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Rule by Law | by Luo Shaoyang
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Rule by Law

Today is the the 18th anniversary of the military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square demonstrations which happened on June 4th 1989 in Beijing China. At that time, a lot of innocent students and people were killed and many more were arrested and jailed by the Chinese authority.

 

Many students and intellectuals, both in China and the international community, claimed that the demonstration was a movement motivated by the desire to “support democracy”. In fact, many of people amongst the demonstrators only had the foggiest idea about “Democracy and Freedom”.

 

As a younger middle-school student in that year, I, by the first time, came to Beijing. I remember that I saw many Chinese guards with weapons standing around the Gate of Heavily Peace-TianAnMeng Square without smiling. By the time I reached Mao Zedong’s biggest portrait, which is situated in the centre of Beijing, I was very impressed- an armed-solder had wordlessly looked at me. (Yesterday, I took this photo in the same place but, this time,the guard didn't look at me )

 

It has been 18 years since the memory of his face and eye was shot into my head. Yet, I am still unable to eliminate him from my memory and it may take a long time to remove him from my head. This situation, both for me and for all Chinese who are willing to participate in democracy and freedom may yet continue for a long time. I believe that the process of developing a “Rule of Law(法制)” here in China will be more difficult than any other process simply because we have a two-thousand-year history of “Rule by Law(人治)”. Article:Chinese Culture and Politics

 

这张照片是我昨天去天安门拍的,拍摄的这个地方十分靠近我八九年第一次来北京天安门时,看见一位武装军人威严站岗的地方(我那时还只是一个十四岁的少年)。但这一次,这位年青的军人不但没有盯着我,甚至没有看一眼我的镜头,而且没有配带武器。我认为,十八年过去了,社会总会有点进步!

 

对于一九八九年六月四日发生的天安门事件,其性质各有所识,不仅中国政府和西方政府各自的定义不一样,就连中国国民的看法也不一样,甚至一些西方人对“六四”的看法也与西方媒体的看法相距甚远。因而,讨论“六四”,并给它一个定义,还有待历史去作最后的裁决。

 

今天的中国社会在经济和人们的日常生活领域与往昔有了很大的不同,人们虽然不再兴致勃勃地提及那场震惊全球的“民主运动”,然而一个无可非议的事实是中国仍然是一个“人治(Rule by Law)”的国家,尽管这些年,在伴随着经济的成功之后,中国社会在许多方面都有了很大的进步,但建设西方文明中的“民主”与“法制(Rule of Law)”,却仍然匍匐不前,有待进一步提高。

 

究其原因,中西文化存在几个大的差异:中西两者对统治及其合法性的定义不同,西方是源于选举,中国的权力历来被看作是“受命于天”;中国的传统强调的是等级结构,而西方文明则是民主与平等;中国文化不强调、也不支持权力制衡,而且与西方文明强调竞争不一样,中国文化则注重冲突中的调和与折中,这也是为什么中国政府正大力建造“和谐”社会的原由。

 

但这不是说中国不需要、甚至不能建设民主,而是中国的民主建设(即使排除共产党的一厢情愿),无论是方式和模式,都肯定会有别于世界任何国家和地区,而且可能会带有“中国文化特色”,并体现中国价值。但是,一个能体现中国价值的“民主模式”也有可能是“假民主”,这样的话,中西文化及制度的冲突就仍然会存在。从社会发展的角度来谈,为了“调和”而发展“民主”,与为了“民主”而发展“民主”有着本质的不同,前者等于“慢性自杀”,后者等于“开辟未来”!

 

文章:中国文化与政治

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Taken on June 4, 2007