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·敢 问 路 在 何 方—评福建、河北等地农民罢免人大代表案
·杀人,以整顿市容的名义
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·立场主义与道德主义(网络版)
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·大学生社团的使命
·激 活 宪 法
·孙志刚事件:知识、媒介与权力
·司法的归司法,舆论的归舆论?—从张金柱案到黄静案
·谁能阻止一个人心底的眼泪—日记16则,纪念父亲
·生活是维权运动的源头活水
·虚构的故事
·体制的边界
临沂计划生育调查手记
·蒙河边的抗争—临沂计划生育调查手记之一
·“我家亲戚被抓了22口”—临沂计划生育调查手记之二
·她的眼里没有泪水—临沂计划生育调查手记之三
·到办公室上课去!—临沂计划生育调查手记之四
·不扎也得扎!—临沂计划生育调查手记之五
·学习班—临沂计划生育调查手记之六
·向人性宣战—临沂计划生育调查手记之七
·“盯关跟主义”—临沂计划生育调查手记之八
·人性不曾屈服—临沂计划生育调查手记之九
·野蛮是如何炼成的?—临沂计划生育调查手记之十
·后记:
·有谁战胜过真相
·法治中国需要中国法律人的良知及责任—致世界法律大会中国代表的公开信
·从上书到公开信
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·致陈光诚的一封信
·用微笑来面对那些制造恐惧的人——和高智晟在一起的一个下午
·2+2=4的自由
·推倒「新闻柏林围墙」——透视中国新闻自由的前景
·恢复收容遣送制度等于开历史倒车
·陈光诚案凸显中国法治的困局
·暗夜里的光明之舞
·中国维权运动往何处去?
·陈光诚是如何被定罪的?(补充版)
·Crusader in a legal wilderness
·China’s blind Justice
·China's Political Courts
·以公民的姿态挺身而出/闵家桥
·“最可贵的是她有健康的公民意识”——关于公民王淑荣的对话
·“阳光宪政”的护卫者/民主与法制杂志
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·太阳城:写在第三期“名家说法”被命令取消之后
·滕彪印象/法制日报
·Rule of Law requires our consciousness and responsibility
·临沂野蛮计生与陈光诚事件维权大事记(2006-11-7)
·耻为盛世添顺骨
·中国时报专访:盼与政府互动 和平维权
·滕彪博士:精神家园的守望者/刘爽
·司法改良和公民维权——学而思沙龙的网谈
·学术、政治与生活——2006年12月17日做客沧海论坛在线交流记录
·黎明前的见证
·看看我们的朋友——致受难中的高智晟和他的妻子和孩子
·临沂警匪暴行录
·临沂野蛮计生事件及陈光诚案维权大事记(五——七)
·中国当代宪政主义者的困境和选择/林泽波
·通过汉语改变中国
·茶人滕彪/萧瀚
·崔英杰案:“慎杀时代”的第一个考验
·死刑、司法与中国人权
·废除死刑的中国语境——在第三届世界反死刑大会上的发言
·司法独立,和谐中国——2007年“两会”之际的公民呼吁/许志永 滕彪
·彻底改革司法才能避免滥用死刑
·崔英杰案,在多重反思中寻找契机
·从“两会”看赎回选票运动
·关于尽快将青岛市四方区政府违法拆迁行为纳入法制轨道的法律意见书
·青岛野蛮拆迁:袁薪玉被控放火和妨害公务案一审的当庭辩护意见
·维权书简·戴脚镣的舞者
·被遗忘的谎言——就《成都晚报》事件致中宣部长和教育部长的一封信
·滕彪:可怕的“冤案递增律”
·不是我不明白
·张敏:滕彪律师访美谈中国司法现状与维权
·萧洵:纸包子案记者被判刑引发强烈质疑
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·郑筱萸案扇了死刑复核程序一记耳光/滕彪 李方平
·“杀害自己孩子的民族没有未来!”
·关于李和平律师被绑架殴打致国务院、最高人民检察院、公安部、国家安全部的公开信(签名中)
·NO FIGHTS,NO RIGHTS——接受博闻社采访谈中国人权现状
·挽包遵信先生
·香港电台铿锵集:扣着脚镣跳舞的中国律师
·那些陌生的人们在我们心底哭泣——推荐一个短片
·关于邮箱被盗用的声明
·《律师法》37条:为律师准备的新陷阱
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·The Real China before the Olympics/Teng Biao,Hu jia
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Political Legitimacy and Charter 08


   Teng Biao
   
   China Rights Forum 2009
   

   http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/article?revision%5fid=169465&item%5fid=169464#bk27
   
   
   What establishes a regime’s legitimacy? How can it justify its rule without the explicit consent of the people or their political participation? Can an improved standard of living for the people of China alone solve the question of legitimacy for the Communist Party of China? And for how long? Teng Biao, a rights defense lawyer, explores these questions, recognizing Charter 08 as a historical document from an emerging Chinese civil society that questions the legitimacy of its government.
   1.
   Is the existing system ethical? On what [grounds] does power base its rule?Why do I comply? These are core propositions in political studies and questions that humanity, that political animal, never ceases to press. The answers to these questions touch upon the concept of political legitimacy. As we evaluate phenomena such as identity, resistance movements, system change, and human rights violations, we cannot escape this concept.
   
   Legitimacy is something political systems do well to acknowledge. The concept has developed throughout history.As distinguished by Patrick Riley,1 from the 17th and 18th centuries on, the foundation of political legitimacy is no longer built on “patriarchy, theocracy, divine right, the natural superiority of one’s betters, the naturalness of political life, necessity, custom, convenience, psychological compulsion or any other basis,” but must be based on consent, sanction and voluntary individual behavior. Under the impact of modernity, the only source of legality for a regime nowadays is the endorsement of its power through methods such as elections and voting.
   
   Max Weber2 theorizes three bases of human obedience: habit, emotion, and rational calculation; and correspondingly, three types of legitimacy: traditional, charismatic, and legal. Zhao Dingxin3 believes that legitimacy is a dynamic relational concept. He bases this on popular and elite perceptions of national legitimacy, dividing legitimacy into the legal-electoral type, the effective performance type, and the ideological type. This gives rise to the question of whether economic development, social stability, improvements in people’s livelihood, and other [measures of] regime performance can bestow legitimacy on a regime that has never experienced a democratic election. Is legitimacy based on past [performance] or does it have a future orientation?
   
   Hannah Arendt,4 in her On Violence, was the first to draw a distinction between legitimacy and justification. Similarly, in his Political Man, Seymour M. Lipset5 distinguished legitimacy and validity; in The Third Wave, Samuel Huntington6 distinguished performance legitimacy from procedural legitimacy; and A. John Simmons7 made an even clearer theoretical distinction between legitimacy and justification. Consider a hypothetical case: Woman A is sold to B as a wife by a trafficker in human beings. Suppose that before her marriage A was looking for a mate. Suppose further that B is very kind to A and that A feels he is a model husband. Can we then say that his action in buying a wife has legitimate? First, “legitimacy” is concerned with the origins of power: B, in the absence of A’s consent, has no legitimacy. Second, B’s action is good for A, and is in fact what A needs, and is thus rational or “justified.” But such justification cannot be retroactively converted into “legitimacy.”
   
   2.
   Ever since its establishment in 1949, the Chinese Communist regime has been facing the issue of legality. Beginning with the 1954 Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, all the preambles to the Constitution were in fact various kinds of declarations of its legitimacy. They reviewed historical events and summed up the laws and objectives of history in order to establish legitimacy of Communist Party of China (CPC) rule. This sort of crudely simplistic method of dealing with history was nothing but an attempt to establish legitimacy [based] on the natural superiority of certain exceptional organizations (the vanguard of the proletariat) and certain historical inevitabilities (the inevitable appearance of communism), but actually none of this could cover up Mao Zedong’s plain statement that “Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun.” Even if their descriptions and elucidations of the events in modern Chinese history were true and neutral, they still had no way of inferring the laws and objectives of history. The barrel of a gun may be able to produce political power, but it cannot produce its legitimacy.
   
   The barrel of a gun may be able to produce political power, but it cannot produce its legitimacy.Doomed to lack legitimacy, a totalitarian system can only rely on violence and ideology, on one political movement after another, and on the mobilization of the entire population to maintain its rule. This type of rule experienced a crisis in the late 1970s, when the authorities had no other option but to embark on moderate reform and opening up of the economic and social sphere to ease the crisis and attempt to re-establish “legitimacy.” Rulers are convinced that as long as the economy soars and the people’s standard of living continues to rise, they can gain acceptance from the people, continue to suppress freedom and human rights, and continue to maintain a one-party dictatorship. As illustrated [by the example] above, even if the basic human rights were guaranteed and the people’s standard of living had risen, the rulers would achieve “justification” at the most, not “legitimacy.” When there is only lame economic reform that does not touch on the political, not only is there no guarantee for the basic human rights, but the economic and social sphere will be faced with increasingly serious problems as well.
   
   In the late 1970s, there was the policy of openness; in the mid 1990s, it was the socialist market economy. During the past 30 years the economy has indeed made great strides and the standard of living for the majority of the nation’s people has risen remarkably. But there have been no achievements to boast of when it comes to the political system. To this very day, China continues to practice strict one-party dictatorship. Forming associations of a political nature is strictly forbidden. There are no independent trade unions or peasant associations. There is no freedom of assembly, no freedom to hold protest marches, demonstrations, or strikes. There is no freedom of information, and expression of political views is subject to prior vetting. China ranks first in the world in the number of those convicted of speech crimes.8 There is no judicial independence; the Chinese Communist Party controls trials of important cases. There is no freedom of belief; house churches and other religious groups are suppressed, and Falun Gong has been designated a cult and subjected to exceedingly brutal persecution. There is no freedom of movement; the household registration system has turned farmers into second-class citizens. There is no universal suffrage; even the village committee and township elections were run by the government and the corruption was rife. The administration of finance is not public; taxpayers have no oversight of finances. The military does not answer to the state; the Party firmly controls the army. There is widespread violation of human rights, and dissidents, rights defenders, petitioners, and ethnic minorities are subjected to an even greater systematic suppression.
   
   Economic achievement is a superficial phenomenon. To begin with, such development has actually been based on the uncontrolled plundering by powerful officials, creating a huge gap between the rich and the poor and social inequity, a growing sense of deprivation among the people, and aggravated dissatisfaction toward government officials and toward the entire system. The 2006 World Bank report stated that 70 percent of China’s wealth was controlled by 0.4 percent of the population. Annual incomes among the specially privileged official strata are 8–25 times those of the average income of urban residents, and 25–85 times those of local farmers. Upwards of 90 percent of multimillionaires are the sons and daughters of high officials. The Gini coefficient for China long ago exceeded the internationally recognized warning line,making China the nation with the widest gap and most seriously inequitable distribution between rich and poor.9 Furthermore,minimizing human rights and minimizing guarantees is a tactic of economic development, and what the soaring economy has brought in its wake is a proliferation of wrongful imprisonment, an accumulation of grievances among the populace, and the inability of the broad masses of farmers and migrant workers to share equally in the fruits of social progress. Land appropriation and relocations, miscarriages of justice, [forced] birth control, etc., have kept the number of petitions for government redress at an all-time high. The number of mass incidents is rapidly rising: from 58,000 in 2003 to 74,000 in 2004, to a high of over 87,000 in 2005.10 The official number for 2006 was 73,000, but the actual number was, I’m afraid, higher.11 The scale and impact of mass incidents is also on the increase. For example, the Hanyuan incident in Sichuan in 2004;12 the Dingzhou murders in Hebei13 and Dongzhou murders in Shanwei Prefecture, Guangdong14 in 2005; clashes between police and people in Lingyuan, Liaoning in 200615 and Foshan, Guangdong in 2007;16 and clashes with officials in 2008 in Weng’an,17 Menglian,18 Jishou,19 and Longnan,20 as well as the March 14 incident in Tibet21 that reverberated around the globe. Finally, uncontrolled plundering by powerful officials has caused serious damage to natural resources, rapid worsening of the environment, and a decline in social morality. Political fear, education that keeps people ignorant, and consumerism have resulted in a prevalence of insensitivity, indifference, and cynicism, while knowledge, culture, and art have suffered.

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