Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article: A1290-W906

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号:A1290-W906

Release Date: May 16, 2020

发布日:2020516

Topic: The Experiences and Lessons of the May 4th Movement in China (Part 2) -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:五四运动的经验与教训(之二) -- 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 Experiences and Lessons of the May 4th Movement in China (Part 2)

-- Wei Jingsheng

 

 

After my previous commentary "The Experiences and Lessons of the May 4th Movement (part 1)" was published, I saw many sincere comments on Twitter. Some comments give me the sense that the materials used are still derived from the historical education of the Chinese Communist Regime. From the Communist era in Yan'an, Mao Zedong paid great attention to making up history to control people's thinking. This was precisely due to the inspiration from the May 4th Movement. This work of fabricating history also started with the May Fourth Movement, or the New Culture Movement. By the way, this trend of learning from the West has many kinds of expression. The modern convention is from the Westernization Movement to the May 4th Movement, including the New Culture Movement.

 

The Westernization Movement was mainly to learn Western science and technology, with the goal of enriching the country and strengthening the military. But the richest country in the world that could buy one of the most powerful navies in the Pacific in a short time still lost its battles against the weak soldiers of a small Japan. This problem stimulated enthusiasm for learning Western ideas and systems. Thus the gestation period of the May 4th Movement, or the New Culture Movement, began.

 

Science has relatively rigid concepts and indicators, and it is not easy to lose shape after learning. The movement to learn science has continued in China until now, with few deviations and counter-currents. The practicality of science is required by any social system. From the most authoritarian to the most free system, they all need science and technology to maintain production and life. Yet thoughts and systems are relatively vague and without so-called hard indicators. Unless there are consequences, there is also no hard evidence to distinguish them from good or bad.

 

There is also an accidental reason that the most active and largest group who studied the ideas and systems were students who studied overseas. Yet they are scholars from the classroom to the dormitory, without an understanding of the society. They only obtain ideas and systems from books, thus it is hard to avoid their understanding being inevitably biased. Further, those who tend to be most interested in the more fashionable tend to deviate from the essence to a greater extent. This is a common phenomenon in the third world countries where foreign students establish democracy. I remember watching Ma Ying-jeou (former President of the Republic of China) sending police to rescue domestic cats in the trees on Taiwan TV.

 

The advocates of ideological and institutional reforms at that time mostly were fashioned by studying from Japan. Most important Chinese revolutionary leaders were also mostly students and scholars who studied in Japan. The most extreme Complete Westernization faction among the Chinese secessionist groups that wanted to depart from Asia to join Europe that were imported from Japan lead to one of the most important ideological trends during the May 4th Movement. As Mao Zedong said: a blank paper can draw the most beautiful painting. This is the common perception of Chinese public intellectuals during that period.

 

In order to corroborate the theories they had copied from the West, these intellectuals even fabricated a so-called feudal society for China, which still guides the thinking pattern of the Chinese intellectual community today. A major feature of this book-copying revolution was that it did not look at social reality and did not know the reasons for the systems of various countries, and only chose the direction of revolution from the written description. Therefore, communism, which was described in a tumultuous excitement, became the first choice of the radical revolutionary youths of that era.

 

The burning of the Mansion of the Zhao Family on May 4th was a masterpiece of radical youths of that era, and also a turning point for the entire movement of learning from the West. Smashing Chinese culture completely and introducing Western culture thoroughly became the mainstream of people's thoughts after that. The Cultural Revolution in China, from its name to its action, is the continuation and expansion of thoughts and behaviors of that era. It can be said that when the May 4th Movement is narrowly defined, it is the beginning of China's erroneous learning from the West.

 

There were two main factions in China at that time: the pro-Europe/American faction and the pro-Soviet fraction. These two factions had been greatly developed and balanced in the Guangzhou government and the Huangpu Military Academy that were supported by the Soviet Union. Stalin's assessment was actually right: In China, a country of more than two thousand years of market economy, the basis of the communist revolution was very weak. During the Northern Expedition War and the competition followed, the pro-Soviet faction clearly failed to gain the support of the broad masses in China, and quickly was defeated. Without the help of playboy Zhang Xueliang, it was almost wiped out.

 

However, under the guidance of the distorted New Cultural Movement in China, it was still very easy for young people to accept the big lie of Communism. This is why Mao Zedong paid great attention to re-making history during the Yan'an era. Thought is the basis for guiding social action. History is the material for people to think about issues. Making up history or misinterpreting history is the most effective way to mislead the whole society. Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party deserve the title as a group of well-thought-out scammers. However, in the other direction, who deceived them? Then we come to the main experiences and lessons of that era.

 

(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-05152020091336.html

 

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

http://www.weijingsheng.org/RFA/RFA2020/WeiJS200514onMay4Movement2.mp3

(Written and recorded on May 14, 2020. Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia on May 15, 2020.)

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中文版

Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article: A1290-W906

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号:A1290-W906

Release Date: May 16, 2020

发布日:2020516

Topic: The Experiences and Lessons of the May 4th Movement in China (Part 2) -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:五四运动的经验与教训(之二) -- 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/WeiJS200516onMay4Movement2A1290-W906.htm

 

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五四运动的经验与教训(之二)

n  魏京生

 

上一篇《五四运动的经验与教训》发出之后,在推特上看到不少诚恳的评论。有些评论给我的感觉,所使用的资料还是从共产党的历史教育中得来的。毛泽东从延安时期就很重视编造历史来控制人们的思考,这恰恰就是从五四运动得到的启发。而这种编造历史的工作,也是从五四运动,或者说新文化运动开始的。顺便解释一下:这场学习西方的潮流有很多种说法,现代约定俗成的说法,是从洋务运动到五四运动,包括新文化运动。

洋务运动主要是学习西方的科学技术,以富国强兵为目标。可是一个世界首富,花钱在短时间就可以买来一个太平洋上最强大的海军,仍然败在小国弱兵的日本手下。这激发了学习西方思想和制度的热情。这就是五四运动,或者说新文化运动的酝酿期。

科学有比较硬性的概念和指标,学习起来不太容易走样。这场学习科学的运动一直持续到现在,很少出现偏差和逆流。科学的实用性是任何制度都需要的,从最专制到最自由的制度,都需要科学技术来维持生产和生活。而思想和制度就比较模糊了,没有所谓硬性的指标,除非造成了后果,也没有什么确凿的证据分别它们的好坏。

还有一个偶然的原因,就是学习思想和制度最积极也最庞大的一批留学生,是从教室到宿舍的书生。并不了解社会。他们只从书本上获取思想和制度,理解难免偏颇。而且倾向于最感兴趣的都比较时髦,较大程度偏离了本质。这在留学生建立民主的第三世界各国中是个普遍现象。记得在台湾电视里看着马英九派警察营救树上的家猫,就是这种赶时髦的代表作。

那个时代思想和制度改革的鼓吹者们,大多是学习日本的时髦。重要的革命领袖们,也大多是留学日本的学生学者。从日本引进的脱亚入欧派别中最极端的全盘西化派,成了五四运动期间最重要的思想潮流之一。如毛泽东所说的:一张白纸可以画最美的图画。这是这个时期中国公共知识分子们的普遍认知。

为了印证他们从西方抄书得来的理论,甚至给中国编造了一个所谓的封建社会,至今引导着中国知识界的思维模式。而抄书革命的一大特点,就是不看社会现实,不知道各国制度的所以然,只从书面描述来选择革命的方向。于是说得天花乱坠的共产主义,就成为那个时代激进革命青年们的首选。

五四火烧赵家楼,是那个年代激进青年的代表作,也是整个学习西方运动的转折点。彻底砸烂中国文化,彻底引进西方文化成为那之后人们思考的主流。中国的文化大革命从名称到行动,都是那个时代思想和行为的延续和扩张。可以说,狭义的五四运动,就是中国学习西方走向歧途的开始。

最主要的两派,是模仿欧美派和模仿苏联派。这两派在苏联支持的广州政府和黄埔军校里,得到了极大的发展和平衡。斯大林的评价其实不错:在中国这个两千多年市场经济的国家里,共产主义革命的基础十分薄弱。在北伐战争以及之后的竞争里,亲苏派明显得不到广大人民的支持,很快败下阵来。如果没有花花公子张学良的帮助,几乎被消灭殆尽。

但是在被扭曲的新文化运动引导下,青年们还是很容易接受共产主义大忽悠。这也是为什么毛泽东在延安时期就很重视编造历史的原因。思想是引导社会行动的根本,历史是人们思考问题的素材,编造历史或者曲解历史,是误导整个社会的最有效手段。说毛泽东和共产党是一帮深思熟虑的骗子,应该是实至名归。但他们又是被谁骗了呢?这才是那个时代的主要经验教训。

 

 

(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-05152020091336.html

 

相关录音:

http://www.weijingsheng.org/RFA/RFA2020/WeiJS200514onMay4Movement2.mp3

 

(撰写并录音于2020514日。自由亚洲电台2020515日播出。)

 

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