In the Nanjing National Government period, there were heated discussion about the pros and cons of the country self-government, the way to implement such a system, the relationship between the country self-government and the exiting village based governing unit. Generally speaking, there were two opposing views. One view insisted on adhering to Sun Yat-sen’s political ideal and advocating the autonomous system and was also critical to the policies of the current government. The other view focused on the contemporary governing reality and proposed dramatic revision to Sun Yat-sen’s theory while it also tried to defend the current government and its policy. However, although one view focused on ideal, another on reality, both had clear rationale behind their arguments. Therefore, the arguments were valuable because they deepened the understanding about the issue, bridged the gap between ideal and reality, influenced the Nationalist Government’s policy on the related issues and somewhat promoted the reform of the government system on local levels. The debates tell us the difficulty of establishing an autonomous government system on the county level in a big and backward country. Because of all this, it is still valuable today when we reflect on the discussions and discuss a social democratic system of governance.