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BANNED and CENSORED: Zhao Shilin

Updated: Mar 12, 2020

Two open letters to CCP's Xi Jinping


(Original written in Chinese language, please scroll down for Google translation into English language...Editor's Note: apologies for occasional weakness/discrepancy in translation )


Written by Zhao Shilin, Member of China Democracy Promotion Association (former member of the Central Committee and deputy director of the Culture and Art Commission). Retired Professor of Central University for Nationalities, Beijing, China.


Source: China Digital News, 2 March 2020



(1)关于疫情的紧急呼吁


中共中央并习近平总书记尊鉴:


庚子疫情,凶猛险恶,国难当头,世界震动。就目前各方渠道披露的可靠信息,已经可以做出如下判断:由于跨年之际特别是一月上中旬疫情防治最重要的黄金窗口期被人为错过,导致疫情凶猛扩散。这个失误代价巨大,教训无比沉痛,损失无可估量。


习总书记说:“这次抗击新冠肺炎疫情,是对国家治理体系和治理能力的一次大考。”

不能不遗憾地指出,这次大考第一张试卷,只能打零分


大错铸成,找出人为错过黄金窗口期的原因,汲取疫情扩散的教训,以为防控疫情的前车之鉴,是当务之急,对于中国和世界,都非常重要。


愚以为,之所以人为错过防控黄金窗口期,铸成疫情凶猛蔓延的大错,原因有五。



1 体制极端维稳的惯性


长期以来,稳定压倒一切的惯性思维扭曲了很多社会问题的处理。在这种极端维稳思维的审视中,凡是负面事件包括天灾人祸均威胁稳定,均不利于稳定的形象,以致形成了一种惯性,对各类负面事件能低调处理一定低调处理。而所谓维稳,着眼点是政权的安全,而非民众的福祉。迄今为止,内外权威渠道都已经和正在不断地证实,今次疫情,决策者一开始就知情,唯有百姓不知情,但遭殃的只有百姓。不能不遗憾地指出,疫情初起,决策者刻意向公众隐瞒疫情的深层心理是:政权的安全和百姓的安全,把政权的安全放在首位;政权的稳定和社会的稳定,把政权的稳定放在首位;政权的尊荣和公民的权益,把政权的尊荣放在首位。因此各级官吏共同刻意隐瞒疫情,不惜置民众身家性命于不顾,不惜隐瞒真相导致疫情扩散激起社会的不安和动荡。这就是所谓的“把政治安全放在首位”。


疫情初期决策者心存侥幸,未能迅速动员全社会及早采取切实有力的防控措施,一再错过防控黄金窗口期,从而导致疫情凶猛扩散,和这种以政权为本位或者“把政治安全放在首位”的极端的扭曲的维稳思维有直接联系。



2 体制报喜不报忧的习性


由于体制的鼓励,报喜不报忧,成了由来已久的习性。下面向上面报喜不报忧讨领导欢喜捞取政治资本,上面向公众报喜不报忧塑造一贯正确的政治形象。特别是面临春节这一中华民族的第一大节,维护岁月静好、盛世祥和、万民同乐的景象成为压倒性的政治任务。因此尽管1月6日国家疾控中心发布了二级应急响应,已引起公众警觉,但在防控疫情最关键的决策时刻,1月7日的顶层会议上,决策者虽要求注意防范,仍指示不能影响节日气氛。这不能不麻痹公众对疫情危害的警觉。1月23日武汉疫情凶猛已经封城,同一天总书记的春节团拜讲话竟然对疫情只字不提。总书记这样做可能是希望公众过年轻松些,有个好心情,闹心的事就不提了,但这种报喜不报忧的做法客观上显然不利于公众对疫情的警惕和防控。



3 体制唯上唯权的僵硬机械性


惟上惟权是体制的痼疾,近些年更有变本加厉之势。惟上惟权必然造成社会治理体系的僵硬机械无能,各级官吏眼睛只盯着上面,一切围绕着权力意志运作,面对汹汹疫情,缺乏主动性灵活性针对性担当性,必然贻误宝贵时机、造成无穷后患。湖北武汉两级党政负责人在已经清楚了解疫情凶险的情况下,仍在欺瞒公众,误导舆论,打压专业人士对真相的披露,一味等待和依靠上级指示,丝毫不讲变通,未能主动紧急采取必要防控措施,从而导致疫情凶猛扩散,酿成国难。



4 公民社会功能的丧失


由于体制结构的制约,我们的社会是一个只有垂直掌控,没有横向联结的社会,是一个有经无纬的社会。有经无纬的社会,意味着公民社会自治互助功能的丧失。面临汹汹疫情,只能依靠垂直的党政官僚系统。低效粗放,事倍功半。今次疫情,处于垂直系统最底端的社区往往是十几个人管理上万人,不堪重负、疲于奔命,不但没有处理好疫情产生的方方面面的问题,反而形成和民众的紧张关系。因此有社区干部悲叹:“前段时间北京发生了杀医,我们这儿恐怕要发生杀害社区党委书记”。


垂直系统大权独揽、资源独占,是官本位腐败的温床。今次疫情,作为垂直权力系统之一翼的中国红十字会是社会捐助救援物质的唯一合法分配单位,在如此凶险疫情中,居然仍在救灾物质分配上失职渎职,是可忍孰不可忍?红十字会之所以敢于冒天下之大不韪,就在于它是垂直权力之一环,拥有不可代替的独占性和垄断性,其他效率更高、信誉更好的民间慈善组织则受到百般刁难。由于公民社会未能形成,一方面,种种民间自治互助机构无合法地位,不能顺畅发挥作用,民间自治自救的空间被挤压殆尽,社会失去弹性互动的功能。另方面,政府高层官僚作风依旧,基层只能疲于奔命、捉襟见肘、左支右绌、穷于应付,临时组织的“红袖箍”则无法无天,动则大打出手,肆无忌惮地侵犯人权。如此焉能不导致疫情蔓延,人间惨剧外加人道灾难?



5 信息不透明不通畅舆论功能缺位


我们处于信息时代,信息的畅通和透明是维系社会正常运作的基本条件。公共卫生安全危机的及时解决,尤其需要信息的畅通和透明。正如有关专家指出,在公共卫生问题上,快速反应至关重要。有关疫情的信息应该在第一时间向公众公布,每一天,每个小时都是遏制病毒的宝贵时间。


利用空前发达的网络渠道第一时间披露真相、迅速及时全方位地沟通信息,实现信息的有效共享,及时把握疫情,从而切实有效地防控疫情,是信息时代的巨大优势。但是由于体制性的原因,由于意识形态的刚性要求,我们往往不能发挥信息时代的优势,反而中招信息社会的弊端。因为体制更重视信息作为政治掌控的技术手段,而百般防范信息作为交往沟通的资讯工具。前者远远强于后者,后者必须服从前者。正如有识之士指出:中国现行的治理机制是自上而下的决策执行机制,而不是自下而上的信息汇集和传递机制。


由于对信息严厉的不合情理的管控,一些专业人士第一时间披露的有关疫情的宝贵信息居然遭到封锁,披露者被以“造谣传谣信谣者”遭到公安训诫,并在央视这样的媒体上公开曝光。以李文亮为代表的八位医生的遭遇是突出的案例。


信息不透明不通畅,披露真相的舆论功能遭到打压,深层原因是对言论自由的忌讳。不能不遗憾地指出,长期以来,宪法赋予公民的言论自由形存实亡,体制对公众言论处处设防,轻辄封网销号,重则专政手段,导致信息沟通和舆论监督功能的窒息。信息封锁舆论钳制言论自由的剥夺一方面是对基本人权的践踏,另方面则麻痹和误导了公众对疫情的及时客观认知,对公众交流信息防控疫情形成巨大的心理压力,这种做法遇到今次重大疫情,必然贻误宝贵时机,导致疫情凶猛扩散。


不能不遗憾地指出,由于上述五个体制性原因,我们人为地错过了防控疫情的黄金窗口期,从而导致疫情凶猛扩散。不能不冒昧地指出,发生这样一种全局性的体制性的危机,湖北省武汉市领导都有责任,但主要责任在中央,首要责任在习近平总书记


人为决策失误和体制根本弊端导致本来可以遏制于萌芽中的疫情凶猛扩散,酿成国难,祸及世界。可以说,疫情蔓延的危害有多大,决策失误的错误就有多大,体制弊端的危害就有多大。人为因素加体制弊端导致疫情凶猛扩散造成如此巨大的危害,可说是一分天灾,九分人祸,我们不能再文过饰非,不能再轻言胜利,不能再丧事当成喜事办,不能再把灾难变脸为政绩。多少生离死别?多少人间惨剧?尸首丛中抒豪情,白骨堆上唱赞歌,于心何忍?唯一应该做的就是千方百计地止损再止损。


习总书记总结防控疫情的教训时指出要“补短板,堵漏洞”,那么什么是我们的短板?什么是我们的漏洞?上述导致疫情凶猛扩散的五个体制性原因在在表明,最短的短板就是制度的短板,最大的漏洞就是体制的漏洞。


“曲突徙薪无恩泽;焦头烂额为上客。”


如果能够“曲突徙薪”,就不会有“焦头烂额”。在举国上下亡羊补牢,为防控疫情蔓延“焦头烂额”时,不应忘记那些建议“曲突徙薪”者,就是那些体制内外呼吁政治体制改革的人士,特别是那些敢于指出体制弊端的批评人士。如果执政者真正做到“虚心公听,言无逆逊。唯是之从”,很多灾难就不会发生,发生了也能及时消除,不致酿成大祸;很多天灾就不会酿成人祸,酿成了也能及早遏止。


针对今次大规模的公共卫生安全危机,习总书记提出了十四个体系建设(我看了之后未免惊呼。按理说,这十四个体系至少在2003年非典后就应该开始建设啊!怎么直到今天又一次国难当头才来建设呢)。 十四个体系建设需要一个前提性的政治体系建设,那就是落实社会主义核心价值观“自由民主平等法治”的诉求,建设权利受到有效监督和制约的责任政府,建设正常的健康的公民社会、保障宪法赋予的言论自由等公民各项政治权利。


这应该是今次疫情给我们的最大警策。因此不才紧急呼吁,以今次防控疫情为契机,深化政治体制改革,落实社会主义核心价值观“自由民主平等法治”的诉求,建设受到有效监督和制约的责任政府,建设正常的健康的公民社会,保障宪法赋予的言论自由等公民各项政治权利。

以上妥否?望示!


此致


敬礼


中国民主促进会会员(前中央委员、文化艺术专委会副主任)

中央民族大学退休教授


赵士林


2020年2月23日



1) Urgent appeal on the outbreak


Advice from General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and Xi Jinping:


The Gengzi epidemic is fierce and dangerous, the country is in dire straits, and the world is shaking. With regard to the reliable information disclosed by various parties, it is possible to make the following judgments: Because the most important golden window of the epidemic prevention and control during the New Year's Eve, especially in the first half of January, was artificially missed, resulting in the fierce spread of the epidemic. This mistake is costly, the lesson is painful, and the loss is incalculable.


General Secretary Xi said: "This fight against the new corona pneumonia epidemic is a big test of the national governance system and governance capabilities."


It is regrettable to point out that the first test paper of this big test can only score zero points.


Big mistakes are made, to find out the reasons for artificially missing the golden window period, to learn the lessons of the spread of the epidemic, and to think that the prevention and control of the epidemic is a lesson learned.


I think that there are five reasons why people missed the golden window of prevention and control and made the outrageous spread of the epidemic.



1. Extreme instability of institutional stability


For a long time, the overriding inertia of stability has distorted the treatment of many social problems. In the examination of this extreme stability maintenance thinking, all negative events, including natural disasters and man-made disasters, threaten stability and are not conducive to the image of stability, so that an inertia is formed, and various types of negative events can be dealt with in a low-key manner. The so-called maintenance of stability focuses on the security of the government, not the well-being of the people. So far, both internal and external authoritative channels have confirmed and are continuously confirming that this time, the decision makers knew about this outbreak. Only the people did not know, but only the people suffered. It must be noted with regret that at the beginning of the epidemic, the underlying psychology of policy makers deliberately concealing the epidemic from the public was: the security of the political power and the safety of the people, and the security of the political power was the first priority; Put the highest priority; the honor of the government and the rights and interests of citizens, put the honor of the government first. Therefore, officials at all levels have deliberately concealed the epidemic, at the cost of disregarding the lives of the people, and concealed the truth, which led to the spread of the epidemic and aroused social unrest and turmoil. This is what is called "putting political security first."


In the early days of the epidemic, policy makers were lucky and failed to quickly mobilize the whole society to take effective and effective preventive and control measures. They repeatedly missed the golden window of prevention and control, which led to the fierce spread of the epidemic. In the first place, the extreme twisted stability-stabilizing thinking is directly linked.



2. The habit of reporting good news and not bad news


Thanks to the encouragement of the system, the good news and the bad news have become a long-established habit. Let ’s report the news to the top and let the leaders rejoice in grabbing political capital, and report the news to the public to create a consistently correct political image. Especially in the face of the Spring Festival, the first festival of the Chinese nation, it is an overwhelming political task to maintain a peaceful, prosperous and peaceful scene of the people. Therefore, although the National CDC released a secondary emergency response on January 6, which has aroused public awareness, at the most critical decision-making moment in the prevention and control of the epidemic, the top-level meeting on January 7th, although policy makers required attention to precaution, Instructions must not affect the festive mood. This must paralyze public awareness of the dangers of the epidemic. On January 23, the ferocious epidemic in Wuhan had already closed the city. On the same day, the Secretary-General's Spring Festival group speech made no mention of the epidemic. The General Secretary may be doing this in the hope that the public will be more relaxed and have a good mood, and no worries will be mentioned, but this approach of reporting good news and unhappiness is obviously not conducive to public vigilance and prevention and control of the epidemic.



3. The rigid and mechanical nature of the system


The only right is the dysfunction of the system. In recent years, it has become even worse. The only power is bound to cause the rigid mechanical incompetence of the social governance system. Officials at all levels are only staring at the top. Everything revolves around the will of power. In the face of the raging epidemic, the lack of initiative and flexibility, the specific responsibility, must jeopardize valuable opportunities, and cause endless consequences. The leaders of the two levels of the party and government in Wuhan, Hubei, while clearly understanding the danger of the epidemic, are still deceiving the public, misleading the public opinion, suppressing the disclosure of the truth by professionals, blindly waiting and relying on the instructions of their superiors, without making any changes and failing to take the initiative. Not taking necessary prevention and control measures has led to the fierce spread of the epidemic and caused national difficulties.



4. Loss of civil society functions


Due to the constraints of the institutional structure, our society is a society with only vertical control and no horizontal connection. It is a society with warp and weft. A society with warp and weft means a loss of the function of civil society's autonomy and mutual assistance. Facing the outbreak of epidemic, we can only rely on the vertical party and government bureaucracy. It is inefficient yet extensive. The people do more with less. In this outbreak, the community at the bottom of the vertical system is often a dozen people who manage tens of thousands of people. They are overwhelmed and exhausted. Not only have they not dealt with all aspects of the outbreak, they have instead formed tensions with the people. Therefore, some community cadres lamented: "Sometime ago, there was a killing of doctors in Beijing. We are here to kill the Communist Party Secretary."


The vertical system monopolizes power and resources, and it is a hotbed of official-level corruption. In this outbreak, the Red Cross Society of China, which is one of the wings of the vertical power system, is the only legal distribution unit for social donation of relief materials. In such a dangerous epidemic, it has committed an unbearable dereliction of duty in the distribution of relief materials. The reason why the Red Cross dares to take the world by storm is that it is a part of vertical power. It has irreplaceable exclusivity and monopoly, and other non-governmental charitable organizations with higher efficiency and better credibility are facing difficulties. Due to the failure to form a civil society, on the one hand, various non-governmental self-government and mutual aid organizations have no legal status and cannot function smoothly. The space for self-help and self-help among the people has been squeezed out, and society has lost its flexible interaction function. On the other hand, the bureaucracy at the top of the government is still the same. The grassroots can only be exhausted, stretched left and right, and poor enough to cope with it. The "red cuffs" of temporary organizations are lawless, and they fight hard to violate human rights. Can this not lead to the spread of the epidemic, human tragedies and humanitarian disasters?



5. Information is not transparent and clear


We are in the information age. The clear and transparent information is the basic condition for maintaining the normal operation of society. The timely resolution of public health security crises, in particular, requires unblocked and transparent information. As relevant experts point out, on public health issues, rapid response is essential. Information about the outbreak should be made public to the public as soon as possible, and every day, every hour is valuable time to contain the virus.


It is a huge advantage in the information age to use the unprecedentedly developed network channels to disclose the truth at the first opportunity, communicate information in a timely and comprehensive manner, realize the effective sharing of information, and timely grasp the epidemic situation so as to effectively prevent and control the epidemic situation. However, due to systemic reasons and rigid requirements of ideology, we often cannot take advantage of the information age, but instead recruit the disadvantages of the information society. Because the system pays more attention to information as a technical means of political control, and prevents information flow as a tool for communication. The former is far stronger than the latter, which must obey the former. As pointed out by people of insight: China's current governance mechanism is a top-down decision-making implementation mechanism, not a bottom-up information collection and transmission mechanism.


Due to the strict and unreasonable control of the information, some professionals' valuable information about the epidemic that was first disclosed was actually blocked, and the disclosers were cautioned by the public security authorities for "rumor, rumors and rumors", and the CCTV said Public exposure in the media. The experiences of the eight doctors represented by Li Wenliang are outstanding cases.


Information is not transparent and free-flowing, and the function of public opinion to disclose the truth has been suppressed. The underlying reason is the taboo on freedom of speech. It can not be regretted to point out that for a long time, citizens' freedom of speech has existed in the Constitution, the system fortified public speech everywhere, neglected online sales, and emphasized dictatorship, which resulted in suffocation of information communication and public opinion supervision functions. Information blockade and public opinion restrain the deprivation of freedom of speech. On the one hand, it is a violation of basic human rights. On the other hand, it paralyzes and misleads the public's timely and objective knowledge of the epidemic, and it creates tremendous psychological pressure on the public to exchange information to prevent and control the epidemic. For this major epidemic, it will inevitably waste valuable time and lead to the fierce spread of the epidemic.


It must be noted with regret that due to the above-mentioned five institutional reasons, we artificially missed the golden window of epidemic prevention and control, which led to the fierce spread of the epidemic. We must take the liberty to point out that in the event of such a global institutional crisis, the leaders of Wuhan City, Hubei Province have responsibilities, but the main responsibility lies with the central government and the chief responsibility lies with General Secretary Xi Jinping.


Mistakes in human decision-making and fundamental shortcomings of the system have led to the fierce spread of the epidemic that could have been nipped in the bud, preventing national difficulties and the damage to the world. It can be said that the magnitude of the spread of the epidemic is as great as the mistakes of decision-making errors and the harm of the system's disadvantages. Human factors combined with system malpractice caused the fierce spread of the epidemic to cause such a huge harm. It can be said that it is a natural disaster and a mighty human disaster. We can no longer talk about evil, we can no longer triumph, we can no longer treat funerals as happy events, we can no longer turn the disaster about face. Achievements. How many lives are parting? How many human tragedies? There is arrogance in the corpses, singing praises on the bones. The only thing you should

do is to do everything possible to stop it and then stop.


General Secretary Xi summed up the lessons of epidemic prevention and control and pointed out that he should "make up shortcomings and plug loopholes", so what is our shortcoming? What are our loopholes? The above five institutional reasons for the fierce spread of the epidemic are showing that the shortest shortcoming is the shortcoming of the system, and the biggest loophole is the loophole of the system.


"Qutu migrants have no bounty; they are scorched for customers."


If you can "curve the migrant salary", there will be no "scorching". As the country fills the dead and fills up the scourge, preventing and controlling the spread of the epidemic, it should not be forgotten that those who recommend “curvy migration” are those who call for political reforms inside and outside the system, especially those who dare to point out system weaknesses. If the ruling party truly "opens his mind and speaks in a vain manner. Only by obeying", many disasters will not happen, and they can be eliminated in time without causing a calamity. Many natural calamities will not cause human calamities. It can be stopped early if it is addressed.


In response to this large-scale public health security crisis, General Secretary Xi proposed the construction of fourteen systems (I was exclaimed after reading them. It stands to reason that these fourteen systems should begin construction at least after SARS in 2003! Why didn't he come to build it again until today when the country was in trouble?). The construction of the fourteen systems requires a prerequisite political system, that is, the implementation of the core values of socialism, "democracy, democracy, equality, and rule of law." The construction of a responsible government whose rights are effectively monitored and restricted, and the construction of a normal and healthy civil society, guarantee the constitutional freedom of speech and other political rights of citizens.


This should be the biggest warning to us this time. Therefore, it is not urgent to appeal, taking this opportunity to prevent and control the epidemic as an opportunity to deepen the reform of the political system, implement the demands of the socialist core values of "freedom, democracy, equality, and the rule of law", build a responsible government under effective supervision and restriction, and build normal healthy citizens the society guarantees the political rights of citizens such as freedom of speech granted by the Constitution.


Is this all right? Hope!


Sincerely,


Signed


Member of China Democracy Promotion Association (former member of the Central Committee and deputy director of the Culture and Art Commission)

Retired Professor of Central University for Nationalities


Zhao Shilin


February 23, 2020



(2)关于防控疫情宣传问题的建言


中共中央并习近平总书记尊鉴:


我们的宣传是“大宣传”,管控着国家全部舆论传媒和各类信息渠道,因此宣传系统对今次疫情的防控,是非常重要的一翼。不能不遗憾地指出,导致今次疫情凶猛蔓延的一个重要原因,就是宣传系统在疫情初期对疫情信息的严密封锁,麻痹了公众对疫情的警觉和防控。目下,伴随着防控疫情工作的深入,宣传工作又出现了一些令人不安的现象,故就有关问题提出建言。 请允许我从李文亮事件谈起。


李文亮事件有两个层面的沉痛教训 。


其一,倒行逆施封锁真相导致疫情凶猛蔓延。李文亮于12月30日披露疫情真相后,有关部门依据宣传系统信息管控的要求,不是面对疫情真相,认真处理李文亮医生在第一线第一时间提供的无比宝贵的信息,紧急采取措施,而是否认真相,整肃披露真相的人(即坊间流传的“不是解决问题,而是解决提出问题的人”)。李文亮先是被武汉市卫健委询问,接着被医院监察科约谈,后又被公安以“传播谣言”训诫,最后被央视作为“造谣传谣信谣”的典型曝光。这种倒行逆施令广大医护人员噤若寒蝉,严重地阻碍了一线专业人士对疫情真相的及时披露和防控,从而导致疫情凶猛蔓延。适如钟南山先生所指出:如果在十二月或一月及时采取防控措施,疫情会小得多。有人依此做过推算,如果在1月初采取防控措施,染病者不会超过千人,死亡者不会超过40人。李文亮事件突出地暴露了打压舆论、封锁信息的巨大危害。


打压舆论、封锁信息造成巨大危害,我们本来就有多次沉痛的历史教训。远的就不用说了,就拿本世纪的艾滋病蔓延、非典肆虐来说,我们就因瞒报吃过大亏,艾滋病传播真相的吹哨人高耀洁教授和非典真相的吹哨人蒋彦永医生反遭刁难和打压,至今仍受到不公正的对待,以至于今次疫情又酿成了李文亮事件。高耀洁事件、蒋彦永事件和李文亮事件,显然都和宣传系统的错误政策具有密切关系。


其二,剥夺言论自由已经极端的不可理喻。李文亮的遭遇使他成为讲真话曝真相被迫害的象征,但他在生活中其实是一位老老实实的“模范市民”,是“岁月静好”的追求者、是体制的拥护者,诸如坊间所传的“护旗撑警”等。他绝不是一个异见者、批评者、公知,更不是敌对势力。但就是这么一位循规蹈矩的“套中人”出于职业敏感和专业知识讲了几句真话,也立刻被无情打压,足见言论钳制已经多么极端,多么不可理喻。如此蔑视公民基本人权、毫无道理地剥夺言论自由的社会,难道是一个正常的社会吗?


李文亮事件告诫我们,落实宪法赋予公民的基本人权,保障公民的言论自由已经是当务之急。同时应该认识到,言论自由不仅是基本人权,也是信息时代保障社会公共生活正常运行的基本条件,剥夺了李文亮等八位医生的言论自由,令他们对疫情的预警未能及时传达给社会,未能引起各方面的警觉和防范,导致疫情不可收拾。这个教训要多深刻有多深刻。


剥夺言论自由酿成社会恶果的事件所在多有,本应引起宣传系统的深刻反思,但匪夷所思的是,有关方面非但未能汲取这些事件的教训,反而在疫情汹汹,防控形势依然非常严峻之时,变本加厉地封锁网络舆论对疫情的各类报道,打压在防控疫情第一线披露真相的民间人士,这不能不令人心寒齿冷。


特别不可取的是,与倒行逆施继续打压舆论、封锁真相的同时,宣传系统又开足马力,在国难当头,疫情仍不断夺去一个个同胞生命的严峻时刻,以《大国战疫》为标志,迫不及待地掀起了歌颂领袖英明,赞扬制度优越的宣传攻势。


例如国家广电智库的文件要求:“把习近平总书记视察的画面和领袖风范呈现出来,把总书记最新重要讲话和重要指示精神原原本本宣传报出来。……坚决做到广电总局党组反复强调的‘宣传核心,维护核心’”


请问宣传部门,疫情严峻时刻,维护领袖形象重要,还是抢救百姓生命重要?不顾万民号泣、心中只有领袖,合适吗?


再如2月29日,人民日报报道习总书记视察黑龙江,头版大标题赫然入目:《总书记来过我们家:日子过得像蜜一样甜》。


请问面对这样的标题,疫区民众作何感想?总书记视察的地方“日子比蜜甜”,但总书记没视察的武汉疫区呢?疫情汹汹之际,是报道疫区民众的所思所想合适呢,还是报道非疫区民众晒幸福合适?这样的报道就不能缓一缓,等待疫情平息吗?


疫情犹在肆虐,封城仍未解封,亲人安危系于一线,生离死别悲痛欲绝。国难当头全民抗疫之际,宣传部门念兹在兹的仍主要是宣传领袖,突出领袖,赞扬领袖,这真的有利于领袖?而所谓“舆论导向”、“正能量”,“正面宣传声势和实效”云云,很多情况下又是一如既往地文过饰非,讳疾忌医,拒绝批评,歌功颂德,用“一贯正确”淹没当局天大责任,用“爱国主义”淹没公众权益诉求,用“乐观主义”淹没万千人间惨剧,用“心灵鸡汤”淹没种种人道问题。


这种宣传模式当然也是由来已久。从反右到大饥荒到文革,从艾滋到非典到今次瘟疫,不管多少灾难和错误,一句“艰难探索”就打发了。不管多少灾难和错误,“伟大光荣正确”是不变的。制造灾难,消费灾难,赞美灾难,每一次灾难都变脸为政绩,每一次丧事都办成了喜事,是贵党有关灾难宣传工作的惯用套路。不能不遗憾地指出,这种宣传无异于伤口上撒盐,非但不利于执政者的形象,反而严重损害了执政者在公众中的威望。非但不利于制度形象,反而严重损害了公众对制度的信心。


如贵党一直要求的,宣传工作是党的喉舌,那么贵党的喉舌天天宣传贵党领袖如何英明伟大、贵党制度如何优越完美,说的温和一点,是自我表扬,说的尖锐一点,就是自吹自擂吧?

国难当头之际,多少人间惨剧?多少人道灾难?尸首丛中自吹自擂,白骨堆上歌功颂德,于心何忍?


愚意以为,罹难同胞尸骨未寒之际,不宜迫不及待地自我肯定,自我表扬,不能让赞歌淹没教训,不能让豪情掩盖问题,不能让胜利冲淡责任,不能让庆功遮蔽真相。


亡羊补牢,焦头烂额之际,与其赞扬制度优势,不如寻找制度漏洞。与其宣传体制强大,不如补足体制短板。认真深刻地总结教训,明确责任,完善和提高国家治理体系和能力,培育官员职业道德和行政水平,应该是当务之急。


宣传部门应认识到,最应歌颂的是一线出生入死的医护人员,最应赞扬的,是慷慨解囊多方援助的爱心人士,最应同情的,是挣扎于疫情中的病患,最应哀悼的,是疫情中的罹难者,最应抚慰的,是罹难者的亲友。

有人可能要问,执政者上至领袖决策部署,下至基层干部贯彻落实,也办了很多实事啊!为什么不可以歌颂?我的回答是,工人做工,农民种地,商人做买卖,执政者干嘛?就是要拿着公民给的权力为公民办事嘛!特别是化解公共安全危机,更是执政者的分内之事。工人做工农民种地商人做买卖都无需歌颂,为什么执政者办事就要歌颂?执政者享受着多少特权?怎么办点份内之事就要“伟大光荣正确”不绝于耳?


适如加缪在《鼠疫》中所说:“这一切里面并不存在英雄主义,这只是诚实的问题。与鼠疫斗争的唯一方式,只能是诚实。”


贵党的宣传工作,最需要的是诚实。


以上妥否?望示!


此致


敬礼


中国民主促进会会员(前中央委员、文化艺术专委会副主任)

中央民族大学退休教授


赵士林


2020年3月2日



(2) Suggestions on propaganda of epidemic prevention and control


Advice from General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and Xi Jinping:


Our propaganda is a "big propaganda", which controls all the country's public opinion media and various information channels, so the propaganda system is a very important part of the prevention and control of this epidemic. It is regrettable to point out that an important reason for the fierce spread of this epidemic is that the publicity system has tightly sealed the epidemic information at the beginning of the epidemic, paralyzing the public's awareness and prevention of the epidemic. At present, with the deepening of epidemic prevention and control work, some disturbing phenomena have appeared in the propaganda work, so suggestions are made on related issues.


Allow me to start with the Li Wenliang incident.


The Li Wenliang incident has two painful lessons.


First, the fact that the blockade was reversed led to a fierce spread of the epidemic. After Li Wenliang disclosed the truth of the epidemic on December 30, according to the requirements of the information management and control of the propaganda system, the relevant departments did not face the truth of the epidemic. Whether they are serious, and purge the people who disclosed the truth (that is, "not the person who solves the problem, but the person who raised the problem"). Li Wenliang was first investigated by the Wuhan Municipal Health and Medical Commission, then interviewed by the Hospital Supervision Section, and then acused by the police to "spread rumors", and was finally exposed by CCTV as a typical example of "rumors and rumors". This kind of retrogression has caused the vast number of medical personnel to be embarrassed, which seriously hindered the front-line professionals from timely disclosure and prevention and control of the truth of the epidemic, which led to the fierce spread of the epidemic. As Mr. Zhong Nanshan pointed out: If prevention and control measures were taken in time in December or January, the epidemic will be much smaller. Some people have calculated based on this. If preventive measures had been taken in early January, the number of infected people will not exceed 1,000, and the number of dead will not exceed 40. The Li Wenliang incident prominently exposed the tremendous harm of suppressing public opinion and blocking information.


Suppressing public opinion and blocking information has caused tremendous harm. We already have many painful historical lessons. It goes without saying that, for example, the spread of AIDS and the spread of atypical pneumonia in this century; we have suffered a lot from concealing the report. Professor Gao Yaojie, the whistle blower of the truth of the spread of AIDS, and Dr. Jiang Yanyong, the whistler of the truth of SARS. Difficulties and crackdowns are still being treated unfairly to this day, so that this outbreak has led to the Li Wenliang incident. The Gao Yaojie incident, the Jiang Yanyong incident and the Li Wenliang incident are obviously closely related to the wrong policy of the propaganda system.


Second, the deprivation of freedom of speech has become extremely unreasonable. Li Wenliang's encounter made him a symbol of persecution by telling the truth and exposing the truth, but he is actually an honest "model citizen" in life, a pursuer of "good times" and an advocate of the system. Such as the "flags to support the police" and so on. He is by no means a dissident, a critic, a well-known, or even a hostile force. But it was such a rude "man in the set" who spoke a few truths due to his professional sensitivity and professional knowledge, and was immediately and relentlessly suppressed. This shows how extreme and unreasonable the restraint of speech has been. Is it a normal society to despise the basic human rights of citizens and to deprive their freedom of speech without justification?


The Li Wenliang incident warns us that the implementation of the basic human rights entrusted to the citizen by the Constitution and the protection of citizens' freedom of speech have become a top priority. At the same time, it should be recognized that freedom of speech is not only a basic human right, but also a basic condition for ensuring the normal operation of public life in the information age. It deprives Li Wenliang and other eight doctors of their freedom of speech, so that their early warning of the epidemic situation is not quickly transmitted to the society. Can cause all aspects of alertness and prevention to fail, resulting in an outbreak of the epidemic. How profound this lesson is.


There are many incidents that deprive our freedom of speech and bring about bad results in society. It should have caused deep reflection on the propaganda system, but it is strange that the relevant parties not only failed to learn the lessons of these incidents, but also faced a severe epidemic and the prevention and control situation was still very serious. At the same time, it has become more and more frightened to block all kinds of online public opinion on the epidemic and suppress the public who disclosed the truth on the front line of the epidemic prevention and control.


It is particularly undesirable that at the same time as the retrogression continues to suppress public opinion and block the truth, the propaganda system is working at full capacity. In the face of national calamities, the epidemic continues to take the severe moments of the lives of fellow citizens, marked by the "Great War Epidemic". Can't wait to set off a propaganda offensive in praise of the leader's wiseness and praise for the superior system.


For example, the national radio and television think tank's document requirements: "Show the general secretary Xi Jinping's inspection picture and leadership style, and publicize the latest important speech and important instructions of the general secretary .... Resolutely achieve the 'publicity' repeatedly emphasized by the party group of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television. Core, maintain core."


I would like to ask the propaganda department. When the epidemic is severe, is it important to maintain the image of the leader or to save the lives of the people? Is it appropriate to disregard all the people crying and only have a leader in mind?


For another example, on February 29, People's Daily reported that General Secretary Xi visited Heilongjiang, and the front page headline was impressive: "The General Secretary has come to our house: Life is as sweet as honey".


In the face of such a title, how do the people in the affected areas feel? The place where the General Secretary inspected was "the days are sweeter than honey", but what about the epidemic area in Wuhan that the General Secretary did not inspect? When the epidemic is fierce, is it appropriate to report the thinking and thinking of the people in the epidemic area, or is it appropriate to report the happiness of the people in the non-infected area? Can such reports not be delayed until the epidemic subsides?


The epidemic is still raging, the closure of the city has not yet been unblocked, the safety of loved ones is tied to the front line, and life and death will never be distressed. n the face of national disaster, the propaganda department is mainly focusing on propaganda about leaders, highlighting the leaders and praising the leaders. Is this really good for the leaders? The so-called "public opinion-oriented", "positive energy", "positive publicity and effectiveness", in many cases, as always, misrepresented the language, taboo disease, refused to criticize, praised virtues, overwhelmed the authorities' responsibility with "consistently correct", " "Patriotism" drowned the demands of public rights, "optimism" drowned thousands of human tragedies, and "hearty chicken soup" drowned all kinds of humanitarian problems.


This propaganda model is of course long-established. From the anti-rightist to the great famine to the Cultural Revolution, from AIDS to SARS to this plague, no matter how many disasters and mistakes, a "difficult exploration" will be passed. No matter how many disasters and mistakes, "great glory right" is constant. Creating disasters, consuming disasters, praising disasters, every disaster has turned into a political achievement, every funeral has become a happy event, it is your party's customary routine for disaster propaganda. It must be noted with regret that such propaganda is tantamount to spreading salt on the wound, which is not only detrimental to the image of the governor, but has seriously damaged the prestige of the governor in the public. Not only is it not conducive to the image of the system, it has seriously damaged public confidence in the system.


As your party has always requested, the propaganda work is the party's mouthpiece, so your mouthpiece is every day to publicize how wise and great your party leader is and how your party system is superior and perfect. To be gentle is to praise yourself and to be sharp. To brag, right?


How many human tragedies are there at the moment of national disaster? How many humanitarian disasters? The corpses boasted about themselves, and they sang praises and virtues on the pile of bones.


I foolishly think that when the dead compatriots are not cold, they should not wait for self-affirmation and self-commendation. They cannot let praises overwhelm the lessons, they can't let pride cover the problem, they can't let victory dilute the responsibility, and they can't let the celebration cover up the truth.


Instead of praising the advantages of the system, it is better to look for loopholes in the system when the dead sheep make up for it. Instead of a strong publicity system, it is better to make up for the shortcomings of the system. It is imperative to conscientiously and profoundly summarize lessons, clarify responsibilities, improve and improve the national governance system and capabilities, and cultivate officials' professional ethics and administrative standards.


The propaganda department should recognize that the most praised are the front-line medical personnel who are dying, and the most commendable are the caring people who have generously provided multilateral assistance. The most sympathetic is the patients who are struggling in the epidemic and the most mourning. It is the victims of the epidemic, and the relatives and friends of the victims should be comforted most.


Some people may want to ask, the ruling party goes from the decision-making and deployment of leaders to the implementation of grass-roots cadres, and has done a lot of practical things! Why not sing? My answer is, what are the governors doing when workers work, peasants farm, and businessmen do business? It is to take the power given by citizens to work for citizens! In particular, resolving the public security crisis is a matter for the ruling party. Workers, workers, farmers, and businessmen do not need to sing praises for business. Why do rulers sing praises? How many privileges does the governor enjoy? What should I do to keep the content "great, glorious and correct"?


As Camus said in the Plague, "There is no heroism in all this, it's just a matter of honesty. The only way to fight the plague is honesty."


Honesty is most needed for your party's propaganda work.


Is this all right? Hope!


Sincerely,


Signed


Member of China Democracy Promotion Association (former member of the Central Committee and deputy director of the Culture and Art Commission)

Retired Professor of Central University for Nationalities


Zhao Shilin


March 2, 2020



Further reading: our blogs on Doctor Li Wenliang, and about how the world is paying for Xi's autocracy



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