罗思义:中国在人权和民主方面的理念和表现远优于西方

12月6日,由中国人民大学重阳金融研究院(人大重阳)主办、中国人民大学中美人文交流研究中心承办的《十问美国民主》研究报告发布暨研讨会在京举行,会上发布了《十问美国民主》研究报告。前英国伦敦经济与商业政策署署长、人大重阳高级研究员罗思义(John Ross)以线上方式发言,以下为发言视频及中英文实录:

视频时长约5分钟,以下为发言中文版:

谢谢主办方邀请我发言!

欧洲语言中的“民主”一词源自 “demos(people)”和“kratos(rule)” 两个希腊单词。因此,“民主”一词的字面意思是“民治”。

民主问题与人权问题,即“人民的权利”息息相关。下文基于这一正确框架作出的分析显示,中国在人权和民主方面的理念和表现远优于西方。

与“民治”这一理念相反的是,西方(确切地说资本主义国家)是以是否拥有议会制和所谓的“分权制”等来定义民主。但这种做法是错误的。民主应是让“民治”落到实处。

这种注重形式而非结果的做法,很容易被证明是完全错误的。对于人类来说,最重要的以及最能证明“民治”是否落到实处的,是人民生活品质是否真正得到了提升。

为印证这一点,下面将以占世界人口五分之一的中国妇女和印度妇女的地位举例说明。那么事实究竟是怎样的呢?

印度女性预期寿命为71岁,中国女性为79.2岁——中国女性寿命比印度女性长8年。

中国女性识字率为95%,印度女性则为65%。

印度妇女死于分娩的风险是中国的8倍。

对任何正常人而言,在现实世界中,中国妇女的人权远远优于印度妇女——这对印度妇女来说非常不幸。

但美国依据自身的“民主”理念荒谬地宣称,印度妇女的人权远优于中国妇女,因为其生活在“议会制共和国”国家。

再以新冠疫情为例。在中国大陆,不到5000人死于新冠疫情;在美国,77.8万人死于新冠疫情。但中国人口是美国的四倍多。如果中国的人均死亡人数与美国相同,那么中国的死亡人数将是339万,而非不到5000。但美国宣称,美国的人权和民主好于中国。是谁给美国自信用一个不知所谓的推理,来证明这样一个违背所有事实的结论是正确的?

总之,自由民主制理论对民主的定义本末倒置。形式民主——刻板的、实际上并不存在的平等是最重要的,实质民主——现实生活则不那么重要,正如西方国家对印度妇女的生活品质劣于中国妇女视而不见,宣称印度妇女的人权优于中国妇女一样。

恰恰相反,奉行社会主义的中国懂得分清主次。所以,中国认为,最重要的是中国妇女应该多活8年,应该识字,在分娩时死亡的风险应该大大降低。也即是说,中国最在意的是中国民众是否得到了真正的实惠,生活品质是否真正得到了提升。而这正是“民治”和“人权”理念得到实践的体现。

中国将适用于中国妇女的同样原则推广到社会的各个方面。

中国已经使8.5亿人脱离了国际贫困线——中国减贫人口占同期全球减贫人口70%以上。

1949年的中国几乎是世界上最贫穷的国家,现在的中国按照本国标准已进入小康社会。此外,按照世界银行标准,中国将在两到三年内跻身高收入经济体。

次于实际结果——人民生活品质的改善程度的具体政治制度,是由各国的历史决定。正如习近平所说,鞋子合不合脚,自己穿了才知道。比如,中国当前的政治制度立足于中国共产党的领导作用和中国共产党全面领导的多党合作,而这种制度是中国所特有的。中国不会建议任何其他国家照搬这套制度。但实践证明,这双“鞋”很合中国的“脚”。

但中国所在意的是实现人民对美好生活的向往。也即是说,中国对民主的定义是人民当家作主,而人民当家作主才是人权得到进步的体现。中国的历史和现实社会政治发展印证了这一点。在关于民主的讨论当中,应注重实际结果——人民生活品质的改善程度,因为民主是为了让人民生活得更加幸福、更有尊严。

谢谢大家!

以下为发言英文版

Thank you for this invitation to speak.

The word democracy in European languages, derives from two Greek words “demos (people)” and “kratos (rule)”. So, “democracy” means literally “the people rule”.

Democracy is presented as integrally linked to human rights, that is “people’s rights”. This is correct and will be used here. Analysing this real situation shows that China’s framework and delivery on human rights and democracy is far superior to the “West’s”.

But, contrary to this fundamental concept of “rule by the people” an attempt is made in the West, more accurately by liberal capitalist countries, to claim that democracy is instead defined purely in terms of certain formal and official structures which they possess – for example Parliament, so called “division of powers” etc. This is false. The issue of democracy is about how much in reality “rule by the people” exists.

This concentration on certain specific official procedures rather than outcomes can easily be shown to be  completely false. What is important for real human beings, and what best demonstrates whether “rule by the people” exists, is the outcome in the conditions of life for real human beings.

To illustrate the real issues involved let us start with a gigantic practical example affecting almost one fifth of humanity – the position of women in China and India. What are the facts on this?

An Indian woman’s life expectancy is 71, in China it is 79.2 – a Chinese woman lives 8 years longer than an Indian woman.

In China female literacy is 95%, in India it is 65%.

The risk of a woman dying in childbirth is 8 times higher in India than in China.

In the real world, for the thinking of any normal human being, the real human rights of a Chinese woman are therefore obviously far superior to those of an Indian woman – very unfortunately for Indian women.

Yet according to the US concept of “democracy” the nonsensical claim is made that the rights of an Indian woman are superior to those of a Chinese woman – because an Indian woman lives in a “Parliamentary Republic”.

Or take Covid. Less than 5,000 people in Mainland China have died from Covid. In the US 778,000 people have died from Covid. But China’s population is more than four times that of the US. If the same number of people per capita had died in China as in US there would be 3,390,000 Chinese people dead instead of less than 5,000. But the US claims human rights and democracy are better in the US than China! What type of absurd reasoning can try to justify such a conclusion which in violation of all the facts on literal matters of life and death – the most fundamental of all human rights?

In summary, in the theory of liberal democracy everything is “standing on it head”. The least important, a formal and in reality non-existent equality, is declared to be the most important while the reality of life is declared to be less important – precisely as the difference in real life conditions between a Chinese woman and an Indian woman.

Socialism, and China, puts everything the right way up. It says that it is the most fundamental that a Chinese women should live 8 years longer, that she should be literate, that she should have a hugely lower risk of dying in childbirth. And then China and socialism starts from what system actually delivers this improvement in the real life of human beings. That is its conception of “rule by the people” and “human rights” is strictly practical.

China extends the same principle as applies to Chinese women to all aspects of society.

China has lifted 850 million people out of internationally defined poverty – that is more than 70% of all those who have been lifted out of poverty in the world.

China has raised itself from almost the world’s poorest country in 1949 to “moderate prosperity” by its national standards and to within two to three years of being a “high income” economy by World Bank standards.

Specific political forms, which is entirely secondary to the real outcomes outlined above, is determined by each country’s history. As Xi Jinping put it, the person wearing the shoe knows whether it fits or not. For example, China’s present political system based on the leading role of the CPC, with other political parties in alliance with the CPC, is specific to China. China does not propose other countries to adopt it. But it notes in the outcomes this shoe has fitted with China’s foot.

But what China has defined as decisive is the real improvement of the real conditions of humanity. That is the real improvement of the “rule by the people”. That is what has been demonstrated by China’s history and real social and political development. These outcomes are what has to be concentrated on in any real discussion of democracy for the life of real human beings.

Thank you very much.

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