[文摘] 裴敏欣專訪:中共自我改革的三條路

source: 裴敏欣專訪——中國靠經濟增長維持政府合法性的路,已快走到盡頭

60歲的裴敏欣是當代重要的中國問題專家,他是美國加州克萊蒙特·麥肯納學院(Claremont McKenna College)政府學教授、凱克國際戰略研究中心(Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies)主任。

 

師從哈佛政治學教授杭廷頓(Samuel Phillips Huntington),裴敏欣的研究主軸是專制政權與威權體制的轉型。對於屬於全球「第三波民主化」浪潮中也轉型的中華民國國民黨政權,裴敏欣也在觀察未來中共是否有可能出現蔣經國式「政治菁英自上而下」的政體改良。

以下為原文中的重點分段摘要

有關專制,或說中國共產黨的專制為何可以穩定長久:

中共這類「一黨制」的專制體制是最長壽,而且這個一黨制一定要是「高度組織」,對社會控制滲透能力很強,能把社會菁英籠絡起來。世界上最長壽是前蘇聯共產黨,現有的是國民黨,還有墨西哥的革命制度黨。

國民黨在大陸時,中國共產黨就十分務實,毛澤東時代之後,它變得十分靈活,它很會學習,很會做戰術上的調整。蘇聯垮台之後,共產主義整個意識形態體系都垮台了,唯一能夠使人民認同政府的,就是要提供「經濟表現」帶來的「合法性」,這一點,雖然簡單,但是許多威權政權做不到

(筆者註:至今還能做到的極權國家,有相當多都是靠石油能源或礦藏吃老本的國家,如委內瑞拉、沙烏地阿拉伯;而非有能力發展經濟服務的市場。)

有關貪腐,或說中國共產黨的貪腐與民主政體出現的貪腐有何不同為何可以穩定長久:

八九之後,中共把國有資產的控制權大大的下降,一下子使許多共產黨的基層縣級幹部,對國有資產有了支配權,有錢的資本家進行交易,這就是中國的「權貴資本主義」。

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中國過去也有貪腐,但都是小打小鬧,因為你再貪也貪不到哪裡去,但是你一旦擁有土地、礦場、工廠,一夜間可以暴富,那才是真正的資本主義。而其特色是金錢跟政權結盟,使小部份人成為權貴。目前中國政府的打貪,只是針對這個權貴資本主義收賄、權勢交易的表面現象,但是沒有針對權貴資本主義的「根」:第一,是國家掌握很多資源,一旦政治權力可以支配經濟資源,腐敗土壤就會形成,政治權力不受監督,沒有反對黨,沒有媒體,沒有獨立司法體系監督,更加變本加厲。民主腐敗的人多得不得了,例如在印度是多數人的腐敗,但每個人收的錢不多;專制體制下的腐敗,是少數人的腐敗,但個人量大,一個人能收到5,000萬美元。民主體制解決貪腐還要使政府管得錢少,並有獨立透明的程序機制,不然政府逮了人,無法說明那人是真的腐敗還是因政治鬥爭被逮,因此還要媒體、民間社會的力量來監督。

中國共產黨的危機與民主改革契機:
所謂中國民主是萬事俱備只欠「東風」(政治菁英):如果中國政治菁英認為,挽救共產黨最有效且長期能夠持續的方法,是讓共產黨跟別人競爭,改變遊戲規則共產黨還同樣能掌權,它會做這樣的「戰略決策」。
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國民黨80年代做的戰略決策,使國民黨至少延長了二十幾年壽命,這是不得了的,因為一般這麼年紀大的一黨專制政權,要維持30年是很困難的。中國民主化契機目前還看不到,因為政治菁英的價值觀,還是覺得民主不好,戰略判斷上,威權體制還可以靠高壓政策,或是靠經濟增長繼續提供合法性,當然不會進行民主改革。
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東歐發展世界上一流的秘密警察,因為它面臨了「綜合危機」;危機發展到一定程度,威權政權是沒有人會出來保護他的,因為威權體制講人治,危機到來時人的鬥志都已經沒有了。顯然中國現在是沒有這樣的「綜合危機」,只是苗子都在了,還沒有匯集到一起,有的苗子,也還是很嫩。
中國共產黨以「資訊控制」為專制續命,卻會為此付上經濟代價;最後若經濟不好,仍然會加速專制崩解的危機:
專制政權民主化很重要的一點是「資訊的流通」,但是中國政府近年實施各種技術手段,並對媒體加強收緊,降低信息革命對政權的威脅,是鞏固了政權。
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可它的代價肯定是信息流通少了,但是信息是有價值的,雖然你控制了對政府不利的資訊,同時也控制了對社會有利、經濟有利、對社會創新有利的資訊,那代價是無形的。中國的經濟還是被政府管得太多。
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中國高速經濟增長的時期已經過去,要維持中國的經濟增長,需要很困難的改革,你要搞經濟改革,政治上必須放權,但共產黨政權如果對經濟資源放棄了,它的政權的根基就不穩固了,因為它是通過對經濟資源的支配來維護許多人的政治忠誠,政治改革會把它的基礎給摧毀。
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我們可以設想人都需要一定程度的自由,都要一定程度的安全、法律的保障,都希望能夠上網不受管。這些價值觀是跟教育水平、經濟水平的發展是正相關的,經濟及教育水平提升,我認為就是10到15年,人們越會不認同現有政治體制的權威,開始覺得「你憑什麼管我?你不是我選的!」
中共自我改革的三條路
改革可能的有三類形式,第一是自上而下的政治菁英「改良」。就像是蔣經國,他看到長期國民黨是沒有前途的,非得通過改變遊戲規則,才能給國民黨帶來新的政治生命。這種改革不能太晚,要在「綜合危機」到來之前,反對力量還不是那麼強大,人民對你還有希望,太晚「改革」肯定會導致「革命」。
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第二個改革類型是自下而上的「革命」。實際上面對專制政權有絕對暴力上的優勢成功率很低,一般來講,只有在幾種情況下人民會起來造反,一種是選舉不公正,例如台灣的「中壢事件」。第二種,是國家打仗打輸了,老百姓很生氣,例如希臘、阿根廷。再來,就是經濟危機、銀行崩潰,這種是少數。
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第三個類型是「改良」導致「革命」,政府一開始是要改革,但是改革釋放出來的革命勢力,往往是因為改革改得比較晚,政權已經比較虛弱,正好讓革命勢力起來,像是前蘇聯。
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在一黨專制的社會裡,一般反對黨的出現都是舊的統治菁英的分裂,政治權力鬥爭當中的輸家,薄熙來就很可能像這類人物,像是前蘇聯的葉爾辛,搖身一變變成民主派。
從十九大和一帶一路看「後天安門體制」的穩定性危機:
中國政府一套「後天安門體制」的生存戰略有幾個特點,第一,是「菁英抱團取暖」、「分贓聯盟」,但是現在菁英內鬥。
再來是,中國外部的國際環境已經改變很大,在後天安門時期,中國在世界上是「韜光養晦」,現在是「鋒芒畢露」,在國際擴大自己的影響勢力範圍、投資過多,可能就犯了跟前蘇聯一樣的毛病。
(最後,)打貪不能再打了。打貪在中央一級層面,有清除異己的政治效應,但使共產黨整個官僚機制變得「消極」。許多規章制度使中國官員感到不可接受、感到繁瑣,他們不幹活了;再繼續下去,沒人給你幹活你怎麼「立」?他一定要使中國官僚機制的積極性可以重新調動起來。
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[文摘] Edgar Morin: We drive ourselves towards disaster like sleepwalkers (2011)

Source Link: http://www.terraeco.net/Comment-vivre-moins-vite-comment,19890.html

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Based on an interview that took place on the verge of the Arab Spring in 2011, French Socialist Philosopher Edgar Morin shares how he is critical of the then French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s thuggish handshake with, followed by a sudden repudiation of Libyan dictator Kadhafi.

Morin sees in this something symptomatic of a bigger problem: the pursuit of « immediacy » (speed, efficiency) in the modernity project. He took pains to advocate and elaborate the idea of ‘slow life’ (that reconnects our biological clock with that of nature, instead of artificial time on our watches).

That may sound like a cliche already, besides perhaps it helps us locate his ideological stance in the likes of Abraham Joshua Heschel, Jacques Ellul, and Slavoj Žižek.

But what I find particular interesting fives years in retrospect is this following section- it is the reason I re-post it here:

Le philosophe Jean-Pierre Dupuy estime que de la catastrophe naît la solution. Partagez-vous son analyse ?

Il n’est pas assez dialectique. Il nous dit que la catastrophe est inévitable mais qu’elle constitue la seule façon de savoir qu’on pourrait l’éviter. Moi je dis : la catastrophe est probable, mais il y a l’improbabilité. J’entends par « probable », que pour nous observateurs, dans le temps où nous sommes et dans les lieux où nous sommes, avec les meilleures informations disponibles, nous voyons que le cours des choses nous emmène à toute vitesse vers les catastrophes. Or, nous savons que c’est toujours l’improbable qui a surgi et qui a « fait » la transformation.

Bouddha était improbable, Jésus était improbable, Mahomet, la science moderne avec Descartes, Pierre Gassendi, Francis Bacon ou Galilée était improbables, le socialisme avec Marx ou Proudhon était improbable, le capitalisme était improbable au Moyen-Age…

Regardez Athènes. Cinq siècles avant notre ère, vous avez une petite cité grecque qui fait face à un empire gigantesque, la Perse. Et à deux reprises – bien que détruite la seconde fois – Athènes parvient à chasser ces Perses grâce au coup de génie du stratège Thémistocle, à Salamine. Grâce à cette improbabilité incroyable est née la démocratie, qui a pu féconder toute l’histoire future, puis la philosophie.

Alors, si vous voulez, je peux aller aux mêmes conclusions que Jean-Pierre Dupuy, mais ma façon d’y aller est tout à fait différente. Car aujourd’hui existent des forces de résistance qui sont dispersées, qui sont nichées dans la société civile et qui ne se connaissent pas les unes les autres. Mais je crois au jour où ces forces se rassembleront, en faisceaux. Tout commence par une déviance, qui se transforme en tendance, qui devient une force historique. Nous n’en sommes pas encore là, certes, mais c’est possible.

 

The question was short but ambivalent: do you agree that disaster is the best remedy for human’s problems?

That was philosopher Jean-Pierre Dupuy’s idea. Morin agrees with it but provides his own rationale behind the assertion:

Disaster is the extreme condition whereby the ‘improbable’ thing happens to transform the humanity. The birth of the Abrahamic religions provides vivid cases and so are the defeat of Persia by the Athens. The civilizations of Christianity, Islam (and Judaism I’d say), and democracy have roots in these unlikely events.

This provides the basis for Morin’s informed optimism: the future is challenging, but the future is also full of opportunities for transformation.

What’s different, in his judgement though, is that the « force of resistance » nowadays were too disconnected with each other. Once they unite, it will be a power for historic changes.

What we do know is that months later the Arab Spring sprang into action- the social media united them. Just after that, people remain as fragmentary as ever. Are we still waiting for something?

Time to read his next article:

Edgar Morin : « Le temps est venu de changer de civilisation »

(Feb, 11, 2016)

 

 

 

[文摘]Development and Democracy: Richer but Not Freer

前言:友人寄來一篇10年前的文章,簡述一個如今已明晰的事實:一個國家的經濟發展(經濟自由化),與自由民主化何以脫鉤?

本文有一些政治社會學上實用的工作概念,有助未來討論。

chinainvestment

There used to be a conventional wisdom that economic development will lead to democracy, as economic growth produces an educated and entrepreneurial middle class that, per Maslow’s pyramid, would demand control over its own [political] fate, raising the likelihood that effective political competitors will emerge.

However, a Hoover Institution article has already argued back in 2005 why this is not happening in certain countries that apply the « China model » (or « Singapore model ») for their development.

A further breakdown of the conventional rationale helps explain the issue:

  1. Economic growth increases citizens’ individual capacity for playing the political game.

    It leads to an increase in the number of individuals with sufficient time, education, and money to get involved in politics- to increased investment in education, which benefits the opposition by producing more learned and sophisticated individuals (per Seymour Martin Lipset, late American political sociologist and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University).

  2. Economic growth expands the public square for strategic coordination.

    Strategic coordination is the set of activities that people must engage in to win political power, e.g., disseminate information, recruite and organize opposition members, choose leaders, and develop a viable strategy to increase the group’s power and to influence policy.

    Economic growth leads to urbanization and improvements in technology and infrastructure, which dramatically facilitate communication and recruitment by new political groups.

  3. Economic growth raises the stakes of the political game by increasing the spoils available to the winner.

 

With these in mind, it is not hard to detect what tactics authoritarian regimes would use to reap the benefits of economic development while evading any pressure to relax their political control. They use their policymaking power to rather set the rules of the game to raise the costs of political coordination/participation among the opposition without also raising the costs of economic coordination.

Specifically, this is done by carefully rationing/restricting a “coordination goods”—goods that are critical to political coordination but less important for economic cooperation (political rights, more-general human rights, press freedom, and accessible higher education), while creating a contented constituency of power brokers and military leaders, rendering political oppositions weak and dispirited.

Quoted examples include how

Beijing has run the gamut from creating a special Internet police unit to blocking access to Google’s English-language news service (China).

Vladimir Putin has placed all national television networks under strict government control (Russia).

Hugo Chávez banned news reports of violent protests or of government crackdowns (Venezuela).

Vietnamese government has imposed strict controls on religious organizations and branded the leaders of unauthorized religious groups (including Roman Catholics, Mennonites, and some Buddhists) as subversives (Vietnam).

 

Most coordination goods are defined in terms of negative freedom (basically it means governmental noninterference), such as minority groups’ freedom of voicing opinions that go uneasy with the majority, freedom from arbitrary arrest and the related protection of habeas corpus; the right to nondiscrimination; and the right to travel, both domestically and abroad; a diverse and largely unregulated press that serve to bring diverse groups together around common interests (the affirmative governmental actions in this area may include releasing what’s been centrally controlled, such as granting licenses to radio and TV frequencies, guaranteeing public access to those and other media, and translating official documents into regional languages).

A study referred to in the article shows that allowing freedom of the press and ensuring civil liberties, in particular, reduce the chances that an autocratic government will survive for another year by about 15 to 20 percent. The stark statistic that helps explain media and political suppression throughout the developing world. In contrast, there is little for the incumbent regime to fear from providing other public goods, such as primary education, public transportation, and health care.

Moreover, the study found that except at the highest levels of per capita income, middle income can be attained and sustained without civic-wide availability of coordination goods.

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Students of graduating class from Tsinghua University of Beijing posing in front of the main library (Photo by Mu-tien Chiou)

Lesson for the West as conclusion:

International development agencies (e.g., The US and the World Bank) must broaden foreign aid conditions for developing countries to include requirements of coordination good supply on the part of their citizens, such as basic civil liberties, press freedoms, and greater access to higher education.

In a word, they should make sure that human rights (housing, food, clothing, health care, etc.) and civil rights (e.g., individual freedom and the protection of both minority and majority interests) go hand in hand in the third world’s developments, for their authoritarian rulers typically confuse the latter with the former.

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Photo by SMCP

Specifically, broad access to higher education and graduate training is vital if citizens are to develop the skills to communicate, organize, and develop a political presence. Advanced education also helps create a large pool of potential leaders that balance shake the status quo and re-balance domestic political powers.

On this issue, however, I might personally add that education should not merely emphasize civil and political empowerment, as it is typically the case; rather, it needs to be broadened to include traditional/communal/theological ethical formations conducive to moral and civil virtues in political leaderships.

The historical exemplar of how puritanism is conducive to robust early American republicanism remain under-appreciated among political observers and policymakers worldwide, and the fact that emerging political opposition forces usually betray signs of undemocratic charismatic power-centralization, corruption, and political intolerance before they are even in actual power, should be factored in as a stock of criticism used by champions of the « China model » against the very idea of political liberalization.

Namely,  on a personal note, political development in relation to a community’s well-being pertains not only to political liberalization; it must include political post-liberalization. This is what distinguishes chaotic liberal democracies from liberal democracies that have social cohesion.

台灣是女孩,中國是男人的服貿漫畫故事:性別與政治

轉個輕鬆的服貿故事漫畫(聽作者暗示之後劇情會崩壞)

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(漫畫出處:https://www.facebook.com/gayu.lin/media_set?set=a.399154933554998.1073741828.100003814830551&type=1  作者:Gaya Lin;支持創作與原創智慧財產,每張貼圖均有超連結連自於原創者上載之臉書頁面)

 

一個有趣的點是,過去認為台灣小而美、富有文化質地、但「妾身未明」的主體形象,最適切的人格化應該是一個氣質小清新女孩

而「強橫、霸道、山寨土豪」的中國大陸主體形象,則在這裡成了一個海盜肌肉男,有「控制狂」和「暴力傾向」

從初步的 setting (婚姻設定)和 reception (無表面違和)而言,這是很明確台灣主體被女性化的情節化與視覺化,而中國/北京政權的男性化,卻迫使台灣男和中國女「被另一個性別代表」,個人的感覺是有點不服的。

另外,台灣作為「中華民國」(傳統中國)的宏大身份,淪落到被扁平為一隻馬卡茸。

此事或仍必須咎責於國民黨政權自1945年來治台政策的傲慢與低劣,或也因驟失大陸的驚慌與「反攻大陸」的執念太過強烈,並未認真消化和融合於台灣主體,以致於就像我們在這漫畫中看到的,「中華民國」被外化為「台灣」之外的另一個人格。

這個中華民國人格,從擁有「漢賊不兩立」風骨的偏執狂蔣光頭,漸衰變為搞綏靖的兩岸外交掮客馬卡茸。

在這樣的故事中,道理上我們當然疑惑:那真正能給台灣一個名分和歸屬的好男人在哪裡呢?

我們對一個男人作為救世主的想像,是如此深刻且圓滑地內嵌在我們作為女性(自我貶抑)的自覺或作為男性(自我施壓及膨脹)自覺的主體性裡,以致於一個王子扮相的「前男友」「日本」,突然在網友接力續集中冒了出來:

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(漫畫出處:https://www.facebook.com/kimahri215/media_set?set=a.829779313702330.1073741929.100000108081342&type=3 作者:蔡季寯;支持創作與原創智慧財產,每張貼圖均有超連結連自於原創者上載之臉書頁面)

如同這位馬卡茸般的中華民國政府,個人當然更期盼他能成為一個保護台灣主體性,和台灣「合體」的真男人,那似乎是可想見、最接近實踐的最好結局(這是我們的民選政府啊!總比日本出手有可能和有正當性多了)。

但退到根本一點想,我們在這樣的性別二元敘事中,真正還是讓「台灣主體性」和「女性主體性」被同步縮限了:

就如同女孩在男性的強大力量與作為上級的權威面前,無法活得獨立自主而漂亮、必須附屬於一位安她名分的王子,而無法和大家都是平起平坐的純友誼,

難道台灣的獨立或中華民國國際地位的重建,也只是為了找到一個可以嫁的對象(聯合國)?

可是終究,這個時代的新女性必須找到超越性別權力框架的愛情,這個新時代的台灣同樣找到能超越性別權力框架的國情。

[文摘] 500 years after The Prince , it is the post-liberal age

Source Link: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/anti-saint-nicholas-day_769738.html?page=1

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Strauss showed that Machiavelli is the father of the modern world—from civil rights to applied natural science (in the sense that Descartes and Bacon took inspirations from Machiavelli).

Harvey Mansfield, Strauss’s greatest student on Machiavellian studies showed that the Prince, in and in spite of the apparent call for a revival of ancient Roman republican politics, is reflective of an epistemological revolution that entitles philosophy to lead human affairs (vis-a-vis the classical prudence): « a prince must have recourse to the effectual truth of how men do live, as distinct from how they ought to live, so that he may learn how not to be good, lest he come to ruin among so many who are not good. »

For all the ancient [political] writers are idealists who « imagined republics and principalities that have never been seen or known to exist in truth » (but ideals are meaningless unless understood against « facts », and vice versa.), it is until Machiavelli we started have science dealing with hard fact and philosophy with ideals.

« All the sciences demand practice [as opposed to mere theoretical speculation and observation] if one wishes to possess them perfectly, » he wrote.

Here is a story illustrative of how the platonic downplay of the material has deterred the science from developing:

Plutarch tells us that Archimedes of Syracuse, the famous mathematician, slightly vexed his king, who « had eagerly desired and at last persuaded him to turn his art somewhat from abstract notions to material things, and by applying his philosophy somehow to the needs which make themselves felt, to render it more evident to the common mind. » But Archimedes had only been following the injunction of Plato, who « inveighed against [mechanical applications] as corrupters and destroyers of the pure excellence of geometry, which thus turned her back upon the incorporeal things of abstract thought and descended to the things of sense.

On the contrary, Machiavelli teaches [with the story of Publius Decius] that we need hard science to know the particulars and extrapolate to the general, to understand one’s immediate environment and act on the basis of that understanding.

Plato, a realist*, would insist that each part is a wholesome unit and must be thought through on its own terms. Machiavelli retorts that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all

The scientists are intended to be a liberating army, freeing science and philosophy from the prelates of the Church who occupied the mind of man, not only allowing man to choose his own destiny but providing him with the tools to make it work.

But as the secular intelligentsia has replaced the priests but governs our thoughts, it’s ironic then that the mind of man may be less free in the age of liberalism. What’s needed are genuine philosophers to lead us out of this Machiavellian liberal swirl.

*
Traditional realism is the doctrine that Platonic universals or forms exist independently of language or human thought. That is, there is a correct way to divide the world up into its many objects and this way conforms to the underlying real structure.

somehow the forms of things (e.g. « square », « black », « good ») exist apart from the objects that conform to those forms. In more recent version of realism argues that the things we perceive exist apart from our mental representation of them — so, for example, the tree that fell in the forest with no one around would, according to this view, make a sound, even though no one could hear it. But notice, this recent sense of ‘realism’ falls short of addressing questions about the structure of the world and how it falls into its inherent categories, but that is the question addressed by traditional realism.
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