双语:金钱政治暴露“美式民主”的虚伪面目

摘要

Full Text: Money Politics Exposes the Hypocrisy of “US-Style Democracy”

金钱政治暴露“美式民主”的虚伪面目

中国人权研究会26日发表《金钱政治暴露“美式民主”的虚伪面目》文章。全文如下:

 

The China Society for Human Rights Studies on December 26 issued an article titled “Money Politics Exposes the Hypocrisy of ‘U.S.-Style Democracy.’” The full text is as follows:

 

金钱政治暴露“美式民主”的虚伪面目

Money Politics Exposes the Hypocrisy of “US-Style Democracy”

 

中国人权研究会

The China Society for Human Rights Studies (CSHRS)

 

2019年12月

December 2019

 

美国一向自诩为民主的“灯塔”,宣称人民拥有参与公共事务、选举和监督政府的权利。但现实情况是,美国政治对立尖锐,社会撕裂严重,大批民众被排斥在政治过程之外。金钱政治是造成这种现象的重要原因。金钱政治剥夺了人民的民主权利,压制了选民真实意愿的表达,形成了事实上的政治不平等。近年来,富人阶层对美国政治的影响力越来越大,普通美国人的影响力则日渐缩小。金钱政治暴露了美国民主的虚假一面。

 

The United States always praises itself as the “beacon” of democracy, advocating that people have the right to participate in public affairs, elections, and supervision over their governments. Nevertheless, in reality, given the severe divisions in US politics and society, a large number of US citizens do not have a chance to participate in politics. The main reason for this phenomenon is money politics. Money politics deprives the people of their democratic rights, suppresses the expression of voters’ true will, and creates de facto political inequality. In recent years in the United States, the wealthy class has exerted an increasingly important influence on politics while the common people’s influence on politics has declined. Money politics exposes the hypocrisy of US democracy.

 

一、金钱充斥美国政治全过程

1. Money has infused the entire US political system.

 

“金钱是政治的母乳”。这句广为流传的评论精准而又犀利地揭示了当代美国政治的本质。金钱是美国政治的驱动力。美国庞大复杂的政治机器,只有在金钱燃料的推动下,才能持续前行。金钱是美国政治的润滑剂。离开金钱,美国政治根本无法顺畅运行。金钱政治贯穿了美国选举、立法和施政的所有环节,成为美国社会挥之不去的顽疾。

 

“Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” This widely circulated comment accurately and sharply reveals the essence of contemporary US politics. Money is the driving force of US politics. The huge and complex political machine of the United States can only get started with the fuel of money. Money is the lubricant of US politics. Without money, US politics cannot run smoothly. Money politics runs through all aspects of US elections, legislation, and governance, and has become a persistent disease in US society.

 

选举沦为金钱游戏。选举的本来目的是表达选民意志、确定政策方向和选择合格的领导者。但是,美国的金钱政治却扭曲了民意,把选举搞成了富人阶层的“独角戏”。金钱深深植根于美国选举的各个环节中。在所有层级的选举中,筹集资金都是参选者的入门条件。没有足够的金钱,根本无法参加竞逐任何重要政治职位。21世纪以来,美国共和党与民主党两党总统候选人的选举费用从2004年的7亿美元,快速增加到2008年的10亿美元、2012年的20亿美元。2016年,包括总统选举和国会选举在内的美国大选总共花费了66亿美元,成为美国历史上最昂贵的政治选举。美国中期选举费用也快速升高。2002年到2014年间举行的4届中期选举分别花费21.8亿美元、28.5亿美元、36.3亿美元和38.4亿美元,2018年则达到52亿美元。在2018年的中期选举中,赢得一个参议院席位的平均成本为1940万美元,赢得一个众议院席位的平均成本超过150万美元。高额的选举费用大大提高了参选门槛,排除了绝大多数人参加竞选的可能。只有少数有能力筹集大量竞选资金的人,才能加入美国政治选举角逐。这无疑为富人和利益集团通过金钱笼络候选人营造了温床。

 

Under such circumstances, elections, whose original purpose is to express the will of the voters, determine the political direction, and choose qualified leaders, have been reduced to money games. The money politics of the United States has distorted public opinion and turned elections into a “one-man show” of the wealthy class. Money is deeply involved in every aspect of US elections. Raising funds is a prerequisite for a candidate to run in an election at any level. Without enough money, it is simply impossible to compete for any important political position. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the election costs of the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates have increased rapidly from $700 million in 2004 to $1 billion in 2008 and $2 billion in 2012. In 2016, US elections, including presidential and congressional elections, cost a total of $6.6 billion, making it the most expensive political election in US history. The cost of the US midterm elections has also risen rapidly. The four midterm elections held between 2002 and 2014 cost $2.18 billion, $2.85 billion, $3.63 billion, and $3.84 billion, respectively, and the one held in 2018 cost as much as $5.2 billion. In the 2018 midterm election, the average cost of winning a Senate seat was $19.4 million, and the average cost of winning a House seat exceeded $1.5 million. The high election expenses have greatly raised the threshold for election participation and eliminated the possibility of the vast majority of people participating in political elections. Only a few people who are capable of raising large amounts of election funds can join the US political elections. This has undoubtedly provided the wealthy class and interest groups with numerous chances to win candidates over through money.

 

除公开登记的选举经费外,大量秘密资金和“暗钱”也注入美国选举活动。美国全国广播公司新闻网2018年报道,美国财政部宣布不再要求大多数非营利组织报告捐赠来源,这大大降低了选举资金的透明度。自联邦最高法院2010年对“联合公民诉联邦选举委员会案”的裁决打开政治捐款闸门之后,非法“暗钱”持续涌入选举,不断创造新的纪录。2010年中期选举的“暗钱”为1600万美元,2014年中期选举的“暗钱”增加到5300万美元。到2018年中期选举,候选人以外的外部团体花费的“暗钱”剧增到9800万美元。在外部团体为影响国会选举而播放的电视广告中,超过40%是秘密捐赠者资助的。

 

In addition to publicly registered election funds, a large amount of secret funds and “dark money” have also been injected into the US election activities. As reported by National Broadcasting Company (NBC) News in 2018, as the United States Department of the Treasury (USDT) announced that it would no longer require most non-profit organizations to report their source of donations, the transparency of election funding would be significantly reduced. Back in 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued a ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission¹, loosening restrictions on political donations. Since then, “dark money” has kept flooding into the US elections, constantly creating new records. The “dark money” that flooded into the 2010 midterm election was $16 million, and that in the 2014 midterm elections increased to $53 million. During the 2018 midterm election, the “dark money” spent by outside groups other than those of the candidates skyrocketed to $98 million. Over 40 percent of TV commercials broadcast by these outside groups to influence congressional elections are funded by secret donors.

 

二、金钱政治是美国资本主义制度的必然产物

2. Money politics is an inevitable result of the US capitalist system.

 

美国是资本主义国家。美国民主制度是实现资产阶级统治的政治形式,因此必然体现资本家意志,为资本家利益服务。美国民主制度的最大特点是选举。通过选举把符合资产阶级要求的政治人物推上国家领导职位,行使国家权力。为此,美国设计了一套精巧的政治体系和选举制度,对候选人和选民进行层层筛选,以保证那些让富人满意的人当选。最初,美国对选民资格进行种种限制,剥夺大批美国公民(如少数族裔和妇女)的选举权。后来,金钱越来越成为资产阶级控制选举的最重要手段。进入20世纪后,尤其是20世纪60年代以后,随着大众传媒的普及和发展,金钱在选举中的地位不断上升。金钱是个选择器,可以用来淘汰来自底层的政治参与者,使得穷人代表根本难以成为候选人。富人通过资助竞选经费的方式挑选合格的政治代理人,使他们成为候选人,进而赢得选战。在这种制度设计下,经济利益与政治权力的链接是天作之合。富人的经济利益需要通过选举参与政治来保障,政治人物需要借助金钱来进行选举。富人为了维护他们在国家公共资源分配中的优势地位,有很强的动力主动介入政治运作,寻求从联邦到地方政府的各级代言人。他们拥有最大份额的社会财富,可以满足政治人物的资金要求。政治人物可以充当富人的政治代表。而随着传播技术的发展,政治人物必须占有更多金钱才能参与一场正常的选举,进而赢得选举。于是金钱极为容易地充当了政党政治“链条”中的起点与终点。美国两大政党候选人不过是资产阶级内部不同派别的代表罢了。

 

The United States is a capitalist country, and US democracy is a political form through which the bourgeois rules. Given this, US democracy naturally reflects the will of the capitalists and serves their interests. The most distinctive feature of US democracy is elections. Through elections, politicians who meet the requirements of the bourgeoisie are promoted to national leadership positions to exercise state power. To achieve this goal, the United States has designed a sophisticated political and electoral system to screen candidates and voters at various levels to ensure that only those who satisfy the needs of the rich people are elected. Initially, the United States imposed restrictions on voter eligibility, depriving large numbers of US citizens (such as those from racial minority groups and women) of the right to vote. Later, money gradually became the most important means for the bourgeoisie to control elections. After entering the 20th century, especially after the 1960s, with the popularity and development of the mass media, the status of money in elections continued to rise. Money is a selector that eliminates political participants from the bottom of society by making it difficult for the representatives of the poor to become candidates. The rich people choose their qualified political agents and make them candidates and winners of elections by funding campaigns. Due to this system design, the connection between economic interests and political power is naturally close. By participating in political elections, the rich people acquire political guarantees for their economic interests. With the help of money, politicians are able to run in elections. In order to maintain their dominant position in the distribution of national resources, the rich have a strong incentive to intervene in political operations and seek their spokespersons in governments at all levels from the federal level to the local level. As the rich people have the largest share of social wealth, they can meet the funding requirements of politicians and turn them into their political representatives. With the development of communication technology, politicians need more money to participate in and win a normal election. Money, therefore, becomes the starting point and ending point of this “chain” of party politics. Candidates of the two major political parties in the United States are merely representatives of different factions within the bourgeoisie.

 

利益集团的活动生动诠释了金钱政治的内涵。利益集团指的是一些有共同政治目的、经济利益、社会背景的团体和个人为了最大限度地实现其共同目的、利益而结成的同盟。美国宪法第一修正案是利益集团得以合法存在和开展活动的最高法律依据。利益集团的宗旨是参与权力运作过程,影响公权力部门制定相关政策,以维护和扩张自己的利益。美国独特的政治体制,如联邦和州分权的联邦制,立法、行政和司法三权分立的制度,为利益集团提供了广阔空间,使它们可以向各级政府施加压力,左右美国政治。利益集团已深深嵌入美国行政机构、国会和司法系统之中,与政党和政府并列为美国政治的三大支柱。利益集团的活动方式有很多种,如提供资金、直接介入选举过程、帮助特定候选人赢得选举等,从而影响国会立法和未来政府决策;通过刊登广告、发表广播和电视演说、召开新闻发布会、制作影片等方式制造舆论,影响政府决策;对立法者和政府决策者进行游说,直接影响政府政策。美国的政府决策和国会立法是各利益集团博弈的结果。

 

The activities of interest groups vividly explain the connotation of money politics. Interest groups refer to alliances formed by groups and individuals who have common political goals, economic interests, and social backgrounds for the purpose of maximizing their common goals and interests. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution has conferred the supreme legal validity upon interest groups. The purpose of interest groups is to participate in the power operation process and induce public power departments to formulate relevant policies to safeguard and expand their interests. The unique political system of the United States featuring the two-tiered federal system and the separation of legislative, executive, and judicial powers provides ample space for interest groups, making it possible for them to exert pressure on governments at all levels to influence US politics. Interest groups have struck deep roots in the US administration, Congress, and judicial system. Interest groups, political parties, and governments have become the three pillars of US politics. There are many ways for interest groups to operate. They can affect congressional legislation and future government decisions by providing funds, directly participating in the election process and helping certain candidates win elections; they can create public opinion and influence government decision-making by advertising, giving radio and television speeches, holding press conferences, producing movies, and adopting other methods; and they can exert a direct influence on government decisions by lobbying legislators and decision-makers. Decisions of the US government and congressional legislation are often the result of the competition among different interest groups.

 

利益集团就是金钱政治的标本。利益集团的活动处处离不开金钱,是联结金钱与权力的枢纽,其功能就是将金钱转化为政治影响力。利益集团的资金越充沛,它的政治影响力就越大,而金钱绝大部分掌握在富人手中。穷人也可以组成利益集团,但由于财政资源有限,注定不会发挥很大影响。真正能够发挥较大影响的还是一些企业集团或行业性组织,因为只有这些利益集团拥有足够的资金。例如,在2000年至2010年间,美国企业花在选举上的资金是工会的10倍。虽然2010年后企业和工会的政治支出限额取消了,但许多工会组织已达到其支付能力上限,无力进一步增加政治支出。相反,企业的政治花费急剧增加,影响力迅速扩大。企业加大政治投入当然是为了在政策制定中尽可能放大自身利益。

 

Interest groups are a typical example of money politics, and their activities are inseparable from money. Activities of the interest groups are the “hub” that connects money and power, and their function is to convert money into political influence. With more abundant funds, an interest group will enjoy greater political influence, and most of the money is in the hands of the rich. Poor people can also form their own interest groups, but due to limited financial resources, their interest groups can never exert much influence. It is the enterprise groups or industry organizations that can really exert great influence. This is because these interest groups have sufficient funds. For instance, between 2000 and 2010, US enterprises spent 10 times as much on elections as US labor unions did. After 2010, the expenditure limitations on the political spending of enterprises and labor unions were lifted. Under such circumstances, many labor unions are still unable to increase their political spending as they have reached the upper limit of their capacity to pay. On the contrary, enterprises’ political expenses have increased sharply, and their political influence has expanded rapidly. By increasing their political investment, enterprises of course plan to maximize their own interests in policy-making.

 

游说是金钱政治的重要实现方式。游说是一种美国特有的政治现象,游说腐败是美国政治制度与生俱来的痼疾。游说的法理依据是美国宪法第一修正案。根据宪法第一修正案的精神,美国制定了将游说活动合法化的法律。1938年的《外国代理人登记法》、1946年的《联邦游说管理法》、1995年的《游说公开法》和1998年的《游说公开技术法》形成了规范游说活动的法律体系。根据这些法律,美国允许各群体结成利益集团,相互竞争,影响国会立法和政府决策。因此,政治游说是美国政治过程不可缺少的一个环节。各利益集团雇佣说客,对国会议员及其助手进行游说,影响法案的制定和修改,谋求自身利益。40多年来,美国游说业发展迅猛,呈爆炸性增长态势。1971年,美国仅有175个注册说客,到1981年增加到2500个,2009年又增加到13700个。这意味着,平均每位美国参众两院的议员身边,有20多名说客出没。据不完全统计,在华盛顿的游说公司约有2000多家。利益集团在说客身上的花费与日俱增,1998年为14.4亿美元,2011年已狂飙至33.3亿美元,14年间增长幅度达131%。

 

Lobbying is an important way to implement money politics. Lobbying is a political phenomenon peculiar to the United States, and lobbying-induced corruption is an inherent dysfunction of the US political system. The legal basis of lobbying is the First Amendment to the US Constitution. In the spirit of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, the United States has formulated laws that legalize lobbying activities. The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938, the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act of 1946, the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) of 1995, and the Lobbying Disclosure Technical Amendments Act of 1998 form the legal system that regulates lobbying activities. Under these laws, the United States allows groups of people to form interest groups and compete against one another, affecting congressional legislation and government decisions. Therefore, political lobbying becomes an integral part of the US political process. Interest groups hire lobbyists to lobby members of the US Congress and their aides, influence the formulation and amendment of bills, and seek their own interests. Over the past 40-odd years, the lobbying industry in the United States has developed rapidly, showing explosive growth. In 1971, there were only 175 registered lobbyists in the United States, but the number quickly increased to 2,500 in 1981 and to 13,700 in 2009. This means that, on average, each member of the US Congress, including the House of Representatives and the Senate, is lobbied by more than 20 lobbyists. According to available (and incomplete) statistics, there are more than 2,000 lobbying companies in Washington D.C. Interest groups’ spending on lobbyists is increasing day by day, reaching $1.44 billion in 1998 and soaring to $3.33 billion in 2011, with a growth rate of 131 percent over those 14 years. 

资源下载此资源仅限VIP下载,请先
虚拟货币,支付后概不退回。
weinxin
英文巴士公众号
扫一扫,资讯早。
  • 版权声明 本文源自 新华网, 整理 发表于 2019年12月26日13:59:34