Sunday, 18 October 2020

Mysterious Inspiration

 


Most of us have experienced inspiring moments when a great idea appears out of the blue. Most of the most of us then doubt and muse in disbelief, and the great idea vanishes until discovered by someone else. Creativity depends on execution as well as inspiration.


Compared with ‘deductive or analytical intelligence’ such as the ability to figure out five plus six after learning one plus one, creativity is abstract, even mysterious and spiritual. Spiritual? Yeah, seriously.


创意灵媒


很多人都經歷過如有神助的「靈感」一刻,及時把握的話可以引發「創意」。但捕捉「靈感」並不容易,猶疑之間,「靈感」隨時消失,只留下輕微熱量隨著腦電波逝去。由「靈感」帶動的思潮與一般思考不同,屬「創意」範疇,並非抽絲剝繭的邏輯分析。


「靈感」哪來的呢?「靈感」一詞雖然經常被亂用濫用,但實際上就如字面所說,是「靈性的感覺」,是形而上的「靈機一觸」。有那麼玄?有!簡直玄之又玄!


英語的 inspiration,同樣神秘。據說 inspire 一字,源於上帝含著「阿當」用灰塵造的鼻子,一口氣把靈魂吹進他體內,中東人的始祖才開始「有肉有靈」,正式做人。上帝把當爺爺的「灰塵鼻」放嘴裡肯定需要愛心支持,而「塵化人」這一招創意無限,沒有靈感的人是無法想象出來的。看來,我們的祖先,不分中外,都比現代人更瞭解「靈感」的本質。


Monday, 29 June 2020

臆想国安法



《港版国安法》出台,越看越精彩。本来觉得事情已经在专业领导手中,无需边吃瓜边插嘴了,但我对一些执行细节和目标的臆想,好像没有什么人谈及,所以忍不住又要多口。


港式汉奸只不过一群贪生怕死的小人,对国际政治文化毫无认识,以为蟑螂可以假借纸老虎发威,愚蠢程度不可思议。现在看见国安法的影子,屁滚尿流鸟兽散是意料中事,不值一提。既然不值一提,那就不浪费篇幅了。


我倒觉得一般港人和香港的所谓“建制派”应该清楚认识这重大里程碑,把握时机,停止投机取巧,为香港的复原和真正回归做实事。假如政棍一族以为有阿爷作靠山,可以继续不务正业,单靠一声“爱国”指天笃地的话,则大错特错矣。


A Money Story



Most of us have been too busy making money to give it much thought. To diehard capitalists, money is everything, something which one can never have too much of. But is it?


What is money?


Money is a trade medium and value unit. I have a cow; you have a hundred bushels of onion. You want to eat beef, while I need onion for my soup, but we still can’t barter successfully. With money, you can buy my cow. I used a small portion of the proceeds to buy a kilo of onion from you, and save the rest for other things. Unfortunately, some people get stuck in the process, and hang on to the money, the more the better — feeling rich is a great capitalistic feeling. 


Once upon a time, shells were used as currency in China (except in coastal areas, I assume). I can imagine some people selling all their cows for a good price, and plan their retirements accordingly. Then came Qin Shi Huang, who invented a national currency. Suddenly, Tycoon Wang with a houseful of shells couldn’t buy a steamed bun with it. Overnight, he was broke.


Hyperinflation


When people have lost confidence in a currency, hyperinflation results. History has witnessed hyperinflation multiple times in nearly every country — from China to America, Israel to Germany. In the 1940s, my father had to carry baskets of money to the market. Vendors weighed the bills in exchange for vegetables, rather than wasting time counting them filthy notes.


Once confidence in a currency has collapsed, money is just paper — wastepaper.


What is money without economic activities?


Practically nothing. Imagine being a fugitive banker stuck in an island without import and export, and very little production. Your suitcase of dollars is only good for counting and recounting to kill time.


A common misconception is that if a country manages to produce everything in this world, and eventually monopolise the global “free” market, it will eventually make all the money in the world, and be rich beyond imagination. But what could this country do with the money? Mostly just to buy things from itself, using money printed by others. This country would become a global slave with lots of “money”. 


A healthy equilibrium is when there is true multi-polar productivity, from everyone's perspective.


The USD Formula


How did the greenback become the international reserve currency? Confidence of course. In the beginning, that confidence had a lot do with American innovation, productivity and military power. Anyone who wanted some of the great stuff from America better go make some US dollars. Otherwise, no matter how much Congolese Francs you offered, they won’t sell. Gradually, under the influence of human nature and due devolution, America decided to let others sweat. They focused on printing money instead, and became addicted to it.


But what would happen when the world doesn’t need American dollars for all the good things available elsewhere? Henry Kissinger had a good idea. If all the oil producers accept only American dollars, then demand for the currency can be sustained, as everyone needs oil. The Petrodollar was born. What if some oil producers refuse? Ask Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Gaddafi of Libya, Iran, and Venezuela.


American Debts


The mind-numbing mechanics by which USD is generated has been well explained by numerous pundits. I wish to focus on a fatuous threat brandished by some really dumb politicians: sequester China’s one trillion plus American bonds. Sure, go ahead.


Let’s first see how China ends up with so much American dollars.


There are two main sources: foreign investment and trade surplus. Foreign investors come to China to build factories, taking with them a bunch of dollars. They must first exchange it to the Chinese currency RMB. Greenback becomes red notes — paper for paper. With RMB in hand, they can now rent land, build factories, hire workers, and start production. Employment is created, invigorating the economy. 


China uses the greenback received to buy oil, minerals, advanced equipment, computer chips, soybeans, GM corn etc. — whatever it needs. What’s left is saved in US Treasury Bonds. America of course knows that money without use is as good as garbage, so whatever China wants to buy in America would be re-classified as something with security significance.


After spending as much as possible on purchases and foreign aids, China still has about one trillion stashed away in US Treasury Bonds. It sounds like a huge sum, and it is. But the true value of this money — value which can only be realised through labour and participation — has long been realised inside China, and multiplied manyfold. What’s left is mostly, you know, just money with no immediate purpose. 


Furthermore, if the US robbed this phantom wealth from China, will other debt owners just watch and exclaim? And what would happen if China as a result has no option but to refuse USD for trade? Would the Middle East revolt at the same time? In that scenario, we can quite safely assume that the Great American Empire would falter dramatically. American taxpayers spent two trillion on Iraq for reasons only they understand. To bring down the most warlike Empire on Earth for a trillion would be a fantastic deal.


Widespread war waged by an irate Empire is of course a concern. But how many countries can it invade with its kamikaze F35? More importantly, the Euro and Yen, even the Pound Sterling, have been waiting for their rightful share in the currency basket for a long long time, while getting bullied by Big Brother.


The Greenback’s Final Assault


According to the Washington Post, which is not always credible, the mysterious financial mechanism in America has produced about six trillion new money to jump start the post Covid-19 economy. Some say it’s only three trillion — only three trillion! Has anyone seen the money?


In modern America, nobody knows where any money goes. I can only venture a wild guess. Money is not the true substance of wealth; only labour and productivity can sustain prosperity. But under the current world order, money, especially American money, can still buy ownership of productivity and resources. Now that the greenback’s days are numbered, its printers are working overtime to produce prodigious amounts of it, to buy up as much as they can. 


If that’s true, we’ll see hyperinflation of assets and equities for a while, followed by hyper-devaluation of the USD — the most effective way to default on the Empire’s impossible debts.


James Tam 2020.06.09

钱作怪




国际上有关钱的假动作太多,令人眼花缭乱,心惊胆跳,不敢看不敢想。但我对恐怖事物有偏爱,决定把碎片拼合,组织自己的幻觉。


问世间钱为何物?

钱是交易的媒介和等量单位。假如我有一头牛,你有一百擔洋葱,虽然你想吃牛肉,我想吃洋葱,但以货易货很难成交。有货币作媒介,你可以用钱买我的牛,我只用一少部分收入跟你买一斤洋葱,余款用来买其他东西,或储蓄起来。古代的内陆居民曾用贝壳担当货币功能。但假如有人把辛苦养大的牛通通好价卖掉,一心做个“守贝奴”过世的话,会在秦始皇出现后瞬间破产,只剩下一箩箩的贝壳。昨天足够买整栋房子的宝贝,今天买不到一个馒头。


恶性通胀

人们对一种货币失去信心,便会导致恶性通胀,这在秦始皇之后发生过 N 次,几乎所有国家,由中国到美国,以色列到德意志,都经历过。我父亲的一代,解放前也有过一斤钱换一斤菜的经历,钱不值钱的时候,大家也懒得数了。


货币的交易功能全凭信心和管理支撑。货币一旦失去公信便成废纸,或废电子。


没有经济支撑的钱是什么?

什么也不是。 试想你有亿亿万世人热爱的金钱,但生活在一个与世隔绝的荒岛。孤岛没有生产,没有进出口贸易,你的钱什么也买不到,只可以用来擦屁股。


由此可以引申到一个较常见的错觉:有人以为国家早晚有能力生产一切,到时把全世界的钱都赚回来:哇!发达啰!他们没有想过赚回来的钱用来干嘛。拿着大量外币跟自己买波鞋?所以,全球分工是必然现象,也是我们希望的现象,否则情愿闭关。当然,战略性物资和生产能力一定要掌握在自己手中,但其余的生产力和市场份额,按比例合理分配才是健康的财富平衡。整体市场份额过大,大小通杀,只不过劳役自己。换来一大堆没出路的钱,比便秘更难受更伤身。

美元方程式

美元靠什么称霸呢?早期靠全球一致的信心,而信心来自美国当年庞大的创造力,生产力,和军事能力。想买美国出产的好东西?先赚点儿美元再说吧,否则你给更多刚果法郎也不卖,就是那么简单。后来美国吃太饱,竟然想出妙招:干活那么辛苦,何不让人家流汗,自己拼命印刷大家都接受了的美元,便可以呼风唤雨,空手套白狼,过瘾!


但这样下去,美国出产的好东西越来越少,美元需求自然减退,怎生是好?基辛格聪明,搞了石油美元。在全世界买原油都要用美元结算,美元还愁没需求?那么卖石油的不接受美元怎办?这方面可以找个灵媒,向伊拉克的侯赛因和利比亚的卡塔菲讨教一下。随着时代进步,霸主无所事事,想出来的洗劫方式五花百门,不胜枚举。这里只不过以卡通形式点出大纲。


美债故事

美债故事和美元的生产工序已经有很多真懂的人介绍过。有兴趣可以网上搜寻。我想探讨的是很多国人担心的问题:假如美国把我们万多亿的美债一口吞了怎办?血汗钱哦!


先看看我们为什么有这么多美元,和这些美元的血汗值。


中国手中的美元有两个大来源:外国投资和贸易顺差。美国公司拿着一叠美元来华投资,找人代替出汗,但美元不能在中国通用,唯有去人民银行兑换,绿纸换红纸,两不相欠。换过我们定价的人民币之后,投资者租地招工盖工厂,把生产力和经验转移到中国,提升工业能力,制造就业,打开市场,搞活经济。谢谢。


人民银行拿着这些美元,四处购买原油矿石,大豆芯片,多余的便暂买美债。但中国人勤奋,生产力强,手上的美元越来越多,一部分发放到一带一路建设,助人助己,一举数得。偶尔会有几个穷兄弟无力偿还。这不打紧,看远一点,迟些再算。江湖上多交几个朋友,得道多助,反正美元是名副其实的身外物。


一万亿美债听来数目惊人,但金钱能够换来的“内涵”价值,早在中国落地生根,开枝散叶,多年来翻了不知几十倍了。贸易顺差赚来的美元得益相对较少,但原理相近。所以,能够及时适量减持美债最好,否则也并非世界末日。


再者,美国够胆赖债吗?抢了中国持的美债,其他国家会若无其事吗?要知道,财富的基础是生产,是资源,不是纸币。假如强抢导致中国停止接受美元,一切交易用人民币、其它可信货币或实物资源进行;又假如石油大国趁机起义,也拒收美元的话,帝国就此完蛋。根据美国专家估计,他们打伊拉克一共消耗了两万亿。能够以一万亿纸币的代价打垮纸老虎的话,简直便宜得有点儿过意不去。


霸主一怒之下,为美钞而战怎办?飞几次掉一次的超级神风战机F35,能打多少个国家?更重要的是,欧罗日元一大堆都会乘虚而入,在全球新秩序霸一席位。绝大部分的纸扎盟友们除了嘴巴响亮,会两肋插刀帮助多年来把自己欺负得难过死的大佬吗?


美元的最后发难

华盛顿邮报(https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/15/coronavirus-economy-6-trillion/)估算美国为了疫情,过去几个月一共狂印六万亿。不理他三万五万还是六万亿,这些疯狂数字已经毫无意义,也令大众失去感觉。这货币海啸据说是用来抗疫,刺激经济,太搞笑了吧!美国老百姓反正一毛钱也见不到。那么钱都哪去呢?美国人民都不知道,我怎会知道?


但我不介意胡乱猜度:纸币只是财富的暂时缓冲,生产力和资源才是真正的财富。但暂时来说,在资本主义主导的秩序下,虚无的纸币仍然可以购买生产力和资源的拥有权。心知美元命不久矣的大佬们于是决定发难,赶紧在临危一刻找个借口疯狂发钞,以无限美元全球抢购,把随时可变废纸的货币转换成资产。在几万亿美元洪水的冲击下,股票资产飙升的话,完全不犯逻辑。


大冲洗一轮之后,随之而来的是美元大贬值。这是最实在的赖债方式:昨天你借我一亿,价值整栋洋房,今天我还你一亿,只可以买间狗屋。


谭炳昌 2020.06.07


Friday, 5 June 2020

The 2nd Worst Scenario of a Sino-US Split




Momentary disruptions caused by a forced divorce with the US may be a catalyst for China to restore its historical position. 

What is China’s historical position? Let’s examine some features which defined and sustained the ancient civilisation for most of past millennia.

中美博弈的第二最差結局



中美博弈猶如兩個高手比武,驚心動魄。雙方擁躉一時鼓掌,一時驚叫。有切身關係的旁觀者,好比下了賭注的觀眾,心情被拳來拳往牽動。看見自己的拳師打中對方一拳,立即拍腿歡呼;中了人家一招,則高聲怪叫,好像世界末日。這些情緒是人之常情,也可以營造賽事氣氛,但對賽果影響不大,倒不如專心欣賞,有需要時在旁加油打氣,最重要是保持信心, 團結一致。

信心哪來呢?

Sunday, 3 May 2020

賺美匯購美債永續不息?



特朗普兩年前發動中美貿易戰,認為中國一直透過與美國的貿易順差賺取美國人的錢,而又不願意在大量購買美國商品,令美國人吃了大虧,必須向中國揮動關稅大棒,迫令中國簽訂不平等貿易條約,讓美國重新偉大。另一方面,很多中國人覺得辛勤勞動,把大批商品以低廉的價格供應美國人消費,賺取的美元換回海量的美債白條,美國人不勞獲享受成果而繼續稱霸,肯定是中國人吃了大虧才是。

塞翁失馬、焉知非福,要說清當中的利弊得失並不容易,或者可從公司企業的損益表(Income Statement)與資產負債表(Balance Sheet)的概念尋找啟示。

Sunday, 26 April 2020

One Planet Two Morals



There are two main streams of moral traditions — one idealistic and absolute, the other relatively pragmatic and flexible. Each is a product of history and cultural perspective.

Absolutely, from God to Man

About six thousand years ago, God switched on the light, made things, and authorised humans to reign over them. Man was supposedly in charge of the world, which wasn’t exactly the entire universe — something we still don’t know much about, but pretend we do. Subsequently, God gave religious peoples the foundation of their moral codes. Nothing too complicated, but thou shalt not kill or steal is universally sensible, and works well if followed honestly.

Gradually, science nudges God off His throne. Humans take over, and steadily expand their God-given birthrights to reign over fish and birds. They march to conquer strange lands, funny heathens, the oceans, and nature in general, singing war songs.

Nonetheless, God’s exit has left an empty spot in their psyche, a vacancy which physics and chemistry can’t fill. After centuries of spiritual dependence, the urge to believe in something doesn’t go away easy. Moral excuses are needed to justify actions, many of which detrimental to themselves and others.

In cartoons, funny characters saw doggedly at the branch they’re perching on. In real life, Homo sapiens exploit their one and only living environment for short-term gains, and call it human achievement. Meanwhile, political ideologies have replaced religion, rationalising the killing and destruction of heathens. In man’s hand, morals have become more arbitrary, manipulative, and impractical.

And impractical ideals inevitably lead to hypocrisy and fanaticism. 

Supporters of specious doctrines seldom “act as they preach” because, well, what they preach is not always practicable. But stepping back to rethink is sacrilegious. Moral principles are tautologically and absolutely good, uncompromisable. An ideal is a perfect end-point to strive for. Revising something perfect is yielding to the dark side, not incremental refinement. Unfortunately, to loyally defend untenable beliefs and infeasible ideas is the first step to fanaticism.

非常道德观


当今世上有两种主流道德观,各有各的历史成因和文化背景。第一种比较绝对和理想化,第二种比较实际,注重探索。


源于上帝,绝对理想

据圣经所述,大概六千年前,上帝说要有光,便即时有光。可惜四周没有反光体,依旧渺冥无明。上帝于是创造万物,最后附加男女组合阿当与夏娃,让他们在伊甸园快乐逍遥,为所欲为,但不准吃苹果,原因不明。无奈这对祖先天生好奇,偏偏把禁果吃掉。上帝怒责之余,却仍然让他们凌驾世界,但要从此知羞,穿衣蔽体。不许在公共场所裸体,可能是最原始的道德要求。后来为了部落秩序,上帝颁布无杀人,无偷盗等戒条,进一步规范道德。十戒内容颇合情理,大众无话可说,反正不服者杀无赦。

转眼几千年,人类长了知识,略懂科学,开始摆脱造物主的精神枷锁,自把自为日久,逐渐野心膨胀,把天赋特权无限扩张,除了统治鱼虾野兽,铲高山镇海洋,臣服异族,更扬言要征服大自然,甚至宇宙,以显人类力量,把不知天高地厚这话发挥得淋漓尽致。

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

China Will Never Rule the World


Around 400 BCE, Thucydides analysed the history of Greek inter-city strife, and concluded that war is nearly inevitable between a rising power and the incumbent. This so-called Thucydides trap is not only difficult to say, but also anachronistic and misleading when it comes to the avoidable rivalry between China and America today. 

In scale and complexity, the competition between Sparta and Athens at Thucydides’ time, with a combined total population of a few hundred thousand at most, was tribal warfare. Using it to project the global dynamics between China and the US in the 21st century is no more relevant than modelling World War III after the Great Mafia War in Sicily. 

More significantly, China’s foreign policy has been different from — even opposite to — Western imperial traditions for at least a couple of millennia.

中国永远不会统治世界




修昔底德陷阱这个饶舌名词,近年常被引用来推算中美博弈,我认为并不合适。

两千四百多年前,生活在今天希腊一带的修昔底德先生悉心研究当地的斗争史后,发现了一个春秋常规:每当新旧霸权交替之际,都难免大战一场。且不论修昔先生的观察是否独具心得,从规模和复杂性来看,用当年希腊城邦的经验来估计今天错综复杂的中美关系,有如采用黑帮火拼记录来预测第三次世界大战,十分牵强。

修昔底德年代的斯巴达和雅典城邦,男女老幼加起来才一共几十万人,全民穿上凉鞋厮杀,也顶多算得上是有规模的部落战事。再者,西方的争霸传统与中国大秦以后的外交方针有基本分别,甚至完全相反。

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Hong Kong Tomorrow



Many people are asking when will Hong Kong get better. To answer, we must clarify what Hong Kong and better mean. This clarification is fundamental and necessary, not pedantic or rhetorical. Without any notion of Hong Kong, and better, the question is meaningless.

If Hong Kong means the 1100 square kilometres of landmass, then it will remain largely the same, assuming no climatic or geological catastrophes.

If you see Hong Kong as an entity defined by performance indexes and its currency, then you’ve got a huge black cloud, though not without its silver lining.

香港明天




很多人都问香港什么时候会复原。香港市民有这关切很合情理,但很多关心人也没有想过何谓 ‘香港’,和心目中的 ‘复原’ 是什么。我问这些基本问题并非咬文嚼字,也不是故意刁难。希望香港明天更好,但对 ‘香港’ 和 ‘好’ 没有足够认识的话,整个问题基本上没有意义,当然没有答案。

假如 ‘香港’ 是这一千一百多平方公里的土地的话,那么除非发生巨大地壳变动,否则随时五亿年不变,不用担心。

假如你认为 ‘香港’ 是被一堆人为指数定义的经济体,那么前景暂时不大乐观,不过危中有机,长远看不一定是坏事。

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Manufacturing Demons


Demonisation of adversaries and dissidents, a favourite device of the Anglo Empire, has been developed and overused to absurd levels by the American Empire. The world needs to better understand how it works.

Remember Slobodan Milosevic of former Yugoslavia? Hardly anyone does. According to the IPC — Imperial Press Corp, aka Mainstream Media — and “Human Rights” NGOs, he was the “Butcher of Balkans”, the most talented monster after Fuehrer Hitler, an ardent ethnic cleanser and, of course, a rapist whenever he took breaks from murdering innocent women and children — Muslims, as usual. He was imprisoned in 2001, when the breaking up of Yugoslavia had been set in motion, and the potential emergence of a sizeable and independent-thinking European nation aborted. 

制妖编魔记



妖魔化对手是大英帝国的拿手把戏。美国称霸之后,更把这传统伎俩极限发挥,值得世人花点时间关注,认真了解。

相信记得前南斯拉夫领导米洛舍维奇的人不多了。在西方政治家,传媒集团和各式各样的“人权组织”的大量报告中,米洛舍维奇被形容为“巴尔干屠夫”,是自希特勒先生以来最有天分的顶级“魔头”。他专长种族清洗,屠杀无辜妇孺,集体乱葬。受害者照惯例都是西方人最关爱的回教人士。

米先生在2001年被收监审讯。当时南斯拉夫已经注定要四分五裂,一个很有潜力但不大听话的欧洲大国切底被打胎切碎,任何人都没有能力挽救了。2007年,当时的国际法庭主席亲自宣布米先生的“反人类战争罪行”证据确凿。2010年,美国的“生命杂志”把米洛舍维奇列为全球最糟的独裁者之一,实至名归。

意想不到的事情来了。米洛舍维奇在2006年于荷兰监狱离奇死去之后11年,海牙法庭竟然静悄悄宣布米先生无辜。大魔头种族清洗这事情只不过误会一场,嘻嘻,大家当没有发生过便好了【链接】

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Neo-Racism




Racism is antagonism and prejudice based on race, usually precipitated by ignorance, hate, superiority complex, and insecurity.

Racists are typically denigratory and condescending to targeted groups, and blind to verifiable facts. They embrace and perpetuate demonising anecdotes, no matter how preposterous, to reinforce bigotry. Hollow accusations are enough to justify suspicion, despise, and hostility. Wars, even genocides, had been committed based on racially directed hatred.

Years of political correctness have driven traditional racism into the closet. Modern xenophobes no longer manifest prejudice through racial stereotypes; but the attitude and mentality have not changed, only evolved into neo-racism, or “clash of civilisations”.

Today’s China-bashers are neo-racists who may eat dim sum with an open-mind with Chinese friends who endorse their biased views. But a Chinese who supports China and the way the country operates, regardless of sound rationale, is to be suspected and derided, even caricatured. In other words, a person of Chinese ethnicity is okay, as long as he’s not really Chinese.

新包裝種族歧視


「種族歧視」一詞,泛指針對 「人種」 而產生的偏見和敵意。較常見的成因包括無知,原始仇恨,優越幻覺和缺乏安全感。

心存偏見的人,單憑不太科學的「種族界線」,便足以鄙視,甚至攻擊對方。他們對一切妖魔化對方的故事,無論如何荒誕,都會照單全收,以鞏固心中成見。歷史上不少戰爭,甚至種族清洗,也由此引發。

經過近年的「政治正確」洗禮,人種歧視表面已經息微。「人種」不再成為攻擊藉口,但仇視「非我族群」的心態未有絲毫改變,只不過換了包裝,或改名 「文明衝突」 而已。

當今盲目反華的人,其實是昨天的種族歧視的延續。

全新包裝的歧視分子,可能懂得拿筷子吃拉麵加豆瓣醬,甚至本身是黃皮膚黑眼睛的華人。他們自以為打破了種族界限,自命開明,卻築起了同樣狹隘,更加執著的意識形態藩籬。被認同的人,不論膚色,都可以是同類。但任何支持中國的華人,就算有理據有邏輯,也屬異端。換句話說,他們接受華裔,擁抱漢奸,但無故敵視真正的中國人,與傳統種族歧視並無分別。

Sunday, 25 August 2019

香家的曱甴


“香家的曱甴”    譚炳昌  25.08.2019

某天,香家兄弟姐妹團聚於長兄家中飯局,正準備用膳之際,嫡孫香耿,時年十五,走進飯廳中央,在古董波斯地毯上鋪了報紙,蹲下來要拉屎。香耿皮膚黝黑,品性刁鑽靈巧,乳名「曱甴」,蟑螂的粵語也。五叔見狀大吃一驚,連忙喝止:「曱甴!發神經乎?幾歲啦?屙屎到廁所去!」

曱甴在家中一向為所欲為,不慣被責難,一時間未及反應,最疼他的二叔突然拍桌怒斥:「老五!吃喝拉撒睡是基本需要,你也想壓制,還有人權可言嗎?年輕人有自己一套,現在並非清朝,身為長輩要識時務,不可作威作福,騷擾後輩辦公!」  曱甴見有二叔出頭,便不理五叔,閉目運勁,專心出恭。

老五見老二來勢洶洶,突然感覺自己某程度上理虧,急需辯解:「二哥,我明白年輕人有新作風,需要另類空間。但凡事總有分寸,在飯廳當眾大便,古今中外也不能接受,試問與人權有何相干?侄兒交友不慎,被街口那流氓老梅擺弄而已。」 曱甴有輕微便秘,蹲在那裡拉不出屎來,開始煩躁,便抬頭罵道:「You guys shut up!看不到人家在屙屎嗎?嘈之巴閉!」 二叔連忙傻笑,閉嘴致歉。

三姑六嬸怕兄弟叔侄間語言衝突,有傷和氣,便連忙勸說:「曱甴乖乖,我們正在開飯,便便有細菌哦,你在這裡拉屎不衛生,也很臭臭哦,哈哈!不如你起來,去廁所舒舒服服,屙個痛快,姑姑用花露水幫你搽屁股,好嗎?」 曱甴把眼珠一反,露出底白,並不回答。

五叔不耐煩了,見大哥低頭不語,便說道:「大哥,你管不管孩子啦?」 大哥見五弟氣憤,便勸說兒子道:「曱甴乖,聽五叔話到廁所去,明天爸爸買新手機給你。」 誰料曱甴甚有原則,富貴不能淫,誰稀罕新手機?他蔑視地吭了一聲 「挑!」,繼續低頭運氣,順便閱讀鋪在腳下的蘋果日報娛樂版。

大哥被兒子當兄弟姐妹面前「挑」了一聲,心理難受,哭了起來。眾兄弟無語。最後還是五叔開口提醒道:「大哥,這是爸爸最喜歡的波斯地毯,萬一曱甴拉出來的東西水份多,顏色深,誰來負責?」 大哥被一言驚醒。兒子在家中唯一稍有顧忌,也最痛恨的,便是爺爺。於是拿起電話,急撥正在內地出差,狩獵紙老虎的爺爺。

爺爺聽後輕嘆一聲,然後說道:「你們別把我的地毯弄壞,或者把房子燒掉,否則通通不放過。曱甴拉屎的事,你是爸爸,用腳趾頭想想應該怎辦吧!家法藤條掛在我睡房門後,隨便借用。至於街口老梅那「冚家鏟」我會跟他算賬。」 說罷掛上電話。

- 故事完 -               

Sunday, 18 August 2019

HK Deserves Riots, and Separation of Powers

Hong Kong’s riots remind me of my late father’s somewhat unorthodox adage: “If a son beats his father, the father deserves it.”

Under normal circumstances, a father-beating son is either the product of atrocious upbringing, or the father is being unthinkably heinous. None of my father’s seven children ever assaulted him, not even verbally. He was trying to make us think about the cause and consequence of things.

These days, the young of Hong Kong is beating up their old man — the society which has brought them up. Does the “father” deserve it? I’d say yes. That’s why in this Reflect on Hong Kong series, my discussions are more focused on the last generation’s role in Monster Parents, The More Chaotic the Better, and “Angry Youths and MADs”.

I am not trying to justify the fatuous brutality and suicidal destructions of the young thugs. But unless we understand why they are the way they are, and face up to it, the problem will never go away.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Angry Youths and Cheering MADs



The Hong Kong riots should be viewed differently at the national and local levels. At the national level, I’m sure there’s a strategic plan which takes into consideration geopolitical factors beyond my prattling scope. The bottomline is a hundred percent secured; there’s no suspense.

At local level, I have previously explained why Hong Kong should be left to boil in chaos a little longer (link, in Chinese only) for the time being. Meanwhile, as we sit back to witness homegrown barbarism in horror, why not take a look at who they are, and what has made them.

More people now understand that Hong Kong’s problems come fundamentally from three failed areas — Education, Judiciary, and the Mass Media. Recovering these “occupied territories” will take resolve and patience. Hong Kong Government has no problem with patience, but is not very good at making up its mind.

The problems with education, however, are urgent. Unless they are fixed, there’ll be a continuous supply of angry mobsters.

反思香港 - 憤青與廢中坑




香港的亂局需從兩個層面考量:首要是國際大局,這方面相信國家已經有戰略方向,不用我們吃瓜群眾操心了。底線是百分百沒問題的,毫無懸念,不用緊張。

其次是香港如何自己收拾殘局,開始長期的艱苦復原。這方面要做的事情很多,方向亦很模糊。暫時唯有讓它亂下去的原因,以前討論過了(鏈接 「越亂越好」)。大家都在等看大結局的同時,何不花點時間,看看這些暴徒是什麼人,來自哪裡,好待風暴過後處置。

漸漸多人開始明白,香港的基本問題來自「教育,傳媒,司法」 三大領域的失陷。收復這些失地要下決心,給耐性。對港府來說,耐性是長期老習慣,決心是大膽新嘗試。不過光復教育「淪陷區」急不容緩,否則 「憤青」源源不絕;這點要瞭解,才有希望杜絕。

香港暫時“越亂越好”


有關香港的暴亂,我在吃瓜群組中多次提出 「越亂越好」,並非賭氣之言,而是覺得這亂局不能避免,而壞中求變的方法之一,是讓它亂。

「一國兩制」 是上世紀八零年代鄧小平設計的概念。由始至今,轉眼三十多年。這期間國家發展驚人,很多方面甚至是歷史創舉。大家習慣了奇跡不絕,很容易忘記了八零年代的中國是什麼的樣子。當時剛改革開放,家裡有電話的人也不多;中央無論經驗與信心,都不足以接管香港。鄧小平的 「一國兩制,五十年不變」,現在事後聰明,當然有不足之處,卻不失為天才之策,精彩完成了歷史任務。在執行方面,除了缺乏經驗,過往幾十年國家要辦的一等大事也實在太多太多,疏忽了替香港「去殖民化」這件嚴重的 「二等大事」。

回頭看,完全放手讓港人高度自治也過於理想。香港政務官是英殖時期的本地執行人,老闆說什麼,全力以赴。老闆不開腔,自己關門看報學英文。回歸後,英國老闆走了,北京又不補上,政務官猶如找不到皇上的太監,不知急什麼好?唯有婆聲乸氣地亂搞。美英勢力比較清楚香港,見狀乘虛而入,經 「司法,教育,傳媒」 三大渠道把香港重新殖民。這回沒有了管治顧慮,目標單純明確,一心分化操縱,手段比英治時期更陰險極端。

Monday, 15 July 2019

Dissecting Monster Parents


The anti-China self-hate-racists in Hong Kong have reached a new level of absurdity and violence, ransacking police stations and the parliament (LEGCO). Pundits have offered many explanations for their pathological behaviour. The vague consensus seems to be that Hong Kong has failed miserably in three sectors: the media, judiciary, and education. I pointed out exactly these subverted areas in my satirical Cultural Revolution Posters seven years ago. If these losing “war zones” were obvious to me then as a casual observer, one would think the government must have had noticed as well. It’s puzzling why it has done nothing, and continues to do nothing except offering apologies to everyone. Perhaps in an institutional form, the government is also a “monster parent”?

Monsters breed monsters, naturally. Hong Kong’s monster parents — be them individuals or institutions — cannot deny responsibility for having raised a generation of junior demons.

剖析怪獸家長


在香港滋生了一群 「自我種族歧視」 怪物,長期盲目反中,胡亂搞事,最近更荒誕暴力,到處欺凌搗亂,連警察總部和立法會也肆意破壞。專家們就此作出了不少分析,輿論慢慢指向了香港的三大淪陷區:教育,傳媒,司法。其實我多年前已經用 「文革大字報」 的諷刺格式提出警告。奇怪的是,連我這站在群眾後排啃瓜的人也看到的問題,政府卻懵然不知,年復一年毫無作為。可能政府本身也是頭「怪獸家長」吧。

怪獸生怪獸,傳宗接代,十分自然。香港的怪獸「家長」,不論個人,學校,或政府,也難辭其咎。

Friday, 8 March 2019

長期韜光 只會養“悔”




不少老朋友認為中國這幾年太高調,招致狼群發難。「國家有作為固然好,但自己高興便算,何必自詡厲害,惹惱匈奴呢?」 這觀點雖然可以理解,我卻有不同看法,姑且嘗試分析。

這些友人大都是年屆退休的「穩定人士」。上了年紀的中國人,一般比綿羊更溫馴,萬事寧可退讓,以和為貴。這本來是美德,可惜現實從來不會姑息委曲求和的人。我們險些被滅族只不過近世紀的事,應該記憶猶新。更重要的是,我們並非為變而變。為了國家安全,民族復興,我們必須訂立長遠目標,設計發展藍圖,組織戰略步驟,培育接班人才。這一切都會影響到國家的外觀形象和應有姿態。

Friday, 1 February 2019

Trudeau the Second


Photo from REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Most Canadians don’t realise that their country enjoys an exceptionally positive international image. Comparing with other members of the Anglophone Five Eyes clique which once regarded itself representative of western civilisation, Canada is generally trusted and liked by the rest of the world. Though a core member of the “Western bloc”, Canada at least tries — or tried — to be relatively fair and independent minded most of the time.

Canada’s reputation is not by accident. It’s the result of a reasonably consistent tradition crafted by a generation of liberal and sensible (liberal and sensible weren’t contradictory terms back then) politicians, iconised by the charismatic Trudeau the First who befriended Castro while the CIA was making dozens of assassination attempts on the “defiant” revolutionary. By bravely refusing to join Bush II’s “coalition of willing” to plunder and destroy Iraq, Jean Cretien quietly continued liberalism with Canadian characteristics. Statesmen like them helped Canada to straddle a delicate divide for decades, while maintaining a respectable degree of sovereignty. That’s no small feat considering who its neighbour is.

Building trust and respect takes decades. Destroying them takes no time. Trudeau II is working hard at that.

杜魯多二世








Photo from REUTERS/Chris Wattie

加拿大的國際聲譽一向不錯。在一度自以為是西方文明代表的英語幫「五眼聯盟」中,世人較多信任和喜歡加拿大,覺得這冰天雪地的「西方」成員國相對難得地公平看事和獨立思考。

加拿大的聲譽並非偶然,也不是一朝一夕的成果,而是上一代「自由卻不胡鬧」的政治家努力耕耘的結果。當年風采不凡的杜魯多一世與古巴的卡斯特羅為友,不顧中情局多次嘗試暗殺卡斯特羅的努力,令美國極為不滿。自由黨獨立特行的傳統延續到克雷蒂安(Jean Cretien)。他當總理時頂受了巨大壓力,拒絕參加布什二世組織的「伊拉克搶掠團」,維持了加拿大頗高的自治風格,很不容易。

爭取國際社會的信任和尊重需要很長時間的表現。而破壞公信只需旦夕。

Friday, 25 January 2019

讀南懷瑾“新舊教育的變與惑”有感



挨打挨足了百多年的中國,最終竟然死裡逃生,帶著嚴重內傷走上了復興之路,步履越來越穩定有勁。這近乎奇跡的復活,除了有賴革命注入了激情和活力,也很大程度上多得延續了幾千年的文化根源。隨著國力復蘇,國人逐漸回復自信,開始積聚能量,一旦時機成熟,自然會在不同領域發揮作用。在這歷史性的文化復興過程中,南懷瑾老師以個人力量默默耕耘,努力「為往聖繼絕學,為萬世開太平」,作出了不少實質貢獻。

雖然南老師說自己沒有弟子,但實至粉來,今天南粉滿天下,在互聯網大環境的配合下,實際上桃李滿門。我是南老師無數忠實讀者之一,最近讀了劉雨虹老師重新編訂的 「新舊教育的變與惑」,感受良多。南老師對國際環境的預言,在幾十年後的今天看來,大部分都已實現。如此料事如神,莫非真有神通?

Monday, 14 January 2019

Deaf, Dumb, Blind, and Irrelevant




Being too dull to recognise and connect with reality is forgivable, even pitiable. But self-imposed blindness is more difficult to understand.

In Hong Kong, a dwindling bunch of armchair activists, not necessarily classical dummies according to credentials, appear mulishly blind to facts and reality. Doggedly they chant “freedom and democracy”, imagine totalitarian regimes in the wrong places, and fantasise themselves revolutionaries without a cause. If not so tiresome, they could be rather amusing.

Hong Kong’s actively inconsequential “rebels” don’t seem to realise that the world has moved on well beyond their political infatuations. A global awakening is happening beyond their closed lids. The hackneyed pretexts of freedom, democracy and human rights have lost potency to all but the densest. Even genuine liberal democracies are becoming painfully aware of the failings of populism and short-term governance, and are soul-searching for solutions. But in spite of their relative proximity to the real world, revolutionaries with Hong Kong characteristics seem hopelessly addicted to the Democracy Empire’s dated spell. Short of a conspiracy theory suggesting material motivations, or a medical diagnosis of persecutory delusion, their frothing zeal can only be compared to religious fanaticism.

失聰失明的無釐頭革命家




天生愚蠢,缺乏認知能力,無法分辨是非的人,不知不覺與現實脫了節的話,其實值得同情。但自願性失聰失明的人,又應該如何對待呢?

在香港這怪地方,有一撮日漸變得無關重要的業餘「民主革命家」。單看學歷之類,他們不全是傳統傻瓜,但行為上堅決與現實脫臼,令人費解。他們的「革命」綱領比較簡單,不外乎幾句老口號:「自由萬歲!民主萬歲!」 口號喊多了會上身,部分「民革家」 漸漸相信了自己是正義與真理的化身,整天橫衝直撞氣沖沖,找暴政搞抗爭做英雄,卻往往找錯地方。假如這撮人不是那麼討厭,其實不失娛樂價值。

更吊詭的是,當「民革家」滿嘴白沫呼民主之際,世界卻背著他們的方向演變。「民主自由,人權道義」 等搞事和侵略藉口,大致已被世人看穿,市場面臨崩潰。就算少數真心民主,篤信自由的國家,也開始領略到民粹主義的禍害,正在反思,謀求破解治理死結。但香港「民革家」們可能太集中精神擾國擾民,沒有留意世情,仍然緊抱幾句20世紀口號搏出位。假如陰謀論屬實,他們真的是外夷豢養之物,受命搞事,又或者精神有病,這行徑倒好解釋。否則便只有與宗教狂熱作比較了。

Friday, 9 November 2018

Immortal Master Kong