The final chapter “Social Traits and Political Behavior in Kuomintang China” of Eastman’s book The Abortive Revolution Eastman deals with the issue of the failure of the Chinese revolution. It is quite an interesting and effective way of approaching the subject. Most social and historical political analysis takes a structural approach that explores the political bodies of the period, but Eastman explores the issue from a socio psychological angle and attempt to explain such failure through exploring the Chinese cultural values. Eastman shows the influence of the rigid social status to the Chinese political society through the examples of the traditional Chinese familial structure such as the father and the mother- in-law. The political environment was established upon kinship and political cliques, which have crippled any kind of reformation or modernization of China , such environment has been described by Eastman as a “political culture”. Though Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party are principally different, they were inevitably trapped in the “political culture.” . Due to the ineffective administration and corruption caused by power struggle and corruption between the cliques China was significantly damaged, in another word both KMT and CCP have failed the reform China due to the individual’s desire for power and wealth. Eastman’s psychological analysis provides a personable and culturally fitting explanation for the process of the power struggles and corruption caused by conflicts of personal interests, hence the failure of the revolution in Kuomintang China.
Lloyd Eastman, “Social Traits and Political Behavior in Kuomintang China,” in The Abortive Revolution: China under Nationalist Rule, 1927- 1937. (Cambridege, CA: Harvard University Press, 1974), 289. Ibid.,310.
Lloyd Eastman, “Social Traits and Political Behavior in Kuomintang China,” in The Abortive Revolution: China under Nationalist Rule,...