Saturday, February 28, 2015

News, commentaries and debates, 15-02-28

Lee Ming-huei is a researcher at the Academia Sinica’s Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy in Taiwan
In January 23, 34, 2015 published in The Paper ( a new media outlet based in Shanghai, set up in June 2014)

1, The Democratic Progressive Party thinks traditional Chinese culture is from the Chinese Communist Party and it does not belong to Taiwan. This logic is very stupid. But we can’t generalize the Democratic Progressive Party because there are many different branches within the Democratic Progressive Party. Among them the Fundamentalist's voice is the loudest. They basically want to separate the mainland and Taiwan very clearly. Their logic is generally very chaotic and they have made a fool of themselves.  
1, 民进党认为中国传统文化是中国共产党的,不是台湾的,其实这种逻辑是很愚蠢的。不过也不能这样笼统地说民进党,因为民进党中也有很多派别。其中基本教义派的声音最大,他们基本上就是要把大陆和台湾分得清清楚楚,但他们的逻辑常常是错乱的,闹出不少笑话。

2, For example the so-called “Taiwan language” is actually Southern Min dialect. But they keep calling it Taiwan language, and this logic is wrong.
2, 比如现在所谓的“台湾话”,其实就是闽南语,但是他们非要称它为台湾话,这其中的逻辑就不通。

3, Democracy is a product in modern society. The building of a democratic system requires the transition from traditional society to modern society. In a lot of senses it requires a cultural transition. In the past most Chinese didn’t really have the citizenship awareness, because they have never lived in a civil society. However, a democratic society needs the foundation of citizen’s awareness, so we need a shift in thinking.
3, 因为民主本身就是现代社会的产物,民主制度的建立本身就需要从传统社会过渡到现代社会,在很多地方都需要一个文化转化的过程。在过去一般中国人都不具有公民意识,因为并没有生活在公民社会中。但是民主社会需要有公民意识作为基础,所以需要思想上的转化。

4, Right now we still have the traditional thinking of “cultivate yourself, manage a house, rule the country and run the world”. However in modern society we should not require politicians to behave like this because public morality is the bottom line and they can’t cross it. In terms of politician’s relationship with their partners, that is their private business. It is the business between an individual man and woman.
4, 我们现在拥有的还是“修身、齐家、治国、平天下”的传统观念。但是现代社会不能再这样要求政治人物,因为公德是基本的底线,不能违背;至于和配偶的关系好不好,那是家务事,是两个男女之间的问题。

5, First of all I don’t really acknowledge the term “Mainland’s Neo-Confucianism”. Nowadays the so-called “Mainland Neo-Confucians” are mostly centered around Jiang Qing, include a small number of self-claimed people like Chen Ming. Neo-Confucianism did not emerge in the mainland until recently, it has been there for a long time. Besides those Neo-Confucians who have moved to Hong Kong and Taiwan, ain’t Xiong Shili, Liang Shuming and Fou Youlan all Neo-Confucians from the mainland? Where should they be catagorized?
5, 首先我对“大陆新儒家”的这个说法不认同。现在所谓的“大陆新儒家”是主要以蒋庆为中心,包括陈明在内的一小撮人的自我标榜。但并非到现在大陆才有新儒家,而是本来就有的。除了那些后来赴港台的新儒家之外,熊十力、梁漱溟和冯友兰不都是大陆新儒家吗?他们的位置放在哪里呢?

6, Second, I don’t agree with their categorization between Moral Confucianism and Political Confucianism. They believe neo-Confucians from Hong Kong and Taiwan lean more towards Moral Confucianism and neo-Confucians from Mainland lean more towards Political Confucianism. This is probably mostly because Jiang Qing has been advocating political Confucianism.
6, 其次,我也不赞同他们对心性儒学和政治儒学的区分。他们认为港台的新儒家偏重心性儒学,而大陆新儒家的侧重点在政治儒学,这多半是因为蒋庆在讲政治儒学的缘故。

7, Third, in Confucian tradition it is impossible to separate Moral Confucianism and Political Confucianism. I have also publicly criticized Jiang Qing. In my view, their so-called Political Confucianism is utopica. Nowadays Taiwan does not advocate Political Confucianism anymore because it has become a reality and does not need more advocacy. I think the policies that Jiang Qing have planned showed that actually he doesn’t really know much about politics. It is just his wishful thinking. Jiang Qing’s understanding of the West is very superficial. Also he does not have any practical political experience and does not know how a democratic system operates.
7, 第三,心性儒学和政治儒学在儒家的传统里本来就无法划分开来。我也公开批评过蒋庆。蒋庆他们所讲的政治儒学在我看来就是乌托邦. 现在台湾不再讲政治儒学,那是因为它已经成为现实,再也不用特别提倡。我看蒋庆所设想的那些制度,就表明他对政治根本就不了解,完全是他自己的一厢情愿。蒋庆对西方的了解很肤浅,也没有实际的政治经历,不知道民主制度是如何运作的。

(About Neo-Confucianism and Democracy in Taiwan)
8, In the 1950s the debates between Neo-Confucianism and Liberalism in Taiwan was because they had different attitude towards traditional Chinese culture. New-Confucians believe setting up a democratic system is not as simple as changing a costume -- you can just put it on top. The building of a democratic system needs to be compatible with the original culture. Therefore they need to introduce some resources from traditional culture. In their declaration in 1958 Neo-Confucians objected the “adding method”. Liberal scholars’ logic is very simple. They believe to promote the democratic system it is ok to just copy the Western democratic system.
8, 1950年代新儒家和自由主义在台湾产生争论的主要原因是他们对中国传统文化的态度不一样。新儒家的学者认为建立民主制度不是像换衣服一样简单,从外面拿来一件穿上了事。民主制度的建立本来就需要和原来的文化相调适,所以必须在传统文化里面找一些思想的资源来接引。新儒家在1958年的宣言中就反对“加添法”。自由主义学者的思维就很简单,认为要推行民主制度,直接照搬西方的民主制度就好了。

9, Of course we are not saying that there is the concept of democracy in traditional Chinese culture. It is that there are some resources in traditional Chinese culture that are beneficial to build up democracy. Why don’t we take good advantage of it? Why do we have to clash traditional culture and put on a coat of democracy? It is because of their different attitude on traditional Chinese culture, there is rupture between Neo-Confucianism and Liberalism. The result was both sides clashed.
9, 当然我们的意思不是说中国传统文化里面就有民主,而是说其中有些资源是有利于建立民主的。为什么不好好利用这种资源呢?而是非要把传统文化打倒后,从外面凭空换上一套民主的衣服?正因为对中国传统文化的态度不一样,新儒家和自由主义两派就分裂了,结果是两败俱伤。

(About Intellectuals’ role in society, difference between Confucian and other intellectuals)
10, It is easier to understand that before intellectuals had a particular status because of the exam system in the ancient time. In the old time being a government official was the only path for an intellectual. They had to shoulder the responsibility of the society, because besides them, no one was able to shoulder this important responsibility. However, in modern society it is very different. It is even hard to define so-called intellectuals.

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