essence School During the Revolution of 1911," Li-shih Yen-chiu (Historical Research) (5) (1985): 151-52. (11) Liang Ch'i-chi'ao, Yin-ping shih wen-chi (Literary Writings of Liang Ch'i-ch'ao) (Peking: Chung-hua Book Company, 1989), vol. 6, 11-12; vol. 9, 3-4. (12) Vera Schwarcz, The Chinese Enlightenment. Intellectuals and the Legacy of the May Fourth Movement (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1986); Li Tse-hou, Chung-kuo hsien-tai ssu-hsiang shih lun (On Contemporary Chinese Intellectual History) (Peking: East Press, 1987), 7-49. (13) Hu Shih, Hu Shih liu-hsueh jih-chi (Diary of Hu Shih as a Student in America) (Taipei: Yuan-liu Publishing Company, 1988), vol. 4, 162-63. (14) Ibid., 194-95. (15) Quoted in Hsiao Kung-ch'uan, Wen-hsueh chien-wang lu (Memoirs of a Scholar) (Taipei: Biographical Literature Press, 1972), 39. Johnston wrote this in 1913. (16) Arif Dirlik, Revolution and History: The Origins of Marxist Historiography in China, 1919-1927 Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1978). (17) Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind From Burke to Eliot (Chicago, Ill. and Washington, D.C.: Regnery Books, 7th rev. ed., 1986), 9. (18) Lin Yu-sheng, The Crisis of Chinese Consciousness, Radical Antitraditionalism in the May Fourth Era (Madison, Wis.: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1979). (19) Stephen Toulmin, Cosmopolis, The Hidden Agenda of Modernity (New York: The Free Press, 1990), 175. (20) Pusey, China and Charles Darwin, 57, 260-73. (21) Jerome B. Grieder, Hu Shih and the Chinese Renaissance, Liberalism and the Chinese Revolution, 1917-1937 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970), 181-83. (22) Karl Mannheim, Conservatism, A Contribution to the Sociology of Knowledge, ed. and trans. David Kettler, Volker Meja, and Nico Stehr (London and New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986), 88. (23) Ssu-yu Teng and John K. Fairbank, China's Response to the West, A Documentary Survey, 1839-1923 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1954), 34. (24) Ibid., 51-52. (25) Ying-shih Yu, "Sun Yat-sen's Doctrine and Traditional Chinese Culture," in Chu-yuan Cheng, ed., Sun Yat-sen's Doctrine in the Modern World (Boulder, Colo. and London: Westview Press, 1989), 90-91. (26) Ch'en Ch'i-yuan, Yung-hsien chai pi-chi (Jottings by Ch'en Ch'i-yuan) (Peking: Chung-hua Book Company, 1989), 110. (27) James Legge, The Chinese Classics (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1960), vol. 5, 52. (28) Michael Gasster, Chinese Intellectuals & the Revolution of 1911, The Birth of Chinese Radicalism (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1969), 6. (29) Ting Wen-jiang, Liang Jen-kung hsien-sheng nien-p'u ch'ang-pian ch'u-kao (A Draft Chronological Biography of Liang Ch'i-ch'ao) (Taipei: World Book Company, 1958), 24. (30) The "Middle Kingdom" complex is a reference to China's sense of superiority as the center of the world. See Tu Wei-ming, "Cultural China: the Periphery as the Center," Daedalus 120 (2) (Spring 1991): 4. (31) Ch'uan Han-sheng, "Ch'ing-mo te Hsi-hsueh yuan ch'u Chung-kuo shuo" ("Theories of Chinese Origins of Western Learning in the Late Ch'ing"), collected in Chung-kuo chin-tai shih lun-ts'ung (Studies on Modern Chinese History) (Taipei: Cheng-chung Book Company, 1956), first series, vol. 5, 216-58. (32) Martin Bernal, "Liu Shih-p'ei and National Essence," in Charlotte Furth, ed., The Limits of Change, Essays on Conservative Alternatives in Republic China (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976), 96-98. (33) Huang Chieh, "Kuo-ts'ui hsu-pao hsu" ("Foreword to the Journal of National Essence"), Kuo-ts'ui hsu-pao (1) (1905): 1-4. (34) Chang Ping-lin, Ch'iu-shu (Chang Ping-lin's Essays) (Shanghai: Classic Literature Press, 1958), 44-45. (35) Liu Shih-p'ei, Liu Shen-shu hsien-sheng i-shu (Collected Works of Liu Shih-p'ei) (Taipei: Hua-shih Press, 1975), vol. 1, 721-22. (36) Quoted in Grieder, Hu Shih and the Chinese Renaissance, 160. (37) Michael Oakeshott, Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays (Indianapolis, Ind.: Liberty Press, 1991), 414. (38) Fung Yu-lan, San-sung Tang tzu-tsu (Autobiography) (Peking: San-lien Book Company, 1984), 166-69. (39) Quoted in Yu Ying-shih, Chung-kuo chin-shih tsung-chiao lun-li yu shang-jen ching-shen (Religious Ethic and the Mercantile Spirit in Early Modern China) (Taipei: Linking Press, 1987), 97. (40) Wang Teh-chao, Ch'ing-tai k'o-chu chih-tu yen-chiu (Studies on the Examination System in Ch'ing China) (Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 1982), 246. (41) Quoted in Gasster, Chinese Intellectuals & the Revolution of 1911, 61. (42) W. G. Runciman, ed., Max Weber. Selections in Translation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978), 200. (43) It is important to note that Chinese students in Japan kept themselves away from Sun Yat-sen and his revolution as late as 1903, but, in 1905, Sun found himself enthusiastically welcomed by hundreds of them. In the meantime, back in China, revolution also gained new momentum among radical intellectuals, such as in Shanghai and Chekiang. Gasster, Chinese Intellectuals & the Revolution of 1911, 50-51 and Mary Backus Rankin, Early Chinese Revolutionaries, Radical Intellectuals in Shanghai and Chekiang, 1902-1911 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971), 112, 146.

(*) This article was originally written using the Wade-Giles romanization system. For consistency throughout the volume, pinyin romanizations have been supplied.

Ying-shih Yu is Michael Henry Strater University Professor of East Asian Studies and Professor of History at Princeton University.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A13802482