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余亮:申纪兰与中国人民民主的故事

2020-06-28 13:57:37
导读
6月28日,全国人大代表申纪兰在山西长治逝世。她是第一届至第十三届全国人大代表,曾倡导并推动“男女同工同酬”写入宪法。 本文作者余亮认为,申纪兰是中国革命与中国民主合法性的象征性人物,“有中国人批评她参加历届人大,却从来没有投过反对票。如果仔细了解一下这个人,就会发现申纪兰提出的议案足以让很多职业政客们汗颜”。文章英文版曾在两会前夕发表于《北京周报》。观察者网特此发布中文版,以表哀悼。

【文/余亮】

新冠病毒让这个春天失去了很多美好的事物,很多条生命消失了,欧洲杯、奥运会这些过去的盛大活动也都遥遥无期,而西方“民主”的大选剧目还会如期上演吗?对了,中国的人民代表大会和政治协商会议(以下按照中国人的习惯称作“两会”)也延期了几个月,但还是在五月底召开了。

两会常常被自诩为民主世界的西方人看作做戏。每到那个时候,总会有西方记者跑来挑刺。记得两年前,一位BBC记者向人大代表提问朝鲜问题遭拒,为此批判中国采访不自由。中国CCTV的新锐主持人刘欣(就是和fox翠西连线辩论的那位)公开反驳BBC记者为自己加戏,让这位BBC记者在推特上生气地大叫:where are you!那是令人怀念的好日子,不是吗?西方记者们精力充沛,吹毛求疵,陶醉于只有西方有民主而中国人只是在演戏的优越感中,却不知道天启骑士会突然降临裁判。

翠西在节目中谈到新冠病毒

西方人可以接纳的异端乔姆斯基先生说,疫情让西方很难再恢复到过去,包括衰退的民主。不止是这位左翼学者在讨论疫情,我们还听到福山强调国家能力和人民的信任比民主或者集权的政体类型划分更重要。世界邮报的主编内森•加戴尔斯则引用中国学者张维为的观点,称疫情防控显示“能力和绩效合法性与民主没有必然的关联”,良政/劣政将取代民主/专制的认识范式。格雷厄姆•艾利森暂时放下了修昔底德陷阱,呼吁美国赶紧面对现实,学习中国。美国的“先知”们看来没有像他们的总统一样失去现实感,而欧洲的思想家们,如阿甘本还在大谈疫情管制对自由、民主带来的伤害。朱迪•巴特勒倒是放下了她在巴黎恐袭期间坚持的反恐不能伤害自由的观点,转而考虑资本主义世界能否让疫苗公平分配。也许阿兰•巴丢最镇静,他认为疫情只是再次暴露了全球世界的政治经济矛盾,没什么值得大惊小怪,也不会带来什么革新希望。

是啊,没什么值得大惊小怪的,还能怎样呢?批判的武器无法代替武器的批判,西方世界普遍无可奈何地进入了鲍里斯所谓的全民免疫状态。然而真的没有希望吗?毕竟,中国忍受住一切批评和谩骂,遏制住了疫情,得到人民的信任,正在恢复生产并很快召开两会,两会的重点议题就是民生和就业,这正是西方民众渴望解决却得不到政客真正关心的问题。好客的中国人希望西方记者可以正常到场。但是这一次,西方记者们是否可以耐住性子认真研究一下中国的民主政治?七百年前的黑死病大瘟疫破坏了欧洲的旧秩序,意外促生了意大利的人文主义复兴,当时佛罗伦萨人逃到郊外,说起了离经叛道的《十日谈》故事,冲击了教会的教条精神世界,那么这一次呢?欧洲朋友何妨听我说说中国的民主新故事?而上一次中国党代会决议的一条重要内容就是大力发展社会主义民主。

在新冠肺炎疫情防控常态化的特殊背景下,召开全国两会。(总台央视记者王哈男拍摄)

中国共产党十九届四中全会的《决定》全文,全文第三条是“坚持和完善人民当家作主制度体系,发展社会主义民主政治”,考虑到第一条是“坚持和完善中国特色社会主义制度、推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化的重大意义和总体要求”,具有总论性质,所以它仅次于第二条“坚持和完善党的领导制度体系,提高党科学执政、民主执政、依法执政水平”。

有些西方人会不假思索地说,这证明了中国人的民主是屈从于一党领导的民主,不可能是真正的民主。但是请不要忘记,欧洲思想家马克斯•韦伯所念兹在兹的正是克里斯玛型魅力政治家,这样的魅力型政治家今天已经很少出现在西方,在疫情中我们看到的更多是好莱坞型政客。韦伯没有看到,克里斯玛型政治家可能化身为一个政党。在中国疫情爆发初期,中国人传颂最广的一句话是医生党员说的:“共产党员先上。”很多中国人为这句话感动而鼓舞。实际上广大党员也确实冲在了抗疫前线,几百人牺牲,还有什么能比这句话更能表现政党与人民的紧密关系呢?这在个人主义为本的欧洲,是无法想象的。

我统计了一下《决定》公报的文字,发现“民主”出现29次,“领导”出现了50次,“法治”出现了40次,“自由”只出现6次,主要在经济部分。相比官方宣传的二十四字核心价值观,通过这个统计词频更能感受到中国领导层的政治偏好。“法治”的约束比“民主”重要,但民主不可或缺。权威“领导”需要有民主和法治作为基础。中国共产党把这个叫做“从群众中来,到群众中去”。

现在让我们看看人大代表的身份。

在2987名十二届(2013~2018年)全国人大代表中,来自一线的工人、农民代表占总数的13.42%;专业技术人员代表占总数的20.42%;党政领导干部代表占总数的34.88%。此外,中国人民解放军(官兵)代表占总数的9.3%;港澳台代表占总数的2.1%;其他各民主党派、无党派、宗教和文艺团体代表等占总数的20.22%;妇女代表占总数的23.4%,少数民族代表占总数的13.69%。

在2980名十三届(2019~2024年)全国人大代表中,来自一线的工人、农民代表占总数的15.70%;专业技术人员代表占总数的20.57%;党政领导干部代表占总数的33.93%。其中,妇女代表占总数的24.9%,少数民族代表占总数的13.69%。

确实和经典马克思主义理论有些区别,知识分子、其他党派人士甚至超过工农代表的比例。不过在中国,知识分子也被看作社会主义的基本劳动分子。有中国学者说中国政党是一个继承儒家执政传统的全民党,并非只代表某个阶级。还有学者强调中国政府的“中性”特征——在各个阶层之间保持中立,这在代表比例里也有所体现。中共称之为“三个代表”(中国共产党要始终代表中国先进生产力的发展要求,代表中国先进文化的前进方向,代表中国最广大人民的根本利益)。而共产党重点强调党本身的先进性教育,无论哪个阶层出身,成为党员,就要以党的思想和法纪约束自己。

反观西方的代议制民主,我想不需要我来告诉西方朋友,这些议员有多少是来自1%,多少政治领袖来自富豪世家。并且还有旋转门,可以保障至高无上的立法机关与富人精英的“俱乐部”之间畅通无阻。

当然我们知道,我们理解,西方朋友会说这个代表成分只是中国法律上的、“表面”上的人民性和代表性。正如他们怀疑中国公布的新冠病毒感染人数也是虚假的。不用着急,其实在中国国内,也有很多人,主要是亲西方的知识分子在社交媒体上批评人大代表是举手机器。但我们研究过这些代表吗?中国的两会代表不是职业议员,缺乏吵架或者演讲的技能。少数善于在社交媒体作秀的代表并不受欢迎。他们带着自己的议案来开会。这些议案通过小组讨论、集中讨论,层层筛选、渗透。议案写的不好,就会被媒体和民众嘲笑。

一个典型是申纪兰,她是经济相对落后的内陆山西省一个县的党总支副书记,也是中国唯一的一位从第一届连任到第十三届的全国人大代表。有中国人批评她参加历届人大,却从来没有投过反对票。如果仔细了解一下这个人,就会发现申纪兰提出的议案足以让很多职业政客们汗颜,最重要的就是在1950年代主张同工同酬。她组织妇女劳动,凭借劳动本领为妇女争取到同工同酬权利。而如今热衷批判中国的BBC女记者却因为不能与男性同工同酬而不得不辞职。申纪兰像是某种人民的“长老”,凭借自己的历史威望坐在代表席上。据媒体报道,申纪兰的提案有很多,主要是为了老家山西谋福利:包括引黄河水进入山西省、改造山西老工业基地、增加铁路、建设高速公路,建设飞机场、建设电站、建设集中供热工程……区别于西方的利益团体争蛋糕,她的议案多涉及基础设施,有利于区域经济蛋糕做大。看的出来,这些议案未必不是她本人的,她是个农村妇女,但代表了当地人民的意志。批评她的人同样掉进了西式民主的思维陷阱,以为举手与否最重要。

申纪兰(左二)

西方人对议会游戏规则的理解炉火纯青,却不了解中国人的政治运作,中国人的民主并不都是放在桌面上。中国人的“和谐”传统不喜欢你死我活的争吵。当然,这也会被一部分人批评为人治高于法治。但人治和法治的区分、政府和社会的对立,难道不是西方二元思维的一个病症?

中国两会由于疫情推迟了,但民主运作并不会停止,因为民主本来就在台下,就在人民的生活当中,以具有实效的方式运行着。新冠疫情期间,仅武汉一地就依纪问责处理近700名官员,涉局级干部至少10人,省长和省委书记也被撤职。同时火线提拔优秀干部数十人、火线发展党员10多人。而在西方国家,疫情防控如此令人失望,却几乎没有官员被“民主”问责处理,唯一的“民主”表演似乎就是吵吵闹闹和问责中国。

一个人口众多的超大规模国家,政治要善于化繁为简,中国共产党总是提出最鲜明简洁的目标。例如《决定》强调要“保持党同人民群众的血肉联系,把尊重民意、汇集民智、凝聚民力、改善民生贯穿党治国理政全部工作之中”。在抵御新冠疫情期间,习近平强调“始终把人民群众生命安全和身体健康放在第1位”,人民利益至上,这就是中国民主根本纲领的表达。在西方,疫情期间成千上万的人死去,美国总统竟然说出“没有呼吸机,但这就是生活啊”,英国一些养老院里的老人竟然被要求签订自愿放弃救护的协议,这些都是令全世界“普世价值”支持者痛心的事情。我相信很多西方朋友会因此而思考:这样的民主意义何在?

英文版:

A lot of beautiful things perished this spring due to COVID-19, many lives too. All granddramas such as the European Cup and the Tokyo Olympic Games were put off. So will the drama of "democracy" be staged as scheduled?Well,in China, they also postponed the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) -- known as the “two sessions” -- to late May.

However, the CPPCC has long been criticized as putting on a show or playing to the gallery by people in the self-proclaimed democratic world.Every year at that time, I and other journalists from the West would rush ourselves into the meeting hall and try the utmost to find anything interesting. Two years ago, a BBC reporter was turned down while asking a question concerning North Korea to an NPC deputy, hence the reporter slammed China for not being free in news reporting. Liu Xin, the pioneering anchor of China’s CCTV (yes, the one who debated with Trish Regan, former host of Fox Business) publicly refuted the BBC reporter as “trying a trick and making himself the subject of the story.” This made the BBC reporter yell angrily on Twitter: where are you!What a good day it was when western journalists were so energetic and critical! You could revel in the superiority that only the West had democracy and blame the Chinese for play acting, not knowing that the Knights of the Apocalypse would all of a sudden fall upon us.

According to Noam Chomsky, the epidemic makes it very difficult for the West to return to the past, and so does our declining democracy. Not only was this left-wing scholar opining on the epidemic, we also heard voices from Francis Fukuyama,indicating that the state’s capacity and people’s trust in government are more important than the type of the regime. Nathan Gardels, editor-in-chief of the WorldPost, quoted Chinese scholar Zhang Weiwei as saying:“In terms of competence and performance legitimacy, there is no necessary correlation with democracy” and “the main divide in the future may well not be over democracy and autocracy, but between good governance and bad governance.” Graham Allison, author of “Destined For War,” temporarily put aside the Thucydides trap and called on the United States to “face ugly facts about our own failures” and learn from China. The “prophets” of the United States do not seem to have lost their sense of reality like their reality-TV president, while European thinkers, such as Giorgio Agamben, are still talking about the harm that epidemic control brings to freedom and democracy. It’s nice for Judith Butler to put aside her insistence during the 2015 Paris attacks that counter-terrorism should not harm freedom, and instead considered whether vaccines could be fairly distributed in the capitalist world. Perhaps French philosopher Alain Badiou has been the calmest. He claimed that the epidemic has only once again exposed the political and economic contradictions in the globe, it is not worth making a fuss about, and it won’t bring any hope of innovation.

Maybe yes, it is not worth making a fuss about, and it won’t bring any hope of innovation.. In the recent month, the voices of western scholars have been less, perhaps because the weapons of criticism can not replace criticism of weapons, and the western world generally has no choice but to enter into what Boris called the state of national immunity. But really no hope at all?I mean, after all China has endured all criticism and abuse, basically contained the outbreak, won the trust of the people, and the country is now resuming production and will hold the twosessions soon. The hospitable Chinese hope that Western journalists can be present normally,stay young and stay critical.This time will journalists have enough time to cast doubts onchinese democracy?So, why don’t have a little patience and try to learn something from it? The Black Death that happened 700 years ago destroyed the old order in Europe, but it also unexpectedly promoted the revival of humanism in Italy. We all know Boccaccio's “Decameron”-- in the countryhome of their host, several narrators who fled the plague-ridden city of Florence pass the time by telling devianttales to each other which seriously impacted the spiritual world of the church. What about now? Amid the still-raging coronavirus pandemic, how about me telling you something about China’s democracy? Well, what I want to point out is that one of the important decisionsmade in China’s last Congress of the Communist Party was to “vigorously develop the socialist democracy.”

I took the pains to carefully read the full text of “The Decision of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee.”I would say that it is a little boring and not the kind of text you would enjoy reading. But I have to tell you that Article 3 of the decision is “Upholding and improving the system of institutions through which the people run the country and developing socialist democracy.”Noticing that Article 1 of the decision is “The great significance and overall requirements of upholding and improving the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advancing the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance,” it is kind of a general remark. So, we can say that the importance of Article 3 comes only after Article 2, which is “Upholding and improving the system of institutions for Party leadership and improving the Party’s capacity to practice scientific, democratic and law-based governance.”

Without deeper thinking, Some Western friendswould normally saythat this further proves the Chinese democracy is subservient to the CPC and cannot be recognized as a true democracy. But don’t forget about charismatic authority, the kind that was highly spoken of by European thinker Max Weber. Such types of politicians are rarely seen in the West today, and what we see during the epidemic is more Hollywood politicians., But Weber. didn'tsee a political party may also be charismatic. In the early days of the outbreak in China, one of the most widely praised sentences among the Chinese people was,“Don't be afraid, as doctors and CPC members, we will go up first.”It touched and encouraged many people. As a matter of fact, CPC members have indeed rushed to the frontlines of the fight against the epidemic and hundreds of them give up lives heroically. What could better exemplify the close relationship between a political party and the people than this sentence? Is this conceivablein individualistic Europe?

After World War II, the core of Europe’s political system is to prevent charismatic authority from turning into dictatorship. How do they avoid this problem in China? In the aforementioned decision by the CPC, the word “democracy” appears 29 times, “leadership” 50 times, and “rule of law” 40 times. Meanwhile,“freedom” only shows up six times, and mainly in the chapter discussing economic issues. Compared with the core socialist values written in 24 Chinese characters, knowing the statistical numbers is easier and better for us to grasp the political preferences of the Chinese leadership. The restraint of “rule of law” is more important than “democracy,” but democracy is indispensable, and China’s authoritative “leadership” needs to be based on democracy and the rule of law. The CPCrefers to this as “from the masses, to the masses.”

The decision once again emphasized that “sovereignty lies with the people” and that the country is based on the alliance of workers and farmers. We all know that Western politicians tend to criticize China as a communist country, while Western scholars believethat China actually practices state capitalism, the worst form of capitalism.In this way, scholars try to persuade themself that there is nothing worth learning from China even though the country is far more efficient than Western countries. But does China actually practice state capitalism? Is the Chinese government a government packed with bigwigs? We have long known that none of China’s top leaders --i.e. members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo -- were born rich, and none of them were even descendants of the old members of the Standing Committee. Now, let’s take a look at the NPC deputies, I mean, who are they?

Of all the 2,987 deputies to the 12th National People’s Congress (2013-2018),workers and farmers from the front line accounted for 13.42% of the total, professional and technical personnel accounted for 20.42%, and cadres from the CPC and the government accounted for 34.88%. In addition, representatives of the People’s Liberation Army (including officers and soldiers) accounted for 9.3%, representatives of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan accounted for 2.1%,and representatives of other democratic parties, non-party personages, along with religious, literary, and artistic groups accounted for 20.22%. Women accounted for 23.4% of the total, while ethnic minority representatives accounted for 13.69%.

Among the 2,980 deputies to the 13th National People’s Congress (2019-2024), workers and farmers from the front line accounted for 15.70% of the total, professional and technical personnel accounted for 20.57%, and cadres from the CPC and the government accounted for 33.93%. Women accounted for 24.9%, while ethnic minority representatives accounted for 13.69%.

This is really some different from the classical Marxist theory The number of intellectuals and members of other political parties even exceed that of workers and farmers. However, intellectuals are also seen as socialist workers in China. Some Chinese scholars hold the view that the CPC is a national party that inherits the Confucian traditions, and does not only represent a particular class or stratum. Other scholars emphasize the neutrality of the Chinese government -- being neutral among all classes, which is also reflected in the proportion of representatives. The CPC calls this“the three represents” (which means the CPC should always represent the requirements for developing China’s advanced productive forces, the orientation of China’s advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people). And for President Xi Jinping, he puts a strong focus on cultivating and maintaining the advanced nature of the CPC itself. No matter which class you come from, once you become a party member, you must restrain yourself with the party’s ideology and discipline.

It is also mentioned in the decision that “the number of grassroots NPC deputies should be increased.”If we compare the composition of the deputies to the 12th and 13th National People’s Congress, we can see that cadres and government officials together accounted for less than 40%and have decreased a little bit. Meanwhile, workers from all over the country in different professions and with diverse backgroundsmake up the majority and their proportion has increased, not to mention that all 55 ethnic minorities have their own representatives. This makes it possible for representatives from all walks of life to be present when the deputies work together on any bill related to national welfare and the people’s livelihood.

Now if we look back atWestern representative democracy, I need not to point out how many of big brothers come from the top of the pyramid, and how many political leaders come from wealthy families. Plus, in the West we have the remarkable revolving door,which enables the unimpeded flow between the supreme legislature and the elite power club.

Comparison of the deputies to the 12th and 13th National People’s Congress

Of course we know, we understand, Western friends will say the whole thing is for good appearances only as they suspect the number of new coronavirus infections announced in China is also false. Don't worry, even within China there are many critics on social media, mainly pro-Western intellectuals, who tease the deputies as dumb hand-raising machines. But do we really know about the deputies? One reminder is that being an NPC deputy is not a profession, and unlike our senators, the NPC deputies are lack of skill in arguing or speaking, even the very few who are good at show with social media are usually unpopular there. They come to the meeting with their own proposals, which are evaluated and screened out through panel discussions. If a proposal is not good enough, it probably will be laughed at by the media and the public. I remember once a deputy put forward a proposal saying that rural students do not need to go to college, which was widely lambasted. It’s for sure that some deputies just make up the numbers, but it’s also obvious that sometimes our attitude towards the NPC deputies shows prejudice and stereotyping.

One typical example is Shen Jilan. She is the Deputy Secretary of the general Party branch of a county in the relatively backward inland Shanxi Province, and the only deputy to the National People's Congress in China who has been reelected from the first term to the 13th term.She was criticized by some Chinese because she has never cast an opposing vote. But if you take a closer look at this person, you will find that her proposals are enough to make many professional politicians blush, the fact is, early in 1954, she proposed the addition of an equal pay for equal work clause in the first constitution of China, and her proposal was adopted. She helped to reduce the gender pay gap and won the right for women. Ironically in 2018, former BBC China editor Carrie Gracie resigned over equal pay after discovering she was paid 50% less than her male counterparts. For Shen, she has been like a family patriarch, sitting on the representative table by virtue of her historical prestige. According to reports by Chinese media, Shen has made many other proposals, most of which were for the welfare of Shanxi province, her hometown, including diverting water from the Yellow River into the province, renovating its old industrial base, extending railways, building highways, airports, power stations, centralized heating projects, etc. Her proposals were mostly related to infrastructure, which not only benefitted the local people but also helped to vitalize regional economies. As a woman from rural areas, she is representing the will of people in Shanxi. I’m thinking that maybe her critics have fallen into a trap of Western-style democracy, arguing that casting a vote itself is the most important thing in politics.

Westerners have a deep understanding of the rules of parliamentary games, but don't understand the political operation of Chinese. The Chinese way of democracy is not putting everything on the table and everyone fighting for a piece of the cake for himself. Instead, the Chinese prefer harmony to quarrels, and would rather solve conflicts in ways that are more face-saving and humanistic. Of course, this would also draw criticism. However, if we insist on talking about the distinction between the rule of man and the rule of law as well as the opposition between government and society, isn’t that a long-standing problem of Western dualistic thinking?

China’s two sessions have been postponed due to the outbreak, but the country’s democracy will not stop functioning, because it is always there, lying in the lives of ordinary people, operating in an effective way. During the new crown epidemic, nearly 700 officials were held accountable according to discipline in Wuhan alone, at least 10 of them were involved at the bureau level, and the governor and Secretary of the provincial Party committee were also dismissed. At the same time, dozens of excellent cadres were promoted and more than 10 party members were promoted. In western countries, as the epidemic prevention and control is so disappointing, few officials are held accountable by "democracy". The only "democracy" performance seems to be noisy and accountability to China.

In a large-scale country with a large population, the Communist Party of China always puts forward the most clear and concise goal. For example, the decision emphasizes "to maintain the flesh and blood relationship between the party and the people, and to integrate the people's wisdom, the people's strength and the improvement of the people's livelihood into the whole work of the party's governance and administration.". During the new crown epidemic, Xi Jinping stressed that "always putting the safety and health of the people in the first place". The interests of the people are paramount. This is the expression of the basic program of China's democracy. In the west, tens of thousands of people died during the epidemic, the president of the United States said "no ventilator, but this is life", and some elderly people in nursing homes in Britain were asked to sign agreements to voluntarily give up rescue services, which are distressing for supporters of "universal value" all over the world. I believe many Europeanfriends willreflect :What is the significance of such democracy?

The state of epidemic prevention is similar to the state of war, while in the daily state,the Chinese government is also trying to make democracy visible and normative, and promote ademocratic and political consultation system that traverses the whole procedure. For the Chinese people, the two sessions are more like the ultimate form of democracy instead of political posturing. The difference is, while democracy is on the sacred altar in the West, it is but one part of the overall governance system in China. And next, I want to talk more about the Chinese type of democracy like the stream never stops flowing.

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余亮

余亮

资深情怀党,复旦大学中国研究院院长助理

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