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From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 28 Oct 2004 08:09:55 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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> Sun and the Paris Anarchists
The ideological position of the Paris group should have placed them in
sharp conflict with Sun Yat-sen. In fact, however, Sun developed a warm
personal friendship with the young Anarchist organizers, induced most of
them to join his T'ung Meng Hui, and received various types of aid from
them. And in later years' men like Wu, Li, and many other young
Anarchists gradually affiliated themselves with the Kuomintang. At the
end, indeed, some were to be found in the so-called "right wing" of the
Kuomintang. How are these seeming contradictions to be explained?

Some critics are prone to see the Paris group as faddists who in their
youthful enthusiasm plunged into Anarchism as into all things left-bank
French, with tremendous spirit but in an essentially superficial fashion.
There is some truth in this evaluation, but it is not wholly fair Many of the
young Chinese in Paris during this era did fall in love with France and did
become ardent Francophiles. In a sense, Anarchism for them was only a
part of a much broader conversion--a conversion to Western, particularly
French, civilization. Li Shih-tseng is an excellent example. Even now, he
effects the French manner, down to beret and goatee(though not to food
and drink). With him at least the fad endured But while these faddists
may have been superficial Frenchmen, they were not superficial
Anarchists. The doctrines which they preached, they understood. In
heated argumentation with opponents, they held their own very well If
Western Anarchism in their hands was not particularly enriched, neither
was it distorted. To be sure, much of the Hsin Shih-chi consisted of
straight translations or extensive paraphrasing of Western Anarchist
writers; but there were also a goodly number of articles that related
Anarchism to the Chinese scene with the same degree of adequacy as
characterized Western Anarchists' attempts to relate their doctrines to the
Western scene. Whenever one adopts a life-pattern that is fundamentally
foreign to one's original roots and instincts, to the culture of one's society,
it is difficult to avoid a certain superficiality or shallowness. In defense of
the young Anarchists, however, it might be said that by risking such
superficiality, by living as "eccentrics" in their society, they were seeking
to be true to the individualism which was at the root of their creed. But in
any case, the charge of superficiality is most valid as applied to the "
Frenchification process, " not when it refers to the capacity of these
young intellectuals to encompass anarchist philosophy.

The more serious charge perhaps is that of opportunism. It is alleged that
men like Wu and Li betrayed a basic insincerity in professing Anarchism
and yet affiliating themselves increasingly with the nationalist movement,
and a centralized political organization, the Kuomintang, which was
antithetical to their Anarchist beliefs. Opportunism has been a recurrent
charge against many elements within the modern Chinese elite; so
frequently has the issue been raised that some might regard it as a
cultural defect. Chinese intellectuals of varying political persuasions (and
other social classes as well) are accused of taking or abandoning positions
of principle too easily, depending upon the opportunities or threats that
present themselves, or the current nature of their personal alliances.
Sometimes, indeed, the intellectual or the merchant has been accused of
having no principles, being like a political litmus paper which reflects the
dominant pressures of the society, or its most likely future trend. Thus
the charges against Wu and Li are by no means unique. In assessing this
general problem, one must remember that the modern Chinese
intellectual has faced a supremely difficult problem: how to live
decently--perhaps how to live at all--in a period of continuous chaos and
upheaval. In such a setting, it is easy enough to criticize almost everyone
as "opportunistic, " particularly when there can be no doubt that personal
alliances (in the absence of basic social and political stability) have often
assumed transcendent importance. However, even when one sets the
familial nature of Chinese society aside, for many Chinese intellectuals,
the dilemma has been whether to hold rather rigidly to some set of
principles, some utopia, achieving only impotence and possibly running
serious personal risks; or whether to seek the "lesser evil, " compromising
with the real political forces that existed in his environment. Few societies
in the world have posed this dilemma more painfully for its elite than
modern China.

But what specifics should be added in connection with the Anarchist
Movement, and men like Wu and Li? Despite their anti-nationalist
position, the young Anarchists could not avoid a natural link with Sun's
revolutionary movement. After all, it did represent the first step: it was
anti-Manchu and hence anti-authority in terms of the contemporary
Chinese scene. The Anarchists, moreover, always hoped that they could
win over this movement to their side, both with respect to tactics
(assassination, strikes, and revolution) and with respect to ultimate goals.
And in tactical terms, they scored some successes. As we shall note later,
the major Anarchist spokesmen did not participate in politics immediately
after the revolution. They remained generally aloof, both from power and
from party position. Over time, however, men like Wu began to
rationalize a closer relation to the Kuomintang and to political office. Wu
was fond of saying that it would take many years to achieve Anarchism,
and in the meantime, Sun's Three People's Principles were an adequate
beginning. Moreover, the Anarchists were undoubtedly pushed toward
the Kuomintang in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, and their
bitter struggle with the Chinese Communists In later years, the choice
was essentially between the Communists and the Kuomintang. Perhaps it
is not surprising that some of the old Anarchists cast in their lot with the
latter, especially since it was possible for them to retain a certain "special
status, " to pursue a personal creed, an individual way of life, and to hold
office (or sinecure) with rather minimal obligations. What quotient of
opportunism this transition represented each reader must decide for
himself. [63]

In any case, if we return to the initial ties between Sun Yat-sen and the
Paris Anarchist group, we have to enter the complex world of Chinese
personal relations. Such relations constitute that human element of
tremendous importance that must be factored into any realistic analysis of
Chinese politics rendering the illogical, logical or at least explicable,
giving life and uncertainty to what would otherwise be a political scene
fully determined by the theories we have attempted carefully to sketch.
Wu Chih-hui may have met Sun in Tokyo in March, 1901, but their
friendship dated from the winter of 1904 when they were both staying in
London.[64] We do not know the frequency of their contact. Sun did
introduce Wu to his old teacher, Dr. James Cantlie. It was also at this
time that the two men met Chang Ching-chiang. At some point during
this period, Chang promised Sun that if he ever needed money, he need
only wire, and the two men even worked out a code that would signify the
amount required.[65] on at least two occasions, once in 1906 and again
the following year, Sun took advantage of this offer and obtained
substantial sums. Both Wu and Chang also joined the T'ung Meng Huio
Wu joined in late 1905, reportedly because he thought the Sun program
was an acceptable partial step and because he was convinced that all
revolutionaries should work together. There can be little doubt that Sun's
very great eclectism when it came to Socialist doctrine abetted this
position. It is likely that Sun paid considerable homage to Anarchism as
an "ideal, " especially when he was with the Paris group. Chang joined
the T'ung Meng Hui in 1907 in Hong Kong, after it had been agreed that
the oath of allegiance could be modified to omit any mention of heaven.
As an Anarchist who opposed religion, Chang insisted upon this

After 1907, Sun and the Paris group were brought even closer together by
having a mutual enemy. In the autumn of 1907, Chang Ping-lin
(T'ai-yen) and certain other T'ung Meng Hui members in Tokyo
launched a movement to oust Sun as head of the revolutionary movement
Sun was in Indo-China, and his chief supporters were gone from Tokyo.
Chang became editor of the Min-pao. He had always been a somewhat
different revolutionary type, being essentially a classicist and a Buddhist,
with very little interest in Western "progressive" ideas, and an antipathy
toward Socialism. Chang was violently anti-Manchu, but beyond this, he
had little in common with the young radicals, or with Sun himself. In
October, 1907, Chang Ping-lin,Chang Chi, and some other members of
the Tokyo T'ung Meng Hui published a manifesto seeking to remove Sun
as leader of the revolutionary movement Sun was attacked for having
taken the title of tsung-li or general leader, it being denied that his
influence or ability warranted such an exalted designation. He was
charged with the rash sacrifice of lives in hopeless ventures. it was also
asserted that he had misused funds and deposited a small fortune to his
name in the bank.[67] This manifesto was evidently widely circulated
among Chinese overseas communities.

As indicated earlier, relations between Wu Chih-hui and Chang Ping-lin
had been bad since the 1903 Su-pao affair. Su-pao, [Kiangsu Journal] had
begun in 1897 as a reform newspaper and gradually moved toward the
support of revolution. It operated from the Shanghai International
Settlement, being registered with the Japanese Consulate in the name of
the Japanese wife of the editor, Hu Chang. Among the important writers
in 1903 were Wu Chih-hui, Chang Pinglin, and Ts'ai Yuan-p'ei. At this
time, Tsou Yung wrote a violently anti-Manchu pamphlet entitled
Revolutionary Army which suggested among other things the
assassination of the Emperor. Chang not only wrote the preface for this
pamphlet, but also reviewed it in the pages of Su-pao. Infuriated Chinese
authorities obtained permission for a trial before the Mixed Court. But
most of the leaders including Wu escaped Chang, however, was caught,
tried, and sentenced to three years' imprisonment. For some reason not
clear, Chang blamed Wu for his arrest, and a strong hostility developed
between the two men.[68]

Thus it was easy for the Paris group led by Wu to defend Sun against an
old enemy For a time, Wu and Chang Ping-lin exchanged attacks
through the pages of their respective journals. These have been called
excellent examples of Chinese vituperative literature.[69] This may be
true. Surely they are not excellent examples of anything else. The issues
raised were negligible. Chang did attack Anarchist support for the
international language Esperanto as an abandonment of Chinese learning.
He charged that the Paris group were sycophants of the West, and that
the self-proclaimed scientific basis of their Anarchist philosophy was
totally faulty.[70] Wu attacked Chang's conservative nationalism and
accused him of maintaining connections with traitors to the revolutionary
cause.[71] And Sun's honor was staunchly upheld in Paris.

In later years, Sun sought to repay these services. He offered positions
both in the Kuomintang and in the government to his old Anarchist
friends. Initially, these were declined, with most of the Anarchists
remaining firm in their refusal to be associated with power. Later,
however, some posts were accepted, as the Anarchist Movement faded
away before the challenges of nationalism and Communism. But the
ideological chasm between Sun and the Anarchists was never bridged. At
times., it seemed that Sun was willing to accommodate himself to all
doctrines that bore the label "Socialism. " And despite their early denials,
Anarchists like Wu, Chang, and Li ultimately seemed willing to
accommodate themselves to Sun's "Three People's Principles" as a first
step in the proper direction as was suggested earlier. In purely ideological
terms, however, there could be no easy compromise between Sun's
one-party tutelage and the Anarchists' freedom, between his concept of
centralized power and their concept of free federation. Theirs was a
marriage of convenience and friendship, not of logic.

The Mounting Struggle Against the Government

In addition to defending Sun, Hsin Shih-chi kept up a running battle
against government surveillance of overseas students. In early 1907, the
Chinese government announced it would send a super visor to France "to
assist" the students in their various activities. On June 18, 1907, the very
eve of the first issue of Hsin Shih-chi, a meeting was convened by the
Chinese students in France, and the matter was discussed. What
percentage of the students came is unclear, but the attitude of those
present toward this new proposal was very clear indeed. They
recommended that any supervisor meet the following conditions:

1. He should know three languages well.

2. He should be well versed in at least one science.

3. He should not be allowed to bring his family.

4. His salary should not be more than the amount paid to three

If these qualifications could have been applied, the students would not
have had to worry about the supervisor's imminent arrival! And there is
good reason to believe that the Anarchist group had a considerable role in
framing these suggestions. In the course of the meeting, some
amendments were proposed. It was suggested that only those members of
the official's family with bound feet be prohibited from coming, so as not
to disgrace the students. The question of queues was also raised.

The Hsin Shih-chi report of the meeting was written in a satirical
vein.[73] If there were a need for someone to make payments to overseas
students, then an accountant should be brought, not a supervisor. Of
course, the government really wanted to investigate revolutionary
activities. To help the government in this respect, the writer stated that he
could announce immediately that the general student sentiment was
favorable to revolution; the only opposition came from those who wanted
to become officials and acquire wealth. These were already serving as
informers, so why waste money on a supervisor who would know so little
in any case that he would have to depend upon them after his arrival. The
writer made one additional offer to help. Henceforth, he said, we will print
more news about revolutionary activities and send the paper free of
charge to the supervisor. Then he can stay home and still be well
informed. Despite this final offer, the supervisor did arrive. Hsin Shih- chi
reported his first speech, an address given on May 31, 1908.[74] It was a
conciliatory talk delivered before some 60-70 students, but Wu took
strong exception to it and sought to read amply between the lines.
Meanwhile, pressure upon the revolutionary movement was everywhere
on the increase. By the latter part of 1908, Chinese authorities had finally
prevailed upon the Japanese government to stop the publication of
Min-pao and two Anarchist journals, T'ieni Pao (Natural Principles) and
Heng Pao (Measurement). Nevertheless, the 25th issue of Min-pao was
printed secretly, and at one point, Hsin Shih-chi announced that it was
serving as publisher.[75] There were later indications, however, that this
issue which came out late in 1909, was not printed in Paris; it was
probably printed "underground" in Tokyo.[76]

The editor of the secret Min-pao was Wang Ching-wei, an ardent
supporter of Sun and one definitely influenced by the Anarchist writings
of this period. Chang Ping-lin, now excluded from authority, complained
bitterly that this was a false Min-pao, but Hsin Shih-chi, helping to
distribute it, asserted "party members in the East are paying no attention
to Chang's charges."[77] And Wang was to be the final hero of the Paris
journal. Its last issue, published on May 21, 1910, might well have been
called the Wang Ching-wei special edition, since it was devoted almost
entirely to praise of Wang for his attempted assassination of the Manchu
Prince Regent.[78]

On the eve of the Nationalist Revolution, the Chinese Anarchists had
considerable reason for optimism. The revolutionary movement seemed
to be adopting their tactics. Assassination and other forms of "direct
action" had become the order of the day. Anarchist writings had had an
impact upon a number of nationalists, and the leaders of the Paris group
had close personal ties with Sun and his supporters. The pro-Sun
element, moreover, was now clearly ascendant within the revolutionary
camp of China. This element had successfully weathered the Chang
Ping-lin storm, and it was moving left, partly as a result of that storm.
Finally, the international climate for Anarchism seemed generally good.
Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism were much in vogue in European
radical circles. Even in the United States, the IWW had created a
considerable stir, and American Socialism had to conjure with names like
Emma Goldman and William Haywood. In Japan, the Anarchists had
captured the commanding heights of the Socialist Movement. Was there
not reason to believe that Anarchism represented the wave of the future?

The Chinese Anarchist Movement in Tokyo

Before looking at that future, however, we must turn back to the past. A
Chinese Anarchist group had emerged in Tokyo at almost precisely the
same time that the Paris group was being organized. The central figures
in Tokyo were Chang Chi, Liu Shih-p'ei, and Liu's wife, Ho Chen. Chang
Chi, who became associated with the Paris group as well as with the
Anarchist movement in Japan, was one of the earliest Chinese students
studying in Japan.[79] From a scholarly-gentry family of Hupei, Chang
first arrived in Japan in 1899. He soon became active in the nationalist
movement and joined Sun's T'ung Meng Hui upon its establishment in
1905. Chang studied political science and economics at Waseda
University. In Japan, he became acquainted with Japanese Anarchists,
including Kotoku Sh-usui and Osugi Sakae, and later translated Errico
Malatesta's work on Anarchism into Chinese.[80] Liu came from a long
line of scholars, had received a thorough classical education, and had
demonstrated remarkable ability as a youth.[81] He was already teaching
at the age of eighteen, and passed his chi-jen degree the following year, in
1903. His conversion to the anti-Manchu cause seems to have been
mainly the product of a friendship developed with Chang Ping-lin' whose
background and interests were very similar to those of Liuo. In 1904, Liu
became a member of the patriotic society, Kuang-fu Hui, "Restoration
Society, " in Shanghai, having been introduced by Ts'ai Yuan-p'ei.
During this period, Liu gradually became active in revolutionary
undertakings, participating in various publications, helping to plan an
unsuccessful assassination, and supporting himself by doing some middle
school teaching.

In 1907, Liu and his wife went to Japan. He had changed his name by
this time to Kuang-han (Restore the Han), and his wife also had adopted
a new appellation. At first, they lived with Chang Ping-lin.[82] Within a
few months, they had made contact with Japanese Anarchists, and were
obviously much influenced by them. Kotoku Shosui and some of his
young disciples did a great deal to convert Liu to the Anarchist cause. In
June, Liu and Chang Chi decided to establish a Society for the Study of
Socialism. The fifteenth issue of Min-pao which was published in July,
1907, carried a brief news item about this study group, with the request
for the names and addresses of those interested, and a promise to notify
all who responded as to the time and place of the first meeting.83
Meanwhile, Liu and his wife had begun the publication of an Anarchist
journal, T'ien-i Pao The first issue came out in June.[84]

A detailed report of the first meeting of the Society for the Study of
Socialism is available.[85] It was held on August 30, 1907. About ninety
people attended, and the two major speeches were made by Liu and
Kotoku. Liu began by announcing that the purpose of the society was not
merely the study of Socialism, but the practice of Anarchism. He then
proceeded to advance arguments on behalf of this creed. Like his
comrades in Paris, Liu had been strongly influenced by the composite
forces of Chinese classicism, Darwinism, and radical libertarianism. The
realization of Anarchism in China, he stated, should not be too difficult,
because for thousands of years, the Chinese political foundation had
rested upon Confucian and Taoist principles of "indifference" and
"non-interference. " In practice, moreover, traditional Chinese
government had not been close to the people and had not been trusted by
them. Laws had been merely formal documents and officials had held
only empty positions. No individual had truly possessed power. The
government had looked down upon the people, treating them as plants
and animals; and the people had viewed the government as repulsive and
evil. This historic situation of "indifference" to government could easily
be turned into a victory for Anarchism, Liu remarked. Indeed, he argued,
China should be the first country in the world to realize Anarchism due to
this unique background.

Liu also dealt with Darwinism. To the extent that it represented science,
it represented the new truth that should provide the basis for human
relations. But Liu challenged the Darwinian thesis that progress came
through competition, asserting that that was "the old theory." The new
theory was that of Kropotkin: progress through Mutual Aid. This was an
idea that had firm foundations in nature and thus represented a superior
scientific truth. And throughout his speech, Liu cited the Western
libertarians from Rousseau to Bakunin and Kropotkin. Primitive man had
been free until he was enslaved by government. Political authority could
have no legitimate basis, either in morality or in need. All forms of
authority were types of oppression. Human freedom in the most complete
possible form had to be- the supreme desideratum of civilized man. Liu
sought to build a popular front between "anti-Manchuism" and
Anarchism, while at the same time clearly distinguishing between them,
and asserting the superiority of the latter. The bond between
anti-Manchuism and Anarchism lay in the fact that both were against
absolutism and in favor of revolution. Thus they should be able to
cooperate. But there were three reasons why Anarchism was superior,
according to Liu First, nationalism-the worship of one's own race and the
casting off of others - could easily be turned into national imperialism.
Second, revolution should not have such a private, selfish motive as that
of seizing power for oneself or one's group; it should be dedicated to
freedom of all, as was anarchism. Finally, revolution had to have a broad
base. The anti-Manchu movement was primarily a movement of students
and secret society members, whereas the Anarchist revolution would be
supported and underwritten by the whole people, the peasants and
workers of the nation. To enjoy lasting success, revolutions had to have a
mass basis.

After Liu, Chang Chi made a few remarks, and then a lengthy speech by
Kotoku, the Japanese Anarchist, followed. Kotoku's influence upon his
Chinese comrades must have been very great. He was probably the most
brilliant Japanese radical of his generation. Moreover, his contacts with
Western Socialism were extensive, both in terms of the literature and in
terms of personal contacts Kotoku had returned from the United States in
mid-1906 with books and the latest ideas. His translations helped to
introduce Kropotkin and other Western Anarchists to all students living in
Japan. In this respect, as in many others, Japan served as a transmission
belt conveying Westernism in all its facets to young Chinese intellectuals.

We need not devote much attention to Kotoku's speech since its main
themes have been set forth earlier. He began with an apology for having
to speak in Japanese, a language foreign to his audience, but promised
that the day of an international language was not far distant. Then he
proceeded to give a general historical survey of the European socialist
movement, taking his position with the most "advanced" element, that
element pioneered by Proudhon, Bakunin, and Kropotkin.[86] Like Liu,
Kotoku cited the classics in defense of anarchist doctrine and morality,
referring to Christianity as well as Confucianism, although he was a
strong anti-Christian.

The first meeting of the Society for the Study of Socialism was concluded
by the short talk of Ho Chen, Liu's wife and the editor of T'ien-i Pao .[87]
She suggested that among the anarchist movements, that of Russia was
the strongest and in its three stages of development offered a guide for
China: the first stage was that of speech and discussion, followed by a
state of political activity, and climaxed by a period of assassination. Many
of the Chinese and Japanese present at this meeting were to have their
lives profoundly affected by the attempt to follow these words. In a few
years, Kotoku and a number of his students would be dead, executed by
the Japanese government on charges of responsibility for a plot against
the Emperor Meiji. In Chinese revolutionary circles, also, the trend was
toward more extremism. Ho Chen herself, as we shall note, evidently
became involved in an assassination attempt.

The Liu magazine, T'ien-i Pao, emphasized familiar Anarchist themes
including Freedom and equality were made primary goals. Religion was
bitterly attacked. Special privileges to rulers and nobility were denounced,
as was government in any form. All analysis and argument were cast in a
"scientific" mold, and yet values were much discussed and defended. Liu,
for example, in one article, defined man's three basic feelings as those of
self-interest, hatred and goodness. [88]In a manner completely
compatible with Confucian thought, he argued that man had the capacity
for goodness, and asserted that goodness exceeded even equality as a
value. He related it to the concept of Confucian jen, Kantian love, and the
theme of mutual aid in Kropotkin's writings. Liu might define goodness
in Confucian terms but he did not seek to develop it through Confucian
methods. In place of the educative state, he wished to advance the
stateless, classless society.

In another article, Liu explored socialism in ancient China, with special
reference to the land equalization policies of Wang Mang.[89] He paid
tribute to Wang, but asserted that his policies failed because he could not
eliminate classes nor abolish government, and with an obvious glance in
the direction of Sun Yat-sen, he asserted:

"Those who today seek to found governments and further deceive the
people with a policy of the equalization of land are all of the same sort as
Wang Mang.'' [90]

In 1908, Liu split with Chang Ping-lin, and in that same year, the
Anarchist journals were ordered to cease publication. Liu and his wife
returned to Shanghai. Soon it became known that they were serving as
informers for the police, and had entered the service of the Manchu
official, Tuan-fang.[91] Liu told the Shanghai International Settlement
police of a secret T'ung Meng Hui meeting, with the result that one
member was imprisoned. The precise pressures or circumstances that
produced this shift in position are not clear. According to rumor, Ho
Chen was involved in an assassination plot (Wang Kung-ch'a) and
perhaps a deal was made to save her. In any case, this ended their
Anarchist careers. In later years, Liu supported Yuan Shih-ktai. Despite
these transgressions, however, Ts'ai Yuan-p'ei, when he became
president of Peking University, gave Liu a professorship Both their old
personalities and the fact that Liu was an excellent classical scholar
probably entered into this appointment But Liu died very shortly
thereafter, on November 20, 1919, at the young age of thirty-six.

Probably Liu was always closer to Chinese traditionalism than most of his
comrades. We have noted his extensive use of traditionalist thought to
justify Anarchism. And this illustrates again a most important point. As
long as Chinese traditionalism was enlisted, selectively, in the service of
Western radicalism, as long as that radicalism could be buttressed by
reference to the Chinese past, the political pendulum for some radicals
could always swing back under certain conditions, causing them to revert
to orthodoxy. The considerable staying powers of Chinese traditionalism
were never more clearly illustrated than under such circumstances.

As for Chang Chi, the other participant in the Tokyo anarchist
movement, with the increasing police pressure upon the socialists late in
1907, he left Japan for France. Between 1908 and 1911, Chang associated
himself with Li Shih-tseng, Wu Chih-hui and the Paris Anarchist Group.
His interest in Anarchism continued and he spent the summer of 1908 in
a communal village (communisme experimental) in Northern France.[92]
Upon the success of the 1911 Revolution, Chang returned to China and
became a leading member of the Kuomintang.[93]

The initial impact of the Chinese Anarchist movements in Paris and
Tokyo was almost wholly upon the overseas students. Very few copies of
the Hsin Shih-chi or T'ien-i Pao could be smuggled into China. In this
era, the average Chinese intellectual at home remained completely
oblivious to Western radicalism. In many respects, the general
circumstances of this period contributed to an enormous gulf between the
"old" and "new" intelligentsia. The "old" intelligentsia stayed at home,
with the windows of their studies firmly closed to the winds of change
from the outer world. The "new" intelligentsia were in that outer world,
being swept along by its winds. Their ideas were being formed in a
foreign environment, and while they did not need to desert their heritage
completely, generally that heritage had to be interpreted and reconciled
with Western progress and "truth."

It is most significant that the Chinese intellectuals had so short a time in
which to adjust to the political currents of the modern world. For the great
majority, "liberation" came only with the 1911 Revolution. Then in less
than a decade--and a decade filled with extraordinary political chaos--they
were forced to cope with an unending variety of new, often conflicting
ideas. Scarcely had liberalism begun to make its impact when the
Bolshevik Revolution brought the doctrines of Marxist-Leninism into the
land. But even before this, democracy, Socialism, and Anarchism were
more or less simultaneously released into the Chinese intellectual stream.
Compared to China, the introduction of Japan to Westernism was almost
leisurely. The Japanese intellectual had had some four decades of Mill,
Locke, Burke and Rousseau before he got the Fabians, Kropotkin, or
Marx. Modern China paid very heavy penalties for her tenacious
institutions, her self-satisfied intelligentsia, her basic xenophobia -- and
hence her delayed, kaleidoscopic revolution in which there was no time to
undergo an intellectual evolution, to meet ideas in sequence, to separate
the past from the present or future. or to develop one's own syncretic
political philosophy. But despite the multiple confusions, to be Anarchist
in this period was to be truly avant garde, to leap ahead of the West, as it
were, and capture the future. It is not surprising that Anarchism made a
deep impression upon some of the young Chinese intellectuals who were
in search of modernity.


Shih-fu and His Movement

Before Marxist-Leninist-Maoism, Anarchist banners had already been
planted in China proper and a much larger circle of Chinese intellectuals
had gained some acquaintance with Anarchist theory. One of the first to
take the ideas of Hsin Shih-chi into China was Liu Szu-fu, better known
as Shih Fu.[94] Liu came to Anarchism from Sun's T'ung Meng Hui.
Born in 1884 near Canton, he developed into an excellent classical
student, but one showing revolutionary tendencies even before leaving
China. In 1904, he went to Japan to continue his education, and the
following year, he took an active part in the establishment of the Tokyo
T'ung Meng Hui. Nor were all of Liu's studies academic. He also studied
the art of manufacturing explosives, although as we shall soon see,
perhaps he did not master the subject.

In 1906, learning that Sun would attempt an uprising in Kwangtung, Liu
along with many other students left Japan for home. Upon reaching Hong
Kong, however, Liu accepted the editorship of a local journal and
remained there. The following year, it was decided that a successful revolt
in Kwangtung would be facilitated by the assassination of either the
governor or the naval commander. The latter, Li Chun; was chosen as the
target and Liu volunteered to serve as executioner. Due to Liu's
carelessness, however, an accident occurred and the bomb exploded
prematurely. He was severely wounded, and lost all the fingers on his left
hand. This incident also resulted in his arrest, and while the police were
unable to determine his exact mission, he spent nearly three years in
prison, and was released then only because his literary efforts were so
admired by local officials that they petitioned higher authorities on his

Following his release from prison in 1909, Liu returned to Hong Kong.
During his confinement and afterward, he had moved steadily toward
anarchism, finally becoming a full disciple of the Hsin Shih-chi doctrines.
In Hong Kong, Liu and others organized an assassination group
dedicated to anarchism and having no contact with the T'ung Meng
Hui.[95] This group was planning the assassination of the Prince Regent,
Tsai-li (Wang Ching-wei's intended victim) when the Revolution of 1911
broke out. After the revolution, the group picked another target, Yuan
Shih-k'ai, but according to Liu, "a certain person" asked them not to act
in haste.[96]

About this time, in 1912, Liu and his followers founded the Hui-Ming
Hseh-she, "The Society of Cocks Crowing in the Dark," in Canton. The
objective of the new society was to propagate Anarchism at the mass
level, to move from "destructive" to "constructive" work. And for the next
three years, until his premature death of tuberculosis in March 1915, Liu
was one of the pillars of the active movement. In addition to the
Hui-ming Hsueh-she, Liu and his comrades in 1913 founded the
Hsin-she, "Heart Society, " in Canton. It was intended to be a preliminary
organization to a full-fledged Anarchist Movement. The Hsin-she had
twelve conditions for membership:

1. No eating of meat.

2. No drinking of liquor.

3. No smoking.

4. No use of servants.

5. No marriage.

6. No use of a family name (thus Liu changed his name to Shih Fu).

7. No acceptance of government office.

8. No riding in sedan chairs or rickshaws.

9. No acceptance of parliamentary seats.

10. No joining of political parties.

11. No joining of an army or navy.

12. No acceptance of religion.[97]

The Society to Advance Morality and its Impact

The Hsin-she had an earlier and more significant model. In January
1912, the Chin-te Hui, "Society to Advance Morality, " had been founded
by Wu Chih-hui, Li Shih-tseng, Chang Chi, and Wang Ching-wei.[98]
Most of the Paris group had returned to China shortly after the 1911
Revolution. They were making their political impact felt in a variety of
ways. None was more interesting than the Chin-te Hui. In propagating
their Society, Wu and the others argued that basic social reform had to
accompany political change. The reason for the corruption of the Ch'ing
regime, they argued, was due to the corruption of Chinese society; its
most common forms being prostitution, gambling, and the concubine
system. Hence China must build a new morality attuned to the new
society that had to be created.

As befitted an Anarchist-inspired movement, the Chin-te Hui had no
president or other officers, no regulations, no dues or fines. New
members were simply introduced by old ones, and had their names
recorded on a membership roll. And if a member was discovered to have
violated the Covenant of the Society, other members were supposed
merely to "raise their hats," indicate their unhappiness, and "respectfully
implore in silence."[99] The full Chin-te Hui regulations were very
complicated. There were five types of membership, with increasingly
rigorous requirements at each level. "Supporting members, " the lowest
level, agreed not to visit prostitutes and not to gamble. "General
members" agreed in addition not to take concubines. Beyond this,
however, there was a special covenant that established three special
divisions of members. The Special A Division members accepted the
above restrictions, and in addition agreed not to become government
officials. "Some one has to watch over officials" noted the covenant.[100]
Special B Division members added to the above prohibitions the
agreement not to become members of parliament and not to smoke.
"Legislators watch over officials 'but someone has to watch over the
legislators." [101] Finally, Special C Division members accepted all
previous stipulations and also promised not to drink liquor or eat

The Paris rules, refined, were being brought home. It is almost startling
to discover how widely the new anarchist morality was permeating the
"new" Chinese intelligentsia For example, its influence was apparent in
the Chinese Socialist Party, a party established by Chiang K'ang-hu
(Kiang Kang-hu), shortly after the 1911 Revolution. Chiang, who had
close ties with Sun Yat-sen, was strongly criticized by Liu and other
Anarchists, as we shall note. However, he coined the phrase, "The three
no's and the two eaches, " and even organized a 3-2 Study Society. The
"three no's" referred to no government, no family, and no religion The
"two eaches" were from each according to his ability and to each
according to his need. In abbreviated form, this was
Anarchist-Communism, even if Chiang was not really faithful to that
creed. In an effort to be more faithful, one branch of the Chinese Socialist
Party headed by Lo Wu and Fen Fen broke away, and proclaimed itself an
advocate of Anarchist-Communism while retaining the label Socialist
Party. Yuan Shih-kai suppressed both branches shortly, but during their
brief life, they were further testimony to the rapidly expanding influence
of anarchist thought within Chinese "progressive" circles. There is also an
account of Ts'ai Yuan-p'ei founding a Liu-pu Hui, Six No's Society, with
rules akin to the Chin-te Hui, possibly its offshoot: no prostitutes,
gambling, concubines, meat, liquor, or smoking. All members were
supposed to observe the first three rules; the latter three were

There is some indication that the widespread impact of anarchist thought,
combined no doubt with the historic "reluctance for power and glory" so
deeply implanted in traditional Chinese ethics had a definite effect in
limiting the political leadership available to the new revolutionary era.
According to the Min-li Pao, both Sun and Yuan Shih-k'ai were willing to
have Wang Ching-wei as Premier, but since he was a Special B Division
member of the Chin-te Hui, he declined.[l04] And on another occasion, a
most interesting letter from a Fukien province comrade was published in
Min-li Pao.[l05] Conditions were very difficult, he reported, and one
Wang Tzu-yuan was needed to take over the educational system in the
province However, Wang, being a Special C Division member of the
Chin- te Hui, refused. Could not Wang's membership be changed
temporarily to the general category, and then, when his task was finished,
revert to Special C Division status asked the writer? Wu Chih-hui
answered the letter with a flat refusal to consider any such request. He did
assert, however, that if Wang wanted to aid the Fukien educational
program, he could serve as the head of an educational society, or act as
an adviser. In these capacities, a few of the anarchists did begin to assist
the Nationalist government, but there can be little doubt that many
refused to play the kind of political role that was so desperately needed in
a period when trained personnel were extremely scarce in comparison
with the tasks at hand. To some extent the anarchist movement must
share the responsibility for the rapid collapse of Nationalist aspirations
after 1911.
/3 (next day)

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