“For the People”: Dispute of Public Opinion and Policy Making from Xi Ning to Yuan You in Northern Song China(1069-1094)
|關鍵字:||王安石;司馬光;熙寧變法;民本思想;民情;Wang An-shi;Si Ma-Guang;New Policy;public opinion;dissent||公開日期:||2009||摘要:||本文以北宋熙寧、元豐、元祐三朝的改革運動為背景，考察「民情」在改革運動中的作用，並尤其著重官僚在政策辯論中，對民情的取捨運用，藉此觀察十一世紀的士大夫如何理解官僚意志與百姓感受的關係。 第一章討論官僚政策理念的異同，以及王安石的回應。因新政的規模宏闊，本文僅討論政策思想中涉及民生與國用的部份，並指出即便雙方有開源、節流的差異，但都有意將國用與民生等而觀之，並試圖達到益國便民。雙方都認為對方的理論有缺陷，王安石面對嚴厲攻擊，則一方面指出政策服膺義理，並且真正重視百姓。第二章討論具體的民情，說明官僚如何引介百姓不利於新法的事證，藉此攻擊政府；另一方面，王安石與其同僚則想方設法自圓其說，擺脫不利事證的指控。兩派的攻防不僅表現在文字上，也表現在資訊管道的爭奪上。第三章則講述官僚如何在無可辯護之際，嘗試超越民情，訴諸法令的本意，從而切斷了政策與民情的關係。第四章則是事實競逐的尾聲，隨著神宗去世、新政罷廢之際，似乎象徵反對派官僚眼中民情的勝利。元祐的官僚意圖重建政策與民情的關係，聲言「更化」立基於百姓的意願，然而與此同時，他們對於相斥的事實，也自有超越的辦法，這使元祐的官僚在下一波政治動盪中蒙受「害民」的指責，而這正好是他們過去善用的指控。 在結論中，我將簡單總結前四章的觀點，並且重新檢討民情在政府決策辯論中的效果。民情並非毫無作用，官僚積極運用民情從事政爭，說明民情的關鍵地位；然而官僚在推崇民情之際，也為超越民情留下了退路。訴諸官僚的智慧以及法令的大意，使他們可以無視不利政策的民情，這構成民情作用的限制。另一方面，官僚自由詮釋民情，也僅能自我說服。民情本屬客觀可驗證的標準，至此卻成為主觀的論辯材料，北宋官僚的「意氣之爭」並不僅是他們不懂得就事論事，剛好相反，他們的爭論，正好來自「事實」。傳統中國「民本」思想與現實政治在十一世紀彼此激盪，從而透露了官民互動的複雜內涵。
This thesis attempts to reveal the influence of public opinion upon political reform and anti-reform movements from 1069 A.D. to 1094 A.D., during the regimes of the sixth and seventh emperors of the Song Dynasty in China. hapter One discusses the difference between Wang An-shi’s and his opponents’ policies, especially those concerning relations between the financial status and people’s living. Although scholars have indicated their distinctions in social background and ideology, bureaucrats of reform and anti-reform factions shared a common ideology about the state’s obligation to benefit people. Even though bureaucrats such as Si Ma-guang and Su Shi criticized Wang’s finance-centered policy, Wang always regarded his scheme as the only solution to benefit both the state and the people. Even though Wang was under severe attack from his opponents, he claimed that his grandiose plan would disadvantage only small groups of big landowners or bureaucrats and that most ordinary people would get benefit from it. hapter two focuses on evidence cited by bureaucrats of both sides to support or resist New Policies. Wang An-shi’s confidence came not only from his ideology but also from the solid evidence gathered from people. With the gratefulness of the public, Wang declared that his policy was accepted by the majority, despite dissent merely from high-ranking officials and big landowners. Meanwhile, bureaucrats who rejected Wang’s reform found opposite evidence which in their eyes defied reformists’ propaganda. Bureaucrats of both sides insisted on the reliability of their evidence, and accused each other of blocking information channels to the emperor and of creating fake evidence, which led to the emperor’s misjudgments. n Chapter Three, I demonstrate bureaucrats’ defense of their policies while evidence against them seemed not so easy to deny. Wang An-shi was convinced that his plan was the only right one, even though some evidence showed that New Policies might cause damage to the people; he refused to give up the reform. Although he still claimed that the government would take dissent into consideration and make some modifications, his opponents regarded his reaction as a betrayal to people and thus abolished his policy after Emperor Shen-Zong’s death. hapter Four deals with the end of Wang An-shi’s grandiose plan. Anti-reformers abolished most of Wang’s policies and declared that the restoration of the old policies was based on people’s will. They appeared to have ideological schemes different from Wang’s. Nevertheless, they showed the attitudes as Wang’s towards the public’s reluctance to accept government policies, such as transcending dissent with higher ideological goal. These attitudes made them neglect dissent as well as became their accusation after Empress Dowager Xuan-Ren’s death. In the forthcoming restoration of the New Policies, Wang’s adherents again legitimated their movements based on people’s welfare. However, as factional conflict and political purge intensified, along with the disappearance of policy debates, it is hard and rare to observe the true reflection of public opinion.In conclusion, I try to evaluate the influence of people’s opinion on policy debates. Both reformers and anti-reformers sought to strengthen their agenda by citing people’s will or opinion as evidence, and this confirmed the importance of people. However, while people expressed feelings, of which bureaucrats were reluctant to take notice, the officials would try to transcend the public they appealed to and go back to the original intention and bureaucrats’ confidence. People’s will is important in legitimating policy; however, it is limited and subordinate to the bureaucrats’ will. Objectively speaking, both reformers and anti-reformers cull evidence supporting their positions and ignored the counter-evidence. This thesis also shows that bureaucrats viewed unfavorable evidence as unreal information, which in turn formed the solid base of their insistence and obstinacy. Without judging which evidence is more credible, this thesis reveals the interactions between bureaucrats’ will and people’s will during the reform in the 11th century China.
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