China: Why wait for the media to tell your story when you can blog it yourself?

In this fourth and final part of Sichuan-based blogger-journalist Ran Yunfei's (冉云飞) speech given at a Chengdu teahouse earlier this year on his decades of research into the victims of the Communist Party of China‘s Cultural Revolution in the 1950s and 60s, Ran continues answering questions from the audience, and expands on his call for people to take on similar historical research which, in Ran's case, has only found exposure through his blog. As with the three previous segments (123) of this transcript, Ran begins this post by mentioning having troubles posting, presumably due to keyword filters built into his blog service provider [zh].

叶涛:
我想请教一下冉云飞先生和远宏老师,想请你们预测一下在我们中国以后还有没有可能再有反右或者类似的运动出现?

Ye Tao:
I'd like to ask Mr. Ran Yunfei and Teacher Yuanhong if you could take a stab at whether or not China could ever see the appearance of another anti-right or similar movement.

冉云飞:
说实话这是一个艰难的预测,这是一个不可能的预测。如果这个制度不变,如果不是民主制度,就象上次我们纪念胡耀邦先生时我说的,我们纪念他而不是来神话他,想要一个好人来把中国都统治好,这是不可能的,这是幼稚的,这是盲目的。同样我说这个制度如果不变革,不变成民主制度,不变成世界的普世价值,我们的价值观,我们公民的改造,我认为我们现在很多人都不是一个独立的人,很多人没有头脑,很多人没有思想,很多人的价值观很紊乱,很多人缺乏道德底线,很多人缺乏信仰依托,这些东西如果不变,加上政治制度不改革,如果不建立改良为民主自由的制度,我说一句老话,发生文革和发生反右这样的运动都是可能的。现在很多维权人士的遭遇正在说明这一点。但我认为如果我们大家都勇敢一点,大家都努力一点,也可能避免象五七年,象六六年那样大规模的灾难的发生。象小规模的灾难我们天天都有,刚才我来之前还收到一个朋友转来的高智晟先生被几个国安的人跟踪,小灵通被抢走的消息。所以我说我们这个社会绝非可以万事大吉,绝非老百姓真正得到了实惠的机会。我在这里借用我三月一日写的二月所读书目的文章,因为我每个月都要公布出我上个月读了些什么书,公布出来后有人说我是炫耀,我就作了个按语,我说这难道是一个自由无边,生活无虞,生存没有恐惧的值得炫耀的时代吗?肯定不是,我说我是为了自省,自我约束,我说我们这个灾难的国家现在坐在火山口上,确实是这样的,我们大家都感觉得到的。

Ran Yunfei:
To tell the truth, it's really hard to tell. It's something impossible to predict. If this system doesn't change, if there is no democratization, then it'll be just like I said when we were commemorating Mr. Hu Yaobang—we were commemorating him, not mythologizing him—it would be impossible for China's politics to be put straight by just one person. To think so is childish and blind. Similarly, I said that if this system doesn't change, and change to a democratic system, adopting universal values, our values, remade by our people—I feel many people are not independent, many have no thoughts or ideas of their own, whose values are messed up, who lack a moral bottom line, lack faith and support—if these things don't change, in addition to a change in the political system, if there isn't set up a shift towards a democratic and free system, I can only say one thing, that the the recurrence of movements like the Cultural Revolution and the anti-right campaign is then totally possible. What many rights activists are now facing proves this point. But I feel that if everybody were just a little bit braver, worked a little bit harder, then a recurrence of the large-scale tragedies such as in 1957 and 1966 could be avoided. Small-scale tragedies can be seen every day; just before I came here I received a message forwarded from another friend, saying Gao Zhisheng is being followed by several National Security people and that his mobile phone has been snatched and run off with. That's why I say that everything is absolutely not okay in this society of ours, that the common folk have absolutely not received any substantial opportunities. I'll refer here to my March article on the February reading list. Because every month I post a list of the books I read the previous month, some people say I'm showing off. I can only respond by asking, is this an era of boundless freedom, of anxiety-free life, where an existence free of fear is worth showing off? Definitely not. I say that I'm for introspection, for self-restraint. I say that this catastrophic nation of ours is now sitting upon the mouth of a volcano. That is surely so, all of us can feel it.

像去年的超女很多人写了很多文章,而我只写了一篇短文章,都是用文言文写的。我说四九年过后五十年来民众缺少余乐。而这个超女就象黄连树下弹琴,火山口旁取暖,灾难声中作乐。后面我接着说这可能是暴风雨要来临前的一场狂欢。我时刻感觉到这个社会处于动荡不安的阶段。但是共产党却一天都在说和谐社会,说老实话我一点都不反感他们的提法,但是他只有封住别人的利益,封住别人的口的这种和谐,是不能成功的。是不能得逞的,是最终会走向反面的。所以我说到这一点,如果制度不变革,发生反右和文革都是可能的。(鼓掌)

Like last year's Super Girl, on which many people wrote many things. But I only wrote one piece, and in classical Chinese at that. I said that after 1949 and since the 1950s, the masses have been lacking entertainment, and that Super Girl was like playing a musical instrument beneath a goldthread tree, or finding happiness in trying times, warming one's self by the mouth of the volcano, making merry amid the sounds of tragedy. I went on say that this may be the party before le deluge. I often feel that this society lies in the midst of a turbulent phase. But nearly every day the Communist Party says it's a ‘harmonious society‘. To tell the truth, I'm not the least bit opposed to their description, just their ‘harmonious’ of constricting people's interests, of sealing people's mouths, will never succeed. It cannot succeed. In the end it will work against them. That's why I say that if the system does not change, the recurrence of another anti-right campaign or Cultural Revolution is always possible. (applause)

杨远宏:
因为刚才叶先生是向我和云飞提的这个问题,所以我不能避而不谈,因此我还是说几句。刚才云飞先生主要是从制度层面上说的,去深层地分析和推见了这种整风反右和文革在这块土地上可能重演的。从社会学的观点我们现在的时代被称之为后极权主义时代,这个后极权时代和前极权时代的分区别就在于前极权时代有更多。很多的事情都是大规模的发动群众去做的,大规模的整肃运动,使用的更多是硬暴力;而后极权时代更多使用的是软暴力,一种潜在的,隐蔽的,而不是显在的小范围内的整肃打压。刚才云飞先生提到的此前出现的超女现象等等,这种时髦的活动,我们从社会学这个层面来看何尝不是一种软暴力。这是把整个民族的兴趣和注意力引向了一个另外的方向,不再关注个人的私有权利,不再关注自己做人的尊严和品格,这是需要我们高度警惕的。我主要想说的第二个层面就是这种文化大革命和反右整风运动还可能在这块土地上卷土重来的群众基础社会基础还依然存在。

Yang Yuanhong:
As Mr. Ye has just asked Yunfei a question, I won't change the subject. But I will say a few words. Just now Mr. Yunfei's main point was speaking from a system aspect, going deep to analyze and deduce the likelihood that a rectification/anti-right campaign or Cultural Revolution may happen here again. From a sociological point of view, our current era has been labelled a post-totalitarian age. The majority of distinctions between the pre- and post-totalitarian ages lie with the pre-totalitarian age. Many large-scale actions were carried out by the masses, large-scale purging movements, in many of which hard violence was used. But with the post-totalitarian age, soft violence is mostly used, the kind of latent, underlying, purge-attacks not obvious in their small scale. Just now Mr. Yunfei mentioned the earlier Super Girl craze. This kind of fashionable movement, speaking from the sociological aspect, is in no way a form of soft violence. This diverts the entire nation's interest and attention in a completely different direction, stopping them from paying attention to their personal rights or the dignity and morality in how one conducts oneself. This is something for which we need to be on our highest guard of. The second part to what I want to say is that the foundation in the masses and within society for this kind of Cultural Revolution and anti-right purge movement to be repeated here still exists.

此前我曾经说极权专制最可怕的、致命的还不是仅仅是对人的外部行为的控制和打压,最可怕是是对一个民族的人民的灵魂的深度毒害,和这个民族对这种深度毒害的不知。而我们这个民族正是处于这样一个状态。我的意思是说,既是如此,就象冉云飞先生说的制度层面还存在着可能性,而这个制度层面他要想发动运动他要有群众基础。在群众基础社会基础这个层面也存在着可能性,因此刚才在座的朋友提了一个非常尖锐的问题,也是非常好的问题,是值得我们大家好好地反省的问题。因此我个人认为,对整风反右和文化大革命这样的灾难是不是可能再在我们这块土地上发生的问题从这两个层面来看并不是完全不可能。尽管我们说那个时代永远地结束了。从宏观的全球的普世价值而论,从整个世界发生的潮流而论,我们可以这样讲,但是从微观从政治学方面来讲是存在的。因此我很感谢刚才那位朋友提出的这样尖锐的问题。

Prior to this I've said that the most frightening, most deadly aspects of authoritarian dictatorships are not only their control and suppression of people's external behavior, but its deep poisoning of the souls of a nation's peoples, and the people of said nation's ignorance of that deep poisoning. Yet this nation of ours currently exists in such a state. What I'm trying to say is that even if this is the case, as Mr. Ran Yunfei says, that aspects of the system even still possibly exist, and the system were to want to start a movement, it would need its foundation in the masses. With a foundation in the masses and in society, then there would exist this possibility, so it's worth everybody to reflect on this question from that man sitting there; an extremely perceptive and good question. Looking at this two-tiered question, I personally feel that the possibility of tragedies like the rectification/anti-right campaign or the Cultural Revolution taking place on this land of ours again is not entirely impossible. Despite what we've said about that era having forever concluded. Speaking on this in the context of a macroscopic view of universal values or present global trends, it could be put that way. But speaking from a microscopic political aspect, the possibility still exists. Therefore I'm very thankful for the perceptive question just raised by our friend.

(冉云飞插话):
远宏兄的发言非常好,我这里再补充一句,群众基础是相当重要的,群众基础的研究家勒庞写了本书叫《乌合之众》,还有一个德国一个研究法西斯的学者写了本书叫《法西斯的群众基础》这两本书对于我们来说一点也不陌生。我说我们中国的很多人根本不是独立的人,因为他没有思想没有头脑。什么事只知道跟风,只要吃饱了,甚至没吃饱只要饿不死就满足了,这样的人相当相当多,觉得这样就差不多了。所以我写的那篇文章题目是这样写的,《政府越无耻,群众越感动》,这个话也可以反过来说,叫群众越感动,政府越无耻,就是你越善良他就是越欺压你。

(Ran Yunfei cuts in):
Brother Yuanhong put that very well, and I'll just add on to that. A foundation in the masses is rather important. Mass foundation researcher Le Pen wrote a book called “Mob“, and there was one book written by a German academic specializing in research on fascists called “Fascism's Foundation in the Masses“. These two books are no strangers to what we've been talking about. I say, many of us Chinese have never been an independent people. Because they've no ideas or thoughts of their own. With everything they only know to go with the flow. As long as they've eaten till they're full—and even if they haven't, as long as they're not starving, they'll be satisfied. Many, many people like this, and they see nothing wrong with what the way things are. That's why I chose the name I did for that article of mine, ‘The more shameless the government gets, the more moved the people get’. This way of putting it could be flipped, it could just as well be called ‘The more moved the masses get, the more shameless the government gets’. That is, the nicer you get, the more it will tyrannize you.

杨远宏:
刚才云飞所表达的和我说的,在这里引用中国人民大学的一个学者他在谈到群众运动的时候曾经说过这么一句话,一旦这种群众的情绪,这种完全被洗脑了的,没有自己独立意识的群众,一旦被宗教狂热般地煽动起来,将会形成一场街头的,打摆子似的群众运动。因此我们必须防止这种打摆子似的群众运动在我们中国重演。谢谢大家(鼓掌)

Yang Yuanhong:
What Yunfei has just expressed and I've said makes reference to a saying from one Renmin University of China scholar from a lecture he once gave on mass movements: once this kind of mass sentiment—these competely brainwashed masses, lacking their own independent consciousness—once it gets whipped up by religious fervor, it will hit the streets and the movement will spread like malaria. Therefore we must prevent this malaria-like mass movement from being reenacted in China. Thank you everyone (applause)

叶涛:
我再说一点,去年欧洲纪念二战六十周年的会议结束后,全国的政要人员都到奥斯维辛集中营去,他们去的目的就是为了防止这种纳粹大屠杀重演,所以他们的纪念意义主要是为了悲剧不再重演。在欧洲现在到处都有很多关于当初二战的雕塑,它们旨在提醒人们当时的残暴不再重演,从道德上进行各种反思。我个人的观点是如果说我们整体的工作不进行一个深刻的反思,那么当初跳忠字舞的现象还会出来。虽然这是很荒唐很滑稽的,但是被当局挑逗和勾引出来的话,这个忠字舞的现象很容易出现。

Ye Tao:
I'll just say a bit more, last year after Europe's commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the end to World War II, political leaders from all the countries went to a concentration camp in Auschwitz. Their goal in going was to prevent a repeat of the Nazi kind of massacre. That's why the main significance in their commemoration was in that this tragedy will never be reenacted. Everywhere in Europe can now be found sculptures dedicated to World War II, aiming to remind people of the atrocities at the time in the hopes they won't be reenacted, allowing for reconsiderations on morality. My personal view is that if we all don't work to go through a deep reconsideration, then we'll just see more group loyalty dances [performed at the time as a display of group pledges of faith to Mao Zedong and the revolution]. As absurd as it sounds, with provocation from the authorities, these ‘loyalty dances’ could very easily reappear.

邱先生:
刚才听了冉云飞先生讲的,说当时中央宣布大概没有平反的是五个人,章伯钧、罗隆基、储安平、陈 、 、冉云飞刚才说的四川省大概五点五万,我不知道这个数字有没有依据。(冉插话:这是官方公布的)当然这如果是官方公布的话有一定可靠性。但当时全国五十五万右派分子,是毛泽东指出来的,因为当时有五亿多人,毛说要划百分这十,就划了五十五万出来。

Mr. Qiu:
What Mr. Ran Yunfei just said about those publicized as rightists at the time, there are about five who still haven't been politically rehabilitated: Zhang Bojun, Luo Longji, Chu Anping, Chen…Ran Yunfei just said that in Sichuan province there were about 55,000 people cast as rightists, I don't know if this number has been verified. (Ran cuts in: This is the official number) Of course if this is the official number, it can be trusted. But at the time there were 550,000 rightists in the whole country, picked out by Mao Zedong himself. Because at the time there were 500,000,000 people [in China]; Mao said that ten percent would need to be drawn out, and they got 550,000.

刚才冉云飞说到右派名录的事情,我倒有个想法,如果真要搞右派名录可不可以到四川组织部去查档案,或者到成都市的组织部去查,这样就可以走个捷径。你如果以个人的力量到社会上去收集的话,成功的可能性可能微乎其微,所以我觉得要找相关部门去查阅资料可能还要快些。

Of what Ran Yunfei said just now of a right wing name list, I have another idea. If one really wanted to draw up a right wing name list, couldn't one go to the Sichuan provincial government and check the Party records? Or check with the Sichuan city government Party records? This would be a short cut. If you try and collect these names from society on your own, the probability of success would be a little low. That's why I think checking out the information at the relevant departments would be a little faster.

还有个事情我有点想法,刚才冉老师把五七年反右和五八年五九年反右倾运动联在一起了,我觉得好象有点不太合适。我个人认为实际上五七年的反右和五八年以后的反右倾是有区别的。(冉云飞插问,你的根据何在,有没有资料?)这个根据和资料三言两语是说不清楚的,我也看过很多这方面的资料。应该说五七年的反右和五八年五九年的反右倾是两回事。应该说五七年的反右毛泽东是针对党外的知识分子,而五八年五九年是针对党内的持不同政见者,应该说这个是有区别的。一个是党内,一个是党外。一般来说传统说的反右派是从五七年把右派划了以后就结束了,划了以后就搞大跃进,大跃进以后就是搞反右倾,也就是针对彭德怀他们这样的党内的人员。我就说这点看法。

There's another issue on which I have some thoughts. Just now teacher Ran drew a link betweek the anti-right campaigns of 1957, 1958 and 1959. I think this is not quite right. I personally feel that there's a practical difference between the anti-right campaigns of 1957 and the post-1958 inner-Party discipline anti-right campaigns. (Ran Yunfei cuts in: What's your basis? Do you have any documents?) This basis and documentation can't be explained clearly in just a few words, but I've seen many supporting documents. It should be said that the anti-right campaign of 1957 and the inner-Party discipline anti-right campaign of 1958-9 are two totally separate things. It should be said that the anti-right campaign of 1957 was Mao Zedong's taking aim at non-Party intellectuals, and that 1958-9 was taking aim at Party members with different political views. That's the difference. One was in-Party, one was non-Party. Traditionally, most people say the anti-right movement ended with the weeding out of the rightists in 1957. Following that there was the Great Leap Forward. Following the Great Leap Forward there was the inner-Party discipline anti-right campaign, which took aim at Peng Dehuai and other inner-Party types like him. Those are my thoughts.

冉云飞:
我觉得你那几点说法都值得商榷,

Ran Yunfei:
I think it's worth discussing these few points.

小蒋:
我只是想问一个问题,我先说我想问这个问题的原因。象我们这一代,我是八七年出生的,照你的说法遭洗脑是从头洗到脚的了,你们至少还知道一些吧,而我们却完全不知道。我可以这样说,高中我的历史学得最好,可是我到目前我都不知道赵紫阳是是谁,就是这样的。(大家笑)那和我同龄的人是这样的比比皆是。如果我不是一个偶然的情况下遇到杨雨,我也不可能到这里来,能了解到这么多真相。所以我想提的一个问题就是:冉云飞刚才所说的关于右派研究的意义无疑是非常重大的,但是你的效果是怎么样的呢?我只是想问一下效果。象我们这样的人对这些事情完全不了解,而完全不了解的情况下你就拿这些给他们,他们只能认为这是你们这些落魄文人发的牢骚而已。所以基于这点我想问这个问题,就是意义重大而效果如何?

Xiao Jiang:
I'd just like to ask a question, and first I'll explain why. This generation of ours—I was born in 1987—according to what you say, have all be brainwashed from the head straight down to the feet. At least you know a few things, we know completely nothing. I can give you an example. I did very well in history in senior high, but at the time I had no idea who Zhao Ziyang was. That's what it's like. (Everyone laughs) People of the same age as me, just like me, can be found everywhere. If I hadn't by chance come to know Yang Yu, there's no way I would be here today, learning so many new facts. That's why the question I want to ask is: without a doubt the significance of what Ran Yunfei has just said about research into the right wing is great indeed, but how effective have you been? I just want to ask about impact. People like us have absolutely no understanding of these events, and with us completely not understanding, you bring them these facts. They'll just suppose these are the grumblings of a down-and-out writer and nothing more. That's why based on this point I want to ask: what sort of impact have you had?

冉云飞:
我回答小蒋的问题也包括回答先前那位先生的提的有些看法。是不是五七五八的反右可以按照他刚才说的分类,根据我手上掌握的资料我认为他那种分类是比较粗疏的,五七年我觉得一样有党内的知识分子被斗争,而且相当多,我手上收集的这类资料相当多。主要是我今天讲得比较略,还没来得及说到关于这方面的情况。我接着说小蒋的提问,说句老实话,年轻人都喜欢一蹴而就,年轻人都想做一件事情马上就要有立即的反映,这是很多人都有的通病,都想一蹴而就,都想传檄而定,立竿见影,但这实际上是不可能的。我可以这样说,一个社会,你不说整个社会,就说你小蒋要了解更多真实,今天这一场演讲就够了吗?绝对不够,懂我的意思没有?一百场演讲也许都不够,你读一百本书,读两百本书就够了吗?不一定够。所以我说对于我们来说,就象我对自己一样,我做一件事既不高看自己的功劳,但也决不低看自己的作为。我每天都在进步,每天都在做一点自己该做的事,比如说我的博客,我可以说有一两千人在看,你千万不要小看网络对一个人的影响,现在要获得信息当然要上网络,而有些人上网络就打游戏聊QQ去了。当然这也无可厚非,这是人的生活方式之一。事实上我刚上去的时候也爱聊QQ,但是当我莫明其妙地聊了半年以后,觉得很无聊,我那时候也喜欢打游戏,从RPG、CS、街机等,这些我都全部打,我可以这样说王怡和余杰是没有这样经历的。他们是好青年,真是好青年。我这个人爱好特别多,我会打麻将,斗地主,三缺一,跑得快,还有锄大地。所以说冉云飞和他们是不一样的,我这个人可以找得到乐子,是个喜欢娱乐的人,但我在娱乐够了以后我会认真地思考一些问题。我说这些的目的是你千万不要一蹴而就。第二你也不要低估自己做的事,我可以这样说,杨雨刚才拿的那本《沉疴》,是我八年前写的。从宏观上讲,我很悲哀,这本书从批评中国教育现实,至今无人能比,我曾开玩笑说在中国三十年都没有人超得过。为什么这样讲?截止目前为止,还没有。第二,中国教育的现实它不可能改变得很快,我可以这样说,这本书拿给那些著名的专家学者的书当中一点也不逊色。我不是自夸,我说这个意思是从教育来讲,改革确实没有达到我们希望的效果,但是还是有一些小的变动,比如说教材的变动,基本上是快到五年一变了,现在形成的教材变动方案还是有些变得好的地方。我还看到一个教材当中选有余杰的文章。当然民间的教材选有王怡的文章,摩罗的文章,还有肖雪慧的文章和我的文章。这并不是说选了这些人的文章这个教材就一定好,但是它至少也扩张了很多思想。让学生知道得更多。事实上我上了网以后我发现很多教师都善于思考,很多一线的教师不错。象大家都记得到的比如说李镇西,还有他请来的一个网名叫铁皮鼓的也不错,还有范美忠这是大家都知道的。今天他们教育第一线网就在举行一个讲座,不然范美忠就会到这里来。还有范美忠的好多朋友,杭州的朋友,浙江的朋友,网名叫阿啃1919的,还有个叫周仁爱,这很多的老师都是极爱读书又相当爱思考的。那么这个社会从目前整体上说来教育改革确实没达到我们的期望,比如说义务教育这个事情,我五前年写了篇文章叫《义务教育是中国的最大谎言》,什么叫义务,首先是免费,第二是强制政府,也就是政府拿了纳税人的钱,必须免费。从小学到初中必须免费,而我们现在是花钱越来越多了,所以我说中国的义务教育全它妈是狗屁。一点都不是义务教育,你看现在至少政府他在提要给农村免学杂费了,这种有些微的进步你还是要认可,你不能说它不是进步。那么如果没有我们这样的批评,他不可能改这样快。我可以这样说,你要是不发出声音,他永远都不想改,你相不相信?所以对于效果的看法我认为有两点,第一是显性层面,也就是直接的原来历史还有这些东西?这点对于你来说是很重要的啊,至于你将来做什么并不重要,你将来对任何事情,尤其是对那些大言不惭,大言玄玄的所谓的宣传,你会有一定的免疫力了。你不会轻易相信,你对报纸杂志不会轻易相信,你对电视台不会轻易相信,你对那些看上去很义正辞严的东西,比如说向雷锋同志学习的这种狗屁东西,你不会相信了。今天是三月四日,明天就要向雷锋学习了,报纸上还在提向雷锋同志学习,关于这个茅于轼曾经说到过,这个先生七十几快八十岁了,非常不错,他写了很多文章,他的文章写得很好,还有林达的文章也写得很好,除了余杰王怡,这些人的文章还有王小波等都写得很好。我可以这样说,我今天的演讲不可能一下子就改变你,但是至少让你多了一个观察问题的角度,所以我认为这就是效果之一。所以千万不要想什么事要一蹴而就,特别是在这个灾难的中国,我们要慢慢来,但是我们不能不做,不能不来,好多人不行动,不努力,不去写,不表达,而我们越不表达,越不写作,越不努力,越不行动,就越加会有更多的灾难向你袭来。谢谢大家。(鼓掌)

Ran Yunfei:
My answers to Xiao Jiang's questions include my response to the views put forward by the previous gentleman. Can the anti-right campaign of 1957-8 be classified according to his description? According to documents I have here in my hand, I feel his sort of classification is rather careless. In 1957, I feel, there could also be seen a struggle against inner-party intellectuals. Quite a few, in fact. I've collected a lot of this information which I have here in my hands. Most important is that my talk here today has been rather brief, I haven't gotten around to speaking about these sorts of details. I'll go on to the question Xiao Jiang put forth. To tell the truth, all youth like to see instant results. All youth approach tasks wanting to see an immediate response. Many people are guilty of this, wanting to see instant results. But this is not practical. I'll put it this way: in a society, you don't say ‘the whole society’, you just say ‘you, Xiao Jiang, need to understand many more things’. Is today's talk enough? Absolutely not. Do you follow my meaning? Even a hundred such talks would not be enough. If you were to read a hundred books, two hundred books, would that be enough? Not necessarily. That's why I say according to us, just like how I regard myself, with everything I do, I don't overestimate my own merits, but I also down underestimate my own usefulness. I'm improving, every day. Every day I do the things I should, like my blog for example. I could say there are one to two thousand people reading it, but one must never downplay the effect a website can have on a person. Of course the information one wants to obtain can be found on the internet. But some people only play games or chat. Of course there's nothing wrong with this; it's just a way of life for people. In fact, when I first got the internet, I loved chatting on ICQ, but after a year of that I started to find it boring. At that time I also like to play games: role playing games, Counterstrike, arcade games, etc. These I can all play. I can also say that Wang Yi and Yu Jie don't have this experience. They are good kids, really good kids. I have a lot of personal hobbies; I can play mah jong, three-player mah jong, and all those popular Chinese card games like Fight the Landlord, Runs Fast and Till the Land. That's why Ran Yunfei is different from them. Me, I know how to seek out pleasure; I'm the kind of guy who likes his amusement. But when I've had enough fun, I can focus seriously on a problem. My point in saying all this is that you should never want instant results. Second, you should not underestimate the things you do. For example, Yang Yu just brought that book “Severe Illness“, which I wrote eight years ago. Overall, I'm pretty sad. This book, which criticizes the realities of China's education system, nobody has been able to compete with up until today. I once joked that in thirty years nobody in China will be able to write anything surpassing it. Why would I say that? Straight up until now, nobody has. Second, it's impossible for the realities of China's education system to change quickly. I can say that this book, compared to the books of well-known specialists and scholars, is in no way inferior. I'm not boasting, I'm just saying that in terms of education, reforms have definitely not reached the level we had hoped for. But there have still been some small changes. For example, changes in teaching materials, which have been changed for nearly five years now. The present form of the scheme for changing teaching materials has its good spots. I even saw one of Yu Jie's essays in one textbook. Of course teaching materials chosen by civil society include Wang Yi's works, as well as Mo Luo's, Xiao Xuehui‘s and even mine. This isn't to say that those essays chosen are guaranteed to be good, but at least it shows an expansion of ideas. Let the students know as much as possible. In fact, after I got on the internet, I notice many teachers actually had some rather astute ideas. Many No. 1 Line teachers are not all that bad. Like, whom most will remember, Li Zhenxi, as well as one of his online nicknames, Iron Drum, are not bad, as well as Fan Meizhong, who you all will also know. Today those No. 1 Line education forum members are having their own lecture, or else Fan Meizhong would have come here today. As well as many of Fan Meizhong's friends, friends from Hangzhou, from Zhejiang, that whose internet nickname is ‘Ah Gnaw1919′, as well as Zhou Renai, all teachers who especially love reading and thinking. So, speaking of this society as it stands now, has not achieved our expectations in education reform. Take compulsory education, for instance. Five years ago I wrote an article called “Compulsory Education is China's Biggest Lie“. Just what is compulsory education? First off, it's free. Secondly, the government forces it; the government takes taxpayers’ money, so it must be free. From elementary school up until junior high school it must be free, yet the amount of money we pay now just keeps on increasing. That's why China's compulsory education is all a bloody dog fart. There's nothing compulsory about it. At least now you see the government waives miscellaneous school fees for those in the countryside. One must at acknowledge these small improvements, no matter how small. But then, if there were no criticisms like us and ours, the government would never be reforming as quickly as it is now. I can say put it this way, if you were to keep from speaking out, the government would never think of changing. Do you believe that? That's why I feel there are two points to be made in regards to effectiveness. The first one is on a dominant level. ie, does firsthand original history even still exist? This point, as far as you're concerned, is a very important one. As for what you do in the future is not that important, as long as you take on everything, especially pretentious and boastful so-called propaganda, you'll have immunity. You can't just believe everything you read, like in newspapers and magazines, or on television. Things that you look upon as quite just and righteous, like ‘learning from Comrade Lei Feng‘ these kinds of dog fart things, you can't trust them. Today is March 4, yesterday was the day for learning from Comrade Lei Feng. The newspaper is still recommending you do so. Mao Yushi once spoke on this, this seventy-something, soon eighty year-old man, very not bad, he wrote several pieces about this, written very well. As are Lin Da's essays. Except for Yu Jie's and Wang Yi's, these people's essays, as well as Wang Xiaobo‘s, are all written very well. I can put it this way, my talk here today cannot change you all at once, but it at least provides you with one more role from which to observe problems. That's why I think this is just one of the effects. That's why you should never expect to acheiving results right off the bat, especially in this tragic China. We'll take our time, but we won't ever stop trying or showing up. Many people don't get involved, don't work hard, don't go and write, don't express themselves. But the more we don't express ourselves, the more we don't write, the more we don't work hard, the more we don't get involved, then all the more tragedies will come your way. Thank you, everyone. (applause)

杨远宏:
还有没有朋友发言的?刚才小蒋提了个非常有意义的问题,冉云飞先生也做了回答,在我看来,在当下这严峻的集权专制体制下,既然我们的人格我们的灵魂受到了摧毁,因此我沿着云飞刚才说的只表达一点,让我们从今天从云飞的演讲开始,让我们从整风反右的这个惨痛记忆当中抬起头来,首先活出我们做人的体面和尊严,然后一点一点的,剥除我们内心的恐惧感,一点一点地重新建构作为人的人格,和灵魂。今天云飞的演讲就到此结束了,现在以我本人的名义,也希望在座的朋友们以热烈的掌声,再一次感谢云飞先生的精彩的演讲。(鼓掌)

Yang Yuanhong:
Are there any more friends who would like to speak? Xiao Jiang's posed an extremely significant question just now, and Mr. Ran Yunfei gave his response. As I see it, under the current totalitarian system, as much as our personalities and our souls have been destroyed, I'd have to go along with what Yunfei said just now, but add a little, and let Yunfei's talk with us here today actually begin, let us raise our heads from this painful recollection of the rectification/anti-right campaign and live our lives with grace and dignity. Then, bit-by-bit, shed our innermost fears, bit-by-bit start anew in construction ourselves, our souls. With this, Yunfei's talk here today comes to a close. Now, by my name, I hope all our friends here can thank Mr. Yunfei for his colorful talk with a warm round of applause. (applause)

Next week: self-criticism letters posted on Ran's blog

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