Friday, August 25, 2006

Today in History: White Sun Over China


These days it takes a diplomatic gaffe for the world to remember the Republic of China. But the anniversary of the Kuomintang's birth amidst the death throes of Imperial China is a good point for historical reflection, at a time when the US is struggling to plant democracy in another ancient cradle of civilisation. The twelve-rayed sun stood for the era of progress that the party would usher in to replace the ancien regime, based on parliamentary constitutionalism. Instead China got a bloody mess, in which the KMT survived and came out on top by reinventing itself as a Leninist party prepared to crush every obstacle to power. Having made itself the state and put the country under 'political tutelage' in the name of building a better China, it ended up as a reactionary kleptocracy that lost out to a more efficient Leninist party. This party in turn made itself the state...

The KMT and CCP are still too much alive for us to call history's judgment, but the verdict may well be that they managed between them to make 20th-century China an object lesson in how revolutions devour their own children. Or, more precisely, are devoured by new revolutions.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

as a Huayi further away from the Pacific Rim, we in North Amercia are also "enlightened" by the "propagandish" Epoch News. Leaves me wondering who is bankrolling its Free Global distribution ?

John Lee said...

There are some clues on the public record...