總在眾人喧嘩聲中轉身離去的羅文嘉

:::

2010 / 1月

文‧林欣靜


不管是在過去那個威權統治的年代,或現今這個資本主義掛帥的社會,有志投身學運或社運的年輕人,基本都是走在「人煙稀少」的那條路上,註定前途荊棘滿布,必須有極大的決心、毅力及抗壓性,才能無懼險阻、持之以恆地走下去。

本刊此次很高興訪問了長期致力於兩性平權工作的勞委會主委王如玄,以及前客委會主委、曾為「野百合」學運領袖的羅文嘉,分享他們多年來從事社運、民主運動的甘苦,站在體制內、外改革的優缺點,以及對新世代年輕人的期許。也希望他們的經驗和建言,能為目前在各領域深耕的青年運動者指引方向,厚實未來面對更多挑戰的決心。


我是在1966年出生,雖然我們這一輩的「五年級生」,從小仍是接受「黨國教育」的薰陶成長,不過在我略懂世事的國中時期,黨外運動已經開始蓬勃發展;等到了最熱血、活動力最強的大學時期,又適逢台灣社會運動最熱鬧、最百家爭鳴的1980年代,受到整個大環境鬆動,各種資訊逐漸流通,以及其他社運前輩的成果鼓舞,很自然對眾多像我這樣懷抱理想又求知若渴的青年,帶來深遠的「啟蒙」效應。

因此在我年輕時,同儕參與社會運動非常踴躍,有人關心工運、有人致力婦運、有人獻身環保,當然也有像我這樣的人,將目光放在政治體制的改造。只不過在那個尚屬封閉威權的年代,不管投入那一種類型的運動,問題癥結最後還是會指向戒嚴、獨裁的政治環境,也因為有「國民黨」這個共同敵人,社會運動和政治運動的結盟非常普遍,關心公共事務的青年通常也不排斥參與政治,這和現在年輕人厭惡藍綠惡鬥、不喜歡和政治沾上邊的景況大異其趣。

在「磨人」的體制內奮戰

1991年我退伍後,從擔任前總統陳水扁的立委助理做起,陸續參與了「廢除刑法第一百條」、「改革軍隊法治人權問題」等社會運動;之後的際遇可能大家都還有印象,隨著陳水扁當選台北市長,以及之後在2000年當選總統,我也有機會進入體制,並歷任台北市新聞處長、行政院文建會副主委、客委員主委等官職。

不過實際在體制內佔有一席之地後,我才發現身為擁有權力和資源的政務官,雖然能在最短時間內實現自己部分「改造社會」的夢想,然而由龐大官僚體系組成的體制卻也是「磨人」的,怎麼說呢?我常打這樣的比喻,如果龐大的政府體系像是一棟大樓,唯有身為體制外的運動者才能看清全貌;當你成為大樓中某間廁所的管理者,視野就只剩下「怎麼把廁所維持得更乾淨」!

因此雖然在外界看來,你似乎身處政府組織某個的制高點,但其實你會發現自己最常做的,都是在極為繁瑣的公文及公務體系中打轉,一切只為了維繫這個部門的正常運作,不知不覺也可能迷失了自己原有的步伐,反而認不清楚整個體制運作的問題。

這段時間的沈潛,我也一直在反省,究竟自己擔任公職的那幾年,到底為這個社會帶來了哪些影響?結論或許是正反面皆有。例如我在擔任北市新聞處長期間,覺得這個城市實在太無聊了,因此催生了牯嶺街小劇場、市長官邸、台北光點、當代藝術館等歷史建物的再利用,後來也在其他縣市形成風潮,這或許就是一種正面的效應。

但在那幾年我也同時舉辦了很多「城市節慶」的活動,本意也是希望為城市增添趣味,但後來各縣市紛紛仿效,砸大錢規劃「浪漫耶誕夜」、「跨年」等慶祝活動,永遠都是放煙火、找明星跨刀那一套,搞得既無創意,甚至演變成行銷首長形象的樣板,這是我認為較為可惜的地方。

資本主義體系是更大的敵人

除此之外,我也深切體認到制度面的改革有時而窮。例如我在擔任立委期間,很努力與民間NGO合力推動「黨政軍退出媒體」,後來終於完成立法(編按:2003年「廣電法」修法,規定黨政軍須在2005年12月26日前釋出廣電媒體的股權),但從後見之明來看,即使我們確實撼動了體制,但媒體有因此變得更公平自主嗎?事實上不但沒有,反而變得更糟!因為除了政治黑手以更精緻的「置入性行銷」包裝介入外,媒體受到商業力量掣肘、愈加走向惡質競爭的趨勢也非常明顯,種種盤根錯節的問題,絕非單純「修法」就可以改變。

不過我還是非常高興自己同時具有站在體制內、外改革的經驗,這讓我有機會認清在不同位置上看不到的迷思;而最近兩年淡出政壇後,我也發現目前真正主宰台灣社會的,其實是更龐大、更複雜的資本主義體制,它才是影響整個國家運作的關鍵。因此我才嘗試辦「二次黨外」雜誌,雜誌重點就放在──若一次黨外討論是「政治民主」,二次黨外就該聚焦在「經濟民主」、如何讓社會資源更公平地分配等問題。

過去很長一段時間,很多人都會關心我為何屢次從權力核心中淡出,其實從頭到尾都沒有外界想像的權謀計算,我只是很清楚知道自己要的是一個精采、豐富、盡情燃燒自己的生命歷程,所以我從來不怕失去,當面臨眾多選擇時,我也常習慣性地走向最少人走的路。就像現在辦雜誌,很多人揶揄我「只是在燒錢」,我當然知道這是事實,但推廣新思潮、新論述,卻是現階段我覺得最該做的事。

這也是我對現代青年運動者的最誠摯建言──要先釐清並且堅定自己的價值和信仰,你才有力量走下去,也才能支持自己持續在最黑暗的角落奮戰,並且始終相信曙光將有到來的一天。而我自己,也是這樣走過來的。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

Luo Wenjia: Many Roles, Unwavering Purpose

Lin Hsin-ching /photos courtesy of Jimmy Lin /tr. by Phil Newell

No matter whether in the authoritarian days of the past or the capitalism-uber-alles contemporary society, young people with the inclination to devote themselves to social movements are essentially walking a road less traveled-indeed, a nearly deserted path shunned by the mainstream. Such young people are setting themselves up to face pitfalls and difficulties in the future, so they must have extraordinary determination, willpower, and calm under pressure. Without these, it will be impossible to move forward without giving in to fear of the dangers.

We are delighted in this issue to have the comments of two persons who have dedicated themselves to social activism: Wang Ju-hsuan, current minister of the Council of Labor Affairs and a long-time proponent of women's rights, and Luo Wenjia, former minister of the Council for Hakka Affairs and a leader of the Wild Lilies student movement. They share with us their years of experience in social activism and the democratic movement, their views on the advantages and drawbacks of working for change from outside or from inside the political structure, and their hopes and expectations for the younger generation. We hope their suggestions will provide guidance to young people now getting deeply involved in social change, and will strengthen their determination to face even more challenges.


I was born in 1966. Although those of us in the "fifth generation" born in postwar Taiwan were burdened with a party-state education from the very start, by the time I was in junior high and began to understand how the world really was, the opposition movement (the "Dangwai" or "non-party" politicians) had started to blossom. By the time I got to university, when my passions and energy were at their peak, that was right when Taiwan's social movements were taking off, when many new voices were being heard, back in the 1980s; it was a very exciting time. We were affected by the relaxation in the overall environment, and by the growing circulation of all kinds of information, and we were encouraged by the successes of our predecessors in social activism. For so many young persons like myself, filled with idealism and thirsting for knowledge, naturally these developments were very inspiring.

As a result, when I was young my peers and I were very active in social issues. Some focused on workers interests, some on women's rights, some on environmental protection, and of course there were those like me who set our sights on reforming the political system. It's just that in those days, when the authoritarian system was still in place and the political system closed, no matter what kind of social change you wanted you always would run up against the brick wall of martial law and the dictatorial political structure. Because there was this common enemy, the Kuomintang party-state, it was very common to see alliances between social movements and political movements. Young people concerned about society did not eschew involvement in politics, which is a lot different from the way things are now, when young people are disgusted by the relentless dogfighting between the "green" and "blue" camps, and don't want to be tainted by political affiliations.

Getting worn down inside the system

After finishing my military service in 1991, I started off as an assistant to Chen Shui-bian, who was then a member of the Legislative Yuan, and participated in issues one after another, such as repealing Article 100 of the Penal Code and reforming the military to bring it under the rule of law and make it respect human rights. Most people know what happened thereafter-Chen was elected mayor of Taipei and then, in 2000, president, and I had a chance to work within the system. I served in several official positions, including director of the Department of Information of the Taipei City Government, and later, in the central government, vice-minister of the Council for Cultural Affairs and then minister of the Council for Hakka Affairs.

Once I had the taste of having a post inside the government, however, I discovered something I hadn't understood before about officials with power and resources: Although you can realize some of your ambitions to reform society in the most direct and fastest way, the vast bureaucratic system can really wear you down. What do I mean by that? Here's a metaphor I often use: Imagine the political system is a high-rise building. Only someone standing outside can really see the whole thing clearly, but if you are the custodian of a certain bathroom in the building, your perspective is reduced to just keeping it as clean as possible and nothing else.

Therefore, although in the eyes of outsiders you seem to have a high rank within the system, you discover that you spend most of your time on the extreme minutiae of documents and the civil service system, just to keep the routine functions of the agency going. It is very possible that without even realizing it you lose your original direction, and in the end you can no longer see anything of the overall problems of the functioning of the system.

During my recent more low-profile years, I have been continually reflecting on what impact I had on society during my time in public office. My conclusion is that I had some effects that were positive, some negative. For example, when I was director of the Taipei City Department of Information, I thought the city was a bit too lifeless, so I promoted the revival and reuse of many historic structures for cultural activities. This later caught on in other localities in Taiwan, which may be considered a positive impact.

But in those years I also organized a lot of events to celebrate various holidays, and the effect has been less salutary. I was just hoping to make the city more interesting, but then other localities began setting aside big budgets for "Romantic Christmas Eve," New Year's Eve shows, and things like that, which never got to be more than formulaic fireworks displays and appearances by pop stars, completely lacking in creativity, and in some ways they are just image-building exercises for local politicians. This is one area in which things didn't turn out that well.

Enemy #1: The capitalist system

Beyond all of this, I also came to understand very profoundly that system-level reform has its limits. For example, when I was a legislator I worked very hard along with non-governmental organizations to promote laws compelling political parties, the government, and the military to withdraw from media ownership. Ultimately the law was revised and forced parties, the government, and the military to divest themselves of media shareholdings by December 26, 2005. But looking at how things turned out, even though we really shook up the system, has the media really become more fair and autonomous? Not only is the answer to that question no, but things have gotten worse than ever!This is not only because of the shadow hand of politicians who know how to package things and do "inserted marketing" masquerading as news, but also because the media has been undermined by the impact of commercialization, and there has been a clear deterioration of quality under conditions of ever more vicious market competition. The really core problems are complex and deeply rooted, and cannot be changed just be amending this or that law.

Despite everything, I am very happy that I have had the experience of reform from both outside and inside the system. This has allowed me to clearly see through the myths that are invisible from different positions. And as I have been away from politics over the past couple of years, I have discovered that what really dominates Taiwanese society is the vast, complex capitalist system. It is the real key, affecting the way the country operates overall. So I have tried launching a new magazine, with a new emphasis-whereas the first non-party movement discussed mainly political democracy, the focus of what I call "second non-party" work should be on "economic democracy," on the problem of how social resources can be more fairly distributed.

For a long time now, many people have been occupied with why I have withdrawn from the center of political power at various times, and they have speculated that this has been for tactical reasons to gain more political power later. But that has never been the case. I can only say that I know very clearly what I want-an exciting, rich life that consumes all of my energies. So I have never been afraid of losing power or status, and when I face several different choices, it has always been my style to take the road least traveled. The current magazine is an example of this. A lot of people have warned me that I am "just burning money," and of course I know that this is a fact. But promoting a new line of thinking, a new discourse, is the task that I feel most deserves doing at the present time.

My most sincere and important advice to young social activists today is this: The only way you will have the strength to continue in the long run, to keep fighting even in the darkest corners, is to first be clear about and stick persistently to your values and beliefs, and never stop believing that some day the sun will come out. That's how I see things looking back over the road that I have traveled.

X 使用【台灣光華雜誌】APP!
更快速更方便!