Peter89 wrote: ↑
10 Jun 2021 17:23
While I put less emphasis on the public opinion (because most of the public opinion were rooted in limited informations), I seriously doubt that China, the Middle Kingdom, the center of the universe, etc. would actually welcome an invader. It is an opinion very hard to defend. However, this does not mean that the people before literacy became common couldn't decide about their own fate in any questions. Some questions stood beyond / above news and facts, one of them was identity. Numerous wars were waged for religion and nationality without any literacy required.
People knew that they want a Future A or a Future B, and I'd bet any amount that the majority of the Chinese people would not want to live under foreign rulers.
Numerous wars were waged for religion and nationality.
1, Religion and nationality are causes or something used to mobilize people. But they had rarely became the real roots for any conflicts. Most wars arose due to the conflict of interest. Land, water, treasury, gold and many times women. These are the real reasons for wars.
One example I can offer was the Boxer movement. Western missionaries came to China since Opium War and remained in China until the conclusion of KMT regime. Most of the time, they shared a peaceful endeavor with local Chinese. The Boxer movement was not caused by the difference of religion nor nationalism but purely conflict of interest.
2, Religion or nationality. You need to brainwash the recipients on a constant basis so they would somehow loosen their basic instinct of self survival to risk their lives for your causes.
Christians go to churches. Muslims go to Mosques. Citizens go to schools to salute national flags and sing national anthems. All these brainwash activities happen daily/weekly. The function of literacy is to help spread these BS and lower the costs to spread.
In short, in 1930 the KMT government did not have enough resources (or willingness) to establish an education system to rapidly improve literacy and hence lower the brainwash costs. That’s why the Chinese Nationalism brainwash agenda remained highly costly and not a significant portion of the population was lucky enough to be brainwashed.
I'd bet any amount that the majority of the Chinese people would not want to live under foreign rulers.
1, Please do NOT use the current borderline of PRC nor the ROC 1930 borderline to define foreign or domestic of the China in the 1930s or 1940s. As I mentioned above, before the Communists took power, there were no unified Chinese language in the land so called China. To the Northern Chinese, Chiang Kai Shek was as foreign as Emperor Hirohito. They were no differences.
2, As mentioned many times, Chinese people in the 1930s were largely illiterate nor did they receive any brainwash of Chinese Nationalism or Chinese identity. To most of them, China was more a culture concept than a Nation State. What they know is “天下” literally means under the sky or the World. Their loyalty to their village, county or province was much stronger than China. Asking them to defend China was like asking African tribe members to defend the earth. They will look at you with a face full of confusion. That's a remote concern to them at the best. That’s why the KMT resorted to forced conscription and labor as not many were willing to risk their lives to defend China.
3, On contrary to what you think, Chinese people without brainwashed by Chinese Nationalism were highly receptive to foreign rulers. Anyone had basic knowledge of Chinese History knows the Yuan Dynasty which was ruled by the Mogols and Qing Dynasty which was ruled by the Manchus. The Manchu Queue was anything but Han culture. All Han Chinese males accepted it only to drop it after Qing Dynasty was replaced by ROC. See, how flexible the Chinese people were to the foreign rulers.
And also as I mentioned many times, after Japanese took over of Manchuria, millions of Chinese in Northern China migrated to Manchuria. It’s like when Germany took Sudetenland, a significant portion of Czechs went to Sudetenland to be ruled by Germans. Can you imagine that?
Last but not least, just an FYI, in many cases, the so called foreign rulers treated Chinese people better than their domestic rulers...