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Y.T. 在《皇后之戰的教訓》中提到:

It may be untimely to ask this question, but it seems that few supporters of heritage preservation have ever asked it seriously. I mean: Why are we suddenly so enthusiastic about heritage preservation, in particular the preservation of tangible heritage, while at the same time history, and the sense of it, becomes increasingly detached from the social world of ordinary citizens? People in the 50s, 60s, perhaps even the 70s needed no heritage preservation, because they felt strongly the link with the past: in the present the past lived. To demolish an old building was, for them, no disruption of the continuity of tradition; for tradition was no sterile thing: it welcomed, and ought to welcome, creative destruction.

Ever since what time, shall we not wonder, has our city, or the whole modern world indeed, become so attached to the notion that every act of destruction must be disruptive, and that tradition--if there be still such a thing--msut be so weak and so brittle that it needs a bandage at every turn and twist?

It often occurs to me very ironic that China, a civilization which is not unknown for its deep sense of history, has not, until very recent times, preserved the said sense by preserving tangible objects; in history books, in literary creations, in popular plays, in communcal festivities and daily allusions: in all this the past lives. No museum is necessary to preserve an armoured corpse.

It is often said, nowadays, that by preserving tangible heritage the next generation would know more about the past of HK; I doubt it. The UK has probably endeavoured not a little to preserve its tangible heritage; and there stands also the long honourable history of a BBC commissioned to educate the Britons about their country and their past. Then what? No less a historian than N. Ferguson has warned that, on go the current history curriculum, and the next generation of Britons would likely know as much history as only the names of Henry and Hitler.

This, I concede, is not to establish a presumption for the uselessness or meaninglessness of preserving tangible heritage; it should, nevertheless, invite some thinking as to whether the opposite presumption be not less promising than it seems to be. Queen's Pier has commanded the Victoria Harbour for many years; has its presence shaped the identity of the HK populace, their idea of this place and their vision about the future, a little?


我覺得這是比較另類且有啟發的見解,亦大致認同,所以特別張貼出來,並附上回應兩則:

Y.T.,

你上述很多論點,我記得你曾經寫過,我甚至在這兒推介過你那篇文章。有幾點也許值得深入討論一下。

1.It often occurs to me very ironic that China, a civilization which is not unknown for its deep sense of history, has not, until very recent times, preserved the said sense by preserving tangible objects; in history books, in literary creations, in popular plays, in communcal festivities and daily allusions: in all this the past lives.

所謂歷史感,我會定義為對自身歷史文化的認知、對傳統(特別是最富內在價值那部分)的承擔,和對身份一貫性的維護。一國之載籍或風俗保存了歷史痕跡並不為奇,但似乎不能立即據此便斷定中國文化有歷史感。如果說猶太人有deep sense of history,我會完全同意;但中國文化由春秋晚期開始,道術分裂,散於天下,官學傳統一斷,已難言富歷史感。戰國時趙武靈王效胡服,已變中國衣冠之制;雅樂漸次失傳,乃代之以胡樂;舉凡語言、禮俗、器具、宮室等,無論有形無形,可謂無一不變,無時不變,劉師培就寫過一篇文,名字觸目驚心,叫《論中國並不保存國粹》,可以參看。我只能說,中國最富歷史感的時代,到東周而止,因為之後已沒有人理會原始中國文化中那種循環和「歸根」的哲學涵義,而不明白這種原始哲學(我認為正是中國文化精髓所在),原來充沛的歷史感便失去創造力,而淪為罪該萬死的迂腐和守舊了。

總的來說,我不認為中國文化(至少在周代以後)特別富歷史感,但我會認為,"People in the 50s, 60s, perhaps even the 70s"未必有今天保育青年的所謂"身份危機感",所以那年代的人亦不會覺得自己的"回憶"需要貼身保護吧?而最有趣的問題是,假如青年從沒有聽過"身份危機"、"解殖"這類詞彙,他們又會如何思考呢?他們是真正的思考過?還是按照現成詞語作句?我會比較關注這問題多一點點。

2. Why are we suddenly so enthusiastic about heritage preservation, in particular the preservation of tangible heritage, while at the same time history, and the sense of it, becomes increasingly detached from the social world of ordinary citizens?

我不大認為抗議人士是enthusiastic about heritage preservation,在我日常接觸的香港人當中,我也沒遇過。當然,我的主觀感覺不值一提,且讓我們看看保育青年自己的話:
回到皇后此一歷任港督舉行登岸儀式的「殖民地標」,我們不告別,是因為殖民地威權作風並未隨九七回歸而遠去,那些「不民主的政治體制」、「虛情假意的諮詢制度」和「漠視本土人民生活的城市規劃模式」等殖民遺產,已悄悄地「過戶」予「回歸後特府」。換言之,就像波蘭人記憶納粹主義的目的一樣,記憶皇后也是為了抗拒殖民主義於我城借屍還魂,更進一步,就是要在回歸後開展一場遲來的解殖運動。(陳景輝﹕為何不告別? 一個皇后碼頭守衛者的自白)

Y.T.,根本一直講sense of history的,就只有你一個吧?但很遺憾,他們覺得重要的,是偉大的「解殖運動」,要認真討論文化歷史?小心巴迪烏借屍還魂啊!你問:Queen's Pier has commanded the Victoria Harbour for many years; has its presence shaped the identity of the HK populace, their idea of this place and their vision about the future, a little?我不排除有人會這樣想,既然大家有信仰自由,我無法不尊重。

舊作重溫:

我認同的歷史感(轉載文章兩篇)
前世唔修

*******

補記:

剛看到ESWN宋公子的「調查報告」,在評論皇后事件的眾多文章中,這篇是我見過最有趣的。有趣的地方不單在於這個小型調查的受訪者--跟很多網友不同--毫不在乎皇后的存亡,更在於他們的意見,對聲稱代表「群眾」的保育團體來說,可謂活生生的諷刺。我一時好奇,也想效法宋公子訪問幾個人。

一是家母,她在香港生活了超過五十年。我問:「你有一些跟皇后碼頭相關的回憶嗎?」「以前會經過,但沒留意。沒什麼回憶可言。」我再問:「你同意拆掉碼頭嗎?」「與我何干?」她頓一頓,補充說:「如果要懷念,我只會懷念中環郵政總局。」我問:「為什麼?」「因為漂亮。」

二是外婆,她在香港住了六十年。但最後我始終沒問,因為我可能要花五分鐘聲嘶力竭地解釋我的問題,結果還很可能不得要領。只是一點可說,她看新聞報導皇后抗爭的場面時,會自發地吐出一句:「多餘!」我想這已經足夠闡明她的立場。

三是msn上一位廿多歲的女性友人,是土生土長的香港人。問她皇后碼頭,她說:「關我鬼事。」之後便中斷話題。

四是掬香齋主人。這夜跟他通電,主要閒聊最近看書發現了什麼有趣東西,順便問起皇后碼頭。他說:「沒什麼特別感覺,我反而覺得以前拆掉郵政總局更可惜。皇后並不漂亮,而且天星都沒有了,剩下一個皇后也沒意義。」我說:「其實像一個人,99%的皮已給剝掉了,剩下腳趾尾那一小寸皮又有何用?」他說:「你令我想起一些欺騙無知少女的敗類,他們喜歡哄女孩說:『你都唔係處啦,不如拋個身出嚟算啦。』聽起來好像很有說服力。」


(中環郵政總局,攝於1960年)

我訪問的四個人,都是我熟悉的,很普通的香港市民,沒政治傾向,既沒有去伊朗學波斯文也不在乎市民抗爭史,更不像「文化評論員」般關心什麼「解殖」。在網上發表親友的意見不是不冒險的,因為有很多人會認為你不反對拆皇后就是「愛國份子」,立即和維園阿伯齊名,正如梁文道在《時間站在我們這邊——給林鄭月娥的一封公開信》所言:
我不怪你,因為還有許多你的同代人覺得這是英殖餘緒,是國恥,不只不能留而且早就得拆。如果他們住在大陸,他們一定也要想辦法拆走僅餘的日軍「慰安所」。

這種邏輯的可怖之處在於:只要你不反對拆皇后,那麼你的理由就必然是認定皇后乃國恥了;一認定皇后乃國恥,那麼就暗示着你很可能是維園阿伯之流了,多麼的順理成章。又假如你認為皇后不美,拆掉也不可惜的話,就會有網友批評:「你會令我覺得你好弱智。」所以我說,在網上公開自己親友的見解可能是很危險的,因為萬一他們不用「殖民/後殖民/解殖/集體回憶」角度來思考,你的親友也許會被視為「好弱智」,亦會被人批評為不理解「全新一代的價值觀與世界觀」(見《給林鄭月娥的一封公開信》),而時間,當然就更不會站在你們那邊了。後生之所以可畏,不是因為後生,而是他們自負得沒想過自己會老。

17 留言:

Curunír Lán of Istari 說...

beleg Orbelain, "Dwarves mainly live underground, do not like farming or herding, and they obtain all their food supplies through trade with Elves and Men. As stated in 'Of Dwarves and Men,' the Dwarves have often formed trade relations with Men whereby they exchange the items of their smithcraft in return for food grown by the Men, in a mutually beneficial relationship." - J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, description of Dwarves (also known as the Naugrim)

We've come to learn how to live as dwarfs, it brought us accumulation of wealth and prosperity in return. If sky's what your seek, then all you've got to do, is simple. Walk out of the city, travel and wander, instead trying to guard meaningless statues, and change what can't be changed. Materialistic priorities, bureaucratic councils, and I simply think the citizens could care less. Why force the dwarfs to live as men or elves? Why a sudden urge to modify the nature of things? Why don't you leave the underground when you look for a view of the sky? melch delu rinc

精英大師 說...

車﹐呢兩日梗係笈實個金魚缸﹐好過理個馬頭﹐要理都理馬會邊隻馬頭跑出。唔講經濟利益﹐唔講土地價值﹐最好城寨又唔拆﹐大排檔又唔拆﹐舊街市又唔拆﹐保持五百年不變﹐保持係五六十年代嘅樣﹐懷舊到個個搬翻徙置區﹐排隊落山擔水。到時個個城市就發展﹐香港就保留完貌﹐後代就係街邊搾兜聽乞食。毛都未生齊﹐就學人示威﹐唔使揾食實口響嗝。絕食瞓街﹐我係佢老豆老母就一腳伸佢出街﹐睇下建設重要﹐定係碼頭重要。

fei fei 說...

haha, so mo liu lor! @n@ bad writing so hard to understand lor. I think stupid to break pier, you people so stupid !! should agree should keep the pier ga ma. SUPPORT KEEP PIER! SAVE PIER! DEMOLISH PIER!

匿名 說...

家母對保留皇后也沒有感覺,也同樣懷念中環郵政總局。
也許這才是真正的集體回憶。

五十米深藍 說...
此留言已被作者移除。
hystericireul 說...

我對皇后碼頭的最深刻回憶,是那兒就是我初戀表白和開始的地方......

另,抱歉我沒有回應我貼那篇文章的留言,但我是一字一句都有看過想過的。

Perennial_Loser 說...

建設!發展!
乜 Q 都拆 X 晒佢,冇眼屎乾淨盲!

精乜 Q 叉英大師啫,硬膠!老退又有病,阻 X 住地球轉仲要搵牧場你住?打靶做罐頭好過啦!

各位主場0既 blogger,失禮晒。

Perennial_Loser 說...

抵唔住頸,噴多兩句...唔好意思。

拆,已經拆咗。有邊次拆唔成?

一句講晒,事實係「發展」贏咗,好未?贏咗仲要攞晒彩,夫復何言?

講埋晒啲咁嘢係好低層次,失禮死人...但每次建制-反建制之間對抗,都係同樣結果收場。抗議又好,絕食又好,乜都好,damned if you do, damned if you don't。不如就此收皮,唔好話出去搞事,就連 blog 都唔好寫,報紙電視都唔好睇,匿埋響屋企打飛機算數...咪住,可能又會畀人話係色魔電車男。死未?

我咁講其實都幾 odd...我最「激進」嘅活動都只係七一散步同埋舊年某日響天星舉住枝蠟燭企咗兩個鐘。睇返呢班人搞社運 - 點都好,當係 606/610,甚或博物館標本,有人走出嚟嘈下畀啲 noise,個社會唔好「和諧」得咁詭異,cut them some slack 得唔得?慢個駛又話人塞路,嘈重建/拆遷/公屋商用物業私營化又話人阻人發達,係咪真係發財大晒?講來講去都係呢啲「民粹」talk ,我都悶;但「你」又係咁,「我」又點可能唔係咁?

至於 Y.T. 兄嘅意見...我由 Inmedia 留意佢嘅言論到宜家,個人意見係佢提出嘅問題基本上係 valid - 籠統咁講,搞乜乜物物運動之際,係應該有 wise old man 時刻提醒搞運動嘅人,以免擦槍走火。以我揣測,Y.T. 兄應該係對共產革命嘅歷史有好大戒心,所以時刻都 "think two steps ahead",反思社運人嘅論點。但在下會換個角度講,對共產革命之失警戒過甚,防左大於一切,可以變成 learned hopelessness,小則「點衰都唔衰得過左仔/激進分子/xxx 啫」,重則「土豪劣紳,橫行有理」,現時所有嘅一切制度都 justified。保唔保育、扶唔扶貧,下下都去到要 think two steps ahead,反思反思再反思,就等同 anti-anti-anti-anti-xxx n 次方,原地踏步,乜都唔使做。當然,唔係話唔用腦唔乜唔物就仆倒去「搞事」;但我哋都要諗,政府有嘅係權,只要唔係挑起香港人最怕嘅嘢 (政府主動侵犯全民個人自由 - 唯一例子係23條),你同政府講乜都冇用,佢話做就做。早幾年保護海港嗰單,「搞事」嘅人唔激進,又有用實際環保、交通角度講啦 (其實今次天星/皇后都有,但冇咩人理)?結果又點?此所以在下會講 "damned if you do, damned if you don't",你點做都係得個桔,海照填,樓照起,大家歌舞昇平。Constructive destruction, yeah, let's take it for granted; it's so, so it's justified.

當然,自己都係所謂嘅「民粹」信徒,響度講咁多其實都係自打咀巴;既然個市咁講咁睇,冇法啦,認命。

胡言亂語一大堆,得罪之處,尚祈見諒。死罪死罪。

Y.T. 說...

倉海君:

So far in the great campaign for heritage preservation, of which the Queen Pier is only one stage, I have come across basically three theories:

1. Historical memory
2. De-colonialisation
3. Public space

The following quote:

"回到皇后此一歷任港督舉行登岸儀式的「殖民地標」,我們不告別,是因為殖民地威權作風並未隨九七回歸而遠去,那些「不民主的政治體制」、「虛情假意的諮詢制度」和「漠視本土人民生活的城市規劃模式」等殖民遺產,已悄悄地「過戶」予「回歸後特府」。換言之,就像波蘭人記憶納粹主義的目的一樣,記憶皇后也是為了抗拒殖民主義於我城借屍還魂,更進一步,就是要在回歸後開展一場遲來的解殖運動。" (陳景輝﹕為何不告別? 一個皇后碼頭守衛者的自白)

falls naturally under the second, and it is an argument which I did not discuss in my earlier post. So when there I discoursed on the sense of history, I aimed exclusively at those supporters of heritage preservation relying heavily on the first theory, to wit, historical memory. HK people, especially the young, need, so goes the argument, tangible objects to foster a historically-grounded identity, an identity that is nourished not only by the material achievements of HK (which we need not enumerate), but also by a sense of the past--the past of this city. But the presumed connection, between preserving tangible objects and fostering a historically-grounded identity, remains, after all, a presumed connection.

When I said that the Chinese civilisation long carried with it a strong sense of history, I clearly did not mean that there was a persistent reference to the very origin of itself ("原始中國文化"): what you described seems more appropriately to be called civilisational atavism. Nor did I mean, by the sense of history, that a civilisation must attempt to keep itself off from all kinds of change; quite the contrary, a civilisation confident in its tradition ought to welcome change, knowing that it will be able to incorporate it in its organic whole. Let me cite one or two examples to illustrate my point.

When John Selden and his friends leaved through the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles in search of the ancient constitution, they had a strong sense of history: history was alive and well in their midst, and history was normative. But, while fueling the growth of the notion of the Norman Yoke, they did not intend, by their effort, to eradicate each and every influence of the (bastard!) French.

If the great nobles had their chronicles, then the ordinary folks had their oral tradition, their grandmother's tales, and their communal festivities. Heroes and villains furnished them types against which contemporary figures were to be judged. The vicissitudes of their community, past successes and future hopes all made the members feel that they lived not as an isolated point, but as in a line connecting the already-gone with the yet-to-come.

Many things have led me to conclude that this sense of temporal connectedness gradually fades among them in HK born since the 80s. Some supporters of heritage preservation might have accidentally invoked Theory No.1, when what they really aim at is Theory No. 2; but to the degree that they discourse on historical memory, I would urge them to speak a little more clearly of what sort of sense they want to impute to that term. In this connection, we may do well to take note of a thread in the Mingpao Reader's Forum:

"睇見有橫額寫住“拆皇后,你問過我未”好專橫的一句話,請問"我"代表邊個?點解唔係我哋?我是誰?你又是誰?全港市民?你寫又問過我未?

"香港,要保留嘅,何止皇后。中國人嘅禮義廉恥,孝道,英國人的紳士風度,點解唔見得一乾二淨?坐車唔見禮讓,見人唔識叫早晨,乜嘢叫做保育,唔通係保住D教育?

"睇見兩位長毛人仕,真係唔順眼!學人講環保,又食煙,拋煙灰,垃圾,充有型,做show,應貫撤始終! [...](See: http://forum.mingpao.com/cfm/Forum3.cfm?OwnerID=1&CategoryID=1&TopicID=1249&Page=7)

Now let me remark briefly on the second theory and the third. Despite Prof. Chan's enthusiastic articulation of it in yesterday's Mingpao, the third theory can hardly be a reason to support the preservation of the Queen's Pier: For there will, after the reclamation project, simply be another public space somewhere in the region. So long as the Government promises to reserve such a space, there is little reason to maintain that the Pier must be preserved intact. Prof. Chan has naturally some better things to say about public space, its relationship to civic movement, democratic governance, and suchlike; but if the crux of the matter is whether there would be sufficient public space for the next generation, if not for the present, then I simply cannot see on what rational ground can the Professor insist upon THIS rather than THAT public space, assuming that accessibility, etc. be all comparable.

The more alarming (or attractive)of the theories is certainly the second. But before we delve into the intricacies, there is need to resolve certain ambiguities of terms. For the supporters of the preservation movement, "解殖運動" refers to change of the mode of governance. It matters not, for these people, whether a preserved object registers the humiliating age of the gunboat policy or the happy days of communal mutual-help. For it is ultimately the user--the humble street-roaming rights-bearing book-reading grass-smoking graffiti-spraying net-surfing song-singing user--who gives meaning to the object. Such a user has no use of grand narratives in his version of "解殖運動": he does not want to participate in the grand narrative at all; he wants to be himself, he the sovereign individual. Attending this mode of thinking is the subtle thought that effective governance, and any tinge of order, can mean only elitism, illegitimate power, and oppression. There are many phrases to describe the current mode of governance which subscribers to this thought have used, and we may well refrain from cataloguing them.

But for other people, "解殖運動" means something diametrically opposite: participate in the grand narrative and preserve the effective mode of governance. If the latter represents, for this group, one crucial factor that has worked towards the success of HK in the past, then the former signifies the psychological return of HK to China--and this, precisely this, is what de-colonialisation ultimately means and must mean.

From a slightly different angle, we may say that whereas the first interpretation of de-colonialisation centres around an elevated notion of the PEOPLE, the second interpretation clearly takes very seriously the notion of GOVERNANCE. There is a tendency among champions of the first interpretation to downplay the ACHIEVEMENTS of the government (both before and after 1997) and to focus on the FORM of civic expression. How ever, we may wonder, has Leung Man-Tao, for instance, written a good word for any official or bureaucrat, let alone the entire officialdom or bureaucracy, for what goods he, or it, has done for the society? Such a mode of thinking collides sharply with them who tend to stress the complexity and difficulty of governance, and to recognize, surreptitiously perhaps, that many in the populace ultimately concern more about their standard of living than the form of civic expression.

No doubt I am rather sympathetic with the champions of the second interpretation than with those of the first. Though I hope my predilection should not affect the validity of the foregoing observations.

Y.T.

arttacker 說...

//這種邏輯的可怖之處在於:只要你不反對拆皇后,那麼你的理由就必然是認定皇后乃國恥了//

或者可怖之處在於在於闡釋而非其邏輯

倉海君 說...

Y.T.,

謝謝你詳細的闡釋。至於中國文化那問題,由於不是跟主題太相關,我只好盡量簡短地回應。「回歸原始中國文化」絕不是我對歷史感的定義,我指的是,在原始中國文化中,歷史感才真正豐富。而我對歷史感的定義,已見於之前回應的第一句:「所謂歷史感,我會定義為對自身歷史文化的認知、對傳統(特別是最富內在價值那部分)的承擔,和對身份一貫性的維護。」原始中國文化中的所謂「原始」,只表示時間,沒有價值判斷,當然不是「以古為法」,而「歸根」強調的,是一循環過程,不是止於上古。Civilisational atavism,我是從來都不支持的,只是我認為中國文化最精妙之處,及歷史感最豐饒之時,恰巧就在文明開端而已。

至於你說:"a civilisation confident in its tradition ought to welcome change, knowing that it will be able to incorporate it in its organic whole...If the great nobles had their chronicles, then the ordinary folks had their oral tradition, their grandmother's tales, and their communal festivities." 在這幾方面,中國文化相較於其他文化,其實不見得會更優勝,所以只能算是一種普世現象;至於「對自身歷史文化的認知、對傳統(特別是最富內在價值那部分)的承擔」,就更乏善足陳,例子也不多舉了。我只想簡單解釋一下我的看法。當然,中國文化是否富歷史感不是重點,你認為歷史記憶不一定要依賴具體事物才能保存,我是百分百同意的。

Perennial_Loser 說...

Y.T.,

It's true that the loopholes of the de-colonization discourse raised by the conservationists is prone criticism; the "effective governance" approach you raised, if fully elaborated, may actually justify quick and prompt redevelopment of every old district in town - we've been tearing things down without a fuss for decades in exchange for highrises, good profits or an improvement in "standard of living". A good many have been happy with such a development, and this is not to be ignored.

Nonetheless, while I'm not going to cast a negative light on such items, a humble question regarding "standard of living" might be worthwhile for some casual deliberation: what, exactly, is "standard of living"? Improvement in sanitation, housing safety and traffic, etc., may be good indicators; but are more roads, more bridges, more mega-malls/office blocks, more reclamation, etc. absolutely necessary to improve "standard of living"? It's one thing for the Tung Choi Street inhabitants to cheer for re-development that allows them to leave those old and worn-out buildings for good; but it's another to tear down some pretty conveniently-located piers to make way for mega-blocks and 8-lanes which may invite just more vehicle/visitor traffic and, possibly, more choking smoke, traffic jams, or a forced switch to take the $9/trip MTR instead of a $2 ferry ride (you may quip that MTR is less polluting than ferry, though) across the harbour. A narrowed Victoria Harbour may be less desirable for some (like me); yet by taking Sir Gordon Wu's line such subjective and emotional stuff like "the beauty of harbour", which does not give rise to tangible/quantifiable benefits, is useless for our well-being (no tax revenues, no profits, etc.). So we may just leave this thing off the question, to avoid further complicating the issue.

To push the question one step further, it can be put this way: is it necessarily true that "effective governance" means reclamations and highrises? Or, is a diversion from this established norm possibly acceptable? I would like to stay away from the probably de-colonization thing, particularly the current version raised by the "conservationists"; yet by focusing on your preferred version, I would like to beg for a tiny, even negligible, room for some - no matter how small this minority is - to argue for some different forms of "standard of living" or "effective governance", rather than merely taking the version(s) we have. And it is just the same for the "avatars or not" question - maybe avatars should not superficially created and erected everywhere; but when we stand at the other side of the looking glass we may ask, "Is it necessary for us to avoid tangible/ physical items so as to avoid avatarism?" We don't need to keep every single piece of 50-year-old underwear to commemorate who-how-what;but gleefully tearing things down and proceeding with reclamation with a huge grin is not a must either.

I am not going to defend anyone - the conservationists and the discourses put forward should be, of course, subject to examination and criticisms should be definitely taken into consideration. In fact, their points, be it de-colonization or whatsoever, are doing the course a disservice I suppose. It can be called stupidity, or anything else. Their arguments, as we see on the MSM, probably just miss the point. Yet just as your fear that radicals might be upsetting a so-so/acceptable status quo or established norm (my subjective wild guess; hope I am not upsetting you with this), I have my fear that by taking the "wise old man" road everythin just goes back to the status quo every single time - in the issue of "conservation", how many times have we seen highrise/mall/infrastructure/reclamation projects stopped or altered to keep some established items intact? Of course, conservationists may be guilty of coming out late as some charged, but even if they are not coming out late where were the "won" battles? The old Marine Police HQ in TST may be one. Or 雷生春...which sits embarassingly at a triangular corner/joint between two roads that makes it a not so viable location for development projects. Or the old post office in Wanchai...so small a lot that nobody bothers (not a nuisance for developments). So these are what we have. Of course, I may be (and very likely) guilty of not giving credit to the bureaucracy's achievements. Other achievements are missed out. So I am not entitled to ask for a 20-second time-out on "development". The arguments don't have the credibility. I am doing my view a disservice. Ooops. So forget about it.

Indeed, it's much-ado-about-nothing for me to repeat yet another round of ramblings here; as a very primitive populist, I'm self-contradicting. I should be following the existing development line that "the majority" are happy about. Anyway, please accept my apology for yelling like a madman and possibly upsetting you - though I am sure that you wouldn't feel a slightest bit annoyed by such a regrettably unworthy dissenter who falls way short in credentials.

Y.T. 說...

To perennial loser:

By effective governance I do not mean reclamations and highrises. Effective governance can certainly, if you prefer, lead to more public squares, more coastal promenades, etc. etc. What effective governance opposes, to my way of thinking, is the tendency to obstruct and delay policies which have long been in the making, have already passed all the procedural hurdles, and have put the Government under not a small contractual obligation.

Populists are often inclined to argue, in a Rousseauian manner, that only the present will of the people which can legitimate any policy; and therefore that should the people feel the other way now, even though they had, on any account, agreed to the contrary in the past, the old policy must be abandoned, so as to align itself with the new will. Certain champions for the cause of preservation in the recent incident, especally certain young comrades, like to argue that because they were too young to oppose when the Reclamation Projects were discussed and adopted, they now retain the right to oppose, and it is their present view that should count.

To this line of thinking, I answer: Many benefits these champions are now enjoying--from sanitation to the new airport--did not come into being on their approval; the temporal nature of many civil projects, and the political, legal and economic complexity involved therein, simply cannot accommodate the sort of Rousseauian fantasy of continuous plebiscite. The people can, of course, debate about projects to come--the road HK is to take in the next twenty or thirty years. Some may very well decry the "developmentalist mentality" of the majority, some may advocate a more moderate position, trying to take into account as well the need to ameliorate the drawbacks of the old developmental strategy as the real challenges HK is going to face (if not already facing) in terms of maintaining its economic position among metropolitans. To launch a great debate along these lines does not conflict with the idea of effective governance; but to elevate the present will of the people at all cost, does.

Democracy can be a good thing. But democracy can also engender a certain mindset, namely that the citizen is customer and the customer is king. Every wage-earner knows very well that the slogan "the customer is always right" may be very appealing whey he happens at that moment to be shopping in a mall; but he knows equally well that the very same slogan is that which often condemns him to a miserable life in the workplace. If democrats be for the most part sympathetic to workers and suspicious of the ideology that underpins "customer is king," they may as well reconsider whether they have not surreptitiously promoted that condemnable slogan, albeit in a different guise.

It is against the Rousseanian fantasy and against the said slogan that I proffer the notion of effective governance. I think every one who has ever been in a managing or governing capacity will understand why this notion is so indispensable to civic discourse, yet so missing in circles of activists and cultural study academics.

Y.T. 說...

To 倉海君:

I have written more fully on the Queen's Pier incident at:
http://www.inmediahk.net/public/article?group%5fid=203&item%5fid=250460

If you deem fit, feel free to post it here as an entry. I have resolved some time ago to visit Inmedia at most once a week: it seems more rewarding to keep an open eye on the big picture, so to speak, than to focus too much on one sort of problem or one incident.

倉海君 說...

Y.T.,

上文不方便轉載,一來並非獨立成篇,二來牽涉很多他人的論點,我會建議讀者到討論區由頭看起,脈絡會較清晰。

"it seems more rewarding to keep an open eye on the big picture, so to speak, than to focus too much on one sort of problem or one incident."--同意。你早期在專欄中發表的中英文作品,我覺得內在價值較後來對其他論者的批評為高。希望你可以多分享一些閱讀心得或對社會的觀察,相信會令大家得益良多。

子貢方人。子曰:「賜也賢乎哉?夫我則不暇!」願以此共勉。

匿名 說...

這種邏輯的可怖之處在於:只要你不反對拆皇后,那麼你的理由就必然是認定皇后乃國恥了;一認定皇后乃國恥,那麼就暗示着你很可能是維園阿伯之流了,多麼的順理成章。又假如你認為皇后不美,拆掉也不可惜的話,就會有網友批評:「你會令我覺得你好弱智。」所以我說,在網上公開自己親友的見解可能是很危險的,因為萬一他們不用「殖民/後殖民/解殖/集體回憶」角度來思考,你的親友也許會被視為「好弱智」,亦會被人批評為不理解「全新一代的價值觀與世界觀」

我實在不明白你搬出幾位"人士"的見解究竟想說明什麼, 你的用意好像是覺得保留皇后的人士是一派, 你們覺得沒所謂的是一派, 你這樣的歸邊做法和保育人士bush式邪惡軸心口吻有什分別? 難度所有反對拆皇后的人都用「殖民/後殖民/解殖/集體回憶」角度來思考嗎? 你的這套順理成章一氣呵成的想法, 也不過是可怖的邏輯

倉海君 說...

我從沒說或暗示過任何人是「邪惡軸心」,也沒興趣分黨分派。我只代表我自己,反正我也沒資格挾民眾以自重。你問:「我實在不明白你搬出幾位『人士』的見解究竟想說明什麼」,我可以答你:「就是要說明這幾位『人士』的見解。」可怖的邏輯,不是我閉門造車編出來的,而當我說「有人」是這樣想的時候,根本不代表「所有反對拆皇后的人」都這樣想。事實上,我要說明什麼,你早已有一個模範答案了,即「你的用意好像是......」,我的解釋是什麼,難道你有興趣?「殖民/後殖民/解殖/集體回憶」後,我大概應該補上「公共空間/城市規劃/保育」,希望你滿意。如有更新奇的角度,歡迎補充。