【英语中国】《中国3.0》:中国式辩论

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所属分类:双语中国

2013-1-11 21:30

小艾摘要: China is a one-party state, where the media remains tightly controlled. But do not make the mistake of assuming that has killed off intellectual debate. On the contrary, there is a ferment of discussi ...
China is a one-party state, where the media remains tightly controlled. But do not make the mistake of assuming that has killed off intellectual debate. On the contrary, there is a ferment of discussion there today about the future of the country and its role in the world. China 3.0, edited by Mark LeonardPublished by European Council on Foreign Relations (Downloadable at ECFR.eu, Not sure what the price is …They may be giving it away)

In some ways, these debates are more interesting than their equivalent arguments in the west. That is because the debates in Europe or the US are dominated by a broad mainstream acceptance of certain basic principles about democracy, capitalism and the international order.

By contrast, Chinese intellectuals are still arguing about really fundamental issues. Is liberal democracy the way forward – or should the country seek its own political settlement, rooted in Confucian values? Did it go too far in its embrace of liberal capitalism or not far enough? If it becomes a superpower, should it try to reshape the world system or should it accept the existing institutions?

The great virtue of China 3.0 – a short collection of essays by Chinese intellectuals – is that it gives an insight into the vigour and variety of some of these debates. According to Mark Leonard, the editor of the volume, China 1.0 was Mao Zedong’s communist revolution, China 2.0 was Deng Xiaoping’s market revolution – and China 3.0 is yet to emerge, but could be just as revolutionary.

Sensitive readers should not be put off by the whiff of sensationalism, and the slightly hackneyed “3.0”

formulation. In his introduction, Leonard provides a useful categorisation of the debates featured in the book. On economics, he sees a dividing line between a “social Darwinist New Right” and an “egalitarian New Left”. In politics, he argues that the main divide is between “political liberals” and “neo-authoritarians”. And in foreign policy, he identifies a split between “defensive internationalists” and newly assertive nationalists.

Such broad categorisation inevitably involves a degree of simplification. For example, many economists would argue that Beijing needs both to press ahead with liberalisation and to do more to combat inequality – and that the two goals need not be incompatible. Nonetheless, Leonard’s categories and the essays he introduces offer a fresh way of understanding some of the dramatic political and economic news coming out of China.

The downfall of Bo Xilai, the charismatic party boss of the southern municipality of Chongqing was the political story of 2012. It had everything – a poisoning, corruption, intrigue, an attempted defection. But, as this book makes clear, there were also important ideas at stake.

Indeed, Leonard argues that the debate about China’s economic future can be understood as a battle between the Chongqing and Guangdong models. He writes: “Guangdong, a prosperous coastal region, stood for a quest to move up the value chain economically while using a free media, civil society, and political openness to quell social tensions. Chongqing, by contrast, was about turning a backward inland province into a laboratory for egalitarian social policies and domestic consumption.”

Despite the fall of Bo, the Chongqing model still has its defenders. In China 3.0, Cui Zhiyuan, a professor at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, argues that while much media coverage has focused on Bo’s encouragement of “red songs” – and interpreted this as a dangerous effort to restart the cultural revolution – in fact he was pursuing a much more laudable agenda. In particular, Cui argues that the Chongqing model greatly improved the rights of the millions of migrant workers from the countryside who have fuelled China’s industrial revolution.

Many Chinese liberals, by contrast, were deeply suspicious of Bo, whom they regarded as an unprincipled and dangerous populist. Yet an essay by Michael Anti (the pen name of a prominent reformist blogger) argues that the downfall of Bo also revealed how the internet can be a double-edged sword in the struggle to enlarge political freedom in China.

While there is little doubt that the rise of social media – in particular Weibo, the Chinese micro-blogging services similar to Twitter – has opened up political debate, Anti argues that the authorities skilfully manipulated the social networks to engineer the downfall of Bo. “Weibo became a marketplace for rumours about Bo,” he writes. “Suddenly you could say anything?.?.?.?It was almost like living in the US. But if you dared to tweet or retweet anything about a fake coup in Beijing, you would have been arrested.”

Despite the censorship, limits and manipulation, however, political debate is opening up in surprising ways. The essays in China 3.0 are testimony to that fact.

The writer is the FT’s chief foreign affairs commentator

《中国3.0》(China 3.0),马克?伦纳德(Mark Leonard)编,欧洲对外关系委员会(European Council on Foreign Relations, ECFR)出版(可从ECFR.eu网站下载,价格不详,可能免费)

中国是一个一党制国家,媒体仍然受到严格管制。但如果以为思想辩论因此遭到扼杀,那就错了。相反,中国学者正在激烈讨论着国家的未来以及它在世界上的角色。

在某种程度上,这些辩论比西方的对应辩论更有意思。原因是,欧洲或美国的辩论建立在主流对某些基本原则的广泛认可之上,比如关于民主、资本主义和国际秩序的原则。

与此形成对照的是,中国知识分子还在争辩极为根本的问题。自由民主是否是未来的发展方向?抑或,中国应以儒家价值观为本,寻找自己的政治出路?中国对自由资本主义的接受程度是过了头,还是仍不到位?如果中国成为超级大国,它应当重塑世界体系,还是接受现有制度?

《中国3.0》是中国知识分子的短篇文集,其主要优点是让外界深入洞察其中一些辩论的活力和多样性。按照文集编者马克?伦纳德的说法,中国1.0是毛泽东的共产主义革命,中国2.0是邓小平的市场革命,中国3.0尚未出现,但可能具有同等的变革意义。

敏感的读者请不要因为一点哗众取宠的气息和“3.0”这种略显俗套的表达方式而敬而远之。在序言中,伦纳德对书中收集的辩论进行了有用的分类。经济上,他认为在“社会达尔文主义新右派”和“平等主义新左派”之间有一条分界线。政治上,他提出主要的分界线在“政治自由派”和“新威权主义派”之间。外交政策上,他提出在“防御国际主义派”和新近趋向强硬的民族主义者之间存在一条分界线。

这种宽泛的分类难免显得简单化。例如,很多经济学家会认为,中国政府既需要推进自由化,也需要采取更多行动抗击不平等——这两个目标未必是相互抵触的。不过,伦纳德的分类和他收集的这些文章,能让人们从全新的视角理解中国传出的一些戏剧性的政治和经济新闻。

2012年的年度政治新闻,当属行为张扬的南方直辖市重庆市委书记薄熙来的落马。这则新闻要素俱全——投毒、腐败、阴谋、企图叛逃。不过,正如本书所阐明的,这件事还涉及到重要的构想。

的确,伦纳德提出,围绕中国经济前途的辩论可归结为重庆模式与广东模式之争。他写道:“繁荣的沿海地区广东代表着一种追求:经济上向价值链上方移动,同时借助自由的媒体、公民社会和政治开放来化解社会矛盾。相比之下,重庆模式的意义则是将落后的内陆省份转变为平等主义社会政策和国内消费的试验田。”

尽管薄熙来倒台,但重庆模式仍有支持者。在《中国3.0》中,北京清华大学教授崔之元提出,尽管媒体多将报道聚焦于薄熙来对“红歌”的提倡,并将其解读为试图复辟文革的危险举动,但事实上,薄熙来的议程颇有可取之处。崔之元特别提到,重庆模式大大改善了推动中国工业革命的数以百万计的农民工的权利。

相比之下,中国的许多自由派人士对薄熙来极度怀疑,认为他是没有道德底线、危险的民粹主义者。不过,安替(一位知名改革派博客作家的笔名)的一篇文章认为,薄熙来的倒台还揭示了互联网在扩大中国政治自由方面扮演的双刃剑作用。

安替认为,尽管社交媒体的兴起——特别是中国类似Twitter微博客服务的新浪微博(Weibo)——无疑促进了政治辩论,但另一方面,当局通过巧妙操纵社交网络,策划了薄熙来的倒台。他写道:“与薄熙来有关的传言在新浪微博上四处蔓延,突然间你可以畅所欲言——如同在美国一样。但如果你发布或转发有关北京假政变的微博,你就会被逮捕。”

尽管存在着审查、限制和操纵,但政治辩论正以意想不到的方式展开。《中国3.0》的文章便是明证。

本文作者为英国《金融时报》首席外交事务评论员

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