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  • Theses

公司流變- 十九世紀檳城華人「公司」體制的空間再現

Becoming COMPANY: a study of the Chinese KONGSI as ‘régime of labour’ dwelling on its spaces of representation in nineteenth-century Penang

Advisor : 夏鑄九

Abstracts


摘 要   中文名詞公司是當今工商營利團體最廣泛採用的經營體制的用語,它代表的實體,是資本主義體系中工商資本為了個別營利目的成立的資本單元。現代公司之組成,著重算計本身財稅狀況與普遍意義的效率與盈虧;而並無須關乎對替公司服務的生產者身心勞動顯現意義的勞動目的與內容,以做為公司構成的必要條件;它事實上是做為資本營利單元而存在,甚過於以它的人員構成,或它的生產類屬等,所擁有那些不可置換的具體特質為條件。   既有之研究關於公司詞彙來源的歷史環節有一段重大脫落,亦即,公司之在現代正規中文語意關係中的標準意義,似乎難以關聯上歷史中華南與南洋普遍使用的方言名詞:「公司」的原義。歷史之華南暨南洋地方性語言中,「公司」含義具有許多面向,與今天大不相同。歷史資料顯示,「公司」最廣泛的含義,幾可指涉當時地方所有華人的政治性、社會性、經濟性、文化性組織結社,這已不同於只存在於現代經濟法制規定下的公司;「公司」語義其中一個典型,指排除性極高的地緣氏族,如在檳城的福建漳州海澄三都新江社的「龍山堂邱『公司』」,這是限於村社與姓氏宗族交集範疇內的一種社群。19世紀很長的一段時間裡,「公司」的字面(符徵)曾表徵(指述)了同時存在的許多「公司」現象(符旨),表面上有很大幅度的不一致與不連貫。它們有令殖民政府頭痛而備加提防的神秘私會黨「公司」;有前往南洋殖民地荒疆從事生產、拓墾、經營的礦山與種植園苦力勞工,組成在生產、再生產事務上自治、互助之「公司」;有在華南與南洋海域間從事遠洋貿易的海商海民組成的帆船海事「公司」;有超越地緣村社、家庭、宗族樊籬,而為喪葬互助事宜結合的義山「公司」;有承包地方煙、賭、酒等嗜癮性消費之事業稅餉的「餉碼承包『公司』」;以及依循資本所有、業務經營分立原則組成的投資事業股份公司。這些「公司」現象序譜未必儘如表面上看來是互無交集的孤立主體。本文的問題意識,則發軔於這一切紛沓之「公司」現象,以及這段「公司」-公司語意的歷史脫落,可能存在之異相主體間之貫通;或同一主體流轉變遷過程的歷史推論。   本文以「『公司』勞動體制」為闡釋「公司」組織形構的分析概念,而針對那受到近代西方資本主義世界體系影響的區域脈絡,分析華人「公司」存在與轉變的狀況。檳城,是華南的海民與商民近代以來遊寓南洋所及,距離最遠的華人聚落,也正是做為西方殖民資本主義先遣代表之一的英國東印度公司,自從重拾前進中國的商略圖謀以來,最早建立的南洋港市。時間正值英國產業革命與拿破崙戰爭的歷史關鍵。做為英國海外冒險商業資本之代表的英國東印度公司政體與組織,與華人傳統之「公司」商工勞動組合在檳城相遇,也許不是歷史的偶然。但是華人「公司」勞動組合自治團體的方言名稱,其後因為這段期間與它的對手-那得到國家政府有商業資本支持的公司政體-發生遭遇,「公司」反而變成指稱後者的名詞。這就未必不是歷史的誤會,或逕曾表達了一個歷史的嘲諷:雖然兩種實體在19世紀的大部分時期都曾經演化,「公司」勞動體制在這個歷程的後期已被公司吞噬,它的名字則被後者潛奪。當兩者交遇途中,19世紀初的某一時刻,當它們的本體、面貌、境遇顯現等量齊觀,則兩個組織實體(符旨)首次被冠以同一名稱標籤(符徵)。命名與譯名的權威性或可被質疑,但這段初次遭遇而產生的密切接觸過程,造成一個重要名詞不可避免的轉用,不無透露值得分析的重要訊息。   本文各部分與章節的階段性結論,是分別針對檳城暨南洋華人「公司」組織形構歧異的面貌或其流變進行分析的結果,均陳述近代西方資本主義空間生產的世界性影響。後者這個體系對本文所論「公司」形構的影響介質、途徑、與效果都可說是空間性的:它倚藉了對空間性表徵的先制權。因而,空間是本文分析的首要標的。此外,本文給予再生產性祭祀勞動以較高權衡,甚於對生產性勞動或純粹經濟性勞動事實的分析份量,則意在探索勞動定義的邊界,因此研究乃萃注於文化性空間生產的勞動實踐。

Parallel abstracts


Abstract The modern meaning of the standard Chinese KONGSI signifies a business enterprise. This sense only constitutes one of the many meanings that its equivalent English word COMPANY has. Same was to the dialectal kongsi in the preexisting context of several age-old southern Chinese provincial languages, including, at the least Hokkien and Hakka, of which the word might have possessed. KONGSI represents an entity which is most widely adopted by modern entrepreneurial capital as operating unit in going after its sole profit. Modern KONGSI makes much of the abstract value and universal assessment of efficiency and monetary gains rather than peculiarity of unalienable human labour as well as inalterative core in what they produce. There is major rupture in current literature on the historical origins and evolutional links of KONGSI, between its meaning in twentieth-century standard Chinese as the translation of COMPANY, and the convention that the phenomena which were called kongsi in provincial dialects took on a variety of appearances in nineteenth-century South China and Southeast Asia. Historical evidence indicates that, the dialectal kongsi, in its broadest sense, could mean all types of voluntary associations in the time. Notwithstanding, varying and conflicting images prevailed. A unique case had been one of the exclusive same dialect-surname-village clans renowned locally for being wealthy and powerful, such as, one of the Hokkien speaking Big Five Surname Clans (‘Goh Tai Seh’) of Penang, Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, from Zhangzhou Prefecture of southern Fujian. Cemetery kongsi following demarcation along dialect lines would have been one of the more inclusive type. There were troublesome secret society kongsis whose activities aroused suspicion and oppression from the colonial government. There were autonomous mining and plantation coolie kongsis pioneered the colonial inland frontier of the East Indies. There were maritime merchant kongsis sailed the Eastern Seas carried area Junk Trade already for centuries. Furthermore, there were relatively recent revenue farming kongsis attempted entrepreneurship in opium, gaming, and liquor tax farming monopolization in colonial entrepots. Finally, apart from the patriarchal tradition, there was emerging kongsi breed which took to the new way conterminous to a corporate form of modern COMPANY. The thesis comes at the hypothetic points on the apparent problematics of the phenomenal diversity against the substantival coherence, i.e., they are all under the identical signifier of kongsi. The study takes key concept of ‘régime of labour’ in analyzing historical formation and transformation of the substance (the signified) of the very entity of kongsi. Dissertation focuses on Southeast Asia, for the area came under impact at the frontal progression of modern World System in early nineteenth-century, with Penang as contextual stage where COMPANY and kongsi first encountered. Both occurrences of the substance changes on each of COMPANY and kongsi, and of the transformation of kongsi (as substance) into Chinese equivalence of COMPANY, did end up with COMPANY (as substance) taking over the dialectal name of kongsi. History might have led to this misalliance of the substantive (in this case, the signifier KONGSI) to the substance it was supposed to signify. While KONGSI in standard Chinese survived in use, kongsi nonetheless foredoomed. As history stands, kongsi in its substance, had then been ancien régime readily outmoded by the modern. Provisional conclusions reached at each chapter progressively draw up total picture of the systemic influence of the modern capitalist production of space over the ever transitory existence of kongsi. Space, or spatial representations rather, was medium whereby modernist aggressor gained its forestall. Space is therefore the discursive mainstay built-in with methodology of this study. Not only representations in the form of city and architecture are received as major objectives of the study, ritual praxis in labour is also given centralized heed. Ritual labour is emphasized, vis-à-vis the more usual economically producing labour. The study intends to explore the boundary within which labour contributes towards cultural domain in the course of its ritual production.

References


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