第十三章 蒋家王朝的覆灭



第五十六节 蒋介石其人
56. Chiang Kai-shek



THE defeat of the Nationalist army and the advance of the Communists to the north bank of the Yangtze River changed everything in the Kuomintang capital at Nanking. It was clear now that Chiang must go. The opportunity to force him out existed for the first time since 1932. Even his old cronies who had ridden with him to power ganged up with Shanghai merchants to drive China's dictator from his capital. Before examining these events we may perhaps pause and have a last look at this man who ruled China almost without interruption for two violent decades of war and revolution.
  It has been assumed by no few observers that the personal traits of the generalissimo were responsible for the terrible series of events that have wasted China for the last quarter of a century. General Stilwell, who was Chiang's chief of staff during part of the Japanese war and who had an unparalleled opportunity to watch China's dictator at work, wrote in his diary that the cure for the troubles of China was the elimination of Chiang Kai-shek. This viewpoint was echoed and re-echoed with varying modifications throughout the civil war. Many observers, especially foreigners, even went so far as to attribute Communist victories to Chiang's stupidities or his domineering disposition.




  This psychological approach to the problems of history is not one which the writer finds very useful. To say that the causes of the tremendous social upheaval in China lay in the character traits of the generalissimo is as meaningless as to say that the cause of the fall of Roman civilization was that a certain Roman emperor ruled his state badly. The causes of such an event in which millions of people fought one another, peasants turned on landlords, brothers on brothers and wives on husbands, cannot be the fault of one man. No doubt, if Chiang Kai-shek had not been in power at the end of the war with Japan, then China's political structure would have been different and it is possible that war might not have broken out or that some of the events of the war might have taken place in a different order. But it is indisputable in any case that the Chinese Revolution did not result from the character of Chiang Kai-shek and that a dictator with a different name would not have solved its problem. Nor can we see the cause of Communist victories in the incompetence of China's dictator. People are not stupid or clever in themselves, but only in relation to their circumstances. A peasant may seem like the smartest man in the world by coaxing crops from unfertile ground, but he may appear like a perfect idiot when asked to cope with a complicated machine. Napoleon at Austerlitz is a genius; at Moscow, a fool. Just so Chiang Kai-shek, when he rode to power during the counterrevolution of 1927, appeared to personify the wisdom of his age; when he was constantly defeated during the revolutionary upheavals of 1945 to 1949 he seemed like a blundering madman.



  The forces that brought about China's civil war and revolution were superpersonal in character and so were the forces that swept the Communists toward power. One of these forces was dictatorship or despotism. This institution by its very nature is bound up with the personal. But it was not the personality of Chiang Kai-shek that shaped the nature of the despotism, but the nature of the dictatorship that shaped Chiang Kai-shek. Moreover, the character of this despotism was itself shaped by much larger forces - that is, the semifeudal, semicolonial quality of Chinese civilization.

  This dual nature of Chinese society resulted in a dual sovereignty - the rule of the native landlords and the merchant-industrial class tied to foreign capital. In his role of dictator, Chiang personified the union of these two ruling groups, with the party and the army adhering to them and sometimes sitting on top of them. The bourgeois and feudal elements in Chinese society were always at war with each other and so were the comprador and landlord elements in Chiang's character always fighting one another. The Chinese bourgeoisie, tied to foreign capital, was infected with feelings of inferiority and antiforeignism. In the same way, Chiang hated foreigners even while he depended on them. The landlords, the dying ruling class of China, were pervaded by premonitions of early death and were mortally afraid even while they tried to maintain their own attitude of superciliousness. So Chiang Kai-shek was afraid and tried to rid himself of his fears by an outward show of arrogance.



  Because the comprador element dominated the feudal element in the Kuomintang, it also dominated in the character of the country's ruler. The primary traits of a comprador are: 1. Dependence on foreigners, and 2. Lack of character. Like any common compradore, who has illusions about making himself independent of his foreign boss, Chiang also cherished such dreams, but when it came to a showdown, he was seldom able to fight any of his bosses, but maneuvered among Japan, Russia, the United States and England, serving first one power and then another. Because a comprador is not engaged in production, like an ordinary capitalist, he has nothing to sell but tricks. It was the same with Chiang. He was sharp, quick, ruthless and did not hesitate to spend money in huge bribes to win his ends. A comprador is always maneuvering between landlords and foreign businessmen, trying to make money from both, and he can never be independent and never have any real character of his own. Chiang operated in the same way, trying to maneuver between both feudal China and foreign countries. Because he could be loyal neither to the old China nor to the new China, Chiang was disliked by foreigners and by old-style Chinese.



  Chiang's compradorism was complicated by the feudal nature of Chinese life. Scratch the despot in Chiang and underneath you would find a medieval clan leader. He was smarter than the old-style warlords, yet politically he was descended from them. He ruled the countryside through village loafers, dog legs, and bailiffs who were the agents of the landed gentry. He ruled the cities through gangsters and secret societies. Feudal tyrant, bourgeois comprador, village suzerain, secret society member and party leader - Chiang was both the product and the tincrowned head of a society in transition. His philosophy, personality, thoughts and even daily actions were molded by this fact.

  The figure of Chiang Kai-shek is a little depressing, a little ridiculous, at all times contradictory, and sometimes tragic. One of the chief elements of tragedy lies in the relation of the free will to necessity. The tragedy of Chiang Kai-shek was that he tried to do the impossible. He attempted to create capitalism through feudalism, Christianity through Confucianism, democracy through despotism, nationalism through chauvinism. In the end, he created only chaos - both within the nation and within his own soul.







  Born in Chekiang Province, not far from Shanghai, Chiang reportedly claimed kinship with an ancient king of China. With his eyes looking back and up, it became inevitable that China's dictator noticed neither the lowly peasant at his feet nor the gigantic strides this simple man was taking forward. As a result, he fell before the peasant's onslaught hardly knowing what hit him.

  In morals, as well as politics, Chiang claimed to be a Confucianist. But it is doubtful if he had any principles at all. As Harold Isaacs put it in No Peace for Asia, Chiang's "motivations are in terms of himself. Ideas he must borrow... He has used communism, Anglo-Saxon democracy, Christianity, European fascism." Chiang embraced some of the tenets of Christianity, but none of its basic concepts. He knew little charity or mercy and less about the sanctity of the individual or the equality of man. He spoke of Christ, but burned offerings to the dead; he spoke of democracy, but practiced the Confucian doctrine of the "princely man"- the "Superior Man." His faith was that of filial piety and he believed that a son should obey his father, a younger brother an elder brother, and a subject his ruler. He was the ruler.

  His governmental principles were those of the Han despots - political authority centralized in one man, reinforced by a graded bureaucracy. The sanction for government was the possession by the ruler and his ancestors of a magical (1) property called "Virtue." Benevolence, Righteousness, Wisdom, Fidelity and Politeness - these insured the prosperity of the country. "As the wind blows so will the grass incline," said the ancients. Chiang echoed them. But somehow, the more he blew, the more the people inclined in the opposite direction.

  When he was unable to cure the ills of a mortally sick China with this philosophy borrowed from Chinese medicine men, Chiang blamed it on the loss of the ancient goodness. The peasants revolted because they were "unfilial." The intellectuals criticized him because they were not "sincere." A general turned over to the Communists because he had forgotten "loyalty." This attempt to monopolize moral goodness inevitably led the people of China to consider Chiang, himself, immoral. The inferior man was tired of the Superior Man.

原注一:在中国古代,统治者是通过“天命(君权神授)”获得统治权的。后来,孔儒赋予“天命(君权神授)”以“德行”的含义。一旦天命另有所归,统治者也就完蛋了。所以蒋介石拼命要垄断天命。 (1) In ancient China, kings derived sanction for their rule from the possession of a quality known as "teh" or "magical power." Later, Confucian scholars gave the word the moral connotation of virtue. When the magic virtue was lost, the ruler was destroyed. That is why Chiang tried to monopolize this commodity for himself.



  Chiang has been compared by his admirers with Napoleon. But the two men had little in common. To be sure, both came to power by means of a coup d'etat and both turned their guns on the revolution. But the French emperor was a military genius, an efficient organizer and a creative administrator. China's dictator was an atrocious strategist, a bad organizer and a worse administrator. Napoleon was the very personification of the bourgeoisie and he brought down European feudalism with the artillery of the French Revolution. Chiang was not a true representative of the bourgeoisie in China and he never came to grips with the relics of feudalism in his own land. Napoleon was a great conqueror of foreign countries; Chiang was a servant of foreign nations. Finally, what did a party mandarin like Chiang have in common with the man who gave Europe the Napoleonic Code?

  Chiang has also been compared to Hitler because of his unstable character and his air of injured nobility. Before foreigners, Chiang put on a face of expressionless calm. With his own subordinates, however, he went into rages, screamed like a shrew, threw teacups, pounded on tables. So did Hitler. These two dictators were alike in their distrust of everybody due to a distrust of themselves. But Hitler had some style and some originality. Chiang had little style and not much originality. Hitler was vastly more colorful; there was an element of passion, almost of greatness in Hitler's rantings, however foully conceived. Chiang never said anything - at least publicly - with the slightest emotional appeal. Hitler inspired the bruised and defeated soul of the German people. Chiang stirred no one - not even his most ardent supporters - to any real depth of feeling unless it was fear. Hitler was a religious fanatic who devoutly believed in his mission. Chiang was a confused Machiavellian with none of the clarity of thought or well-conceived tactical principles of the Italian. Hitler was the Devil himself and his evil was thorough and black. But Chiang was merely an inefficient "leader" who wanted to become a sage.



  Chiang was not only unstable, but treacherous. When Marshal Chang Hsueh-liang saved his life during the Sian kidnaping of 1936. Chiang repaid this deed by imprisoning the Young Marshal when that commander flew in all trust to Nanking. This was fear of a rival and also a kind of revenge on a man who had shown himself a better judge of the political temper of his officers than had Chiang.

  Chiang may not have been personally cruel. But he let others do his dirty work for him and thus avoided direct responsibility, and he seldom condemned those who performed murders in his name. At the very dawn of his reign, gangsters slaughtered the Shanghai workers and Chiang made the gang leader one of the pillars of his regime. In fact, Kuomintang papers called this gangster king "the well-known philanthropist." Toward the end of his reign, when his soldiers massacred the Formosans, Chiang castigated the murdered islanders, but not his murdering troops. Yet, when Tai Li, the head of his secret service, whose men performed their duties with hatchet, poison and pistol, died in an airplane accident, the generalissimo is said to have wept. This ruler who could weep for the death of a hatchet man, but could remain unmoved by the killings of professors, is somehow more awful than the most ignorant and bloodthirsty peasant. The peasant killed in the name of an honest passion and a strong personal desire for revenge. Chiang let others do the killings, then gave a lecture on Jesus Christ and Confucius, prayed in the Methodist Church and bowed to his ancestral tablets. This simultaneous calling on the gods of the feudal landlords and the Western powers was, of course, but the spiritual reflection of the dual nature of Chiang's material bases of power.




  Underneath Chiang's instability, it is hard not to see a gnawing fear. He was vain and touchy to the point of hysteria. He had the supersensitivity of an omnipotent nobody and felt at ease only among mediocre people. Public soothsayers, fortunetellers and village witches said him well. But during his twenty-year reign, scarcely one Chinese writer of any standing had anything good to say about him. Not sure of his talents, Chiang took refuge in being noble. When dealing with rare characters like T. V. Song or General Stilwell who refused to kowtow and scrape before him, Jie got rid of them. He selected his ministers and commanders on a principle of loyalty and moral supineness. Men of brain and character he summoned only in an emergency.

  Chiang's basic feelings of inferiority led him to indulge his vanity to the point of meanness. Even the smallest incidents of everyday life furnished him with an excuse for an arrogant display of his power. In 1944, General Stilwell, a man with a vinegar tongue and a sharp eye for detail, accompanied the generalissimo to graduation exercises at the Military Academy and noted down in his diary this description of the ruler of China as he appeared before the future defenders of the country:

  As the Peanut [Chiang] mounted the rostrum, the band leader counted 1-2-3. The Peanut was furious, stopped the band, bawled out the leader. "Either start playing on 1 or start on 3. Don't start on 2." Then a speaker pulled his notes out of his pockets. This infuriated the Peanut. He bawled him out and told him that in foreign countries you could put a handkerchief in your pants pocket, but not papers. Papers go in lower coat pockets and if secret in upper coat pockets. Then someone stumbled on procedure and the Peanut went wild screaming that he ought to be shot... (2)

  It is impossible to imagine the president of the United States acting in such a fashion before a graduating class of West Point cadets. Yet Mr. William C. Bullitt declared that Chiang was a "far-sighted statesman" who bulked larger than any living American. For ourselves we cannot call Chiang a statesman unless this word be synonymous with what is mean and invidious in public life. And we think Stilwell was much closer to an accurate portrait than Bullitt when he referred to Chiang as "the Peanut," "little bugger," "tribal chieftain," "big Boy," "the all-wise," "the rattle snake."

原注二:引自《史迪威报告》,西奥多·怀特编著(见下图)。 (2) The Stilwell Papers, ed. Theodore H. White (New York: William Sloane Associates, 1948).




  Chiang was not a statesman. He was a despot, benevolent or otherwise, and he felt all the effects of one. In the field of political tactics, he was a master; in strategy - an opportunist; in government - a fumbler; in war - a fool.

  With intrigue, treachery, blackmail, terror and Confucian maxims, he rode to power. A coup d'etat against the Kuomintang of Dr. Sun Yat-sen brought the party to his feet in 1926. The slaughter of the Shanghai workers delivered the whole nation into his hands in 1927. A series of slow-burning intrigues and comic-opera wars further consolidated his control. Well did China's dictator know how to coax the Christian General Feng Yu-hsiang into the fold and then win all his soldiers from him; how to lure Warlord Han Fu-chu to a meeting in a railway train and execute him; how to persuade Marshal Chang Hsueh-liang to fight, not the Japanese who were in his Manchurian homeland, but the Communists who were advocating war against Japan.

  Once in power, Chiang kept there by playing one opponent off against another: right against left, reactionary against liberal, warlord against Communist, secret service against student, gestapo against merchant, party against government, T. V. Soong against H. H. Kung, General Chennault against General Stilwell, and the United States against Russia.





  To stamp, to rage, to threaten, to breach his opponent's strategy with quotations from the Master, to win by stealth and destroy with rewards - for Chiang everything lay in this - to plot, plot, plot incessantly - and he put his faith in this method for he understood the cupidity, the weakness and the cowardice of men. It was a formidable method and one which united to the desperate times in which he was born, made this austere lord of the Orient invincible in Chinese politics for nearly a quarter of a century.

  But times changed, and this method which overwhelmed warlords and was irresistible in the limited wars of his early career, where intention rather than execution ruled, suddenly was no longer applicable to the people's war and the revolution which the Communists hurled like a club at Chiang's head. In these spheres, mass passions were king and it was these passions that Chiang failed to understand and that overwhelmed him.

  Whether history forced Chiang into despotism or he chose the road voluntarily himself is a question best answered by philosophers, but this fact is plain - the very logic of dictatorship prevented him from foreseeing the dark forces that whirled up from the countryside against him.



  No one told Chiang Kai-shek the truth. No one dared. Chiang flew into a rage if anyone argued against him. He was not willing to listen to anything unpleasant. So everybody told him pleasant things. "The only way to handle him," remarked a close associate, "is to tell him he is the most wonderful man in the world." Foreign correspondents never could interview Chiang successfully because official interpreters were too scared to ask questions posed by reporters. In his presence, petty officials were seized with fits of trembling. His conferences were sterile of arguments and questions. His dinner parties were icy affairs where nothing but platitudes were served and everyone, as Stilwell remarked, sat stiffly waiting to be addressed from the throne.

  Chiang handled his government officials as a titled lady handles her household servants. Occasionally a wave of public criticism or disgusted American pressure would force some cabinet change. Then the generalissimo, in the words of White and Jacoby (3) would make cabinet changes "almost the way American children play musical chairs; on the given signal everyone would rush for someone else's seat." There were usually the same number of chairs and the same number of players, and outsiders rarely got into the game.



  Because he distrusted everyone, Chiang had to consider himself infallible. He wrote orders by the thousands and everyone said yes to his orders, but the generalissimo seldom knew what had been done. He seems never to have been aware - until too late - that he could not order events on a nationwide scale in the same manner that a landlord could order events within a village. Almost to the end of his reign, he persisted in the delusion that he was a god who could control every happening.

  Two thousand miles from the front, he wrote endless instructions to his commanders, telling them to take actions that bore no relation to existing conditions. "I have to lie awake nights," he told Stilwell, "thinking what fool things they [the generals] may do. Then I. write and tell them not to do these things. . . This is the secret of handling them ... you must imagine everything that they can do that would be wrong and warn them against it." (4) The result of this, of course, was that division commanders became vitally interested in doing what they thought Chiang wanted them to do and not what the situation required.



(3) Theodore H. White and Annalee Jacoby, Thunder Out of China, (New York: William Sloane Associates, 1947), p. 114.

(4) The Stilwell Papers, p. 117.

  上面讲的情况可能会使人以为蒋有控制他部下的无限权力。其实即使最独断专行的统治者也不可能随心所欲地指挥别人、左右局势。列夫·托尔斯泰很懂得这一点,他说:“同其他人最牢固、最持久、最累赘也是最经常的关系就是所谓支配别人的权力,其实这意味着对别人最大的依赖。”这些话简直像是针对蒋介石说的。他完全依赖别人,即使在他的全盛时期,这位中国独裁者也不得不在农村的家族势力与城市的买办势力之间搞平衡。由于他在两方面都有敌人,他就努力在军内和党内,特别是在秘密警察中建立一个效忠于他个人的独立体系。因此,在一段时间里,他得以在一定程度上牢牢控制局面。但是,随着他开始走下坡路,他的统治机器也开始运转不灵甚至完全不管用了。原先的社会组织者背弃了他,他进一步成为孤家寡人,众叛亲离之势渐成,险像环生。中国的独裁者把握不住局势的发展。这时专制体制本身成了极大的障碍。蒋介石周围都是马屁精和密探,对于他的官僚等级机构内部的任何一点风吹草动,都有人随时向他汇报。但是,当斗争的范围扩大,变成像抗日战争那样的抵御外侮的民族战争,或是像共产党领导的群众起义时,由于手下的人谎报军情,把他蒙在鼓里,加之他素来疑神疑鬼,偏听偏信,就搞得自己更加孤立,更无从准确地预见事态的发展,而像一个盲人失去了引路狗一样到处瞎撞。   From this it might appear that Chiang had unlimited power over his subordinates. But even the most despotic rulers cannot arbitrarily control either men or events. Leo Tolstoy understood this very well when he said: "the strongest, most indissoluble, most burdensome, and constant bond with other men is what is called power over others, which in its real meaning is only the greatest dependence on them." These words might have been written about Chiang himself. He was utterly dependent on other men. Even in the heyday of his career, China's dictator had to balance himself between the clandom in the countryside and the compradors in the cities. Since he had enemies in both camps, he tried to build up an independent apparatus in the army, the party and above all in a secret service loyal to him personally. For a while he was able to control affairs with some degree of accuracy. But as his sun declined toward the west, his machinery of power began to creak and break down. The old organizers of society deserted him; his despotism became more isolated, the circle of loyal supporters grew less and the dangers increased all the time. China's dictator lost the ability to predict what was going to happen. In this respect, the institution of despotism itself proved an unbearable handicap. Surrounded by lickspittles and spies, the generalissimo was alert to the slightest tremor in the ranks of his graded bureaucracy, but when the arena of struggle was enlarged to a national war against a foreign foe such as the Japanese, or a mass rebellion such as that led by the Communists, Chiang, being isolated by a wall of misinformation and lies and compounding his own isolation by acts of fear and favor, was unable to predict the course of events accurately and staggered around like a blind man who has suddenly been deserted by his seeing-eye dog.


  At the start of the Japanese war, Chiang's advisers indicated the Western powers would interfere if he fought in Shanghai, and instead of massing his troops in the interior and taking advantage of his magnificent back country, he put seventy-eight divisions under Japan's naval guns, until the better part of his army was wiped out and he had to flee fifteen hundred miles to Chungking. At the start of civil war the rightist clique in the party said they could wipe out the Communists in six months and Chiang, having no better information, tore up the Marshall truce agreement and launched an ill-conceived offensive. An American-educated Chinese general thought it would be best to get out of Manchuria, but Chiang's spies hinted that this man was plotting with the Americans to take over his pOsition in China and he clung on till he was liquidated. His air force declared it had achieved a big victory at Suchow in November 1948 and Chiang held onto the city, while Communists were striking at his rear until two army groups were surrounded, practically annihilated and his very capital at Nanking threatened. His party bosses said the mammoth student parades for peace were mere Communist plots and he never interfered with the breakup of the parades and the clubbing of the students. His secret service declared that professors writing articles against inflation were Communists and he let them be arrested. Foreign correspondents reported that his soldiers had shot down and killed unarmed bankers, lawyers, teachers, students and farmers on the island of Formosa, and the generalissimo reproved the reporters for making misstatements that might alter the friendly relations between the Chinese people and America.


  This supercilious, despotic attitude, this unwillingness to give credence to any reports but those of his own loyal spies, this blindness to the mighty social convulsions that were shaking China, led the generalissimo into weird realms of thought that can hardly be described as anything else but insanity. As the war went against him, Chiang lost touch with his material environment and lived in a world of his own making. "Those whom the gods will destroy, they first make mad," said the Greeks, and it is hard not to believe them.

  Chiang was well born, but late born. "Fifty or a hundred years ago," said Stilwell, "he might have been an acceptable leader in China. But his lack of education handicapped him under modern conditions." When events refused to bend to his will, be became bewildered, then angry. Like Miniver Cheevy, Chiang sighed for what was not and "grew lean while he assailed the seasons."


  He wanted to be a moral potentate, a religious leader, a philosopher. But he had little culture. "The picture we see clearly," said Stilwell, "is dark to him... " He hurdles logic by using his intuition, dismisses proven principles by saying Chinese psychology is different."(5)

  Chiang had no scientific knowledge, yet tried to direct forces equipped with American arms. Under the circumstances he would have been much better off to fight on purely Chinese terms, as did the Communists. Because he knew little of foreign culture or foreign morality, he dealt with foreign powers as if he were dealing with local warlords, followed the ancient dictum of using "barbarians to control barbarians" and tried to play one power off against the other until he had alienated almost every chancellory in the world.
原注五:引自《史迪威报告》。 (5) Ibid.
  蒋的孤陋寡闻造成了他性格的严重缺陷。他早年曾以勇敢果断著称,但是在抗日战争和剿共战争期间,这一优点已丧失殆尽。在抗日战争中,他要对付一个既无法讹诈或收买,又无法欺负的敌人;在剿共战争中,他要对付普通百姓的大规模造反。在这两次战争中,他都不得不同自己所不熟悉的对手打交道,因而才穷智尽。而且蒋越是意识到自己优柔寡断的危险性,就越加胆怯,变得手足无措,不知如何是好。一九三七年淞沪之役,他不愿后撤,长期犹豫不决,举棋不定,以致遭到惨重损失,断送了他最精锐的部队。一九四七年和四八年间,他一念孤行,在山东地区始则盲目冒进,继而迟疑不前,举棋不定,接着又死守阵地,不进不退,结果闹得他的一些将领愤而投奔共军。   Chiang's intellectual deficiencies had serious effects on his character. Noted in his early days for his boldness and resolution, Chiang lost both qualities in the wars against Japan and the Communists. In the one case he was up against an enemy that could not be blackmailed, bribed or bullied; in the other case he was up against a mass rebellion of common people. In both cases, since he had to deal with the unfamiliar, his intelligence lost its original force, and Chiang became only the more timid the more he became aware of the danger of irresolution which held him spellbound. Thus we find him caught in the horrible slaughterhouse at Shanghai in 1937, unwilling to retreat, unable to come to a decision and vacillating so long that he lost the flower of his army. Thus we find him in 1947 and 1948 plunging forward stubbornly in Shantung, then halting, then wavering, then holding on, refusing to advance, refusing to retreat, until in disgust some of his generals turned over to the Communists.


  Chiang was not a weak man, but in him strength of character often led to a degenerate form of it, obstinacy. Hardened by years of struggle, he sometimes fell into the error of proceeding with plans from a feeling of opposition instead of from a conviction or a higher principle. It was stubbornness that made him disregard the warnings of the Young Marshal, Chang Hsueh-liang, that his Manchurian soldiers no longer wanted to fight the Communists, and resulted in his being kidnaped at Sian in 1936; it was ignorant obstinacy that made him countermand General Stilwell's order in 1942 for Chinese troops to evacuate Burma by way of India so that many were lost under the fastnesses of Tibet where they died; it was conceited mulishness that made him go into Manchuria in 1945 against the advice of General Wedemeyer; and finally, it was blind obstinacy and a crazy faith in his own rightness that made him disregard the warnings of his generals that the war could only be settled by political means until in the end politicians refused to head the government, generals refused to take command in the field and foreign powers refused to send him any more aid. You may call this resolute determination, if you will, but then call Hitler resolute for directing von Paulus to hold on at Stalingrad, von Rundstedt to hold on in Normandy and the German Army of the west to hold on at the Rhine so that all were wiped out and the war lost.




  In the end, Chiang divorced himself not only from the mass of the people, but even from his own supporters. In vain might the army officers beg him to retreat, the intellectuals plead for freedom, the students parade for democracy, Ambassador Leighton Stuart tell him to liberalize his government. The army officer would be relieved, the intellectual shot, the student beaten and Ambassador Stuart given a Confucian maxim.

  Being vain, Chiang could not change. Being "superior," he could not get in touch with the poor. Being "virtuous," he could understand benevolence, sincerity and fidelity, but not the people's need for charity, sympathy and hope. Professing Christianity, he had little compassion in his make-up. Asserting he was revolutionary, he kept his face turned toward the past. On the battlefield, he lacked boldness; in politics he lacked creativeness; in government, he lacked justice. He could neither unite broad masses of troops in great sweeping maneuvers, make bold political plans, nor create any major reforms. In short, Chiang, caught in an age entirely too modern for his intellect, was in a job much too large for his talents.


  Not entirely lacking in imagination, nor completely impervious to the needs of his country, as were Czar Nicholas of Russia and Louis XVI of France, when they were ground beneath the wheels of revolution, Chiang Kai-shek was not dominated by a strong wife as were those rulers. Yet he was much under the influence of the madamissimo, as foreign diplomats called his consort, and this influence increased with the years and the difficulties and Chiang's dependence on the United States. Together the gissimo and the missimo constituted a kind of unit - and this combination was almost an exact parody of the union of the Occident and the Orient in Chinese life and the subsidiary union between the feudal and bourgeois elements of the ruling social structure. But first we must speak of Madame Chiang herself.

  中国的这位第一夫人是赫赫有名的宋氏家族的成员,她的兄弟姐妹全都是中国现代史册上的风云人物。父亲是一位基督教徒,托圣经的福发家致富,得以把子女送到美国上学。宋氏兄弟姐妹聪明伶俐,在美国深得西方文化的真传,回国以后几乎立即在中国政治生活中崭露头角。宋家第一个有作为的是天资聪颖、抱有崇高理想的宋庆龄,她嫁给了中华民国的国父孙中山。宋美龄后来居上,嫁给了扼杀民国的刽子手蒋介石。宋霭龄嫁给了中国的理财大师孔祥熙博士,孔曾任行政院长,退隐后移居美国。她们的兄弟宋子文成了中国最大的富豪之一,也曾一度出任国民政府的行政院长。他们一家全都活跃于中国政坛,操纵战争和政治好像是他们的家常便饭。同天下所有的家庭一样,宋家成员之间也有分歧。孙夫人是这一家的理想主义者,蒋夫人是个权力狂,孔夫人爱财如命。宋子文集其三姐妹的大成,既是理想主义者,又野心勃勃。   This first lady of China was a member of the fabulous Soong family, consisting of three sisters and several brothers, all of whom bulked large on the pages of recent Chinese history. The father of the Soongs was a Chinese Christian who waxed moderately wealthy on the word of God and was able to send his children to school in the United States. In America the Soongs absorbed the teachings of Western culture with such rapidity and acumen that they were able to return to their native land and almost immediately assume an important role in Chinese government and politics. The first Soong to come into prominence was the gifted and idealistic Soong Ching-ling who married Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the father of the Chinese Republic. Soong Mei-ling went her sister one better and married Chiang Kai-shek, the assassin of the republic. A third sister married Dr. H. H. Kung, the financier of the republic, who became premier of China and retired to the United States. A brother, T. V. Soong, became one of the richest men in China and also was at one time premier of the national government. All the Soongs had a finger in public Chinese life and they conducted war and politics as if it were a family affair. Like all families, the members had their differences. Madame Sun Yat-sen was the idealist of the family; Madame Chiang loved power; Madame Kung liked money. T. V. Soong, combining all the qualities of his sisters, was idealistic and ambitious.



  In one respect, Madame Chiang was very much like the consorts of Czar Nicholas and Louis XVI. Not actually foreign born like Alexandra and Marie Antoinette, the madamissimo was nevertheless somewhat of an alien among her own people. Educated in the United States, she took on all the trappings of an upper-middle-class American woman. Twenty years ago, a reporter was unkind enough to refer to her as an "American flapper." This statement was an exaggeration, but in it there was an element of truth. Madame Chiang had a taste for luxury and excitement. Her clothes betrayed an expensive state of mind. She had numerous fur coats, fine wraps and carefully fitted printed dresses. She wore toeless shoes with spiked heels, carried smart handbags, and decorated her ears with diamond clips.

  With such trappings, Madame Chiang went far. When she visited the United States during World War II to plead for immediate help to China, she had no trouble winning the sympathy of American congressmen. So devastating was her effect on aging senators that George Marshall, who was trying first to finish off the war in Europe, was moved to tell correspondents that Madame Chiang was the most powerful advocate he had ever had to face. An American reporter who came under her spell wrote: "Her eyes are limpid pools of midnight inkiness; her teeth are visual symphonies of oral architecture; her hands are lotus fronds swaying in a summer breeze."




  Madame was somewhat of an actress. With missionaries, she was reserved. With photographers, she was temperamental. With General Stilwell, a blunt and forthright man, she also was blunt and forthright. She tried to feed General Stilwell's vanity. "We're going to make you a full general," she would say. Another time, she told Stilwell: "Your star is rising." As the years passed, Madame Chiang came more and more to play the role of China's first lady. "Madame Empress," foreign diplomats called her. Or else: "Queen Marie." Stilwell had another name for her: "Snow White." Nevertheless, Stilwell had a great deal of admiration for Madame Chiang. What the General seems to have admired most was the Occidental mind that existed in Madame Chiang's Oriental body. "A clever brainy woman," said Stilwell. "she sees the Western viewpoint and can appreciate the mental reactions of a foreigner." This was true to a certain extent. The tragedy was that Madame Chiang couldn't appreciate the mental reactions of any but a narrow clique of her own people.

  Western education gave the madamissimo a touch of masculinity. She told Stilwell she wished that she had been born a man. She was direct, forceful, energetic and loved power like a man, but ate up flattery like a woman. She craved action. Stilwell thought it would be a good idea to make her a minister of war.

  Her long residence abroad gave Madame Chiang an understanding of the world, but deprived her of an understanding of her own country. She could imitate the fireside chats of the Roosevelts, but not the warm and democratic humanity of Mrs. Roosevelt, nor even that of her sister Madame Sun Yat-sen who broke with Chiang Kai-shek for what she considered a betrayal of her husband's doctrines. And while Madame Chiang could act as a translator between her husband and such highly placed persons as General Marshall and President Roosevelt, she could not interpret between him and the Chinese people.




  Some social psychologist ought to draw an analogy between the marriage of China's ruling pair and the marriage between her two ruling classes, the landlords and the comprador bourgeoisie. Just as the merchant-industrial class, a product of Western trade, could never cut the cords that bound them to feudal China and even fashioned new ties with the landlords, so Madame Chiang, a product of Western culture, could never completely break away from the old China and tied herself to its crowned representative. That these unions took place almost simultaneously is not strange. In 1927, the Chinese bourgeoisie, blinded by its own narrow class interest, turned on its supporters, disavowed its principles and allied itself with the landlords. Almost at the same time, Madame Chiang threw in her lot with the generalissimo.

  People thought the bankers and industrialists would break with Chiang Kai-shek, just as they predicted Madame Chiang would divorce her husband within a year of her marriage. Both unions, though strained and uneasy, however, lasted until the year 1949 when the merchant-industrial class in the cities broke with the feudal countryside and Madame Chiang left her husband and came to the United States.

  Madame Chiang was sometimes at war with her husband as the businessmen were at war with the feudal elements. This was due not only to a difference in temperament, but to a difference of interests and intellectual attainments. As the bankers and industrialists of China were far more intelligent than the landlords, so Madame Chiang was more intelligent than her husband. Bankers used to complain to Americans about the stupidity of feudal generals and feudal-minded party members, so Madame Chiang, on occasion, came running in despair to General Stilwell to report: "I've prayed with him; I've done everything but murder him." (6)




  The historic tragedy of China was refracted through the personalities of her ruling couple. Still less than any peasant and his wife were the generalissimo and the Madame able to escape from the effects of the breakup of ancient China. Their characters were definitely molded by this mighty event. To some degree, they were also molded by association with each other, Madame pulling Chiang toward the West and modernity, Chiang pulling his wife toward the East and backwardness. Stilwell thought the influence of Madame on her husband was along the right lines. By this we suppose he meant that Madame softened her husband's medievalism, modernized his thinking and turned him toward the West. However, in another way, it is just as safe to assume that Madame Chiang influenced her husband along the wrong lines. For in trying to change her husband she added an element of personal confusion to a mind which had already been turned into a squirrel cage by conflicting historical cultures.

  If Madame was leading China's ruler in the right direction, why did the people of the country pay her so little respect? The answer is simple. While trying to maintain her position as China's first lady, Madame Chiang adopted the habits and customs and even the God of the West in that very period when the Chinese people were making mighty efforts to free themselves from alien domination. Madame Chiang was probably sincerely patriotic. But it was noted that whenever she struggled against the feudal elements in Chinese life, she generally did so on behalf of the business elements - her brother T. V. Soong and her sister's husband, H. H. Kung - who were allied with foreign capital. Having risen to the heights of Chinese despotism, this lady did not want to step down.

  A few days before her husband was forced from his capital at Nanking, Madame Chiang, being unable to plead with the Chinese people, who certainly would not have listened to her, came to the United States to plead with the president of this country to save her husband's regime. There is perhaps nothing that indicates more clearly where Chiang's power lay or where the interests of his wife resided than this final attempt to save a tottering dynasty.

原注六:引自《史迪威报告》。 (6)Ibid.