談價值觀的轉型

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1989 / 3月

文‧郭為藩 圖‧林鑫



目前國內社會正處於轉型的階段,學術界對觸目所見的一些轉型期症候頗多論述,但是研討的焦點大部分集注於經濟、政治與社會的層面,而於這些事象背後的心理因素卻較少討論。

事實上,一種「靜默的革命」正在進行中,許多過去習以為常的道理,在今日年輕人的眼中已不復如是。傳統的倫理規範已經動搖,原有的社會報償系統也已經失靈(例如發覺「做好事不見得有好報」,「投機取巧者反而佔盡便宜」),所以才出現有識之士引以為憂的「脫序」情況。

如果說這一年多來政治上已經解嚴,社會積極邁向開放,經濟上大力推動自由化,解嚴、開放與自由化的效應也同時擴散到其他層面,特別是社會大眾的心靈也跟著解嚴,開放與自由化。很多舊包袱被揚棄,人們競相吸收新觀念,同時也形成一股標新立異的歪風;更可慮的是很多人盲目反叛既有的權威,迷信自力救濟的效力,掀起一連串翻案的鬧劇。總之,國人的價值觀正顯著地在轉變。

—、超越物質的現象

當一個社會拜經濟發展之賜而邁入無虞匱乏的富裕水準,超越物質的現象(亦稱後物質主義現象)就會發生。因為經濟學上的「報酬遞減率」出現在物質生活享受方面,一個每日週旋於酬宴,經常享受山珍海味的人,不要多久就會視佳餚者如雞肋;成長在繁榮而富足環境的這一代青年,視豐衣足食為理所當然,對物質享受的滿足度也自然降低。他們所追求的是超越物質的層面——穿要穿得有氣質、吃要有氣氛(重視餐廳的情調)、住要配合身分;此外,他們強調參與,要民主,希望受到尊重,要有個性與風格。

在今日的市場推銷,短小精薄為美成為傾向。早些時人們送禮重視實惠,也看重禮品的價格,邇來則重視合乎收禮人的口味與喜好,以稀有為貴,而且也講究包裝。昔日兒童每因爭食而遭家長呵責,甚至因貪饞而挨打,今日為人父母者卻苦口哄著子女們進食,這該是多強烈的對比。

二、消費者至上的觀念在形成中

傳統的社會建立在工作倫理上,重視生產的價值,強調勤儉的美德,很多「勞碌命」視工作為一種享受,工作的動機在求成就而不在享有,這種「工作為先,生產至上」的信念奠定了日本與亞洲四小龍經濟繁榮的倫理基礎。

然而近年來「消費主義」的西風東漸,在大量生產的工業社會中,為擴大消費人口,廠商無不運用大眾傳播媒體,在廣告上極盡刺激購買慾的能事,且利用分期付款、信用卡、貸款、摸彩、試用及其他花招,以鼓勵消費,無形中一種「顧客至上」的觀念也隨著形成。

消費主義由商場伸展至校園及其他領域,學校中的「消費主義」最近在國內甚囂塵上。學生權的論調原是消費者保護運動的副產品,消費者至上論意味消費者有選擇的自由,強調買賣雙方的權利與義務,這種契約關係當然超越師生間的情誼與倫理關係。消費主義也助長逸樂風氣,生產價值與工作倫理均被貶低。

三、市場導向的社會性格

這些年來商業氣息日益濃厚,一般人的價值判斷由實質價值轉變到比較價值,於是形成一種市場導向的社會性格。換言之,人們對事物的評價,不再著眼於其本身的利用價值,而看重市場供需關係所決定的相對價值。例如柳丁、香蕉、芒果都是好水果,實質價值很高,可是在盛產賤銷時,其交易價格都很低。所以在市場需求的變動下,物品的價格也都隨時在浮動,最明顯的是股票,很多政治人物的身價(所謂政治行情)也有漲落的情形。

市場導向最典型的實例是排行榜,排行榜上列名前茅者,門庭若市;但是一旦行情看低,則乏人問津。因而促使現代人善於自我推銷,費盡心機以曝光作秀,惟恐被大眾所冷落或遺忘。目前不但暢銷書或熱門唱片有排行榜,歌星與政治明星也爭排行榜,學校在聯考時也有排行榜。排行榜的風氣一旦形成,人們只重形象的塑造,打知名度以自抬身價,至於真才實學則不為所重,因為社會大眾的價值評量不在內在價值,而在乎市場價值,只要受人歡迎就表示有價值。

四、時間與空間觀念的主觀化

早期的哲學家相信時間與空間乃是先天的概念範疇,然而現代人對於時間與空間的觀念卻有相當的改變,越來越主觀化。就時間言,雖然每個人每天都過廿四小時,但今日的人們生活節奏卻在加速,對事物的期待越缺乏耐性。「慢工出細活」的日子已漸逝去,國人似乎越來越急功近利,凡事求立竿見影,獲得立即滿足。難怪速食風靡國內,更可見投機取巧之風日趨猖狂、不僅校園中皓首窮經的學者日漸少見,肯費十數載功夫完成一件傑作的藝人也鳳毛麟角。

在空間觀念上,物理空間與心理空間也有嚴重的矛盾,透過現代傳播媒體,天涯若比鄰早已實現,但人際關係卻日漸疏遠,比鄰而居,平日不相往來,使「比鄰若天涯」的現象逐漸普遍。時下人們非常關切千里之外的大事,對於鄰里親友的細事卻不相過問;現代交通使許多人經常從事州際或長途旅行,空間距離已被交通工具的進步所克服,但是市區內的交通阻塞卻令人寸步難移。當市區移動反而較長途飛行要花較多時間,空間距離的意義也漸模糊了。

(以上係作者去年十一月十九日在師範大學綜合大樓講演的部分內容,作者為行政院文化建設委員會主任委員。)

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近期文章

EN

On Changing Value Concepts

Kuo Wei-fan /photos courtesy of Lin Hsin /tr. by Peter Eberly


Society on Taiwan is in a stage of transition. Quite a bit of academic discussion has been devoted to the most striking symptoms of the transformation in the nation's economy, politics, and society, but the underlying psychological factors have rarely been examined.

 In fact, a "silent revolution" is taking place in which many commonplace truths of the past are being questioned by young people today. Outmoded ways of thinking have been cast off and new ideas are rapidly being absorbed, but at the same time an unhealthy trend has arisen to defy the conventional and pursue the unorthodox for its own sake. Even more alarming is the way many people, in blindly rebelling against established authority, have become obsessed with taking redress into their own hands, producing a series of fracases and farces. In sum, the value concepts of the Chinese people are clearly changing.

 When a society, thanks to economic development, advances to a certain level of material abundance, people pursue things beyond the material level--in food they want atmosphere; in clothing they want taste; and in shelter they want status. They stress participation and democracy, they look for respect, and they want their own style and personality.

 Traditional society was built on the work ethic. It placed prime importance on production and the virtues of diligence and frugality. But in recent years, the winds of consumerism have blown in from the West. In a mass-production industrial society, businessmen have done all they can to stimulate the urge to consume through advertising and easy credit, and the concept that "the consumer comes first" has gradually taken shape.

 Consumerism has spread from the marketplace to the campus and other areas. The clamor for students' rights is a byproduct of it. The argument that the consumer comes first stresses the rights and obligations of buyer and seller, a contractual relationship that supersedes the ethical relationship between student and teacher. Consumerism also encourages the proclivity for comfort and pleasure, cheapening the value of production and the work ethic.

 A pervading atmosphere of commercialism has grown ever stronger in recent years. People no longer judge things by their usefulness as such but by their relative value as determined by market supply and demand. Prices are constantly fluctuating, the most obvious example being stocks. The standing of many politicians goes up and down too.

 The most glaring example of values being driven by the marketplace is popularity charts. Everybody loves a winner, but once your market value drops nobody knows you. This causes people today to excel at self-promotion, to use all their wits to show off and toot their own horn, to fear only that the public may grow indifferent or forget them. Now there are popularity charts not only for best sellers and pop music but also for politicians and universities. Once the pop chart mentality has taken over, people place importance solely on creating an image, fame becomes the measure of success, and the public's standard of judgment is no longer innate value but market value: being popular means being valuable.

 Philosophers of an earlier day believed that time and space were a priori conceptual categories, but modern man's concepts of time and space have become more and more subjective. As for time, although everyone still lives 24 hours a day, the pace of life is ever accelerating and people are increasingly impatient. The days of "slow work yields fine products" have gradually vanished, and Chinese people seem to look more and more for quick results, immediate profit, and instant gratification. No wonder fast food is all the rage and speculation and opportunism rampant. Not only are white-haired scholars less and less evident on campuses, but artists willing to spend ten years to complete a masterpiece are scarcer than hen's teeth.

 As to the concepts of space, physical space and psychological space have exhibited a serious dichotomy. The modern broadcast media have made us neighbors with the ends of the earth, but interpersonal relationships have become more distant by the day. Neighbors might live at opposite ends of the earth for all they have to do with one another. People are more concerned about big events thousands of miles away than the daily affairs of their friends and neighbors, and modern transportation has enabled more and more people to engage in long-distance travel. Vast spatial distances have been overcome by advances in the means of transportation, but traffic jams in the city make it hard to budge an inch. When it takes more time to get about in the city than to travel long distances by airplane, then the significance of spatial distances has gradually become blurred.

Note: The above are portions of a speech given last November 19th at National Taiwan Normal University by Kuo Wei-fan, chairman of the Council for Cultural Planning & Development.

 

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