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美國大選對中國未來民主的警示

2017/1/24 — 19:09

對希望結束一黨專制走上民主之路的中國人,民主理念和素質皆讓人不敢恭維的川普(編按:亦譯特朗普)贏得這次大選,使一些人陷入茫然。 雖然他們繼續為美國製度辯護,為出現這種結果尋找合理性,指望分權制衡,或說四年後又能再選,很大程度是安慰自己。 但是隨著川普與台灣總統通話,反擊中國抗議,任命對華強硬人士進入班子,則使他們改變看法,期望川普當選能起到促成中國變化的作用。 川普顯示的敵視中國,親近俄國,甚至使某些人樂觀地揣測川普會如尼克松聯合中國搞垮蘇聯那樣,反過來聯合俄國搞垮中國。 

我不知道川普先生是否會把搞垮中國當做目標,只是感覺若把中國民主的希望寄託於對川普先生內心的揣測,和民主人士曾一再寄希望於中共新上台的領導人一樣,是靠不住的一廂情願。 

如果川普先生真有這樣的戰略,也有這樣的能力,倒要讓我們小心。 不是中國不需要民主,而是首先要解決需要怎樣的民主,以及如何實現民主。 蘇聯解體過程尚可保持和平,是因為蘇聯憲法有允許各加盟共和國退出聯盟的條款。 那條款在共產專制下形同虛設,在民主轉型時卻提供了和平解體的合法性。 而中國憲法要求國家必須統一,中共政權卻消滅了其他可以整合社會的總體力量,形成一個黨綁架整個社會、政權垮台社會隨之崩潰的人質關係。 期待川普搞垮中國的想法,我相信只是期待搞垮中共政權,並非國家分裂和社會崩潰,但這需要首先找到能確保“救出人質”的途徑,否則如此巨大的中國一旦崩潰,將是世界承受不起的災難。

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其次,即使中國能順利開始民主轉型,仍要解決是何種民主的問題。 既然美國能選出川普,中國實行美國式選舉更能選出中國的川普。 中國人曾遭受毛澤東的無數苦難,今天卻對毛一片歌功頌德。 若毛能在中國參加選舉,一定得到比川普多得多的選票。 美國川普會受到成熟製度的多重製衡,四年或頂多八年下台。 而一旦選出中國的川普,更可能變身為中國的普京。 佔人口九成的漢人以民主程序要求鎮壓少數民族、攻打台灣或霸凌香港,不會令人奇怪;川普式的煽動讓中國人民主地贊成向美國開戰,也不會沒有可能。 

因此,必須為中國民主提供避免產生川普的方法,應是中國從這次美國大選得到的主要警示。 

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How China's liberals are feeling the Trump Effect 

By Wang Lixiong January 19 

Chinese like me — pro-democracy liberals — have been pushing for years to end the one-party dictatorship in our country. Most of us long regarded the US political system as a model. Now, with the presidential election of Donald Trump, a man whose grasp of both democratic concepts and ethical norms is questionable, we have been forced to ask some hard new questions. 

Our first reaction to the unsettling news was to shift our gaze to aspects of the US system other than its presidential elections. We comforted ourselves by noting that the constitutional separation of powers can buffer the effects of an erratic president, that US civil society remains strong and independent, and that another election will come along in four years. 

But just as we were trying to adjust, Trump surprised us. He accepted a phone call from Tsai Ing-wen, the president of democratic Taiwan, and rejected Chinese government complaints about doing so. He brought in advisers who seem ready to take a harder line with Beijing. All of this suddenly made it seem that Trump might be good for Chinese democracy. Some of my fellow liberals have gone so far as to hope that Trump's flirtation with Russian President Vladimir Putin might signal that he is thinking about aligning with Russia in opposition to China's rulers — rather as President Richard Nixon, four decades ago, sided with Mao Zedong against the Kremlin. These friends hope that such pressure might contribute to a collapse of China's authoritarian rule, just as the Soviet regime collapsed. 

Personally, I am agnostic about Trump's private thoughts, and I feel that my liberal friends in China make a mistake when they invest their hopes in the unseen motives of a leader-in-waiting. In recent decades, we watched several times as new strongmen rose in Beijing; in each case we hoped they would loosen the system, and each time we were disappointed. 

There is, moreover, the deeper question of what kind of democracy China might adopt, should that become possible. In the case of the Soviet Union, the transition from communist rule was made easier by a provision in the Soviet constitution that allowed constituent republics to secede. As long as the Soviets were in power, that provision was mere window dressing, but when the regime collapsed it provided the legitimacy under which Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and other former Soviet republics could go their separate ways. China's constitution, by contrast , insists on national unity, and within that unity the communist regime has annihilated every conceivable rival source of national organization. People fear that if the regime falls, society might collapse as well. The rulers are, in effect, saying, Keep us, or all hell will break loose. The claim has a certain plausibility, and the Communist Party uses it to take daily life hostage. 

Chinese liberals who hope Trump might assist in bringing down communist rule in China do not want national dissolution or societal collapse. Such results would be disastrous not just for China but for the rest of the world. The crucial problem, therefore, is to find a way to “rescue the hostage,” as we say — to keep society on its feet during a democratic transition. 

Here, too, worries over the rise of Trump become relevant. If the United States, a model for democracy in the world, can elect a Trump, why wouldn't such a result be even more likely in China, where popular education in civic values and in the nation's history is much weaker? Fifty years ago, Mao brought immeasurable disaster to China, but today, after years of Communist Party work to erase history and stimulate nationalism, Mao, in the popular Chinese imagination, is regarded as a hero . If Mao were to stand for election in China today, he would win in a landslide. 

In the United States, Trump will have to work within a mature system of checks and balances and will have to step down in either four years or eight. A Chinese Trump, on the other hand, would almost certainly turn into a Chinese Putin. It would not be surprising to see the Han Chinese, who make up more than 90 percent of the population, use democracy to suppress ethnic minorities, to launch an attack on Taiwan, or to bully Hong Kong. It is not beyond imagination that a Trump- style stimulation of popular passions in China could lead by democratic vote to support for launching a war on the United States. 

The main question that the US election leaves with Chinese liberals is how to build a system that can avoid a Chinese version of the Trump phenomenon. 

Wang Lixiong is the author of the novel “Yellow Peril.” 

Translated from Chinese by Perry Link. 

(原刊於唯色博客華盛頓郵報

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