崇禎最後一年的小故事 ─ 國丈周奎

 

最近常常想起一段歷史上的小故事。那是大約 370 年前,崇禎皇帝的最後一年。

那一年,李自成的大順軍攻破大同,兵逼宣府,京師為之震動。

===這是故事開始的分隔線===

崇禎皇帝很苦惱,國庫沒什麼錢。明朝名目上的稅率本來就低,戰亂頻仍,許多地區若非在流寇的佔領之下,就是被亂軍阻隔不能上繳稅收給國庫。雪上加霜的結果,即使他臨時想組織軍隊禦敵也沒錢。

這時候有個大臣聽到消息,找上皇帝自掏腰包捐獻了兩萬兩銀子。這倒是給崇禎提了個醒。

「國庫沒錢,可是文武百官個個有錢。國難當頭,這些人就算平常再怎麼貪汙,好歹也會為自己的安危打算吧?難道他們就不怕覆巢無完卵?我來辦個募捐,只要大家都捐一些,至少就有錢可以招募軍隊組織武裝,好歹可以撐一撐吧!」

於是皇帝想了個辦法,頒佈辦法讓全民都可以捐款。用新潮一點的詞語來說,叫做眾籌 (crowdfunding) ─ 在京畿眾籌一支可以抵禦李自成的軍隊保護自己。既然是眾籌,當然也有參與的獎勵。所以崇禎也頒佈了各個名爵,每捐獻若干可以得到一些不一樣的尊銜。

辦法一公布以後,北京城的平民百姓響應十分踴躍,紛紛傾囊捐獻。反而是王公大臣、皇親貴戚,基本上毫無反應。最有錢的太監捐獻不過一萬兩,其餘大臣或幾百兩或一兩千兩的捐,總之毫不起勁。甚至有的大臣直接拉家當到市場上去喊價變賣,講白了就是演戲給皇帝看:別再逼我了,再逼我也沒錢!

崇禎一看不是辦法,轉念一想應該找人起個頭。立刻想到他的岳父,周皇后的爸爸國丈周奎,在當時是個有名的富人。崇禎希望周奎至少能捐十萬兩,來替大臣們當個表率。於是派個太監去傳話。周奎一聽到太監的來意,馬上開始哭窮:「我真的沒有錢呀!」太監死勸活勸都不行,最後討價還價之後,周奎只答應捐一萬兩白銀。

故事精采的地方正要開始。周奎想了一想,雖然捐獻打了個一折,但是要捐一萬兩白銀還是很肉痛的。於是他寫信給他的女兒周皇后,哭訴說你看你老公要把爹逼死啦!趕快救救你老爹吧。周皇后收到信又好氣又好笑,老爹你有多少錢我不知道嗎?都什麼時候了還跟我玩這招。不過老爸找女兒要錢總不能不給,把僅存的珠寶首飾變賣了一下,努力湊了個五千兩左右,叫人拿給周奎,也叮嚀周奎時局緊急,請爸爸盡量滿足皇帝的要求吧。

結果呢?周奎左手拿了女兒的五千兩,右手只給崇禎三千兩,大致上交代說老臣一生清貧,努力東湊西湊只有這點錢可以共赴國難。我所有的家底都給你了,別再逼老臣啦!折算起來,周奎不只一毛沒出,還偷了女兒兩千兩銀子。

沒多久之後,大順軍攻入北京。說是「攻入」未免誇大,因為北京幾乎沒有任何防禦。大順軍進城時,周奎一改本來的吝嗇小氣,大方的打賞。不過後來他想不大方也不行了 ─ 大順軍針對明朝大臣一個一個抄家拷掠追贓,周奎家裡光是現銀就被抄出五十幾萬兩,還不計其他需要變現的珍寶。當時北京城的老百姓,大家都嘲笑周奎引為笑談,說這個人真笨啊!早先一毛不拔,事到臨頭還不是什麼也保不住。

[故事中的金額可能會因為年代久遠記憶失誤而有所偏差,不過應該無關宏旨。]

===故事結束的分隔線===

周奎真的很笨嗎?

他的女兒當上了崇禎的皇后。後來看到女兒在宮中有對手田妃,就特地找了個陳圓圓去幫女兒助陣分寵。等陳圓圓被退貨,還知道立刻轉送給手握重兵的吳三桂來拉關係。這個人可不是吃素的。

他難道不知道大明朝要亡了嗎?他比誰都清楚。不然他哪敢跟皇帝玩這招?皇帝要他捐錢,不只不捐,還敢光明正大的偷走皇后的錢?他當然知道,所以才在預做準備。他知道吳三桂的關寧鐵騎是明朝最後的精兵部隊,所以要緊緊拉攏。他知道明朝走到頭了,所以一毛錢都不會投資這個註定失敗的「眾籌」,所有的錢要留在身邊,以便在新政權買平安。所以闖軍入城的時候,他就一點都不小氣了:因為他知道這不是小氣的時候,這是必須積極表明自己效忠新政權的時候。

周奎當然也有失算的地方,所以最後他家破人亡。他以為這只是單純的政權更迭,以前可以用錢買到影響力和安全,沒道理新的政權不行。沒料到進城的「大順軍」只是赤裸裸的土匪流氓,不只要錢、要色還要命。碰到最原始的暴力掠奪,他所有的精心盤算只能盡數落空了。

那麼,撇開道德因素不提,如果易地而處,你能做出比周奎更聰明的選擇嗎?回頭看看北京城的百姓,紛紛把自己的家財投入到註定沒有回報的投資中。他們真的比周奎聰明嗎?

別忘了,正是這批「聰明」的北京城鄉民,十三年前生吃了「賣國賊袁崇煥」的肉。

===寫在最後===

我無意為周奎翻案。只是最近耳聞時事常常會想起這個故事。

當你看到檯面上的人物演的戲,看不太懂他們在演什麼的時候,回頭想想周奎的故事,也許你會覺得突然看懂了些什麼…。

一位參加過兩次原子轟炸飛行員的證言

這是美國退休空軍將領 Charles Sweeney 在 1995 年國會聽證上準備的稿子,他也是唯一一位參加了兩次對日本轟炸原子彈的飛行員。在二次大戰結束 50 週年的時刻,他出席聽證會呼籲大眾重視二戰當時的歷史背景與戰爭結束的正面意義。這些話語在 20 年後的今天,依然發人深省。

我大概是沒有空把它翻成中文了。也許改天時間衝動兩者兼具的時候再來試試看吧…

[Update: 中譯在此]

(原文取自 archive.org,因為出處的排版比較粗糙,在這裡略作排版上的更動以符合一般閱讀習慣。)

[Statement of Major General Charles W. Sweeney, U.S.A.F. (Ret.) delivered before the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration—hearings on the Smithsonian Institution: Management Guidelines for the Future, May 11, 1995.]

I am Major General Charles W. Sweeney, United States Air Force, Retired. I am the only pilot to have flown on both atomic missions. I flew the instrument plane on the right wing of General Paul Tibbets on the Hiroshima mission and 3 days later, on August 9, 1945, commanded the second atomic mission over Nagasaki. Six days after Nagasaki the Japanese military surrendered and the Second World War came to an end.

The soul of a nation, its essence, is its history. It is that collective memory which defines what each generation thinks and believes about itself and its country.

In a free society, such as ours, there is always an ongoing debate about who we are and what we stand for. This open debate is in fact essential to our freedom. But to have such a debate we as a society must have the courage to consider all of the facts available to us. We must have the courage to stand up and demand that before any conclusions are reached, those facts which are beyond question are accepted as part of the debate.

As the 50th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki missions approaches, now is an appropriate time to consider the reasons for Harry Truman’s order that these missions be flown. We may disagree on the conclusion, but let us at least be honest enough to agree on basic facts of the time, the facts that President Truman had to consider in making a difficult and momentous decision.

As the only pilot to have flown both missions, and having commanded the Nagasaki mission, I bring to this debate my own eyewitness account of the times. I underscore what I believe are irrefutable facts, with full knowledge that some opinion makers may cavalierly dismiss them because they are so obvious — because they interfere with their preconceived version of the truth, and the meaning which they strive to impose on the missions.

This evening, I want to offer my thoughts, observations, and conclusions as someone who lived this history, and who believes that President Truman’s decision was not only justified by the circumstances of his time, but was a moral imperative that precluded any other option.

Like the overwhelming majority of my generation the last thing I wanted was a war. We as a nation are not warriors. We are not hell-bent on glory. There is no warrior class — no Samurai — no master race.

This is true today, and it was true 50 years ago.

While our country was struggling through the great depression, the Japanese were embarking on the conquest of its neighbors — the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. It seems fascism always seeks some innocuous slogan to cover the most hideous plans.

This Co-Prosperity was achieved by waging total and merciless war against China and Manchuria. The Japanese, as a nation, saw itself as destined to rule Asia and thereby possess its natural resources and open lands. Without the slightest remorse or hesitation, the Japanese Army slaughtered innocent men, women and children. In the infamous Rape of Nanking up to 300,000 unarmed civilians were butchered. These were criminal acts.

THESE ARE FACTS.

In order to fulfill its divine destiny in Asia, Japan determined that the only real impediment to this goal was the United States. It launched a carefully conceived sneak attack on our Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor. Timed for a Sunday morning it was intended to deal a death blow to the fleet by inflicting the maximum loss of ships and human life.

1,700 sailors are still entombed in the hull of the U.S.S. Arizona that sits on the bottom of Pearl Harbor. Many if not all, died without ever knowing why. Thus was the war thrust upon us.

The fall of Corregidor and the resulting treatment of Allied prisoners of war dispelled any remaining doubt about the inhumanness of the Japanese Army, even in the context of war. The Bataan Death March was horror in its fullest dimension. The Japanese considered surrender to be dishonorable to oneself, one’s family, one’s country and one’s god. They showed no mercy. Seven thousand American and Filipino POW’s were beaten, shot, bayonetted or left to die of disease or exhaustion.

THESE ARE FACTS.

As the United States made its slow, arduous, and costly march across the vast expanse of the Pacific, the Japanese proved to be a ruthless and intractable killing machine. No matter how futile, no matter how hopeless the odds, no matter how certain the outcome, the Japanese fought to the death. And to achieve a greater glory, they strove to kill as many Americans as possible.

The closer the United States came to the Japanese mainland, the more fanatical their actions became.

Saipan — 3,100 Americans killed, 1,500 in the first few hours of the invasion.
Iwo Jima — 6,700 Americans killed, 25,000 wounded.
Okinawa — 12,500 Americans killed, total casualties, 35,000.

These are facts reported by simple white grave markers.

Kamikazes. The literal translation is DIVINE WIND. To willingly dive a plane loaded with bombs into an American ship was a glorious transformation to godliness — there was no higher honor on heaven or earth. The suicidal assaults of the Kamikazes took 5,000 American Navy men to their deaths.

The Japanese vowed that, with the first American to step foot on the mainland, they would execute every Allied prisoner. In preparation they forced the POW’s to dig their own graves in the event of mass executions. Even after their surrender, they executed some American POW’s.

THESE ARE FACTS.

The Potsdam Declaration had called for unconditional surrender of the Japanese Armed Forces. The Japanese termed it ridiculous and not worthy of consideration. We know from our intercepts of their coded messages, that they wanted to stall for time to force a negotiated surrender on terms acceptable to them.

For months prior to August 6, American aircraft began dropping fire bombs upon the Japanese mainland. The wind created by the firestorm from the bombs incinerated whole cities. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese died. Still the Japanese military vowed never to surrender. They were prepared to sacrifice their own people to achieve their visions of glory and honor — no matter how many more people died.

They refused to evacuate civilians even though our pilots dropped leaflets warning of the possible bombings. In one 3-day period, 34 square miles of Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe and Osaka were reduced to rubble.

THESE ARE FACTS.

And even after the bombing of Hiroshima, Tojo, his successor Suzuki, and the military clique in control believed the United States had but one bomb, and that Japan could go on. They had 3 days to surrender after August 6, but they did not surrender. The debate in their cabinet at times became violent.

Only after the Nagasaki drop did the Emperor finally demand surrender.

And even then, the military argued they could and should fight on. A group of Army officers staged a coup and tried to seize and destroy the Emperor’s recorded message to his people announcing the surrender.

THESE ARE FACTS.

These facts help illuminate the nature of the enemy we faced. They help put into context the process by which Truman considered the options available to him. And they help to add meaning to why the missions were necessary.

President Truman understood these facts as did every service man and woman. Casualties were not some abstraction, but a sobering reality.

Did the atomic missions end the war? Yes… they… did.

Were they necessary? Well that’s where the rub comes.

With the fog of 50 years drifting over the memory of our country, to some, the Japanese are now the victims. America was the insatiable, vindictive aggressor seeking revenge and conquest. Our use of these weapons was the unjustified and immoral starting point for the nuclear age with all of its horrors. Of course, to support such distortion, one must conveniently ignore the real facts or fabricate new realities to fit the theories. It is no less egregious than those who today deny the Holocaust occurred.

How could this have happened?

The answer may lie in examining some recent events.

The current debate about why President Truman ordered these missions, in some cases, has devolved to a numbers game. The Smithsonian in its proposed exhibit of the Enola Gay revealed the creeping revisionism which seems the rage in certain historical circles.

That exhibit wanted to memorialize the fiction that the Japanese were the victims — we the evil aggressor. Imagine taking your children and grandchildren to this exhibit.

What message would they have left with?

What truth would they retain?

What would they think their country stood for?

And all of this would have occurred in an American institution whose very name and charter are supposed to stand for the impartial preservation of significant American artifacts.

By cancelling the proposed exhibit and simply displaying the Enola Gay, has truth won out?

Maybe not.

In one nationally televised discussion, I heard a so-called prominent historian argue that the bombs were not necessary. That President Truman was intent on intimidating the Russians. That the Japanese were ready to surrender.

The Japanese were ready to surrender? Based on what?

Some point to statements by General Eisenhower years after the war that Japan was about to fall. Well, based on that same outlook Eisenhower seriously underestimated Germany’s will to fight on and concluded in December, 1944 that Germany no longer had the capability to wage offensive war.

That was a tragic miscalculation. The result was the Battle of the Bulge, which resulted in tens of thousands of needless Allied casualties and potentially allowed Germany to prolong the war and force negotiations.

Thus the assessment that Japan was vanquished may have the benefit of hindsight rather than foresight.

It is certainly fair to conclude that the Japanese could have been reasonably expected to be even more fanatical than the Germans based on the history of the war in the Pacific.

And, finally, a present-day theory making the rounds espouses that even if an invasion had taken place, our casualties would not have been a million, as many believed, but realistically only 46,000 dead.

ONLY 46,000!

Can you imagine the callousness of this line of argument? ONLY 46,000 — as if this were some insignificant number of American lives.

Perhaps these so-called historians want to sell books.

Perhaps they really believe it. Or perhaps it reflects some self-loathing occasioned by the fact that we won the war.

Whatever the reason, the argument is flawed. It dissects and recalculates events ideologically, grasping at selective straws.

Let me admit right here, today, that I don’t know how many more Americans would have died in an invasion— AND NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE!

What I do know is that based on the Japanese conduct during the war, it is fair and reasonable to assume that an invasion of the mainland would have been a prolonged and bloody affair. Based on what we know — not what someone surmises — the Japanese were not about to unconditionally surrender.

In taking Iwo Jima, a tiny 8 square mile lump of rock in the ocean, 6,700 marines died — total casualties over 30,000.

But even assuming that those who now KNOW our casualties would have been ONLY 46.000 I ask:

Which 46,000 were to die?

Whose father?

Whose brother?

Whose husband?

And, yes, I am focusing on American lives.

The Japanese had their fate in their own hands, we did not . Hundreds of thousands of American troops anxiously waited at staging areas in the Pacific dreading the coming invasion, their fate resting on what the Japanese would do next. The Japanese could have ended it at any time. They chose to wait.

And while the Japanese stalled, an average of 900 more Americans were killed or wounded each day the war continued.

I’ve heard another line of argument that we should have accepted a negotiated peace with the Japanese on terms they would have found acceptable. I have never heard anyone suggest that we should have negotiated a peace with Nazi Germany. Such an idea is so outrageous, that no rational human being would utter the words. To negotiate with such evil fascism was to allow it even in defeat a measure of legitimacy. This is not just some empty philosophical principal of the time — it was essential that these forces of evil be clearly and irrevocably defeated — their demise unequivocal. Their leadership had forfeited any expectation of diplomatic niceties. How is it, then, that the history of the war in the Pacific can be so soon forgotten?

The reason may lie in the advancing erosion of our history, of our collective memory.

Fifty years after their defeat, Japanese officials have the temerity to claim they were the victims. That Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the equivalent of the Holocaust.

And, believe it or not, there are actually some American academics who support this analogy, thus aiding and giving comfort to a 50-year attempt by the Japanese to rewrite their own history, and ours in the process.

There is an entire generation of Japanese who do not know the full extent of their country’s conduct during World war II.

This explains why they do not comprehend why they must apologize —

  • for the Korean comfort women,
  • for the Medical experimentation on POW’s which match the horror of those conducted by the Nazi’s,
  • for the plans to use biological weapons against the United States by infecting civilian populations on the West Coast,
  • for the methodical slaughter of civilians,
  • and for much more.

In a perverse inversion, by forgetting our own history, we contribute to the Japanese amnesia, to the detriment of both our nations.

Unlike the Germans who acknowledged their guilt, the Japanese persist in the fiction that they did nothing wrong, that they were trapped by circumstances. This only forecloses any genuine prospect that the deep wounds suffered by both nations can be closed and healed.

One can only forgive by remembering. And to forget, is to risk repeating history.

The Japanese in a well orchestrated political and public relations campaign have now proposed that the use of the term “V-J Day” be replaced by the more benign “Victory in the Pacific Day”. How convenient.

This they claim will make the commemoration of the end of the war in the Pacific less “Japan specific.”

An op-ed piece written by Dorothy Rabinowitz appearing in the April 5 Wall Street Journal accurately sums up this outrage:

The reason it appears, is that some Japanese find the reference disturbing — and one can see why. The term, especially the “J” part, does serve to remind the world of the identity of the nation whose defeat millions celebrated in August 1945. In further deference to Japanese sensitivities, a U.S. official (who wisely chose to remain unidentified) also announced, with reference to the planned ceremonies, that “our whole effort in this thing is to commemorate an event, not celebrate a victory.

Some might argue so what’s in a word — Victory over Japan, Victory in the Pacific — Let’s celebrate an event, not a victory.

I say everything is in a word. Celebrate an EVENT!

Kind of like celebrating the opening of a shopping mall rather than the end of a war that engulfed the entire Earth — which left countless millions dead and countless millions more physically or mentally wounded and countless more millions displaced.

This assault on the use of language is Orwellian and is the tool by which history and memory are blurred. Words can be just as destructive as any weapon.

Up is Down.

Slavery is Freedom.

Aggression is Peace.

In some ways this assault on our language and history by the elimination of accurate and descriptive words is far more insidious than the actual aggression carried out by the Japanese 50 years ago. At least then the threat was clear, the enemy well defined.

Today the Japanese justify their conduct by artfully playing the race card. They were not engaged in a criminal enterprise of aggression. No, Japan was simply liberating the oppressed masses of Asia from WHITE Imperialism.

Liberation!!! Yes, they liberated over 20 million innocent Asians by killing them. I’m sure those 20 million, their families and the generations never to be, appreciate the noble effort of the Japanese.

I am often asked was the bomb dropped for vengeance, as was suggested by one draft of the Smithsonian exhibit. That we sought to destroy an ancient and honorable culture.

Here are some more inconvenient facts.

One, on the original target list for the atomic missions Kyoto was included. Although this would have been a legitimate target, one that had not been bombed previously. Secretary of State Henry Stimson removed it from the list because it was the ancient capital of Japan and was also the religious center of Japanese culture.

Two, we were under strict orders during the war that under no circumstances were we to ever bomb the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, even though we could have easily leveled it and possibly killed the Emperor. So much for vengeance.

I often wonder if Japan would have shown such restraint if they had the opportunity to bomb the White House. I think not.

At this point let me dispel one of many longstanding myths that our targets were intended to be civilian populations. Each target for the missions had significant military importance — Hiroshima was the headquarters for the southern command responsible for the defense of Honshu in the event of an invasion and it garrisoned seasoned troops who would mount the initial defense.

Nagasaki was an industrial center with the two large Mitsubishi armaments factories. In both Hiroshima and Nagasaki the Japanese had integrated these industries and troops right in the heart of each city.

As in any war our goal was, as it should be, to win. The stakes were too high to equivocate.

I am often asked if I ever think of the Japanese who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

I do not revel in the idea that so many on both sides died, not only at those two places but around the world in that horrible conflict. I take no pride or pleasure in the brutality of war whether suffered by my people or those of another nation. Every life is precious.

But it does seem to me such a question is more appropriately directed to the Japanese war lords who so willingly offered up their people to achieve their visions of greatness. They who started the war and then stubbornly refused to stop it must be called to account. Don’t they have the ultimate responsibility for all the deaths of their countrymen?

Perhaps if the Japanese came to grips with their past and their true part in the war they would hold those Japanese military leaders accountable. The Japanese people deserve an answer from those that brought such misery to the nations of the Far East and ultimately to their own people. Of course this can never happen if we collaborate with the Japanese in wiping away the truth.

How can Japan ever reconcile with itself and the United States if they do not demand and accept the truth?

My crew and I flew these missions with the belief that they would bring the war to an end. There was no sense of joy. There was a sense of duty and commitment that we wanted to get back to our families and loved ones.

Today millions of people in America and in southeast Asia are alive because the war ended when it did.

I do not stand here celebrating the use of nuclear weapons. Quite the contrary.

I hope that my mission is the last such mission ever flown.

We as a nation can abhor the existence of nuclear weapons.

I certainly do.

But that does not then mean that, back in August of 1945, given the events of the war and the recalcitrance of our enemy. President Truman was not obliged to use all the weapons at his disposal to end the war.

I agreed with Harry Truman then, and I still do today.

Years after the war Truman was asked if he had any second thoughts. He said emphatically, “No.” He then asked the questioner to remember the men who died at Pearl Harbor who did not have the benefit of second thoughts.

In war the stakes are high. As Robert E. Lee said, “it is good that war is so horrible, or we might grow to like it.”

I thank God that it was we who had this weapon and not the Japanese or the Germans. The science was there. Eventually someone would have developed this weapon. Science can never be denied. It finds a way to self-fulfillment.

The question of whether it was wise to develop such a weapon would have eventually been overcome by the fact that it could be done. The Soviets would have certainly proceeded to develop their own bomb. Let us not forget that Joseph Stalin was no less evil than Tojo or his former ally Adolf Hitler. At last count, Stalin committed genocide on at least 20 million of his own citizens.

The world is a better place because German and Japanese fascism failed to conquer the world.

Japan and Germany are better places because we were benevolent in our victory.

The youth of Japan and the United States, spared from further needless slaughter, went on to live and have families and grow old.

As the father of ten children and the grandfather of 21, I can state that I am certainly grateful that the war ended when it did.

I do not speak for all veterans of that war. But I believe that my sense of pride in having served my country in that great conflict is shared by all veterans. This is why the truth about that war must be preserved. We veterans are not shrinking violets. Our sensibilities will not be shattered in intelligent and controversial debate. We can handle ourselves.

But we will not, we cannot allow armchair second guessers to frame the debate by hiding facts from the American public and the world.

I have great faith in the good sense and fairness of the American people to consider all of the facts and make an informed judgment about the war’s end.

This is an important debate. The soul of our nation, its essence, its history, is at stake.

不該令人意外的哥本哈根

哥本哈根的會議落幕了,媒體紛紛用「意外的爛戲」來形容這場毫無結果的氣候變遷會議。然而真正的意外,恐怕是居然會有輿論對這場會議抱持過高的期待。這場秀,註定是不可能會有實際結果的政治戲碼罷了。

不論是美國還是中國,都必須在壓力團體和政治氛圍的壓力下做出某些承諾和宣言。否則歐巴馬無法回國面對相關利益的支持者,中國大陸也不願意背負拒絕改善全球暖化的污名。因此口號性的承諾不只是可以預期,更可以說是必然的結果。

然而除了口號以外,要求各個國家提出實際作為的話,卻是近乎不可能的任務。覆巢之下無完卵是大家都可以有共識的,但是在大難臨頭以前,誰要出比較多力氣來預防呢?有個捕魚場理論約略似乎用來形容這種現象。漁場裡的魚是有限的,魚群繁殖的速度也有限。只要大家都能在限度內捕魚的話,漁獲就能源源不絕。唯一的關鍵是 ─ 沒有人偷吃步多撈魚。

如果別人多撈魚怎麼辦?不怎麼辦,就是老實人吃虧。乖乖照限額捕魚的人漁獲少,超額捕魚的人漁獲多。反正最後漁源枯竭的時候大家都沒魚吃。所以在這種心理狀態下,大家都會竭盡所能的捕魚 ─ 希望自己不要當那個最笨最吃虧的傢伙。

哥本哈根會議和這種狀況有點雷同。全球暖化是所有國家都會面對的難題。但是造成目前問題的根源遠從西方富國工業革命以來就已經展開。當他們消費環境累積國力以後,卻要求全世界共同承擔責任,開發中國家當然不樂意。眾矢之的的中國,目前和美國雙雙高居污染排行榜首席,自然有藉口不願意為了背負共同責任而犧牲自己增強國力的機會。至於除了巴西、印度以外,發言權不大的其餘開發中國家,當然就更沒有力量去左右議程或是會議結果,只能被動的接受或抗拒強權定義出的虛偽的結論。

讓我想到以前這篇:全球暖化 – 有錢人開車吹冷氣,窮人買單?

搶先犧牲環境來增強國力的國家,就可以定義遊戲規則讓全世界和你依起分攤造下的苦果。美國退出京都議定書也是顯著的例子。和捕魚場理論雷同的是,誰老實的照著規矩辦事誰吃虧。溫室氣體排放依然是必須要解決的難題。但是國際政治卻讓問題不可能根治。可預見的未來裡,各個國家依然會持續規範排碳,但是必定堅拒任何國際間具有強制力的約定與懲罰。

這本來就是不公平的遊戲規則。但是現實如此,我們既然無力改變環境,也只能在這種遊戲規則下生存。

我看大陸的國學熱

上一篇才剛說到孔子不會為了胡搞瞎搞的孔子熱潮而高興,不過近來大陸越來越多人接觸儒學是事實。或許可以順便聊一下我的看法。

我個人以為,大陸正在發生的國學熱和孔熱,只不過是歷史長河中的必然,而且是遠從清末就埋下的伏筆。清朝自從鴉片戰爭以降,對外屢戰而屢敗,晚近中國的百年外交史黑暗無比。時人很能夠理解他們遭逢巨大的挑戰,但是傳統的學術沒有辦法為他們解決問題開創新局。當時知識份子所謂「千古未有之變局」是也。

當時許多學人將中國的積弱不振歸咎於儒學無法有效提供出路。當然傳統儒學在當時也面臨許多困境,而且兩千年來許多經典被過度解讀,也造成許多光怪陸離的現象。除舊佈新本來是學術上的正常節奏,卻因為國勢衰弱與亡國之憂的巨大壓迫使知識份子採取的手段既激進又強烈。其中可以康有為為代表。康有為說過極具代表性的名言:

「守舊不可,必當變法;緩變不可,必當速變;小變不可,必當全變。」

以及

「能變則存,不變則亡。全變則強,小變仍亡。」

換句話說,當時的知識份子的憂急程度比熱鍋上的螞蟻有過之而無不及。在大家咸認問題禍根出在傳統學術之後,全面性地打倒清理便成為不可避免的趨向。於是從康有為的《新學偽經考》等著作傳世以來,波瀾越演越烈,進一步激盪出五四運動,較溫和的將傳統學術貶居下位,最後被刺激演化而為驚心動魄的文化大革命。十年烽火之後,中國文化不復存於故土,身懷傳統文化素養的人,或遭殺害、或遭迫害,或不得不委曲求全以保首領,終身不敢再言風骨氣節。因此余英時才有「為什麼非要那塊土地才叫中國?那塊土地上反而沒有中國!」之嘆。

在中國大陸國力日盛的今天,在失去文化的根以後,大陸沒有任何可以充實內在的事物與思想。隨著物質力量逐漸進步以後,重尋文化根源是勢必會經過的路途。否則沒有任何中心思想與文化,要用什麼方式或態度來面對世界?又如何能取得自己的定位?從這個角度看來,重新探尋自己文化的根源,了解認識孔子與儒學思想,只不過是歷史的長河中,必然會出現的小浪花而已。