Bellicose and Thuggish — China Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

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Translatio Imperii Sinici (II)

It is a lazy commonplace for ‘China Experts’, ‘China Savants’, 中國通 and a host of others deft at spinning a tale and making a buck by offering gimcrack insights into the People’s Republic of China to focus on the evanescent details of the moment rather than grounding their observations in the long term. Sagacious in the observation that ‘the Chinese’ have a worldview informed by a deep historical consciousness, the grifters are generally heedless as to the actual history of the Communist state, its forebears and the deep-structure of its policies. Nonetheless, it is all too common for intellectual pickpockets to repurpose what they do manage to glean of such things into a kind of ‘Reader’s Digest‘ analytical Chinoiserie.

Our five-part series ‘Drop Your Pants — the Party Wants to Patriotise You All Over Again’ offered an approach to the China of the Xi Jinping era (c.2012-) by reviewing the history, and present state, of patriotic indoctrination, confessional culture, the Yan’an period, the party-state, the Chinese constitution, education and militarism. To make sense of Xi’s New Epoch, the various moves to ‘liberate thought’ (there have been at least three), as well as the ‘new eras’ of the past, and the actual underpinnings of Xi’s so-called World View are essential.

China Heritage Annual 2019, which takes as its theme Translatio Imperii Sinici, explores the heritage of the ‘imperial enterprise’ 帝業 in modern Chinese history, thought, politics and culture. The following essay, written by the cultural critic and dissident Liu Xiaobo 劉曉波 in 2002, is a robust and insightful discussion of the background of Chinese nationalist fervour. The writer’s observations, made a decade before the rise of Xi Jinping as China’s party-state-army leader, provide an important context for understanding official, as well as popular, views about China’s place in the world and the quasi-imperial zealotry rife in the People’s Republic today. This essay supplements China’s Red Empire — To Be or Not To Be? by Xu Zhangrun 許章潤 (China Heritage, 16 January 2019).

Acknowledgements

The following essay is taken from Liu Xiaobo, No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems, edited by Perry Link, Tienchi Martin-Liao and Liu Xia, Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012, pp.63-84. We are grateful to Perry Link and Lindsay Waters for supporting our request to reprint this essay, to Michael S. Duke and Josephine Chiu-Duke for their skilful translation and to The Belknap Press for their kind permission. (The typographical style of the original has been retained.)

— Geremie R. Barmé
Editor, China Heritage
24 January 2019

***

Liu Xiaobo in China Heritage

Drop Your Pants! in Lessons in New Sinology

China Heritage Annual: Translatio Imperii Sinici


Bellicose and Thuggish

The Roots of Chinese “Patriotism” at the
Dawn of the Twenty-First Century

Liu Xiaobo

Translated by Michael S. Duke and Josephine Chiu-Duke

 

During the last century of China’s history the nation has fallen victim to cycles of self-abasement and self-aggrandizement, and this is because we have never been able to escape the clutches of the demon of nationalism.

Some say that a century and a half ago the Opium War plunged China into “the greatest transformation in a thousand years.” If so, then today, after traversing a tortuous, painful, and traumatic path, and after missing plenty of opportunities to transform ourselves, we now perhaps should say that China has reached “the most favorable situation in a thousand years.” It is most favorable because never before has it been so clear where we ought be headed.

Over the hundred years before the Communists seized power in 1949, China’s internal and external environments never presented us with a clear direction. At the beginning of those hundred years, we suffered repeated humiliations by the gunboat diplomacy of the Great Powers. Such events, painful as they were, did let us see that the West was advanced in technical matters, and this led our forebears to pursue “foreign learning” in the hope that “technology will save the nation.” But then China’s defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) showed that the ships of our new Beiyang Navy, even though they had advanced armor and weapons, were badly organized and by themselves could not “save the nation.” This led us to look for defects in China’s political system and to turn toward “establishing a constitution to save the nation.”

Finally, the chaos after the Republican Revolution of 1911 and Yuan Shikai’s attempt to reinstate the Confucian imperial system, with himself as emperor, caused people to look beyond both “technology” and the “political system” to deeper issues in Chinese culture as the root cause of China’s problems. Soon the “cannibalistic” teachings of Confucius, embodied in the ruling imperial system, came to be seen as the roots of China’s ruin. The “new culture movement” of the late 1910s and early 1920s called for “Science and Democracy” and “Down with Confucius and Sons.” Now it was culture that would “save the nation.”

From “our technology is not as good as other people’s” to “our political system is not as good as other people’s” and on to “our culture is not as good as other people’s,” Chinese reflections on our own defects probed ever deeper. But the primary mindset that guided the probing was neither “liberation of humanity” or even “enriching the people,” but rather a sense of shame at China’s loss of sovereignty and other national humiliations. All the reform efforts sprang from this kind of relatively narrow nationalism; the goals of enriching the state and of strengthening the military took precedence over ideas that could lead to human freedom. This was the main thrust of the great May Fourth Movement as most intellectuals experienced it. The great majority did not see the movement as going much beyond slogans like “Boycott Japanese goods,” “Refuse to sign the Treaty of Versailles,” and “Down with traitors who sell out the nation.” (See Deng Chaolin, Memoirs, Dongfang Publishers, 2004, internally restricted edition, pp.161-168). It was right when this desperate quest to learn from the West in order to build military strength and save the nation had suffered one setback after another that Soviet Russia came on the scene. Its October Revolution placed before China a radically different model of modernization.

In China’s communist era, despite all of the rhetoric about internationalism and “liberation of mankind” during the Mao years, the regime, especially in its claims to legitimacy, has consistently stressed nationalism. Nationalism has taken different forms at different stages—an arrogant, bellicose style under Mao; a pragmatic, defensive style under Deng Xiaoping; and a resurgence of the arrogant, bellicose style under Jiang Zemin—but the underlying passions that shape the policies have always been caught up in a vicious cycle between self-abasement and self-aggrandizement.

I. The Bellicose Nationalism of the Mao Zedong Era

The truculent and bloodthirsty forms of ultra-nationalist sentiment that some mainlanders displayed after 9/11 sprang from roots that lay deep within the shrill warmongering of Mao Zedong. I recently read an Internet post that could well have been a Peoples’ Daily editorial in the 1950s: “Bury the Wolf-hearted American Imperialist Ambition for World Hegemony.” The author calls the United States “politically, militarily and economically the most completely thuggish rogue nation in the world.” It dubs the U.S., Great Britain, and Japan “the true axis of evil” and calls on “the people of the entire world to unite, cast off their illusions and resolutely struggle to bury the wolf-hearted American imperialist ambition for world hegemony and to prevent it from visiting an enormous catastrophe upon the entire world.” Toward this end, the author concluded, China’s priority should be to unite with the Islamic world and Russia to launch an attack on American hegemony.

Turning to the American-led war on terror, the author produced an incomparably absurd—yet frightening—conclusion: “If Islam loses, China and Russia will be in danger. If China loses, Russia will lose for sure—and vice versa.” This is why, in his view, China and Russia should join in supporting Islamist hatred of the US. and spare no means to attack America, and why the most effective tools for doing so are “without doubt” terrorist attacks in the style of Osama Bin Laden. China’s primary allies from a strategic point of View are not the traditional communist-bloc nations (North Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam), but the Islamic enemies of the United States (Iraq, Iran, and the Palestinians). Islamic fundamentalists and their doctrine of terrorism are not the enemies of world civilization; they are the main allies whom China must unite with in order to defeat the U.S.; they are China’s best national security shield. Jiang Zemin’s state visit to Iran and Syria after 9/11 was therefore a correct foreign policy move.

Most of the posted comments following this article matched it in truculence: “We must turn the Taiwan Strait into a fiery and bloody grave of the Taiwan independence forces”; “Burn the American aircraft carriers to ashes”; and so on. These comments are typical of today’s “bellicose nationalism.”

The nostalgia for Mao Zedong that we see in China today is in part a longing of the poor and downtrodden—the losers in the economic boom—for the egalitarianisrn and job security of the Mao era. But it is more than that. For the “patriots” in today’s rabid nationalism, it is nostalgia for a time when China dared to say “no” to both of the world’s superpowers, the US. and the Soviet Union. I almost think we are back in the murderous Mao era when I hear so many “quotations from Chairman Mao”—things like “paper tiger,” “the East Wind prevails over the West Wind,” and so on. In particular, today’s bellicose patriotism draws upon the Mao-era mentality of “China at the center of the world.”

The origins of that idea, of course, preceded Mao. China’s emperors of old had no concept of sovereignty over a “nation” or a “state.” They thought in terms of All Under Heaven and embraced the very self-regarding notion that they were at the center and rightly should look down on everybody else. In the long history of imperial China until the latter half of the nineteenth century, no challenges from outside came along to force much of a change in this outlook. China was sui generis. Even foreign invaders like the Mongols in the Yuan period (1271-1368) and the Manchus in the Qing (1644-1911) ended up being Sinicized. We Chinese had little reason to look beyond our borders.

Even when we did peer outside, we never had the idea of a “nation-state” with clearly marked borders, but only the idea of All Under Heaven, with ourselves at the center. Imperial rulers took themselves to be masters of this borderless expanse. They governed using “ritual and propriety,” and unsubmissive peoples at the fringes of civilization were “barbarians.” The rulers saw themselves as occupying a central court to which distant peoples, their “tributary subjects,” came to pay homage. The role of the central authority was to “grant favor.” The various small “barbarian” groups stood to the great civilized Han as inferior to superior, as vassal to lord, as margin to center. There was no idea of equal relations between states.

Even when the Western powers used modern weaponry to force China’s doors open, the Sinocentric worldview of our forefathers did not change much. The nobility and the gentry class in late-Qing times rarely spoke of Westerners without using pejorative terms; they seem truly to have believed that these “ocean people” from across the seas were “half human and half beast,” a “hybrid of human and fish,” or “bastards of bug and man.” Protecting the vanity of the Great Celestial Empire, conservative officials and benighted gentry concocted stories and spread rumors to inflame the xenophobic passions of commoners. Christian missionaries, for example, were said to eat babies, cut out people’s hearts and gouge out their eyes, drug and poison people, cause hallucinations, desecrate ancestors’ graves, seduce and rape women, abduct children, stockpile weapons, and teach banditry. The major cases of grievance that Western missionaries brought against China because of this nonsense had a lot to do with why the West forced the humiliating “unequal treaties” upon China.

China’s defeat in the 1894-95 war with Japan, a country once thought to be “as small as a pebble,” finally forced Chinese to start reining in the arrogant notion that the Son of Heaven rules all. But the Qing imperial court still manipulated the violence of the Boxers—the “Righteous and Harmonious Fists”—to vent its hatred of foreign countries and to protect its vain claim of China’s centrality. The term “foreign devils” survives in use in China even today.

A century of humiliating defeats and of falling behind did little to erase China’s underlying arrogance and self-centeredness. All it did, really, was to flip the self-obsession to the other extreme, the extreme of self-abasement. Then, when China did begin to grow strong again, the self-centeredness flipped back toward narcissism and arrogance, only now it had more steam.

Before they gained power, the Chinese Communists always stressed that the first goal of the Chinese Revolution was “anti-imperialism” and the second was “anti-feudalism.” After gaining power they continued in this vein, calling for the elimination of “the three big mountains that weigh on the people’s necks”—the first of which was “imperialism.” On August 18, 1949, Mao Zedong published a report, called “Farewell, Leighton Stuart,” on the departure from China of the US. ambassador, Leighton Stuart. The report became famous as an anti-American proclamation and as China’s farewell to semicolonial rule. A few weeks later, when Mao declared in another famous speech that “the Chinese people have stood up,” Chinese nationalism took a turn from cowardice and self-abasement back toward ill-informed arrogance.

Mao pursued a two-pronged foreign policy whose prongs were contradictory but worked well in tandem. On the one hand, to guard against military re-invasion by imperialists and “peaceful evolution” under capitalist influences, Mao closed China’s doors and sealed the country off, keeping the Chinese people ignorant of the outside. On the other hand, he touted “internationalism” and the “liberation of all mankind” in an attempt to play the role of leader of the whole world and to return China to its position at the center. The result, for the rest of the Mao era, was that China’s traditional mentality about its place in the world came roaring back and bellicose patriotism ran rampant.

The bellicose patriotism of the Mao era had four main historical conditions:

  1. First, the victory in 1949 of the Soviet-backed Chinese Communists in their Civil War with the American-backed Chinese Nationalists (Guomindang) led China into a one-sided foreign policy and cut it off from much of the world. 
  2. Second, in the Cold War confrontation between the two major systems existing in the world, China stood with the Soviet Union and against the United States. It fought the U.S. to a stalemate in Korea (which the Chinese people were told was a “great victory” over U.S. imperialism), and when the French were defeated in Vietnam the reports of victory over Western imperialism were again flamboyantly exaggerated. The hype contributed to mindless self-confidence and a militarization of the economy, and fed into the disastrous Great Leap Forward.
  3. Third, communism that liberates all humanity and internationalism that supports the Third World became ideological cover for an ambition that China return to the center of the world.
  4. Fourth, a warmongering attitude prepared the nation to be ready at all times for the outbreak of World War Three.

Mao Zedong’s unbridled ambition and unrealistic imagination took full advantage of these four conditions. Mao had a superstitious belief in the power of the subjective will as well as in the barrel of the gun, and, once he was in power, was obsessed by the illusion that he could become the leader of world revolution. The economic program of the Mao era has sometimes been described as a planned economy, and sometimes as an attempt to overtake the major Western economies, but in fact it is probably most accurately viewed as dedicated to preparing for war. From the Korean War in the early 1950s onward, Mao was making the preparations. His 1950s and 1960s policies of stressing heavy industry, taking steel as “the key link,” encouraging population growth, moving war-related industries to a “third front” in the hinterland, and pursuing nuclear weaponry were all economic policies that were aimed at military goals.

In the 1950s, when China’s economy was weak, and in complete disregard for questions of life and death among the Chinese people, Mao poured resources into supporting the Communist bloc in its Cold War with the U.S. In the 1960s, having decided to compete with the Soviet Union for the position of hegemon in the international communist movement, Mao unveiled slogans about opposing “revisionism” and whipped up fears that war was “inevitable”—when in fact it was not—and in so doing pitted China against both of the world’s super- powers. It was then, too, that Mao came out with his “Third World” theory whereby Maoist revolution would be exported to underdeveloped nations. The idea was that there could be a replay of how China’s own revolution happened. Guerilla war, with “the countryside surrounding the cities,” would be played out on the world stage as Third World countries surrounded the capitalist First World, and the entire globe would be “liberated.”

At bottom, all of the aggressive, expansionist, and bellicose rhetoric, and the fanciful talk of leaping straight to greatness, depended on the complete rebirth of a self-centered mentality of Chinese world domination. It depended, too, on Mao Zedong’s inflated ambition to be emperor and savior of All Under Heaven. For example, in order to enlist the Soviet Union’s aid in developing nuclear weapons to make China into a military superpower, Mao Zedong completely disregarded the death by starvation of approximately forty million Chinese people and continued to export rice to the Soviet Union. On August 19, 1958, Mao proudly told a group of provincial-level leaders that “some day we will draw up a plan for world unification and set up a Committee to Manage the World.”

Mao used his absolute power to implement his personal will, and he incited the Chinese people to hold others in contempt. Mao’s authority at the time truly was as the popular saying has it: “Every word is worth ten thousand words from others.” The Chinese people really did believe him when he said that all reactionaries—including American imperialists and Soviet revisionists—are “paper tigers.” They also genuinely believed that “the East Wind will prevail over the West Wind” and that the Chinese people are destined to liberate all of humanity. Behind all the high-sounding rhetoric, though, lay more primitive, less civilized undergirding: the All-Under-Heaven mentality; ambitions of hegemony; educating people in hatred; a philosophy of “struggle”; and the worship of violence (including superstitious belief in “the barrel of the gun”). These ideas were not only Mao Zedong’s; they came to pervade all of the Chinese people and were embraced especially by the young, in whom they reached a crest during the Cultural Revolution.

These young — the post-1949 generation of Chinese “raised under the red flag” — had been indoctrinated, from childhood on, in the ideas of revenge for historical grievances, worship of violence, “class struggle,” and world revolution. Every word from Mao Zedong, however trivial, was sacrosanct. Mao infused them with passion for violent revolution, then offered them the Cultural Revolution as a stage upon which to practice it. During the Cultural Revolution, swarms of rebellious Red Guards attacked foreign embassies in China, smashing and burning; some specialized in disrupting international rail service; others, in their fanaticism, sought more than violent revolution inside China and set out to “liberate all humanity” by stealing across borders into Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, and elsewhere, throwing themselves into Maoist guerrilla warfare. Some set up their own “educated youth brigades.”

On September 1, 1966, Red Guards at the secondary school attached to Tsinghua University published a statement called “Smash the Old World, Create a New One.” It announced to the whole world, in grandiloquent terms, that “we Red Guards will be the executioners of imperialism, especially American imperialism; we are personally digging the graves of the old world.” In 1967 a long narrative poem, the collective work of a group of Red Guards (one of whom was Guo Lusheng, who later, under the name “Index Finger,” became a founder of the modernist under- ground “misty poetry”), was infectiously popular for a time. It was called “Dedicated to the Brave Warriors of World War Three,” and it brought the vaulting heroism and deranged visions of liberating the whole world to a new height of absurdity. It tells of Red Guard soldiers who throw themselves into World War Three, hurtle through Europe and eventually help to subdue the world’s two superpowers. Having occupied Moscow and watered their horses in the Don River, they plant the five-star red flag of China atop the Kremlin—similarly to the way the communist armies had hoisted a red flag over Nanjing after capturing the enemy capital in China’s civil war. Then the heroes head off to smoke the tobacco of South America, to drink from the clear waters of Africa, and finally to land in North America, where they capture Washington, DC, and—as at the Kremlin—install China’s five-star flag atop the White House.

A television series about drug trafficking, called Black Ice, has recently drawn a lot of attention. There is fitting irony in the fact that the kingpin drug dealer in this series is an aging Red Guard who, in his youth, had gone to Burma to throw himself into world revolution. Now he is middle-aged, but he still dresses in military khaki, wears a Mao Zedong badge and—like most of the old Red Guards who refuse to reflect on what they did—feels strongly nostalgic about his years of rebellion. He is vicious, merciless, and has a mind full of dark plots about achieving power and ruling the world. He makes and sells drugs not primarily for the money but to fulfill his youthful drive for power. His rebellions in the Mao era failed to get him power, but now, adapting to the times, he uses the moneymaking methods of Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin to pursue the same goals. He embodies in one person the difference between two eras: yesterday’s Red Guard is today’s big drug dealer, and yesterday’s transnational revolution is today’s transnational crime. But certain things are the same: the lust for power, the ambition to rule the world, and no scruples about means in reaching one’s goals.

II. The Cynical Patriotism of the Deng Xiaoping Era:
“Hiding Strength and Biding Time”

During the Deng years, pragmatism replaced Utopian illusions, economic development replaced class struggle, military downsizing replaced military expansion, civilian spending replaced military spending, and a “defensive patriotism” replaced aggressive patriotism. In foreign relations, Deng abandoned the three pillars of Mao’s foreign policy—drawing lines based on ideology, leadership of the Third World, and preparation for World War Three—and replaced these with policies that put practical national interests first, built better relations with the developed countries, cut the armed forces by one million, and did what it could to preserve a peaceful international environment.

 

The Chinese people in the 1980s were seeking desperately to escape the poverty and strife of the Mao era. When the door to the outside world suddenly opened to us, political reform became a hot topic. The outside world’s wealth and colorful variety made us all the more aware of our own backwardness and poverty. Countervailing feelings welled in us simultaneously: a feeling of national shame along with a strong desire to catch up; envy of the wealthy West along with pride in our ancient culture. Even as the government increasingly stressed patriotism in its new ideology, and even though the prediction that “the twenty-first century will be the Chinese century” had already begun to appear in the debate over a “clash of civilizations” between East and West, these trends were held in check by a preference for the open-minded thinking that continued to arrive from the West and that took increased freedom as its main goal. Our sense of backwardness and inferiority at the time did give rise to emotions, but the emotions were mostly yearnings for the things the West had and a desire to learn from the West—not, primarily, hatred of the outside world or expansionism.

After the Tiananmen massacre in 1989, world opinion condemned the brutal killings and Western governments imposed sanctions on the Chinese Communist regime, whose standing in the eyes of Western governments fell to a low point. Then, in an effort to stabilize its rule and to divert attention from its unpopularity, the leaders of the regime reverted to Mao Zedong’s policy of looking for external enemies. They charged that the 1989 pro-democracy movement had been orchestrated by “anti-China” forces overseas; they even said it had been a remote-controlled plot to overthrow the Chinese government and that it was the latest proof that the desire to destroy China among Western capitalists, especially American hegemonists, had never died out. Accordingly China’s core ideological mission had to be, they said, to oppose liberalization and “peaceful evolution” of China in a Westward direction. This was their new domestic policy.

In foreign policy, they turned toward a low-key posture that was captured in Deng Xiaoping’s phrase “concealing our strength and biding our time, and never taking the lead” [韜光養晦 — Ed.] They did this because the great massacre in Beijing had plunged China back into diplomatic pariahhood, and the 1989 collapse of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe had only worsened the international reputation of Communist rule. But on the other hand, China’s economic growth could not do without the markets, capital, and technology of the developed nations. To lie low and get what one needed was only prudent.

But for a dictatorship like this one to promise “never to take the lead” is little but a nasty lie. Properly understood, the phrase has no moral content at all; it is an utterly practical device, aimed only at maximizing self-interest in the long run. The ultimate goal of the “biding time” policy is the same as that of earlier policies: to restore China to the center of the world and other peoples to tribute-bearing status. The policy rests on a faith in ebb and flow in world power; one place gets its turn, then another. When the regime is temporarily weak, it “endures humiliation and suffers in silence”—but simultaneously plans a return and sketches blueprints for revenge. Once back, it will “wipe out humiliation through acts of revenge,” as the heroes of Chinese opera do, and stand as master of a powerful China at the center of the world stage.

The deceitful strategy of “concealing strength and biding time” is attributed to Deng Xiaoping, but in a larger sense it rests in the thinking of Mao Zedong.

In the era of “reform and opening,” the first big outburst of Chinese nationalism came in 1993 when Beijing lost its bid to host the 2000 Olympic games. It was a devastating blow to the regime’s sports diplomacy, but in another sense it helped the regime. It helped because the decision deeply wounded China’s national pride, and to China’s rulers, who were still in dire need of some way to recoup legitimacy after the Tiananmen massacre, that injury to national pride came as a wonderful opportunity. They seized it. If the Chinese people had not believed that the 1989 movement was instigated by “anti-China” forces in the West, now they might; if they did not believe that the massacre was “necessary” in order to protect national interests, now they might. The evidence that anti-China forces in the West had ruined Beijing’s Olympics bid now lay right before their eyes. No room for doubt. Here was fresh evidence that the century of China’s humiliation by foreigners, and their anti-China subversion, was still going strong.

This is how the first major wave of radical ultra-nationalism in the reform era got under way. It was a complaining, compulsive sort of nationalism, rather like that of a jilted lover. As in the Mao era, now it became acceptable, once again, to distort history, even to fabricate it, so long as the goal was to recount the dastardly crimes that Westerners had committed in China in the last century or more, and to show how they had humiliated the Chinese race.

But this jilted-lover variety of nationalist passion, in which complaint and accusation were the main components, carried within it the seeds of the Mao-style “bellicose and thuggish” nationalism that was about to make a return in the first years of the twenty-first century. The effort to popularize the Maoist reprise began with the release in 1996 of the book China Can Say “No,” which really had everything: ambition for Great China, ultra-nationalist hatred, Mao-style romantic-but-bloodthirsty lyricism, and garden-variety street obscenities. The book recounts a vast spate of crimes against China committed by American hegemonists, tells its readers that Americans—and Chinese people who like America—are nothing but “vulgar trash” fit only to shut up and “not even fart,” and so on. Its apparent aim is to whip up hatred and bellicose nationalism. “If conciliation fails,” the book’s authors write, “we call upon the Chinese people to remember how to hate [and] to seek revenge!” Let a “virtual wailing wall be built” in the Taiwan Straits. “We solemnly recommend that authorities in Washington D.C. build a wall much higher and wider than the Vietnam War Memorial to accommodate the names of soldiers who will die in the future.” The wall can serve as well as a “tombstone of the American spirit.” Meanwhile the “finest paragons” of the Chinese nation are “destined to rise” from the glorious battlefield, fulfilling their mission that China “lead the twenty-first century” while American hegemony and its running dogs are “done for!” In sum, we can see how the low-key formula of “concealing strength and biding time” was the incubator for high-flown rhetoric about the resurgence of Great China, and how the jilted-lover variety of nationalist passion incubated the passions of bloodthirsty revenge.

III. Background to the Rise of Thuggish and Bellicose Patriotism

To whip up bellicose, expansionist patriotism in times of war might be easy. To do it in times of peace is not easy, but the following conditions help:

(1) A history of feelings of disdain for the world and a powerful feeling of vanity that the Son of Heaven once ruled All Under Heaven;

(2) A long history of having suffered humiliation at the hands of foreigners and the buildup of popular sentiment for revenge and settling scores;

(3) Pressure on people’s livelihood because of an extremely large population and natural resources that are insufficient to support it;

(4) Rising diplomatic and military power in the present day;

(5) A solid record over an extended time of education-for-hatred in school curricula and the misleading of public opinion in controlled media;

(6) A national psychology that regularly alternates between extreme self-abasement and extreme self-aggrandizement; and,

(7) A dictatorial regime that can manipulate the aggregate power of the preceding six conditions.

Condition number 7 is the most important one; it integrates all the others, ferments them into a brew and congeals them into a unity. This is because a dictatorial system has monopoly power over the most important of society’s resources; it can use one-sided indoctrination in the controlled media to stir up patriotic sentiment; it can focus education on a certain kind of patriotism; it can build up the military without asking the opinions of the citizenry; and so on. Condition 7 is especially crucial in a large, poor, and technically backward nation. In a liberal society, even if a country is large and poor, conditions 1—6 by themselves will likely not be able to bring about a unified national psychology. If peaceful tolerance is the norm and ideas rise and fall in the give-and-take of open debate, bellicose nationalism will dissipate and eventually disappear.

The Seventeenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 1997 marked China’s transition from the Deng Xiaoping era to the Jiang Zemin era. All seven of the above conditions were in place in China at the time, which meant that Jiang Zemin, who was not content with Deng’s recumbent foreign policy of “not taking the lead,” could now come out with his more bellicose “Great Power diplomacy.” Chinese nationalism, no longer content to “conceal strength and bide time,” was looking forward to world hegemony after a possible “fight to the finish” with the U.S.

Meanwhile many Chinese people in recent years—whether influenced by Deng-style pragmatism, by the extreme relativism of post-modernism, or by Li Zongwu’s “Thick Black Theory” [厚黑學, a kind of amoral Machiavellianism that Li advanced in the early twentieth century, and whose popularity surged at century’s end—Original Editorial Note]—have developed a second nature that is wonderfully free of principle and ready to pursue any opportunity. No scruples are needed—arrogance toward the weak is exceeded only by fawning toward the mighty. This kind of utterly unprincipled cynicism guides the foreign policy of the Chinese Communist Party as much as it pervades the official nationalism that the Party sponsors. The proud banner of a Chinese “economic miracle” and the expansion of the regime’s diplomatic and military power have revived the primitive version of Mao-era “patriotism.” Under the guise of restoring national honor and national “essence,” thuggish language that unabashedly celebrates violence, race hatred, and warmongering passion now haunts the Chinese Internet. It appears as commentary on particular incidents. But what is at stake, in the background, is a major new turn in the abnormal nationalism that has beset China over the past one hundred years. This is a turn from the defensive nationalism that arises from mixed feelings of inferiority, envy, complaint, and blame to an aggressive “patriotism” that is based on blind self-confidence, empty boasts, and pent-up hatred.

The major cause of the new turn is a reversion to the China-is-center mentality. As China endured a century of foreign humiliation, deep-seated arrogance became the key element in its nationalism. The on-again, off-again feelings of inferiority that have appeared are alternate psychological expressions of this same underlying arrogance.

As our country entered the twenty-first century, there were five main factors that led many Chinese people to move in the direction of bellicose patriotism.

First, some important events took place right before the new century began. The return of Hong Kong from Britain to China in 1997 had great symbolic power for the rebuilding Chinese national confidence. It seemed the righting of historical wrongs had been achieved. Then in 1999, when NATO missiles accidentally struck the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, that event stimulated the greatest anti-American, anti-Western upsurge since the beginning of the reform era and was a shot in the arm for the passions of China’s bellicose patriotism. It was at this juncture that the low-key foreign policy profile of “concealing strength and biding time” began to give way to “great power diplomacy” and to the prospect of “the rise of a great nation.”

Second, some happy successes arrived together in 2001—some soccer wins, admission to the World Trade Organization, and above all winning the 2008 Olympics bid. The Chinese people suddenly had the feeling that a whole new century lay before them, awaiting their imprint. The prediction that “the twenty-first century will be the Chinese century” seemed ready to come true, and people were bursting with pride. The Olympics bid, to be sure, did have down sides: It would not bring the Chinese people much wealth and power in a material sense, and would give the corrupt power elite some great opportunities for profiteering; moreover it would provide a politically correct pretext for the government to put “stability above all,” to stress economics over social justice, and to spend extravagantly, in essence wasting the people’s wealth while trampling their human rights. But it would also give the government an opportunity to stage a spectacular show about national revival and new wealth and power. When three generations of Chinese Communist Party leaders joined the huge celebration of the successful bid in Beijing, appearing together at Tiananmen Square, over a million residents of the city took to the streets and the revelry lasted all night. This happened not only in Beijing but in other major cities. The world could see a resurgent China filled with self-confidence.

Third, expressions of admiration from the West began playing an important role. China’s state-run media not only tooted China’s own horn but also took advantage of admiring international comments on China’s rise to Great Power status. In this effort the English scholar Joseph Needham’s Science and Civilization in China became important, as did Napoleon’s prediction that China was a sleeping giant that “when it awakes, will shake the world.” All kinds of favorable comments on the Chinese economy from Western governments and international organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund became psychological resources for the building of national pride. The constant refrain of these voices, as reported in China’s state media, was that the Chinese economy “is the best of all”; that “a very powerful China is on the rise”; and that “by 2015 or 2020 China’s economy will surpass Japan’s.” Even negative comments from the West about “the China threat” were turned around to be evidence of China’s new strength. Headlining these stories with words like “astounding,” “unimaginable,” and “miraculous,” the Chinese media led the Chinese people into an extremely dangerous illusion—that the former “sick man of East Asia” is turning into the “mighty giant of the East” and that China has already risen to be the one “great power” in the world that can resist the United States.

Fourth, some important trends in international relations in the early 2000s seemed unfavorable to China. Russia, at the time, was turning toward the West; relations between the U.S. and India were improving; the U.S. was making inroads into Central and West Asia; China was embroiled in spats with neighboring countries over maritime rights; the issue of North Korean refugees to China was causing diplomatic squabbles; and, most importantly, the Koizumi government in Japan was refurbishing its military and appearing more hostile toward China. All of these trends made the Chinese leaders feel more and more that they were surrounded by an unfriendly world, and xenophobic sentiment became a natural response. Because of the way events were reported in the Party-controlled press, that response tended to harden into hatreds and thirst for battle.

Of all such issues, the rivalry with the U.S. was most important. After the end of the Cold War, the Chinese Communist regime stood as the world’s exemplar of dictatorial government, while liberal America stood as the world’s only superpower. It seemed that a final struggle between the rival political systems would open up between China and the United States. The government of George W. Bush, when it first came to power, seemed to take China as the biggest potential adversary of the U.S. and pursued an overall strategy of containing the Chinese Communist regime. Bush was the American president most friendly toward Taiwan in all the thirty years since the U.S. and China resumed diplomatic relations. He approved an increase in military sales to Taiwan and took every public opportunity to emphasize America’s commitment to Taiwan. Ignoring past taboos, he stated plainly that America would protect Taiwan if it came under military attack. Even on a visit to China, in a speech at Tsinghua University, Bush gave no face at all to the Chinese Communists in saying, again, that the United States would abide by its commitments to Taiwan under the “Taiwan Relations Act.” Setting aside warnings from the Chinese government, the U.S. strengthened its relations with the Taiwan military and, in a move unprecedented in thirty years, invited the Taiwan Minister of Defense Tang Yaoming to visit the U.S.

It was in this tense atmosphere of China-U.S. relations that, on April 1, 2001, a midair collision occurred between a U.S. EP-3E surveillance plane and a Chinese J-811 fighter plane off Hainan Island in southern China. The resultant media hoopla stimulated a vast new outpouring of hatred toward the United States.

The 9/11 attacks that arrived a few months later led to a temporary relaxation between the governments of China and the U.S. The two sides cooperated, in a limited way, on “counterterrorism,” but the U.S. did not—at least not right away—retreat from its policies on human rights, freedom of religion, nuclear proliferation, and the Taiwan question. Among supernationalists in the Chinese populace, however, the success of Osama Bin Laden’s surprise attack provided an opportunity to vent invective toward the U.S. and stood, moreover, as a model of what could be achieved if scruples were set aside. A book called Unrestricted Warfare by two senior colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, first published in 1999, found a new burst of popularity. For some Chinese, 9/11 showed American vulnerability, and it bolstered their confidence that China would be able to subdue the world’s most powerful nation.

Fifth, a new, more vigorous challenge was appearing from Taiwan. Chen Shuibian and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the 2000 presidential elections in Taiwan, and in 2001 the DPP won again in the elections to Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan. These elections not only demonstrated that democracy in Taiwan had matured to a stage where political parties could hand power back and forth in a peaceful manner; it also marked the rise of genuinely indigenous political forces in Taiwan. After the DPP took power, its series of moves toward “de-Sinification” and “rectifying Taiwan’s name” (i.e., replacing “China” with “Taiwan” in the country’s name) caused Taiwan and the mainland to drift further apart. Hatred for Chen Shuibian and his DPP deepened among parts of the Chinese populace, and there was stronger popular support for a military solution to the Taiwan question. Bellicose Chinese nationalism reared its head in a torrent of battle cries on the Internet: “Better to pound Taiwan into a barren island than to allow it to secede from the fatherlandl”; “We’re ready to tear Taiwan down and build it up again, but not to let it go independent”; and so on.

Together these five factors intensified feelings of bravado—still grounded in inner insecurity—among many parts of the Chinese populace. This duality of insecurity-plus-bravado has operated from the beginning of the Communist years in China, and it finds expression in a vrariety of face-saving tactics.

When a people like ours, who struggle with feelings of inferiority, have to face the facts of inadequate national strength, or of less than full respect from others, one way we try to feel better is to grab onto any piece of historical material that can make us proud. It is even all right to exaggerate a success wildly, so long as it contributes to an image of “number one” for the group. If it is hard to deny that we are inferior to others materially, we can claim, as Mao did, that we are superior spiritually. If we are not as good as others now, we can build a myth that we are bound to be the most powerful nation some day, because we certainly were in the past.

China’s ruling group capitalizes on this psychology. In the state media, China’s military, economic, scientific, and even athletic successes since 1949 are all spun as signs that China is on its way to world domination. Fighting the US. to a standstill in Korea in the early 1950s was spun as a one-sided victory of China’s “volunteer armv.” When America sank deeper and deeper into the quagmire of its war in Vietnam, and eventually had to withdraw, this, too, became a great “victory” for China in 1975; there were never any clear winners in China’s border skirmishes with India in 1962, the Soviet Union in 1969, and Vietnam in 1979 (and in each case there were heavy casualties among Chinese soldiers), but each time the Chinese Communists told the Chinese people that they had achieved great victories.

The achievements of Chinese people living in the West are reported and exaggerated on a similar principle. The people who are praised might be foreign citizens, but if they are ethnically Chinese, their accomplishments are touted as proof of the power of the nation and the superiority of the race. This happened when C.N. Yang and T. D. Lee won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1957, and even when the Taiwanese scientist Yuan-Tseh Lee won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986. All such examples are trumpeted as the pride of the Chinese race.

Worse still, facts themselves cannot stand in the way when claims of national pride are at stake. Utterly phony “news stories” will do. One of the more famous examples is a report that the United States Military Academy at West Point erected a large photograph of China’s heroic superpatriot Lei Feng (whom Mao had promoted as a model) and that American cadets were “learning from” him. Another said that US. soldiers fighting in the Pacific War all carried a copy of Sunzi’s Art of War (sixth to fifth centuries BCE), which is why the Pacific War was won on tactics rooted in ancient Chinese wisdom. Yet another report tells how a Chinese woman named Wu Yang went to Oxford University, became the top student, and, amazingly, received a doctorate in only her second year; then she received a scholarship of 60,000 British pounds, which was the first time such a thing had occurred in Oxford’s 800-year history.

A group of elite young economists (Yang Fan and others) have announced: “For more than a thousand years China was always the world’s superpower; China’s defeats have come only in the last 150 years.” Or, as Lin Yifu, the economist who became famous for defecting from Taiwan to China in 1979, put it: “In the two thousand years before the Industrial Revolution, Chinese culture and civilization were indeed the most advanced in the world, and the most deserving to be called the world’s highest achievements … people from all over the world made pilgrimages to the Central Empire.”

IV. Blaming and Complaining Turns into Patriotism-as-Violence

Excessive self-confidence and passions of blind hatred have led many mainland “patriots” to reject universal values. Cursing and shouts of “kill!” drown such values out.

Talk of armed attack on Taiwan and declaration of war on the U.S. has become fashionable in government think tanks, among intellectual elites, and in parts of the population as well. In the writings of the elites, this bellicose patriotism is presented as two major principles: first, “a great rejection” of Western hegemony, and second, preparation for “a great attack.”

The “great rejection” idea is upside-down theory in the sense that it begins with a neat formula and then fills in facts to suit it. It says: in politics, reject Western “political hegemony” and oppose “peaceful evolution” in a pro-West direction. In military affairs, prepare for confrontation with American “military hegemony,” and call for a multipolar international order. In economics, prevent “capital hegemony” from controlling China, and retain our people’s economy as the indisputable top priority. In the cultural realm, prevent “Western discursive hegemony,” which is also “cultural colonialism,” and advocate the indigenization of scholarship.

Some of these thinkers have gone further and advanced the idea of “system hegemony” in the international order. This idea is that both the rule-making and decisions about rule-following in today’s world are monopolized by the strong while the weak have no right to doubt them. In world trade, for example, the developed countries make the rules and the end result of the global circulation of capital is that the profits go mainly to the developed countries. The pattern extends to international organizations and even to the rules and standards used for international awards and prizes. They are all governed by “Western” values. Thus we have, in politics, the United Nations; in economics, the World Trade Organization; in military matters, NATO; in culture, the Nobel Prizes, Europe’s three major film prizes, and the American Academy Awards; in sports, the Jesse Owens Prize; in music, the Grammy awards; in art, the Venice Biennale; and so on. Western rules and standards are everywhere. In the view of the hegemony theorists, the “system hegemony” of the West is unfair. It did not come about because Western culture and Western systems are superior to others or because they are intrinsically more “universal.” It came about because the West has been economically, technologically, and militarily more powerful. Material differences, not value differences, put it where it is.

In the reform era, as Deng Xiaoping’s emphasis on economic growth gradually replaced Mao Zedong’s policies of “taking class struggle as the key link,” and as people began to enjoy more decent standards of living, the Mao-era “enemy mentality” gradually dissipated in Chinese society. But the one-party dictatorship, with its paranoia about maintaining power, still needed an “enemy mentality” for use in maintaining control and still relied on its revolutionary faith that “political power grows from the barrel of a gun.” The main difference is that the “enemy mentality” now has an exclusively overseas target, whereas under Mao the enemies were both domestic and foreign. (Today, only “a tiny minority” of people in China—who happen to be the country’s best political thinkers—are called “agents of anti-China forces”) In the years since Mao, public hatred has shifted from class-based hatred to nation-based hatred, and Mao’s maxim that “political power grows from the barrel of a gun” has gained the corollary of “national unity and dignity grow from the barrel of a gun.” The xenophobic psychology, enemy mentality, and gun-worship of the Mao years have all found new life under the guise of “patriotism.” Internally, this tool of “patriotism” has been useful to the Communist Party as a new ideology with which to control the nation after the total collapse of any belief in communism; externally, it has been useful in issuing military threats against Taiwan and the U.S. In the minds of the “bellicose patriots,” the only language that American “hegemonists” and Taiwan-independence “elements” understand is the sound of ballistic missiles exploding. But it would be a mistake to take this hyperbolic language as empty talk. Someday it could well be a basis for action. Thuggery in language and thuggery in life are related.

The worship of violence marks a reversion to barbarism for human civilization. This reversion happens most easily inside autocratic political systems, and the extent of the return to caveman impulses is in direct proportion to the barbarity of the autocracy within which it takes place: the more barbaric the dictatorship, the more devoutly its people will worship violence. In recent world history, the worship of violence has always found convenient pretexts: for colonialism, the expansion of Western “civilization” was the rationale; during the Second World War, the efficiency of Fascism was the rationale; during the Cold War, it was the Communist ideal of one-world harmony; and now, for China, it is ultra-nationalism. In our new century, when freedom, democracy, and peaceful development have become the main tendency throughout the world, “ultra-nationalism” stands naked as nothing but a euphemism for the worship of Violence in service of autocratic goals—be they the terrorism and holy war of Islamic fundamentalists or the refusal of dictatorial systems to accept political democracy.

China’s Communist rulers, who can see the world’s drift toward freedom and democracy as clearly as anyone, and who know that they are actually much weaker in the world than they would like to be, have no choice but to recognize the world’s present course as one of “peace and development.” On the other hand, as long as the Party refuses to accept political democratization, it will never be able to let go of its primitive barrel-of-the-gun mentality. Moreover, the people of mainland China, inured for decades to the ways of Communist dictatorship and with centuries of imperial experience lying behind that, carry within them habits of violence-worship whose poison will not be easy to eradicate. Every day the dictatorship continues is a day that this poison cannot be purged, and a day that “patriotism” continues to serve as an acceptable reason to tolerate bloodthirsty language that could, some day, turn into barbaric action. When a population gives its majority support to narrow nationalism in preference to the universal values of human freedom and dignity, it turns “patriotism” into an argument for despotic government, military adventurism, and thuggery.

In its actual power today, the Chinese regime is still far behind the U.S., and there is no chance of its becoming a world hegemon any time soon. The real costs at stake are domestic, in the national psychology of the Chinese people, who are being misled by a dictatorial system, for purposes of its own power, to embrace a thuggish version of nationalism and a pipe dream of world domination. All of this is profoundly corrosive of the universal values of human dignity and freedom. The mentality of world domination, to say nothing of the thuggish outlook, has not served the Chinese people well, either now or in earlier centuries. What these ideas have actually brought to the common people of China, past and present, has not been peace, success, honor, health, or a vigorous society, but bloodshed, defeat, ruin, humiliation, dismal lives, and societal collapse.

At home in Beijing, July 10, 2002


Chinese Text:

爱国主义的好战化流氓化
——新世纪大陆爱国主义评析

劉曉波

 

到目前为止的中国百年现代化过程,由于无法摆脱民族主义恶魔的纠缠,往往陷于自卑与自大之间的恶性循环。

如果说,一百五十多年前的鸦片战争,使中国遭遇了“千年未有大变局”,那么,一百五十年后的今天,中国的变革在屡次错过机会之后,也在经过了令人痛心和焦虑的曲折反复之后,赶上了“千年之未有的大机遇。”因为,直到1949年中共掌权的百年间,中国的变革所处的内外环境皆无法为我们提供明晰的方向:先是列强的炮舰政策使中国连连受辱,让国人看到了西方物质文明的发达,于是,国人选择了办洋务的“器物救国”;继而是“甲午之战”的溃败,先进铁甲舰武装起的北洋水师不足以救国,让国人省悟到制度的弊端,于是走上“立宪救国”之路;最后是“辛亥革命”后的乱相及其袁世凯的尊孔称帝,促使国人开始超越“器物”和“制度”的层次,而深入到对文化病根的反思,儒教作为帝制意识形态的吃人本质才是误国之源,遂有“五四”新文化运动的“科学与民主”,也就是打到孔家店的“文化救国”。

由“器具不如人”到“制度不如人”再到“文化不如人”,国人对自身弊端的反省确实在一步步深入。然而,支配着这种反省的深层意识,不是“人的解放”和“民的富足”,而是丧权辱国的国耻意识,一切改革均被限制在狭隘民族主义的目标之内,富国强兵的国家主义代替了人的解放的自由主义。正如经历过“五四运动”的知识人所体验的那样:除了抵制日货、拒签和约、打倒卖国贼等爱国主义之外,他们中的绝大多数并不知道“五四运动”还有其他意义。(参见:《邓超麟回忆录》,东方出版社2004年内部限量发行版P161-168)而正是这种以民族主义目标优先的救亡图强运动,使国人在学习西方的强国之路的实践屡屡受挫之时,苏俄的“十月革命”获得了成功,遂使国人在现代化模式的选择上出现了模仿对象的两级化。

中共执政五十年里,即便毛泽东时代强调所谓“解放全人类”的国家主义,民族主义仍然是中共政权道义合法性的主要支柱之一。只不过,中共治下的爱国主义在每个时期有所不同,从毛泽东时代的自傲好战型到邓小平时代的务实防守型再到江泽民时代的自傲好战型的重新抬头,也没有摆脱自卑与自大之间的恶性循环。

(一)毛泽东时代的好战式爱国主义

9·11后,很多大陆人表现出了一种极端民族主义的好战、嗜血和不择手段,这种无人性的民族主义情绪的根子深植于毛泽东时代的战争叫嚣中。最近,有一篇贴在众多网站上的文章,看题目,似乎就是五十年代的《人民日报》社论:《埋葬美帝国主义独霸世界的狼子野心》。该文把美国称为“政治、军事、经济全面流氓化无赖化”的“真正的流氓无赖国家”,把美、英、日、以称为“真正的邪恶轴心”,号召“全世界人民联合起来,丢掉幻想,坚持斗争。埋葬美帝国主义独霸世界的狼子野心,阻止其对全人类的巨大灾难发生。”为此,中国应该重点联合穆斯林世界和俄罗斯,向美国霸权主动出击。针对美国领导的反恐怖战争,该文居然得出如此荒谬绝伦而又耸人听闻的结论:“伊斯兰亡,则中俄危,世界危。中亡俄必亡,俄亡中必亡。”因此,中俄要借助穆斯林的仇美情绪,不惜动用一切手段打击美国,本·拉登式恐怖袭击无疑是目前最有效的手段。从中国外交战略的选择上看,首选的同盟甚至不是传统共产集团内的兄弟国家(如朝鲜、古巴、越南),而是与美国为敌的伊斯兰国家(伊拉克、伊朗、巴勒斯坦等),伊斯兰原教旨主义及其恐怖主义,非但不是世界文明之敌,反而是中国基于战胜美国的需要而必须联合的首要盟友,是中国国家安全的最佳屏障。江泽民在9·11后访问伊朗和叙利亚就是正确的外交选择。

该文跟贴中的大部分网文也颇为凶狠,什么“要把台海变成彻底葬送台独分子的火海血海”,什么“让美帝国主义的航母化为灰烬”等等,这些网络言论颇能代表了新世纪大陆爱国主义的好战倾向。

当下中国社会对毛泽东的怀念,不只是身处两极分化最底层的弱势群体对铁饭碗及平均主义时代的怀恋,更是民族主义狂热中的爱国者们对敢于同时向两个超级大国说“不”的毛时代的怀恋。进入新世纪,“纸老虎”和“东风压倒西风”等毛语录重新泛滥,恍如回到了打杀声不绝于耳的毛时代。所以,谈论当下大陆的好战爱国主义,有必要溯源到毛时代的“天下心态”。

在中国的传统中,帝制时代的帝王们没有民族、国家等主权观念,而只有“天下意识”,即中国作为世界的中心怀抱着俯视天下的自我中心和自恋自傲之意识。在清末之前的漫长帝制时代,中国的发展基本是封闭的,没有遭遇过强有力的外来挑战,元、清的异族统治最终也被华夏所同化。所以,国人很少主动向外看,即便看见周边的外在世界,也从来没有过“民族国家”的观念,而只有统领宇宙的“天下观念”。统治精英们相信:自己治理的不是一个边界明确的国家,而是包容一切疆土的“天下”,以自我中心的天下心态俯视周边国家。国人称自己是文明的“礼仪之邦”,而把其他国家及族裔贬为“蛮夷”;把自己作为万邦来朝的中心朝廷,而视其他国家为臣属。蛮夷诸小族与文明大汉族之间的关系,是下对上、边缘对中心的不平等之君臣关系,诸臣属“蛮夷”只有自下而上的“朝贡”义务,相应地,中心国也独享自上而下的“恩典”权威,而绝无平等的外交往来和利益交换。甚至在西方列强用现代武力打开中国的大门之后,国人的天下心态仍然没有实质性改变。那时的满清贵族和士大夫阶层,很少用不带贬义的词汇称呼西方人,甚至真的认为洋人“其种半人而半兽”,或为“人鱼混体”、或为“人虫杂交”。保守的官员和愚昧的士绅为了维护天朝大国的虚荣,造出各种谬论和谣言来煽动民众的排外狂热,比如:那些为中国带来外辱和不平等条约的重大教案,大都来自士绅们制造的谣言,诸如,传教士食婴、挖心、挖眼、致幻、投毒、掘坟、诱奸妇女、拐骗孩童、私藏军火和教民为匪等等……直到甲午之战大败于被视为“弹丸之地”的日本,国人才不得不被迫收敛起君临天下的大国傲慢。但是,朝廷又利用“义和团”暴乱来宣泄对外仇恨和维护华夏中心的虚荣。直到今天,“洋鬼子”仍然是国人称呼非我族类的惯用词。

落伍挨打的百年耻辱并没有消除这种自我中心的民族傲慢,只不过暂时转化为另一极端——自卑自贱,而一旦自以为重新强大起来,自我中心和自恋自傲必然随之复活且膨胀。

中共在野期间,一直宣传中国革命的第一目标是“反帝”,其次才是“反封建”。中共在1949年掌权后,马上宣称推翻了“压在中国人民头上的三座大山”,第一座就是“帝国主义”。毛泽东的反帝檄文《别了,司徒雷登》,成为中国告别半殖民统治的反美宣言。当毛泽东宣告“中国人民从此站起来”之时,国人的民族主义便由懦弱自卑转向了盲目自傲。一方面是为了防止帝国主义的武力入侵和资本主义的和平演变,而采取闭关锁国的愚民国策;另一方面是为了充当全球领袖和恢复天下帝国,而高喊解放全人类的国际主义;在这里,传统的天下心态全面复活,好战型爱国主义泛滥成灾于整个毛泽东时代。

毛时代的好战型爱国主义的产生背景,1,在国共内战中,由苏联支持的中共打败了由美国支持的国民党,一边倒的外交政策和闭关锁国。2,世界两大制度的力量对还处于冷战均势,苏联和中国一起对抗美国,在朝鲜战场上与美国打成了平手(却被宣传成打败了美帝),在越南战场上打败了美国,战争胜利被无限夸大,导致了盲目自信、军事化经济及其大跃进。3,解放全人类的共产主义和援助第三世界的国际主义,成为称霸世界野心的意识形态包装。4,随时准备应付第三次世界大战爆发的备战意识。

毛泽东本人的狂妄野心和主观臆断充分利用了这一切。毛迷信主观意志和枪杆子,掌权后一直陷于自己终将成为世界革命中心的幻觉之中。故而,毛时代的经济建设,与其说是计划经济或赶超经济,不如说主要是服务于战争或战争准备的军事经济。从朝鲜战争开始,毛就把中国带入了战备经济的轨道,重工业优先、以钢为纲、放纵生育、三线计划和研制核武器等国策,皆是军事经济的产物。毛泽东在国力完全不具备的条件下,不顾人民死活而支持共产集团对美国的战争,发动赶英超美的大跃进和大炼钢铁;为了与前苏联争夺国际共运的霸主交椅,在反修防修的借口下,在人为制造的战争不可避免的紧张中,同时对抗两个超级大国;他还抛出第三世界论,对落后国家输出毛式革命,领导世界性的“农村包围城市”(落后的第三世界包围发达的资本主义世界),鼓吹解放全人类的国际主义……这一切极富进攻性扩张性的好战言论和外交举动,说到底,只是在自我中心的天下心态之全面复活的纵容下,毛泽东想做全球帝王和人类救主之野心的极端膨胀。比如,毛泽东为了让苏联帮助发展核武器,使中国变成一个超级军事强国,全然不管大跃进饿死了4000万人左右,还要向苏联出口粮食。毛泽东之所以如此,完全是他本人称霸世界的野心使然。1958年8月19日,毛泽东曾得意地对一些省市领导人说:“未来我们将成立地球管理委员会,为全地球制定统一计划。”

毛泽东全凭手中的绝对权力贯彻个人意志,煽动起国人蔑视一切的狂妄。那时的毛泽东,真的具有“一句顶一万句”的权威;那时的国人,真的相信毛泽东的“一切反动派都是纸老虎”的论断,美帝和苏修也不例外;也真的相信世界的未来一定是“东风压倒西风”,中国人民一定能解放全人类。在这些冠冕堂皇理由背后,却是野蛮而原始的天下心态、霸主野心、仇恨教育、敌人意识、斗争哲学和暴力崇拜(对枪杆子的迷信)。

这种意识不但是毛泽东本人的信念,也是全中国的信仰,特别是年轻一代的普遍信仰,并在文革中达到高潮。

1949年后成长起来的所谓“红旗下一代”,从小接受的就是报仇雪恨、暴力崇拜、阶级斗争和世界革命的灌输性教育,绝对相信毛泽东的信口雌黄。他们在红色爱国主义的鼓动下,陷于暴力革命的疯狂之中,而文革,正好为他们提供了践行暴力革命的舞台。在造反的红卫兵群体中,有人冲砸焚烧外国驻中国的使领馆,有人专门骚扰国际列车,还有狂热者不满足于国内的暴力造反,怀着解放全人类的伟大理想,偷越边境,潜入越南、泰国、缅甸等国,投身于当地的毛式游击战争,甚至组成过“知青营”。

1966年9月1日,清华附中红卫兵在《打碎旧世界创立新世界》一文中豪情万丈地向全世界宣告:“我们红卫兵是帝国主义,特别是美帝国主义死刑的执行者,是旧世界的掘墓人。我们将亲身参加埋葬美帝国主义的战斗”。1967年,由红卫兵集体创作(主创者中就有后来被称为蒙胧诗奠基者之一的食指)的叙事长诗《献给第三次世界大战的勇士们》风靡一时。这首诗所表现的那种横扫世界的英雄主义豪情和解放全人类的扩张野心,其疯狂程度已经达到了毫无常识的荒谬绝伦。该诗讲述了一个红卫兵战士怎样投身于“第三次世界大战”,怎样驰骋欧洲,又是怎样把毛泽东的旗子插在美苏两强的首都最具象征性的建筑物上——克里姆林宫和白宫。诗中描述到:第三次世界大战的中国英雄们,将饮马顿河和占领莫斯科,把五星红旗插在克里姆林宫的最高处;他们还将抽美洲的烤烟,喝非洲的清泉,最后登陆北美,攻克华盛顿,让五星红旗飘扬在白宫尖顶,如同解放军攻占南京一样。

很讽刺的是,最近有一部收视率颇高的描写贩毒的电视连续剧《黑冰》,剧中的最大毒枭,正是当年去缅甸献身于世界革命的老红卫兵。他已是中年,仍然穿着一身将校呢黄军装,戴毛泽东像章,对当年的造反岁月念念不忘(如同大多数不肯自省的老红卫兵一样);他心狠手辣,满脑子阴暗的权力欲和统治世界的野心。他制毒贩毒的最终目的不是为了金钱,而是为了实现他年轻时的权力野心。当毛泽东时代的造反无法达到这一目的时,他就与时俱进地利用邓、江时代的金钱手段来达到。换言之,当年的红卫兵变成今天的大毒枭,跨国革命变成了跨国犯罪,准确地表现了两个时代之间的差别,也同样准确地勾画出国人的劣根性:统治天下的权力野心和为达目的而不择手段。

(二)犬儒化爱国主义——韬光养晦

在邓小平时代,实用主义代替了乌托邦妄想,发展经济代替了阶级斗争,裁军代替了扩军,民生经济代替了军营经济,防守型爱国主义代替了好战型爱国主义。在对外关系上,邓小平抛弃毛时代的三个外交支点:以意识形态画线、做第三世界的领袖和随时准备迎接第三次世界大战,而代之以超越意识形态的利益优先,重点发展与发达国家的关系,尽量争取和平的国际环境且裁军百万。

八十年代的民间,国人急切渴望摆脱了贫穷和恶斗,封闭的国门突然打开,政治改革成为热点,外面世界的富裕和多彩凸现了自身的落后和贫乏,民族耻辱、赶超欲望、对富足西方的嫉慕和坚守古老文化的自傲,同时并存。尽管爱国主义越来越成为官方的新意识形态的核心,尽管在“中西文化大冲撞大论战”中已经出现了“21 世纪将是中国世纪”的预言,但那时毕竟还有以自由化为标志的开放心态和西化思潮,可以制衡民族主义情绪的泛滥。现实落伍以及自卑情结所激发的主流情绪,还不是对外仇恨和扩张,而是向往和学习西方。

六四之后,西方国家一致制裁中共政权,世界舆论一致谴责大屠杀,使中国和西方的关系陷入低谷。为了稳定政局和转移目标,中共又祭起了寻找外部敌人的毛泽东策略。对内,把八九运动指控为海外反华势力插手甚至遥控的颠覆阴谋,是西方资本主义特别是美国霸权主义亡我之心不死的最新证据,反自由化、反和平演变成为意识形态的核心任务。在外交上,大屠杀使中共陷于新一轮的国际孤立,而中国的经济发展又离不开发达国家的市场、资金和技术,加之前苏联红色帝国的解体对中共政权的冲击,所以,面对以美国为首的西方对中共政权的谴责和制裁,邓小平奉行现实低调的对外防守态度,使“韬光养晦,决不当头”的外交战略主宰了整个九十年代。

但是,一个独裁政权做出“决不当头”的外交承诺,在道义上是下流的,因为这种实用主义外交战略,没有任何道义诉求而只着眼于既得利益,仍然奉行为达目的不择手段的无赖道德,骨子里的称霸心态或天下心态并没有改变,相信“三十年河东,四十年河西”轮流坐庄乃霸权转移的必然规律。在实力不足时就忍辱负重、卧薪尝胆,以图东山再起。而一旦中华之振兴成为现实,强大的中国将在未来的国际舞台上重演“报仇雪恨”的吴越春秋,再次成为“天下中心”。

事实上,这种下流的“韬光养晦”之策,也并非邓小平的专利,毛泽东才是“韬光养晦”的鼻祖。

毛泽东非常狂妄,几乎看不起所有政治枭雄,但在更为强大的斯大林面前,他也只能韬光养晦,甚至不惜自我贬损。在抗日战争时期,割据陕北的中共基本靠苏共养活,所以,中共一面高调反对领导抗战的蒋介石政府,另一面却高举捍卫“红色苏维埃”的旗子;中共掌权后,无论在冷战时期还是在冷战结束之后,中俄之间从来没有过基于道义的盟友关系,即便50年代初的中苏蜜月,也不过是两个野心勃勃的极权者之间的相互利用而已。斯大林需要中国充当他称霸世界的东方炮灰,毛泽东需要苏联的帮助摆脱孤立、巩固权力和重建废墟。也就是说,苏中的盟友关系是共产极权秩序内部的“主奴关系”,斯大林是“老大哥”,毛泽东是“小老弟”,前者主宰和扶持后者似乎是天经地义。而斯大林一死,老大哥的位置出现空缺,处于“小老弟”地位的毛泽东,看不起斯大林的接班人,而自以为有资格充当“老大哥”,极权者之间的你死我活的冲突,也就必然爆发且不可调和。从六十年代开始,中苏冲突的剧烈程度已经远远超过中美冲突。

早在上世纪五十年代,斯大林每次接见中共要员时,都声称绝不干涉兄弟党的内部事务,而毛泽东、刘少奇、周恩来、高岗等人,每一次面对斯大林的故作姿态,皆以谦卑的口吻请求斯大林对中国革命的指导(参见《斯大林与中国》)。在中央电视台播放的历史专题片中,我看见过这样一个片断:国人举行抗美援朝的盛大游行,抬着一副斯大林和毛泽东握手的巨幅画像,画像上的斯大林以高大魁梧的形象俯身倾顾着身材矮小向上仰视的毛泽东。而众所周知,现实中两人的身高恰恰相反,应该是身体高大的毛泽东俯视倾顾身材矮小的斯大林,而斯大林只能屈居向上仰视的窘境。

斯大林和毛泽东皆是狂妄的极权者,但当毛泽东自认实力不济时,为了换取经济援助和政治支持,他就韬光养晦,竟不惜公然用画像上的颠倒黑白献媚于斯大林,以自我贬低凸出斯大林的高大,以小兄弟的仰视把“老大哥”捧上云霄。中苏决裂之前,在毛泽东治下的中国,反苏就是反革命。而当毛自以为羽翼丰满时,就公开觊觎共产领袖的地位,就强调自力更生,就由“决不当头”变成“争当霸主”,所以,中苏决裂,恶语相向,大骂苏修及其霸权主义,拥苏就是反革命,甚至不惜兵戎相见。而一旦前苏联的核物威胁近在眼前,中国内忧外困的孤立窘境顿时凸现,毛泽东不得不收敛起两面出击的外交锋芒和充当世界革命领袖的野心,放下身段联美抗苏。

所以,“韬光养晦”,不过是信奉实力主义和强权政治的独裁者的缓兵之计,而绝非基于人类道义和长远利益的外交战略。韬光养晦与遍布网络的好战爱国主义的区别,只是表面的,即官方的外交辞令和民间的流氓俚语之间的区别,其内在的民族心理皆是下流而阴暗的。

改革开放以来,大陆民族主义的第一次大爆发,由1993年北京申奥失败引发。这一失败使中共的体育外交破产,也重挫了国人的民族自尊。而民族自尊的受挫,恰好为中共急需修补政权合法性提供了绝佳时机和民意资源,中共自然不会放过。如果国人不相信八九运动是西方反华势力全力介入的结果,不相信武力镇压是为保护国家利益而不得已采取的决策,那么现在西方反华势力对北京申奥的破坏就摆在眼前,不由人不信。于是,百年外辱的延续和反华势力的颠覆,又有了新的例证,国内掀起了改革以来的第一次激进民族主义思潮,它的主流情绪是怨妇式控诉式谴责式的:以歪曲甚至编造历史的方式,蓄意历数百年来西方人在中国土地上犯下的罪恶和对中华民族的侮辱。

但是,这种以诉苦指控为主的怨妇式民族主义,已经透露出在新世纪占据爱国主义主流话语的好战化流氓化倾向,其大众化版本的代表就是《中国可以说“不”》。在该书中,极端的民族仇恨、大中国野心、嗜血的浪漫抒情和泼妇骂街的流氓腔调,一应俱全。历数美国霸权对中国对世界犯下的滔天罪行,大骂美国人及其亲美派全是“贱坯”,只能让其闭嘴:“不许放屁”。全力煽动仇恨和好战的民族主义:“如果和解变得极不可能,我号召中国人民记住仇恨!”和“进行报复!”使台湾海峡“筑成一堵无形的哭墙!”“我们郑重建议:华盛顿建造一座更大更宽的阵亡军人纪念墙,……那座墙将成为美国人心灵的坟墓”。而中华民族的“顶尖人物”将在这血染的风采中“注定要崛起”,他们的使命就是为实现“领导二十一世纪”的野心而奋斗,而美国霸权主义及其走狗注定“完蛋!”

由此可见,韬光养晦的低调孕育着大国外交的高调,怨妇式的民族仇恨喂养着报仇雪恨的种籽。

(三)流氓化好战化爱国主义的形成背景

在和平时代,培育攻击型扩张型的好战爱国主义,往往需要以下条件:1、曾有过傲视天下的强盛和君临天下的虚荣;2、遭受过长期外辱的历史和雪耻赶超的民族情结;3、巨大的人口和资源的匮乏所带来的生存压力;4、当下国力军力的不断增强;5、从未间断的仇恨教育和强制性的舆论误导;6、摇摆于极端自卑和极端自傲的恶性循环之间的民族心理;7、能够使以上条件发挥综合作用的独裁政权。

好战爱国主义的形成和泛滥,第七项条件尤其重要,可以说是整合其他诸条件的核心。特别是在一个生活贫困和科技落后的大国,如果没有政治上的独裁而只靠其他几项条件,不但无法形成统一的国民心理,还会在自由社会的和平宽容环境中,在多元化观念的相互辩论中,逐渐淡化并最终退出历史舞台。

换言之,独裁政权是这一切条件得以凝聚和发酵的核心,因为独裁体制既具有支配主要社会资源的垄断权力,也能够通过垄断媒体的单向灌输来煽动民族主义情绪,所以,它可以不征询民众的同意而把主要资源集中在军力的提升上,把舆论导向集中于爱国主义意识形态的灌输上。

1997年中共十七大,标志着中国从邓小平时代过渡到江泽民时代,中国社会各方面的变化,正好满足了以上所有条件,所以,江泽民已经不满足于“决不当头”,急不可耐地提出“大国外交”;中国民族主义也不再满足于“韬光养晦”,急切地期望通过“中美决战”来称霸世界。

近年来,国人那种近于第二本能的不讲原则、随机应变的劣根,在邓小平式实用主义的鼓励下,在传统“厚黑学”的滋养下,在后现代的极端相对主义的辩护下,迅速泛滥,不但一穷脸就变,且一阔脸更变。这种毫无原则的实用主义,自然也会左右着中共的外交政策和大众化的民族主义。随着中国经济一支独秀的自傲膨胀和国力军力的提升,毛泽东的那种野蛮的思想遗产又在爱国主义的旗号下复活。以恢复民族尊严和民族血性为号召,用流氓腔调毫无顾忌地倾泻语言暴力、民族仇恨和好战情绪,已经成为大陆网络一大特色。在这些针对具体事件的仇恨大发泄的背后,是延续百年的畸形民族主义的大转向:由自卑、怨妇、控诉、谴责相混合的被动防御型爱国主义,转向了由盲目自信、虚幻自傲和仇恨宣泄构成的主动攻击型的爱国主义。

造成这种转变的首要条件,是在灌输民族仇恨的同时重建民族自信,恢复自我中心的“天下意识”。受过百年外辱的中国,自傲感是民族主义的内在核心,自卑感是自傲感的变态形式。进入新世纪,主要有四种刺激直接推动着国人向好战的爱国主义狂奔。

首先,进入江泽民时代,1997年的香港回归,变成对外雪耻和对内重建民族自信的绝好资源;1999年北约导弹误炸中共驻南斯拉夫使馆事件,激起了改革以来最大的反美反西方热潮,为好战爱国主义注入了仇恨的动力。随着国力军力的迅速增强,“韬光养晦”的低调外交逐渐被高调的“大国外交”所取代,“天下心态”也以“大国崛起”的形式重新复活。江核心,对内是“继往开来的领路人”,对外是能够驾驭复杂多变的国际风云的大国领袖。

谁都看得出,江泽民非常渴望做大国领袖,跻身国际大政治家的行列。

江政权全力提升军力,与欧洲的法德两国一起倡导“世界多极化”,积极经营“上海合作组织”,厚待被美国指控的“邪恶国家”……其目的不只是针对台湾,更是想取代俄罗斯而成为抗衡美国的领袖。即便江核心在现实上的低调亲美政策,也是服务于大国外交的韬晦之策。因为,在当今的世界格局中,要想成为大国领袖,就是必须得到美国的认可。

第二,申奥、足球、入世的成功,这一诸喜齐临的新千年,把一个无限放大后的充满希望的新世纪端到国人的面前,似乎真的应验了“二十一世纪是中国的世纪”的预言,加强着也放大着国人的自信和自傲。虽然,申奥这类仪式性的成功,并不能给国人带来实质性的富强,反而会为权贵腐败提供了绝好的机会,但筹办奥运,不但为官方的稳定第一、经济优先、挥霍浪费、劳民伤财和践踏人权提供了政治正确的借口,更可以做成一个无与伦比的民族振兴秀富强秀:中共第三代亲自参见庆典并临时决定登上天安门与民同庆,上百万人自发地走上北京街头,全国主要城市彻夜欢庆,向世界展示着一个日益强大和充满自信的中国。

第三,国内媒体不但关起门来自吹自擂,而且专门转发国际上关于中国正在崛起为世界性大国的舆论,甚至西方流行的“中国威胁论”也从反面印证着中国的强大,进而被作为最好的自傲资本加以利用;英国人李约瑟的《中国科技史》,拿破仑关于“中国雄师猛醒”的预言,国际权威机构发布的每一项中国利好的消息,统统成为国人加强民族自傲的精神资源;西方诸国政要、世界银行、国际货币组织和各类西方精英,不断地重复中国经济的“一支独秀”、“一个强大的中国正在崛起”,中国经济总量可能在2015至2020年期间超过日本,……当这一切片面的摘发又被加上诸如“惊呼”、“不可思议”、“奇迹”等修饰后,媒体的误导就把国人引向一种极其危险的幻觉——以为昔日的“东亚病夫”正在变成“东方雄师”,中国真的已经崛起为唯一能够对抗美国的世界大国。

同时,国内精英也不断地制造大国幻象:连年经济高增长、迅速提高的外汇贮备、世界第一的高储蓄率、每一次中国企业的跨国战略的实施、每一宗中国企业的对外收购、每一次中国主办的国际会议……都会被夸张地大肆宣扬,做成标志中华民族伟大复兴的爱国秀(如海尔神话)。

胡鞍钢在《中美日俄印有形战略资源比较》一文中计算出:如果按照人均购买力来评估,中国经济总量甚至能够在2020年超过美国,跃居世界第一;林毅夫先是声称21 世纪将是中国经济学家引领国际经济学的潮流,继而认为:按GDP计算,中国经济总量将在2050年超过美国;中心城市以及东部沿海富裕地区的政府,不断发布本地区已经进入中等发达国家行列的统计数字,北京、上海、广州三大中心城市发布的人均产值,还颇有相互攀比的色彩;国家信息中心也宣称:中国的中产阶级在几年内将达到2 亿多人,还有许多人撰文指出:中国已经代替俄罗斯成为美国的主要竞争对手,理应担负起反抗美国霸权的国际重任。

第四,一系列与中国密切相关的国际大事,特别是中美冲突的加剧,通过中共媒体的歪曲报道,以加深民族仇恨的方式从反面刺激了好战情绪。

1,居于首要地位的显然是中美冲突。冷战结束后,中共政权成为独裁制度的最大堡垒,而自由美国成为唯一的超级大国,制度之争的最后决战将在中美之间展开。基于此,小布什政府上台之初,明确地把中国作为最大的潜在对手,制定了全面遏制中共政权的战略。在最敏感的台湾问题上,小布什成为自中美恢复交往三十年以来最亲台的总统,不仅批准了对台军售的升级,更在所有公开的场合强调美国对台湾的承诺,毫不隐讳地表示将协防受到武力攻击的台湾,甚至在清华大学的演讲也丝毫不给中共面子,一再提及美国政府对“台湾关系法”的信守。美国又不顾中共警告,加强与台湾军方的联系,破格接待三十年来第一位台湾国防部长汤曜明。在如此紧张的中美关系中,又发生过“4·1”撞机事件,再一次加深了国人对美国的仇恨。

虽然,“9·11”事件暂时缓和了中美之间官方的紧张关系,但是除了在反恐领域的有限合作之外,在整体战略上,在人权、宗教自由、武器扩散、台湾问题等主要问题上,美国绝没有任何放松遏制中共政权之迹象。而在民间,拉登式恐怖袭击的成功,既宣泄着大陆爱国者积压已久的仇恨,又提供了不择手段的成功示范,两位中共军方校级军官所著的《超限战》再度流行。通过“9·11”,国人看到了美国脆弱的一面,增强了国人打败世界头号强国的信心。

2、台湾的挑战。2000年陈水扁及其民进党在台湾大选中上台执政,接着2001年的立法大选又是民进党获胜,不仅标志着台湾民主进入了政党轮替的新阶段,也标志着台湾本土化政治势力的崛起。阿扁执政后一系列“为台湾正名”和“去中国化”的决策,使台湾与大陆渐行渐远,加深了国人对陈水扁及民进党的仇恨,提高了武力统一的民意支持。“宁要台湾不长草,也要祖国的台湾岛”,“我们不惜把台湾打烂重建,也决不允许台湾独立”等战争叫嚣,凸现的正是中国民族主义的好战倾向的迅速抬头。

3、其他国际因素。俄罗斯全面转向西方,美印关系的改善、美国向中亚西亚的渗透,中国与邻国的海权之争,朝鲜难民引发的外交纠纷,特别是日本小泉政府的重整军备和对华敌意的加强,……都使国人日益感到周围世界对中国的敌意,刺激着国人民族主义情绪的飙升。

第五、当一个极度自卑的民族面对实力落后的事实之时,保持民族自尊的策略之一,就是紧抓住任何一点点可以自傲的历史资源,甚至不惜恶性夸大本民族的每一点成就,制造世界第一的幻觉。物质不如人的事实不容否定,就要制造精神高人一等的幻觉;现在不如人,就要制造曾经最强大和将来必定再次最强大的神话。

近几年,“我们曾经阔过”的阿Q式言说随处可见,历数源远流长的历史和四大发明,断定中国曾占据世界第一强国的位置1500多年,汉、唐、宋被认定为同期的世界第一,明代太监郑和七下西洋被封为世界上最早的航海壮举,甚至纵马驰骋横跨欧亚两大陆的成吉思汗,扩大了中国版图的康熙乾隆,虽然不是汉族而是外来入侵者,但是,由于他们在位时期对外扩张的丰功伟绩,满足着民族虚荣,激发起称霸心态,从而与汉武帝并列,成为国人心中的民族英雄。

1949 年以来的经济、科技、体育等方面的成就和国力军力提升,皆作为终将称霸世界的征兆。韩战与美国打成平手的结局,被夸大为志愿军一边倒的胜利;美国在越战泥潭越陷越深,最后不得不撤军,也被片面地渲染为中国的胜利;中印、中苏、中越的边境战争中,本来没有胜利者,中共却在掩盖解放军的惨烈代价的同时,对内宣称取得了伟大的胜利,似乎中共军队从未吃过败仗。

中国人在西方取得的每一点成绩都被放大,在西方取得某些成就的美籍华人也被作为炫耀民族强大和人种优秀的例证,诸如获得诺贝尔物理学奖的杨振宁和李政道,甚至获得诺贝尔化学奖的台湾科学家李远哲,都被作为华夏民族的骄傲而加以大肆宣扬。

更有甚者,为了满足民族虚荣而屡屡制造假新闻,被国内多家媒体转载、流传最广的著名的假新闻有:美国西点军校挂出雷锋的大照片,掀起学雷锋运动;参加海湾战争的美国兵人手一本《孙子兵法》,海湾战争就是按照《孙子兵法》的战略战术进行的;中国女孩吴杨留学牛津大学,刚读大二就成了状元,破格获得攻读博士学位资格,并获得六万英镑奖金,这在著名的牛津大学八百年历史上是破天荒的第一次。

正如一群精英们的宣言所说:“中国一千多年来一直是世界第一超级大国,被人打败只不过150年以来的事”。(扬帆等)“工业革命之前的近两千年间,中国文化、文明确实是最发达的文化,不愧为全世界最高的成就。……全世界的人到中央帝国来朝拜.”(林毅夫)

(四)好战化爱国主义的表现:从怨妇诉苦到暴力爱国

虚幻的自信自傲和盲目的仇恨好战,使大陆爱国者泯灭了一切普世价值,沉迷于一片咒骂喊杀之中。鼓吹武力攻台和向美国宣战的言论,成为从官方智囊、知识精英到爱国民众的一大时尚。

在知识精英的笔下,这种好战化的爱国主义,一方面表现为对西方霸权的“大拒绝”,另一反面表现为时刻准备着的“大出击”。前者以伪学术化和伪理性化的形式出现:政治上拒绝西方的“政治霸权”,反对和平演变;军事上准备与美国的“军事霸权”对峙,提倡国际秩序的多极化;经济上防止“资本霸权”对中国的控制,保护民族经济成为不证自明的绝对前提;文化上防止“文化殖民”和“拒绝西方话语霸权”,提倡学术的本土化。

有人还提出了所谓当代国际秩序的“制度霸权”:即全球化规则的制定和仲裁都由强者垄断,弱者只能接受而无权置疑,资本全球流动的结果,是赢利主要流入发达国家。具体到主要的国际组织和国际奖项,其游戏规则和评价标准皆是由西方价值操纵的。政治上的联合国,经济上的WTO,军事上的北约,文化上的诺贝尔奖、欧洲三大电影奖、美国的奥斯卡、体育上的欧文斯奖、音乐上的格莱梅奖、绘画上的威尼斯双年展等等,到处都是西方的标准和规则。在中国知识精英们的眼中,之所以产生这种主导世界的制度霸权,绝非由于西方文化及其制度优于其他文化或具有普世性,而是因为西方在经济上科技上军事上的强大,是器物层面的实力使然,而非精神层面的价值使然。

另一方面,国内的爱国学者中唯恐天下不乱者也大有人在,他们重提毛泽东时代的“国际冲突”论、“你死我活”论、“战争不可避免论”,甚至有人宣称:台湾问题迟早要引发中美的全面交恶,中国需要一场新的“太平洋战争”,因为“争取世界领导权的斗争必须通过打一仗才能解决”。

同时,他们借助于国际关系和外交战略的研究,把中国的国际处境描绘为背水一战,中美冲突将成为二十一世纪的外交主轴,要求中共政权放弃韬光养晦,转而在政治、外交、军事等方面采取强硬态度。在外交上,不遗余力分化西方盟国,改善与印度等周边国家的关系,拉住俄罗斯、残余共产小国和阿拉伯世界,即联合世界上一切反美力量,明确执行与美国全面对抗的战略。

古代中国的回光返照是新世纪民族主义最突出的特征之一。帝王们的祭奠仪式全面复活,官方出面主持“祭黄帝陵”和“祭孔”,知识界的保守主义掀起“尊孔读经”运动,论证“王道政治”在当代中国的合法性;王小东、左大培、扬帆等人发表了“保卫社会主义宣言”中,他们宣称:“中国一千多年来一直是世界第一超级大国,被人打败只不过150年以来的事,最多追溯到300年。即使如此,目前在综合国力方面,仍旧是除美国以外的,第二流的超级大国。建国50年来的腾飞,民族文化的复兴,已经指日可待,凭什么要在腾飞和瓦解的关键时刻,选择自我瓦解?”换言之,他们认为,中共执政的50年来,国力和军力齐飞,民族文化和民族自信同兴,对内是千年未有之“盛世”,对外已经取代俄罗斯而成为抗衡美国的主要大国,中国取代美国也“已经指日可待!”

另一本表达民族自傲的书叫做《变乱中的文明》,该书受到王逸舟、胡鞍钢、阎学通、扬帆等新左派的强力推荐,书中表达的核心观点是:1949年执政的中共,已经带领中国人民建造了第二座长城,“我们用自己的手消灭了帝国主义奴役。我们正在摆脱贫困,重新崛起,重振民族之风。”

为了保卫这座新长城,作者用了一大段极为做作的抒情文字,最后号召道:中国人必须“象我们的祖先那样,必要时我们也敢于诉诸武力付出碧血。”

有人专门论述:只有激发尚武精神,中国才能强大。一篇名为《尚武中国》的文章获得普遍的好评。该文开篇就是:“要国家强大,必要抛弃奢谈仁义道德、重文轻武之风。”接着从春秋战国一路论列下来,直到当下的台海战略。作者把是否尚武作为解释朝代兴衰的钥匙,结论是尚武者兴而轻武者亡。他推崇秦国在与赵国的长平一战中,秦国大将白起活埋赵国俘虏40万的野蛮,因为这是秦盛赵衰的决定性因素;他把汉朝为了一匹宝马而消灭一个国家作为千古美谈,因为这显示了“犯强汉者,虽远必诛”的霸气和自信,“那是何等的啸傲天下!”;而宋朝之以饱受凌辱以至于亡国,就在于喜谈“理学”和“心学”,“酣嬉太平、尤厌言兵”。现在的中国,既受到美国霸权的围堵,又经常受到周边国家的挑衅,自身又承受着人口庞大和资源匮乏的压力,作者反问道:“难道中国就应该死守一块陆地,无所作为?”结论是:当下中国的扩军尚武势在必行,不必小心翼翼、偷偷摸摸,而应该大张旗鼓行尚武之道,被指责为“强横霸道”和“中国威胁”又如何?

对于“血浓于水”的台湾,中共政权屡屡进行武力威慑,御用学者辛旗甚至放言:如果陈水扁及民进党执迷不悟,我们不惜把台湾打烂重建。中共社会科学院台湾研究所所长许世诠也口出狂言:“美国最近一连串反中行动,严厉干涉中国内政,美国不要忘记,中国曾因为同样理由出兵去朝鲜半岛和美国打了一战。”清华大学国际问题研究所所长阎学通也主张“武力遏制台独越早越好。”再看看大陆的互联网,陈水扁当政后,网上一直充斥着近于疯狂的喊杀声,爱国网民们称陈水扁是美国的傀儡,面对日益嚣张的台独势力,必须不惜一战,打沉台湾这艘美国反华的“航空母舰”。网上出现众多武力攻台的战略方案和两岸军力对比的帖子,认为“解放军打击台湾具有绝对优势”,所以“打比不打好,早打比晚打好”的言论非常普遍,还有主张导弹奇袭和经济封锁的双管齐下。

民意调查也不断地放出好战的结果:95%以上的受访者坚决反对台独,80%以上主张“武力统一”。更有心理阴暗者说:最上策是坐享其成,等到阿富汗把美国拖垮之时,中国就出其不意地一举解放台湾。

对美国,政权和民间爱国者都把美国视为头号敌人,虽然中共政权基于实力对比的实用主义立场,也基于权贵集团的经济利益(权贵们的大量亲属移居美国,惊人资产转移到美国),一直对中美冲突保持现实低调,但是明里暗里都在加大军事开支和抓紧军备,意在对抗美国和威慑台湾:连年大幅度增加军费开支,增加福建沿海地区的导弹部署、从俄罗斯大举购买先进武器、并与那些与美国为敌的国家保持密切关系。而民间情绪的主流则开始抨击“韬光养晦”,转而支持“大国外交”,支持一切针对美国的强硬政策,即便在国内问题上对中共持批评态度的知识精英,在台湾问题和中美关系问题上,也与中共政权完全一致,坚持一种与美国为敌的大中国主义。甚至直呼其名地批评江泽民和朱鎔基对美国太软弱。一篇署名周志宏的文章《合围》称:围堵中国是“小布什政府的狼子野心”,“中华民族到了最危险的时候!”大声疾呼:“打起精神来吧!狮子!!!”

《环球时报》2002年6月10日发表文章,驳斥美国新近流行的“中国崩溃论”,顺便也驳斥了早已在西方流行的“中国威胁论”,认为无论是唱衰中国还是视中国为威胁,皆是霸权主义、冷战思维和阴谋政治的产物。

《联合早报》6月12日报道,北京大学国际关系学院举办《美国的战略调整、新战略秩序与21 世纪中国的国际安全》研讨会。与会的中国专家学者一致认为“美国把中国视为头号对手”,甚至认为布什实际上已经把中国列入“邪恶轴心”或“邪恶国”。南方网发表题为《美国新战略笼罩亚洲欲建立包围中国的隐形长城》评论。该文分析了反恐战争以来美国的外交战略,结论是布什政府“正在认真建立以美国为中心的世界新秩序”,而这一秩序得以顺利建立的主要战略前提就是围堵正在崛起的中国。在此新战略的格局下,美国与亚洲的传统盟友之间的关系日益走向军事化,俄罗斯和中亚西亚也正在融入西方,中国的传统势力范围和同盟国家正在美国的利诱下,一个个弃中国而去。甚至象缅甸这样的军政权,也通过释放昂山素季来寻求与美国改善关系。所以,中美正面冲突将不可避免。

网民们更不会放过任何宣泄仇恨的机会:撞机事件引来一片打杀声,9·11后是一片幸灾乐祸和对超限战的鼓吹。恐怖分子偷袭的成功,给国人带来了向美国挑战的自信,弱者也可以用生命向强者挑战,本·拉登成为爱国者心中的圣战英雄,世贸大厦瞬间的灰飞烟灭和几千平民的死亡,更证明了不可一世的美国是多么脆弱。到处是“阿富汗是又一个越南”、“美国的噩梦刚刚开始”、“反恐联盟出现裂痕”、“本·拉登是受压迫民族的英雄”、“一个拉登倒下去,千万个拉登站起来”等标题……有人献言:中国一定要尽快发展可以直接打击美国本土的远程核武器,从现在就着手准备不择手段的超限战争。为了加强民族自信和激发好战意识,许多人重新翻检毛泽东时代的朝鲜战争、越南战争、中印战争、中苏珍宝岛之战以及邓小平时代的中越战争等当代历史,以此来证明我们曾打败过各种敌人,包括最强大的美国。

虽然,邓小平的发展经济为主的战略代替了毛泽东的阶级斗争为纲,敌人意识和火药味随着小康生活的来临而逐渐淡化。但是,一党独裁在本质上的权力恐惧症,不可能放弃“敌人意识”和“枪杆子里面出政权”的暴力革命论。只不过,敌人意识由普遍的阶级斗争转向针对极少数反华势力的代理人,由国内转向国外,仇恨理论由阶级仇恨转向民族仇恨,暴力崇拜由“枪杆子里面出政权”转向“枪杆子里面出统一和出民族尊严”。

由仇恨心理、敌人意识和枪杆子崇拜构成的野蛮传统在爱国主义借口下的复活,在对内统治上,构成共产信仰崩溃后的新的意识形态;在对外关系上,构成对台湾和美国的武力讹诈。这些好战的狂热爱国者所依据的理由是:对于美国霸权以及台独分子来说,他们唯一能够听懂的语言只有“导弹的爆炸声”。爱国者们现在的毫无顾忌的好战言论,很可能就是将来的为所欲为之暴力行动的准备。

如果说,90年代中期,作为大众读物的《中国可以说‘不’》的民族主义煽情,还主要精明的书商基于商业利益的炒作的话,那么,新世纪里新左派学者们和网络爱国者的民族主义煽情,主要是出于盲目自傲和献媚于当今独裁者。但二者都表达了同一种嗜血的称霸世界的民族主义野心。

(五)两个个案——爱国主义的流氓腔调

进入新世纪之后,在网络上毫无顾忌地倾泻语言暴力、民族仇恨、民族血性和流氓腔调,已经成为大陆网络一大特色。当我把每一个个案联系起来,就发现在这些针对具体事件的大发泄的背后,是延续百年的畸形民族主义的大转向:由自卑、怨妇、控诉、谴责相混合的被动防御型爱国主义,转向了由盲目自信、虚幻自傲和仇恨宣泄构成的主动攻击型的爱国主义。

在当下大陆,做一个爱国者是幸福的,那些满口的暴力语言和流氓腔调的网上爱国者就尤其幸福。借助于网络的言论空间,发言的方便和匿名的安全使之可以肆无忌惮的逞口淫之快,爱国在道德上迅速堕落为嗜血的下流的蒙面的阴暗的流氓主义。

他们刚刚对女明星赵薇大耍完流氓爱国主义(请参阅我的《大陆爱国者的流氓相》一文),又有两个美国流氓为他们提供了绝好的口水对象,发动了一场用流氓腔调对美国流氓的语言诛杀。两件事的发生似乎还隐含着某种诡秘:它们发生在中国很有名的两个城市——改革开放的沿海橱窗深圳和中国的心脏北京,且凑巧的很,作案的时间都是下午,地点又都是在公共汽车上。

深圳,2002年3月9日下午,金发碧眼身材高大的美国人马克借酒壮胆,在一辆公共汽车上当众扯开一名中国女子的胸扣往里看,且口出狂言:“我是美国人,我把你杀了,你们能把我怎么样!”洋酒鬼兼流氓激怒了车上所有的国人,大家一拥而上,将他扭送派出所,马克不得不低下高傲的头,警方处以500 元人民币罚款,马克向受害人当面道歉并做了书面道歉。据警方介绍,马克是心理学硕士,曾任职深圳书城中的电子工业人才培训中心,一向下流疯狂,经常跑到酒吧喝得烂醉,到处惹是生非,无所顾忌地用手向女学生胸部指指点点,已被培训中心开除。警方还查实,马克入境后,没有按规定向公安机关申报住宿登记,违反了《外国人入境出境管理法》的有关规定。对此,警方对马克又处以罚款并缩短他在中国停留的期限。

北京,2002年4月19日下午,在359路公共汽车上,一个年近40岁的美国男子,身高1米8以上、黄色分头、穿短袖和牛仔裤。他突然对好言劝说不要把脚放在汽车引擎盖上的女司机孟秋生大打出手,鲜血直流的女司机被迫紧急停车。他还冲着上前劝阻的小伙子的额头狠击一拳,将其打得跌在座位上,头破血流,额头鼓起一个大包。他还用下流的语言和动作辱骂围观和劝解的群众,冲着人群傲慢地做着各种极其下流的动作,口里喊着:“Come on,Come on,I mate you……”他威胁并追打采访拍照的记者,大骂“Fuck!”。一位会英语的女士好心为他翻译并用英语示意他坐下,他非但不领情,还不停地骂脏话。后来他见围观群众越来越多且义愤填膺,还想跳车窗逃跑。最后被赶来的巡警带走,给予了行政处罚。

媒体报道美国人耍流氓、打人的事件时,还尽量注意分寸和中国特色的外事纪律,两个流氓也都受到了有关部门的相应处罚。其实,这只是两起普通的治安事件,与中国各地每天发生的无数治安事件没有根本的区别。但是,因为两人是外国人且又是外国人中的美国人,这就变成了有关民族尊严甚至国家主权的大事。相关报道上网后,顿时成为热点中的热点,三大网站的帖子在很短的时间内就有了上百页,几乎全是谩骂声打杀声。我随机下载了二百条网民的评论,只有两条是主张诉诸法律,其余的198条全是类似言论:什么“五马分尸”,“凌迟处死”,“腰斩”,“宫刑”,“操美国猪猡”,“先轮x后示众再绞架”,“干死美国佬的女人”,“把美国佬鸡鸡割掉”,“把他阉了,再剁成肉酱祭王伟、朱颖、许杏虎、邵云环”,“我就恨美国人!!!用火箭筒导弹轰他!!!”,“美国的政府和杂种都是一个样,都是欠扁的!!!!!”,“组织中国光头党,专揍各种蛮夷”……

以极端民族主义成名的王小东先生,甚至小题大做,把个人违法行为上升到两个国家尖锐对立的可怕高度:如果中国人不用拳头而是只诉诸法律来教训这两个耍流氓的美国人,那就是民族精神的阳痿。在日益激烈的世界竞争中,在唯一霸权美国的欺负下,中华民族的未来存亡还将遭遇大的危机。他专门为此写了题为《中国人赵薇?美国人马克?歧视?爱国》的文章,“美国流氓”的称谓不仅取代了调戏女人的马克之名,且由此引申出“美国本身就是当今世界的最大流氓”的咒骂。

王小东自称为学者,但对他来说,当事关民族尊严、特别是在面对美国流氓侮辱国人时,他只能抛开学者的一切矜持和顾忌,义无反顾地做一个有血性的爱国者。他说:“如果是我碰上这样的美国流氓,我一定出手,不管我打不打得过他,不管警察来了会怎么治我而不治他。”他之所以如此理直气壮,是因为这种暴力爱国主义被他提升到关乎民族精神的确立、民族的长远利益和伟大复兴的高度,他说:“揍美国流氓就是对于孩子们最有效的‘爱国主义教育’……先从揍美国流氓做起,如果这一点都做不到,这一点血性都没有,这一点精神都没有,谈什么中华民族的长远利益,谈什么中华民族的伟大复兴?”他不愧是学者,要比其他爱国网民渊博,引经据典地论证暴力爱国的正当性。他说:“中国人的祖先曾经说过:”明犯强汉者,虽远必诛‘。这句话放在现在是什么意思?就是说,不要说你一个小小的美国流氓,就是你美国总统,如果冒犯了中国人,你就是跑到天涯海角,我们也要把你追上诛杀。“虽然”我们现在确实还弱,确实还做不到我们祖先做得到的事。但我想,二十年吧,二十年,我们肯定可以做得到。这个美国流氓深知现在这个软弱的中国,但他还是知道得太少,他不知道,中华祖先最高贵的血仍旧流淌在我和像我这样的中国人的血管中,所以,历史必定还会回到那么一天:明犯强汉者,虽远必诛。“

流氓爱国主义很阴险,善于利用媒体制造“汉奸”,即便完全不是理由的理由,也可以作为借口进行恶意陷害,因为国人的道德杀手锏是:爱国不需要理由。最近,又有一则演艺界的汉奸新闻轰动全国。一向爱国的著名演员姜文,被天津一家小报制造成准汉奸,理由是:他在拍摄抗战影片《鬼子来了》期间,曾经去过日本的靖国神社。制造者根本不管中国人可不可以去靖国神社,姜文去干什么(收集素材或看樱花),只要有去过,足矣!因为现在的中国,爱国主义是绝对的政治正确和道德权威,汉奸的恶名对一个人的抹黑,远比桃色绯闻更有效。如果一个社会名流沾上汉奸之嫌,必然是全国共讨之。

姜文受恶意诬陷的遭遇就是赵薇蒙辱的翻版。事件的制造者和愤怒声讨者,根本不管赵薇是否知情、穿这套服装干什么,更不会顾及赵薇的个人权利和名誉。只要穿了,就足以证明她是汉奸是卖国贼是小日本的艺妓,就应该被诅咒被打杀被强奸被挖祖坟……赵薇在全国性的大批判和大咒骂的压力下,最后不得不出面道歉。

可怕的是,对赵薇的大批判大诅咒并非官方授意,而完全是自发地来自民间,并大批社会精英参与其中。民间多数所形成舆论暴政把完全无罪者送上了道德法庭,逼迫受害者赵薇不得不“低头认罪”,向广大爱国者道歉——包括那些用屠夫语言砍杀她、用污言秽语强奸她的爱国者。而以爱国之名发动的舆论暴政,离肢体暴行只有一步之遥,甚至已经有人开始向赵薇泼粪了。同样,以爱国之名煽动起的好战民意,离真正的战争也并不遥远。

(六)好战爱国主义有违世界潮流

二战后,人权至上与和平主义逐渐成为人类的主流价值,经济自由化和政治民主化也为历史大势。德国和日本经历过二战大败的耻辱,但二者重新崛起靠的不是好战的民族主义,而是政治民主化和自由经济的成绩。台湾创造的举世瞩目的发展奇迹,靠的也不是蒋介石反攻大陆的决心,而是放弃武力反攻的国策,促成社会制度的自由化民主化。改革以来的中国有了较大的发展,靠的也是经济的渐进自由化与和平的国内外环境,而限制中国进一步发展的最大阻碍和可能使中国走向崩溃的危险,第一是独裁制度,第二是由独裁制度煽动起来的狂热爱国主义。

凡独裁者皆是口头上高唱和平,而实际的夺权及其统治经验却让他们在骨子里崇拜暴力。按照弱肉强食的丛林规则和成王败寇的暴力逻辑,打败了蒋介石的毛泽东无疑是中国人的英雄,正如马背上挥舞砍刀的成吉思汗、企图武力征服世界的拿破仑和希特勒、建立大东亚共荣圈的天皇……一样。但是,在人类经历过“人对人是狼”的野蛮厮杀的暴力关系之后,世界便走向“人对人是人”的互爱互助的契约关系。人类反抗不公正秩序的方式由暴力夺权转向非暴力反抗,民族矛盾的解决也由武力决胜负转向政治谈判或全民公决等和平方式。

在这样的时代,真正的英雄再不是炫耀武力者,更不是靠暴力维持专制制度的强权者,而是以柔克刚的圣雄甘地和民权领袖马丁·路德·金,二人以生命为代价践行非暴力主义的伟大人格,成为和平主义的典范。还有那些得到最高荣誉诺贝尔和平奖的政治家,要么以和平方式结束武力对峙和平息暴力冲突的人,要么是一贯坚持对暴政的非暴力反抗的人(如昂山素季)。许多过去的暴力崇拜者也在主流文明的感召和压力之下,放弃暴力斗争而转向和平进程,南非的曼德拉和巴解主席阿拉法特最具代表性。

二战后,另一个引人注目的事实是:民主制度自由社会热爱和平,专制制度奴役社会热衷战争。众所周知,发动第二次世界大战的是法西斯的德国、意大利和军国主义的日本。二战后的大多数局部战争都是不把人当人的独裁者发动的。当全世界大都在新的和平中重建家园之时,极权者的称霸野心却挑起了诸多非正义的局部战争,国共两党展开了远比抗日战争更残酷更具破坏性的内战,金日成挑起的朝鲜战争,胡志明挑起了越战,苏联入侵阿富汗,萨达姆侵略科威特。

也许,国人感觉到美国对中国的围堵,并非凭空猜测。因为当两大制度的对抗结束之后,中国已经成为世界上仅存的独裁大国,在冷战遗留的制度对抗中,美中之间的制度冲突无疑是其关节点。美国的人权外交的主要监控对象无疑是中共政权,中共政权反对和平演变的主要目标也只能是美国。因此,解开台海僵局和摆脱国际孤立的最好办法,绝非独裁制度下的逞强好胜的战争叫嚣,而是放弃一党独裁制度。从两次世界大战和二战后的无数次局部战争的经验教训中,世界上的主流国家相信:一个人口众多且日益强大的独裁政权,一个可以在和平时期对手无寸铁的国民进行疯狂大屠杀的政府,将对未来的世界和平构成主要威胁。何况,还有随时可能爆发的台海危机!

台海危机之所以一直存在,就在于大陆的独裁制度一直存在。在毛泽东和蒋介石这两个独裁者当政的年代,一个决心武力解放台湾,一个决心武力反攻大陆,只是由于现实的力所不及和主流社会的干预,台海才没有变成由权力野心和暴力崇拜制造的血海。现在的两岸政权,一个仍然是一党独裁,自认为是全中国唯一合法政府,台湾只是一个地方政权,所以依靠地大人多经济总量大并以武力威慑为后盾,企图逼迫台湾接受“一个中国”的谈判前提和“一国两制”的统一模式;一个是完成了政党轮替的自由制度,认为自己是民选的合法政府,是事实上的主权独立的国家,不屈从一个中国、一国两制和武力威慑,而主张无任何先决条件的对等谈判与民主的和平统一。换言之,当台湾成为自由社会之后,两岸冲突早已不是历史遗留的两个政权的对峙,而是当下的两种制度的较量,是二千三百万人民的自决权利和中共的专制强权之间的对峙。而独裁者不放弃武力并向民众灌输“仇恨理论”、“敌人意识”和“武力崇拜”的最方便的借口,就是把自由与独裁的制度冲突转化为统一和分裂的民族冲突。

有人说,台湾的和平姿态是由于现实的力量对比过于悬殊所致。但是我认为,这只是一个方面。更重要的是台湾已经是自由社会,即便实力与大陆相当或比大陆强大,也决不会主动进行武力威慑和挑衅。作为对比,蒋介石独裁时代的台湾,实力也远不如大陆,但是他从没有放弃武力反攻大陆的国策。再看南北韩,南韩的实力远远超过北韩,但主动伸出和平橄榄枝的和首先提出“阳光政策”的,总是民选总统金大中,而独裁者金正日则不顾老百姓的死活,以反美为借口而一味宣扬“军事立国”的主体思想,不断为南北韩的和平统一制造障碍。2000多万人口的小国竟养活了120万军队,这样的国家在当今世界上肯定是邪恶之最。

暴力崇拜是人类由文明向野蛮的倒退,这种返祖现象与制度的野蛮成正比,越是野蛮的独裁制度就越崇拜暴力。近代以来,暴力崇拜在每个大的历史时段中都会找到一种合理性借口:殖民主义时代的暴力崇拜被西方的扩张欲望合理化,二战时代的暴力崇拜被法西斯主义合理化,冷战时代的暴力崇拜被共产主义大同理想合理化,后冷战时代的暴力崇拜被极端民族主义合理化。在自由民主与和平发展成为主流趋势的新世纪,无论是伊斯兰原教旨主义的恐怖主义圣战,还是专制制度对政治民主化的拒绝,民族主义皆成为暴力崇拜的堂皇借口。

尽管在世界局势变化的压力下,在实力的悬殊对比的现实面前,中共政权不得不用“和平与发展”来定义世界潮流,但是,只要中共仍然拒绝政治民主化,它就决不会放弃枪杆子崇拜的野蛮意识形态。何况,在帝制皇权和共产极权的暴政下生活了几千年的大陆人,身体里遗传着难以清除的暴力崇拜的毒素。只要独裁制度存在一天,这种毒素就一天不会被清除,爱国就一直是纵容全社会好战情绪的借口,随时可能爆发出一股野蛮的现实力量。当狭隘的民族主义价值超越了普世的自由主义价值而具有了压倒性的民意支持时,爱国就等于给强权暴政、炫耀武力和人性的残忍下流提供辩护。

尽管现在的中国还远不具有可以抗衡美国的实力,也谈不上二十年后发展成称霸世界的第一强国,但令人忧虑的是:在民族心理上,当下的中国,正在独裁制度的胁迫下向着好战化流氓化的爱国主义狂奔,被误导被纵容的民族主义已经陷于泯灭普世价值和丧失理智的盲目狂热之中,这就为将来的武力称霸准备好了可怕的天下意识和无赖心态。而无论在漫长的帝制时代还是在中共独裁的当代,虚幻而不义的“天下意识”和“无赖心态”带给中国的,从来不是和平、成功、荣誉和健全的人性及社会,而只有鲜血、失败、废墟、耻辱、人性荒芜和社会衰败!

2002年7月10日于北京家中