Monthly Archives: July 2012

鍵盤戰士終極奧義 之 打字練習

素材:Laclau, E. (2005). On Populist Reason. London: Verso.

目的:方便自己將來copy and paste用

 

前言:

話說On Populist Reason是筆者去年寫undergrad畢業論文時最重要的參考書籍,全書 (及後來因為要還書而製作的影印本) 被翻完又翻,引用過三五七次,不過最重要的還是在論文以外,它導致筆者變成了一個徹徹底底的constructivist – 建構主義者 (別問這是甚麼,如果你不知道的話,總之不可以吃)。

筆者當日的研究主題,不甚有趣,改天再談。難得現在是寫blog而不是嘔paper,無需太用腦,亦不怕plagiarism,因此可把鍵盤戰士的潛能發揮至極限──只用鍵盤打字,連滑鼠也省掉──把書中開首部份的某幾頁原文直接打出來,用最慳水慳力的方法出篇blog文。如果你連明白這個開首的能力也沒有,恭喜你,你的智力正常,可以回去跟愚昧的民眾一起驚恐民粹了。

1.

“      So why address these issues through a discussion of populism? Because of the suspicion, which I have had for a long time, that in the dismissal of populism far more is involved than the relegation of a peripheral set of phenomena to the margins of social explanation. What is involved in such a disdainful rejection is, I think, the dismissal of politics tout court, and the assertion that the management of community is the concern of an administrative power whose source of legitimacy is a proper knowledge of what a ‘good’ community is. This has been, throughout the centuries, the discourse of ‘political philosophy’, first instituted by Plato. ‘Populism’ was always linked to a dangerous excess, which puts the clear-cut moulds of a rational community into question. So my task, as I conceived it, was to bring to light the specific logics inherent in that excess, and to argue that, far from corresponding to marginal phenomena, they are inscribed in the actual working of any communitarian space. ,,,

 

… My attempt has not been to find the true referent of populism, but to do the opposite: to show that populism has no referential unity because it is ascribed not to a delimitable phenomenon but to a social logic whose effects cut across many phenomena. Populism is, quite simply, a way of constructing the political.” (pp.x-xi)

 

 

2.

“      A first step away from this discursive denigration of populism is not, however, to question the categories used in its description – ‘vagueness’, ‘imprecision’, and so on – but to take them at face value while rejecting the prejudices which are at the root of their dismissal. That is: instead of counterposing ‘vagueness’ to a mature political logic governed by a high degree of precise institutional determination, we should start asking ourselves a different and more basic set of questions: ‘is not the “vagueness” of populist discourses the consequence of social reality itself being, in some situations, vague and undetermined?’ And in that case, ‘wouldn’t populism be, rather than a clumsy political and ideological operation, a performative act endowed with a rationality of its own – that is to say, in some situations, vagueness is a precondition to constructing relevant political meanings?’ Finally, ‘is populism really a transitional moment derived from the immaturity of social actors and bound to be superseded at a later stage, or is it, rather a constant dimension of political action which necessarily arises (in different degrees) in all political discourses, subverting and complicating the operations of the so-called “more mature” ideologies?’ Let us give an example.

 

Populism, it is argued, ‘simplifies’ the political space, replacing a complex set of differences and determinations by a stark dichotomy whose two poles are necessarily imprecise. … If things are so, however, is not this logic of simplification, and of making some terms imprecise, the very condition of political action? Only in an impossible world in which politics would have been entirely replaced by administration, in which piecemeal engineering in dealing with particularized differences would have totally done away with antagonistic dichotomies, would we find that ‘imprecision’ and ‘simplification’ would really have been eradicated from the public sphere. In that case, however, the trademark of populism would be just the special emphasis on a political logic which, as such, is a necessary ingredient of politics tout court.

 

Another way of dismissing populism, as we have seen, is to relegate it to ‘mere rhetoric’. But, as we have also pointed out, the tropological movement, far from being a mere adornment of a social reality which could be described in non-rhetorical terms, can be seen as the very logic of constitution of political identities. Let us just take the case of metaphor. As we know, metaphor establishes a relation of substitution between terms on the basis of the principle of analogy. Now, as I have just said, in any dichotomic structure, a set of particular identities or interests tend to regroup themselves as equivalential differences around one of the poles of the dichotomy. For instance, the wrongs experienced by various sections of ‘the people’ will be seen as equivalent to each other vis-à-vis the ‘oligarchy’. But this is simply to say that they are all analogous with each other in their confrontation with oligarchic power. And what is this but a metaphorical reaggregation? Needless to say, the breaking of those equivalences in the construction of a more institutionalist discourse would proceed through different but equally rhetorical devices. So far from these devices being mere rhetoric, they are inherent in the logics presiding over the constitution and dissolution of any political space.

 

So we can say that progress in understanding populism requires, as a sine qua non, rescuing it from its marginal position within the discourse of the social sciences – the latter having confined it to the realm of the non-thinkable, to being the simple opposite of political forms dignified with the status of a full rationality. I should stress that this relegation has been possible only because, from the very beginning, a strong element of ethical condemnation has been present in the consideration of populistic movements. Populism has not only been demoted: it has also been denigrated. Its dismissal has been part of the discursive construction of a certain normality, of an ascetic political universe from which its dangerous logics had to be excluded. …” (pp.17-19)

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要了解,但不必原諒──淺論前線警員看待示威的思維

            示威者與警員之間的衝突,自曾偉雄上任警務處處長後,越演激烈。先有大量示威者被控以襲警罪名,後有前線警員濫用胡椒噴霧攻擊無力反抗的示威人士和記者,導致網絡上指責警察濫權的聲音高漲,示威者對警員的仇視亦日益嚴重。筆者在《示威集會、警察與「暴徒」想像》一文中曾指出,前線警員在執行任務時未必有「護主」的自覺,而是遵從其一己之正義感而行動;而近日,筆者透過在facebook上觀察一些前線警員的言論,發現那些遵從一己之正義感而行動的前線警員,其所謂「正義感」有一共同的來源,反映著一種他們之間的共同論述,有可能是警方內部思想教育的結果。

            那個論述是這樣的:各種針對政府和中聯辦的示威遊行,都是部份政客為一己政治利益煽動群眾而造成的。這些政客為了政治私利,置香港的繁榮和安定於不顧,而參與示威的人則是被政客利用而不自知,成為政客破壞香港的工具。在這種論述下,示威者是被煽動的愚昧群眾,雖無知但卻是禍港的幫兇,因此警察身為維持治安的執法者,有義務制止他們,而這等於是從政客的陰謀中保護香港。更進一步推論的話,這裡可能存在著一種家長式思維:用武力鎮壓無知的示威者,能起阻嚇作用,防止更多的人因被煽動而參與示威。這對重服從多於說理的紀律部隊來說,實在是一套相當中聽的邏輯。

            當然,在紀律和服從面前,人權從來都只是一個礙手礙腳的局限,或是犯錯的人用來逃避責任的藉口。姑勿論香港人普遍對人權的認知不足 (連一些爭取公義多年的社運份子亦如是,在此不詳述),教育程度一般不到大學的員佐級警察所接受的人權教育,大概就只限於人權對其執法權力造成甚麼限制,而不是人權的價值和重要性。因此,要他們把人權視為一套價值來尊重,可說是天荒夜談。在他們眼中,不存在甚麼「濫用」胡椒噴霧的問題,因為就維護正義而言,這些因人權而存在的限制本身已經很是無理。

        如果能明白這套前線警員的思維,我們就不難理解他們為何會把示威者看成暴徒,並對長毛「中椒」感到雀躍──政客和示威者都是危害香港繁榮的人,是正義的敵人,而政客更是策劃一切的幕後黑手,罪加一等;人權甚麼的則給予他們過份的保護,被「濫用」來破壞香港的穩定,因此警察偶爾在執法時出現過火行為絕對是情有可原。這就是筆者所看到的、前線警員看待示威遊行的思維,即不中亦不遠矣。對於為數不少的警察抱持同樣的看法,筆者深信這絕非巧合,而是警察內部有一套很有系統的思想教育,對前線警員灌輸這樣的概念,加之以偶爾出現的示威者挑釁行為,令這套論述更為鞏固。

            對比前線警員的思維和示威者的指責,其實頗為有趣。前線警員把示威者視為被政客利用為工具而不自知的愚昧群眾,而示威者則視前線警員為曾偉雄所作的政治決定的執行者,雙方都各自在一「策劃──執行」二分的邏輯下把對方置於後者,卻又都認為自身有著遠高於執行工具的自主性。前線警員在對付示威者時,不覺得自己是在「護主」,而是貫徹自身的正義;示威者在指責前線警員時,亦不會認同自己被人利用,示威只是出於一己之政治理念和訴求。換言之,前線警員和示威者相互看待對方的邏輯,其實有相通之處;只要把「政客」和「曾偉雄」、「示威者」和「前線警員」的角色置換一下,就不難明白對方的想法。

            但相互理解不足,不等於要作出《明報》式「各打五十大板」的結論。在警察的「正義」和示威者的基本權利之間,後者毫無疑問凌駕前者。警察的正義,充其量只是以香港的繁榮和穩定作為理據;但示威者的基本權利,則受《中英聯合聲明》、《基本法》和多條聯合國國際人權公約保障。一般且空泛的集體利益理據,在法治社會下其力度遠比不上明文規定憲法權利,這是尊重法治、認同法律具凌駕地位的人所必須接受的事實。況且所謂的破壞香港繁榮安定,大部份都只是出於對示威者連番激進行為的主觀感覺,相比起來示威者的基本權利被警方以武力侵害,卻是鐵一般的事實。因此,即使不搬出「雞蛋與牆」的道德問題,單是遁法治原則,已能確定道理在示威者的一方。基於對人權的不正確觀念而造出侵害示威者基本權利行為的前線警員,無論其對政客和示威者的理解是否正確,都要為其對法治的不尊重而負責──換言之,即使政客真的是為私利而利用示威者,前線警員也不應、在法律上亦無資格動他們分毫,否則前線警員的罪定必遠大於示威者的任何過錯。

        當然,在這裡談法律實在是毫不動聽,亦無法解決問題,反正無論筆者怎樣說,面對人權教育不足、愛國論述泛濫的現實也根本無法說服前線警員和一般大眾去接受人權的凌駕性。從實際的角度來說,我們應從前線警員所面對的思想灌輸入手,想辦法瓦解他們看待示威的論述。方法之一是把警察的濫權行為訴諸法庭,倘若勝訴,即能藉法庭這正義的象徵去衝擊他們的正義觀;另一方面,我們亦要想辦法向他們傳達一套對繁榮安定更全面的理解──繁榮安定並非片刻的和諧,真正而長久的繁榮安定必須建基於市民的基本權利得到保障 (這理念同時亦能對抗中共的經濟論述,一石二鳥)。至於示威者既有的激進行為,筆者個人並不鼓勵,但不認為必須收歛。筆者希望的,只是示威者能了解前線警員的思維,但了解不等於認同或原諒,更不等於要改變自己的行為──了解也可以是為攻克敵人而作的準備。