也说唐伯桥

以方励之、柴玲、刘晓波为代表的89一代的民运人士根本不懂民主。他们只会炫耀概念。更要命的是,经历了文革、上山下乡、反日宣传、儿童团、人肉盾牌人肉炸弹等各种形式的恐怖主义训练和影响后,这帮人的民主实践比起当年宽松政治环境下的孙中山、毛泽东、邓小平相差太远,又缺乏实际的生活体验。作为这伙人的典型代表,唐伯桥一旦落脚真民主的国家,就立马原形毕露,露出了流氓无产者的真面目。跟着他们搞民主,还不如跟90后、00后搞小确幸来的实在。 新一代年轻人虽然无意民主,但却在做实事,恢复让老毛破坏殆尽的市场经济,发展资本主义,张扬个性,拥抱多元化。这些才是真民主的基础,更是所谓民主转型的希望。

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中间道路是解决西藏问题的最好途径?

在全球化民族融合再造的今天,边巴次仁的观点不仅落后,一旦得逞,比天朝管制下的西藏可能更可怕。要知道,民族不是一个固化概念,它可以成型,也在演化,更可能消失,融入到新的民族中去。这个演化速度有快有慢,但相较于个体生命要漫长的多。回族的出现就是很典型的例子。宗教也一样,佛教传到西藏,和当地自然、人文环境结合,就成了藏传密宗,和内地农耕社会的禅宗大不相同。到了电子化时代,各个教派来往紧密,没人能预料未来藏传佛教会是什么样子。所以西藏当然可以是自己的西藏,但更应该是西藏人的西藏,包括认同自己是藏人的藏族、汉人和其他种族和民族。这样的西藏也应该是各个宗教教派和平竞争和共处的西藏,而不只是藏传佛教的西藏。做不到这些, 结果会依然是残酷的教派斗争, 甚至是种族清洗和屠杀。本来以为这些年达赖喇嘛们流亡在外,已经深刻体会到世界大势。现在看起来不完全如此,骨子里的民族主义种族主义宗教至上的排他思想,和天朝并无二致。

Were China’s June 4th protesters real democracy fighters?

I’m not going to comment on the June 4th for two reasons. First, it’s not my area of expertise and second, compared with China’s other historic events on the scale and brutality, it is insignificant. It is significant only because it happened relatively closer to us in time and space. Also, I don’t think the June 4th was inevitable or progressive in any sense. In my view, it was rather reactionary, in the same manner as Mao Zedong had done since the 1920s, using his so-called democracy to hijack the social discourses, the public, and the ruling institutions. I don’t think Mao until his death understood any concept of democracy; there was an experiential and epistemological part missing from him as an agrarian society resident (note that the same can be said of Karl Marx).
In fact, 1989’s China was worse than it was in 1920s. Predominantly an agrarian society slowly recovering from its pinnacle/ultimate form (i.e., communism and an utterly impoverished centrally planned economy), it was not in any sense prepared for democracy or simply too fragile to withstand any impact of fake democratic movements. I suspect that Deng might be deeply cynical of his own youthful deeds before 1949 overall and he immediately saw his youthful reincarnation in those agrarian intellectuals like Fang Lizhi and Liu Xiaobo. Deng’s decision to crack down on the movement might be a result of knee-jerk self-defence if you could imagine his struggles and suffering until 1975 as a human being, as well as his overseas life experience before 1930s.
In contrast, Taiwan’s market economy has never experienced any major disruptions and the advance of capitalism (or shall we say, deepening division of labour and consequently social diversity and mobility) has been relatively smooth. Since the kind of capitalism originated from its agrarian society has been continued and modernized through the “refined” industrialization, Taiwan’s transition to democracy was only a matter of critical mass; or in other words, inevitable. China’s economic miracle in my view is very simple: its agrarian market economy was revived, has been largely protected, and is being modernized to capitalize on trading with its richer neighbours and the opportunities of knowledge economy. But it is still very fragile, with the recent Maoist trend to reintroduce the deadly central planning economy; i.e., state-run super corporations, which will not only kill its growing capitalism but will also kill the Earth and certainly all other countries if you understand what I’m trying to say. A mega one-party central planning economy is the Earth’s arch enemy as there is no way to curb its power to pollute!
In this regard, I’d suggest the West reconsider its strategies in dealing with China. Using democracy as a ideological device will only grow fear, mistrust, and distance among its leading members while instigating irresponsible behaviours and activities from our worst enemies (those agrarian scholars and activists like Liu Xiaobo). The West should help China to learn the rules of global capitalism to contribute to its innovations through guidance, modelling, and punishment; for example, Obama’s effort to establish the TTRP. Instead of pointlessly promoting democracy, the West should use environment protection and climate change as the main discourse to help China understand the criticality of diversity and its responsibilities, which are central to the development of capitalism, the market economy, and certainly democracy. And the West should be strategic but should never compromise its objectives as it is unfortunately doing now.
Instead of shying away from China’s One-belt One-road initiative, the West should engage and lead. This is a golden opportunity to open China’s eyes to diversity (of regions, cultures, language, communities, religions, and people) and to understand its stupidity in continuing central planning economy and one-party politics.

The glory of China

It should not be a surprise to anybody that China is back to the top spot in the global GDP race. It has always been and should be even more so in the future given its population size. Its recent development is not unusual but rather a return of commonsense. That itself is very telling–historically before 1949 China had been well equipped with the institutions (cultures, customs, laws, governance, and so on) that support private ownership and the market economy. Its transition to modernity was first hammered by a series of wars and then by the central planning communism. However poor it was after Mao’s 27 years of horrific ruling, its rebound was anticipated to be overwhelmingly swift as the institutions it has established over centuries have become literally genetic and can be restored in an overnight fashion (just like the Dead Valley in the States). Take Chinese Buddhism for example. It disappeared completely in Mao’s era but now it is worshiped at nearly every corner of China’s second-tier down cities and regions. In this regard, I’d suspect that China’s experience can be emulated or even learnt by many African countries (even India) where basic social stability is missing and huntering-gathering tribes are the main communities.

1989: A lost opportunity for democracy?

Many Western scholars would regard 1989 as a “lost opportunity” based on a rosy imagination of what China was then. But if you did live there and have access to commoners living in villages and city ghettos, you would understand how impoverished China was, economically, institutionally, and intellectually, compared with what it was a hundred years ago at the end of Qing Dynasty. A personal note: a hardworking young peasant in the late 1970s couldn’t even afford buying new trousers for his own wedding! That was very common if we are aware that in Mao’s China living standards were relatively even whereas in the Republic China and the previous dynasties, social entitlements and wealth were heavily skewed toward the rich and the powerful. What was even worse, in the 1890s there was a powerful centralized Party government in absolute control of a formidable military while at the end of Qing Dynasty, the government was virtually falling apart and challenges from local communities and other pockets of the country were ever strong!s

Back to democracy. The reason why I consider democrary a bad discourse to contain China is simply that it is so ambiguous and accomodating that any social groups can claim it, be they dictators or social activists. If we take a look at the CCP’s advocacy throughout to the end of 1940s, in light of the discourse of democracy, we may be shocked to find that they were far ahead of the pack and had much deeper understandings of democracy even than today’s activists including the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Liu Xiaobo. They were real democracy fighters. But they ended up becoming blood-shed monsters after the victory, even when the social conditions were so favourable towards democracy. Why? And can we imagine what would happen after 1989 if by any chance the activists were crowned? Bear in mind that many of those activists had been thoroughly immersed in terrorism discourses and training (the Great Culture Revolution, anti-Japan propoganda, child soldiers, heroic human shields and bombers, etc.) for more than 20 years. Would they be any better than Mao, Deng, or Xi? Without a solid market economy, a growing capitalism, and really diversified social organizations and communities, my guess is pessimistically NO.

小学校的小小游戏场

20170902_133941_resized儿子小学新添的楼角游戏场。乍一看不过几块木头几块石头,仔细分析却发现匠心独具,与悉尼达令港的水主题大牌设计比,只强不弱。和校长闲扯几句,才知道从筹备到施工,前后有四年多!最早是学生提议,老师协助,后来把几届学生的方案汇总起来,由新州教育厅找设计公司成型。因涉及土壤整饬及林木养护,中间又咨询了国土局、环保部门意见。然后教育厅、学校、家长委员会、社区儿童看护中心四方协商出资,最后由一家专业公司施工完成。成果当然喜人,但专注过程、重视参与的理念更值得称道。