Monthly Archives: April 2013
說到這種「尋找仆街的故事」，又很難不聯想到黃子華的魚蛋論。話說筆者去年寫的那篇《黃子華魚蛋論 之 港大法律系加強版》，不知為何能在香港網絡大典的「魚蛋論」條目中找到，那文章的背景和內容都十分小眾，只是關於去年港大PCLL收分準則的轉變所帶來的一些小風波，街外人應該沒可能有興趣和明白。讓這麼多網民不小心點了進來看了一篇不知所云的廢話，筆者於心有愧，所以決定從正常人看得明白的主題再多寫一次魚蛋論。
這次要說的很簡單，就是不知為何，連時常實踐魚蛋論精神的香港人，一說到女性主義，都會不自覺地把這香港精神置諸腦後。魚蛋論下的公平，就是「大家都食得好仆街咁囉」，故面對「頂包案」下謝霆鋒獲輕判而協助「頂包」的警員被重判時，會要求為謝霆鋒加刑。那為何面對男女之間的各種不公平現象時，女性主義仍只要求 (在各種意義上) 提升女性地位呢？
婦團的「保護女性」，和真正女性主義者的「建構女性主體性」，往往都只著眼於如何幫助女性。即使是較極端的「基進女性主義」(radical feminism)，也都只針對社會權力結構。一直以來女性主義的討論，大概都忽略了應如何直接打擊和削弱男性地位。縱使實行上有困難 (雖然筆者認為這最少較實踐基進女性主義容易)，但它也絕不應被剔除於討論之列。畢竟經討論和思考後得出不可取的結論，和從一開始就理所當然地被遺忘，是完全兩回事。
To many Hongkongers, the death of the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is a piece of saddening news. Despite criticisms concerning her responsibility of letting Hong Kong be taken away by Communist China, Hongkongers’ view towards the Prime Minister who led their former sovereign state during the golden ages of the city is generally positive. This seems self-contradictory in terms of political ideology though, when a significant number of them are at the same time supporting the ongoing strike of habour workers against Hongkong International Terminals (HIT), in that for whom they have expressed condolences was famous (or notorious) for the extreme rightist ideology of neoliberalism, which is of course hostile to inefficient and anti-market practices like strikes.
Refraining from taking the tempting conclusion of apoliticality, or more precisely, political ambivalence of Hongkongers, I am more interested in finding the consistency between these two seemingly contradictory acts. A lack of understanding of political spectrum aside, how may the coexistence of appreciation a neoliberalist politician and strong sympathy towards a leftist worker movement be intellectually explained? A possible answer, which takes into account the reminiscence of colonial era arisen in recent years along with the localist movements, is that Hongkongers, facing various political and economic difficulties, have taken the recollection of our golden ages in the 1980s and 90s as a painkiller. The memory of our success in the golden ages, which made the identity of Hongkongers as a pride, has served as the underlying logic which bridges our expression of condolences on Thatcher’s death with the support given to the exploited habour workers.
It is not difficult to see the relation between our appreciation of Thatcher and the memory of success: Thatcher was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 1979 and 1990, a period which significantly overlapped with the most prosperous era of the country’s crown colony in East Asia. Despite the great disappointment and fear triggered by the signing of the Joint Declaration, the prosperity of Hong Kong and the corresponding international status of the city were largely unaffected during the 1980s and 90s. Moreover, this success has partly, if not mainly, been explained in a neoliberalist discourse that it was the free market of Hong Kong and the hardworking of its citizens which brought the prosperity. Hongkongers’ condolences for Thatcher are in this sense having double meanings: both praising a political leader of the sovereign state at the time Hong Kong was most successful and recollecting the disappearing fruits of neoliberalist “economic rationality”.
The relation between the sympathy towards the harbour strike and the past success is less obvious, but it does not mean that no clue can be found. Particularly, a repeating and impressing complaint made by the habour workers is that their present wage level is even lower than that in 1997. Their taking 1997 as the baseline of comparison is significant, because the year of 1997 also has double meanings to Hongkongers – the change of sovereign state and the beginning of economic recession, both to a large extent marking the end of the city’s decades of huge success. Although the economy has already recovered, our economic reliance on the communist regime is getting much heavier. The threat of the death of autonomy and cultural assimilation has kept reminding us the desperate situations we are now facing. Comparing the present with 1997 is, in this sense, possibly a way to relieve and encourage ourselves by restating the fact that we had enjoyed the pride of success and, accordingly, wishing that with Hongkongers’ efforts, the city can revive.
A separate but related interpretation of the support given to harbour worker is that from the perspective of some citizens, neoliberalism, the previous drive of the economic success, has become a source of deteriorating living standard. Given the deep-rooted belief in self-sufficiency and economic rationality, it is not proper to say that Hongkongers have already lost confidence to free market. But they would agree that something has gone wrong, and it is this wrong which partly explains the losing of pride as being a Hongkonger. If the present wage level of a significant group of people is even lower than that in 1997, it is difficult to persuade ourselves that our city is having a genuine progress in economic development comparable to the flourishing in the past few decades. This may probably be the reason why we are especially sympathetic to those harbour workers on strike when we know that their wage level has dropped since 1997 – it reminds us of our prosperity and collective success as Hongkongers in the past and the contrasting present situation.
The discovery of the above internal logic of the seemingly self-contradictory acts of Hongkongers is by no means encouraging; it just reveals and further evidences our worry and pain as to the gradual loss of what we possessed since the transfer of sovereignty. There is more likely a casual linkage than a mere coincidence between the political event and our loss experienced in the past one and a half decade. Hongkongers may really be ambivalent between rightist and leftist political ideologies, but even if they are, this is actually not uncommon even for peoples in democratic regimes. After all, rather than being satisfied with such a conclusion, those who regard Hong Kong as the homeland should be able to recognize the culprit who has repeatedly posed threats to our city and always intended to eliminate our pride as being Hongkongers.