飄搖半世紀,「拚」命出頭天──國民政府遷台五十周年回顧

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1999 / 10月

文‧李光真



創辦香港「新聞天地」的老報人卜少夫,在兩岸回顧五十年的前夕說:「這五十年,大陸可用一個字來形容,就是『搞』:搞革命、搞鬥爭、搞經濟;台灣也可以用一個字來形容,就是『拚』,拚死拚活拚出頭。但『搞』是主動、『拚』是被動,」一語道盡兩岸的角力。

光輝十月,當對岸中共大肆慶祝「建國五十年」時,中華民國卻在集集大地震的陰霾下,肅穆哀沈地度過國府遷台的第五十次國慶。

國慶悄然度過;然而,回顧國民政府播遷來台的這五十年,變化之劇烈超越了中國歷史上任何一個時代。

救亡圖存,是中華民國建國以來不曾或忘的宗旨;強敵在側的隱憂,則是這五十年國府破釜沈舟、勵精圖治的動力。

台灣,沒有回頭的時間,沒有停頓的本錢。因而,經濟建設、整軍經武成了無限上綱;相對的,對大環境的不安,也成了五十年來揮之不去的夢魘。

從國府遷台、宣佈戒嚴開始,政治上採用的「非常體制」,延續了四十年。以大中國三十六省為架構、「臨時條款」為權宜的憲政,並不符合台灣的實際所需;對中共滲透的恐懼,更讓「白色恐怖」深植人心。

移民潮,從「八二三砲戰」、中美斷交、一九九五閏八月……,至今未歇。環顧全球,哪一個如台灣一般富裕而現代化的國家,卻有一波波源於最原始的、恐懼戰爭的移民潮?

政治的苦悶,在自由市場的拚鬥上找到了著力點。人民將重心放在發展事業上,全國近百萬家登記有案的企業中,百分之九十五以上是中小企業,人人都想當老闆。旺盛的賺錢慾望,加上國府在經濟政策上的用心,讓台灣經濟起飛、豐衣足食。台灣經驗不僅是對其他開發中國家的一種啟發,更是台灣免於赤化的最佳保障。

然而,中小企業為主的產業結構,缺乏足夠的資本、人才和長程規劃的能力,使得台灣經濟充塞著短視近利,和政治上的不安定感其實互為表裡;產業的根,還待深耕。

伴隨著深層憂懼的,則是五十年來變化之「快」。

站在今天往前看,雖然國府政權一脈相承、從未中斷,然而它的樣貌早已大幅改變。從早期嚴密的國家控制、領袖第一,到目前百無禁忌式的民主;從尊崇道統、擯斥「偏安」,到今天國家認同混淆,意識型態幾乎全盤改寫。

在經濟方面,從民國四十年到八十七年,三十多年的平均經濟成長率高達百分之八•四,從赤貧到暴富,除了香港和新加坡這兩個沒有農業背景的城市國家外,台灣致富的速度無疑是全球最快的。

另一方面,人口老化、離婚率、墮胎率、甚至子女生育數下降的速度,台灣也是全世界首屈一指的。社會變化太快,學校的校訓明明還是「溫良恭儉讓」,社會卻早已大唱「愛拚才會贏」;今天各家報紙上喧騰一時的新聞,可能三天後就無人聞問。價值觀的扞格,社會的「失憶」,都源於缺乏耐性去細細沈澱、反省。

國府遷台五十年,政治已民主、法治卻待努力;經濟已富裕、環保卻繳了白卷;人民教育程度已大幅提高、社會活力充沛,但已失去了早年的敦厚與耐心,也尚未建立成熟社會所需的良知與自省。

儘管兩岸關係緊繃帶來的不安依舊,儘管各種價值觀齊飛讓人茫然,儘管「九二一集集大地震」讓美麗之島一夕變色,但台灣並未被擊倒,全民出錢出力,要替受災同胞重建家園。

「多難興邦」,在回顧半世紀行走的足跡之際,台灣將如何延續五十年來的成長動力?又該如何打開兩岸僵局,開創下一個更開闊的五十年?正是我們今日的課題。 

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近期文章

EN

Through the Good Times and the Bad - Taiwan, 50 Years On

Laura Li /tr. by Christopher MacDonald


While both sides of the Taiwan Strait were preparing to take stock of the last 50 years, the founder of the Hong Kong magazine Newsdom, Pu Shao-fu, said: "In the mainland, the last 50 years can be summed up with one Chinese character: 'gao'[push, muck about with], as in 'push revolution, class struggle, and economics.' What has happened in Taiwan during the same period can also be summed up in one character: 'pin'[desperately bid], as in 'a desperate bid to survive and succeed.' While gao is pro-active, pin signals a response to circumstances." It is a distinction which effectively covers all there is to say about the cross-strait grappling of the past half-century.

In the fine month of October, while the PRC stages huge celebrations to mark "the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the country," the ROC is somberly observing its own National Day-the 50th such occasion since the government moved to Taiwan, but this year overshadowed by September's terrible earthquake.

National Day passes quietly this year, but looking back over 50 years since the arrival in Taiwan of the Nationalist government, we see that the island has undergone transformations on a scale unlike any other in Chinese history.

The guiding principle of the ROC, ever since its founding, has been to rescue China from destruction and ensure its survival. And for the past 50 years, the proximity of a powerful enemy has spurred the government to go flat out in pursuit of national prosperity.

Taiwan has not had the luxury of being able to pause and take stock. For the past half-century, economic and defense considerations have been paramount, and concerns about the wider environment in which Taiwan exists have remained as an ever-present nightmare.

When the government first relocated to Taiwan it declared martial law and adopted an "emergency" political system, both of which were subsequently extended for the following 40 years. The national constitution, framed for the 36 provinces of Greater China and supplemented accordingly with "Temporary Provisions," was little suited to the practical requirements of Taiwan itself. Meanwhile, fears of Communist infiltration kept alive the "white terror" in people's minds.

From the "August 23 shelling campaign" of 1958, through to the severing of diplomatic relations with the US in 1979 and the alarm about a lunar intercalary month in 1995, and even to the present day, Taiwan has witnessed a continuous outflow of emigrants. Nowhere else in the world is there a country as affluent and modern as Taiwan that hemorrhages so many people because of the fear of war.

In spite of its political predicament, Taiwan found an outlet for its energies in the tussles of the free market. People threw everything into building up their own businesses, and of the nearly one million registered firms in Taiwan, over 95% are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)-since everyone wants to be their own boss. The public's enthusiasm for making money, combined with the government's assiduous management of the economy, have brought rapid economic growth and made Taiwan a land of plenty. And while the Taiwan experience serves as an inspiration for other developing nations, it has also provided the island with its best guarantee against ever being made communist.

However, an industrial structure built around SMEs lacks sufficient capital, manpower and long-term planning capability. It also encourages economic short-termism and creates a sense of political insecurity. Industry therefore still needs to sink deeper roots in Taiwan.

Along with profound fears about the future, a further feature of life in Taiwan during the last 50 years has been the rapid pace of change .

From today's perspective we see that although the government has maintained a continuous, unbroken hold on Taiwan, it long since underwent significant changes: from the tight control over the country in the early years, when the national leader was supreme, to the no-holds-barred democracy of today; from a reverential attachment to Confucian orthodoxy and the complete rejection of any notion that the leadership could content itself with ruling just a small fragment of the original country, to today's chaotic national identity. Taiwan's governing ideology has been almost completely overhauled during this time.

On the economics front, Taiwan achieved average growth of over 8% for much of the post-war period, catapulting it from conditions of stark poverty to sudden wealth. With the exception of the city states of Hong Kong and Singapore, which do not share Taiwan's agricultural background, Taiwan grew wealthy quicker than anywhere else in the world.

Taiwan also tops the tables for population aging, divorce and abortions, and even for falling birth rate. Society has changed very rapidly, but while schools still teach the virtues of being "gentle, kind, respectable, thrifty and yielding," the tune being sung throughout the rest of society is that "you've got to go for broke if you want to win." News that screams out at us from the headlines one day may have vanished three days later. Conflicting sets of values, and the phenomenon of "social amnesia," are problems that both spring from the fact that people nowadays don't have the patience for reflection or for letting things develop gradually.

The political context has been democratized during the 50 years since the government moved to Taiwan, but much still needs to be done with regard to law and order. The economy may be flourishing, but in terms of environmental protection we completely fail to make the grade. Educational levels have jumped and society is buzzing with activity, yet some of the old qualities of generosity and forbearance have been sacrificed, and we are yet to attain the innate understanding and self-awareness of a mature society.

Despite the continuing apprehension about cross-strait relations, despite the bewildering jumble of social values, and despite the destruction wrought by the September 21 earthquake, Taiwan is still on its feet. And in the wake of the earthquake, everyone is giving money and time to help victims of the disaster piece their lives together again.

It is said that "nations grow strong in response to disaster and aggression." Looking back at the road traveled by Taiwan during the past 50 years, we may ask: How is Taiwan to maintain its impetus for economic growth? How can it break the cross-strait deadlock and create a more positive political environment for the next half-century? Such are the issues facing us today.

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