Revolutions in China - Page 1
How they Differ from the West

Revolutions in Chinese History China has had a long and tortuous path to its present situation. China's people have suffered under the yoke of many invaders, domination by foreign powers, and the rule of tyrants. Compared to the West, China has experienced many revolutions. Chinese revolutions have seven unique characteristics.

  1. Chinese revolutions in history were "private" in contrast with the "public" revolutions in the West.
  2. Active pursuit of personal ambition rather than defense of group interest, as in Western revolutions have motivated Chinese revolutions.
  3. China has had revolutions by the upper or the lower class but never by the center class. In the West it is the center class that takes the lead.
  4. In terms of the number of participants, Chinese revolutions typically consisted of numerous independent rebel bands, whereas Western revolutions were organized around a single group.
  5. Chinese revolutions have been extremely protracted and have caused untold millions of casualties. In the West revolutions end quickly, as soon as the ancient regime is toppled.
  6. With the single exception of the French Revolution, the object of Western revolutions has been the ancient monarch and no others. In China revolutionaries have directed their violence not only against the old dynasty but also against each other.
  7. Chinese revolutions throughout history more often than not have facilitated the conquest of China by alien races. In contrast, Western revolutionaries were always able to rally all the forces to defeat foreign invaders.

"To the Chinese luan (chaos) is a very important thing to avoid. Luan is a Chinese word for the lack of order and predictability. The Chinese would prefer a dictatorship to luan after hundreds of years of turmoil. By 1949 the Chinese people had suffered ninety-nine consecutive years of revolution. They were weary of war, death and suffering and the wish for peace and a better life was paramount.