「台勞時代」的來臨

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.
—William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene I, ll. 203—6

人才問題已經在台灣的媒體上空喧囂了好一陣子。到這期的今週刊,名校畢業同學親身告白〈一名清華大學畢業生的澳洲打工血淚實錄〉,在網路上引爆了新一波轉載與評論的浪潮。

我的觀點很簡單,可能沒有辦法寫太多字(笑):我們以往一直是台勞,住在自己的家裡面、自己人開的代工工廠裡面,與世界脫鉤;在這種沒有鏡子的情況下,我們不曾照見自己的面容。(有點像是柏拉圖的洞穴人)自由市場讓我們,「多麼美麗的新世界啊!(Brave New World!)」赫胥黎擠著莎士比亞的鬼魂這麼說。一直到今日,自由才是如此真實的來到我們眼前,推廣自由的人這麼跟你說,「我從來都沒有說自由是不需要付出代價的啊。」一直到我們走到別人家裡做工,才赫然發現自己是人家的外勞,對自我的照見才終告完成。

「台勞時代」的來臨代表的是自我認識的一個階段結束。以往的無差別、共好共榮、均富三民主義模範省的幻夢正式結束。對政客們來說,他們只能夠說依法行政、謝謝指教;對民意代表來說,他們只會反映傳達某些重要 stakeholder 的聲音;對於媒體來說,需要有大量的利益糾結才能夠讓一個新聞台、一個頻道、一份報紙出現在眾人面前。新自由經濟正式接管公共領域與私部門。

對於勞動者的我們而言,我們早就已經是台勞了。「台勞時代」是給那尚未進入勞動市場,而又已經被註定命運的準勞動者的震撼教育「課程名稱」。在此,我想起了南非的曼德拉先生自傳 Long Walk To Freedom 裡面的 Xhosa 部落酋長在部落少年轉大人、成為一個部落年輕男人割禮時致詞的聲音(“The Ungrateful, Ignorant Man"):

There sit our sons,’ he siad, ‘young, healthy and handsome, the flower of the Xhosa tribe, the pride of our nation. We have just circumcised them in a ritual that promise them manhood, but I am here to tell you that it is an empty, illusory promise, a promise that can never be fulfilled. For we Xhosas, and all black South Africans, are a conquered people. We are slaves in our own country. We are tenants on our own soil. We have no strength, no power, no control over our own destiny in the land of our birth. They will go to cities where they will live in shacks and drink cheap alcohol, all because we have no land to give them where they could prosper and multiply. They will cough their lungs our deep in the bowels of the white man’s mines. destroying their health, never seeing the sun, so that the white man can live a life of unequalled prosperity. Among these young men are chiefs who will never rule because we have no power to govern ourselves; soldiers who will never fight for we have no weapons to fight with; scholars who will never teach because we have no place for them to study. The abilitie, the intelligence, the promise of these young men will be squandered in their attempt to eke out a living doing the simplest, most mindless chores for the white man. These gifts today are naught, for we cannot give them the greatest gift of all, which is freedom and independence. I well know that Qamata [God] is all-seeing and never sleeps, but I have a suspicion that Qamata may in fact be dozing. If this is the case, the sooner I die the better, because then I can meet him and shake him awake and tell him that the children of Ngubengcuka, the flower of the Xhosa nation, are dying.

曼德拉先生,當他是個年輕孩子的時候,他覺得很尷尬。因為這個老人家一點都不心懷感激、無禮又倨傲。然而這是這個酋長在他與其他年輕人心裡面種下的種籽,過了幾十年後,發芽長出了一棵大樹。這棵樹讓千千萬萬的人們能夠在樹下乘涼。

年輕同學,我曾經有跟其中的一些你們分享過這篇文章。你們還記得當時的尷尬情境嗎?(笑)當你看得懂這篇文章的時候,也許,這就是另外一顆種在你心中的種籽。有一天,他們會發芽。

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