A New Approach to Understanding the Contemporary China (5)

We are focusing on examining an emerging social power which represents the rise of anti-globalization movement. This kind of social power is always shifting its shape, density and capacity based on different politico-economic climates and social conditions. Of course, it is possible to measure this power by following the quantitative method mentioned above: to produce lots of statistic figures related to the existing of the social power. However, the figures can only indicate the “status quo” of the power sustaining in a very short time. To produce complex quantitative data is, in our research context, not a right approach to constructing a qualitative understanding on the current ongoing development of the social power for common people’s voices.

Here is an alternative approach to discovering the significance of the practices of the independent media activism as an influential social power developing in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

We will get start with revealing and analyzing the unique characteristics of the practices of the independent media movement in the Chinese societies. Comparing the characteristics of the movement practices with the Western counterparts’ and discovering the hidden connection between the contemporary social movement and the Chinese traditional thought – Daoism are the next two important steps. There is no doubt that Chinese society as a whole has been impacted by the domination of globalized capitalist economy and Western scientific civilization. However, the Chinese is still keeping its unique thinking logic and its clear attitude toward the contemporary changing world in a distinctive historical context. This can be evidenced by the fact that a “dialectical adaptive logic” has been embedded, developed and working in Chinese people’s mind, influencing the development of Chinese society from past to now. The form of this special logic for life is made by the long-term feudalism of the ancient China and the Westerns’ “colonization” with the Communist ruling over the modern China that the Chinese have never had the opportunity to develop their socio-political sense “to live their own life”.

Today, the brain of the West has dominated most of the academic studies on contemporary China, seeing the Chinese as the “follower”, ignoring the existence of the distinctive logic for harmonizing the hard social reality with the “to-be-oneself” idealism of the Chinese people. Therefore, how to open up a new approach to consider this “home-grown” logic is a crucial thing. Through our study on the independent media in Hong Kong and Taiwan, we discover that certain Chinese traditional thoughts can play a role in explaining various social phenomena emerging in the contemporary Chinese society, meanwhile the logic is fully considered.

Finally, a completely new concept – “Open Structure” is to be presented not only for embodying the logic’s existentiality but also for interpreting the close relationship between the Chinese society, the characteristics of the media movement practices and Daoism. Through the new concept, a bold attempt to examine the significant reflection of today’s Chinese on the nature of the globalized civilization by reconnecting the ancient thinking with the contemporary reality will be realized. Also, the concept is anticipated to help open up an advanced construction of an open knowledge structure beyond the existing East-West epistemological perspective, on which the next stage of human civilization for all people can be based.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

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耶穌言行的無政府性 (3)

耶穌對世人的愛源自上帝的愛,其超脫所謂男女之間的愛情或共同血緣之間的親情。基督信徒如此相信,世人亦應相信,上帝全知全能,知曉眾生困阨,這是一個「真理」。所以「神愛世人」。據傳統猶太教的典籍記載,上帝的愛似乎獨厚猶太族人。不過,基督宗教中耶穌以愛宣揚神的啟示,其關涉世上所有人類,因為上帝愛人係無私的,祂不分族類、不分長幼,不管社會地位的高低或身體的強壯懦弱。作為上帝的使者,耶穌擁有悲天憫人的神格。所以,耶穌在其人生及宗教實踐─例如對基督教義的宣揚上對人「一視同仁」。人人都是平等的,只要全心信仰上帝。比起權貴,耶穌更加親近平民及病弱者。這就是神的大愛的本質:福音並不專屬於一小撮教徒。這種解放的宗教實踐確確實實存在於耶穌的言論和行為中。

耶穌以愛作為一個真確的信念,作為一種超脫世俗藩籬的體現。此信念是以創造的意志和實踐表示出來。這並非意味「上帝」是由耶穌所創造。恰好相反,耶穌富有神人二格。上帝創造萬物的意志和實然係被耶穌的「神力」施展所兌證。耶穌的人生意義是以宣佈神對待每一個人都是平等而得以成全。耶穌沒有創造「上帝」,但其言行確實創造了一種人類關係的越界態勢。這種人與人之間的休戚相關不但超越男女情愛的框架,打破了親屬血緣關係的格局,更瓦解所謂國家民族意識型態對人的精神束縛。最後,全人類因不同地緣和語言所造成的疏離與隔閡被上帝的愛所消弭,使人類不分國族界限的理想:建立一個「神的國度」得以現實。創造作為無政府性之一,其實可從耶穌一生的宗教實踐中獲得兌證。

(摘自: 無政府與全球化. 台北: 國立政治大學. 2003)

耶穌言行的無政府性 (2)

上帝憐憫、體恤萬民苦難,祂要世人知道苦難的原由:世界上每一個人都帶著永遠無法洗脫的原罪。我們無法追究這種罪的成因。人人生來就有罪,這根源於上帝創世之時,亞當與夏娃(Adam and Eve)因偷嚐「禁果」所犯下的。現世人類對這段「真理」陳述無法知道更多,亦無法挽回這個因欲望驅使所犯下的罪業。所以耶穌說:天國近了。在世界末日之時,上帝將審判所有人。凡未抱悔改之心的「罪人」,必下地獄。只有全心信仰基督、相信人子來世的目的是為了洗脫人們的罪,天堂之門是打開的,所有人將獲得永恆的生命。

在基督教教義裡,我們認識到「罪」這個概念的普全性質。沒有人從未犯過錯,所以人身上都帶有不同程度的罪。這並不是法律上的犯罪,而是一種道德的罪、由基督宗教所定義的罪。以規範一個概念的普全特性來進一步發展思想理論或教義的規模,其思考邏輯與斯多噶的基諾講人擁有「理性」相似。如上節所述,基諾認為人是理性的,所以人與人之間的關係是平等、休戚相關、是「自然」的。在此,基督教認為凡人必有罪,所以這個罪係必須被贖:耶穌代替我們贖了這個罪而犧牲生命,這個事體我們必須相信。不然,地獄就是死後唯一存身之場所。

下一個問題是,耶穌─上帝之子、「人子」、「彌賽亞」究竟依據什麼思想、理念、精神基礎去頂替人類面對死亡、為人贖罪?據《新約聖經》記載耶穌一生的言行來推斷,祂是基於「愛」─一種打破不同種族、長幼、社會階級等藩籬的大愛為人去贖這個根本之罪。

(摘自: 無政府與全球化. 台北: 國立政治大學. 2003)

No Relationship with the Cultural Difference between the East and the West (4)

Different from the Oriental’s thinking logic, the West has a long history of positioning and categorizing the “unknown” by constructing a stronghold of absolute knowledge system. For this, the rise of natural science[1] is a good example. The construction of so-called scientific knowledge as a Western civilization tradition has affected people’s spirit, thinking logic and way of life in every aspect of human society. In social sciences, the impact of the development of the scientific spirit embodies in the inclination of trying to present a “fixed picture” of social phenomenon: taking social movement practice as an example, why the people do it; how the people carry out the movement; what the major factors are the causes of the movement; what the approaches to participating in the movement are provided at the specific moment are all needed to be studied in the scientific methodology. Therefore, from this point we can understand the practice form of the independent media movement in the West is impacted by this kind of reasoning: for instance, social movement activists would carry out their action by creating a “systemic tool” for promoting their practice – building up an online website or blog as a public communicative platform for expanding their social influence. By clicking on the platform, people can understand the movement’s idealism and practical goal in an ordered context. After that, they can decide whether they want to support the activism ongoing. Through this approach, people’s social power can be brought together and strengthened further effectively.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

[1] “By the mid-nineteenth century, science was having an ever-greater impact on European life. The Scientific Revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had fundamentally transformed the Western worldview and led to a modern, rational approach to the study of the natural world….Moreover, the technical advances of the early Industrial Revolution had depended little on pure science and much more on the practical experiments of technologically oriented amateur inventors. Advances in industrial technology, however, fed an interest in basic scientific research, which in the 1830s and afterward resulted in a rash of basic scientific discoveries that were soon converted into technological improvements that affected everybody. …The steadily increasing and often dramatic material gains generated by science and technology led to a growing faith in the benefits of science. The popularity of scientific and technological achievement produced a widespread acceptance of the scientific method, based on observation, experiment, and logical analysis, as the only path to objective truth and objective reality.” See: Spielvogel, Jackson J. (2010). Western Civilization. USA: Cengage Learning. p. 783.

No “Label” (5)

Similar to the alienation of the use of currency, the reasoning method of “induction” – to label social phenomena by linking up known theories, thoughts and principles and by categorizing things as a typical approach to “scientific knowledge production” – is to be impotent and needed to be reflected nowadays. Through labeling, we seem to have deeper understanding on the things studied. However, by following this approach we would unconsciously ignore the importance of the nature and characteristics of the things developing within distinctive historical contexts when enjoying the “academic achievement” brought by the doing, being misled by the “power of human knowledge” based on the so-called “absolute effectiveness of the method endorsed by the name of “science”, blurring our original goal for understanding the existing within the Nature on the Earth. Human beings are not the “creator” of the world, but created by the world. However, human knowledge labeled by “science” makes everyone believe in it without reflection. This is a very obstacle of human civilization progression. Therefore, it is certain to say when we get used to put any social phenomena into a fixed understanding system of human knowledge development through labeling things, we lose a significant opportunity to rediscover the only world without the interference from power.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

No “Label” (3)

Some sociologists are so keen to analyze the historical development of social movement. They categorize and compare known theories and practice cases of social movement in human society in different ages, creating various specialized terms for labeling the “new”, trying to facilitate the structuring of knowledge systematization. For example, the term “Left/Right Wing” is commonly used as ideology which refers to a group of individuals who hold specific positions, ideas or opinions on how people should live in politics, economics, and humanities categorized by academicians on the intellectual scene. Also, the so-called “-ism” is another one for solidifying any theories.

Generally speaking, this labeling behaviour of knowledge makers can be significant: it contributes to the enlightenment of human understanding. However, the behaviour simultaneously produces many negative effects on civilization development, such as ossifying people’s thinking, causing power fetishism under the “scientific umbrella”, etc., that does not conform to the original aim of the doing. Here, “derailing from its original” is a kind of alienation, which is one of the characters of human developing tendency.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The Contents: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement – Case Studies of the Independent Media in Hong Kong and Taiwan

Chapter One The Introduction
Section 1 The Contemporary World and Anti-Globalization Movement
Section 2 What is Independent Media?
Section 3 The Contemporary Development of the Chinese Societies
Section 4 The Independent Media – “Inmediahk.net” and “Coolloud.org”
Section 5 Globalization and the Media Activism
Section 6 The New Approach to Understanding the Contemporary China
Chapter Two The Theories Inspiring Anti-Globalization Movement – Anti-Capitalism and the Reflection on Democracy
Section 1 The Meaning of Globalization: From Ulrich Beck’s Vision and the Rise of Anti-Globalization
Part 1 The Connotation of the Terms: Anti-/Alter-Globalization
Part 2 Alter-Globalization Movement Promoted by “WSF” & “ATTAC”
Section 2 Anti-Globalization on the Economic Issue: Capitalism and Its Problems
Part 1 The Base of the Economic Inequality: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Criticizing the “Property”
Part 2 The Quantification of Capitalism Violating the Nature – Murray Bookchin’s Reflection on “Environmentalism”
Section 3 Anti-Globalization on the Political Issue: The Reflection on Representative Democracy
Part 1 From the Beginning of Democracy: K.H.Z. Solneman’s Viewpoints and Weakness of Global Governmental Power
Part 2 Constructing a New Form of Political Power: The Games between Governments
Chapter Three Independent Media as the Anti-Globalization Movement in Hong Kong: “Inmediahk.net”
Section 1 From Globalization to the Development of the Chinese Independent Media
Section 2 The History of Independent Media in Hong Kong
Section 3 The Beginning of “Inmediahk.net”
Section 4 The Funding Issue of the Media
Section 5 The Effects of “Inmediahk.net”
Section 6 The Stance of Anti-Monopoly
Section 7 The Connection between “Inmediahk.net” and the Mainland China
Chapter Four Independent Media as the Anti-Globalization Movement in Taiwan: “Coolloud.org”
Section 1 The Socio-Political Background of Modern Taiwan
Section 2 The Main Works of the Media
Section 3 The Social Background of the Beginning of the Media
Section 4 Anti-Globalization and “Coolloud.org”
Section 5 As a Kind of Diversified Social Movement
Section 6 The Viewpoints on Mainstream Media
Section 7 Reflecting on the Media’s Funding Issue
Section 8 Connected with Social Movement Organizations
Section 9 The Differences between “Inmediahk.net” and “Coolloud.org”
Section 10 The Objection to “Principle”
Section 11 The Difficulties and Challenges
Chapter Five The Characteristics of the Independent Media in Hong Kong and Taiwan
Section 1 The Qualitative Influence of the Independent Media
Section 2 Playing a Role in the Developing History of Independent Media
Section 3 No “Label”
Section 4 No Relationship with the Cultural Difference between the East and the West
Conclusion The Daoist Characters of the Independent Media and Modern China
Section 1 Anti-Globalization Movement as an “Ecology” of Human Society
Section 2 The Daoist logic of “Coolloud.org”: The Abandonment of “Name (名)”
Section 3 The World without Discrimination: From Yu Ying-Shih’s “Introversive Culture” to Ip Iam Chong’s “Political Matter”
Section 4 “Open Structure”: The Contemporary Interpretation of Daoism Inspired by the Media Movement
Reference