de vette jaren

Heard a new book called “The Fat Years: China, 2013.” 听说有本新书叫《盛世–中国,2013》

The book is in Chinese. It has been published in HK (and will not be published in mainland China), though I have not read it. I read a review about it. So my comments are actually comments about some comments, therefore need to put a caveat here. I might have taken the view of the book out of context. Anyway, the review compares the book with George Owell’s “1984”, and quoted the “newspeak” from this book (see below). I found the some of the “newspeak” rather disappointing.

For an example, “a state regulated market economy” (OK, this is my own translation. Down below shows the review’s translation, where they used “controlled”, not “regulated”. I think mine is closer to the original Chinese.). Amidst the global depression, this Keynesian wisdom has acquired renewed significance, not some laughable oxymoron.

And in my humble opinion, “post-Western, post-universal-value ideology” could be something great. It could very well be socialist democracy (liberal democratic electoral politics with socialist distributional justice) under a healthy dynamic combination of Eastern Confucius ethics and Western liberal values. I want to point out here that the so-called “universal values” in our current discourse is dominated by Western values. If “post-universal-values” mean a healthy dialog/dynamics between the Eastern and Western values, I am all for it.

Other “newspeak” here, for the sake of being a devil’s advocate, I can find them defendable as well. Another time the. Too busy today. Maybe another blog. But of course, I really need to read the original book first….

香港已经出版了,我还没有买到。我看到一篇书评,对其中的一段很感兴趣。所以我这里的评判也很可能有失公允。该书评那这本书和《1984》比较。发现关于“新论调” (newspeak) 的说法有异曲同工之妙 (见下)。几年前的我可能会对这种奥威尔式的讽刺拍案叫绝。 今天的我反倒会为一些被讽理念辩护,并会自然对该书作者的东施效颦有些失望。

如“国家调控的市场经济”, 这典型的凯恩斯主义,在2008金融危机的余波中以成为共识,并非newspeak式的颠倒黑白。

再如“后西方后普世的主体思想” 也没有什么自相矛盾的。我个人认为,如果能将自由主义的选举政治和社会主义的分配正义结合作为一种政体,并在东方儒家伦理和西方自由主义价值体系健康互动的一种文化思想下生活,这个地球就有救了。当前所谓的“普世价值”就是西方的价值占主体。如果“后普世价值”能在东西方价值体系的良性互动下产生和发展,我心甘情愿地要“后普世价值”。




In 2013, so the book describes, China will also promote a set of national strategies, summarized in 10 points:

1. 一党领导的民主专政;
2. 稳定第一的依法治国;
3. 执政为民的威权政府;
4. 国家调控的市场经济;
5. 央企主导的公平竞争;
6. 中国特色的科学发展;
7. 以我为主的和谐外交;
8. 单民族主权的多族群共和;
9. 后西方后普世的主体思想;
10. 中华文明举世无双的民族复兴

1. Democratic dictatorship under one-party rule;
2. Rule-of-law with stability as top priority;
3. An authoritarian government which rules for the people;
4. A state-controlled market economy;
5. Fair competition dominated by state-owned enterprises;
6. Scientific development with Chinese characteristics;
7. A self-centered harmonious foreign diplomacy;
8. A single-ethnicity sovereignty with multiple ethnicities;
9. Post-western and post-universal values;
10. Renaissance of the matchless Chinese culture

This is reminiscent of ‘Newspeak’, which Liang Wendao (梁文道) commented:


Seems there is nothing special about them, but on closer look, each point is contradictory with itself. If it is state-owned enterprises dominated, how can it be fair? If it is scientific, how can it be Chinese? But never mind, in time these contradictory words will all be unified. After a while, people will become more familiar with them, wouldn’t they? By that time, the so-called issues of human rights and freedom will become unimportant.



About leveninhetnu

Family harmony cultivates success.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: 徽标

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  更改 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  更改 )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  更改 )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  更改 )

Connecting to %s