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驳萨姆•克兰:新法家没为民族主义歪曲中国历史和哲学 
作者:[翟玉忠] 来源:[] 2009-05-15

四年前,新法家网站刚刚开通的时候,就有学者善意地指出:法家被骂了两千年,有沉重的历史包袱,不好去掉,要准备好挨骂;四年过去了,国内该骂我们的差不多都骂了,这下该国际了,请看:

 

最近,美国友人寄来马萨诸塞州威廉斯姆学院(Williams College)教授萨姆·克兰(Sam Crane)的文章,题目为《新法家:为了民族主义歪曲中国历史和哲学》(The New Legalists: Distorting Chinese History and Chinese Philosophy for Nationalist Ends),笔者读后如鲠在喉,不吐不快。

 

萨姆·克兰教授不仅是一位汉学家,还是一位伟大的父亲。他著有《艾丹之路》(Aidan’s Way: The Story of a Boy’s Life and a Father’s Journey2004年,东方出版社引入了该书的中文版),任何一位读过这本书的人都会为之动容,萨姆·克兰用伟大的父爱和道家的智慧养育着自己的孩子——集聋哑盲傻于一身的艾丹——那是人道有胜利、父爱的成就、生命的凯歌!

 

一位具有博大爱心的人并不意味着拥有无偏见的理智。在其对新法家的评论中,充满着根深蒂固的偏见。这些偏见一部分是由历史上儒家对法家的刻意扭曲产生的,还有一部分是过去一百多年来西方学者对中国及其他非西方世界固有的偏见造成的。

 

作者首先给新法家戴上了一顶西方学术的大帽子“民族主义”。文章开篇写道:

 

“看来它是由具有相当寻常的民族主义、反全球化和反西化思想的人作的,他们不仅探寻评论的新基础,也探索建立中国全球新形象的独特的非西方文化基础。我说这是寻常的,因为它有九十年代‘说不’的民族主义特色。的确,它内含的文化焦虑可以追溯到十九世纪,担心西方知识与中国“义理”间的平衡,古老的体用之别。

 

“它新,是因为他们不是诉诸儒家思想作为新的、独特的中国文化基础,这些人诉诸法家思想。”

 

新法家的宗旨清清楚楚地写在她的主页上:“结束资本在自由名义下的霸权统治,建立一个以中华道法文明为原型的新世界!”她不是要建立一个以法家为意识形态的中国,更不要强大后的中国去侵略别国。中国古典外交理论中有一句源于《老子》话,叫“大国下流”,就是越是强大的国家就应当越当守雌、行谦下无为之道。萨姆·克兰教授认为新法家拉上道家同样是为民族主义服务的,他是否知道,道家和法家如同一个硬币的两面。所以司马迁说韩非子、申不害这些法家人物的思想归本于黄老。进一步,法家与道家统一于齐法家的核心黄老思想。

 

事实上民族主义对中国人来说是极为陌生的,中国不像四分五裂中的欧洲国家那样持续受到外部侵略的压力,她们习惯于以天下为政治考量的起点。这种大战略西方人难以理解,他们老是国家利益、国家利益,用国家利益为一切恶行辩护。所以萨姆·克兰说:“民族主义的侵入总是最危险的,因为他们能将战争和杀戮合法化,这是民族主义者要作的,无论他们是美国人,中国人或塞尔维亚人……”这句话完全适用于当代的西方国际政治,但完全不适用于新法家和中国古典外交理论。

 

中国古典外交理论是以“义”为中心,而不是以“利”为中心,西方宗教中有类似“义”的概念,不过他们还不能将之延伸到国际关系领域。对于什么时候打仗,他们就有一条准则:鼠目寸光的国家利益!

 

还有,萨姆·克兰可能想破脑袋也不会弄明白,数千年来,为什么中国的对外贸易老作赔本买卖。而英国和美国却杀人如草、掠夺全世界的人力和物力资源——西方经济学永远解释不清楚这种国际贸易——稍微懂一点国际事务的人都知道,即使西方国家所谓的国际援助也常常是自欺欺人。

 

够了,萨姆·克兰先生,收回您的“民族主义”大帽子吧!放回西方去!

 

新法家的确说了“不”,她向对西方学术的迷信说不、她向失去独立学术人格的中国知识分子说不、她向这个将更多地资源用于战争杀戮而不是人类福利的世界体系说不——她会说下去,再说一百年……

 

新法家的确要“反”,她要反对资本对环境和资源的肆无忌惮的掠夺,她要反对西方国家对现代文明话语权的垄断,她要反对中国知识界对本土文明野蛮的挥刀自宫——她会反下去,再反一百年……

 

——新法家的目的就是建立百年学术老店!让全世界看到一个崭新的东方文明形态——那里不再鼓励贪欲,而是倡导清静;世界不再画地为牢,人们可以随遇而安地移民;资本不再自由,人类重获自由……

 

对于“焚书坑儒”这类老调重弹、“秦本质上消灭了墨家”这类苍白论断,笔者根本就不想再说什么。至于“秦朝的短命最好地说明了法家的根本性残暴”这句千年谎言,我们倒是要问一下这位西方汉学家:秦国六世行法家而强盛,怎么是短命呢?西汉文景之治后面的是什么,就是齐法家的核心——黄老思想,西汉怎么是短命呢?

 

我看今天美国这样实行单边主义才会短命,《老子》上说“上善若水”、“强梁者不得其死”,美国人真是要学学大道了。当他们在国际上大书特书、念念有词“自由、民主、人权”时——这些东西早就成了路人皆知、只有少数中国知识分子相信的“口头禅”!新法家通过建立的是一个法治、共治、自治的大同世界、将这些概念变成现实。

 

萨姆·克兰先生还说法家摧毁了美和艺术,并以其亲眼所见的文物为例;我也去过陕西省博物馆(Shanxi Provincial History Museum ),是的,秦代的青铜器不如西周的华美,但是萨姆·克兰先生知道吗,就是在那些不华美的青铜器后面,有着先进的现代化管理理念。从“物勒主名”到“物勒工名”,那是怎样伟大的工业管理革命啊!——大秦帝国在那个时代就实现了美国当代汽车工业的标准化,这可能超出太多人的想象为之外?

 

是的,秦代的青铜器不如西周的华美,但萨姆·克兰先生能感觉到都江堰、秦直道、秦俑军团和万里长城的惊心动魄嘛——这才是大秦永恒的丰碑,它们永远矗立于人类文明史的峰巅!

 

今天的中国人在学习西周的华美,钱都用来盖大楼、捧歌星了。萨姆·克兰先生,您认为中国进步了吧!您满意了吧!可您知道吗,您的祖国的导弹正在向中国步步逼进,每个核弹头上面都用人血写着“和平”二字!

 

说到这里,您对新法家《关于我们》中下面这段话茫然了:

 

“中华文明是人类历史上唯一一个不是靠枪炮征服和殖民扩张,而是靠不同种族自由通婚和自由迁徙,靠血与土地的统一发展壮大的族群。她曾经强大过,但她从来就不是一个帝国,而是一个文明有机体。直到今天,中华文明产生的核心区域陕西仍与中国版图东南西北四方的距离大致相等,那是中化文明自然发展的有力证明!”

 

您说她是纯粹的胡说八道(This is unadulterated rubbish)。并以汉朝和明朝为例说明中国侵略过别人。萨姆·克兰先生,您知道当时中国是靠什么维持和平吗?今天与美国维持和平是靠中国人给美国送商品、当时不仅要送商品,还要送女人,这叫“和亲政策”。如果中国不进行战略反击,匈奴还不是像今天的美国这样对中国进行层层战略包围。您研究国际政治,您知道,今天中国连第一岛链都走不出去,建了半个航母,都说中国是“民族主义”。拜托,请将您的“民族主义”大帽子转交给美利坚合众国的总统——无论他是白人、黑人还是绿人(我们区别不清楚别人肤色的原因是传统上中国人心中只有人的概念,有河北人、山东人、西藏人、满人等等,他们不以肤色和种族区分一个人。)!

 

萨姆·克兰先生,最后笔者想说的是:在这个星球上,除了西方学术体系,还存在一种文明,将您那种对自己孩子至爱延伸到了政治经济体系中,那是以道家哲学为基础的政治经济学——您心中最残暴的学说——法家;我梦想,当您真正理解了法家的时候,您将在自己的家门之外,找到那种无边的大爱!

 

但愿如此!

 

 

附一:萨姆·克兰原文

 

            The New Legalists: Distorting Chinese History and Chinese Philosophy for Nationalist Ends

 

    I have stumbled upon a website, The New Legalist, (Chinese version herehttp://www.xinfajia.net/index.page, with much more stuff) and am dismayed at the distortions I find there.

 

    It seems to be the product of people with a fairly unremarkable nationalist, anti-globalization, anti-Westernization mindset.  They are searching not only for a new basis for critique but also for a distinct non-Western cultural foundation upon which to build a new global presence for China.  I say this is unremarkable because it has traces of the Say No nationalists of the 1990s.  Indeed, its underlying cultural anxiety traces back to the 19th century and the worries then about the balance between Western knowledge and Chinese "essence," the old ti/yong distinction. 

 

     It is novel, however, in that, instead of the usual reach for Confucianism as the new and distinctively Chinese cultural foundation, these guys go for the Legalism. 

 

     Let me say right up front that I absolutely believe that ancient Chinese thought can provide novel and important insights to modern life.  It is something I think and write about almost every day.  China today, of course, is vastly different from ancient China; indeed, contemporary China is more similar to contemporary America than it is to ancient China.  The past really is a different country, one that is very far away.  Yet even in our fraught modern times, ancient thought is useful and interesting.  Americans, as well as contemporary Chinese, can learn much about themselves and their world from the ancient texts.

 

     When nationalism enters the picture, however, when the past is put to work to legitimize the political interests of contemporary ruling groups and states, serious problems arise.  Perhaps we are always doomed to misinterpret or misuse the past, but nationalist appropriations are almost always the most dangerous, because they can be invoked to rationalize war and killing; that is what nationalists tend to do, whether American or Chinese or Serbian or whatever...

 

      The New Legalists are nationalists who have seized upon and distorted the most brutish features of "Chinese culture:" Legalism.  It is true, of course, that Legalist thought has long been a central element of Chinese statecraft.  It is the intellectual apparatus that defined the centralized bureaucratic state that proved so resilient over the long stretch of history.   But we must always keep in mind the human cost of the consolidation and reproduction of that state.  Quite simply, Legalist rulers were quite willing to kill untold numbers of Chinese people to maintain and continue their autocratic hold on power.  They also oversaw the destruction of significant amounts of Chinese culture in their obsessions to hold on to power.  Just ask the Mohists (which we cannot because the Qin essentially wiped them out as an intellectual force).  What might China have been if the Mohists had survived and thrived?

 

      The fundamental inhumanity of Legalism is best illustrated by the brevity of the Qin dynasty, which lasted only about 15 years, a fleeting moment in Chinese history.  The extreme brutality of Legalist rule, in its purest Qin form, was unsustainable.  It was only after the Han dynasty emerged and backed off Qin’s totalitarianism (though keeping a good dose of Legalist statecraft) that the centralized bureaucratic state could find its bearings. 

 

     As to the aesthetic destructiveness of the Legalist Qin one of the best demonstrations is to be found in the Shanxi Provincial History Museum in Xian.  When I was there a couple of years ago I was amazed at the extraordinary Zhou bronzes.  Beautiful, detailed work; supreme craftsmanship.  But when I reached the end of the long case of Zhou artwork, I turned to look for the next part of the permanent exhibit and there, across the hall, was a display of flat, crude pots and cups huddled up against an array of weaponry.  It was Qin, the time when all art was turned to the megalomaniacal purposes of the power-crazed ruler, when all craftsmen were forced to build a fantasy underground army to protect Qin in the next life.  Thousands upon thousands of people were sacrificed to the ersatz glory of the ruler.  Beauty was trampled under power.  And the people soon rose up and overthrew him. 

 

      That is the history that the New Legalists want us to embrace; but that is not quite how they tell it.  Here is there take on Qin’s extermination of intellectual life:

 

      “The First Emperor of Qin  is said to have burned Confucian books and buried alive Confucian scholars (It’s not true according to famous Chinese history book Shih-chi by Ssu-ma Ch’ien).”

 

      Perhaps they mean to suggest that only the burying of scholars alive did not happen.  But careful scholarship tells us that (see Baumler comment here), while the actual burying of scholars alive is in doubt, the fact of extensive persecution of intellectuals and destruction of texts is certain.  We can quibble over whether the corpses of the scholars  were cold or not but we cannot deny Qin’s assault on Chinese culture. The New Legalists are trying to prettify an ugly history.

 

      Here’s another example:

 

      “Throughout human history, the Chinese civilization is the only one which has not flourished by force of gunboat conquest and colonial expansion but through free interracial marriages and free migration, i.e., through the unity of blood and land. It has been powerful at times, but never an empire——it has been a highly-civilized organic social body. A convincing evidence of the natural development of the Chinese civilization is the fact that so far the distances between Shaanxi, the location of its origin, and China’s current borders in all directions are roughly equal.”

 

      This is unadulterated rubbish.  Of course, the centralized Chinese state conquered and expanded by means of military force.  The Han did it; the Ming did it; the Qing (who I guess, since they were Manchu and not Chinese, don’t count for the New Legalists) did it.  "Free interracial marriages and free migration."  Yeah, sure.  Ask the Uighurs or the Tibetans.  All one big happy Chinese family.   And, additionally, the notion that "Chinese civilization" sprung up, fully formed, in Shaanxi, and then expanded outward, is fiction.  Someone needs to tell these guys to read what the archeologist’s and historians have to say about the ancient Chinese interaction sphere.

 

 

      I do not mean to suggest that Chinese civilization is somehow bad or different than others.  Quite to the contrary, I would argue that Chinese civilization, while it has its own unique features and inventions, was similar to other large-scale political formations in its use of both military force and cultural hegemony to secure compliance to the state within a given territory.   There is no need to white-wash that reality.

 

     But that is what the New Legalists are doing.  It is rather strange, really.  They take the most brutal element of China’s vast intellectual legacy and try to gussy it up.  They are obviously drawn to Legalism’s political realism, but they want to divert our attention away from precisely that same thing. 

 

 

     There are certain philosohical distortions as well.  The use of Legalism, which is staunchly anti-traditionalist, as the foundation for neo-traditionalist state legitimation strikes me as contradictory.  And then the enlistment of Taoism, and especially the Tao Te Ching, in this same project.  Wow.  That opens them up to all sorts of trouble: making Taoism serve nationalist ends.  But it’s getting late - maybe I’ll expand on those ideas tomorrow....

 

                                                     February 27, 2008

 

附二:网友对原文的回复

 

A comment on the "nationalist, anti-globalization, anti-Westernization mindset" of the New Legalists:

 

1. How comes advocating protecting national interests from the intrusive and destructive International Private Bankers be so bad? There should be differences between protecting legtimate national interests and seeking national interests at the expenses of other nations. I don’t see they are advocating invading other nations; Isn’t the one aspects of the democracy is supposed to protect the livinghoods of the people?

 

2. As to their attitude toward the globalization, isn’t it a legitimate question that the globalists are only promoting the freedom (of movement) of the capital and not the freedom (of movement) of the labor? Isn’t it true that the gaps between the developed world and developing world and gags even within the developing world are getting bigger every day? How advocating harnessing the trend of the globalization should be treated as pariah of the polite society? What happened to the so-called academic freedom of the West?

 

3. There are two kinds of Westernizations: outside imposed and self motivated. The first one is often the victim of colonization. Philippines is the perfect case... with all the western institutions as a facade and tutorships of two imperial powers it is still a backward country... perfect for the U.S. sailors to have a good time. Of course, China doesn’t want to follow that example, except the Liu Xiaobe who was (is) advocating 400 years of colonization for China from the Anglo Saxon’s. (He is still live and kicking and writing in Beijing and that shows how much freedom China has currently.)

 

I don’t believe many elites in U.S. seriously want China to imitate U.S., they want China to do what is told but not want China to follow its examples.( with good reasons ). They know too well that all the resources of the world couldn’t sustain U.S. style lifestyle for the Chinese people and the westernization is a whole package.

 

I believe a lot of Chinese are starting to understand the situation, too, that China couldn’t imitate U.S. for the goodness of World and what China is doing have no reference book available. That is why all the available orientation tools in the box have to be polished. Legalism is one of them. Apparently it is out of favor in Beijing by the current administration so they don’t have the mandate from Hu-Weng. It is actually using their so called New Legalism discourse to criticise current policies and try to make serious policy changes.

 

 

Posted by: isha | February 28, 2008 at 06:50 PM

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Possibly the first book I read on China was "The Tiger of Ch’in" by Leonard Cottrell. Grim.

 

Thinking of bronzes, the quiet National Museum in Taipei has them in abundance. Perhaps the most striking is a big, beautifully shaped drum. With such quality, who would think of quantity? If the drum were at the grand National Palace Museum, I’m sure it would be noticed and appreciated, but it would be just another marvel.

 

The New Legalist website is certainly zippy-looking.

 

Posted by: David Martin | February 29, 2008 at 05:53 AM

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

I’m not surprised that Legalism is being used as a nationalist discourse: it’s the first, and perhaps the only, native Chinese tradition which justifies militarism, expansionism, strength as opposed to humility, humanity, revolution or communism (Mohist or Maoist, whatever).

 

The rest of it reminds me of the Roman tradition of asking the priests of Janus whether a war was justified by self-defense before going to battle: it always was. It’s always possible to rationalize conquest as "consolidation," "pacification," "self-defense," "defense of an ally," or "defense of principles." You’re right that it’s ahistorical: but nationalism always is.

 

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner | February 29, 2008 at 11:59 PM


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文章评论
新法家网友(2011-03-11 08:09:50.0)
    法家真了不起,还没上台就开始为全人类考虑?你们还是在为汉人的意志成为主导的国家意志而努力?你们和汉人是一体的,不要跑题!当新的一代已然成长,你们做了什么?单靠你们几个喊喊?专心做好你们应该做的事。你们的思想必须应该在汉人的国度实现。
新法家网友(2009-06-01 18:33:52.0)
    观《狼图腾》所引发的争议有感。 汉族有十几亿之多,人数之多,为世界各民族之首。但由于历史原因,汉族是个极为庞大的复杂的综合体。人的思想千差万别,风俗习惯也多样,方言也是多样的。 有人觉得汉人是羊,那是他们看到了一部分汉族人的软弱无能,和面对少数民族的退让。 有人觉得汉人是狼,那是他们看到了汉人志愿军在朝鲜战场上的凶猛,看到了解放军的强大,看到了汉族文化的无孔不入,如同汪洋大海,对所有的少数民族文化都构成了巨大威胁。 有人觉得汉人是狐狸,那是他们看到了一部分汉人的狡猾和精明,在官场和生意场上的种种计谋策略。 有人觉得汉人是骆驼,那是一些汉人的勤劳善良和忍辱负重。 有人觉得汉人是猪,那是一部分汉人的好逸恶劳和不劳而获。 有人觉得汉人是龙,那是由于汉人历史上的无比强大和辉煌,以及汉人在有了信仰之后的无比凶悍,例如,那些参加了长征的红军。 有人觉得汉人是虫,那是汉人数量极多,而且单个的汉人,看起来十分文弱的缘故。 有人觉得汉族就是个窝囊废,那是由于许多汉人彼此的确并不团结的缘故。 甚至还有人觉得汉族根本就不存在,那是因为许多汉人除了身份证上的汉族两个字外,实在看不出还有什么民族特征。 那我觉得汉人究竟是什么呢? 汉人其实还是象龙,那是个综合体,你可以说它什么都象,也可以说它什么都不像。龙是神话中的神兽,人人都知道,但谁也没见过,让人琢磨不透。任何只看到了汉人中的一小部分就自以为了解这个民族的人,最终都会败在这个民族的手里。
新法家网友(2009-06-01 18:20:50.0)
    法家是我华夏民族打出去的拳头!
新法家网友(2009-05-21 15:24:42.0)
    新法家坚持捍卫民族权利和尊严,发扬华夏战国秦汉三国的自尊阳刚雄性的民族精神非常好!新法家能为民族复兴服务是中华的福气,这有什么不对?支持我们过于弱小的民族主义!只许西方当主人,别人都做小媳妇,想得美!华夏民族、道法中国是堂堂正正的男子汉,我们知道自己该走哪条路,不会屈服于别人的意志!
新法家网友(2009-05-17 23:04:28.0)
    好文,最近发觉一个问题,好东西被传承和传播的很慢,我希望新法家的能人智士可以扩展渠道,传播思想,当下流行的思想绝大多数是浮躁和肤浅的,以这样的环境侵染下一代,我们只会做别人的思想奴隶。还有,西方那种血的文明绝不会是人类将来的正道,因为当科学的能量越来越大的时候,达摩科斯剑是双刃的,用在恶处将是灾难和毁灭性的,契约和法律为核心的西方后正思想只会是千疮百孔,只有华夏正源的德法同行,德育疏导人性在前,法制后正人性在后,方能使世界绚烂多彩又自洽和谐,愿新法家可以更好的将华夏正源文明发觉和传播出来,激发每位炎黄子孙,天下兴亡匹夫有责的民族和人类责任感,为华夏和人类的未来命运提供坚实基础。--冰山烈焰
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