2012年5月14日 星期一

China has banished Bo but not the 'bad emperor' 中國沒有解決“壞皇帝”問題

中國沒有解決“壞皇帝”問題China has banished Bo but not the 'bad emperor'


作者是斯坦福大學(Stanford)弗里曼•斯波利研究所(Freeman Spogli Institute)高級研究員

The writer is a senior fellow at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute.

For more than 2,000 years, the Chinese political system has been built around a highly sophisticated centralised bureaucracy, which has run what has always been a vast society through top-down methods. What China never developed was a rule of law; an independent legal institution that would limit the discretion of the government. What the Chinese substituted for formal checks on power was a bureaucracy bound by rules and customs that made its behaviour reasonably predictable, and a Confucian moral system that educated leaders to look to public interests rather than their own aggrandisement. This system is, in essence, the same one that operates today, with the Communist party taking the role of emperor.
2000多年來,中國政治體制的基礎一直是高度複雜的中央集權的官僚體制,這個官僚體制一直通過自上而下的方式管理著一個龐大的社會。中國從未建立起法治——可以限制政府的自由裁量權的獨立法律制度。中國沒有建立起正式的權力製衡機制,取而代之的是一個受各種規定及慣例約束的官僚體制,以及儒家道德體系。規定和慣例讓官僚體制的行為可以合理預測,儒家道德體系則教育領導人要考慮公共利益,而不能只顧個人權勢膨脹。今天運行的體制在本質上也是如此,皇帝的角色由共產黨充任。The issue Chinese governments have never been able to solve is what was historically known as the “bad emperor” problem: while unchecked power in the hands of a benevolent and wise ruler has many advantages, how do you guarantee a supply of good emperors? The Confucian educational system and mandarinate was supposed to indoctrinate leaders, but every now and then terrible ones would emerge, such as “the evil Empress Wu”, who killed off much of the Tang dynasty aristocracy, or the Ming dynasty's Wanli Emperor, who in a fit of pique refused to come out of his palace or sign documents for nearly a decade.
中國政府一直無法解決的是歷史上被稱為“壞皇帝”的問題:不受制約的權力如掌握在一位仁慈且明智的統治者手裡,會有很多好處,但如何保證好皇帝會源源不斷地出現?儒家教育體系和官僚政府本應教化領導人,但壞皇帝仍不時出現,例如“邪惡的女皇武則天”,她殺死了唐朝很多貴族,或者明朝的萬曆皇帝,他曾一怒之下,近30年不上朝、不批奏摺。In the view of many Chinese, the last bad emperor to rule China was Mao Zedong, who unleashed unspeakable suffering on the people, and whose power could not be checked until his death in 1976. The current rules governing decision-making and leadership at the very top of the party reflect this experience: responsibility is shared among the nine members of the standing committee of the politburo; there are 10-year term limits on the tenure of the president and prime minister; no one over the age of 67 can be considered for membership on the standing committee. These rules were designed to prevent the rise of another Mao, who could use his personal authority to dominate the party and the country. China's authoritarian system is thus distinct because it follows rules regarding term limits and succession.
在很多中國人的眼裡,最後一個統治中國的壞皇帝是毛澤東,他給中國人造成了無法言說的痛苦,而且在1976年去世之前,他的權力一直不受制衡。目前制約共產黨最高層決策和領導權的規則,反映了從這段歷史中吸取的教訓:政治局常委9名委員共同承擔責任;國家主席和國務院總理的任期為10年;67歲以上的人不納入政治局常委委員的考慮範圍。這些規則是為了防止有人利用個人權威主宰整個黨和國家,防止另一個“毛澤東”的崛起。因此,中國的威權體制很獨特,因為它遵從關於任期限制和繼任的規定。This is why the recently purged Bo Xilai was such a threat to the system. Using his base in Chongqing, he used the media to build up his own authority, which was strong already given his status as a princeling, or son of a revolutionary hero . He was rut​​hless in the use of state power to go after not just criminals and corrupt officials but businessmen and rivals who had accumulated too much power and wealth. He revived Mao-era mobilisation tactics such as the singing of revolutionary songs at rallies. Unlike his grey compatriots, he could have dominated the CPC leadership through an independent power base had he been promoted to the standing committee. It therefore makes sense that Hu Jintao and the leadership should use the scandal to eliminate him from consideration and remove the bad emperor before he ascended to the throne. The incident has revealed a deep problem in China – the lack of formal institutions and of a rea​​l rule of law. The rules the Chinese leadership follows are neither embedded in the constitution, clearly articulated, nor enforced by a judicial system. They are internal rules of the CPC, which have to be inferred from its behaviour. Had Mr Bo succeeded in getting on to the standing committee, he could have overturned them.
最近被整肅的薄熙來之所以對這一體制構成了重大威脅,原因就在於此。憑藉在重慶的基地,他利用媒體加強自己的權威。鑑於他是“太子黨”,即革命英雄之子,他的權威本來就很強大。他無情地利用政府權力,不僅調查犯罪分子和受賄官員,還對那些積累了太多權力和財富的商人和競爭對手窮追不捨。他恢復了一些毛澤東時代發動群眾的手段,例如集會唱紅歌。與其他平淡無奇的中國高官不同,一旦進入政治局常委,他可能會通過一個獨立的權力基礎控制共產黨的領導層。So the apparent institutionalisation of the Chinese authoritarian system is largely a mirage. The CPC has not solved the bad emperor problem, nor will it until it develops something like a genuine rule of law with all of the transparency and formal institutionalisation that entails.
因此,難怪胡錦濤和中共領導層會利用醜聞的機會將薄熙來清理出局,搶在這位壞皇帝登基之前將他除掉。此事暴露了中國的一個深層次問題——缺乏正式的制度和真正的法治。中國領導層遵循的規則既不是憲法中明確規定的規則,也不是司法系統執行的規則。他們遵循的是中共內部規則,只能從中共的行為中去推斷。如果薄熙來成功進入中央政治局常委會,他可能推翻這些規則。I had a meeting a couple of years ago in Beijing with a mid-level official heading a central committee office, who told me over a long lunch that I could not possibly understand China without appreciating what a total disaster the cultural revolution had been, and how the current system was organised to prevent that from happening again. Looking around at the books and memorials to Mao that the CPC was still promoting, I asked him whether that could happen until the party told the truth about Mao's legacy. His generation had personal experience of those terrible events, but people growing up since then did not, and could be seduced into viewing it with nostalgia. It was precisely that lack of historical remembrance Mr Bo was exploiting. The official did not have an answer to my question.
因此,中國威權制度表面上的製度化,在很大程度上是假象。中共沒有解決壞皇帝的問題,要解決這個問題,中共首先需要發展真正的法治,實現政治透明化,建立起正式的製度。So in the end, informal rules observed by a small clique of insiders cannot really substitute for a formal rule of law. As we can see today, modern liberal democracies constrained by law and elections often produce mediocre or weak leaders. Sometimes democracies elect monsters, such as Adolf Hitler. But at least the formal procedures constraining power through law and elections put big roadblocks in the path of a rea​​lly bad emperor. Despite having beaten back Mr Bo's challenge in the short run, the Chinese system has not solved this institutional problem yet. It now has a rea​​l opportunity to do so, which I hope the new leadership coming into power will take up.

所以,一小群內部人遵循的非正式規則,最終不能真正取代正式的法治。如我們今日所見,受到法律和選舉約束的現代自由民主制度常常產生平庸或懦弱的領導人。有時候民主制度會讓惡魔當選,比如阿道夫•希特勒(Adolf Hitler)。但至少正式的程序通過法律和選舉制度對權力構成了約束,在真正的壞皇帝登基之路上放了一塊大大的攔路石。儘管在短期內消除了薄熙來的威脅,但中國的現行體系還未解決這個制度性問題。中國現在有現實的機會來解決這個問題,我希望即將上台的新領導層抓住機會。