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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Quotations from Ran Yunfei (Part Four)

As at the date this translation project started, twitterer @wuxinkuaiyu had tweeted 65 quotations from the detained dissident writer. Here are the last batch of the quotations translated into English.

Translated by @sikoalice
Proofread and modified by @krizcpec, @gaodawei

51. 这个社会太多的人想搭便车,很少人有责任感,觉得这个社会需要去努力。而且中国人讲究实用,巴不得今天做了事情明天就能收到效果。这就像中国人对读书的态度,如果认一个字能挣五块钱,那他愿意,要不他宁愿去打几把麻将。
Translation: There are too many people in this society who want to get a free ride, only a handful have the sense of responsibility and consider efforts necessary to bring forth a better society. The thinking of Chinese people is all about being practical and looking for an immediate pay-off: they want what they did today to pay off tomorrow. This is just like the Chinese’s attitude towards reading. They would do it willingly if they were to be paid five dollars for each character they learn; otherwise they would rather play Mahjong.

52. 我看不少人对中国这个社会相当悲观,我认为这样的心态虽可理解,但并不可取。我对中国的变革不是十分乐观,但绝不悲观,这一点就是拜胡适先生教导所赐。
Translation: Many people are fairly pessimistic about this country. Alhough this attitude is understandable, it is not the right one. I don’t feel very optimistic about China’s reform, but I am not pessimistic about it, this I have to thanks to the teachings of Mr. Hu Shih.

53. 告密是专制社会常用的手段,让其统治成本相对较低廉,所以几千年来中国史不绝书。告密是利用信息不对称来掌控他人权利而使统治者自身利益最大化的方式,更是对“囚徒困境”的一种极端运用形式。
Translation: Informants are often used in autocratic societies to make it easier for the rulers to govern. This can be seen in the history books that record thousands of years of Chinese history. Using intelligence from informants is a way to use information asymetry to best serve the interest of the ruler. It is also an extreme form of “the Prisoner’s dilemma”

54. 中国教育制度作为现存社会政治制度的子系统,它的革新,必须仰赖于政治体制循序渐进、有效而理性的改革,否则要实现教育的完全革新是不可能的。
Translation: The Chinese educational system is a subsystem of the socio-political system. Reforming education necessarily depends on gradual reform of the political system and on reasonable, effective reforms. Otherwise a complete reform of the current educational system will be impossible.

55. 在一个肉弱强食的丛林社会,尽情地利用一切信息不对称,干许多恶事被看作是天经地义的,这也就是中国历来三十六计、长短经、勾距之术比较发达的深层因由。
Translation: In a society ruled by the law of the jungle, using asymetric information as one likes to do a great many evil deeds is considered entirely normal. This is exactly the deep reason why in China there have been written so many classics about strategy such as the Thirty-Six Stratagems, Zhao Rui's "Classic of Ruses", and other works on trickery.

56. 从小事做起,做些不影响我们生活、工作等方面的力所能及的救助,与我们要彻底为建立民自由之国家的努力,并不是矛盾的,甚至是相辅相成的。对周围同胞的生存有一种及身而见、感同身受的悲悯,和慷慨激昂地批评社会不公,和不懈地批评政府的失职,同等重要。
Translation: Starting from the small things, let us do as many good deeds as we can without affecting our lives and our work that will serve to promote the establishment of a free and democratic country. Democracy and freedom are not contradictory but in fact complement each other. It is equally important to have compassion, empathy, and sympathy for the people around us; to passionately criticize unfairness in society; and to untiringly criticize the government for negligence.

57. 现在有许多中国人拿体制的命令和系统的僵化,来为自己所干的坏事推脱,他们根本不考虑这一切是否符合人道与良知。更有甚者,许多体制受益者还为自己的恶行辩护、振振有辞,颠倒黑白把自己所做的错事认为是正确的。
Translation: In these days, many Chinese people use orders from the regime and the rigidity of the system as excuses for their wrongdoings. just don’t stop to consider that these things are not compatible with humanity or good conscience. Even worse, quite a few eneficiaries of the system speak plausibly in defense of their own wrongdoings. They turn black into white to make what they have done wrong seem to be right.

58. 在专制制度下,所有官员都在玩轮盘赌,自己哪天倒霉,没有体面与自由,这是说不清楚的事,因此大家才会看到各级官员为什么好风水、喜八卦、学周易(进国学班主要学这个),和各种佛、道界的掌门人往来密切。
Translation: Under an autocratic regime, all officials are playing roulette. They can never know when it will be their turn to be out of luck, disgraced, and denied freedom. This is why officials of all levels are obsessed with feng shui, the eight trigrams, and studying the Book of Changes (Sinology classes are mainly about these things); they also keep close contact with Buddhist and Taoist leaders.

59. 西方的强大不是自吹自擂得来的,而是不断寻找问题和解决问题得来的。西方人他专门找问题、找碴子,绝不歌颂政府。政府是在民众的骂声中学乖的、是在不断的丢人现眼中成熟的。
Translation: The strength of the West comes not from bragging but from constantly looking for problems and then solving them. Westerners would intentionally find faults and problems. They never singing their governments praises. Their governments learn to behave amid the chorus of criticism from the people and evolved into maturity through a continual embarrassments.

60. 作为率先觉醒的中国公民,我们不应当首先把自己定位为一个颠覆一切的革命家,而应当首先在丰富多彩的社会生活中活得像一个人的样子,活得像一个公民的样子。
Translation: As Chinese citizens that have enlightened ahead of others, we should not see ourselves as revolutionists that subvert everything in the first place, we should instead live like a human in the colorful social life, we should live like citizens.

61. 税收的最大基础,便是建立在权利与义务对等的关系上,而纳税的人只有无穷无尽的义务,而没有取得相应的权利,他对税收便处于消极怠堕的状态,严重者便暴力抗税。
Translation: Taxation is based on the establishment of a balance between rights and obligations. Taxpayers will not be motivated to pay their taxes or worse, violently refuse to do it if they have to fulfill endless obligations without getting any rights in return.

62. 作为中国著名的艺术家,艾未未的创意能力和权利意识,都属一流。他可以创造出很好的作品,也可以表达出惊天动地的权利诉求,因为他是不错的艺术家和杰出公民的混合体,他做到了艺术创造和权利诉求的完美表达。
Translation: As a famous Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei's creativity and rights awareness are both top-notch. He is capable of creating wonderful works and expressing earthshaking appeals for rights. Just because he is a blending of a brilliant artist and an outstanding citizen, he successfully produces perfect expression of artistic creations and stirring appeal for human rights.

63. 艾未未在公共领域里的多个事件中持续发声,并以他的勇气、毅力、坚韧和持续的投入精神,聚合艾未未公民调查小组,对震后死难学生数字,进行了艰苦卓绝的实 地调查,为推动公民社会的进步做出了极大的贡献。他的调查小组所拍的《老妈蹄花》、《花脸巴儿》堪称这个时代的真实记录。
Translation: Ai Weiwei constantly speaks out about important matters in public affairs with courage, perseverance, tenacity and unremitting dedication. He organized a citizen investigation team which conducted painstaking field investigations into the number of students killed in the Sichuan Earthquake and so made a huge contribution to the advancement of civil society. Documentaries shot by his team such as“Lao ma ti hua” and “Hua lian ba'er” deserve to be regarded as truthful records of our time.

64. 我并不是一个很勇敢的人,我只是个能坚持的人,因为认可胡适先生的理念,认可关于爱才是人生补药的理念,所以才能摆脱仇恨和戾气,不被仇恨和戾气所焚烧。
Translation: I am not a very brave man, My only virtue is that I am persistent. I share Mr. Hu Shih's views and agree that love is the tonic of life. This idea freed me from hatred and hostility so that I would not be consumed by them.

65. 艾未未在我眼里,他不政治,而是一个非常正常的公民,也与正常的公民一样知道,政治其实应该就是公民社区的公共事务,而不是小群精英们的特权;只是他做公民做的太直接太耿,在刻意躲避政治锋芒的中国文艺人群中,特别的政治和不合群。
Translation: In my eyes Ai Weiwei is not political, he is really a quite normal citizen. And just like any other normal citizen, he knows that politics are public affairs of the community, not the privilege of an elite clique. Just because as a citizen he is too blunt and stubbornly upright that he contrasts so sharply with those literati who deliberately distance themselves from politics.

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