Thursday, April 19, 2007

自思民主 (2) - 利益和承擔

本篇承接首篇論述民主的平庸本質,有幸得到眾多網友引導,於是才能讓自己再深入思考民主本質多一點。(查實AK兄,香水姐姐以及不敗的魔術師,都已經為 CM 代言了。如今只能拾人牙慧。並多謝棉花妹妹清晰了 CM 的思路)


很多人看到台灣選舉和官員議事有黑金、有打鬧、有謊言,就指出台灣對於民主是一個失敗的例子。

可是,我從不認為台灣是一個失敗的民主社會。

從來民主滲透每個角落,有人的地方,就有民主的“特質”,不論所屬社會被歸類作什麼“主義”。極權國家中,人民也有民主的特質。

個人認為要靠制度去維持民主選舉或保護這民主本質,是徒勞的,甚至是荒謬的。因為,有什麼樣的人民,就有什麼樣的民主制度。

若人民支持集體利益高於個人利益,便會支持社會主義。也就是說,社會主義是人民擁戴出來的,是民主選出來的主義。從這個形式上看,社會主義制度,只是另一種民主制度。相反來說,社會主義亦滲透每個所謂民主社會。唯一的分野,只是滲透程度和主流意識罷了。

我是既得利益者

有人舉例:

於某家庭,父親說一就一,子女不能反抗,這樣就不是民主了。是嗎?不是民主嗎?其實應該仍然是民主的,只是子女們自己選擇了不反抗,繼續默許父親的權威,那似乎絕對是民主的結果。

民主的本質,或許,從來都與公開不公開沾不上邊的。也或許,便衍生出透明度作為進步的民主社會的附加條件。

子女不反抗的原因,也是為了自己的利益:

有的怕父親動武;
有的怕打擊家庭和諧,自己會失去關係或依靠;
有的怕失去父親信任,自己會失去繼承家產的權利;
有的怕父親發怒,傷害自己心愛的;
有的知道父親年事已高,小事就順他吧,自己沒有多大的損失;
有的認為父親的意見永遠是對的,為何不接受?

以上這些子女,就是民主的共同決定,甚至可悲地 Secret Ballot 的另一種形式。

然後有些決定改變:

有的嘗試改變父親的想法,留在父親身邊勸諫;
有的拉攏兄弟姐妹支持,一同進行集體談判;
有的進行反抗,離開這個家庭去建立自己的家庭。

共同的敵人,以致共同的利益,就是民主的開始。

以票數多寡作決策的方式,其實亦存在於專權社會。只是“專權”一詞,由“說話”賦予,而“民主”一詞,則由“法律”賦予,但兩者仍然是要求少數服從多數..... 雖然,只在服從的行為上,而非心理上。

也就是說,子女其實接受了父親,也與其他兄弟姐妹一同給予民主的決策,一同投票。縱使反抗,然後建立自己的家庭,都只是希望自己的意見能夠被採納,能夠被接受。假若父親接受自己,何須反抗?然後聲稱這個家不民主?

倘若民主反映個人利益的追求。民主,也就建基於利益之上。而亦因為對於利益有所追求,人,亦會選擇推卸責任,要求其他人為自己謀利益。自主,也就開始讓位。


自主的承擔

自思後覺得,民主制度,不能共患難,只能共富貴。

人,有惰性,有推卸責任的天性。於患難中,民主必定衰落。因為人民將自願地,一致地交出權力,任憑領導者自由發揮。因此,行軍只有聽令,不能投票。

況且,民主的另一個名字叫權力下放。但承擔,不是天性。


何以放棄自主

金管局所管理的外匯基金,被不少人批評投資策略過於保守,回報遠遜大市,然後有民主選出的議員要求更改策略,提高回報。

可是,平庸本是民主的本質,賦予金管局權利進行更高風險的投資,實與此本質背道而馳。

亦反映下放了給人民的權力,一旦轉回當政者(金管局)的時候,其實亦表現出人民對更好生活的要求(或反映出不滿現狀),從而放棄自主的權力,期望當政者能為自己謀幸福。但若當政者按照定下來的規則,仍然達不到人民的要求後,便只批評指責,只有result-oriented 的要求,沒有思想過 result 如何達到。你亦可以說,人民就是不想承擔後果。

類似情況,妄把各種檢舉的權力(例如違法擺賣、禁煙、亂抛垃圾等)交給未曾受過足夠紀律訓練或處理爭執的人員(例如食物環境保護署)身上,也反映人民拒絕承擔,妄顧人性法則(或淺至HR法則),其結果便是:

人越不滿現狀(指責人家檢舉不力);便越上繳自己權力(進一步加重罰則或加強前線人員檢控力度);情況便越再令人不滿(責任被加重的人員遇到越多衝突,讓人民越發不滿其表現)....

直至,有位肯承擔責任的領導者站出來改革,把責任交回人民。

既然已經自主了,便擁有責任。不想承擔責任,便會放棄自主。

通過推卸責任,不能達到“進步”的目的,因為學習是自身的,欠缺承擔,不會學到任何有價值的東西。反之而言,民主的兔子,或許會有傾向要求護兔,即,放棄學習。

某美國上市公司,全體企業人員都是民主投票選出來的,新人也是所有舊員工投票出來的。或許有人見到共同承擔,但是,這種承擔,個人主觀地認為只是現在的。倘若企業遇到風浪、經濟衰退、甚至連年業績的下跌,除非大部分人都願意承擔,否則,此公司的管理架構亦將隨之轉型,企圖擺脫民主,然後一個循環,一同承擔極權下的結果。

相對英國的君權,或許早已經有名無實,但這個君權仍然是英國於危難時的依靠。這個國家,和平時,國會成了夏迎春,戰爭,使英女皇做了鍾無艷。

而有如此的台灣,原因可能是人民是非常願意承擔的。有或許,他們誤以為,民主,只是另一個製造新英雄的新伎倆。

始終,人,對於民主是矛盾的。

14 comments:

On Dog said...

CM兄:

Having just watch "300" by PPStream...

At that moment, in that country, even the king had to obey the laws, the council or even the oracle....even did not have the power to draw out the army to fight for that country... and of course, he died with his 300 heros honourably. So, what is "Demo"?

Every human being, every country, every tribe are different and should be adopted of different level or "demo" or "dictatorship" in order to reach a so called "perfect world".

CM, have nice day and enjoy this weekend!

C.M. said...

On:

It seems Sparta was just like nowadays UK. Monarchy is not divine. UK works under a Constitution.

Perfect world... a balanced world.

On, the same to you!

Samsara said...

台灣既民主:我覺得無咁簡單,要多d了解佢既歷史,社會結構同利益分配至得.

我之前睇左個台灣節目,解釋點解佢地咁熱心政治,一個好大既原因係,有好大既利益瓜葛.某政黨一當選,佢既支持者就會投到政府既工程,商人有生意,工人有工開,因為有切身利益既關係,所以所有人都好上心,金權糾纏不清.

民主,其實係有好多缺點既,吾可以用在所有組織.

吾夠效率係民主一個好大既問題,所以商界無民主既,反而有d好出名既一言堂.

比如Steve Jobs,佢話既事,無人可以反對,又,佢迫d人聖誕節都要做野,鬼佬既聖誕節既重要性等於我地既農曆新年...

C.M. said...

香水姐姐:

真係好多謝你。你讓小弟明瞭更多,也道出民主的利益背景。

站在遙遠的香港看台灣,總覺得臺灣民主制度好像比香港開放,但又比香港混亂;但某程度上,香港的政客,外表比較君子,但內裏喜歡擇惡固執(有人認為是虛偽)。

何以香港經常有一個這樣的態度認為:

少數的意見,就“一定”代表弱勢社群,總是要多數人遷就?如要民主,那為何要強制多數服從少數?

小弟鸚鵡學舌的說:護兔的民主是不合符天道的。

人文關懷,並不出於民主,乃出於自己。

暫時到了現階段,對於“沒有承擔文化的社會”,難以分享民主所帶來的好處。有什麼人,就有怎麼樣形式的民主社會。那決不是當地民主制度的錯。

(香水姐姐....)

samsara said...

CM哥哥,

我睇緊你介紹果本Bank to the Poor,好睇到我不顧頭暈,今朝在巴士都照睇.

感慨良多,睇完再分享.

謝謝推介.

C.M. said...

香水姐姐:

多謝你鍾意呢個介紹。或許係世界其他地方,Grameen Bank 可能用另一種形式存在或發展,但總希望 Yunus 同Grameen Bank 的發展經驗能夠發揚光大。

有時諗,可能有另一種新形式的政治“主義”誕生。(呢個亦係小弟現時對民主政制既“進一步”期望)

tinbin said...

DEar CM,

It is funny that you use a father-and-son relationship to compare with democracy. First of all, the government is NOT my father. it doesn't provide me anything or leave me any inheritance. But on the other hand, I am like other tax payers who pay our taxes. And you are right, sometimes the son/daughther won't argue with the father because they are afraid of him or the violence that may be used upon them. But why should I be afraid of our government? Do you think that it is normal that people should be afraid of their government? If people choose a government is because they are afraid of it, may be I am just too stupid, but I can hardly call this democracy.

You said that communism is also a form of democracy, which I found it even funnier than your example on democracy. Don't you know that all the communist countries in the world won't even let their people have the basic political rights to choose their government? You might say that even if the people are given the rights to choose, they would still choose the communist parties to run their countries (based on what you wrote in your article). This is probably true, but the people have to be at least given a choice first. As far as I know, all the countries of communism in the world today have never even given this choice to their people.

C.M. said...

Good questions, Tinbin!

*** On Democracy ***

What I believe is: the nature of democracy comes from AGREEMENT of the majority.

To certain extent, our government or our society is like our father in the way we are given "recognition" as a citizen with vested interests. There are laws we have to obey and if we don't, we may expect punishment.

In this sense, (to me) this father-and-son relationship helps us materialize some of our "vested interests".

Think twice. We do inherit something from our government.

It's "normal" for people to be afraid of the government. Have you ever heard of “生不入官門,死不入地獄”? This just reflects that people are afraid of the government. But! But, we "don't need" to be afraid, and particularly in Hong Kong. People are afraid of the government in the authoritarian world.

The nature of democracy exists in all governments, all societies and all forms of power. This is what I see. Perhaps this "nature" doesn't exist in the form of a ballot, but it does exist in everyone.

That's why people would struggle for democracy. If democracy doesn't exist among us, we won't struggle for it and don't have any way to see it and make it come true.

*** On Socialism ***

IF, and only IF, the nature of democracy comes from AGREEMENT of the majority, democracy exists in every socialist societies ---- because the majority creates this socialist societies.

Look at the ants. If you think ants are voluntary, they are true socialists (and perhaps communists too).

Only true democratics and TOTAL DEMOCRACY can build true communism and true socialism.

But the reality is, no democracy is total (i.e. perfect). That's why history tells YOU that no communist country has a sense of democracy.

To me, democracy exists in communist worlds. Try take a look at the history of Chinese Communist Party. Do you know that the early "constitution" of CCP does explicity include "democracy" in their pursuit for a better world?

What makes communism change is not the idea itself. It's the vested interest of the leaders that changed the idea - bend it and it blands.

People has the right to choose - just depends on if you want to choose or not.

Thanks, perhaps my article is funny, but to me, it's definitely not funny to be afraid of making choices.

tinbin said...

Dear CM,

Thanks for your response.

You gave your reasons why you believe that governments are like fathers to us, it seems to me that you believe in paternalism, e.g., the Singapore Government. I think we need not to discuss this matter any further as we have shown our differences.

Sorry, but after thinking twice, I still don't see we inherit anything from our government, because all the government's resources come from us, the people as a whole. The government basically have nothing to give if it is not for the people.

You mentioned "生不入官門,死不入地獄" in your reply. Well, this is an ANCIENT traditional chinese mindset. I don't think the educated people nowadays would have this kind of mindset. (I certainly am not afraid of the government.) Just like what you mentioned in your reply, in Hong Kong, we are not afraid of our government at all. My view is that only people under the sovereignty of totalitarian or authoritarian governments are afraid of their governments.

I can't agree with you that democracy exists in the communist worlds. You gave an example of the Chinese Communist Party's constitutions. saying that it does include democracy. But democracy is only written in the contitutions, it has never been realised. After more than 50 years, China are still being ruled under the totalitarianism of a single politic party.

Yes, you are right about "People has the right to choose - just depends on if you want to choose or not." But please at least give me the right to choose first, whether I want to choose or not is entirely up to me. Our right to choose should not be decided by our government, or in your words, our father.

Regards
tinbin

C.M. said...

Dear Tinbin,

Thanks very much. It seems you want to know more about C.M.!

Let's put it this way:

1. I don't believe in paternalistic government. (Curious how you get to this proposition. Come on, review what I have written!)

2. We are born naked, but we were given something for free since then. That's why I called it "inherited". (Well, you may disagree to this.)

3. In HK, we don't need to be afraid of the gov't (may I recall). But some people still are.

4. I agree with you that "people under the sovereignty of totalitarian or authoritarian governments are afraid of their governments", But I disgree to the word "only". Scare is a natural defence mechanism. Men are born to be given this defence mechanism. But men are also born to be given the choice to take the courage or not.

Tinbin, you are probably one that won't be afraid of anything. You are superman, but the majority is not. Look into the heart of other people. They do scare, even in HK.

5. It's good to hear you that you don't agree to me on democracy in communist worlds.

Well, I believe in it (and very much), because it is the agreement of the majority to pursue an ideal world - This agreement is the nature of democracy - this ideal world is communism.

Perhaps if I say "democracy initiates communism" may not be convincing to you. But I truly believe in it. Because it's the democracy that gathers people together and search for a new world. Communism is ideal. But since it is ideal, it can only be maintained by force.

Try! Try to take a look at that constitution again! Look at history! Perhaps you will be interested to see that those people are looking for democratic elections for their future communist world! Go take a look! They actually did it for awhile!

6. The right to choose ... again, I believe it is already in our hands, not in our government. Even if our government does not allow or doesn't give us such "rights". This rights still exist.

Perhaps I am not like someone. I am rebellious. I would disobey laws, I would disregard the given "rights" and fight for my own rights.

If the gov't is not going to give me my "deserved" rights, I would fight for it, die for it... and if finally I cannot succeed, I would choose to leave and find my own rights.

That's what I choose.

7. As I reflected, democracy is not what I fight for. I don't really much enjoy the agreement of the majority. And I don't want to be ruled by a single political party. That's why I choose to dwell in "that safe place".

8. Thanks Tinbin. You realy inspired me a lot.

tinbin said...

Dear CM,

Again thanks for your prompt reply. Here are my views responding to yours:

1. I thought you believe in paternalism because you used a father-and-son example to describe the relationship between governments and people. I personally think only people believe in paternalism would use such an example. Please accept my apology if I got you wrong.


2. Yes, we came to this world with nothing and were given what we needed by our families or our government if we can’t support ourselves. But like what I have said earlier, the resources of our government comes from the people, therefore I believe that there is no such thing as inheriting from the government.

3+4. Thank for your praise, but I am certainly no superman. I am afraid of a lot of things like getting fired, being ill or not picking up any lots from the next IPO (smile). But I believe that any honest law-abiding citizens in a free and democratic society should not and would not be afraid of their government. It is because the power of the government comes from the people, they can “legally overthrow” the government with general election if the government starting to put fear upon them.

5. Dear CM, I honestly believe you that the people who wrote the constitutions were looking for democracy at the beginning, but why don't we have democracy after more than 50 years? When someone get hold of the power, it is very hard to let go. Just like the old saying, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.


6. Good to hear that you would fight for what you believe and deserved!!

7. In your article, you are having doubt about what Mr AK said on democracy "是現有最優勝的選擇". May I also quote something said by Winston Churchill. “Democracy is the worst form of Government except all those others that have been tried from time to time.”

8. I would like to express my gratitude too. It is a pleasure talking to you. 

tinbin

C.M. said...

Dear Tinbin,

You are so analytical. What a fantastic gift!

Well, there's nothing for anyone to say sorry. Let's take it easy, as Kafka had already quoted: "I would defend to death your right to say it." ... and I would.

It's really a bliss if a government/society thought that everything comes from the people. But, yeah, as you might have already known what I am going to say, some DA~~ gov't didn't think like that.

You deserve my compliment and I totally agree with you, particularly, that one should be delighted to overthrow their government by legal means. To bring down this "fear", the govt should take the responsibility to "educate/encourage" the people. To certain extent, the rule by law in HK is comforting everyone. (It's also fortunate that the balance of "power" in HK can be roughly maintained.)

Democracy... believe it or not, actually I totally agree to "是現有最優勝的選擇" (and I love Churchill), but for certain reasons which I don't know of, I still think there's still something "better" than democracy. Perhaps democracy itself is good enough, or I might just be expecting a "perfect form" of democracy. Sometimes I do admire people who would be faithful to it.

Thanks very much for your time, Tinbin. You make me rethink the "un-feasibility" and my childish expectation for a perfect world. Hopefully, democracy is nice enough.

You are so gifted. Truly, I wish you would be using it at will for your lifetime.

tinbin said...

Dear CM,

Thanks for your compliment. I am no way as good as you think (I wish you're my boss! haha).

After going through my previous posts, I found that I sounded quite harsh, so I like to apologise for that.

It is nice talking to you.

Best Wishes
tinbin

C.M. said...

Hello Tinbin,

Oh dear, huuu, hopefully you are not embarassing me. :)

It's a pleasure talking with you, too.

Be yourself. Then you will be a good self.

With my best wishes to you,
C.M.