滕彪文集
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滕彪文集
·获奖感言
·司法与民意——镜城突围
·Rewards and risks of a career in the legal system
·太离谱的现实感
·35个网评员对“这鸡蛋真难吃”的不同回答(转载加编辑加原创)
·Dissonance Strikes A Chord
·顺应历史潮流 实现律协直选——致全体北京律师、市司法局、市律协的呼吁
·但愿程序正义从杨佳案开始/滕彪 许志永
·维权的计算及其他
·我们对北京律协“严正声明”的回应
·网络言论自由讨论会会议纪要(上)
·网络言论自由讨论会会议纪要(下)
·Well-Known Human Rights Advocate Teng Biao Is Not Afraid
·法眼冷对三鹿门
·北京律师为自己维权风暴/亚洲周刊
·胡佳若获诺贝尔奖将推动中国人权/voa
·奥运后的中国人权
·Chinese Activist Wins Rights Prize
·我无法放弃——记一次“绑架”
·认真对待出国权
·毒奶粉:谁的危机?
·不要制造聂树斌——甘锦华抢劫案的当庭辩护词
·“独立知识分子”滕彪/刘溜
·经济观察报专访/滕彪:让我们不再恐惧
·人权:从理念到制度——纪念《世界人权宣言》60周年
·公民月刊:每一个人都可能是历史的转折点
·抵制央视、拒绝洗脑
·公民在行动
·Charter of Democracy
·阳光茅老
·中国“黑监狱”情况让人担忧/路透社
·《关于取缔黑监狱的建议》
·用法律武器保护家园——青岛市河西村民拆迁诉讼代理词
·关于改革看守所体制及审前羁押制度的公民建议书
·仅仅因为他们说了真话
·再审甘锦华 生死仍成谜
·邓玉娇是不是“女杨佳”?
·星星——为六四而作
·I Cannot Give Up: Record of a "Kidnapping"
·Political Legitimacy and Charter 08
·六四短信
·倡议“5•10”作为“公民正当防卫日”
·谁是敌人——回"新浪网友"
·为逯军喝彩
·赠晓波
·正义的运动场——邓玉娇案二人谈
·这六年,公盟做了什么?
·公盟不死
·我们不怕/Elena Milashina
·The Law On Trial In China
·自由有多重要,翻墙就有多重要
·你也会被警察带走吗
·Lawyer’s Detention Shakes China’s Rights Movement
·我来推推推
·许志永年表
·庄璐小妹妹快回家吧
·开江县法院随意剥夺公民的辩护权
·Summary Biography of Xu Zhiyong
·三著名行政法学家关于“公盟取缔事件”法律意见书
·公益诉讼“抑郁症”/《中国新闻周刊》
·在中石化上访
·《零八宪章》与政治正当性问题
·我来推推推(之二)
·我来推推推(之三)
·國慶有感
·我来推推推(之四)
·国庆的故事(系列之一)
·国庆的故事(系列之二)
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·我来推推推(之五)
·我来推推推(之六)
·净空(小说)
·作为反抗的记忆——《不虚此行——北京劳教调遣处纪实》序
·twitter直播-承德冤案申诉行动
·我来推推推(之七)
·关于我的证言的证言
·我来推推推(之八)
·不只是问问而已
·甘锦华再判死刑 紧急公开信呼吁慎重
·就甘锦华案致最高人民法院死刑复核法官的紧急公开信
·我来推推推(之九)
·DON’T BE EVIL
·我来推推推(之十)
·景德镇监狱三名死刑犯绝食吁国际关注
·江西乐平死刑冤案-向最高人民检察院的申诉材料
·我来推推推(之十一)
·法律人的尊严在于独立
·我来推推推(之十二)
·听从正义和良知的呼唤——在北京市司法局关于吊销唐吉田、刘巍律师证的听证会上的代理意见
·一个思想实验:关于中国政治
·公民维权与社会转型(上)——在北京传知行社会经济研究所的演讲
·公民维权与社会转型——在北京传知行社会经济研究所的演讲(下)
·福州“7•4”奇遇记
·夏俊峰案二审辩护词(新版)
·摄录机打破官方垄断
·敦请最高人民检察院立即对重庆打黑运动中的刑讯逼供问题依法调查的公开信
·为政治文明及格线而奋斗——滕彪律师的维权之路
·“打死挖个坑埋了!”
·"A Hole to Bury You"
·谁来承担抵制恶法的责任——曹顺利被劳动教养案代理词
·国家尊重和保障人权从严禁酷刑开始
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Changing China through Mandarin

Changing China through Mandarin
   
   by Teng Biao
   
   

   ( Teng Biao (滕彪) is a well-known legal scholar and rights lawyer in China. Read the original here. Translated from Chinese by Rogier Creemers. )
   
   
   
   Even in Robinson’s world of one man, his life required information, reflection and memory. Human society not having information is even more impossible to imagine. It may be said that a person is moulded by the information he or she comes into contact with and masters; a society is the same.
   
   Thinking and memory cannot be separated from language. Modern philosophers have paid more and more attention to the extreme importance of language in human societies. The thinking human (homo sapiens) exists first and foremost as a language human (homo loquens). Society and language have not stopped interacting for a blink: regardless of whether philosophy is concerned, or whether politics or society is concerned, language not only is a tool for expression and memory – language itself has a huge capacity to create reality.
   
   Because of this, all systems that want to control and transform society attempt to control and transform language. (Do you remember “Newspeak” from Oceania?) Movements to transform thinking are at the same time movements to transform language; the education to keep people in ignorance is at the same time an education that promotes a language system designed to keep people in ignorance. The highest effect of controlling language is ensuring that a person cannot produce heterodox thinking, and to ensure that persons cannot become their true selves. Because totalitarian ambitions are not only to transform public politics and transform private lives, but also to transform spirits (“Wreak revolution in your innermost soul”); they are surely aware of the deep effects of this revolutionary tool, language, and know how to achieve the greatest effect.
   
   In the various Spring and Autumn thinkers, Han prose and Tang poetry, Song verse and Yuan drama, Ming and Qing novels, the Book of Odes and the Historical Records, essays and letters, plays and storytelling, calligraphy and couples, Mandarin art has extraordinarily enriched the spiritual world of Chinese, and has made immortal contributions to the culture of humankind. But its fate is similar to that of Russian, and the Mandarin that once created outstanding culture was unable to escape the ravages of totalitarianism in the 20th century. From character reform to revolutionary slogans, from applications to join the party to ideological reports, from the Little Red Book to poetry contests, from model plays to the Three Old Articles, from eight-legged Party writing to language and literature course, from letters to diaries, from film and television to comic dialogue: Mandarin has met with complete abuse and pollution. Totalitarian politics are a politics “without laughter” (dixit Zizek); totalitarian language must be a language lacking in humor, mechanical and insipid. Bloody and hypocritical politics have led to the withering of Mandarin; dull Mandarin has led to the desertification of the minds of the Chinese.
   
   The editorials of the People’s Daily and the CCTV Evening News once were an important part of Chinese people’s lives and, for some, it is still their “compulsory course” every day. As soon as it turns seven in the evening, some people concentrate their attention on the television to watch the Evening News with the piety of apostles. If they watch a sports program at that time, they feel they have let down the benevolence of the Party, the country, heaven and earth. Every day, people see or hear these phrases in newspapers, magazines or the television:
   
   “The Party’s strong leadership is the basic guarantee for doing good in everything. ……The Party cadres and State personnel across the board must persist in seeking truth from facts, progressing with the times, and maintaining a good spiritual outlook and work style, persist in using their powers for the good of the people, showing concern for them and working for their benefit, so as to better unite and lead the masses to base themselves on scientific development, strive for indigenous innovation, perfect structures and mechanisms, and stimulate social harmony.” (People’s Daily, January 1, 2006)
   
   “Let us raise high the magnificent banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory, completely implement the important ‘Three Represents’ thought, closely unite around the Party Center with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, carry forward the cause into the future, progress with the times, work diligently in spite of difficulty, pioneer and innovate, and wrest new and even greater victories in the cause of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, imbued with confidence.” (People’s Daily, March 19, 2003)
   
   “Carrying forward Lei Feng’s spirit is consistent with the basic requirement of completely implementing the important ‘Three Represents’ thought, and is a concrete reflection of practicing the important ‘Three Represents’ thought. Launching activities to learn from Lei Feng under new circumstances, we must closely grasp this topic of the times that is to study and practice the important ‘Three Represents’ thought, and we must persist in making the important ‘Three Represents’ thought into a mandatory course for young officers and soldiers to grow and establish themselves, a mandatory course for Communist Party members’ to train them about the nature of the Party, and a mandatory course for leading cadres to govern and use power. The broad officers and soldiers must carry forward the Lei Feng Spirit, earnestly comprehend and deeply grasp the scientific connotations and spiritual essence of the important ‘Three Represents’ thought, persist in using revolutionary theory to guide lives, consciously make the important ‘Three Represents’ thought into ‘nourishment,’ ‘weapons’ and ‘the steering wheel’, ensure that it becomes a formidable spiritual pillar for strengthening political convictions, hold high the magnificent banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory throughout, and determinedly obey the commands of the Party Center, the Central Military Commission and Chairman Jiang.” (PLA Daily, March 5, 2003)
   
   The result of these sentences is not only that they strangle our thinking, but that they also strangle the delight and aesthetics of our language, so much so that chewing wax is more interesting than reading these sentences. If I am required to choose between ignorance and insipidness, I would rather select the former. But totalitarianism requires that we are insensitive towards language, that our souls become numb, and that we are both ignorant and insipid.
   
   Through the round-the-clock and repeated clamor and unobtrusive influence of public language (newspapers, radio, television, plenary reports, red-headed documents, news bulletins, textbooks of history), the flavor of our writing, reading, lecturing and even daily speech is molded. When picking up a pen, we come up with nothing but clichés and hackneyed expressions. When we talk, there are either lies and double talk, or boasts and idle talk. Regardless of whether it is an official, an actor, a professor or a journalist, as soon as someone gets on the stage to speak, they all become prigs as if by appointment. The haughty official’s tune, the hypocrite’s tune, the revolutionary tune, in short, people just cannot talk like normal human beings. A few years ago, someone criticized the television drama “Grand Justice” for not speaking “the people’s language”, and I shared the same feeling deeply. In real life, people who talk like that are either lunatics or political counselors at Tsinghua University. It isn’t just in “Grand Justice”; in all the works with officially-promoted themes, few people speak the people’s language. The characters are either tall, grand and perfect, or false, ugly and vicious. How can they speak the authentic language of humanity when what they do is deceive by either dressing up as gods or playing devils?

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