Monday, June 22, 2015

Cong Riyun, the spread of Western Political Thoughts in China, 2015.6.22


Cong Riyun is a professor at School of Political Science and Public Administration at China University of Political Science and Law

1, Because of the freedom of speech and publishing in Western society and the multi-diversified religions and ideologies, Western intellectuals and media could harshly and severely criticize their own system and government. They are used to looking at society with black-colored glasses and they tend to exaggerate the dark side of society. However, leftists in the West tend to criticize Western society from a certain perspective, for example criticize the war from a pacific perspective. However, Chinese leftist intellectuals don’t have this perspective. Those who passionately criticize Western pro-war behaviors generally tend to advocate war in China’s international relations (as well as the relation between mainland and Taiwan). But this does not stop them from denouncing Western civilization because they are influenced by Western leftists. They mainly use the lens provided by Western leftists to look at Western society and Western culture - this is a mistake of Chinese people getting to know the West. We have seen, in the past few decades that local new leftist intellectuals and Western-educated new leftists generally just copy all kinds of leftist theories to China. They have serious misunderstanding of Chinese society and in judging Western civilization.
1, 由于西方社会的言论和出版自由,宗教和意识形态的多元化,使西方知识分子和媒体可以挑剔地和激烈地批评本国制度和政府,习惯于戴着黑色眼镜观察社会,夸大社会的阴暗面。但西方左派往往是从某种特定的角度批判西方社会的,比如从和平主义角落反战,而中国左派知识分子并没有这个角度,激烈谴责西方战争行为的中国左派常常在中外关系上(以及大陆与台湾的关系上)是好战派,但这不妨碍他们受西方左派的影响而形成对西方文明否定性的认识。主要借助于西方左派提供的透镜来认识西方社会和西方文化,这是中国人认识西方的一大误区。我们看到,这几十年,本土的新左派知识分子和海归中的左派基本上都是把西方各种左翼理论贩运到了国内。对中国社会认识、判断西方文明,产生了严重的误导。

2, Ren Jiantao mentioned the “English disease” and I would like to expand its meanings. This kind of English disease is also a kind of disease of Western civilization. Western civilization has shown some sign of decline, as well as a lack of confidence. This has affected Chinese scholars and students who are educated in the West since the 80s. In their view this actually confirms their judgment on Western civilization that is taught in Chinese propaganda. Therefore all kinds of Western postmodern theories, social critique theories and all kinds of leftist influences were used to form the formula for Chinese nationalism. Actually those intellectuals who oppose Western stance depend on Western ideological resources most. They just refuse mainstream Western traditions. People usually say that Chinese leftists are very different from Western leftists. Western leftists stand on a more civil stance to criticize the government; while Chinese leftists have more affinity with the government - they provide ideological resources for the government and join them on the oppression of civil criticism. But Western leftists and Chinese leftists share something in common: they both criticize the West and they are both sympathetic in the understanding of Chinese reality. Chinese intellectuals who invite Western leftists scholars generally are those who are not completely enlightened themselves. When Western leftist theories are introduced to China, its natural logic is to embrace extremism, nationalism and authoritarianism.
2, 任剑涛提到了人们常说的“英国病”,我想把它的含义扩大一些,这个英国病也是西方文明之病,西方文明本身表露出了一些衰落的迹象,还有一些不自信的表现。这些都影响了80年代以来中国学者和留学精英,在他们看来,这正好印证了他们在国内宣传教育中向他们灌输的对西方文明的判断。所以,西方各种后现代理论、社会批判理论,各种左翼思潮,都被他们援引来拼成中国国家主义的药方。其实,那些持反西方立场的知识精英对西方思想资源的依赖是最强的,他们只是拒绝西方的主流传统。人们常说,中国的左派与西方左派完全不同,西方左派持民间立场,以批评政府为已任;而中国左派是亲政府的官派,与官府携手为压制民间批评提供思想资源。不过西方的左派和中国的左派有一点相同:二者都批判西方,并且都同情的理解中国现实。那些将外国左派请到国内的学者,往往是自己的头脑没经过彻底启蒙的。而西方的左派理论来到中国,其合乎逻辑的结果是拥抱极权主义、国家主义、威权政治。

3, Since the 1980s, some Chinese intellectuals borrowed resources from Western leftists and started to criticize or even demonize Western freedom and democracy. Meanwhile, they defended Chinese reality with nationalist logic. They borrowed Western multiculturalism to construct extreme Chinese nationalism. With the help of the deconstruction of postmodernism on democracy and the fashionable design of postmodernism, they rejected China’s democratization. Western leftists hold the anti-war stance and criticize the US government’s “hegemony” and “pro-war” policies. Chinese leftists take advantage of Western leftists’ resources to prove the US’ “hegemony” and “pro-war”. But they don’t follow Western leftists’ “anti-war” and pacifism stance, and just use the evidence of US’ pro-war behaviors exposed by Western leftists, to prove and strengthen their nationalistic stance.  Therefore, it might be good in the West, but it is poisonous when it is introduced to China.
3, 1980年代以来,中国一些知识分子借用西方左派资源,批判和妖魔化西方自由民主,同时,以国家主义逻辑为中国的现实辩护。援引西方的文化多元主义来建构中国的极端民族主义,借助后现代主义对代表制民主的解构和各种后现代的时髦设计,拒绝中国的民主化。西方的左派持反战立场,批判美国政府“霸权”与“好战”政策。中国左派则利用西方左派资源证明美国的“霸权”与“好战”,但他们并不追随西方左派的反战与和平主义立场,而是以西方左派所揭露的美国好战行为作为他们自己主张的国家主义立场和好战行为的依据。这样,在西方可能是良方,被引进到中国后则变成了毒药。

4, Since the reform and open up when there is another wave of large scale cultural communication with the West. Chinese intellectuals basically still hold that kind of special authoritarian personality that was constructed a few decades ago, which is a kind of pathological political psychology, a very serious political disease. Some people once were “red guards of Chairman Mao”, or even “little red guards”. The reform and open up and their Western education made them exposed to new knowledge and new theories from the West. Their mindsets have changed a lot but there is no fundamental change on their basic values. There is no reconstruction of personalities.
4,改革开放后中国再次与西方文化大规模交流的时候,中国知识分子基本上都是此前几十年改造和教育塑成的特殊的权威主义人格,那是一种病态的政治心理,严重的政治病态。有的人曾经是“毛主席的红卫兵”,甚至是红小兵,改革开放和国外学习的经历使他们接触到西方的新知识、新理论,其思想观念也有较大变化 ,但他们的基本价值观念没有根本的变化,更没有实现人格的重塑。

5, Young intellectuals in the 90s mainly received extreme and pathologic nationalist education, which made their psyche sick and personality deficient. Deep down in these people’s hearts and minds there was the deep preconceived prejudice on Western civilization, therefore it forced a special kind of attitude and sentiment on Western politics. Though in the past few decades since the reform and open up people’s human nature is basically liberated and there is the gradual development of modern psyche, the modern psyche is far from mature. They only reply on the nation, country, or power. This kind of immature modern personality faces all kinds of dominating power in family education, school education and social education. But their independent psyche is not enough to counter this kind of power. Therefore they experience frustration, oppression and sense of failure time and time again. They also seek more secure ways to vent to external objects. Therefore the new generation who are born after the reform and open up mostly believe in authoritarianism and are nationalists. The dependence on national power and resentment towards Western countries coexist in their subconsciousness.
5, 90年代的青年知识分子受到的主要是极端的和变态的民族主义教育,这种教育造成了他们心理上的不健康和人格上的缺陷。在这些人内心深处,预先就被植入了对西方文明的深深的偏见,形成了对西方政治的特定态度和情感。虽然改革开放后的几十年里,人们的个性得到初步解放,现代人格也初步发育起来,但是,现代人格还远未成熟,他只能依附于民族或国家,依附于权力。这样一种不成熟的现代人格在家庭教育、学校教育和社会环境中遇到各种专横的权力,而他的独立人格又没有成熟到能够对抗这种权力,于是,只能在一次次受挫中体验压抑感和挫折感,并且向比较安全的外部对象寻求发泄。[13]所以,改革开放后出生的新的一代,大多是权威主义者,也是民族主义者。对本国权力的依附与对西方国家的敌意并存于他们的潜意识里。

6, It is this kind of deep political psyche or political personality that makes intellectuals since the Republic time embrace nationalism, resent or mock mainstream Western values and identify with all kinds of Western collectivism and leftist ideologies. Though some people may support Western ideologies on freedom and democracy, deep down their political psyche is generally separated. China is still on the process of individualization, and most people still have not formed their own independent self-esteem and modern democratic personality, therefore they don’t have the value to respect individuals. They don’t know how to respect individuals’ lives, power and self-esteem.

6, 正是深层的政治心理,或政治人格特征,使从民国时代直到今天的一些知识精英拥抱国家主义,敌视或轻视西方的主流价值,认同西方的各种集体主义和左翼思想。即使有些人理论上支持西方的自由民主思想,但与其深层的政治心理往往是分离的。[14]因为中国社会的个体化过程还在进行当中,多数人还没有形成独立自尊的现代民主人格,因而也没有树立起尊重个人的价值观,不懂得尊重个体的生命、权利和尊严。

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