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陈奎德:“中国模式”的迷思
(博讯北京时间2009年3月12日 转载)
    陈奎德更多文章请看陈奎德专栏
     来源:作者来稿 作者:陈奎德
     (博讯 boxun.com)

    
    “中国模式”,史无前例?
    
     中国的现状日益引人瞩目。关于所谓“中国模式”,众说纷纭,人言言殊,以致中国的真相简直就成了那黑泽明小子导演的“罗生门”,扑朔迷离,有多少论者就有多少个“中国”。
    
     美国舆论重镇《华盛顿邮报》曾发表詹姆斯.曼(James Mann )的文章:题为“中国的挑战:无自由的耀眼致富模式”(THE CHINA CHALLENGE: A Shining Model of Wealth Without Liberty)。作者声称,中国的发展模式是对自由民主模式未来的新挑战,并且赢了。他说:“对全球竭力抓牢自己权力不放的威权主义领导人而言,中国越来越适合当作蓝图。我们习惯于把中国当作一个经济奇迹,但它也变成了一个政治模式。北京已经显示,他们不必在权力和利润之间作出选择;他们可以二者得兼。今日中国展示,一个政权能够镇压有组织的反对派,而不需要透过选举来确立合法性;一个执政党可以维持对信息和互联网的相当大程度的控制,而不会放缓经济增长。并且它显示一个国家的精英可以被舒适公寓、赚钱机会和个人的重大升迁以及非政治性自由(服装、娱乐、性、海外旅游)所买断。”
    
     詹姆斯.曼先生是一位中国问题的资深学者和作家,1984-1989年曾任洛杉矶时报驻北京办事处主任,写过诸如《北京吉普》等几本有关中国的著作,现在在著名的霍普金斯大学国际战略研究中心任驻校作家。应当感谢他的点拨,使我们知道,中国终于创造了一个独步古今的非凡模式,傲视全球。看来上苍确是偏爱中华,要另立新规律了。
    
     然而,保守固执的我辈仍想深究:中国模式,果真如此异于他国,震烁古今?它果真如此难于理解,无法用主流的经济政治学说解释?所有过去人们所称的普遍人性,在这里统统失效?
    
     让我们来倾听历史的回响。当我们退回几十年,我们会听见希特勒、斯大林等诸多统治者在其鼎盛期的演讲,他们都曾强调自己民族、国家及其道路的独特性,蔑视西方主流的经济政治学说和制度模式,都认为自己开天辟地,走出了一条成功的、独一无二的全新道路,开创了历史。譬如,在1933年上任后第三天,希特勒就发表《告德意志国民书》,阐明德国不同于英法美的独特的(反西方)民族性格,申明第三帝国的独特道路。
    
     的确,中国的经济增长快速。但是,认为“中国现象”是“只此一家,别无分店”,在历史上独一无二,是否过于夸大其词了?
    
     上世纪前苏联的经济,从30 年代初到50年代一直维持高速增长,它那时的GDP增速比中国现在的增速还要高。认为苏联的共产制度开创了人类崭新的生活方式东西方评论家,比比皆是。而德国的希特勒则声言他要“拯救德意志农民,维持给养和生存基础!拯救德意志工人,向失业展开一场大规模的全面进攻。”他的确创造了消灭失业的经济奇迹,倒1938年德国失业率仅为1.3%,而同期美国、英国、比利时、荷兰的失业率分别为1.89%、8.1%、8.7% 和9.9%。从1932年到1938年,德国的国民生产总值增长了102%,国民收入增长了一倍。德国在上世纪三十年代的经济,呈急速膨胀,令世界瞠目结舌,忧惧交加。而南韩、台湾,在军政府统治或戒严状态下,从上世纪六十年代末至八十年代,经济起飞神速,在在令国际社会眩目不已。
    
     上述这些国家与地区,当年政权与当下中国政权一样,都是非民主政权:或是极权主义,或是威权主义,因此,都镇压有组织的反对派,并且不需要透过选举来确立合法性。它们与中国一样,不必在垄断权力和经济增长之间作出选择,而是二者得兼。然而,几十年后,历史的判决如何呢?苏联、纳粹德国,这些非凡的挑战自由民主的模式,现在到哪里去了呢?南韩、台湾当年的经济起飞式的威权主义,而今安在哉?统统烟消云散了,它们已经化为历史尘埃。作为当年“独步古今的非凡模式”,而今统统皈依了平凡普遍的自由民主模式。
    
     纵观历史,环视全球,在中国发生的此类专制下的经济增长,即所谓中国的“独特”模式,稀罕之处何在?何以能被夸张为难于理解的历史性“奇迹”?
    
    “五大自由”:中产满足?
    
     詹姆斯.曼论及中国城市精英目前已获得的“五大自由”:衣着的自由,购买所需品的自由,出国观光的自由,有婚外情事的自由,投资和获利的自由。他们潇潇洒洒,逍遥自在,看起来比罗斯福给的“四大自由”还多。有鉴于此,精英们似乎心满意足,无复他求了。因而詹姆斯.曼说;“在中国,中产阶级支持或至少符合现有政治秩序;毕竟,这种秩序让中产阶级走在前列。”这一观察,就目前现状而言,大体不错。这些中产阶级的境遇与心态,就像前苏联勃列日涅夫时代后期的精英们一样。既然“五大自由”基本上都有了,汽车洋房,灯红酒绿,衣食无忧,难道还有什么不满意的吗?
    
     据此,詹姆斯.曼嘲讽克林顿、布什和布莱尔:“在1997年,克林顿总统说中国站在‘历史错误的一边’,他预言,正如柏林墙不可避免倒塌一样,(在中国)政治变革也将会降临。布什总统也多次重复同一主题。他曾说:‘同中国的自由贸易,时间是在我们一边。’英国首相布莱尔两年前说,他认为中国有着一股不可遏制的导向民主的动力。不。并非如此。”
    
     然而,詹姆斯.曼先生果真有什么坚强理据,可以如此断然否定上述西方政治家的判断及预言呢?记得二十多年前,众多的西方的克里姆林宫学的专家也是这样嘲讽里根总统关于推倒柏林墙的呼吁的。这些学者当时看到苏联共产党虽然经历种种危机,但仍然长期控制政权的持久能力以及作为超级大国的诸多成就,特别是耀眼的国防力量,他们已经把共产国家的存在看作永恒不变的既成事实了。因而,不少西方学者视里根为昧于现实的白痴。
    
     但历史并没有嘲讽白痴里根,反而给了这些专家们一个大大的尴尬:1989到1991年的苏东巨变,迫使几乎所有的此类西方专家们遍地乱爬,寻觅被跌破的眼镜。
    
     众所周知,前苏联并不是被外部的武力进攻所打败的,它是被它自己打败的,是被自己的人民所抛弃的,其中的关键力量之一,正是那些看来满足现状的“精英”。为什么?前苏联的这群“精英”何以最后成了大帝国崩溃的重要推手呢?原因无它,这是长远利益的杠杆推动所致。从根本上,像苏联和中共这种反智类型的垄断权力的政权,本性上就不相信“精英”,本性上就不能善待自己的同胞。即使是对经济“精英”和知识“精英”也一样。是的,精英们可以一时被舒适公寓、赚钱机会和个人的重大升迁、非政治性自由(服装、娱乐、性、海外旅游)所买断,但他们不可能永远在公权力机构中没有自己的代表,不能长久变成无声的人,不能永远是聋子和哑巴。(而在“党中央”方面,分一杯羹给你可以,但绝不允许你分享或染指关键性的垄断权力。)长此以往,精英们固然酒醉饭饱,却仍然寝食难安。盖因朝中无人,他们的利益得不到保障,随时可能被权力当局根据自己的政治需要,予取予夺。他们的利益,离开制度性的保障,犹如空中楼阁,根基不稳,缺乏安全感,没有长远性。
    
     君不见,那些中国富豪榜上的精英,已经有多少身陷囹圄,或亡命天涯?就以2002-2003年来说,部分民营企业家们就纷纷中箭落马。《福布斯》富豪榜的第二富豪杨斌被捕受审,第三富豪仰融逃亡美国,明星富婆刘晓庆进驻秦城,开明儒商孙大午身系囹圄……人人惶恐终日,不少企业家并悄悄设法从《福布斯》的富豪榜上除名,以策安全。
    
     何以笑容可掬地“欢迎资本家入党”的中南海当局有时会突然变脸?
    
     笔者曾分析过个中微妙:时不时地,北京之所以从“官商合流”转向“杀鸡儆猴”,一为充实被银行烂账淘空了的国库,二为平抑日益加深的贫富鸿沟导致的民怨。“一石二鸟”,何乐不为?反正高官子弟富豪绝不会被损及毫毛的。至于民间企业家呢?对不起,借用毛泽东在文革后期抛弃造反派时语言,“现在是你们犯错误的时候了。”虽然每个人的情况各不相同,但总体上并不影响民营企业家琅裆入狱的这一惊人现象的真实性。
    
     仰人鼻息,无制度保障,纵然坐拥金山银山,随时都可能转眼化成海市蜃楼。中产阶级也好,精英阶层也罢,以它们的精明,不可能看不到自己的长远利益的。一时的政治冷漠,不可能永远掩盖长远的利益盘算和政治直觉。因此,在这个意义上,亚里士多德所谓“人是政治动物”确为千古不易之理。看看香港这个长期以来被世人惯称作政治冷感的城市,在回归大陆后是如何变成政治沸腾之都的,就不难明白个中奥妙了。
    
    外交成就,进入主流?
    
     应当承认,在外交方面,北京当局近年来有所改进,是颇有斩获的。正如詹姆斯.曼所说:中国的模式“不仅给缅甸、津巴布韦、叙利亚和朝鲜等受孤立的国家,而且给美国的一些抵制民主呼吁的重要伙伴(埃及或巴基斯坦),给我们的邻居古巴和委内瑞拉提供不断的希望。”“(许多国家)越来越转向北京。而且同情感常常是双向的:中国在近年来帮助支持津巴布韦、苏丹、乌兹别克斯坦、古巴和朝鲜。”
    
     他描述的上述现象的确有一定的事实根据。如所周知,源远流长的中国文明的重要特征之一,就是其注意力长期聚焦于人际关系,并特别看重面子,强调“内外之别”,笃信“家丑不外扬”。在这套氛围中熏陶出来的官员,要练就一套圆熟谨慎周到的外交技巧,并非太难的事,甚至可说是驾轻就熟。这方面,周恩来就是中共的巅峰代表,他缔造和涵养了中共外交的基本手法与传统。加上最近些年来,北京经济起飞,比过去更有实力撒银子买朋友,因此在外界看来,北京近年的外交似乎连连得手,风光十足。而美国则因为“管闲事太多”,似乎处处在挨骂。
    
     但是,这种外交情势,是否真正意味着北京创造了一个全新的、有吸引力的制度模式?北京是否已经拿出了一套足以同西方抗衡的价值理念,并代表了未来?以致使各国都心悦诚服,万邦来朝?
    
     人们不会假装看不到北京的“伙伴政权”都是些什么国家:缅甸、津巴布韦、叙利亚、北朝鲜、津巴布韦、苏丹、乌兹别克斯坦、委内瑞拉、古巴……。不用再数下去了吧。对这些“朋友”,我想,多数中国人也许都羞于启口,遑论那些精英了。北京政权信誓旦旦要与之接轨的“国际社会”,就是这些国家?实话实说吧,在国际上,它们基本上都被称为“失败的国家”。虽然物以类聚,人以群分,理固其然。但北京毕竟还有一点“向上”之念,与这样一批国际“人渣”为伍,恐怕连中南海内诸公自己也不好意思承认的。美国这个世界警察虽被人骂骂咧咧,但一到关键时刻、危急时刻,人们会发现,多数国家(甚至包括中国的小兄弟如被韩、越南等),仍要求助于美国,而非中国。
    
    撕开花团锦簇的包裹,直抵中国处境的实质内核,一个基本事实必须正视:在1989年至1991年东欧与前苏联的共产主义大溃败之后,从根本上看,北京政权在国际主流社会的汪洋大海中,其实是一个孤岛,虽然是个庞大的孤岛;其实是一个异数,虽然是个笑容可掬的异数。
    
     有些东西,无论如何西装革履,人模人样,终究是沐猴而冠。
    
    奴工事件,预示前景
    
     中国问题的根子是在内部。作为资深中国问题专家,詹姆斯.曼先生不会不知道山西黑窑奴工事件。这一非法贩卖、拐骗甚至绑架儿童、少年,使之成为黑砖窑的奴工,被长期残酷压榨,被剥夺人身自由的事件,骇人听闻,震动全国。它不是一天两天之事,而是持续了好些年;它不是单独偶发的事件,而是遍及全省,甚至侵犯外省的大面积事件。正如六四屠城,正如萨斯事件.....,它们在在表明了中国的制度性失败,表明了中国的向下沉沦。它所警示给我们的是应当重塑制度,构建真正保障公民生命权、自由权和财产权的宪政秩序。
    
     詹姆斯. 曼应当明了,如果中国模式真有吸引力,如果北京真对自己的模式有信心,何须如詹姆士观察到的“维持对信息和互联网的相当大程度的控制”,何须要建立水泼不进的“金盾工程”,封锁资讯流通?如果确实身为“赢家”,中共多数上层领导人何须把自己子孙及其财产送到“输家”如美国等“制度过时”的西方国家,并取得其居留权甚至入籍?
    
     北京当下的抵抗普世价值,包装“成功模式”,不过是拖延时日而已。它目前营造自己是成功模式的法宝有二:一是封锁信息,然后努力包装,竭力向外宣传推销。二而是吸取前共产国家级其他专制政权垮台的教训,竭力弥补一切可能导致溃堤的漏洞,头痛医头,脚痛医脚,防患于未来,扼杀于摇篮。但就是不愿根本改革制度。这种方式,导致不满之民怨之水,越积越多,堤防越筑越高,堤坝千疮百孔,中共东堵西防,疲于奔命。今天他可能还有能力补漏,然一旦到了某日,濒临临界点,则补不胜补,防不胜防,“按下葫芦起了瓢”,堤防将全线崩溃也。
    
     届时,詹姆斯. 曼们将如何自我解嘲呢?
    
    本站刊登日期: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
    
    关键字: 詹姆斯.曼 中国模式
    
    
    Myth of the "China model"
    
    Chen Kuide
    
    How Unprecedented is the "China model"?
    
    China's rise on the international stage continues to generate debate, in particular regarding the “China model” that is credited with this rise. But what is the “China model”? And indeed, what is the “real China”? The diversity of views on this subject brings to mind Akira Kurosawa’s famous film "Rashomon," bewildering the observer with an apparent variety of mutually exclusive versions of China.
    
    The Washington Post published an article by James Mann entitled “The China Challenge: A Shining Model of Wealth Without Liberty.” In his article, Mann pronounced China victorious with its “startling new challenge to the future of liberal democracy.” He continued:
    
    For authoritarian leaders around the world seeking to maintain their grip on power, China increasingly serves as a blueprint. We're used to thinking of China as an economic miracle, but it's also becoming a political model. Beijing has shown dictators that they don't have to choose between power and profit; they can have both. Today's China demonstrates that a regime can suppress organized opposition and need not establish its legitimacy through elections. It shows that a ruling party can maintain considerable control over information and the Internet without slowing economic growth. And it indicates that a nation's elite can be bought off with comfortable apartments, the chance to make money, and significant advances in personal, non-political freedoms (clothes, entertainment, sex, travel abroad).
    
    James Mann is a veteran China scholar and writer who headed the Beijing bureau of The Los Angeles Times in the late 1980s. He is the author of several books in China, notably Beijing Jeep and most recently The China Fantasy, and he is currently an author in residence at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Given his expertise and renown, Mann’s description of the China model as unprecedented and extraordinary in its aims and accomplishments is being taken very seriously. But I cannot dismiss nagging doubts over how trailblazing the China model really is.
    
    History suggests a number of precedents to the China model. Several decades ago, dictators such as Hitler and Stalin, each at the height of their power, stressed their nations’ unique rejection of western democratic models of political and economic development. Hitler, for example, on the third day after taking office in 1933 issued a "Notice to the Citizens of Germany" in which he affirmed the Third Reich’s unique (anti-Western) national character, and its striking off on a path separate from those of England, France and the United States.
    
    Even China’s rapid economic growth has not yet broken historical records. The Soviet Union maintained even more rapid economic growth from the beginning of the 1930s to the 1950s, while commentators around the world marveled at the new lifestyle that the Soviet system had apparently created for mankind. In Germany, Hitler declared that he would rescue German farmers and maintain their means of livelihood while simultaneously launching a massive all-out offensive to rescue workers from unemployment. He actually did resurrect Germany from its economic morass and virtually eliminated unemployment in Germany; in 1938, Germany’s unemployment rate was only 1.3 percent, compared with 1.89 percent in the Unites States, and levels ranging from 8 to nearly 10 percent in Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands. Between 1932 an 1938, Germany’s GDP grew by 102 percent, and its national income likewise doubled. As in the case of today’s China, the rapid economic expansion of Germany in the 1930s was regarded with awe and trepidation, just as the burgeoning economies of South Korea and Taiwan under their respective authoritarian regimes dazzled the international community from the late 1960s into the 1980s.
    
    Like today’s China, these totalitarian and authoritarian regimes suppressed organized opposition and spurned the opportunity to establish legitimacy through an electoral process. Like today’s China, they were not forced to choose between a monopoly on power and economic growth; they had both. But how has history judged them decades later? The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, these extraordinary challenger of liberal democracy – where are they now? Like the authoritarian regimes that ruled South Korea and Taiwan, these extraordinary and unprecedented models have crumbled into the dust of history, while the countries they ruled with iron fists have all shifted back to the mainstream of liberal democracy.
    
    Looking back at history, it is hard to see China’s current “miracle” as truly unprecedented, and likewise difficult to believe in its inevitable “triumph” over liberal democracy.
    
    "Five Freedoms" and a Complacent Middle Class
    
    James Mann noted five freedoms that China’s urban elites now enjoy: The opportunity to invest and make money, to buy and wear what they want, to enjoy themselves, to see the world and to have love affairs. These freedoms certainly have more sparkle and pizzazz than the four homely aspirations of the Roosevelt era. Appearances would suggest that China’s elite have nothing more to ask for, and as a result, Mann observes, “the middle class supports or at least goes along with the existing political order; after all, that order made it middle class in the first place.”
    
    There is little to argue with in Mann’s description of China’s middle class, which in its situation and attitudes is reminiscent of the Soviet elite during the late Brezhnev era; with their access to the best cars, homes, food and clothing, what reason should they have for dissatisfaction?
    
    It is the complacency of China’s middle class that leads Mann to discredit the apparently naïve predictions of western leaders that affluence might bring democracy to China:
    
    In 1997, President Bill Clinton said China was on “the wrong side of history.” Political change would come “just as, inevitably, the Berlin Wall fell,” he predicted. President Bush has repeated many of these same themes: “Trade freely with China, and time is on our side,” he once said. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said two years ago that he thought there was “an unstoppable momentum” toward democracy in China. Not quite.
    
    But are Mann’s arguments strong enough to categorically rule out the validity of these western politicians’ judgments and predictions? I recall that 20-odd years ago, many western Kremlinologists ridiculed President Reagan’s speech calling for the toppling of the Berlin Wall. These scholars had observed the Soviet Communist Party’s stubborn survival through various crises, and saw the Soviet Union, with its formidable defense force, as a permanent fixture among the world’s superpowers. To these experts, President Reagan was hopelessly out of touch with reality.
    
    But it is not Reagan whom history mocked: the dramatic changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in 1989-1991 left almost all of those western analysts and experts scrambling for a new theoretical foothold.
    
    As we now know, it was not external forces that defeated the former Soviet Union, but the Soviet Union that defeated itself. It was abandoned by its own people, led to a significant extent by its apparently complacent elite. Why did this elite contribute to the collapse of an empire that had brought them so much personal benefit? Because these intellectuals and other elites recognized where their long-term interests lay. The Soviet Union, like Communist China, was a fundamentally anti-intellectual regime intent on monopolizing power, inherently unable to trust its cultural and economic elite.
    
    Yes, the elite class can temporarily be bought off with comfortable apartments, the chance to make money and significant advances in personal, non-political freedoms, but eventually elites will tire of their lack of representation in the public power structure, and their lack of voice and control over their own fates and interests. After all, if your benefits derive largely from the whims of the authorities, they can disappear just as quickly through the same whims. However comfortable their existence, the elites under a totalitarian regime know that their castles are floating on air without institutional support, and that lacking a stable foundation, they have no long-term future.
    
    We’ve seen how many of those formerly listed among China’s wealthiest tycoons have already either been imprisoned or have fled into exile since being targeted by the Chinese authorities. Yang Bin, once listed second on Forbes’ list of Chinese tycoons, was arrested in 2002 on charges of tax evasion and was eventually sentenced to 18 years in prison. Yang Rong, once third on the Forbes list, fled to the U.S. in 2002 after being accused of economic crimes. Former movie star Liu Xiaoqing, who made a fortune in real estate, ended up in Qincheng Prison, and the enlightened Confucian merchant Sun Dawu has disappeared from public view after receiving a suspended three-year sentence for “illegally accepting deposits from members of the public.” Inclusion on the Forbes list is increasingly regarded as a kiss of death, and some entrepreneurs have been reported to have quietly requested to be removed from the list.
    
    What leads the Zhongnanhai authorities to sometimes turn against the “red capitalists” to whom they have previously extended warm welcome? I suggest two main causes: 1) Beijing needs to confiscate the wealth of these tycoons in order to fill the huge gaps in the accounts of state-owned banks; 2) the government needs to acknowledge the grievances of China’s underprivileged regarding the growing gap between the rich and the poor.
    
    The wealthy children of high-ranking officials, of course, manage to escape the noose, while even the most blameless private entrepreneurs can enjoy no feelings of security.
    
    In an environment lacking constitutional guarantees of rights, and where bureaucratic whim can transform a golden mountain into a mirage, members of China’s wealthy elite and middle-class are forced to constantly reconsider their long-term interests. Under these conditions, political apathy cannot last forever, because only those with finely-honed political intuition will be rewarded. As Aristotle noted long ago, "Man is a political animal"; we have seen that even a place with a reputation for entrenched political apathy such as Hong Kong has become more embroiled in politics since reunification with the mainland. The reasons, I think, are self-evident.
    
    Diplomatic achievements bringing China into the mainstream?
    
    It should be acknowledged that Beijing has actually scored some significant diplomatic points in recent years. James Mann observes:
    
    China's single-party state offers continuing hope not only to such largely isolated dictatorships as Burma, Zimbabwe, Syria and North Korea but also to some key U.S. friends who themselves resist calls for democracy (say, Egypt or Pakistan) and to our neighbors of Cuba and Venezuela… Repressive regimes elsewhere are increasingly looking to Beijing. And often the sympathy flows both ways: China has, in recent years, helped to prop up Zimbabwe, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Cuba and North Korea.
    
    There is much truth in Mann’s observations. Chinese civilization is well known for its focus on relationships and “face,” its emphasis on the difference between “insider” and “outsider" and on the need to maintain appearances. Chinese officials nurtured in this atmosphere naturally develop exquisitely fine-tuned diplomatic skills. Zhou Enlai represented the pinnacle of China’s achievement in this respect as he established and developed the CPC's basic diplomatic practices. China’s economic boom has provided it with additional financial incentives to offer prospective allies, greatly enhancing Beijing’s image of diplomatic prowess at a time when the United States has gained an increasingly negative international reputation.
    
    Does this diplomatic situation, however, really indicate that Beijing has created a new and attractive institutional model, or a new set of universal values to compete with those of democracy, freedom, human rights and rule of law?
    
    Let us be frank about exactly what image is created by the partnerships Beijing has formed with the regimes of countries such as Burma, Zimbabwe, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Cuba. I think it is fair to say that the majority of Chinese people would be ashamed to acknowledge these “friendships,” and the elite even more so. Is this really how Beijing plans to make China part of the “international community”? Everyone is familiar with the saying “Birds of a feather flock together,” and if China has any real aspirations on the world stage, it will need to extend its partnerships beyond rogue nations. In any case, while the United States is constantly criticized for acting like “the policeman of the world,” whenever a crisis develops, even China’s “little brothers,” North Korea and Vietnam, are more likely to turn to the U.S. than to China for help.
    
    In the final analysis, the fact remains that since the collapse of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the years 1989-1991, China has become an island, albeit a very large one, in the vast international mainstream. And it remains a deviant, for all that it is a smiling deviant, just as a monkey retains its basic nature, even if dressed up in a smart little tuxedo.
    
    A nation of slaves
    
    The crux of China’s problem is internal. As a veteran observer of China, James Mann is certainly aware of the recent Shanxi kiln slavery incident, which shocked and horrified China and the rest of the world with its revelations that migrant workers and many children and teenagers were through deception and abduction forced to work under horrific conditions at brick kilns in the backwaters of Shanxi and Hebei provinces. This was not a recent phenomenon, but one that had been ongoing for some years over a broad geographical expanse. This case, along with the June 4 massacre and the SARS incident, has exposed China’s profound systemic flaws and raises real questions about the fundamental nature of China’s rise. It alerts us to the need for China to reshape its system through a constitutional order capable of genuinely protecting basic rights of life, liberty and property.
    
    If the Chinese government is confident that its model is really so desirable, why does it feel compelled, as James Mann observes, to “maintain considerable control over information and the Internet”? Why has it built its massive "Golden Shield" to block the flow of information from the outside world? If the Chinese have developed a winning system, why have so many CPC leaders jettisoned their offspring and assets to the “outmoded” systems of the United States and other western countries?
    
    Beijing’s presentation of its “successful model” as a preferable alternative to universal human values merely delays the inevitable moment of truth. At present, China’s “successful model” is constructed from two main elements: first, China’s control of information and packaging of its image to the outside world, and second, the lessons China has learned from the collapse of the former Soviet bloc and other totalitarian regimes regarding the need to quickly plug every leak in the dike of social control, rapidly address every symptom of discord and nip all buds of unrest. The root systemic causes of popular discontent, meanwhile, are largely ignored. But a dike can only be built so high and requires constant upkeep. The danger remains that the floodtides of unrest in China will continue to rise faster than Beijing can build new levees, threatening a social deluge of Katrina-like proportions and even more lingering and far-reaching fall-out.
    
    What then of this lustrous model of wealth without liberty?
    
    
    Notes
    
    1. JamesMann’s article can be read in full at http://www. washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/
    
    18/AR2007051801640.html.
    
    2. A full English translation of Hitler’s proclamation isposted at http://www.humanitas-international.org/
    
    showcase/chronography/speeches/1933-02-01.html.
    
    3. Franklin Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms,” outlined in aspeech on January 6, 1941, were freedom of expression,
    
    freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedomfrom fear.
    
    4. For themost recent Forbes list of “China’s 400 Richest,” see http://www.forbes.com/lists/2006/74/biz_06china_
    
    The-400-Richest-Chinese_land.html.
    
    5. See “Yang Bin Convicted of Fraud, Sentenced to 18 Years, ”People’s Daily Online, July 15, 2003, english.peopledaily.
    
    com.cn/200307/14/eng20030714_120183.shtml.
    
    6. See “Yang Rong Sues Liaoning Government,” Epoch Times,August 19, 2003, http://en.epochtimes.com/news/
    
    3-8-19/2607.html.
    
    7. See “Actress Arrested for Tax Evasion,” Shanghai Star, August 1, 2002, http://app1.chinadaily.com.cn/star/2002/
    
    0801/bz9-1.html.
    
    8. See Qin Hui, “Two Tycoons, Two Fates: Zhou Zhengyi and Sun Dawu,”China Rights Forum,No. 1, 2004.
    
    Date Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
    
    Keywords: James Mann China model (博讯记者:蔡楚) (博讯 boxun.com)
(本文只代表作者或者发稿团体的观点、立场)

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