Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article: A1289-W905

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号:A1289-W905

Release Date: May 9, 2020

发布日:202059

Topic: The Experience and Lessons of the May 4th Movement in China (Part 1) -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:五四运动的经验与教训(之一) -- 魏京生

 

Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)

此号以中文为准(英文在前,中文在后)

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The Experience and Lessons of the May 4th Movement in China (Part 1)

-- Wei Jingsheng

 

 

It has been more than a year since the 100th anniversary of the May 4th Movement in China. I thought there would be some significant reviews and comments that can be thought-provoking. Unfortunately, under the high-pressure policy of Xi Jinping's regime, there was no one who dared to speak out, which is really unusual. This day that has had a decisive influence on modern China that was marked as a festival, seems to have been forgotten. Maybe even the Chinese Communist regime feels embarrassed by themselves, so it imitated the popular chicken soup for the soul model on the Internet, and made a video to fool the people. If it was done so 50 or 60 years ago, many people could have been fooled, but it could only make people feel sick today.

 

In fact, in the past more than one decade, many thoughtful people have made some truthful and sincere reviews and comments about the May 4th Movement in China. The so-called May 4th Movement did not begin exactly in 1919, but was from the 19th century when the new ideas from the West were introduced. At that time, although China had wealth it was not strong, so it was repeatedly defeated by Western powers. From the introduction of the advanced science of the West, to the introduction of advanced culture of the West, and even the introduction of advanced ideology and political systems of the West, China reached two climaxes which were the 1911 Revolution and the May 4th Movement.

 

The reason that the 1911 Revolution successfully won the support of the whole country shows that it was not accidental. Instead, the Chinese people had accepted the ideas of science and democracy, abandoned the traditional monarchical thought of more than two thousand years, and became the first democratic country after the West. Unfortunately, the establishment of democracy in such a large country could not succeed overnight. The new system was still in a fragile shedding period and was collectively insulted by the Western countries.

 

Even though a victorious country in World War I, China actually ceded its land like a defeated country. Instead, Qingdao, the German colony in China, was awarded to Japan -- a country which did not work to win the war except to give its name. This huge insult and the unfairness from the great powers aroused great anger from the Chinese. If it was the time of the emperor's autocracy, with the common people being utterly muddled, it would be normal to cede the land. Ceding the land had happened many times in the past thousand years of the Chinese history.

 

However, the modern Chinese who had accepted new ideas and new culture could no longer accept such injustice and insult. Therefore, the Beiyang government, which was weak and did not dare to offend the powers, became the object of hate. This is the social ideological basis for the May 4th Movement. Of course, for the then Chinese intellectual community, which worshiped the West and didnt dare to offend the West, they could only offend the Chinese government instead of the powers it admired. The Communist leader Mao Zedongs complaint that teachers always bully on their students, was about this dare to think yet dare not to express mentality which was common among Chinese intellectuals at that time.

Yet several decades later, these good students of the West always claimed that the failure of the May 4th Movement was because the goal to save China overwhelmed the goal of democracy. This sophistry is really perfect. Shouldn't one voice outrage if one got insulted? Didn't the Beiyang government fight with its reasons? Would it have been possible to change the unfair attitude of the powers if the Chinese national salvation movement was aimed at the unfairness of these powers? And if it was strongly demanded that the unequal treaties of the powers be abolished and to take back the illegal interests in China from these powers, instead of burning the Mansion of the Zhao Family (where a puppet of Japan lived)? Similar retributions were accomplished by countries like France and Poland after World War II. In fact, the contributions to win WWII from these two countries were not as much as the contributions that the Beiyang government made towards the winning of WWI. After all, France during WWII was not even stronger than China during WWI.

 

The Beiyang government had already lost popular support. The encouragement of the New Culture movement prompted the second revolution by Sun Yat-sen, who established the Republic of China. Regrettably, the Western powers did not like the national government that defended Chinese rights, and they preferred the Beiyang government that defended unequal treaties. They did not support Sun Yat-sen's democratic revolution. Instead, the Soviet Union took the opportunity and gave the Chinese national government great support with its own secret plan to strengthen the power of the Communist alliance, which instilled hidden dangers for China for the future.

In fact, the Soviet Union already had an assessment of China at that time, and Stalin believed that China, with a deep-rooted private economy, was not suitable for the communist revolution. It was only after 20 years when China was scorched by the wars that changed Stalin s decision and won a big Communist country of China.

 

(This English version is translated by Ciping HUANG, without any compensation. Wei Jingsheng and the Wei Jingsheng Foundation appreciate her decades of contribution, especially for allowing the use and distribution of her translations of these commentaries.)

 

Original link of the commentary broadcasted by Radio Free Asia:

https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/pinglun/weijingsheng/wjs-05082020085613.html

 

To hear Mr. Wei Jingsheng's related commentary, please visit:

http://www.weijingsheng.org/RFA/RFA2020/WeiJS200507onMay4Movement.mp3

(Written and recorded on May 7, 2020. Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia on May 8, 2020.)

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中文版

Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article: A1289-W905

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号:A1289-W905

Release Date: May 9, 2020

发布日:202059

Topic: The Experience and Lessons of the May 4th Movement in China (Part 1) -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:五四运动的经验与教训(之一) -- 魏京生

 

Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)

此号以中文为准(英文在前,中文在后)

 

如有中文乱码问题,请与我们联系或访问:

http://www.weijingsheng.org/report/report2020/report2020-05/WeiJS200509onMay4MovementA1289-W905.htm

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五四运动的经验与教训(之一)

-- 魏京生

 

 

五四运动一百周年到现在一年多了。我以为会有一些有份量的回顾与评论,可以发人深省。很遗憾,在习近平政权的高压政策下,居然一反常态没人敢发声,万马齐喑。这个对中国现代具有决定性影响的节日,好像被忘记了。可能中共自己也觉得不好意思了吧,模仿网上流行的心灵鸡汤的模式,搞了一个大忽悠的视频。放在五六十年前,还能忽悠不少人,放在今天只能让人恶心。

 

其实最近十几年来,有不少有心人对五四运动做了真实诚恳的回顾与评论。所谓的五四运动,并不是从一九一九年开始的,而是从十九世纪自西方引进新思想开始的。那时中国虽富但不强,屡屡败于西方强国。从引进西方先进的科学,到引进西方先进的文化,直到引进西方先进的思想和政治制度,最终达到的两个高潮,就是辛亥革命和五四运动。

 

辛亥革命之所以能够成功地得到全国的支持,说明它不是偶然的。而是中国人已经接受了科学与民主的思想,抛弃了两千多年传统的帝制思想,成了除西方以外的第一个民主政权。遗憾的是,在这样大的国家中建立民主,不是一朝一夕就能成功的。在新的体制还处于脆弱的蛻壳期,遭到了西方国家集体的侮辱。

 

作为第一次世界大战的战胜国,中国居然像战败国一样割地赔款。在战争中出工不出力的日本,居然获得了战败国在中国的殖民地青岛。这个巨大的侮辱和列强的不公平,激起了中国人极大的愤怒。如果是皇帝专制时代,老百姓浑浑噩噩,割地再正常不过了,几千年来不知发生过多少次了。

 

可是已经接受了新思想新文化的现代中国人,已经不能接受这样的不公平和侮辱了。处于蛻壳期虚弱的不敢得罪列强的北洋政府,就成为人们痛恨的对象。这就是五四运动爆发的社会思想基础。当然,崇拜西方也不敢得罪西方的知识界,就只能得罪中国政府,而不敢得罪他们自己崇拜吹捧的列强。毛泽东说的老师总是欺负学生,就是那个时代知识分子普遍的,可是敢想不敢说的心态。

 

这些西方的好学生们,几十年后总结五四运动总是说;之所以失败是救亡压倒了民主。这诡辩真是炉火纯青。难道被侮辱了就不该发声吗?难道北洋政府没有据理力争吗?试想,如果当时的救亡运动目标对准列强的不公平;如果不是去火烧赵家楼,而是强烈要求废除列强的不平等条约,收回列强的非法在华利益,有没有可能改变列强的不公平态度呢?二次大战后的法国和波兰等国就做到了,法国和波兰对二战的贡献不比北洋政府多,二战时的法国也不比当时一战时的中国强。

 

北洋政府已经失去了民心。不甘寂寞的新文化促使下,爆发了孙中山的第二次革命。再次遗憾的是,列强不喜欢维护中国权利的国民政府,更喜欢维护不平等条约的北洋政府。没有人支持孙中山的民主革命。倒是苏联看到了机会,给予国民政府大力支持;同时夹带私货,借机壮大了共产党的实力,为今后的中国埋下了隐患。

 

其实当时苏联已经对中国有了评估,斯大林认为私有经济根深蒂固的中国不适合共产主义革命。只是二十年后中国被战争搞得焦头烂额,才改变了斯大林的决定,获得了一个共产党大国。

 

 

(本评论的英文版本由黄慈萍翻译。魏京生和魏京生基金会感谢她数十年来有关的无偿贡献,特别是使用和发布此译文的许可。)

 

本篇评论在自由亚洲电台的原始链接:

https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/pinglun/weijingsheng/wjs-05082020085613.html

 

相关录音:

http://www.weijingsheng.org/RFA/RFA2020/WeiJS200507onMay4Movement.mp3

 

(撰写并录音于202057日。自由亚洲电台202058日播出。)

 

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