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Barrett, David Peter (1978) Socialism, Marxism and Communism in the thought of Hu Han-min. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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In the history of republican China, Hu Han-min played an important role both in its political affairs and in its intellectual life. This study concentrates on Hu's political and social thought, with the emphasis on the period from 1919 to 1927. From the time he joined Sun Yat-sen's nationalist movement in 1905, until his death in 1936, Hu devoted his intellectual energies to the study of the varieties of western socialism. In 1919 he wrote an important series of articles for the Shanghai periodical Chien-she on the materialist conception of history. This represented one of the first comprehensive discussions of this aspect of Marxism to be presented in China. Hu followed with articles interpreting Chinese cultural and social history through the application of historical materialism. During the 1920s, Hu was concerned primarily with political activities. This was the time of the United Front between Sun's nationalist party, the Kuomintang, and the recently founded Chinese Communist Party. Hu initially supported this alliance for the Soviet support that it brought the Kuomintang. However, he altered this position because growing Soviet influence in China threatened the nationalist movement, and because the Chinese Communist Party threatened rural China with social revolution. As a result, Hu took a prominent part in bringing about the termination of the United Front. Hu's hostility to the Communist Party did not imply a similar attitude towards Marxist theory. Hu maintained an interest in it. His main work in the last years of his life lay in building Sun Yat-sen's theories into a system which was capable of counteracting Marxism. The results of this venture were mixed, but Hu's exposition of Sun Yat-senism reveals much about the strengths and weaknesses of Kuomintang doctrine.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:01

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