Volume 11, 2008
Sun Yat-sen’s superior position in modern Chinese history is represented in the movement of the modernization of China with him as a representative went from the stage of ‘imitation’ to the stage of ‘creativity’. He put forward, China, as a country engaging in modernization late, could draw on Western experience and lessons, run (“突驾”) from capitalism directly into socialism, and realize ‘accomplishing both the political revolution and the social revolution at one stroke’. He designed the modernization program of ‘accomplishing both at one stroke’ as the Three People's Principles (Nationalism, Democracy and the People's Livelihood); each separately connects with Human rights, civil rights and national sovereignty pursued by modern Chinese and the essence of them develops around the value of equality approved by socialist thoughts of the day. According to Sun’s thinking: 1. People’s livelihood is the root of the Three People's
Principles, which involves most primary human rights --- right of survival because the value of human’s seeking survival necessarily directs to ‘equality and helping each other’, which is the law of the evolution of humanity. So the justice of socialism lies in ‘Leveling out the differences between the rich and the poor’, which can be realized with many ‘artificial’ elements such as nation and morality, etc. What must be done by People’s livelihood in contemporary China are ‘equalizing landownership’, ‘regulating capital’ and ‘developing industry’. 2. Democracy is the request of ‘civil rights’ in the sense of modern democracy. In the special national situation of China, it presents itself as the specific political framework ‘balancing people’s civil rights with elite administration’. 3. The essence of nationalism lies in constructing modern Chinese national country to save the nation from crises. Sun Yat-sen pointed out: First, the foundation on which Chinese nations build up their country is totally different from that of the West. So the country must take ‘collectivism’ as its value direction. Secondly, the ethos of the Chinese nation is different from that of the West. Chinese national country must take ‘morality first’ as the direction of value. Sun’s point of view is unique and single-eyed but contains unavoidable historical limits.