第五章 边区的社会
CHAPTER V

BORDER REGION SOCIETY
第二十四节 他们的生活改善了吗
24. Do They Live any Better?
  诸位读者想像过没有,在华北的穷乡僻壤做一个中国农民意味着什么?那里的农民几乎与现代科学和二十世纪文化完全隔绝,十分孤陋寡闻。他们没看过电影,没听过收音机,没乘过汽车。他们没穿过皮桂,没用过牙刷,也很少用肥皂。如果是山区人,也许一生只洗过两次澡,一次是结婚前,一次是死后。这并不是因为他们喜欢身上带泥,而是因为水很缺,只能省下来饮用。

  想想看, 这么贫困的物质生活能说明多少问题啊!想想看,人类生活在这样的环境里,最迫切需要的是什么?答案还不清楚吗:吃、穿、住,而最重要的是吃。
HAVE you ever considered what it means to be a Chinese peasant in the interior of North China? Almost completely outside the influences of modern science and twentieth-century culture, the peasant was a brutal, blundering backwoodsman. He had never seen a movie, never heard a radio, never ridden in a car. He had never owned a pair of leather shoes, nor a toothbrush and seldom a piece of soap. And if he was a mountain man, he perhaps bathed twice in his life - once when he was married and once when he died - not because he so much enjoyed wallowing in the dirt, but because water was scarce and could be spared only for drinking.

  Consider the immense implications of such a materially impoverished life. Consider what you as a human being would value most of all in such an environment as this. Is not the answer obvious: food, clothing, shelter, but above all food.

  华北农民的一句典型谚语是;“糠菜半年粮”。这话何等痛切啊!意思是说,在旧制度下,农民连粮食都没得吃,只能吃粮食的皮或壳。

  还有一句谚语更辛酸:“三天不吃糠,肚皮就难当。”是难当啊!过去不少人是因为连糠都没得吃而饿死的。

  根据华北贫穷地区的农民所谈,一日人一年一般只能吃到十斗小米。在产粮的富庶地区也只能吃到十四斗。

  不管是富庶地区还是贫穷地区,一个农民一年只能吃到一斤肉。这点肉等于美国人一顿就能吃完的猪排。

  在产棉区,农民平均一人一年有二斤四两棉布和同样多的原棉。而在非产棉区,就只有九两布和四两棉花了。

  A characteristic North China peasant proverb was the following: "Husks and vegetable peelings are foodstuffs for half a year." Truly startling revelation! It meant the peasant could not even eat grain under the old rule, but only the grain shells or husks.

  And the more bitter corollary: "If you don't eat husks for three days, it is hard to maintain the operation of the stomach." Hard indeed! And many people in the old days died for the want of even these husks.

  The average consumption of millet, from what peasants in the poorer areas of North China told me, used to be two and four-fifths bushels a year. In the richer grain-producing areas it was only four bushels a year.

  Rich area or poor area, the consumption of meat for the average farmer was only one and one-third pounds a year. Just about the weight of a good T-bone steak that you might gobble down at one sitting. In the cotton-producing areas, farmers used to get two and two-thirds pounds of cotton cloth and the same amount of raw cotton a year per person. In the areas where cotton was not produced, a man got only one pound of cloth and a half a pound of cotton.



  这些不过是数字,但它们揭示了农民的悲惨生活。人们有破衣烂裳穿就算是幸运的了。经常是两三个人合用一身衣服。父亲出门,穿了全家仅有的一条裤子,闺女只好光着屁股留在坑上。一条裤子夫妻合穿,怪不得晋北妇女无法出门下地呢。真是骇人听闻,这些封建经济的受害者多么令人同情啊。

  那么,共产党使情况改善了吗?组织变工队、恢复手工业,真是为了改善人民生活呢,还是巧设圈套,诱使农民为八路军生产物资呢?我只能向大家介绍农民对我讲的和我亲眼看见的。在产棉区和非产棉区,现在多数农民一年有三斤棉花。边区官员说,很快就要增加到三斤半。这是宣传么?也可能是。可是士兵和农民的穿着多半都比我几年前所见的要好。有些地方,人们仍然穿得很破,但夫妻合用一条裤子的事很少了。
  Figures. But those figures spelled tragedy for the peasant. A man used to be lucky to have rags. Suits were often shared between two and three people. When a father went out, he would put on the family pair of pants and leave his daughter naked on the bed. A?man and wife would split a pair of pants between them. No wonder in north Shansi women did not go out into the fields.

  You are stirred and appalled. You overflow with sympathy for such victims of feudal economy. But did the Communist make things any better? Were the labor brigades and the revived handicrafts really means of improving the people's livelihood or were they just subtle traps to snare the peasant into producing for the army? I can only tell you what the peasants told me and what I saw myself. In cotton-producing or non-cotton-producing areas, most of the peasants now had three and a half pounds of cotton a year. Border Region officials said they would soon make it four. Propaganda? Maybe. But for the most part soldiers and the peasants seemed better dressed than I had seen them a number of years before. In some places they were still in rags, but you could seldom find a man and a wife wearing the same pair of pants.

  在过去的华北和现在的蒋管区,新年对于富农和地主是吃喝玩乐的喜庆佳节,但对于贫农和佃户却是忧愁难熬的灾殃。佃户们被迫出门东躲西藏, 以逃避地主及其狗腿子追讨年关债。佃户要是不敢逃走,或是想留在家里过个团圆年,那么,为了还债,往往得把家里的东西抵个罄尽,只给老婆孩子留下糠皮,有时连糠都不剩。

  我访问解放区的时候,虽然看不到一个贫农在过年的时候吃得很丰盛,可是也看不到一个贫农跑到野地里躲债,看不到有哪一个农民为了抵债把闺女送给地主当丫鬟或者陪地主儿子睡觉。而你若是到了国民党统治区,就还会发现这些现像,绝非少见,而是非常普遍,天天都在发生。

  一到新年,农民的粮食早就吃完了,几百年来都是如此。这时只有地主还有余粮。可是我在新年期间路经华北平原的时候,看见许多人家的囤里储存着粮食,这是新解放区的情况。在老解放区,农民一般每三年就能积存出一年的储备粮。这是十分了不起的,这意味着在水旱之年农民就有了度荒的粮食了。甚至可能还意味着在将来(遥远的将来也罢),某一位新的赛珍珠想再写一部《大地》(写于蒋介石统治的兴盛时期的一本书),也无法找到背景材料了。

  在华北的某些地区,老乡们在过年的时候有端着饭碗出家门聚在一块儿吃的习惯。过去,富人聚在村东头吃白面馒头(这算是奢侈的食品),而穷人则聚在村西头喝稀糊糊。多么分明的阶级界限!从方位上和食物上就可以看出来。我在老解放区没有看到这种界限,人们统统聚在村子中央,吃的不是稀糊糊,甚至不是白面馒头,而是肉。不仅在春节是如此,而且在端午节、中秋节、元宵节部是如此。

  In the past in North China, and in the present in Chiang Kai-shek's areas, the New Year festival, instead of being a time of celebration and happiness, of feasting and merrymaking, as it was for the rich peasant or the landlord, was a period of bitterness and woe, of privation and horror for the poor farmer and the tenant. Flinging themselves out of doors and hiding in the fields, tenants would run from their landlord or his "dog leg" to avoid the New Year settlement day. If he dared not run away or wished to remain in the arms of his family over the holidays, the tenant, in order to pay his debts, would have commonly to strip his house, leaving his loved ones only husks, and sometimes not even that.

  In the Liberated Areas when I was there, you could not find a poor peasant enjoying a great banquet over the New Year holidays, but neither could you find him cowering in the fields to avoid his creditors, nor could you find a peasant who gave his daughter as a slave to the landlord or as sleeping companion to the landlord's son in order to fulfill his debts. However, if you go to Kuomintang areas, you will still find these conditions, not as a rare, but as a commonplace, everyday occurrence.

  The New Year holidays for hundreds of years have been the periods when the peasants' grain stocks are exhausted. During these periods only the landlord has surpluses. Yet in the New Year holiday fortnight that I traveled across the North China Plain I saw stocks of grain stored in reed-mat containers in many homes. And these were newly liberated areas. In the older areas, the peasant was generally able to get one year's grain surplus out of every three years. This was not without significance. It meant that in time of flood or famine the peasant had a crop reserve to see him through. Perhaps it even meant in the future - distant future, if you will - some new Pearl Buck could not find the conditions on which to base another Good Earth (a book written in the prosperous years of Chiang Kai-shek's reign).

  In certain sections of North China, it is the custom of the villagers to carry their bowls of food out of doors at New Year's time and eat together. In the past the rich would gather at the east end of the village and eat wheat (a luxury) bread; the poor would gather at the west end and eat a water gruel. True class distinction - one based on points of the compass and food! In the older Liberated Areas I found no such distinctions, for the people all gathered together in the middle of the village and they ate not gruel, not even wheat bread, but meat. And not just at the beginning of the year, but on the Dragon Boat, the Moon, and the New Year festivals.

  再看看“奢侈”品吧:过去,大多数人把一年能抽上两三支香烟当作一种了不起的享受;而在一九四七年,他们既能一天抽一支香烟了。这也算富裕么?当然不算。然而这总是进了一步,也是经济发展的一个迹象。为什么呢?因为手工业复兴了,不怕被机制洋货的倾销挤倒了。

  我在解放区旅行的几个月中,只是在与国民党统治区挨着的一个镇上见过一回乞丐。在蒋管区,一大群乞丐匍匐在你的脚下,声嘶力竭地哀告着: “老爷,老爷,可怜可怜吧!”有阅历的旅行者在共产党地区看不见这种乞丐,当然印像深刻。共产党并没有给农民带来十分了不起的经济利益,但是,他们使一直不可忍受的情况变得可以忍受了。他们给予农民的,是活命的机会和生活改善。这并不是说共产党一切都搞得尽善尽美了。他们还没有做到这一点,仍然可以看到童工,有些现像还很惊人。我见过十岁、十一岁的孩子被放到桶里,吊到五十尺深的煤窑里挖煤。我还见过农民在山间的小路上推独轮车,车上装满砂锅瓦盆,一头骡子都难以驮动。我还见过卷烟厂里有童工,一天要干八到十个小时的活。在这种情况下,要说解放区已经消灭了经济上的不合理现像,是无视事实的。

  薄政委声称边区百分之八十的人民在抗日战争时期改善了生活,如果完全相信他的这种说法,也是无视事实的。根据我的见闻,这显然言过其实。离家六、七年的八路军干部总是告诉我,他们回家乡后的第一个印像就是太穷。但是,正是因为这种穷才显出了共产党对改善人民经济生活所作的贡献。共产党控制仅两年的地区与控制已有五、六年的地区相比,情况完全不同。我常注意到,在穷山区的许多小村子里,情况要比富庶平原的大村子好得多。在山区,共产党的统治已有七年;而在平原,共产党的统治只是从日本投降后才开始。
  On the more luxurious side: In the past the great majority of the people thought it a great luxury to be able to smoke two or three cigarettes a year; by 1947 they could afford as much as one cigarette a day. Index of prosperity? No, of course not. But an advance. An indication of health. Due to what? Revived handicrafts that have no fear of being beaten down by the influx of machine-made goods from abroad.

  Except once, in a town on the borders of the Kuomintang areas, I did not see any beggars in all my months of travel through the Border Regions. The absence of those creatures that grovel at your feet in Chiang Kai-shek's areas, crying with hideous inferiority - "master, master, a little pity!" - could not but impress an experienced traveler going through Communist areas.

  The Communists had not brought tremendous economic benefits to the peasantry, but they had made hitherto unbearable conditions bearable. What they gave the peasant was a chance to live and an improved livelihood. This does not mean the Communists produced perfect conditions everywhere. They did not. You could still find child labor and some horrible examples of it, too. I have seen children, of ten and eleven years put in buckets and lowered down fifty feet below the ground into coal pits. I have also seen peasants wheeling over mountain trails wheel-barrows piled with so much pottery that a mule could hardly have carried it. And I have also seen children working in cigarette factories for eight and ten hours a day. Under these circumstances to say that the Liberated Areas had eliminated economic injustice would be to betray the truth.

  It would also be betraying the truth to take at face value Commissar Po's statement that the livelihood of 80 per cent of the people in the Border Regions had been improved during the Japanese war. From what I heard and saw, that was patently untrue. Eighth Route Army cadres who had been away from their homes for six and seven years always told me their first impression on going back to their native villages was the terrible poverty. But it was just this poverty that highlighted the Communist contributions to the people's economic welfare. For conditions in areas that had been under Communist control for only two years and those that had been under them for five or six were entirely different. It never failed to impress me that in many small villages the basically poorer mountain areas, conditions were far better than in larger villages on the richer plain. In the first case, the villages had been under Communist control for seven years; in the latter, only since the Japanese surrender.
  在老解放区的生活中出现了一种有意思的现像;有许多农民因为生活有节余,因为能从农业劳动中赚一点钱,也因为学会了算术,开始记帐了。下面是一位名叫石玉利的农民所记的帐,他家六口人,种十二亩地。

  收入:

  谷子 二石八斗
  玉米 八斗四升
  麦子 一石五斗
  豆子 二斗
  辣椒 二十五斤
  干小米 一百三十斤
  棉花 五百八十斤
  油菜籽 三百六十斤(值三十美元)
  卖布得 四十元
  卖棉花得 二十二元
  卖棉线得 七元六角

  支出:

  粮食 二石八斗
  玉米 八斗四升
  豆子 二升
  盐 七十二斤 八元四角
  煤 七百三十斤 十元
  药费 四元
  色布 十二元
  修房子 二十元
  杂项 十元

  这一年,这位农民有19.10美元的盈余和四个月的小米储备。对于美国人来说,这些数字像小菜园的数字, 而不像一个农户的数字。可是在中国,这些数字却反映了余、缺之间的差别,过得起日子和揭不开锅之间的差别。

  An interesting feature of life in the older Communist regions was that many farmers, because they had surpluses, because they could make a little profit out of farming and because they had learned to figure, had begun to keep budgets. Here is the budget of a farmer named Shih Yu-li who had a family of six and two acres of land.

  Income

8 bushels of grain
2.4 bushels of Indian corn
4.5 bushels of wheat
0.3 bushels of beans
33 pounds of peppers
170 pounds of dried millet

670 pounds of cotton
400 pounds of oil seeds. (worth $15)
cloth sold for $20
cotton sold for $11
spinning yarn sold for $3.80

  Expenses

8 bushels of grain
2.4 bushels of Indian corn
0.3 bushels of beans
80 pounds of salt (costing $4.20)
8 pounds of coal ($5)
medicine ($2)
dyed cloth ($6)
repair house ($10)
miscellaneous $5

  For the year, the farmer had a profit of $19.10 plus a four-month millet reserve. To an American, such figures must sound more like the figures for a garden than for those of a farm. But in China these figures spelled the difference between surplus and lack, between a healthy existence and starvation. From these and similar statistics I could only conclude that the farmers of North China would fight hard in defense of their government and in co-operation with the 8th Route Army against Chiang Kai-shek.

  从这些数字和类似的统计中,我只能得出这样的结论:华北的农民会以顽强的战斗来保卫自己的政府,支援八路军,反对蒋介石。到此为止,我已探讨了共产党区域内一个边区的历史、政治和经济。在这里,虽然我发现了不少有教益的问题,但是并没有找出任何导致共产党取得内战胜利的因素。

  毫无疑问,中国独裁者所拥有的经济与生产的机器,与解放区的经济相比,要占有极大的优势。从这一点看,共产党的经济永无希望战胜蒋介石的经济。边区有希望做到的,只是能生产出足够的东西,来维持战场上的部队,维持一个政府,维持人民的衣食,使他们满意,直至有朝一日,其他因素能使中国的内战的形势急转直下。

  这些因素是什么呢?多得很,但都可以用“革命”两个字加以归纳。

  要理解蒋介石及其装备精良的部队为什么会被中国共产党打败,我认为必须从更广的角度来考察这一革命。为此,我们将暂时离开解放区,回溯一下漫长的中国历史。这样,当我们回过头来再看本书一大部分篇章所描写的恐怖、暴力和残杀时,也许就更容易理解了。

  By now I had studied the history, government and economy of one Border Region in Communist territory, but in this study, though I had discovered many lessons, I bad not discovered anything that added up to victory in the civil war.

  For there was no question that the economic and productive machine owned by China's dictator was far superior to the economy of the Liberated Areas. In view of this circumstance, Communist economy could never hope to overcome the economy of Chiang Kai-shek. All the Border Regions could hope to do was to produce enough to keep an army in the fields, to support a government and to clothe and feed the people and keep them content until such time as other factors brought about a change in China's civil war.

  What were those factors? They were many, but they could all be combined under one word: revolution.

  To understand why Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his well-equipped armies were defeated by the Chinese Communists, I think it is necessary to examine some of the broader aspects of this revolution. Such an examination will take us for a moment out of Red Territory and lead us into a long detour through Chinese history. But perhaps we can return better armed to understand the terror, violence and murders which occupy a great part of the rest of this book.