chapter  8
11 Pages

China’s Democratic Parties and the Temptations of Political Power, 1946-1947

WithLloyd E. Eastman

A study of the small democratic parties in 1946 and 1947 suggests that there was something in China's political culture that caused many Chinese-and not just members of the Guomindang--to be easily corrupted by the temptations of political power. An examination of the democratic parties in the process of establishing a coalition government during 1946-1947 reveals, however, that few of their members had truly imbibed democratic values. Since even members of the democratic parties, who were often from the nation's intellectual elite, succumbed to the temptations of office their parties were invited to join the coalition government, it is not surprising that members of other Chinese political parties were possessed of the shengguan facai mentality. China may never know good government until the shengguan facai mentality disappears, or until Chinese devise governmental institutions that can effectively contain this corrosive element in their traditional political culture.