Saturday, April 19, 2014
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中国价值观?

发自柏林——如今我们已经没有什么理由去怀疑中华人民共和国会在21世纪主导整个世界。该国高速的经济增长,战略潜力,庞大的国内市场以及对基础设施,教育和科研的巨额投资,还有大规模军备建设都证明了这一判断。这意味着,在政治和经济意义上,我们正在进入一个东亚和东南亚的世纪。

必须认识到的是,如果没有中国的成功崛起,这个世界肯定是一番更糟糕的景象。但如今这个世界又将是何种状况?可以预期这股势力将塑造自己的地缘政治格局,但在这些行为背后又会是一种什么样的价值观在支撑着一切?

自1970年代以来一直为中国崛起打下基础的“四个现代化”(工业、农业,军事和科学技术)政策并不能为此提供答案,因为“第五个现代化”——民主的崛起以及法治——依然处于缺失状态。事实上,政治现代化进程遭到了中国共产党的极力反对,因为他们根本没兴趣放弃自身对权力的独家垄断。此外,向一个疏导(而非压制)政治冲突的多党制体系的转型也充满风险,即便该风险必将随着一党制统治(以及相伴而生的地方性腐败)的继续延续而不断增大。

在意识形态上,中国领导层对人权,民主和法治这类事物的抵制是基于一个观点,那就是这些一般被认为是普世价值的东西其实只是实现西方利益的掩护伞而已,因此对这些事物的否定也应该被视为一种自尊之举。既然中国已经永远不会再屈从于西方军事力量之下,因此也不能再度臣服于西方的规范。

现在让我们回到这个起源于新加坡和马来西亚的“亚洲价值观”概念。但时至今日,也是该概念提出整整30年后,其意义却依然模糊不清。从本质上,这一概念就是为了证明某种集体主义专制统治是源于当地传统和文化的正当产物,而自治则被定义为是一种外来物——换句话说,这就是一种与西方及其价值观完全不相同的事物。因此,“亚洲价值”并不是普世规范,而是一种服务于身份认同政治的自我保护策略。

考虑到西方对亚洲的殖民历史,这种保持独特身份定义的意愿既具有其合法性,在情感上也是可以理解的,对许多亚洲国家——旗手当然是中国——来说,现在是时候清算一下旧账了。但维护自身实力,那些营造特殊“亚洲”身份定义的需要以及清算历史旧账的意愿都不能解决由中国崛起成为本世纪支配力量所带来的规范问题。

而这个问题将如何得到解答是极端重要的,因为它将决定一个全球势力的特性,并以此决定它将如何与那些比它弱小的国家相处。当战略重要性和潜力令一个国家可以将自己的势力延伸到全球的时候,它就变成了一个全球势力。而一般来说,这样的国家随后将尝试通过强加其支配地位(霸权主义)的方式来维护自身利益,而如果此举是基于强迫而非合作的话,就将成为滋生危险冲突的温床。

世界对一个全球霸权架构的顺从——也就是由全球势力维护一个世界秩序的状况——在冷战后幸存了下来。苏联并非在意识形态上反对西方,因为共产主义和社会主义其实都是西方的发明,但它在政治层面上反对西方。而其崩溃并不仅仅是出于经济原因,而是因为它的国内外行为都是基于被迫的服从而非人们的真心赞成。

相比之下,美国(以及西方)的经济和政治模式,及其对个人权利和公开社会的倡导,成为了冷战中最有力的武器。美国的获胜并不仅仅来自其军事优势,而是出自其软实力,出自其支配地位并不是来自于威胁强迫(虽然某些时候也有类似情况出现)而在很大程度上基于人们的赞同。

那么中国会选择哪条道路?中国一方面没有抛弃其令人敬仰的古老文明,另一方面也因为采取了当代的西方现代化模式才实现了重新崛起——这是邓小平的伟大功绩,正是他在30多年前让中国走上了这条道路。但有关政治现代化的决定性问题依然未能得到解答。

很显然,国家利益以及其他某些纯粹的权力行为,是美国和其他西方国家推行人权、法治,民主和多党制过程中的一部分考虑。但这些价值观可不仅仅是西方利益的遮羞布;事实上,它们并没有达到那么夸张的程度。它们就是一种普世的东西;而且这一点在这个广泛全球化的时代显得更加明显。

我们无法预计亚洲——尤其是中国——将对这一整套价值观做出什么样的贡献,如果“第五个现代化”为中国带来政治转型的话必将贡献良多。中国晋身成为一个全球势力的进程将在很大程度上通过它如何面对这个问题来决定。

翻译:邹痴成

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  1. CommentedJakub Słowiński

    Starting with human rights and the rule of law, as early as in the Han dynasty period, in its first phase, sometime before the begining of Christian era in Europe, there was a set of laws developed, which couldn't be changed even by the emperor, of course it applied only to upper classes, but comparing to where was Western civilization in accordance to human rights and the rule of law at that time, Chinese are pioneers. Democracy was actually invented much earlier, in the Warring States period, by Mencius, who said that the emperor should be choosed by the people. Of course, by the people Mencius meant upper classes, but Western democracy started in the same point, chronologically hunreds of years later. And lastly, pluralism, China was always marked by existence of many cliques and parties, struggling with each other in order to achieve more power. Are they not there, because we don't see them in the evening debates? Actually, political establishment in Western countries is more uniform than Chinese, the difference is that Chinese establishment is united in terms of holding power, but divided in terms of views on certain issues, and Western is divided in struggle to gain power, but every time more and more uniform in views in order to be as electable (sorry for a word) as possible.
    Don't blame China it don't want to follow patterns it already checked, because you claim them as universal.

  2. CommentedStephen Pain

    I believe that many of the problems facing China - and there are problems undoubtedly has been due to the country being effectively divided by manufacturing for and against itself. We see today an enormous trade imbalance between China and other countries. Obviously the subprime fiasco and hedging helped to bring about this imbalance. The demand for goods shot up as the apparent liquidity rose. People were using the property equity to buy as if there were no tomorrow. The financial institutions were pumped up to massive bubbles through the repackaging of debt into credit – and their wealth led to an increase of expenditure in the service industry. Added value philosophy reigned supreme as cheap imports were bought from China. So much of manufacturing was now carried out in China – even Veblen goods. The consequence of the speculation in the West was that China had managed to catch up quickly. She was becoming increasingly more technologically advanced. The West had become dependent upon China – a dependency that would be costly to both partners. In the boom years China overheated and her factories were overworked. They were manufacturing for the West and manufacturing their own cheaper products too. In some insane way China was competing against herself. On the one hand she had the Western companies demanding quality (Veblen goods), while on the other hand she sought to manufacture domestic products (Giffen goods) that could in quantity match the quality. In other words you can buy five pair of socks for the price of one quality pair – and in terms of utility, durability, longevity they would be the same, however if we were to examine the corporate social responsibility and green issues, then they are far more costly. Unfortunately, after the economic paradigm shifted from the “added value” philosophy of Starbucks to the Wal-Mart discount approach, there has been a tendency to seek to reduce costs in the Veblen goods, which means that they are being manufactured more like Giffen goods with cheaper materials and their utility, durability and longevity have been effectively compromised, this tying in with the built-in obsolescence of electronic products which have today due to neophilic drives very short lives. The fact the top-end Veblen goods producers have with those in the middle quality range opted to go down the quantitative road has led to a deplorable state of affairs for all concerned.
    The only remedy to help both the West and China is to bring into effect stringent quality controls through taxation. Often pollution taxes had been placed on the manufacturers. Here we can place taxes on products themselves. The idea would be that products which are Giffen goods would not be bought if they were taxed on grounds of utility, durability, longevity as well as CSR and Green factors. This would restore craft into products, ensuring that all involved in manufacture would be of a higher quality. It would also reduce the trade deficit and motivate the West and others to return to manufacturing – and as a result decreasing dependency on China . China for her part would need to reform its manufacturing and the context of production, leading to a better environment and healthier and happier population.

  3. CommentedWalter, asg Benjamin

    I admire Joschka Fischer's articles. However most of the comments on this article and this article itself make a fundamental mistake: China is not "outside" the World History. China belongs to the World History. It is not a country which is different by essence from us. There "Western values" don't exist per se, in opposition of "Chinese values". It is absolutely childish to speak like that. Chinese Revolution in the XXth Century is a Marxist Revolution - the Chinese Marxism is part of the Marxism movement - a way to answer to the problems created by the Industrial Evolution of the XIXth century. A way to re-unify China after one century of diverse foreign occupations. It is a non-sense not to consider the contemporary China as a Marxist state and to pretend that China will be like a "Confucian state" - with an unique nationalistic ideology . Then if it is a Marxist state - it is impossible not to consider China as part of our own History. If we accept that Chinese Communist Party is the center of the power in China, it is risible to think that the discussion about democracy is not central in the Chinese politic. What means "democracy" in the context of the developments of Communist Parties around the World during the last 150 years that is the first question to ask. Second what is the weigh of the Chinese State History in the development of the contemporary Chinese Marxist state? Democracy is not a definition , it is a complex political movement. Of course China has also many parts of her political developments which are often more democratic than many countries in the World which pretend to be democratic. The question is more: is it possible to have a democratic state with one party rule? If this one party represents a large part of the Chinese society - why not? A party of 80 millions member plus their family relations is equivalent of 400 millions people connected to this Party - it is a significant part of the Chinese society. The real question is then: are these 400 millions of Chinese involved in the discussions on the solving Chinese political problems? Probably yes - in a way or another. Are they able to influence the political decisions? Probably yes. Are they able to criticize the wrong decisions, to correct them? Probably yes too. Have we - as Europeans - to learn from the Chinese democracy? Of course we have to learn how they have succeeded during centuries to unify their country when we, Europeans, we have failed to maintain the Roman Empire and we have created during centuries wars and barbaric societies. The Chinese Marxism is a lesson for us to meditate because it forces us to consider that the Capitalism as a destructive and creative force is the main question that our "European democracies " need to manage if we want to avoid that new barbaric political movements will appear and push away our weak civilization.

  4. Commentedlt lee

    It is odd that Westerners keep talking about "these supposedly universal values" while they are not embraced by the Chinese people except a handful of dissidents. If Westerners really believe certain values are universal, why can't they let the Chinese people come to the same conclusion without reminding them constantly? To the extent that they don't have sufficient confidence concerning the universality of these values, Chinese leaders and Chinese people are correct in seeing these values as a mere stalking horse for Western interests promoted to harm China's interest.

  5. CommentedPaulo Sérgio

    It may pause there for sometime. China's rapid ascent is lifting quite a lot more than its own out of dire economic conditions and these can now experience many* of these universal values that they definitely would not have previously experienced. If foreign lands in which China remain open, their people may have more freedoms than the Chinese themselves, but the Chinese are likely to be better with their more limited set, because of this immense focus on development.

    In summary, we're still imposing conditions on China, on what it will achieve and how it will come to achieve.

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