公民力量简报*  2018年10月20日

从“一位摄像头下大学英语教师的自白”谈中共对高校的控制

 

一位摄像头下大学英语教师的自白

Eileen

(Eileen是中国某大学英语老师,议报公民记者)

 

学校从2013年开始,陆陆续续给每个教室都装上了摄像头,大一点的教室甚至有5-6个摄像头。学校一开始跟我们说的是主要用于考试监考,以后教师就不用监考了。还没雀跃多久的我们很快发现监考任务一点没有减少,反而从教务处传来了一个噩耗:以后他们会随机从摄像头的监控室查老师们是否有迟到、早退等现象,而且想听哪位教师的课也不需要到具体的教师里去了,直接在监控室就可以完成。细思极恐!这不正说明学校通过摄像头可以监听监控我们的一言一行吗?天真的我们又一次上当了!

 

从那之后,课堂上喜欢天马行空乱讲话的我就自觉不自觉地开始了自我审查。其实,学校没有装摄像头之前我也做不到百分百想讲什么就讲什么,因为从2008年开始,学校在每个班的学生中都有安排信息员,表面上跟我们说是记载学生的出勤和缺勤,但是我有一个关系很好的同事(她是辅导员)曾无意间透露其他系有老师在课堂上批判政府被信息员举报而受到学校领导的约谈和警告。但我在学生中的人缘还不错,对信息员不会举报我这一点还是比较自信的。但是自从摄像头装上之后,教学就变得越来越无趣和恐惧了,因为你不知道从不上课的领导们是不是正坐在监控室监听我们呢,所以很多话都不敢讲,“老大哥正在看着你“这句话经常在头脑里盘旋。

 

记得有一次讲demonstration(游行)这个单词的时候,我提到“在美国,上街游行是合法的”,单提到这一点都让我后怕好几天,因为如果信息员举报或者领导听到都很可能判我“煽动学生”。其实,我更想告诉学生:“在人民有选票的国家,人民有任何的不满都可以上街游行表达不满,尤其是对政府的不满,政府必须给出合理的解决方案人民才会罢休。而在中国,虽然宪法规定了我们有游行的权利,但是只要你上街游行,就会被以’煽动颠覆国家’等口袋罪投进监狱,等待你的将是酷刑折磨、电视认罪、甚至丢掉性命”。但是,我根本不敢讲。

 

还有一次讲republic(共和国)这个词的时候,书上的解释是: a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them. 我当时只敢把这个英文解释一下------共和国或共和政体是指人民可以选举代表他们的人的一个政治体制。其实,我更想告诉学生:”我们国家虽然也叫”共和国“,但是我们从来没有过选举权,从来没见过选票长什么样,所以中国的”共和国“是假的,只有人民手里有选票的共和国才是真正的共和国。假的共和国其实就是专制独裁,我们有权起来推翻它。我们应该为我们及我们的后代争取本来就应属于我们的选票而努力。“同样,我什么也不敢讲。

 

这样的例子不胜枚举。作为在高校工作14年的老教师,明显能感觉到言论自由的逐步收紧,到现在几乎到了让人窒息的地步。刚开始参加工作的那几年,课堂上还是可以谨慎地批评政府的,记得电视里也有很多批评政府的评论节目。后来学生信息员的出现,让老师们稍微有所顾忌。到摄像头装上之后,估计大部分高校教师都会像我一样进行言论的自我审查,严格控制课堂言论边界。作为高校教师,大都上有老下有小,还有繁重的房贷压着,所以只能屈服。我们的言论自由咋办?先忍着吧,努力工作,争取把小孩送到有言论自由的地方去!

 

 

从“一位摄像头下大学英语教师的自白”谈中共对高校的控制

Wander

(Wander:中国某大学讲师,公民力量研究所研究员)

 

作为生活在大陆的中国人,你会发现,不知从什么时候开始,我们身边的摄像头越来越多了。从城市、城郊到乡村,从街道、小区到校园。走在大街上,你会感觉你正在被摄像头,360度无死角地“保护”着。各种样式的摄像头多到你无法想象,路口的横杆上密密麻麻的各种摄像头像麻雀开会一样。

 

中共政府宣称这些摄像头是为了公共安全,如果这还算说的过去的话,那么,把大学教室里的摄像头解释为监督学生的学习和考试,或监督老师的迟到早退等,就显得莫名其妙。如果大学里老师和学生的互动,都需要第三方来监督的话,谁来监督第三方呢?同样作为大学教师,面对教师里的摄像头,我也从来没有得到过合乎逻辑的解释,当然也没有人敢向校方质疑。

 

大学老师,既是辛勤的园丁,也是党国政治宣传的排头兵,对党国打磨永不生锈的“螺丝钉”至关重要,近期多起高校教师因言获罪就是最好的例证。在摄像头下,大家只能管好嘴巴,不该讲的不能乱讲。当然,歌颂中共的话还是可以大讲特讲的。

 

中共对高校的分外关注,大概源于他们与知识分子之间一段爱恨情仇的往事。1919年5月4日,一群受过良好教育的中国青年走上街头,发起了轰轰烈烈的新文化运动。这场运动契合了中共底层革命的反叛精神,中共也一直宣称自己继承了“五四”精神,并把每年的5月4日定为“青年节”。

 

70年之后的1989年,同样是一群受过良好教育的中国青年走上街头,敦促政府反腐败,推进民主。具有讽刺意味的是,宣称继承“五四”精神的中共政府,并没有展现他们的同情和宽容,而是用坦克压过大学生的身体。借口大学生是受到了外国势力的操纵云云,秋后算账,除了逮捕参与者,1989年的全国所有大学毕业生基本都被某种程度的“流放”。这场被定性为”六四事件“的民主运动过去了近30年,中共当局仍对此讳莫如深。

 

“六四”之后,中共当局大概进行了深刻地反思,想起毛泽东”知识越多越反动“调调,加强了对高校的控制。对高校教师,采用胡萝卜加大棒的政策,通过薪水,职称,项目等对高校里的知识分子进行全方位的收买,不听话的只能大棒伺候了;对大学生,加强洗脑教育,从本科到博士阶段,每个阶段都有强制要求的政治课程,诸如毛泽东思想,邓小平理论,形式与政策等等。企图通过政治教育,加强学生对中国共产党的认同和膜拜。有时候,他们把这个称为爱国主义教育,又有意无意地把“爱国”和“爱党”混同起来。

 

习近平的上台伊始,国内本就有限的言论自由空间,就被大幅度压缩,从对待高校的政治工作中,就可见一斑。2013年,中共出台的9号文件披露,”七不讲“要求高校教师不能讲普世价值、新闻自由、公民社会、公民权利、党的历史错误、权贵资产阶级和司法独立。随后中共中央组织部、中共中央宣传部和中共教育部党组联合下发《关于加强和改进高校青年教师思想政治工作的若干意见》,”十六条“进一步凸显习近平试图加强高校思想管控的意图。最近两年,如火如荼开展“两学一做”学习教育的运动,将高校里的政治工作提高到了四十年来前所未有的高度。

 

前几个月,在习近平的号召下,高校内的各级组织,都被要求召开“进一步解放思想,激励新时代新担当新作为”专题民主生活会。我想说,摄像头下的大学课堂只能统一思想,解放不了思想!

 

1984,老大哥在看着你。

 

*公民力量研究所不定期发表中英文双语“公民力量简报“(CPIFC Briefing Series)和“公民力量研究报告”(CPIFC Monograph Series)。前者是简明准确反映中国现实的叙述式或学术简报式的短篇文章,后者则是公民力量研究所有关中国的政治、经济、社会、文化、历史、宗教、国际关系、人权改善、民主变革战略等议题的学术性分析预测文章。

 

 

CPIFC Briefing Series*    Oct. 20, 2018

The Chinese Communist Party's Control of Colleges and Universities -- on the Essay  “the Confessions of College English Teachers under Cameras”

 

Confessions of a College English Teacher Under Cameras

Eileen

(Eileen, a college teacher in China, is a reporter for Yibao, an online magazine run by Citizen Power Initiatives for China)

Since 2013, cameras had been installed gradually in each classroom of my university, and even five or six cameras in larger classrooms. We were told that the cameras would be mainly used for exam invigilation to release the burden of teachers. We hadn't had time to jump for joy before we found that the invigilator task has not been reduced at all. Instead, there was a bad news from the Academic Affairs Office: “they will randomly check the teachers’ late arrival or early dismissal, and observe any teacher’s lecture/class in the surveillance room of the cameras." Doesn't this mean that the school can monitor our words and deeds through the cameras? We had been fooled again!

 

Since then, I have consciously and unconsciously started self-censorship in class. In fact, even before the installation of cameras, I couldn’t talk as I wanted. Since 2008, the school has arranged one student reporter in each class. We were told that the student reporters were only responsible for recording attendance and absenteeism of students. But I have a well-connected colleague who once inadvertently revealed that a teacher criticized the Communist Party in class, and this was recorded and reported by the student reporter and thus the teacher was warned by the school leaders. But my popularity among the students is quite good, and I am very confident that the student reporter will not report my words. But since the cameras are installed, teaching has become more and more boring and scary, because no one knows if the leaders who never teach are sitting in the monitoring room to monitor us, so for many words, I dare not speak. “Big Brother is watching you.” This sentence is often hovering in my mind.

I remember when I taught the word "demonstration", I mentioned that "demonstration is legal in the United States." This sentence even made me worried for a few days, because if the student reporter reported or the leaders heard it, it is very likely that I would be sentenced for "inciting students." In fact, I would like to tell the students: "In a country where people can vote, people can go to the streets if they are dissatisfied with something, especially the dissatisfaction with the government. The government must give a reasonable solution and the people will stop. In China, although the Constitution stipulates that we have the right to march, but as long as you go to the streets, you would be put in jail for "pocket crimes" such as "inciting subversion of the country." What is waiting for you would be torture, confessions on TV, or even loss of your life". However, I did not dare to speak at all.

 

Another time when the word “republic” (共和国) was taught, the English explanation in the book was: a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them. I only dared to explain this in Chinese: 共和国或共和政体是指人民可以选举产生代表自己的政治体制. In fact, I would like to tell the students: "Our country is also called "Republic," but we have never had the right to vote and never seen the votes of our country, so the People’s Republic of China is a fake. Only in the nations where the people have the right to vote, is the republic real. The fake republic is actually an authoritarian dictatorship, and we have the right to overthrow it. We should work hard for us and our descendants to fight for the votes that should belong to us." Once again, I did not dare to speak anything.

 

The list goes on. As an old teacher who has worked in college for 14 years, it is obvious that the gradual tightening of freedom of speech has become almost suffocating. In the years when I first started teaching, I could still cautiously criticize the government in class. I remember that there were many commentary programs on the TV that criticized the government. Later, the appearance of student reporters made the teachers slightly scrupulous. Since the cameras were installed in classrooms, most college teachers have conducted self-censorship and controlled the boundaries of classroom speech like me. Most of our college teachers have parents and children to take care of, and have heavy mortgages  to pay. Therefore, we have no choice but to surrender. Where is our freedom of speech? No one knows!

 

 

Talking about the Chinese Communist Party's Control of Colleges and Universities from “the Confessions of College English Teachers under Cameras”

Wander

(Wander, a University Lecturer in China, is a research fellow of Citizen Power Institute—the research arm of Citizen Power Initiatives for China)

As a Chinese living in the mainland, you will easily find that there are more and more cameras around us, from the city, the suburbs to the countryside, from the streets, the community to the campus. Walking on the street, you will find that you are being "protected" by the cameras, 360 degrees without a dead end. There are many kinds of cameras in various styles beyond your imagination. The crossbars on the intersections are full of various cameras like sparrows’ meeting.

 

The Chinese government claims that these cameras are for public safety. If this is still the case, then it is inexplicable to interpret the cameras in the university classrooms as supervising the students’ study and examinations, or supervising the teacher's late arrival and early departure. If the interaction between teachers and students in the universities needs a third party to supervise, who will supervise the third party? As a university teacher, I have never had a logical explanation for the cameras from leaders of the school. Of course, no one dares to question the school.

 

The university teachers are not only hard-working gardeners, but also pioneers in the political propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It is of vital importance to cultivate the "screws" that the CCP needs. It is the best example of the recent conviction and dismissal of college teachers for their critical comments on the CCP. Under the cameras, every teacher must watch their mouths, and they should not talk about anything “sensitive”. Of course, if you sing for the CCP, you can still talk about it aloud.

 

The CCP’s special attention to colleges and universities is probably due to a period of love and hate between them and intellectuals. On May 4, 1919, a group of well-educated Chinese youth took to the streets and launched a vigorous new cultural movement. This movement fits the rebellious spirit of the CCP’s bottom revolution. The CCP has also declared that it has inherited the "May 4th" spirit and designated May 4th of each year as "Youth Day".

 

70 years later, in 1989, a group of well-educated Chinese youth took to the streets and urged the government to fight corruption and promote democracy. Ironically, the Chinese Communist government, which claims to inherit the spirit of the May Fourth Movement, did not show their sympathy and tolerance but used tanks to press the body of college students. Excuses for college students were manipulated by foreign forces, and in addition to arresting participants, all college graduates in 1989 were basically "exiled" to some extent. The democratic movement that was characterized as the "June 4th Incident" has been going on for nearly 30 years, and the Chinese authorities still keep this as a forbidden zone.

 

After the “June 4th Incident”, the CCP probably carried out a profound reflection and thought of a famous saying by Chairman Mao Zedong, “more knowledge leads to more rebellious thoughts,” strengthening the control of colleges and universities. For college teachers, the CCP began to adopt the policy of carrots and sticks, through improving their salaries, promoting titles and advocating research projects, etc. All the intellectuals in colleges and universities are bought in all directions. The disobedient teachers can only serve with the big sticks. For college students, there are many mandatory political courses at each stage, from undergraduate to the doctoral level, to strengthen the brainwashing education, such as Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, Socialist Policies, and so on. They attempt to strengthen students’ recognition and worship of the CCP through political education. The CCP calls this patriotic education, and they confuse “patriotism” and “love to the CCP” intentionally.

 

Since Xi Jinping came to power, the limited freedom of speech in China has been greatly reduced, and it can be seen from the political work of colleges and universities. In 2013, the CCP issued the No. 9 Document (or “Seven No-Speak Rules”) requires that university teachers cannot talk about universal values, freedom of the press, civil society, civil rights, historical errors of the CCP, the bourgeoisie and the independence of the judiciary. Subsequently, the Central Organization Ministry, the Propaganda Ministry and the Ministry of Education of the CPC Central Committee jointly issued the “Instructions on Strengthening and Improving the Ideological and Political Work of Young Teachers in Colleges and Universities.” The “16 Articles” issued by the CCP further highlights Xi Jinping's intention to strengthen the ideological management of colleges and universities. In the past years, the “Two Studies, One Action” learning and education campaign has been carried out in full swing, raising the political work in colleges and universities to an unprecedented height in the past 40 years.

 

A few months ago, under the call of Xi Jinping, organizations at all levels in colleges and universities were required to hold a series of meetings of “further emancipating the mind and inspiring the new generations to take on new actions." I want to say that the university classroom under cameras can only unify thoughts, not liberate thoughts!

 

1984, Big Brother is watching you.

 

* Citizen Power Initiatives for China’s research arm Citizen Power Institute publishesCPIFC Briefing Series and CPIFC Monograph Series. The former are short essays or succinct scholarly articles that spontaneously reflect the realities of China while the latter are research reports on China’s politics, economics, culture, ethnicity, religion, civil society, human rights and strategies for its transition to democracy.

 

 

 

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