Zheng Yongnian:  China Returns to Building a State Ruled by Law

Zheng Yongnian:  China Returns to Building A State Ruled by Law

郑永年:  中国重返法治国家建设

http://www.caogen.com/blog/Infor_detail/62478.html

August 21, 2014

At the highest levels of the Chinese government, no matter how many serious disagreements there are about just what form constitutional government might take, everyone realizes that for the sake of effective political governance, constitutional government is the only choice.

Now that the anti-corruption campaign has been underway for a long time, the Chinese Communist Party has announced that it will focus on a discussion of rule of law at the fourth session of the Eighteenth Party Congress that will be held in October 2014.   This is the first time that this issue has been discussed at a Party Congress.  This will certainly re-ignite the hopes of the many people who had once held great hopes for political reform in China but have been disappointed by the lack of any meaningful political reform up to the present.

Transforming China into a country ruled by law has been the ideal of generations of Chinese for over a century.  There have been many difficulties and twists in turns in the process of realizing this ideal.  The goal of creating a rule of law country was born after the dissolution of the Qing Dynasty.  With the dissolution of the old state, building a new state was a very difficult process.  Making China a rule of law country was not on the agenda then. For many years it was only an ideal.  In the modern era, the primary task of China’s elites has been to build a strong, independent and sovereign state free from incursions by foreign enemies.   China has passed through several principal stages from the dissolution of the Qing Dynasty, the confused battles among the warlords, the unification of China under the Republican government, invasion by foreign enemies (The War of Resistance Against Japan), the civil war between the Nationalist (KMT) Party and the Communist Party, and internal political struggles largely linked to the overriding importance of waging the class struggle.   During these stages, building a state under the rule of law was not the political goal of China’s elites.

After the policy of Reform and Opening began, building a state under the rule of law was finally put on the highest agenda of the ruling party.  In Deng Xiaoping’s time, building a legal system became the core of Chinese political reform.  On the ideological level, the sixteen character policy was put forward – that is, “There must be laws to go by, the laws must be observed and strictly enforced, and lawbreakers must be prosecuted.”  Deng Xiaoping and other leaders repeatedly emphasized the importance of building a legal system.   On the organizational level, the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party was established then as the authoritative state organ for promoting the construction of the legal system.

In 1995, the Fifteenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party formally established rule of law as an overall goal of China’s political reforms.   Although there is just one character difference between “legal system” and “rule by law”.  The change reflected a new stage in China’s development.  The “legal system” signifies establishing and implementing a comprehensive legal system.   “Rule of law”, however, signifies a way to resolve political issues.  That is, the law is no longer merely the tool of the rulers.  Every organization, including the ruling party, must obey the law.  Both the rulers and the ruled must obey the law.

Regrettably, when China entered the new century, building a rule of law country vanished from the reform agenda of the country’s leaders.  Although the leaders did sometimes mention the construction of rule of law, on the practical level they did just the opposite.  Rule of law not only didn’t make progress, in fact it retreated a great deal.  Specifically, the function of the Central Committee’s Political and Legal Affairs Commission quickly changed from promoting the construction of rule of law to becoming an organization that expands the scope of the state organs of force. This was manifested most clearly in the birth and extensive development of systems for maintaining stability.

Nobody denies the importance of social stability.  The issue is what is the foundation upon social stability is built.  If social stability mechanisms leave the track of rule of law and simply rely upon force, the result is creating even more social instability.  Moreover, both the overall concepts for maintaining stability as well as the ideas that guided its implementation went off the track of the rule of law.   Some departments even distorted the idea of the “mass line” and brought it into law enforcement where it became a kind of populism in the legal realm.  This resulted in a situation where the law was compelled to follow public opinion and in which the law could not be enforced when everyone is an offender.

Even more serious, the nature of the departments that utilize force (police, procuratorate, justice) changed.   The most important change was that they became very corrupt.  In the eyes of the people, the principal mission of those departments is to provide ensure safety and social justice in society.  But they became just the opposite.  It is not hard to understand why in the era of “social stabilization” that the relationships among the ruling party, the government, the people, and the state were severely damaged.   Although the goal of the ruling party was to build a harmonious society, Chinese society became less and less harmonious.  Today the Chinese people have very deep distrust in the government and its officials.  This is the result of the high pressure social stabilization policy.

Building Rule of law in China is Difficult

The Chinese people deeply detest the steady spread of corruption in government.  Therefore, since the opening of the Eighteenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, the highest level of the Communist Party has been carrying out an intensive anti-corruption campaign.  This anti-corruption campaign is unprecedented.  In just a short time, many officials at all levels have been investigated and punished.  Therefore, many people have said that they fear for China’s future, worrying about whether the anti-corruption campaign will make building rule of law in China even more difficult.  These people feel a great deal of uncertainty.

Actually, faced with the retreat of rule of law, Chinese society has responded in recent years by calling for constitutional government. People have linked constitutional government with the “China Dream”.

Therefore, the great significance of the current anti-corruption campaign is that it represents the ruling party turning back in the direction of building rule of law.   First of all, at the highest levels of China’s leadership,  no matter how much argument there has been amongst them about just what constitutional government should be, they understand that, for the purpose of establishing effective governance, constitutional government is the only choice.  People are against importing into China a carbon copy of western constitutional government.   However, they do believe that China must work hard to build its own model of constitutional government.   Although calls for constitutional government lead to big arguments, nobody denies that importance of rule of law.   In its essence, constitutional government is rule of law.

For society, rule of law can effectively protect the political, economic and social rights of members of society.  While rule of law protects people from violence and terror, there also is no need for protesters and government officials to confront one another by violent means.  Under the social stabilization mechanisms, the rights of the people are not protected and are often violated.  Citizens are forced to present their petitions for redress by unconventional means in response to government officials.  In many cases, this is expressed in violence.

However, building rule of law is difficult.  The ruling party has now once more put the rule of law on its highest agenda.  This is a political precondition for realizing a rule of law society.  During this process there will be very many problems of misunderstanding and political difficulties.  In China, the problem of understanding is manifested in at least three ways.   The first is traditional culture.   Traditional China never developed the spirit of rule of law.  China always stressed “ruling the country according to the law”.  That meant that the rulers use law to govern the country — that is the philosophy of the Legalist School of Chinese philosophy.  Down to this day, this concept is very deep-rooted and widespread.

Ever since the beginning of opening and reform, people have debated “which is more important, the Chinese Communist Party or the law? “  This concern is rooted in traditional thinking.  In fact, one cannot take the system of “party discipline and state laws to mean that Party cadres need only face the sanction of party discipline and are not subject to the punishment of the state’s laws.  In everyday life it doesn’t work that way.  Now the rule of law is being promoted and the Communist Party should also be ruled by the law.   This means that the rule of law needs to be brought into the governance of the Communist Party itself.  Whenever a Party cadre or official commits a crime, they should receive the punishment not just of party discipline but of the laws of the state as well.

The second obstacle to building the rule of law in China is the understanding that “law is a social tool”. That concept is the other side of the idea in traditional culture that “law is the tool of the rulers”.  The Chinese traditional view that “The law does not apply when everyone breaks the law” means that when there are many lawbreakers there is no need to think about the law.   This way of thinking is especially widespread in Asian countries where there is no rule of law tradition.  For example, the Taiwan students can ignore the law and occupy the Legislative Yuan and have behind-the-scenes support from several political parties.  Even Hong Kong which had an English colonial rule of law tradition has become widespread.  Some students and political forces are vigorously promoting the Occupy Central movement.  They hope to achieve their political goal by illegal means.  The China mainland is the same way.  In every social movement, rule of law is the most honest victim.  When it comes to lawyers, we see today how Chinese lawyers depart from the rule of law and appeal to public opinion.

In fact, from the actual meaning of rule of law, the law is not a tool for the ruler and is not a tool for society.   The law is an independent third party.  A judge is a referee and a relatively impartial one at that.   Justice is a platform that supports interactions between persons, between persons and organizations (including the government), and between organizations.   Taking that law simply as a tool of the ruler or a tool of society would both lead to abuse of the law.

Of course, people should not think of justice as simply being impartial.  Justice, no matter as a government agency or as the members of that agency, is all subject to influence by other factors.  They might be influenced by the government or they might be influenced by society.  Western countries are generally regarded as rule of law countries but much experience and research has shown that justice (an in particular the judges in the justice system) cannot avoid the influence of political forces.  So-called impartiality is only relative – it depends upon a professional spirit in the legal profession that demands that they adhere strictly to the standards of their profession above all else.

The third issue of understanding comes from with the question of just how China will establish its own system of rule of law.   For over a hundred years, China’s legal system has been deeply influenced by the West.  Since the beginning of reform and opening, it has been deeply influenced by the United States.  The West in the area of rule of law is ahead of China and so China must study it well.  However, this does not mean that China should import rule of law wholesale from the West.  China must avoid some of the pitfalls of the Western legal system.  For example, the United States often makes the rule of law become the rule of lawyers.  Just like other sectors, the Justice sector cannot ignore its own interests.  Law is the guarantee of social righteousness and fairness.  However one cannot simply assume that lawyers are the embodiment of social righteousness and fairness.  On the contrary, the Justice system can easily become a big interest group.   Lawyers themselves basically put their own personal interests above all else.

In the United States, lawyers have already become a very large interest group.  They are looking out for their own interests.  This results in big social problems.  For example, Americans like to sue one another.   They are also encouraged to sue and don’t like to come to an out-of-court settlement.  The formation of this attitude is linked to the very large number of lawyers in the United States.   While there is indeed the principle of supply and demand but in the American legal world the reality is just the opposite.  The great demand in the justice field in the United States was created by American lawyers acting as an interest group.   Bringing suit in court about anything has however brought the American legal system to the breaking point.  Its efficiency is declining and the social and economic costs are extremely high.

In building the rule of law there are political difficulties including who should do what and what should they do.  The focus of this argument is whether to retain the Political and Legal Affairs Commission.  Among intellectuals, many people have been angry with the Political and Legal Affairs Commission for a long while, as if the Political and Legal Affairs Commission were the biggest obstacle to building rule of law in China.  For some considerable period of time to come, this question will remain with us. People will debate it.  If we put aside the question of whether it should be retained, the most important question facing is how the functions of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission can be changed.  How can it be changed from recent years when it has been an agency for social stabilization to an agency that promotes building the rule of law?

In fact, ever since the Eighteenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, the Political and Legal Affairs Commission has been changing in that direction.  Its social stabilization functions it performed previously are become steadily less in evidence and are being replaced with the new concept of “social governance”.  Moreover, the Political and Legal Affairs Commission also made a breakthrough in pushing rule of law reform in a new direction, for example in the reform of the re-education through labor system.   In that field, the Political and Legal Affairs Commission still plays a major role.  As the functions of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission change, both society’s understanding of it and society’s views about it will also gradually change.

The rule of law does not simply descend from heaven.   It is the work of people who build rule of law.  The West spent over one hundred years building rule of law.   Over three decades have passed since China began its Reform and Opening policy.  During those years the road towards building rule of law had gone through many twists and turns.   Circumstances, however, are stronger than people.  Building the rule of law is a big trend because developments in the economy, society and politics are all favorable to building the rule of law.  Once the conditions are ripe — including the ruling party having a strong political will to see it through, members of society holding a scientific view of the concept of rule of law, and the existence of agencies building the rule of law — there will be solid grounds for believing that China too can build its own system of rule of law.

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http://www.caogen.com/blog/Infor_detail/62478.html

郑永年

中国重返法治国家建设

2014-08-21

字号:小中大

在最高的层次,不管人们对宪政抱有多大的争议,要确立有效的政治治理,宪政是唯一的选择。

在大规模的反腐败运动持续了很长一段时间后,中共宣布即将在10月召开的十八届四中全会,将专门讨论依法治国问题。这在中共历次全会中尚属首次,给众多对中国政治改革抱有很高期待 、而至今仍缺失任何有意义的政治改革而感到失望的人们,无疑是希望再燃。

把中国建设成为一个法治国家,是近代以来一代代中国人的理想,但实现这个理想的过程非常困难和曲折。法治国家的目标产生于清王朝解体之后。旧国家解体了,但新国家的建立则是非常 困难的事,法治国家建设更是提不到议事日程,在很长的历史时间里一直只是一个理想而已。近代以来,中国精英的首要任务就是建立一个强大、免于外敌入侵、独立的主权国家。中国基本 上经历了清朝解体、军阀混战、国民政府统一、外敌入侵(抗日战争)、国共内战和1949年之后以阶级斗争为主题的内部政治斗争等几个主要阶段。在这些阶段,法治国家建设并无法成为精 英的政治目标。

改革开放之后,建设法治国家终于正式提到执政党的最高议程上来。在邓小平时代,法制建设是中国政治改革的核心。在思想层面,当时提出了十六字政策,即“有法可依,有法必依,执法 必严,违法必究。”邓小平等领导人反复重申法制建设的重要性。从组织层面,当时设立的中央政法委员会(即政法委),就是为了推进法制建设的权力机构。

到1995年,中共十五大便正式把“法治”确定为国家政治改革的总体目标。“法制”和“法治”,一字之差,表明中国在法治国家建设上的新阶段。“法制”意味着要确立并实施一整套法律 体系,而“法治”则要解决政治问题,即法律不再仅仅是统治者的工具,任何组织包括执政党也必须服从法律——统治者和被统治者都要服从法律。

可惜的是,在进入新世纪之后,法治国家的建设在领导层的改革议程中消失了。尽管高层也不时提到要进行法治建设,但在实际层面,很多作为是相反的,法治不仅没有进步,反而出现了大 倒退。具体地说,中央政法委的功能从推进法治建设,很快就演变成为一个擅长于张扬国家机器暴力面的组织,主要体现在维稳机制的产生和大发展上。

没有人会否认社会稳定的重要性,问题在于社会稳定是建立在什么基础之上。维稳机制脱离了法治的轨道,走上了过度依赖暴力,结果造成了社会的更不稳定。同时,在指导思想和执政思路 上,这段时期也偏离了法治轨道。一些部门曲解“群众路线”,把此引入执法,演变成法律领域的民粹主义,导致了法律必须服从民意、法不责众的情况。

更为严峻的是,暴力部门(公、检、法)本身的性质发生了变化,尤其是变得极其腐败。在人民的眼中,这个部门的本来意义在于提供基本社会安全保障和社会正义,但现在是恰恰相反。不 难理解,在维稳的年代里,执政党和人民、政府和老百姓、国家与社会之间的关系遭到了何等巨大的破坏。尽管执政党的目标是建设和谐社会,但中国社会变得越来越不和谐了。今天人民对 政府及其官员的极端不信任,是和高强度的维稳有关的。

中国建设法治不容易

政府腐败蔓延开来,人们恨之入骨,因此中共十八大之后,中共高层进行了疾风骤雨式的反腐败运动。这个反腐败运动是前所未有的,在短短的时间里,大量的各级官员被查处。因此,也有 很多人出来对中国的未来表达出担忧,对反腐败运动会不会继续破坏中国的法治建设,感到很大的不确定性。

实际上,面临法治退步的局面,中国社会近年来一直在呼吁宪政,并把宪政和“中国梦”结合起来。

从这个意义上说,今天执政党再次转向法治建设,于国家、于社会都会是一种互赢的局面。对执政党来说,其意义是多层面的。首先,在最高的层次,不管人们对宪政抱有多大的争议,要确 立有效的政治治理,宪政是唯一的选择。人们反对中国照搬西方的宪政,但必须努力寻求建设中国本身的宪政。对宪政的呼吁尽管导致了大争论,但并没有人否认法治的重要性。从宪政的最 基本面来说,宪政即法治。

其二,在社会治理层面,前些年的维稳机制已经导致了“越维稳、越不稳定”的局面,要实现对社会的有效治理,必须重新返回到1980年代开始的法制和法治建设。在任何现代社会,法律是 社会治理的制度基础。其三,在强化执政党的合法性方面,法治无疑为人们指出了国家政治发展的大方向,并且能够从理论上说清楚执政党的性质,这必然会成为执政党执政合法性的巨大资 源。

于社会来说,法治能够为社会成员的政治、经济和社会权利提供有效的保护,在免于暴力恐惧的同时,无需诉诸于同样暴力的手段来和政府官员互动。在维稳机制下,老百姓各方面的权利得 不到保障,经常受到侵犯,老百姓也不得不诉诸于其他非正常的手段来应付政府官员,在很多情况下往往体现为暴力。

不过,建设法治并不是件容易的事情。执政党再次把此提升到最高的议程,仅仅是实现法治社会的一个政治前提。在这个过程中,仍然会面临无穷的认知和政治上的困难。在中国,认知的困 难至少表现在三个方面。一是来自传统文化。传统中国并没有发展出法治精神,所强调的是“依法治国”,即统治者使用法律来统治国家,是传统法家的思想。这个理念到今天仍然根深蒂固 ,非常流行。

改革开放以来,人们一直在争论“党大还是法大”的问题,就是对这一传统思维定式的担忧。实际上,不能把“党纪国法”理解成为党的干部只接受党纪的处置,而不受国法的惩罚。在现实 生活中也不是如此。今天提倡法治,也要以法治党,也就是要把法治引入对执政党本身的治理。党的干部官员一旦犯罪,不仅要接受党纪的惩罚,也要接受国法的惩罚。

第二种妨碍中国法治建设的认知是“法是社会的工具”。这种观点是传统文化中“法是统治者的工具”的对立面。中国传统有“法不责众”的说法——只要涉及的人多了,就无须考虑到法律 。这种观念在没有法治传统的亚洲尤其流行。例如,台湾学生可以无视法律来占领立法院,而一些政党则在背后支持。即使具有英国殖民地法治传统的香港,这种观念也在流行开来,一些学 者和政治力量在大力提倡“占领中环”运动,希望通过非法治的方式来实现政治目标。中国大陆更是如此,在每一次较大的社会运动中,法治往往是最廉洁的牺牲品。即使是律师群体,今天 也经常偏离法治而诉诸于民众。

实际上,从法治原来的意义上说,法律既不是统治者的工具,也不是社会的工具。法律是相对独立的第三方,法官就是裁判,是相对中立的裁判。作为第三者,司法是人与人之间、人与组织 (包括政府)之间、组织与组织之间互动的平台,简单地把法律视为无论是统治者还是社会的工具,都会导致法律的滥用。

当然,人们也不能简单地假设司法就是中立。司法,无论作为一种机构还是在这个机构工作的成员,都会受到其他因素的影响,既可以受到政府的影响,也可以受到社会力量的影响。西方一 般被视为是法治国家,但很多经验研究表明,司法(尤其是司法的主体法官)往往不可避免地要受政治力量的影响。所谓的中立只是在相对意义上的,就是要求司法界从业人员严格遵守专业 精神(professionalism),专业精神高于一切。

第三种认知发生在中国如何确立自己的法治体系这一层面。近代以来,中国的法律体系深受西方的影响。改革开放之后,受美国的影响更为深刻。西方在建设法治国家方面领先于中国,中国 须要好好学习。不过,这并不是说中国要照搬照抄西方,中国也必须避免西方法治体系的一些劣势。例如,美国的“以法治国”(rule of law)经常演变成为“律师治国”(rule of  lawyers)。如同其他领域,司法界本身也并非能够超越自己的利益。法律是社会正义和公正的保障,但不能简单地假定律师就是社会正义和公正的化身。相反,司法体制本身很容易演变成为 一个庞大的既得利益集团,律师也是基于自私利益之上的。

在美国,律师已经成为一个庞大的既得利益集团,追求自身的利益,这导致了巨大的社会问题。例如,美国人喜欢打官司,也被鼓励打官司,而不喜欢庭外和解。这种心态的形成和美国拥有 庞大的律师群体有关。照理说是需求创造供应,但在美国的司法界可能相反。大量的司法需求是美国律师作为一个既得利益集团创造出来的。什么事情都要诉诸于司法,反而促成美国的司法 体系不堪重负,不仅效率低下,而且社会经济成本无限高昂。

显然,中国要确立自己的法治体系,在认知层面,既要克服传统的“法律工具论”的思维,也要避免简单地照抄照搬西方的思维。

法治建设也面临实际政治的困难,包括谁来做、怎么做。这里争论的焦点在政法委的存留问题。在知识界,人们对政法委一直有诸多的抱怨,似乎政法委就是阻碍中国法治建设的最大阻碍。 在今后一段时间里,这个问题会长期存留下去,人们对此也会展开争论。如果避开其存留问题不谈,在目前的阶段重要的还是政法委的功能转变问题,就是要从前些年的维稳机制转变为促进 法治建设的机制。

实际上,十八大以来,政法委也在作这方面的转型。往日的维稳功能在不断淡化,被新的概念“社会治理”所取代。同时,政法委也在突出其法治改革的新方向,例如对劳教制度的改革。在 这方面,这个机构仍可大有作为。随着政法委功能的转变,社会对其的认知和看法也会逐渐得到改变。

法治不会从天上掉下来,都是人为建设的结果。西方花了一百多年的时间建立了法治。中国改革开放已经三十多年,法治建设也走过了相当曲折的道路。不过,形势比人强,法治建设是一个 大趋势,因为经济、社会和政治等方方面面的发展都在呼吁法治建设。一旦条件具备,包括执政党所具有的坚强的政治意志、社会成员科学的法治观念、法治建设机构的存在等等,就有充分 的理由相信,中国也能建设成自己的法治体系。

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Prof. Zheng Yongnian: What Does China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign Tell Us?

Another analysis of the corruption problem among Party and government officials in China from Prof.  Zheng Yongnian’s blog.  The continuing corruption crackdown is part of the ongoing efforts at  centralized reform ( 集中式改革) to do something about it.

 Zheng was born in Zhejiang Province,  graduated from Beijing University,  got his PhD in political science from Princeton and now teaches at Singapore National University.    Zheng’s Wiki bio at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zheng_Yongnian   and Baidu Wiki bio at http://baike.baidu.com/view/947488.htm   This commentary appeared in Singapore’s  United Morning News on August 5.  

 There are many good articles on Professor Zheng’s blog at http://www.caogen.com/blog/index.aspx?ID=66

What Does China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign Tell Us?

By Zheng Yongnian http://www.caogen.com/blog/Infor_detail/62054.html

August 6, 2014

With the case of former Chinese Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang having been filed and now being examined, the anti-corruption campaign underway since the convening of the Eighteenth Party Congress has is moving towards a new level of intensity.  Although people have been expecting this for some time, it also made public attention in the anti-corruption campaign even greater.

Among the various reaction and reflection being made on this case, three stand out.   First, the Zhou Yongkang case breaks with the Chinese Communist Party tradition of “leaders are not punished”.  From now on, no matter how high an official’s position, if he is corrupt then he will certainly be punished.  Second, ever since the current anti-corruption campaign started, Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou of the PLA has been seen by outside world as symbols of the “big tigers”.  Now that these two “big tigers” have been taken care of, some say that the anti-corruption campaign should come to a close.  Third, many people have been calling all along for putting an end to this kind of anti-corruption campaign that is conducted in the style of a political campaign.  These people say that the emphasis should turn to build a new system and that through system building and particularly by promoting rule of law, is the best way to fight corruption.

        These reactions make sense.  We need to reconsider how we do Chinese-style anti-corruption campaigns.   However, all these viewpoints do not reflect an understanding of the core issues that this anti-corruption campaign aims to resolve.   Actually, if we cannot leave behind some traditional thinking about anti-corruption work, it will be hard to do more thorough anti-corruption work and to finally achieve the political objective of creating honest government.

        First, “great men are not punished” has historically been a false proposition.  In the traditional system, except for the Emperor himself, anyone could be punished.   Throughout the history of China’s many dynasties, it has been very rare that any Emperor has had a court in which “great men” were not punished.  In Chinese political philosophy, “great man” is just an idealistic theoretical concept.  In thousands of years of Chinese history, there have been very few officials who met the philosopher’s standard of a “great man”.  China has only the concept of rule by law (法制) (this is official use law to rule the country) but not the concept of rule of law (法治)   (that is the official himself must obey the law).  Corruption and crimes committed by officials often escaped legal sanctions.  However if an official was found to threatening or challenging the dynasty itself, punishment was certain no matter how high the official’s position.  Through China’s history, it is hard to count the numbers of “great men” who have been killed by emperors.  This tradition continued after 1949 in the People’s Republic of China.  In the era before reform, Mao Zedong set off wave after wave of political campaigns.  Disaster befell many “great men”.  Not until the 1990s and the few years since have people thought that there is a “tradition” of not punishing great men.

            The very existence of this false proposition is a fraud foisted upon society and officials.  For society, this has two implications.   On one hand, all “great men” are seen as corrupt as in the expression “all officials are corrupt”.  On the other hand, “great men” cannot be punished.   Many people will express from a moral standpoint their contempt for corruption, but once they themselves get an official position or an opportunity to be corrupt, they become corrupt.   For officials, the two implications are that “great men” will not be punished or that their chances of being punished are smaller.  The other is that “great men” have a natural moral superiority and so “corruption” will not sway their actions.

For thousands of years, this false conception of corruption has in the end harmed not only imperial courts but also the interests of the state and of society.  There is a simple logic behind this.  Officials will seek all sorts of opportunities to maximize their corruption.  Law is merely a convenient tool.   A rule of law society cannot be created under those circumstances.  Regime capacity declines and they are no longer able to provide even minimal services to the people and become unable to make themselves legitimate in the eyes of the people.  Finally, as a result of the interaction of various factors, all regimes ended either in a popular uprising or in a revolution.  Even more tragic was that the new regime, after a period of honest governance, would always sink into the same kinds of corruption as before.  Throughout its history, China has been unable to escape this eternal vicious cycle.

Anti-Corruption Work Has Only Just Begun

The second idea is that once the “big tigers” have been punished that the anti-corruption campaign can come to an end.  There is some history to this idea but it has harmful consequences.  As I have written before in this column, the main goal of this anti-corruption campaign is to oppose oligarchy.   When you look at it from that perspective, the anti-corruption campaign has only just begun.  The campaign should continue and be extended into other areas of oligarchy.  The strong voices that call for anti-corruption work finish up often come from oligarchs in these other areas or from people whose interests are threatened.  They have begun to feel the pressure and worry about their futures.  Therefore they very much want anti-corruption work to “come to an end” so that they themselves won’t end up being targets.

        The voices called for it to “come to an end” also come from foreigners who benefit from corruption in China.  China’s economic development took place after opening and reform began.  Many foreign companies came to China and now have large economic interests.  In recent years, people have been discovering that these international companies with their excellent reputations are also engaged in corruption.  Not only are they corrupt themselves but they also openly search for Chinese corrupt “agents”.  There are many stories circulating about how many companies are always trying to “hire” the children and relatives of high ranking officials.  In fact, many children and relatives of high officials have become the agents of foreign companies in China.  Recently, a report published by a big foreign company stated that China’s anti-corruption campaign would reduce China’s GDP by a certain number of percentage points.  The unstated meaning is that the anti-corruption campaign should come to an end at a suitable time.

        No matter how we look at it, there should be no concept of “coming to an end” in anti-corruption work.  Anti-corruption must be the continuing task of all who govern.  Everywhere in the world, in both democracies and authoritarian states, no system can be guaranteed to be free of corruption.  Different kinds of corruption appear in different countries.  No matter what kind of corruption they face, fighting corruption is a difficult task in all countries.  In China, people often have the idea of “it coming to an end” and in practice it has often worked out that way.  The political function of anti-corruption work has often been prominent in China.  Once political authority has become well-established, anti-corruption work suddenly comes to an end.  This kind of anti-corruption campaign, after some officials have been arrested, often gives “protection” to many other corrupt officials.  Once an anti-corruption campaign begins, some officials will use various ways to get out of the storm path.  Once the storm has passed, they go back to their old ways.  Moreover, this gives the outside world the impression that anti-corruption work for the Chinese Communist Party is merely to do a political campaign for political purposes and not for the sake of establishing honest government.

            The third concept, that the anti-corruption work should focus on system building is a very attractive one and is in fact at the heart of the problem.  However, we need to be on guard against having too simple an understanding of the relationship between anti-corruption campaigns and system building.  This is an issue that needs much more thought.  System building, and especially building rule by law and rule of law, are very important forces for fighting corruption.  Nobody doubts that.  It is just that the defects in our systems leads to the corruption we see today.   Ever since reform and opening began, China has placed great stress on system building.  In fact, several generations of leaders and several government have in fact have been continually building new systems and putting in place new measures for fighting corruption and for establishing honest government.  If we consider only the number of systems and measures, China probably has more of them than any other country in the world.  But why is corruption still rampant?   We come here to an important issue – how can we create the political environment need for the construction of an anti-corruption system.  If we don’t have a basically good political environment, then any kind of anti-corruption system will be useless.

Actually, nobody has grounds for feeling the slightest bit satisfied at the progress of anti-corruption work.  Even more there should be no feeling that now is the time we can slack off a bit.  On the contrary, these cases have revealed to the people the most severe warning conceivable:  evidence of just how bad corruption has made the China’s political environment.

            The current anti-corruption campaign has made clear some very worrying trends.

Only the Tip of the Iceberg has been Discovered

First of all is the breadth of corruption.  The goal of this anti-corruption campaign is to fight both “tigers” and “flies”.   But people are discovering that “tigers” and “flies” have spread widely to every department and every level of Party and government organizations including the military.  Thus far, the anti-corruption campaign has only affected a few departments.  However, from the extent of corruption in those departments, it is easy for people to conclude that the corruption discovered up to the present is only the tip of the iceberg.

Next comes the issue of the depth of corruption.  Corruption has already penetrated to the power centers at every level of leadership.  The corruption of local “top leaders” is nothing new.  For many years it has been the biggest headache of the regime.  But today corruption has already penetrated the Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee and the Central Military Commission – that is the very core of the Central Committee of the ruling party.  What will be the consequences of corruption at the power centers?  That is a question in everyone’s mind.

        The third issue is the number of corruption cases.  Without getting into other forms of corruption as for example the abuse of power and infringing on the human rights of the people, if we just address the economic scale of corruption, the scale of official corruption has become so large that it goes beyond rational understanding.  People can comprehend that someone might steal several millions or tens of millions because that amount of money can be put to practical use such as a luxurious lifestyle or purposes such as accumulating some wealth for the next generation.  However, when corruption reaches the scale of billions, tens of billions or even hundreds of billions, this is not something that we can comprehend.  That is because that amount of money does not have instrumental use.  In fact, even the corrupt person can’t understand that vast a scale of corruption.

Fourth, and even more important, is that today’s corruption has an oligarchic nature.  That does not mean that there is an oligarch behind every corruption case.  Many cases of corruption on the “fly” level do not involve that.  However, oligarchic corruption has already become the main form of corruption in China today.  During the process of transition from the planned economy to the market economy, economic oligarchs become a reality.  In that respect, China resembles the transitional society of some former communist states such as the Russian Federation, Ukraine and of Eastern Europe.  Moreover, economic oligarchy is a problem facing most countries of the world now.  The problem in China is that these economic oligarchs have started to transform themselves into political oligarchs.   When economic oligarchs mobilize their vast resources to interfere in politics, the overall interests and even the survival of the ruling party are directly threatened.  In recent years, many of the challenges of high level politics have been connected to oligarchs.

        Heretofore, leaders have all said corruption is a matter than can destroy the Communist Party and destroy the state.  However, people have understood this as simply a warning to civil servants and officials.  However the corruption cases revealed now deliver a clear message.  The process of corruption “destroying the Communist Party and destroying the state” is definitely already underway.   Clearly, if this problem is not resolved, we are not far away from the point where the Communist Party and the state will be destroyed.  Even more important, after the Communist Party and the state have been destroyed, China will not be able to avoid becoming what Westerners call a “failed state” and a hopeless society.   This has happened before in history.

Some Chinese Communist Party members used to say this about reform — if it (the Communist Party) does not reform, it will be destroyed and if it reforms, it will be destroyed even faster.  That is making excuses for corruption and is just an excuse for leaders to shirk their responsibilities.   Communist Party governance does have another characteristic however.   As long as the leaders are strongly determined to fight corruption, they will be able to mobilize far more people than the profiteers and the oligarchs can.   Overcoming their strong resistance and pushing forward reforms is the way to create a regime that can govern in peace indefinitely.  Today China has already taken the first step.  I am confident that it can continue moving forward.

郑永年  

中国模式 – 郑永年首页

中国反腐败运动揭示什么?

2014-08-06

随着前中共政治局常委周永康被立案审查,中共十八大以来的反腐败运动走向了一个新的高潮。尽管这件事情人们等待已久,但仍然引出了人们对中国反腐败运动的新一轮的关注。

  在各种各样的反应和反思中,有三点显得特别显著。第一,周永康案终于打破了中共“刑不上大夫”的传统,从今以后,不管官员的地位有多高,只要发现腐败,就一定会得到惩处。第二,自从这次反腐败运动开始以来,周永康和军中的徐才厚一直被外界视为是“大老虎”的标志性人物。现在随着这两只“大老虎”的被处置,反腐败运动应当告一个段落了。第三,也有很多人一直在呼吁,有关部门应当停止这一政治运动式的反腐败运动,把重点转向建立新的制度,因为通过制度建设尤其是法治建设,反腐败才是最牢靠的。

  这些反应并非没有道理,对中国式反腐败运动的反思也很重要。不过,这些都并没有理解这次反腐败所要解决的核心问题。实际上,如果人们不能超越反腐败问题上的一些传统思维,就很难把反腐败运动深入下去,最终实现建设清廉政府的政治目标。

  首先,“刑不上大夫”历来就只是一个假命题。在传统体制下,除了皇帝,谁都可以上刑,历朝历代,很少能够发现一个朝廷没有对“大夫”上刑的。在中国的政治哲学中,“大夫”只是一个理想的理论假设,数千年的历史中,符合“大夫”哲学标准的官员少而又少。中国只有“法制”的观念(即官员使用法律来统治国家),而没有“法治”的观念(即官员自身也必须服从法律)。官员腐败和犯罪经常能够逃避法律的制裁。不过,任何官员一旦被发现对王朝本身构成危害和挑战的时候,不管其地位有多高,“上刑”是必然的结果。历史上,皇帝所杀的“大夫”难以计数。这种传统也延续到1949年之后的中华人民共和国。在改革开放之前的年代,毛泽东发动了一波又一波的政治运动,又有多少的“大夫”遭殃呢!只有到了上世纪90年代之后的短暂时间里,才有现在人们所谓的“刑不上大夫”的“传统”。

  实际上,这个假命题的存在,于社会、于官员都是一种欺骗。于社会,这里隐含着两方面的暗示,一方面,所有“大夫”都是腐败的,所谓的“无官不贪”;另一方面,“大夫”们是不会得到惩治的。很多社会成员,在道德上往往对腐败表现出深恶痛绝,但一旦自己得到一个官位或者腐败的机会,照样腐败。于官员,这个概念也隐含了两个暗示,一方面,“大夫”的腐败不会得到惩罚或者得到惩罚的机会比较少;另一方面,“大夫”具有天然的“道德优越”性,“腐败”无足轻重。

  数千年以来,在腐败方面的这些虚假的认知,最终的受害者便是朝廷,或者是国家和社会的整体利益。逻辑很简单,官员找各种机会腐败,追求腐败的最大化;法律仅仅只是一种方便的政治工具,法治社会建立不起来;政权能力低下,既没有能力为老百姓提供最低限度的服务,也没有能够在老百姓眼中确立合法性;最终在各种因素互相影响之下,都会以老百姓造反或者革命的方式来结局。更为可悲的是,新确立的政权在最初清廉一段时间之后,也往往走向同样的腐败。这是中国历史的一个永远走不出来的恶性循环。

  反腐败其实刚刚开始

  第二种观点,即在“大老虎”被惩治之后,反腐败运动应当告一个段落了,有其深刻的背景,其结果也是有害的。本栏曾经论述过,这次反腐败的主题是反寡头。从这个角度来说,反腐败其实刚刚开始,应当继续延伸到其他更多的寡头领域。力主反腐败应当告一个段落的声音,往往来自这些其他寡头领域,或者既得利益。他们开始感觉到压力,忧虑自己的未来,因此非常希望反腐败能够告一个“段落”,不会动到他们的头上去。

  “告一段落”的声音也来自海外在中国的既得利益。中国的经济发展是在开放状态下取得的,众多的国际大公司也已经在中国确立了庞大的既得利益。近年来,人们不断发现,这些在国际上享有良好声誉的国际公司也在中国践行腐败。不仅自己腐败,而且更是公然地在中国寻找腐败的“代理人”。很多公司一直在公然“招聘”中国高干子弟的故事广为流行,大量的高干子弟也的确已经成为外国公司的中国代理人。前不久,更有外国大公司出版分析报告说,中国的反腐败运动会拖累中国经济多少个百分点。言外之意就是说,反腐败运动要适可而止了。

  反腐败的确会影响到经济,例如官员的公费消费下降了,那些通过行贿等不正当手段的投资项目减少了等等。不过,这些只涉及到短期的微小调整,长远来说可以营造经济可持续发展的理想环境。不管怎样,没有人希望中国经济增长是建立在腐败之上的,也没有人会相信腐败可使中国的经济增长实现可持续性。

  无论从哪个角度来看,反腐败不应当有“段落”的概念,这应当是所有执政者一件永恒的事业。在世界范围内,今天无论是民主政体还是权威政体,没有一个制度可以保障不出现腐败,不同国家面临不同形式的腐败,但一样都面临着反腐败的艰巨任务。在中国,人们经常存在“段落”的观念,实践上也经常是这样。反腐败因此往往突出其政治功能,等到现政权巩固权力了,反腐败运动就会嘎然而止。这种反腐败运动在抓了一批官员之后,往往为更多的腐败官员提供了“庇护”。运动一来,一些官员就想各种办法来避风,一阵风过去之后,照样腐败。同时,这种观念也给外界一种印象,即中共的反腐败仅仅是为了政治需要的政治运动,而并非要建立清廉政府。

  第三个观点,即反腐败的重点在于制度建设,这很有吸引力,也的确是问题的关键。不过,对反腐败运动和制度建设之间的关系不能做简单的理解,而是要做更多的反思。制度建设尤其是法制和法治的建设,对反腐败最为重要,没有人会怀疑这一点。正是各项制度的不健全,才导致了今日的腐败。不过,改革开放以来,也很难说中国没有强调制度建设。事实上,中国历届领导层和历届政府,都想在反腐败和建立廉洁政府方面有所作为,并且也一直在增加反腐败的力度,并不断增加反腐败的制度机制。从反腐败所设置的机构数量来说,中国可以说已经是世界上最庞大的。但为什么腐败还是我行我素呢?这里涉及到一个更为重要的问题,即反腐败制度建设的政治环境问题,在没有一个基本良好的政治环境的时候,任何反腐败的制度建设都会无济于事。

  实际上,人们没有任何理由可以为近来反腐败所取得的进展,感到一点点高兴,更不应该感觉轻松起来。恰恰相反,这些案例的揭露已经向人们提出了最为严重的警告:腐败已经使中国的政治生态恶化到什么程度了?

  这次反腐败运动到目前为止,已经揭示出几个非常令人担忧的趋势。

  被发现的仅冰山一角

  首先是腐败的广度。这次反腐败的目标是既打“老虎”,也打“苍蝇”,但人们发现“老虎、苍蝇”已经扩展到包括军队在内的各个部门和各级党政机构。到今天为止,反腐败运动还只是涉及到有限的几个部门,但从这些部门腐败的广度来看,人们不难得出结论,现在所发现的腐败仅是冰山一角。

  其次是腐败的深度。腐败已经深入到各级领导的权力核心。地方“一把手”腐败的情形并不新鲜,也是很多年来当局一直最为头痛的关切对象。但现在的腐败已经深入到政治局常委和中央军委,也就是执政党中央的核心领域。权力核心的腐败的结局是什么?这是一个谁都明白的问题。

  其三是腐败的数量。且不说其他方面的腐败,例如权力滥用、侵犯老百姓人权等,光是就腐败所涉及的经济规模来说,官员的腐败已经不是人类理性所能理解的了。人们可以理性地假定,贪污数百万甚至几千万还可以理解,因为这个数量还可以体现出一些具体的功用,例如过着豪华奢侈的生活,为下一代积累一些“财富”等。但当腐败涉及到数十个亿、数百亿、甚至数千亿的时候,就不是人类理性所能理解的,因为这个数量已经没有任何具体的功用。实际上,这样的腐败数量恐怕连这些腐败者自己也不能理解。

  其四,也更为重要的是,现在的腐败具有寡头性质。这并不是说,所有的腐败案例都具有寡头背景,很多“苍蝇”层面的腐败并非如此。不过,寡头腐败已经成为今天中国腐败的主要形式。在从计划经济到市场经济的转型过程中,经济寡头俨然已经成为现实。在这个方面,中国和其他前共产主义转型社会例如俄罗斯、乌克兰和东欧的一些国家并无多少差别。同时,经济寡头也是世界上大多数国家所面临的共同问题。中国的问题在于,这些经济寡头要开始转型到政治寡头。当经济寡头动用其庞大的经济力量来干预政治时,执政党的整体利益甚至生存就面临直接的挑战。这些年来,高层政治所面临的很多挑战都和寡头有关。

  之前,历届高层领导也都会说,腐败要亡党亡国,但当时人们对此的理解是,这样说无非是要对干部官员做一个警告作用。不过,现在所揭露出来的腐败案例,已经向人们传达一个明确的信息——由腐败所导致的“亡党亡国”过程的确已经开始。很显然,如果不整治,离亡党亡国也就不远了。更为重要的是,亡党亡国之后,中国不可避免地要演变成为西方所说的“失败国家”和一个无奈的社会。这种情形在历史上并不是没有发生过。

  从前中共党内有一个流行的观念,即(共产党)不改革要亡,改革也要亡,而改革比不改革亡得更快。这既是对腐败最好的辩解,更是执政者不负责任的推辞。可是,中共政治还有一个显著特点,那就是只要领导者对反腐败有坚强的意志,就能动员起远远大于既得利益和寡头的能力,克服后者的强大阻力,把改革推向前去,实现长治久安。今天,中国已经走出了第一步,也相信能够继续走下去。

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Prof. Zheng Yongnian Fighting Corruption and China’s Second Political Revolution

Interesting article on China’s current anti-corruption campaign and what it all means by Zheng Yongnian. Zheng was born in Zhejiang, graduated from Beijing University, got a PhD in political science from Princeton and now teaches at Singapore National University. Wiki bio at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zheng_Yongnian

郑永年:反腐败与中国第二次政治革命

By Zheng Yongnian Fighting Corruption and China’s Second Political Revolution

– Singapore National University, East Asian Institute Chair

博主:朱民志  发表时间:2014-08-12 13:01:49

http://baijiaxuan.bokerb.com/blog.php?do=blog&event=view&ids=566439

Corruption in China has now reached a scale that threatens the survival of both the Chinese Communist Party and the PRC state. People always talk about building institutions yet corruption is a product of institutions. Corruption is thus the result of the operation of current institutions – economic, political and administrative. If anti-corruption institutions are not in place, corruption cannot be stopped effectively, much less rooted out. In this sense, all countries will take an institutional approach to punishing corruption, preventing corruption, and establishing an honest government.

Yet China has been building institutions to fight corruption since the opening and reform policy began in 1978. China may well have more and larger scale systems to fight corruption than any other country. Every generation of Chinese Communist Party leadership and every PRC government have increased the number of institutions and mechanisms to fight corruption. So we need to the relation between anti-corruption campaigns and institution building and not simply expect the system to solve the problem of corruption.

In the overall strategy in China’s current anti-corruption campaign – first treat the symptoms and only then cure the disease — makes a great deal of political sense. In fact, corruption has become so serious that curing the disease would be difficult without treating the symptoms first. Every system is built by people and operated by people. Any institution, if it is built by corrupt people or operated by corrupt people, will turn a system that theoretically is well-designed to prevent corruption into a corrupt system. Since the 1980s, China has established many systems to fight corruption but many of the people who run these systems, and indeed the people fighting corruption, are corrupt themselves. Corruption flourishes as a result.

Looking at the problem from this perspective, we should not underestimate the effectiveness of anti-corruption campaigns. Where corruption runs deep, anti-corruption campaigns can help to create a better political situation. Only in an improved political situation will it be possible to build a system that can effectively fight and prevent corruption. The process would run like this: first run a campaign to clean up some particularly egregious corruption and create a good environment for institution building, then create a system and put mechanisms in place for opposing and preventing corruption that meets the needs of the day. Finally, use the institutions and mechanisms to guarantee honesty in government.

Corruption in China’s Communist Party Runs from the Top to the Bottom

Naturally the anti-corruption campaign should not be presented as just a political campaign. The current anti-corruption campaign, although it appears to resemble the anti-corruption campaigns of the past, has already broken the mold in at least three ways. First, this anti-corruption campaign is not a populist mass movement. In fact, the space allowed for a mass inspired bottom-up anti-corruption campaign through the Internet has been tightened very greatly. This is particularly evident when we reflect how in past years Chinese people spontaneously created anti-corruption by agitation on the internet. That had become almost the predominant type of anti-corruption campaign. But no more.

The present anti-corruption campaign, however, is a top-down anti-corruption campaign conducted within the Chinese Communist Party. Although enterprises are sometimes involved in specific cases, this campaign is aimed at Communist Party and government officials, and particularly at high-ranking officials. The concept of the anti-corruption campaign itself is not problematical; the issue is whether the campaign is conducted according to the law. Democratic countries also have anti-corruption campaigns. This campaign has tended to be put on a legal basis more than previous anti-corruption campaigns. In any institutional environment, corruption will tend to accumulate and so a campaign will be needed to clean things up. The format of the anti-corruption campaign does not necessarily conflict with rule by law as long as the anti-corruption campaign is conducted in the spirit of rule by law.

Building institutions to fight and prevent corruption is important. To judge by formal structures and their numbers, China has already has these. However, there is much room for improvement, particularly in the effectiveness and authoritativeness of these institutions. First of all, China has too many institutions for fighting and preventing corruption. The problem is that its internal mechanism is too diverse and scattered. The corruption prevention and fighting system is not an integrated whole and lacks coordination. Political responsibility is not defined clearly. The various institutions checkmate one another and shirk responsibility so that is a great deal of waste. This leaves a lot of space that creates opportunities for corrupt elements.

Up to the present, anti-corruption institutions have lacked authority. This has been a serious weakness since these campaigns were in the form of the ‘right hand fights corruption of the left hand’ and the ‘left hand prevents corruption in the right hand’. The same level of Party Committee or government would both be leading and be the object of anti-corruption campaigns. They would be in charge of preventing and fighting their own corruption. This kind of system design is bound to fail. A situation in which each level of Party Committee leads its own anti-corruption campaign creates a situation in which the Party Committee itself is the root of corruption. Allowing each level of Communist Party Committee to guide its own anti-corruption work is creating a situation like the old saying of the robbers who clumsily defend themselves by saying “The 300 taels of silver aren’t buried here!”

These two improvements – authority and higher levels inspect lower levels – have made the anti-corruption campaigns conducted since the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party more vigorous and more effective than previous campaigns. First, the old problem that nobody is in charge of the anti-corruption campaign has been resolved. Now everyone in China knows who is in charge of anti-corruption work and to whom corruption should be reported. Moreover, this campaign has strengthened the authority of the Central Disciplinary and Inspection Commission of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee. Today, we can see that that subordinate organizations of the Central Disciplinary Commission have been placed in anti-corruption organizations. Central Disciplinary and Inspection Commission personnel dispatched to all levels of the leading departments and commissions of the Central Committee and central government are in charge of anti-corruption work. Unlike in the past, the leading Party and government departments and commissions are no longer in charge of fighting their own corruption.

The system being implemented now is “manage the next lower level”. That is, anti-corruption work at the provincial level is being carried out by the Disciplinary and Inspection Commission of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. This breaks with the old system in which each provincial committee did its own anti-corruption work. If it hadn’t been for these two changes in the system, it would be hard to imagine how officials at each level from the flies to the tigers could be investigated. After this anti-corruption campaign is over, these innovations need to be institutionalized and strengthened.

Even if these reforms should succeed, we should not overly idealize the importance of institutionalizing corruption prevention and anti-corruption work. We can’t pin all our hopes on it. International experience shows that honesty in government requires not just effective institutions and mechanisms for preventing and fighting corruption but also that they work together well. They also need to coordinate with other economic, social, administrative institutions and arrangements. How can China today, make all these institutions be made to work harmoniously together to fight corruption? This is a big systems engineering problem. Here we can only touch on a few aspects of it.

The reform of the economic system means eliminating the institutional foundations of the economic oligarchs. The third session of the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party made “marketization” the goal of enterprise reform. Marketization means that enterprises operations will be transparent and open. Under the 1990s policy of “keeping the big state enterprises and selling off the smaller ones” big groups of state owned enterprises were organized. This was the correct policy direction but marketization was not achieved. The result has been that today these state-owned enterprises have turned into the family businesses of high officials. These businesses operate in a highly monopolistic fashion. They are very closed in both hiring and promotions.

The Closed Networks of State Enterprises

Take any Chinese state enterprise. You will easily discover that its management layers from top to bottom are filled with the relatives and friends of officials. An ordinary person, even if they are extraordinarily talented, has a hard time penetrating the networks of the state enterprises. The barriers between social classes in Chinese society are getting harder to penetrate. The closed nature of state enterprises is one reason for this. If the family business nature of state enterprises does not change, it will be very hard to make it more open.

In the economic realm, establishing a budgeting system is equally important for fighting corruption and promoting honesty in government. In recent years, establishing a budget system has been the precondition for any country to promote honesty in government. The budget is the blood of the government system. If you can control the blood flow, then you will be able to prevent and fight corruption. Therefore government needs to prove how every penny is spent. This makes it easy to understand why accounting, auditing and other work involving quantitative measures are among the most important professions in any developed country. From this perspective, today’s China has not yet developed a budgeting system in the modern sense.

In China, the so-called budget mostly is an indication of how fiscal resources have been politically and administratively allocated. In other words, how political and administrative power are used to get budget resources. The methods of allocating and actually distributing resources are not transparent. A Chinese leader can have astronomical budgetary resources at his disposal to an extent that is unimaginable in other modern countries. China has never developed a modern auditing system and so control of budgetary resources is done by political means. In the absence of a modern budget system, even the biggest anti-corruption campaign cannot be effective.

Reducing and controlling the power of officials is the way forward in administrative reform. “We need to confine power to a box”. If officials have too much power, it will be very hard to make a box for it. Even more important are reducing the official powers and the scope of authority of government officials. This means that government must delegate to lower levels the authority to make administrative approvals. Authority should be delegated to enterprises and to people in society. If much power is delegated to enterprises and people in society, that it will be much easier to put the authority of the government in a box.

Reforming society is just as important. Corruption is often the result of abuse of official power, seeking rents from power, or seeking special privileges. The various privileges that officials have in various fields need to be curtailed and controlled. But this no magic bullet. The experience of many countries shows that the socialization of “special privileges” is very important. Every citizen, including officials, should enjoy a good social security system. If not, official will constantly scheme to get special privileges for which they can collect rents. Civil servants need earn a rate of pay that can assure them a decent standard of living. If they don’t earn decent pay, then that will affect their motivation to do their jobs and make them create “hidden rules” that will enable them to extract rents in exchange for power.

This moment in China’s current political ecology now is an historic opportunity to fight corruption. It is also an historic opportunity to establish a system to prevent and to fight corruption. This is not merely because corruption has reached a serious extent but also because now a new generation of leaders is taking charge. If this new generation of leaders can fight corruption, there is no guarantee that the succeeding generation will do so as well. There is no excuse for the present generation of leaders to shirk their responsibilities.

Most important off all, Chinese politics is now at a turning point. If the current corrupt political ecology does not change, three kinds of bad consequences could result.

• First, the regime could gradually turn into a right-wing dictatorship as economic oligarchs become political oligarchs.
• Second, the regime could gradually turn to populism as it loses its basic legitimacy, the people rise up in revolt and a new revolutionary regime is created.
• Third, the regime could change into right wing populism as the political oligarchs and the economic oligarchs join forces just as they have in Ukraine today – one oligarch, one party, multiple political parties mobilizing their supporters in vicious fighting.

Naturally, different historical circumstances will produce different results or even a vicious cycle running through each of these possibilities.

Fighting corruption remains a long-term task. China needs to seize its opportunity to conduct a large scale and continuing anti-corruption movement and to build a new system of institutions that will prevent and fight corruption. If China succeeds, people will call it “China’s second political revolution”.

The author is the chair of the Singapore National University’s East Asian Institute
August 12, 2014 United Morning News

2014年08月12日联合早报网


 

http://baijiaxuan.bokerb.com/blog.php?do=blog&event=view&ids=566439

郑永年:反腐败与中国第二次政治革命

博主:朱民志  发表时间:2014-08-12 13:01:49

中国的腐败已经发展到亡党亡国的程度。怎么办?人们指向制度建设。腐败是制度的产物。首先,腐败是现存制度运作的结果,包括经济、行政和政治体制在内的很多制度。其次,反腐败的制度不作为,不能有效遏止腐败,更不用说是根除腐败了。正是在这个意义上,所有国家都会从制度入手来惩治腐败和预防腐败,确立清廉政府。

但是,对反腐败的制度建设的考量不能过于简单。中国自改革开放以来,并非没有制度建设。论反腐败制度的规模和数量,中国可能比任何国家都要大、要多。每一代领导人、每一届政府都会增加一些制度和机制。这里就需要比较现实地理解反腐败运动和制度建设之间的关系,而不是简单地企求制度来解决所有腐败的问题。

这次反腐败的总体策略是先治标,后治本,这有很大的政治理性。从实际情况看,腐败已经发展到不治标就难以治本的地步。首先需要治标,就是要为反腐败制度的确立,营造一个良好的政治生态环境。任何制度都是由人来建立的,也是由人来运作的。任何一项制度如果让腐败者来建立,让腐败者来操作,理论上最健全的制度也会演变成腐败的制度。从80年代到今天,中国建立了那么多反腐败制度机制,但占据这些制度的人或者反腐败者本身,往往也很腐败。结果,腐败仍然大行其道。

从这个角度看,不能低估运动式反腐败的作用,通过荡涤大面积的深度腐败局面,造就一种较好的政治生态。只有在一种比较好的政治生态之下,才能确立有效的反腐败和预防腐败的制度。这里的过程是:用运动来清除大面积的腐败,确立良好的制度建设环境;确立一套符合时代需要的反腐败和预防腐败制度机制;用制度机制来保障清廉政府。

党内自上而下反腐败

当然,反腐败运动本身并不能表现为仅仅是政治运动。这次反腐败尽管表现出运动形式,但已经超越以往传统的政治运动形式。至少表现为三个方面。第一,反腐败并没有表现为民粹主义式的群众运动。实际上,从一定程度看,自下而上的群众反腐败空间已经有很大的收缩,这尤其表现在通过互联网的社会反腐败。在过去很多年里,老百姓通过互联网工具的自发反腐败运动,曾经扮演了很重要的角色,几乎有成为主体的趋势。

但这次反腐败的主体,乃是自上而下的党内反腐败运动。其次,在各类腐败案例中,尽管企业界也卷入其中,但除了少数案例,这次反腐败的对象主体是党政官员,尤其是高级官员。再次,这次反腐败运动已经倾向于在法治基础之上。反腐败的运动性质本身并没有可以质疑的,问题在于这样的运动是否有法律的基础。即使在民主国家,反腐败也往往体现为运动式的。不管在怎样的制度环境下,腐败积累久了,就需要用运动来加以整治。运动式的反腐败和法治也并没有必然的矛盾,只要反腐败运动是基于法治精神基础之上。

反腐败和预防腐败的制度建设很重要,从形式和数量上看,中国都已经具备了,但仍存在着巨大的改进空间,主要是制度的有效性和权威性。首先,中国之前反腐败和预防腐败的制度数量过多,也就是内部制度过分多元化和分散化,制度机制之间缺少整合和协调,没有确立起政治责任制。各机构之间互相制约、推卸责任,在造成了巨大的制度浪费的同时,为腐败分子创造了很多机会。

就反腐败和预防腐败制度的权威性来说,直到这次反腐败运动,基本上不存在制度的权威性。例如,制度机制都表现为“左手反右手”、“左手预防右手”的形式,同一级党委和政府,自己负责自己的反腐败和预防腐败。这种设计必然导致制度失效。让各级党委来主导自己的反腐败,就会造成这个党委本身是腐败的制度根源,让各级党委来主导自己的预防腐败,就会造成“此地无银三百两”的情形。

中共十八大以来的反腐败之所以比历次运动有效、有力,主要是因为这两方面的改进。首先是这次反腐败主要是由中纪委来主导,中纪委成为唯一的反腐败运动权力中心,改变了原来无人负责的情形。现在全国的老百姓都知道谁在负责反腐败,发现了腐败应当找谁去。其次,这个设置也确立了中纪委的权威。从横向看,中纪委派驻反腐败机构和人员进驻中央各领导部门和部委,而不是像从前那样,各领导部门和部委自己的腐败自己反。

从纵向看,现在实行的是“下管一级”制度,就是省一级的反腐败运动直接由中纪委来进行,也改变了以往省委自己的腐败自己反的局面。如果没有这两方面的制度变化,很难想象能够查处从“苍蝇”到国家领导人级别的“大老虎”的各级官员。可以预见,在这次大规模的反腐败运动过后,这些有效的制度会更加制度化,得到巩固。

即使是这样,也不应当把反腐败和预防腐败的制度过于理想化,把所有的希望寄托在制度上,使其不堪重负。国际经验表明,一个清廉的政府不仅需要有效的反腐败和预防腐败制度机制,更需要经济、社会、行政体制等多方面的配合和协调。就目前的中国来说,其他的体制如何能够配合反腐败呢?这是一个复杂和系统的工程,这里只能涉及到几个基本面。

经济体制改革就是要消除经济寡头的制度基础。中共十八届三中全会把“市场化”确定为企业改革的目标,就是这个方向。市场化就是企业运作的公开透明和开放性。就国有企业来说,90年代的“抓大放小”组建了诸多大型的国有企业集团,这个方向是对的,但市场化并没有到位。发展到今天,国有企业已经俨然成为高官家族的企业,其经营方式具有高度的垄断性,其录用人才的方式具有高度的封闭性。

难以进入的国企关系网

任意拿出一个国有企业集团,不难发现自上到下的管理层,都是官员的亲戚朋友,一般社会成员,即使是最好的人才,也难以进入国企的关系网。中国社会阶层现在变得越来越具有排他性,国有企业的封闭性是一个重要因素。国有企业集团的家族性不改变,很难促成它们的开放性。

在经济领域,预算制度的确立也同样重要,对反腐败和建立清廉政府,具有其他制度不可替代的作用。近代以来,预算制度的确立是所有国家建立清廉政府的制度前提。预算是政府体制运作的血液,控制了血液,就能预防和控制腐败。所以,政府需要论证每一分钱、每一毛钱、每一元钱的用途。很容易理解为什么会计和审计等计算事业,是发达国家最重要的几个职业。从这个角度来看,今天的中国还没有近代意义上的预算制度。

在中国,所谓的预算更多的是表现为对财政资源的政治和行政分配,或者用政治和行政权力来获取预算资源,并且分配和获取的方式也不公开透明。中国的一个领导人可以接触到天文数字的预算资源,这种情况在其他现代国家难以想象。中国始终没有发展出近代会计和审计制度,控制仍然倾向于使用政治手段。在没有现代预算制度的情况下,最大的反腐败运动也会是无效的。

就行政体制改革来说,就是要减少和控制官员的权力。“要把权力关在笼子里”,但如果官员手中掌握着太多的权力,这个笼子很难做。更为重要的是要减少权力,限定政府官员的权力范围。这就要求政府要大力下放行政审批权,把权力下放到企业和社会中去。把权力放到企业和社会中去的时候,政府本身的权力笼子就比较好做了。

社会改革也同样重要。腐败往往是滥用公权力、权力寻租和追求特权所致。因此要减少和控制官员在各个领域的各种特权,包括社会保障、医疗、住房、教育等等。现在公车改革已经开始,但必须逐渐延伸到其他各个领域,但不可以过于理想化。各国经验表明,“特权”的社会化非常重要,也就是要建立所有公民,包括官员在内都能享受的良好社会保障体系。如果没有,官员照样会千方百计地去搞权力寻租。公务员也必须拥有能够过体面生活的工资水平。公务员没有体面的工资水平,既会影响到他们的工作动力,更为促成他们通过“潜规则”来做权力寻租。

从中国现实的政治生态看,现在是反腐败的一个历史机遇,也是确立反腐败和预防腐败制度的一个历史机遇。这不仅是因为腐败已经演变到那么严峻的状态,更是因为领导层代际变化的原因。这一代领导层能够反腐败,不见得下一代领导人也能够这样做。现任领导层没有任何推卸责任的道理。

更为重要的是,中国的政治正处于一个转型之际,如果现在的腐败政治生态得不到改变,就可能出现三种恶劣的情形。第一,政权逐渐演变成右派专制统治,即经济寡头顺利地转型成为政治寡头。第二,政权逐渐演变成民粹主义,即政权失去基本的合法性,老百姓起来造反,再次出现革命性的政权。第三,政权演变成右派民粹主义,即寡头政治和社会力量结合起来,类似于今天的乌克兰的情形,一个寡头,一个政党,各政党鼓动自己的支持力量,互相恶斗。当然,在不同历史时期,也会出现这三者恶性循环的状态。

反腐败依然任重而道远。中国需要以大规模、持续的反腐败运动为契机,确立新的反腐败和预防腐败的制度体系。如果成功了,人们可以称之为中国的“第二次政治革命”。

作者是新加坡国大东亚所所长

2014年08月12日联合早报网

发表在 社会, 政治 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 发表评论

Reported, then Censored: Chinese Media on PRC Bank of China and Money Laundering

State Media: Bank of China Engages in Money Laundering
The state’s media, China Central Television (CCTV), reported that the Bank of China, one of the four major state banks, engages in money laundering. In violation of government control of cross-border fund transfers, it transfers large amounts of cash abroad for clients who plan to emigrate overseas.
“‘Regardless of where and how you get your money, we can help you get it out [of China].’ The staff from a Bank of China branch said that it does not matter how black or dishonorable the money is; the bank has a way to clean it and get it overseas safely.”
At a recent immigration expo in Beijing, an immigration agent explained that due to government control of fund transfers by individuals, one may be able to transfer up to $50,000 a year. In order to apply for investment immigration, one must transfer large amounts to accounts designated by foreign governments. To do that, one must go to the Bank of China. The Bank of China representative at the expo confirmed this information. “We help you convert such a large amount [of yuan] into foreign currencies and transfer it out in one transaction. That is the step we handle.” According to CCTV, the Bank of China charges its clients a 0.3 to 0.4 percent handling fee for these types of transfers.
Source: Xinhua, July 9, 2014

央视曝光中行造假洗黑钱 员工称多黑的钱都能洗白

2014年07月09日 13:26:57 来源:央视网 <!–我有话说–>

 

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  “我们不管您的钱从哪来,怎么来的,都可以帮您弄出去”中国银行某支行的工作人员称,别管您的钱有多黑,多见不得光,银行都有办法给你洗白,并且安全的弄到国外。

  银行走进移民会 外汇随便换

  中国社会科学院的一份报告称,近三年,我国年均向海外移民人数已经

  接近20万,其中海外投资移民的人数增长迅速。要想移民到欧美等国家,投资移民动辄就是几十万上百万美元,为什么数额巨大的投资门槛却挡不住一些人的移民热情,是什么人在拿投资移民做掩护,让大量不明资金外逃,银行和移民中介在当中又扮演什么样的角色?

  在北京,一到周末大大小小的移民中介就办起各个国家的移民咨询会。低端一点的场址就直接选在移民公司里,而高端大气的则要在国贸CBD附近的各大高端五星级酒店里举行。在一家五星级酒店的宴会大厅里正在举行一场大型投资移民咨询会,记者看到除了移民中介和不少客户外,竟然还有中国银行的身影。

  “你要投资移民把钱转出去肯定要走中行业务,驻展,要有需求就直接去找他们。”一位移民中介销售人员这样告诉记者,有投资移民项目的国家都要求投资移民人将一定数额的外币汇到国外项目指定帐号上,才能办理移民。由于我国控制个人换汇,每人每年最多只能换汇五万美元,要想凑够动辄几十万数百万美元的投资移民款,只能去找中国银行。

  而中国银行的工作人员也证实了这样的说法:“我们帮您做的是把您这么大金额都换成外币,一步汇走,就做这一步。”

  跑到投资移民咨询会上来开展业务,中国银行的服务可真够便民的,当然这外汇不能白帮客户换,银行还要收取一笔可观的费用,手续费大概在千分之三到千分之四,相当于汇率贵点。

  “优汇通”一项见不得光的银行业务

  按照我国外汇管理规定,每人每年最多只能换汇五万美元,那么为什么中国银行称他们可以为需要移民的客户无限额地换取外汇,并且还可以直接打到国外账户呢?在调查中记者发现,其实银行的这项换汇业务并非是光明正大的正常业务,里面还隐藏着猫腻。

  在投资移民会上,虽然银行的工作人员详细地为客户介绍着这项名为优汇通的无限换汇业务,但是记者在中国银行的官方网站上却并没有看到所谓的优汇通无限换汇业务,在中国银行的各家分支行里,也并没有相关服务的介绍。那么这个所谓的优汇通无限换汇业务到底是怎么回事呢?当记者主动问到银行的工作人员时,他们才告诉记者,确实有这项业务,属于是广东分行牵头的业务,各地的中行只有经过广东分行才能做,但是不做任何宣传。

  中国银行北京某支行的某位员工这样告诉记者:“人民币要先转到广东分行,然后换汇,这个优汇通业务我们都是和移民中介合作,不做任何对外宣传,除非客户主动来问,我们才说。”

  在中国银行深圳分行,在记者的要求下,一位工作人员才让记者看了存在她办公电脑里的优汇通业务相关资料,里面明确写着这项业务是专门针对北美、澳洲和欧洲一些国家的投资移民。记者提出拷贝一份以进行详细的了解,却被当场拒绝。工作人员告诉记者,这份材料不能外传,而这项业务不能公开。

  不做宣传,资料不能公开,客户不问就不说,银行如此隐秘的业务不免让人生疑。北京某支行的一位副行长偷偷告诉记者,这项业务其实并不符合国家相关外汇管理的规定,不是那么见得了光,所以中行只是偷偷在做,今年初就因为外管局检查而停了一段时间。

  突破管制 银行偷偷打通资金外流通道

  作为一家国有大型银行,中国银行竟然还有优汇通这样偷偷摸摸,似乎不能见光的业务,真是让人匪夷所思,那么这项无限额的换汇业务到底是如何操作,是否违规呢?记者在北京、深圳、广州等多地进行了深入的调查。

  记者先走访了北京的多家中国银行,关于优汇通业务,他们都称这项学名为跨境人民币结算的业务其实是广东分行做的,北京各家支行最终还是要找到广东的分支行去办理,人民币只有通过他们才能换成外币。

  “优汇通学名叫跨境人民币结算业务,它是金融服务项下,以前是被禁止的。”

  “你要在广东分行开个户,但你不用过去,我们帮你弄。然后钱转到那里,再换成外币汇出去。”

  为了找到优汇通业务的源头,记者来到了位于广州的中国银行广东分行,一位营业部大堂经理告诉记者,通过国内各个分支行,各地来这里办理优汇通业务的顾客很多。

  这里的大堂经理告诉记者:“移民的人确实挺多的,全国各地是往我们这来,你不能光看柜面有没有这样的客户,因为有些是远程处理的。”

  据介绍,在广东除了中国银行广东分行可以直接办理这项业务以外,它下面的很多支行也可以具体操办。一家支行的客服经理告诉记者,其实他们并不是在国内把客户的钱兑换成人民币,而是把人民币先汇到国外,再由中行的国外分支机构兑换成外币。

  “因为这个要通过海外行来做,海外行报一个汇率给我们,我们折算后汇出去的人民币,但是到那边接收的是外币,就是通过中国银行伦敦分行或者东京分行,或者是巴黎分行。”

  银行工作人员告诉记者,不在国内兑换外币,而是利用中行自己的海外分支机构兑换外币,这就是为了避开国家对外汇的管制,这样就可以想兑换多少外币兑换多少。“这虽然是人民币跨境业务,但是没有通过外管局的兑换系统,其实这么做是一个灰色地带,打一个擦边球。”

  专家:银行不只是擦边球 涉嫌违法

  银行工作人员自称优汇通业务是一种跨境人民币结算业务,不是国内换汇,而是绕开国家外管局的监管,利用银行国外分支机构换汇,他们认为这只是在灰色地带打擦边球。但是专家表示,跨境人民币结算并不允许个人投资移民,银行绕开监管,实现超额汇兑,已经涉嫌违法。

  我国从2009年开始试点实施跨境人民币结算业务,《跨境贸易人民币结算试点管理办法》中规定,国家允许指定的、有条件的企业以人民币进行跨境贸易的结算,支持商业银行为企业提供跨境贸易人民币结算服务。专家指出,跨境人民币结算只针对企业的国际贸易,而并非是针对个人的国外投资移民,个人换汇是不允许走这条通道的。

  平安证券首席经济学家钟伟表示:“现在令人疑惑的是为什么个人能通过跨境购售人民币方式,把人民币资产直接转移到海外去,他一定涉及中资银行在海外清算行做了一个配合,这已经是违反现有外汇法律法规制度的根本问题。”

  我国外汇管理条例规定,违反规定将境内外汇转移境外,或者以欺骗手段将境内资本转移境外等逃汇行为,情节严重的,处逃汇金额30%以上的罚款,构成犯罪的,依法追究刑事责任。专家表示,绕开监管的逃汇行为危害严重,有可能会引发人民币外逃等问题。

  中信银行国际金融市场专家刘维明表示:“一个国家的外汇使用要有一个非常明确的监控,我们监控不到那就有可能出风险,比如资金外逃,或者造成热钱集中涌入,都会对金融体系造成影响。”

 

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Yale University’s Finance Professor Chen Zhiwu on China’s Economy and Its Rule-by-Law Shortcomings

Yale University School of Management Finance professor   陈志武  Chen Zhiwu’s book 非理性亢奋 [Irrational Exuberance] 2nd ed published December 2010  discusses Chinese finance and its problems. He concludes that the lack of an independent judiciary and rule of law are serious shortcomings.  Professor Chen has a web page on the Yale School of Management websitehttp://mba.yale.edu/faculty/profiles/chen.shtml and a Chinese language blog at sina.com http://blog.sina.com.cn/chenzhiwu , a blog outside the firewall at http://www.bullogger.com/blogs/chenzhiwu/ and a micro blog which has 2.4 million “fans” following it at http://t.sina.com.cn/chenzhiwu

The topics Chen addresses are familiar to undergraduate economists; the application of these ideas to analyzing the Chinese economy makes the book especially interesting.  Chen is clearly not one of those who believes in a special Chinese model that creates its own new economics as it goes along. Chen has written several other popular books on the Chinese economy including Why are Chinese Hard-working but Not Rich? http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?product_id=20986528

A hint of the contents can be seen from the chapters titles which include:

  • Is the Chinese stock market getting worse?
  • Irrational Exuberance — the world telecoms bust
  • The danger of a stock market bubble — explaining the US stock market crisis
  • Why does China’s economic future depend on press freedom?
  • A free media is an indispensable part of a market economy
  • A case study of the media and the market’s effectiveness in oversight of a company
  • From libel suits can be seen the legal difficulties of media speech
  • Class action suits are an effective way of protecting the rights of stockholders
  • How does the US handle the problem of insider trading?

Systematic economic critiques of the PRC system like Prof. Chen’s are apparently OK with the Party but not political critiques of the Charter o8 variety that fit in nicely with  Prof. Chen’s points. Prof. Chen, for example, says that the fact that Chinese cannot buy and sell land is a serious obstacle to individual Chinese building their wealth. If China followed Prof. Chen’s suggestions and adopted media freedom, free buying of selling of land, independent judiciary and rule of law implementing Liu Xiao*bo’s and Charter o8’s ideas would be far off.  Yet Liu Xiao*bo is in jail and Prof. Chen is welcome in China, gives lectures in China, and his books are published here. Ran Yun*fei told me last year that the difference between someone who is considered a dangerous dissident and someone considered fairly acceptable is not just their views, but their relationships with the powerful and influential in society. Perhaps there is something like that going on here? Or could it be there is some version of Senator Barry Goldwater’s old slogan “In your heart, you know he’s right?”. It didn’t work for Liu though.

Perhaps Chen’s critiques are seen as merely academic (although the book is well-written and organized and seems to attract many readers — students are passing around PDF copies online; Currency Wars did well despite is 5th rate sources such a jewwatch.com just because there is a great demand for well written books on economics and finance. ) and not subversive. SASS scholar Yu Jianrong 于建嵘 is another example of a person who makes sharp criticisms of the system but still seems to be seen as not an enemy of the people by the Party, and at most a source of contradictions among the people. That is, in the political system of the people’s democratic dictatorship.

Many websites carry the 2008 edition of Chen Zhiwu’s book; the 2010 edition that I bought in a Chongqing bookstore I also found on dangdang.com

http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?product_id=20986527

Prof. Chen traces the effects of lack of transparency due to an ineffective regulatory system, unwillingness of the courts to take up lawsuits on financial cases (he notes courts will generally only take a civil suit if a company has already lost a criminal case), orders by the propaganda department to media not to report a certain matter or to report it in a certain way.  This means that investors have little reliable information and make it hard to choose between good companies and bad companies, and increase the temptation of companies to cheat their investors. He mentions Economics Nobelist George Akerlof’s work on adverse selection here.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Market_for_Lemons

[This discussion of little investor information to choose between good and bad companies on the securities market because of media control and poor regulators and ineffective courts reminds me of the problem China has suppressing crazy rumors that spread quickly and find many believers.  A bit of a stretch, but perhaps there is a similar process going on in society with high media control and low trust --- an adverse selection process going on against accurate information since the authorities have low credibility and have a history of discouraging people from speaking out, especially if the "accurate information" conflicts with officially certified accurate information.]

One effect he notes is that on average in any given week the number of stocks that move together with a general market trend of up or down is about 90% on the Chinese market and about 60% on the U.S. financial markets which are much more transparent (pp. 35 – 39), not just as a result of more effective financial markets regulation, but of being embedded in a rule by law system in which information flows freely.

Chen said that state-owned monopolies can use their monopoly power to boost their incomes at the expense of average citizens, but unlike in western countries, the monopoly problem is not somewhat ameliorated by a flow of income from publicly-held monopolies back to average citizens.  This meliorating effect occurs in many western countries where stocks are widely held but not in China.   This and other problems of asymmetric information and power aggravates the skewing of the income distribution in China.   The lack of widespread participation in financial markets and the problem of land not being private (“dead capital”) in China are severe obstacles to the financial opportunities of the average Chinese.  Diversifying wealth means that savings rates can decline and people will feel wealthier; this will help increase consumption and help bring capital alive. (pp. 3  – 22)

Chen said the quality of the Chinese stock market is declining.  There was much enthusiasm after the Securities Law was passed in 1999 and in 2001 some financial magazines exposed wrongdoings of some listed companies.  In 2001, however, the first securities holder to bring a case to court was told by the court that it would not accept the case.  In 2003 there were two important cases, but the penalties imposed were relatively small, and in other cases the courts refused to hear a civil suit unless the accused company had already lost a criminal case.   During 2000 – 2005 the number of cases brought and the median penalty imposed fell steadily.  (pp.  39 – 41)

Chen devotes a long chapter (pp. 101 – 189) to explaining why media freedom is essential to the future of the Chinese economy.  中国经济前情为何离不开新闻自由
Chen begins the chapter “Although the problem of official corruption and the lack of trust in Chinese society is becoming more and more serious, and is a problem felt keenly by all sectors of society, reports on this problems are always restricted and the media is censored. The propaganda departments that manage the media are constantly sending out documents or making a phone call in order to orally “get in touch” to order that the media not report on certain topics that are  “sensitive” or “not beneficial to social stability”.   What effect does the strengthening of censorship have on the Chinese economy?  In other words, what economic benefits do we get from the media freedom?  Is media freedom worth something?  Naturally we are all happy about the rapid growth of the Chinese economy, and so might find it hard to understand why someone would say “media freedom is very important for the Chinese economy”.  Indeed, for centuries media freedom has been for centuries thought of as a completely political institution and useful for oversight of the activities of those who govern society and as a check on government power.

However, media freedom is essential for the deepening of the Chinese economy, for reducing economic corruption, and for promoting market trading.  More media freedom will also be needed to increase employment in China.  [to summarize where he goes from there,  the service sector is poorly developed in China, China’s economic growth is tied to manufacturing and construction, areas in which the quality of institutions and information symmetry are much less important than in the service sector, where the greatest opportunity for creating new jobs lies.   China’s economic model has benefited much from exporting but by becoming the “workshop of the world”, terrible pressures have been placed on China’s environment and resources…. Justice Brandeis  (p. 128) said “sunlight is the best disinfectant” and so information freedom helps fight corruption and boosts information symmetry in financial markets.

Chen also wrote a chapter on “The Law and Wealth” in which he points out that passing many laws does not equal the rule of law and that although the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress does have legislative power and the government executive departments do not, in practice laws passed by the NPC do not constrain the executive departments of government. (p. 199).  He discusses the PRC Law on Investment in Securities http://e.3edu.net/flyy/E_5227.html and issues such as under what circumstances are laws regulating a particular sector needed and the Investment law (pp. 194 – 198) and what should be the respective roles of the securities regulators, the courts and the National People’s Congress in regulating the securities sector, the discussing the experiences of the UK, the USA, and China in regulating the securities sector.

 

 

我最近正在读牙鲁大学管理学院终身金融教授陈志武先生讨论中国经济包括政治经深层问题的巨作《非理性亢奋》(新版)。

陈教授认为中国的贫富差距,股东市场一系列的问题,服务业站在国家总收入百分之比,与老百姓借款难因为在现有的制度下不能自由地买卖土地就不能用土地来担保贷款。《非理性亢奋》里面讨论的问题包括市场上信息不对称 [asymmetry of information] 经济学里的重要观念。他指的不是股东市场而已。 水果市场也如此。

陈教授介绍中国市场上的信息不对称一些原因如缺乏新闻自由与司法部不独立。

行政部门的权力大,没有有效的受法律的制裁,法律写法不当给行政部门权力太大包括招租(权利换钱)机会。

从《非理性亢奋》可以看得出来重要的论点:

  • 法治和产权保护是普及“股权致富”的基础
  • 财富是国有还是私有,决定了人们的财富
  • 为什么中国股市质量在下降?
  • 中国经济前景为何离不开新闻自由?
  • 新闻自由是中国经济未来增长的必要基础
  • 证监会,法院与人大– 如何分管证卷市场
  • 集体诉讼是保护股民有效方法

身为还没有拔脱资产阶级思想的美国人,我很注意到陈教授提出的中国经济深层问题与最近特别受党的关怀那些批评中国的一个党独大人民民主战争制度的异议分子的思想一致。 如果像我一个没有学会辩证法的美国人能看得出来,很多中国人应该比我更跟清楚。

结论好像是尊重公民权,民主,法治也是发财之道。

下面有英文述评。

http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?product_id=20986527

非理性亢奋(新版)

非理性亢奋(新版)

作  者:陈志武

出 版 社:中信出版社

出版品牌:中信出 版社

出版时间:2010年12月

定  价:39.00

I S B N :9787508623443

所属分类: 经管  >  经济

标  签:财经管理  经 济  经济学理论

编辑推荐

年度财经图书大奖获奖图书,《为什么中国人 勤劳而不富 有》姊妹篇,你能仅靠工资致富吗,年度财经图书大奖获得者,著名经济学家陈志武教授告诉我们,现代社会致富的基本途径是“股权致 富”。因此,必须以公正而 完善的法治保护产权,信息自由流动以加强市场平衡,完善金融市场以促进资源配置。

内容简介

你能仅靠工资致富吗?为什么现代社会出现了那 么多“富可敌 国”的富豪?他们致富靠的是什么?《非理性亢奋》告诉我们,现代社会致富的基本途径是“股权致富”。股权能通过金融市场放大自己 的价值,把未来的利润变成 现在的财产,使得财富数额不断扩大。因此,必须以公正而完善的法治保护产权,信息自由流动以加强市场平衡,完善金融市场以促进资 源配置在这些因素的共同作 用下,人们的财富才能越来越多。

作者简介

陈志武,美国耶鲁大学管理学院金融学 终身教授、北 京大学光华管理学院特聘教授、长江商学院访问教授。金融学和金融资产定价领域最具有创造力和最活跃的学者之一。获得过美国默顿· 米勒(诺贝尔经济学奖得 主)研究奖、芝加哥期权交易所研究奖等多项重大奖励。2000年,在一项颇得全球经济学家首肯的世界经济学家排名中,名列第 202位(在前1000名中, 仅有19人来自中国)。2006年,被《华尔街电讯》评为中国十大最具影响力的经济学家之一。   1990年获得耶鲁大学金融经济学博士学位,1995年获聘为俄亥俄州立大学副教授。1998年创办Value Engine(价值引擎)公司,2001年与两个合伙人创办了Zebra对冲基金公司。   先后出版了《为什么中国人勤劳而不富有》,《非理性亢奋》、《金融的逻辑》、《24堂财富课》、《陈志武说中国经济》等著 作,其中《为什么中国人勤劳 而不富有》获年度财经图书大奖,并被多家媒体推荐为当年最值得珍藏的财经图书。   主要研究方向:市场监管、资本市场、证券投资管理、公司治理、公司财务与组织战略、股票定价等。

目录

自序
  • 金融与财富
  • 股市与财富
  • 媒体与财富
  • 法律与财富

媒体评论

说到经济学理论,我没有办法跟那 些经过严格理论训练的人相比,比如钱颖一、许成刚、陈志武、白重恩等,他们常常能用现代经济学的源流把事情说得很清楚。                     ——著名经济学家、国务院发展研究中心研究员 吴敬琏   改变中国目前国富民穷的状况,一方面可以减税,另一方面,就是陈志武教授所讲的,要改变资产配置。                     ——著名经济学家、中欧国际工商学院经济学和金融学教授 许小年   陈志武教授的著作深入浅出,说理透彻,把财富创造的制度基础讲得很清楚,是难得的通俗经济学读物。                     ——著名学者,清华大学历史系教授 秦晖   陈志武教授具有健全的政治经济学视野,这样的视野在国内经济学术界是少见的。他对纷繁的现实进行了技术经济学的逻辑分析,进 而进行了法律与政治的分析,从而更为准确地解释了一个令人困惑的问题为什么中国人勤劳而不富有,甚至连基本的安宁也无从享有。                     ——独立学者,九鼎公共事务研究所研究员 秋风   陈先生一针见血地指出了财富增长的制度性内涵,使我们明白,仅有个人的机遇和聪明才智是不够的,在勤劳和富有之间还有一座必 须建造的桥梁——好的市场经济制度。                     ——著名财经媒体人、《财经》杂志主编 何力

 

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Excerpt Translation: The Qing and Yuan Dynasties were Not ‘Chinese’ Dynasties

China as a cultural zone and China as a state. What is China?  The Qing Dynasty called itself  Da Qing, not China.  Dynasty after dynasty. Are dynasties different states?  Some existed simultaneously with other dynasties within the Chinese cultural zone.  An anonymous essay had some interesting highlights, summary translated here.

the Chinese language article “The Qing Dynasty was not a Chinese  Dynasty”  last year noted that Sun Yatsen wrote in his “Three People’s Principles”  that that China has been politically obliterated twice in its thousands of years of history.  Once time by the Yuan (Mongol)  Dynasty and the second time by the Qing  (Manchu) Dynasty.   I summary translated a few excerpts.

清元朝并非是中国朝代

…..  而且按照国际惯例,判断一个已去世的人的国籍,依据的是此人生前的国籍,而不是在他死后他的出生地属于哪个国家。李白出生在寓碎叶,此地在现在的吉尔吉斯坦境内。按照他们的说法李白应该是吉尔吉斯坦人了?孙中山在《民族主义》第二讲中说过:“中国几千年以来,受到政治上的压迫以至于完全亡国,已有了两次,一次是元朝,一次是清朝。”今天中国人一厢情愿地称清朝是中国王朝,可惜人家清朝统治者们根本就不认为自己是中国人。 – See more at: http://www.backchina.com/blog/332746/article-171707.html#sthash.2vRI8Zso.dpuf
In 2004, a professor from Ulaan Bataar University in Mongolia commented on Chinese anti-Japanese sentiment at the Asian Games.  “The Chinese take the great achievements of Mongolia and our Mongolian ancestors in conquering them as the achievements of their ancestors and national heros.  They take the time when we colonized them as the most glorious period in their history.  The Chinese are a people who do seem to have an idiotic kind of logic, what right do they have to criticize your country’s (Japan’s)  view of history? What right do they have to criticize your national heros, those so-called grade A war criminals who invaded them?
 2004 年蒙古乌兰巴托大学教授额日德雷根在访问日本时接受日本NHK电视台采访时针对当年亚洲杯足球赛上中国球迷的抗议日本活动说到:“中国人把我们国家和民族的伟大英雄,征服过他们的帖木贞当作他们的祖先和英雄,把我们对他们的殖民历史当作他们最强大的历史,这样一群拥有白痴一样逻辑的民族,又有什么资格去抗议你们国家民族的历史观呢?又有什么资格去抗议你们民族的英雄,当年侵略过他们的所谓‘甲级战犯’呢?我认为他们没有那个资格。” – See more at: http://www.backchina.com/blog/332746/article-171707.html#sthash.2vRI8Zso.dpuf
Lu Xun in his “Random Notes” wrote how as a child he learned of the great heros and dynasties of Chinese history and how at 20 he heard that “our Da Qing” conquered Europe and that was the most glorious period of Chinese history.  When he turned 25, he that the “most glorious period of Chinese history” was when the Mongols invaded and made us their lackeys. Later I learned that the Mongols first conquered eastern Europe and only later conquered China.  But he conquered Russia first.  So really it should be the Russians saying “When our Genghis Khan conquered China, it was the most glorious period of our history”
鲁迅在《随便翻翻》中说过 : “幼小时候,我知道中国在‘盘古氏开辟天地’之后,有三皇五帝….. 宋朝,元朝,明朝,‘我大清’。到二十岁,又听说‘我们’的成吉思汗征服欧洲,是我们最阔气的时代。到二十五岁,才知道所谓这‘我们最阔气的时代’,其实是蒙古人征服了中国,我们做了奴才。直到今年(指1934年-引者)八月里,因为要查一点故事,翻了三部蒙古史,这才明白蒙古人的征服‘斡罗思’,侵入匈、奥,还在征服全中国之前,那时的成吉思还不是我们的汗,倒是俄人被奴的资格比我们老,应该他们说‘ 我们的成吉思汗征服中国,是我们最阔气的时代’的。 ” – See more at:http://www.backchina.com/blog/332746/article-171707.html#sthash.2vRI8Zso.dpuf
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English Translation of Excerpt from Yin Shuping’s Rightist Memoir

From Yin Shuping’s Qiuwang 秋望 a memoir of Yin’s imprisonment as a rightist.

For more on the author, see Yin Shuping

124. Xu Hongru’s Character and the True and the False Shen Chong

In the drier areas of the Jiangnan agricultural station, maize, potato, millet, beets, and wheat and soybeans were interplanted between rows of corn. Rice grew on the rice paddies. Of the 1000 mu cultivated, 400 mu were in rice and over 500 mostly in maize. Many more crops were harvested than at the Nansi agricultural station even though it was several hundred mu smaller. The Jiangnan agricultural station had many more crop varieties. Perhaps not all the crops grown in China and abroad but compared with Nansi and other farms, richer and with many more varieties than at Nansi and other farms.

Therefore, the vegetables and fruits of the vegetable plots of the garden team of the Jiangnan station were well-known to all the government cadres and re-education through labor inmates of the Malan farm. Not only was the self-sufficiency of the Jiangnan agricultural station the pride of the re-education through labor inmates throughout the farm, it was also supplied the entire farm with vegetable seeds for experiments. The administrators of the farm largely ignored the sideline industry vegetable plots to go plunder the Jiangnan agricultural station. After Xu Hongru became brigade head in 1960, he introduced many new varieties that attracted more attention to the farm. It was not just the variety and deliciousness that won fame. It was more the meticulousness of the Nan garden team and its stern management style. Amidst the great famine that gripped the entire country and the steadily mounting tortures poured on the heads of the re-education through labor inmates, the vegetable garden of the Nan garden team of the Jiangnan station was a magnificent place set apart like a Garden of Eden, quiet and forbidding. The vegetation was so luxourious that each step forward brought up a different scene of many different types of fruits and vegetables arranged in impressive arrays.

Everybody saw food that can be simply picked and consumed as forbidden fruit. Even people who grow them couldn’t just pick them at will. Everyone who breaks that rule is severely punished. This was the rule of the Jiangnan agricultural station. Not only do people not dare to pick for themselves the fruits and vegetables in the gardens, but even the vegetables that grow outside the gardens along the sides of the road in plain sight are absolutely forbidden to pick. Those plants stand their in their beauty, their fat green leaves, the flowers inclined towards the sun. Yet even those in constant hunger like the those education through labor workers who have have spent some time at Jiangnan as well as new comers just getting adjusted to the system do not forget the bloody lesson taught to thieves. There were those severely punished for their picking “thievery” and those arrested for sneaking food for themselves. There were even tragedies of people who picked these forbidden fruit and then killed themselves. Indelible in memory was the sick person and so was allowed to go get medical care. On the way back he picked a corner of a sunflower that was growing on the side of the road, feeding his hunger as he walked along. His luck was bad so he was found out.

The news soon reached Ma Wenying, who immediately ordered the person back to the agricultural station, saying that “once he is back to the station I’ll settle accounts with him!” Fear grew within the thief as he walked from the fields to the Jiangnan agricultural station so at a precipice on a winding mountain road, at the Twin Dragon Pool beside the rapids on the Malan River, Shen Cong drowned himself. This incident brought great pain, fear, and sorrow to the education through labor workers at the Jiangnan agricultural station. Forever afterwards they considered it an admonition that was that day fulfilled.

Shen Chong was a weak, bookish sort of fellow. A teaching assistant in the Chinese literature department of some university. A member of the Communist Party. I don’t know whether it is an irony or a mockery of history that his name was just exactly that same as that Beijing University female student, who, shortly after victory came in the War of Resistance Against the Japanese, was insulted in Peiping by an American soldier. After the Beijing University student Shen Chong was insulted by an American soldier, the anger of the Chinese was fanned by the Communist Party and became the occasion for starting large demonstrations against the Americans and against Chiang Kai-shek. That female student Shen Chong entered the lists of the struggle between Chinese political parties as the Shen Chong incident and so became an historical figure. This incident was important in laying the foundation for the campaign of Mao Zedong’s Communist Party against the Americans and Against Chiang Kai-shek and towards its goal of ruling China.

What an achievement! Naturally after Mao’s Communist Party came to power, the Shen Chong Incident was swiftly forgotten and never again mentioned. You can only come across it in some corner of the archives where records are kept, but only to serve the political purposes of the present and future and for written and oral struggles. The Shen Chong of the Jiangnan agricultural station was better educated than that woemn student Shen Chong of Peking University. That male Sheng Chong suffered more hardships and insults yet during the great starvation under Mao’s rule that killed tens of millions of people, because he was sick an hungry, he took to eat a small corner of a roadside sunflower and was regarded as a criminal. He suffered more insults to his dignity, body and soul than were the insults and humiliation suffered by Shen Chong under the rule of the Nationalist Party. He did not get any support. Nobody spoke out for him. Isolated in a dreary existence, in fear and trembling amidst that hopelessness, he plunged into the water and drowned.

His body was found by the old Shanxi Province revolutionary Mao Hao as he cut grass alongside the Two Dragon Pool for the donkeys. Later, Ma Wenying, out of his stubborness and to uphold his rights as the local despot, forced all the re-education through labor workers to listen to his relentless criticisms of Sheng Chong’s remains at a criticism meeting. Everyone there was trembling and heart-broken, yet that some need was felt to make their state of mind even more intense, was the scene of criticism of corpse. If the spirit of the ancient sage and patriot Qu Yuan could have heard, I don’t know just what elegy for a martyr for his country he would have sung.

Ah! Shen Chong, that female college student at Peking University in the middle of the fourth decade of the twentieth century who did not believe in Marxism-Leninism nor Mao Zedong Thought was seen by Mao’s Communist Party as a treasure that could be used to stir up opposition to Chiang Kai-shek and the Americans and promote revolution. The other Sheng Chong, the university teacher who in the sixth decade of the twentieth century was a firm believer in Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought and dedicated himself body and soul to it, was nonetheless was made to be an “anti-Party” criminal by Mao Zedong’s Communist Party. He was forced into a desparate situation and in his sorrow put an end to his own life. Yet after he ended his life he was still subjected to a cruel judgement. If the blue heavens indeed has eyes, what would it make of this truth?

What disturbs me even more is this: On December 24, 1946, Mao Zedong’s Communist Party used the “Shen Chong Incident” to incite university students throughout China to join in big demonstrations against Chiang Kai-shek and the Americans. Yet the Sheng Chong of the Communist Party’s propaganda, the one who was brazenly raped by an American soldier was not the true Sheng Chong. It didn’t happen that way. Shen Chong, according to the Communist Party’s ruse, approached an American soldier, and stirred up his passion. They did not have sexual relations. Nonetheless she said that had been raped and this claim was given enormous publicity. After she had been used by the Communist Party as an Anti-Chiang and Anti-American bullet, Shen Cong knew that she was in the wrong. She was ashamed to be seen in public and so changed her name to Shen Yan and maintained her privacy ever after. Later, she married my literary and cartoonist friend Ding Cong. She deceived the people of this world for several decades with this upending of the true and the false which could not be acknowledged in public down to the present day. Whether this Shen Chong of the past, late Shen Yan, feels regret, I don’t know. Yet that Shen Chong who could not accept his humliations and killed himself as the Jiangnan agricultural station, was a true and firm believer in Marxism-Leninism Mao Zedong Thought. If heavens has eyes, this incident should serve as an example for future reference.

The Two Dragon Pools are two pools of about two meters in diameter but of unknown depth. It is a mountain spring from which water pours out of the geological depths. The two pools brush shoulders familiarly but are not connected. Warm steam vapors emerge from the pools in the winter. In the summer, the water is clear and cool. Water has been pouring out of it since before human memory and from where no-one knows. The flow continues, never ebbing and never stopping, bouncing about and then entering the rapid westward currents of the Malan River. The currents flow until they reach a small dam on the Malan river not far downstream from the Jiangnan station. Much of the water is lifted to irrigate the 400 some hectares of rice paddy of the Jiangnan station.

When the Jiangnan station was built, some men were ordered to put a stone at the end of a long ropes and put the ropes deep into the gurgling pools in order to find out how deep they were. Thirty meter ropes with heavy stones tied on them still did not touch bottom. Despite the heavy stones, the deeper the stones were lowered they more they were buffeted and taken away so that they never could reach the bottom. In one of the pools, the rope one stone was attached to was taken away in to some mysterious passageway over 20 meters down. It took several men pulling together to haul up the rope, but they never did get the stone back. Therefore the pool was called the mysterious “dragon pool”. Later the pools became known as the “Two dragon pools”.

Shen Cong. The first person to drown themselves by plunging into the two dragon pools of the Jiangnan station. The first person to put into practice the ideal that human dignity and respect are more important than life itself! Forever after, the two dragon pools in the hearts of the re-education through labor inmates of the Jiangnan station became variously something that visibly affected them as they spoke, thought of with respect, stared at yet avoided coming up close, bred a deep and mysterious fear, seemed misty like a dream and as charming as a demon.

Jiangnan station used the blood and lives of its highly educated true believers in communism of excellent character to forge its severe discipline of blood and iron. This disciplline protected all the land and water crops of the Jiangnan Station, especially the garden and vegetable areas in the Jiangnan gardens. After Xu Hongru became brigade leaders, the Jiangnan station relied more on artistic performances and propaganda to spread its fame ever further. The vegetable and fruit garden area of the Jiangnan brigade became in people’s minds even more mouth-watering yet even more a place where one would not pick or even think of picking without authorization.

In those days, Xu Hongru was like a man who had bottled up for too long all the hatreds inside him. He stared at people calmly sideways and waited for his opportunity to sudden explode on people like a wild animal. He didn’t pay particular attention to those like himself who had been set there for reform through labor. No, he paid attention to the aggressive actions of the political cadres from Jiangnan or other stations who were set on implementing the proletarian dictatorship.

Moreover, these opportunities he looked for occurred fairly often. Once, a manager-instructor and a political cadre from the Blackhorse Bay station who were armed with live ammunition came to the station from a mountain district several tens of kilometers away. After a long walk along winding roads they made passed the final mountain by the oil factory of the Jiangnan station, cut through the corn field by the oil factory trench as they hurried on down breathless. They hurried over the bridge over the Mulan River and ran hungry and thirsty in the the vegetable and fruit garden of the Jiangnan brigade. They bent down as they walked along, picking sweet turnips, rubbing them and then chewing on them.

Xu Hongru, who had been quietly watching the two of them, roared like a lion in an angry voice, “What are you doing? Put them down!” His angry voice came out like that of a director in a local play, frightening these two political cadres from the Black Horse station as of they had just heard artillery fire. They stood, looking aheard expressionless, at a loss about what to do and looking about, terrified. When they say that Xu Hongru was wearing to the uniform of someone doing re-education through labor, just the same as that of the people then working in the vegetable and fruit garden, they immediately changed their tone and recovered their dignity and composure. They adopted the attitude of people exercising the dictatorship and switch from defense to offense.

“Aren’t you a re-education through labor worker? ” the two political cadres said, shamed to anger, in an accusing voice, with an undercurrent of murderous threat.

“Yes.” Xu Hongru walked towards them, unperturbed, holding his head high. Then he added “I am an education through labor worker of the Jiangnan Station! Planting and caring for the vegetable and fruit gardens!”

“Stand at attention! We are political cadres from the Black Horse station! A person getting education through labor must know that they should be well-behaved earnest in front of a political cadre! “

“You two are the ones who are not well-behaved and earnest! I, however, according to the government’s instruction and requirements are earnest and well-behaved in asking you not to steal public property!”

“What? What gives you that right?”

“The regulations of the Malan Farm! The rules of the Jiangnan station and the orders of the managers of the Malan Farm!”

“What? We can’t just pick two turnips?”

“No. What you picked was the prestige of the Communist Party and of the proletarian dictatorship of the great leader Chairman Mao, the honor of the Malan Farm, the dignity of the Jiangnan Station. Even more serious, what you did is a challenge to and a trampling upon of the excellent tradition of ideological reform of instructor Ma of the Jiangnan station!”

“What are you going to do about it?”

“Please first return the two turnips you picked to their original places. Then come to our station. If station manager Sun and Instructor Ma agree that you do that, we will do the paperwork and you can have as much as you want. I will comply completely and work closely with you. I could even have all the reform through labor workers of the southern garden pick all that you want or even everything and pack it up and send to your Blackhorsebay station and give it to you directly!”

“We are going to the farm on urgent business. We don’t have time to go to your station for paperwork delays.”

“No, that is not acceptable!”

“Could you just convey our words to Station Manager sun and Instructor Ma?”

“No, that is not acceptable!”

“Then when we get to the farm, we’ll make a telephone call to station manager Sun and Instructor Ma and explain the situation and promise that you won’t have any problem!”

“What nonsense!” The two angry political cadres through down the turnips they had picked, backed up and hurried out of the vegetable garden and swaggered off.

“Come here!” Xu Hongru yelled in a great voice. From all directions have came over 40 workers who had been watching developments quietly.

“Are you crazy? Are you rebelling? Starting a riot?” said the two surrounded political cadres with angry eyes, breathing heavily. They pulled back their rifle bolts and nervously confronted the group.

“Whoever harms a hair on the head of these two political cadres will die! Whoever does not obey the station regulations and brigade discipline will also die! ” Xu Hongru looked all around and yelled out

“What are you going to do?”

“I already told you repeatedly — go to our station headquarters. We are making a reasonable request. We do not have the authority to offend you nor do I have the authority to let you leave.” Xu Hongru explained in a cold and matter-of-fact way.

“Fuck this. We mean to go and we will go. You are delaying us and this is your responsibility. The boss will hold you accountable!”

“Whether I am to be shot or tortured, I assume full responsibility. Please…”

Thus the two Blackhorsebay political cadres, surrounded by over 40 Jiangnan Station education through labor workers, were taken you could say as prisoners, or you could say with an honor guard, to the headquarters of the Jiangnan Station.

Those two political cadres of the Blackhorsebay station were taken to the Jiangnan Station. After they and Xu Hongru described the incident, Xu Hongru was beaten and sent back to the brigade. Later it was said that Station leader Sun and Ma Wenying entertained them, invited them to drink teac and eat the sweet desserts made by the Jiangnan station. However, their behavior in stealing the turnps was not approved by Station leader Sun and Ma Wenying.

The news spread quickly to the highest authorities of the farm. No matter how much the two cadres from the Blackhorse Bay station raged, the farm department had to tacitly approve the attitude of Xu Hongru and the attitude of the authorities of the Jiangnan station and then openly approved it. News of this incident spread far and wide, reaching all the brigades of the Malan farm, and even the authorities of the city and provincial authorities of Xi’an and Shaanxi province. The reputation of the Jiangnan station rose. Station leader Sun was serene at this news. Ma Wenying go even prouder and even called a meeting of all the education through labor workers at the station so that this incident would become more widely known.

After this victory Xu Hongru said to me quietly once something that was on his heart. “Those bastards! I wanted to get a little justice for Shen Chong and for we who are miserable here because of false accusations. After doing that, I felt so much better!…” I smiled and just couldn’t stop thinking about it. That was the fiery eruption of a terribly oppressed soul. The firery riposte of a ground down and degraded soul!

This was a glimmer of light in the kingdom of darkness! There must be then, some eternal force that pulls us towards the light, the springtime and freedom. I keep this knowledge always in sight, always as a kind of voice in my ears,  and always stored in my heart.

《秋望》殷叔平著 笔名 殷仁

香港田园书屋对秋望三部曲书与作者的介绍

【內容提要】

本書是作者在毛澤東共產黨的偽善、欺騙、終於殘暴無比地對追求正義良知和民主自由的中國知識份子實行空前虐殺下的親身經歷實錄,所有人物和事件確鑿無誤,有些人和事鮮為人知。它涉及到那些年代裏中國大陸億萬人民在極權絞肉機裏夢想破滅,人性畸變,文明與進步遽然倒退的方方面面,一如作者在自序中的直白。全書共三大部,構成了近百年來中國知識份子追求自由民主的一闕悲慘血腥的墓碑。

【作者簡介
叔平,本名殷仁,曾用名殷季子。1936年生於江蘇常州。1951年參加中國人民解放軍,之後在東北北大荒、瀋陽東北設計院、西安西北綜合勘察院為“共產主義解放全人類”而在中國廣袤的河山間忘我奮鬥。1955年開始發表文學作品,多次獲獎。1957年被劃為右派分子,被押送陝北馬欄勞教農場勞教,歷盡生死苦難;1963年又被打成現行反革命,重判後,被押解至陝北上畛子監獄農場勞改,經歷更慘。1979年獲“改正”、“平反”出獄至今,身已殘。

—-

我翻译了《秋望〉里面几个页。先原文后英文翻译。

 一二四、徐鸿儒的傲骨和真假沈崇                                                                      

江南站的农作物,旱地只有玉米、洋芋、谷子、甜菜和玉米地里套种的黄豆及山上的小麦。水田即水稻。所有一千多亩耕地中,以四百亩水稻和五百多亩玉米为大宗。比南寺站的作物单一多了。耕地少了好几百亩。但江南站的菜地,虽面积与南寺站相差无几,但蔬菜的品种天南地北,国内国外,虽不能说应有尽有,但比南寺站和农场其他所有站的蔬菜品种,就丰富繁杂多了。

因而,江南站南园队菜地里的蔬果,在马栏农场全场政府干部和劳教人员心目中,声名遐迩。它不仅是江南站劳教人员自给自足,并赖以昂首全农场的骄傲之一,也是全场各站菜籽菜种的试验供应基地;更是场部机关人员不屑于工副业站的菜地蔬菜,常常越过它,到江南站来掠取的对象。一九六O年徐鸿儒任队长之后,更引进试验着许多新的品类,因而更被全场所注目。其原因不仅仅是由于品类丰富,诱人食欲,引人遐想;更在于南园队耕作精细,管理严格。在全国大饥饿,劳教人员更备受煎熬痛苦的大背景下,江南站南园队的菜地,俨然如禁区中的伊甸园,森严幽深,一步一景,处处繁茂,片片新异,且井然有序。

大家视可以摘取生食的东西为禁果,连种植者自己也不得擅自品尝。凡违规者,必以重处,这是江南站的站规。因之,不仅菜地里的蔬果无人敢随便染指,就是菜地外属于大田边缘或道路两旁既当作物,又当田园观赏,野外无人看管的向日葵,也绝没有人敢擅摘偷掰,永远亭亭玉立,绿叶肥大,花盘向阳……永远饥

饿的老江南的那些劳教人员和新来的“江南化”了的劳教人员,谁也不会忘记那些血的教训:因“偷”摘而受重罚,“偷”食而被逮捕,“偷”掰而自杀者的姓名和惨象!尤其是那个因病准假去场部就医,归来的路上,独自偷掰了路边一株向日葵花盘的一角,边走边充饥,不幸被发现,迅速飞传到了马文英那里,在马文英勒令其迅速归站,声言“归站后再算账”的回话声中,因恐惧而扑进了由场部至江南站之间,那一条山腰公路崖下,马栏河滩边上的“二龙潭”,自溺而亡的沈崇,更是江南站劳教人员心中永远的巨创巨痛巨恐巨憾和口中永远的箴言谶语……

沈崇。文弱书生。一名大学中文系助教。共产党员。不知是历史的叹息,还是历史的嘲弄,他的姓名,同一九四六年抗日战争胜利不久,在北平城里被美国士兵奸凌的那名北京大学女生沈崇的姓名一模一样。北大女生沈崇遭美军凌辱后,中国人的义愤在共产党的煽动操纵下,掀起了以大学生为龙头的大规模反美反蒋浪潮。女学生沈崇以及由沈崇事件而登上中国党争舞台的人,都成了历史人物。为毛泽东共产党后来的反美反蒋,乃至执政中国,画了浓墨重彩的基础一笔。

可谓功莫大焉!毛共上台执政后,当然就很快将其忘却而不再提及,仅在文史资料库里的某个角落存一纸记事,以供现实与未来的政治需要和笔墨口舌之争所用而已!而江南站的这位比北大学生女沈崇文化修养更高,所受苦难与凌辱更深的男沈崇,却因为在毛共统治下全国饿死数以千万计人民的大饥饿中,因病弱与饥饿,擅自掰食了路边一株向日葵盘上小小的一角,而被视为罪犯。因恐惧在人格、身心等各方面将受到比国民党统治下的女沈崇更不堪的凌辱与折磨,而且毫无疑义地将得不到任何支持与声援,不得不在孤独凄凉的恐惧与颤栗中仰天绝望,自沉溺水而亡了!……

他的尸体,是被马号那位山西籍革命老人在“二龙潭”边采割喂马喂驴的茂草时发现的……随后,马文英为固执己见,伸张其淫威,还勒令全站劳教人员,对死者的遗体,声势凌厉地召开了批判会。当时,那人人颤栗,个个伤情,却还要强打精神,对尸体进行批判的场面,若先贤屈原天灵有知,不知将长啸出一篇怎样的《国殇》来!

哦!一个并不信仰马列主义毛泽东思想的二十世纪四十年代中期的北京大学女学生沈崇,被毛泽东共产党人视为可以大肆反蒋反美推进革命的珍宝;另一个二十世纪六十年代坚定信仰马列主义毛泽东思想并以身相许,以命相付的共产党员大学教师沈崇,却被毛泽东共产党打成“反党”的罪人,被强行置之绝境和怆然自尽,自尽之后还得遭受无情的批判!若苍天有眼,又将如何昭示这公理?

更令我唏嘘愤懑的是:一九四六年十二月二十四日,毛泽东共产党利用“沈崇事件”,挑动全国学生奋起大规模反蒋反美运动中的沈崇,并不是共产党宣传的那样,是美国大兵悍然主动强奸了她,而是沈崇按共产党之诡计,首先主动引诱挑逗了美国大兵的情欲,奸淫根本未遂,却被说成是已被美国大兵强奸而大肆宣扬。被毛泽东共产党当作反蒋反美的子弹使用了这么一回之后,沈崇自知理亏,羞于见人,便改名为“沈峻”,从此隐匿了自己。之后,嫁给了我的文友漫画家丁聪,蒙蔽了世人几十年,致使这黑白颠倒、见不得人的史事延续至今。这个过去的沈崇、后来的沈峻,有无悔意,我不知道。而因承受不了屈辱而自杀于江南站的那个沈崇,却实实在在是信仰马克思列宁主义毛泽东思想的沈崇。苍天有眼,自当明鉴!

二龙潭。是两个直径大约两米左右,深不可测,由深深的地层内部冒涌出水的山泉口。两潭并列相偎,却互不相连。冬日冒着白色的暖水汽;夏日又水温清凉。所冒溢出来的水,已不知冒溢了多少年。从无人理睬。更无人管理。永不减弱更永不枯竭地溢流出来的水,杂乱地窜流入了湍急向西的马栏河。直到江南站在不远的下游栏河筑起的小水坝处,多半被抬高引入那四百余亩江南站的水稻田……江南站建站伊始,曾命人用长绳绑了一块石头,下放到这两个汩汩涌泉的水潭里,以图探测个水深。但绑了重石的绳子下放了三十余米,仍未到底;且重重下沉的石头,越往下沉,越被旋转上翻的水流冲托阻滞,根本到不了潭底,而且在一个潭里,连绳带石头还被旋进了二十多米以下的神秘的拐道,几个人合力往上拽断了绳子,也没能将石头拽上来。因而被视若神秘的“龙潭”。久之, 便习惯地称其为“二龙潭”……

沈崇。是江南站第一个自沉亡命于二龙潭里的人。也是第一个践行了人格和尊严比生命更重要的人!自此,二龙潭,在江南站劳教人员心目中,更是谈潭色变,思而敬之,睹而远之,深邃似幻, 迷离如梦,神秘若妖……

江南站这种用高学历、高水平、高级别的无辜的共产主义信仰者的鲜血和生命所织造的森严的站规站纪,如铁血般俨然凌厉,维护着江南站的一切水旱作物,尤其严格地维护着江南站果园般的南园队蔬果区域。徐鸿儒任队长之后,江南站更凭着成功的文艺演出宣传而名声更振。南园队的蔬果区域,也就更变得令人馋涎欲滴而又更不得擅想擅为。此时的徐鸿儒,宛若一头蓄恨已久,沉静地睃视着,仅待时机和条件泄愤反扑的猛兽。他并不特别只专注于与他一样都是劳教人员的同类,而是特别专注于那些场部及外站身为政府干部的无产阶级专政执行人的入侵行为!而且,狩猎的机会总是不请自到频频出现。有一次,黑马湾站上的一名管教和另一名政府干部,两人荷枪实弹,从几十里以外的大山里赶赴场部,一路山岭鸟道,气喘吁吁地走到位于江南站油坊沟口的他们赶赴场部途中最后一个山头,便从山上直扑下来,穿过油坊沟口一小块江南站的玉米地,匆匆走过马栏河上的那座小桥,又饥又渴地直奔南园队的蔬果地,一进区域就弯腰伸手,一人拔了一个“心里美”萝卜,仅用手掌抹了一抹,就大嚼大啖起来。早已静静的注意着他俩的徐鸿儒,

这时才如狮子般一声怒吼:“干什么呢?放下!”其声音之深沉激愤,从一个功底有素的话剧导演的口中喷吼出来,如重炮般使这两名黑马湾站当局的干部吓了一跳,顿时愣怔原地,不知所措,惊恐地茫然环顾。当他俩看到徐鸿儒身穿劳教服,与正劳动在蔬果地里的劳教人员并无二致时,立刻俨然强硬起来,并拉开了专政者的架势,转守为攻了:

你是不是劳教人员?”两名恼羞成怒的政府干部的责问声,蓄涌着生杀之威。

是。”徐鸿儒缓步走近他们,昂首坦然地回答,并加重了语气:“江南站的劳教人员!种菜看菜园子的!!”

给我站好啰!我们是黑马湾站上的政府干部!一个劳教分子,难道不知道在政府干部面前规规矩矩,老老实实吗?”

不规矩,不老实的是你们俩!我倒正是按政府的教导和要求,老老实实,规规矩矩的希望你们不要偷盗公家的财物!”

呸!谁给你这样的权力?”

马栏农场的场规!江南站的站纪,马教员的命令!”

什么什么?不就拔了这么两个萝卜嘛!”

不!你们拔的是共产党和伟大领袖毛主席的无产阶级专政的威望、马栏农场的光荣和江南站的尊严,更是对我们江南站马教员优良的思想改造管理传统的公然挑衅和践踏!”

那你要怎么样?”

请你俩先把手里的东西物归原处。然后,到我们站上去!如果我们孙站长和马教员同意你们这样做。办个手续,你们要多少都可以!我绝对服从,全力效劳!我甚至可以让我整个南园队的劳教人员,将你们看上的,想要的,这地里的所有东西,哪怕肩挑背驮,都送到你们黑马湾站去,或者直接送交给你们两位干事!”

我们赶往场部有重要急事!现在没时间到你们江南站去耽搁!”

不行!”

你把我们的话捎给你们孙站长和马教员就行了!”

不行!”

那我们到了场部,给你们孙站长和马教员打个电话,说明情况,保证你没事!”

不行!”

岂有此理!”盛怒了的这两名政府干部扔下各自手里的“心里美”萝卜,三脚两步,蹦出菜地,欲上路扬长而去。

来人!”徐鸿儒雄狮般大喝一声,四面八方立即窜出来四十多个久已在各自的劳动岗位上静观事态发展的南园队人员,迅速密匝匝地拦住了这两名气急败坏甚至已狼狈不堪的政府干部的去路……

你们他妈的,造反呀?暴动呀?”两名被围的政府干部气红了眼,断喝厉呼,并拉动了枪栓,紧张地对峙着。

谁如果碰了这两位政府干部的一根汗毛,谁就去死!谁不遵守站规队纪,也要去死!”徐鸿儒环顾四周,向队员们高吼。

你到底想怎么样?”

已经再三向你俩报告过了:去我们站部!我的请求正当合理。因为我没权冒犯你俩,也没权就这么让你俩离开!”徐鸿儒冷峻地, 无可指责地,不紧不慢地解释。

他妈的!去就去!耽误了的事,你负责!老子一定要追究你!”

该杀该剐,我全认!请……”……

就这样, 这两名黑马湾站的干部, 在四十多名江南站南园队劳教人员的远远包围下, 既可以说是被押解, 又可以说是被欢送到了江南站部……

]

第四章:马栏劳教农场江南站 457

这两名黑马湾站的干部,到了江南站部,在和徐鸿儒交替陈述了事件的全过程之后,徐鸿儒就被打发回队了。随后,据说孙站长和马文英款待了他俩,请他俩喝了茶,吃了江南站自制的杂糖点心,但他俩擅自拔取“心里美”的行为,却始终没得到孙站长和马文英的认可……

消息很快传到了场部最高当局。任那两名黑马湾站干部怎样诉怒诉怨,场部当局对徐鸿儒的“壮举”和江南站当局的态度也不得不予以默认,并公开作了肯定。此事立即不胫而走,轰动地传遍了偌大的马栏农场全场各站,甚至传到了西安省市当局。江南站的声名居然更为之一振……对此,孙站长沉静若素。而马文英,分明更加得意自傲,甚至还专门召开了一次全站劳教人员大会,对此作了专题张扬……胜利后的徐鸿儒,有一次在同我的接触中,心事浩茫思绪漫漫地对我悄然而语:“他妈的!总算给沈崇,给我们这些受苦受难,受冤受屈的灵魂夺回了一点公平!我心里,也好受多了!”……我舒心微笑,脑袋也不由得点个不停……这是无比压抑的心灵之火的喷发;是被迫屈辱又不甘屈辱的灵魂的油然抗争啊!……这,是黑暗王国里的一线光明!那必定要与阳光、春风、自由为伍的永恒不朽的张力,我至今历历在目,声声在耳,隽永于心……

 

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