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我們時代的十大悖論|維克托·漢森

作者:謝盛友  於 2018-6-14 01:30 發表於 最熱鬧的華人社交網路--貝殼村

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們時代的十大悖克托·

按:本文譯自胡佛研究所,英文標題:「Ten Paradoxes Of Our Age」66日),作者維克托·漢森(Victor Davis Hanson),古典學家、軍事史專家、胡佛研究所資深研究員。本文由DepthCharge  譯,萬吉慶 校。

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21紀正在提醒我們一些令人不安的事實。在國外,中國重商主義的崛起,伊朗、朝鮮核武器的幽靈,歐盟的緊張局勢,陷於僵化的巴勒斯坦問題,大規模移民,伊斯蘭恐怖主義的復活,圍繞這些問題的爭論都給我們提供了一些教訓。在國內,同樣富有教益的是奧巴馬精緻的進步主義與特朗普粗野的保守主義的奇怪地並存。以下是從目前爭論中得出的10條要

1. 費資本主義(consumer capitalism)的繁榮並不一定會催生憲政。(此處省略100字)。長期來看,更多的經濟增長可能會增進個人自由,但可能還需要一些先存條件或持續的政治改革,才能從經濟自由化中持續獲益

2. 經的擁核國家並不意味著一直是擁核國家。南非與烏克蘭大概都曾擁有核武器,而經過權衡利弊,他們都放棄或至少是取消了核計劃。在國際制裁和禁運之下,朝鮮很可能會退回石器時代,但也有可能最終放棄核彈道導彈。大多數反西方的擁核政權或有核抱負的政權,都需要結交可以利用的庇護國,或者這些國家本身經濟脆弱,又或者需要金錢來平息民怨。過去我們沒能阻止朝鮮獲得核彈道導彈,我們缺乏的並不是能力,而是意志力。伊朗的核抱負出於同樣的算計。伊朗同樣張牙舞爪、氣焰囂張——這並非源自其實力強大,而是出於對自身脆弱經濟的恐慌;伊朗的核資助國俄羅斯或者朝鮮都可能迫於壓力不再向其提供技術援助;此外,它也受困於國內不滿的民眾。伊朗和朝鮮都不想看到親西方的埃及、日本、沙特、韓國發展核武以獲得地區威懾力

3. 歐盟已經意識到,把一個成功的共同市場、有效的自由貿易和旅行區改造為一個泛歐洲民族國家的努力已經陷入危機。英國的脫歐、南北歐之間的財政緊張,東西歐在非法移民問題上的分歧,以及對一個侵略性德國再度復活的隱憂都在撕裂歐盟。歐盟的超國家政權很可能會被證明和拿破崙試圖建立的陸體制樣失敗。這樣的烏托邦式追求總是需要一定程度的強制,這與國家主權和民主政府相悖;需要一定程度的言論審查,這與西方言論自由相悖,這需要一群務實的社會工程師( 釋:social engineers,原文如此,保守主義者一般不用社會工程師這種提法,建構理性主義色彩太濃),類似於當年建立歐共體的前輩那樣,而不是像如今布魯塞爾的那些傲慢而好夸夸其談的官僚和野心家

4. 背井離鄉、逃到西方國家的非西方人——尤其是大規模的非法移民——們的人數越多,就越是諷刺性地在新國家複製他們試圖逃離的文化環境。遠古以來,所有的移民都會對母國自然而然地患上精神分裂——們會把自己抽象的原籍國浪漫化,同時,又在新家園獲得解脫,因為這裡不像他們拋棄的老家那樣糟糕。但是,歐洲在同化和整合移民以及族際通婚問題上表現得特別無能,中東移民也都非常不願意信奉歐洲的世俗主義和個人自由。這樣的結果很可能會釀成悲劇 

5. 19紀和20紀,德國的鄰國都害怕其武力、擴張主義和統一計劃,以及它失敗后的暴怒和復仇意志。現在德國的朋友和盟國再次表達了這種焦慮。中歐和東歐人民反對德國的開放邊境政策,以及對非法移民的若無其事。德國的鄰國都為其強制性的綠色能源方案感到困惑,同時德國在負債的南歐國家強力推行緊縮政策也正在歐洲引發分裂。2018年的德國並不像1946年或1989年那樣,但是民調常常顯示德國是最反美的歐洲國家

6. 東不是世界地緣政治上的中心。再搞一次阿拉伯石油禁運將會荒謬絕倫。真正的危機不是以色列與阿拉伯之間的緊張局勢,而是以色列及其阿拉伯鄰國對正在崛起的波斯什葉派勢力的恐懼。美國不再那麼顧慮中東石油對它的影響。巴勒斯坦貌似已經把他們的受害者形象、恐怖襲擊和起義玩過頭;慢慢地,西方國家會一致認為讓巴勒斯坦在約旦河西岸建成一個繁榮民族國家的觀點已經過時。如果從上世40年代末以來就被視為難民的巴勒斯坦人至今依舊被當成難民,那麼現代的蘇台德人、東普魯士人、俄羅斯哥薩克人、伏爾加德意志人、東南亞人、匈牙利人和大中東地區的猶太人也都是難民了

7. 西方文明面臨的重大直接危險不是飢餓、全球變暖、不平等或者宗教原教旨主義,而是肥胖、消費文化、烏托邦和平主義、文化多元主義、生育率下降、危及言論自由的政治正確、無力保護邊境以及無力創造一個根植於西方價值觀的共同文化、失去對超驗精神的信念以及缺乏對傳統、習俗的尊重。如今,西方面臨的挑戰,不僅僅是澳大利亞人、加拿大人、歐洲人、美國人日益失去為西方價值觀——正是這種值觀解釋了為何會有成群的移民來到他們的國家——辯護的能力,而是即使他們能夠為之發聲,他們也覺得不應該這麼做了

8. 現代立憲政府和新聞自由的巨大危險,不是來自於愚蠢而易於辨識的右翼種族主義和裝腔作勢的法西斯分子,而是正如喬治·奧威爾所預見的,來自巧舌如簧的社會空想家。樣危險的還有對他們俯首帖耳的媒體界,後者陰險地寬容行政國家administrative state)唱著平等、正義、公平的高調濫用權力。那些理應為侵蝕我們自由負責的,將不太可能是那些戴著墨鏡和肩章的雙下巴的將軍們,而是那些衣冠楚楚道貌岸然的、講著動聽的歷史決定論和美好烏托邦故事的人。對於民主政體而言,沒有什麼比一個相信自己是社會正義代理人、甘願放棄自治、並為了獲取政府奉承輕易放棄獨立性的媒體更加危險

9. 在西方憲政國家,政府的施政方嚮應該以經濟增長為目標,諸如3%的年GDP長、低於4%的失業率和中產階層人均收入的增長——而不是政府補貼、官僚規模和管制條例的增長。政府中同情心泛濫的那些人經常事與願違;那些極少提及同情的私營部門卻常常能幫到別人。一份好工作才是美好人生的源頭,而政府福利不是

10. 粗野在大眾政治中從來不受歡迎,正如我們如今在歐洲和美國所見。但如果短暫的粗野能夠瓦解破壞性的繁文縟節,並且是符合憲法的,那麼這樣的粗野對於精緻的制度化平庸也是一種可接受的解藥。時候,確保美國黑人失業率低於6%、並讓傳統上被忽略的求職者獲得僱主的青睞才是美國黑人確實命貴的最佳證明。每年3%經濟增長經常引出最低工資法是否有用的爭論——當僱主絕望地尋找新工人時,他們會很樂意漲工資,儘管當政府命令他們漲工資而他們又不太需要新工人時他們並不情願

現在西方世界處於混亂之中,主要是因為人們親眼所見的事實與統治階級為了達到所謂更大的善而強加給人們的間的鴻溝越來越大。結果便是精神分裂,就像蘇聯帝國崩潰前夕人們所見,那兒沒有人相信自己親身經歷的事實與媒體和政府所報道的事實有絲毫關聯。特朗普主義和歐洲的民眾運動都只是癥狀而已,真正的病根在於:統治精英所說的真相常常是謊言

英文原文:

Ten Paradoxes Of Our Age

by Victor Davis Hanson

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The 21st century is reminding of us of some uncomfortable truths. Abroad, recent controversies over the rise of Chinese mercantilism, the specter of Iranian and North Korean nuclear weapons, tensions in the European Union, the calcified Palestinian question, mass migrations, and the resurgence of Islamic terrorism all offer a number of lessons. At home, just as instructive is the strange juxtaposition between Obama』s suave progressivism and Trump』s coarse conservatism. Here are 10 takeaways from our current controversies.

  1. The prosperity of consumer capitalism does not necessarily lead to constitutional government. China』s haphazard embrace of quasi-market capitalism simply made Beijing richer, more regionally aggressive, and more internally authoritarian once the state allowed its elite and those who were well connected to make all the money they wanted. In the long term, more economic growth may enhance greater personal freedom, but there likely must be preexisting conditions or ongoing political reforms to benefit from economic liberalization.
  2. Once a nuclear power doesn』t mean always a nuclear power. Both South Africa and Ukraine likely possessed nuclear weapons and, after cost-benefit analyses, gave them up or at least cancelled their proliferation efforts. North Korea may well be reduced to the stone age by international boycotts and embargoes, but it will likely eventually give up its nuclear ballistic missiles. Most anti-Western nuclear and wannabe nuclear regimes require patrons that can be leveraged, or have economies that are vulnerable, or need money to keep volatile populations quiet. What was lacking in the past was not the ability, but the Western will, to stop a North Korea from gaining nuclear ballistic missiles. The same calculus is true of the nuclear aspirations of Iran. It, too, blusters and threatens--not from a position of strength, but from the fear that it is economically vulnerable; that its proliferation patrons Russia, China, or North Korea can be coerced into not extending technological aid; and that it is plagued by a restive population. Both Iran and North Korea have no desire to see pro-Western Egypt, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Taiwan go nuclear to achieve regional deterrence.
  3. The European Union has realized that its efforts to transform a successful common market and effective free trade and travel zone into a continental pan-European national state are in crisis. Brexit, north-south financial tensions, east-west schisms over illegal immigration, and fears of a resurgently aggressive Germany are tearing the EU apart. The EU super-state may well prove no more successful than Napoleon』s effort at a continental system. Such a utopian quest always demanded a level of coercion contrary to national sovereignty and democratic government, a level of censorship antithetical to Western free expression, and a group of pragmatic social engineers akin to those who formed the European Common Market rather than the contemporary cadre of impractical but haughty bureaucrats and careerists in Brussels.
  4. The more non-Westerners abandon their homelands and flee to the West—especially en masse and illegally—the more these immigrants ironically seek to replicate in their new country the very cultural conditions they forsook. All immigrants from time immemorial are naturally schizophrenic about their homelands—they romanticize their country of origin in the abstract, while experiencing relief that their new home is not like the old one they abandoned. But Europe is especially inept at assimilation, integration, and intermarriage, while Middle Eastern immigrants are particularly reluctant to embrace the Western secularism and personal freedom to which they flock. The result can become a toxic brew.
  5. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Germany』s neighbors feared its power, expansionism, and unification schemes, as well as its tendency to become petulant in its victimhood. Such anxieties are now being once more expressed by Germany』s friends and allies.  Central and Eastern Europeans oppose its policy of open borders and its nonchalance about illegal immigration. Germany』s immediate neighbors are confused over its mandatory green energy initiatives, while its policy of forcing mandatory austerity on indebted Mediterranean European nations is splitting apart the European Union. The Germany of 2018 is not that of 1946 or even that of 1989, but it often polls as the most anti-American nation in Europe.
  6. The Middle East is not the center of the geostrategic universe. Another Arab embargo would be absurd. The real crisis is not the tension between Israel and the Arab nations, but rather it is Israel and its Arab neighbors』 fears of an ascendant Persian Shiite Islam. The United States is no longer much leveraged by Middle East oil considerations. The Palestinians have seemingly overplayed their victim, terrorist, and intifada hands. Slowly, the West is coalescing to the view that it is past time for the Palestinians to build a prosperous nation-state on the West Bank. If Palestinians are still considered refugees from the late 1940s, then so too are contemporary Sudetenlanders, East Prussians, Russian Cossacks, Volga Germans, Southeast Asians, Hungarians, and Jews of the wider Middle East.
  7. The great immediate dangers to Western Civilization are not hunger, global warming, inequality, or religious fundamentalism, but obesity, consumer culture, utopian pacifism, multiculturalism, declining demography, the secular religion of political correctness that threatens the right to free speech, an inability to protect national borders and to create a common culture rooted in the values of the West, and an absence of belief in spiritual transcendence and reverence for past customs and traditions. The challenge is not just that Australians, Canadians, Europeans, and Americans increasingly cannot articulate the values that explain why throngs of immigrants migrate to their shores, but that even if they could, they feel that they probably should not.
  8. The great dangers to modern constitutional government and a free press come not from silly and easily identifiable right-wing racists and bumbling fascists, but rather, as George Orwell saw, from glib social utopians. Similarly dangerous are their compliant media enhancers who insidiously tolerate the abuses of the administrative state, in the exalted quest for equality, justice, and fairness. Those responsible for eroding our freedoms will not likely be jowled generals in shades and epaulettes, but the lean and cool in hip suits who speak mellifluously of a predetermined arc of history bending toward their utopian mandate. Nothing is more dangerous to democratic government than a media that believes it is an agent for social justice, voluntarily surrenders its autonomy, and sees the loss of its independence as a small price to pay for the adulation it receives from the state.
  9. The goal of government in a Western constitutional state should be conceived of in terms of economic growth, such as by achieving an annual GDP rate of 3 percent or greater, an unemployment rate of 4 percent or lower, and a rising middle-class per capita income—not an increase in state subsidies, state bureaucracies, and state regulations. Those in the state who exude empathy often cannot deliver it; those in the private sector who rarely mention compassion, often deliver it. A good job, not state sustenance, is the fountainhead of a good life.
  10. Crudity in popular politics, as now witnessed in Europe and the United States, is never to be welcomed. But if transient coarseness is sometimes the price of dissolving calcified and destructive norms, and is constitutional, then it is an acceptable antidote to suave institutionalized mediocrity. Proving that black lives do indeed matter is sometimes best achieved by ensuring the African-American unemployment rate is below 6 percent, and that traditionally neglected job-seekers gain leverage over employers. An economy growing at over 3 percent per annum usually renders arguments over minimum wage laws irrelevant—employers gladly increase wages when they are desperate for new workers though they are reluctant to do so when ordered by the state and are in not much need of new laborers.

The Western world is in turmoil largely because of the widening gap between what the people see as true and the 「truth」 that their governing classes impose on them for the purported greater moral good. The result is a schizophrenia like that seen before the collapse of the Soviet Empire, in which no one believed that the reality they lived had anything to do with the reality delivered by the media and the state. Trumpism and popular movements in Europe are simply symptoms of another problem—that what the ruling elite said was true was often a lie.

 

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發表評論 評論 (1 個評論)

回復 lancasor 2018-6-14 03:36
我說過,西方的智庫,無論多麼頂尖,都無法認清專制國家;西方的政客,無論多麼硬漢,骨子裡都是綏靖主義。

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