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信任危机的年代

更新时间:2016-9-21 10:01:44 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Age of Distrust
信任危机的年代

ATHENS — I have a profound respect for the intelligence of the voter. Winston Churchill is often quoted as saying that the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter, but more important is what he actually said in the House of Commons on Oct. 31, 1944: “At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper — no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly palliate the overwhelming importance of that point.”

雅典——我对选民的智慧有着深深的敬意。人们经常引用温斯顿·丘吉尔(Winston Churchill)的话讲,反驳民主的最佳方式就是和普通选民进行5分钟的谈话,但更重要的是他在1944年10月31日于下议院真正说过的话:“在体现民主的所有事物中,最根本的是一个小人物走进一个小小的投票间,拿一支小小的笔,在一张小小的纸上划一个小小的勾——多少虚华辞藻,多少冗长辩论都无法削弱这一点的重要性,其程度是压倒性的。”

Nobody, looking back at the first 16 years of this century, can suggest that the political, economic and financial elites who brought you the euro crisis, the war in Iraq, the Great Recession of 2008, growing inequality and (at least until last year in the United States) middle-class income stagnation have not made some very serious mistakes, of very enduring consequences, with very startling impunity. This has not been lost on the little woman with the little pencil in the little booth.

回望本世纪的前16年,没人能说政治、经济和金融精英们没有犯下一些非常严重的错误。他们带来了欧元危机、伊拉克战争、2008年的大衰退、日益加重的不平等,以及中产阶级的收入停滞(至少直到去年美国还是如此)。这些错误产生了影响极为深远的后果,他们却令人震惊地免于受罚。这些都没有逃过小小投票间里拿着一支小小的笔的小女子的眼睛。

No wonder experts are increasingly viewed as being in the business of bamboozling for their own ends. Ordinary folk reckon the system is rigged, that elites are not in it for the people but, rather, the money. This is the Age of Distrust. No two presidential candidates have ever been as distrusted as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

难怪人们越来越觉得专家们是为自身目的在玩骗人的把戏。普通人觉得这个体系被人暗中操纵,精英分子参与其中不是为民众服务,而是为了敛财。这是一个没有信任的年代。从不曾有哪两位总统候选人像唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)和希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)那样不被信任。

The grave mistakes that I have mentioned occurred in the midst of a technological whirlwind that moved factories offshore and migrants onshore, and offered huge opportunity for the initiated at the hubs of globalization’s churn while stripping many outlying places and outcast people of their raison d’être.

前面提到的严重错误发生在一场技术旋风袭来的过程之中,它导致工厂移至海外,移民涌入,在为那些位于全球化浪潮中心并了解情况的人提供巨大机遇的同时,也令许多偏远地区和被社会抛弃的人失去了存在的意义。

Technology is a wonderful thing if you are putting it to use, less so if it is putting an end to your usefulness.

如果你是在运用技术,它的确是个了不起的东西,但如果是它在让你变得无用,就不好这么说了。

Many people in our liberal democracies feel they are being tossed hither and thither by forces beyond their control — nowhere more so than in Greece where national elections in recent years — and there have been a lot of them — have revealed an almost complete disconnect between the vote itself and any tangible effect. What then is democracy, a mere game?

在我们自由民主的社会里,很多人感觉自己正被无法控制的力量抛过来,扔过去。在这方面,希腊人感触尤深。最近几年希腊进行的全国选举——次数可不少——暴露出,选票本身几乎带不来任何实质的改变。那民主到底是什么,只是一个游戏吗?

There has been another whirlwind, a cultural one. As Sylvie Kauffmann has suggested, when Poland’s foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, says the world must not move in a single direction — “toward a new mix of cultures and races, a world of cyclists and vegetarians” — he is expressing a nativist anti-liberal resurgence.

还有另一场旋风,文化的旋风。就像西尔维·考夫曼(Sylvie Kauffmann)曾经提到的,当波兰外交部长维托尔德·瓦什奇科夫斯基(Witold Waszczykowski)说世界一定不能只朝一个方向——朝着各种文化、种族的新混合体,朝一个骑自行车者和素食者的世界——前进时,显示出的是本土主义和反自由情绪的复苏。

All this unease has been compounded by the sense of insecurity instilled by jihadi terrorism and other violence. A bombing in New York and a stabbing attack at a Minnesota mall are still under investigation, but whatever their origin they will impact an already tense American election.

所有这些忧虑因圣战恐怖主义和其他暴力引发的不安全感而加剧。纽约发生的爆炸事件,和明尼苏达州一座商场内的持刀袭击事件还在调查之中,但不管源头是什么,它们都会对已经颇为紧张的美国大选产生影响。

All this is the backdrop to Trump, to Marine Le Pen in France, to Brexit, to the nationalist governments dominating central Europe, to the rise in Germany of the rightist Alternative für Deutschland, to the vogue for authoritarian models — in short to the challenges facing liberal democracies. Marx noted that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. The British exit from the European Union was the exception — simultaneous tragedy and farce, a disaster abetted by lies, energized by a buffoon and consummated in mayhem.

正是在这样的背景下,特朗普、法国的马琳·勒庞(Marine Le Pen)登上舞台,英国脱欧,民族主义政府主导了中欧,德国右翼政党另类选择党(Alternative für Deutschland)崛起,专制模式风行——简言之,自由民主面临各种挑战。马克思曾经指出,历史会重演,第一次是悲剧,第二次则是闹剧。英国脱欧则是一个例外——它既是悲剧也是闹剧,是一场由谎言煽动的灾难,由一个小丑激发,在骚乱中达到顶峰。

This was the moment when it became irrefutable that some of the very foundations of the postwar world and the spread of liberal democracy — free trade, free markets, more open borders, fact-based debate, ever greater integration — had collapsed.

那一刻,我们目睹了一个不争的事实:战后世界和自由民主制度赖以传播的基石——自由贸易、自由市场、更开放的边界、基于事实的辩论和不断深入的融合——已经崩塌。

I am pessimistic in the short-term, optimistic in the long-term.

我对短期的未来感到悲观,但从长远看,又是乐观的。

I am pessimistic because the problems cannot be righted in short order. Politicians are going to have to work very hard to earn back the trust of the people. A serious issue exists with what Stephen Walt of Harvard University has called the “ruling elites in many liberal societies and especially the United States, where money and special interests have created a corrupt political class that is out-of-touch with ordinary people, interested mostly in enriching themselves, and immune to accountability.” This has to end.

之所以悲观,是因为这些问题无法迅速得到纠正。政客们不得不费尽心力,才能赢回民众的信任。还有一个严重的问题存在于哈佛大学的史蒂芬·沃尔特(Stephen Walt)曾描述过的状况:“在许多自由社会,尤其是美国,金钱和特殊利益催生了一个脱离普通民众的腐败政治阶层,这些社会精英们大多只对肥私感兴趣,而且免于被问责。”这种状况必须终结。

Democracy has to deliver — not just to the rich but the most vulnerable. This is a fundamental lesson of recent times.

民主必须不负所望——不只是对富人,还有最弱势的群体。这是我们近些年收获的一个根本教训。

When democracy creates wealth on a broad scale there is no tension between it and capitalism. But when that is not the case, the value of democracy becomes less clear to some. There are tremendous tensions between democratic national sovereignty, open global markets and mass migration.

当民主在广泛的范围内创造财富,它与资本主义之间就不存在对立。但如果情况并非如此,对有些人来说,民主的价值就变得不那么清晰。在民主国家主权、开放的全球市场和大规模移民之间,就会产生巨大的矛盾。

The answer is not to build walls. Western societies need to build education and innovation and opportunity. A time of great uncertainty is upon the world.

解决这些问题的办法不是修建围墙。西方社会需要的是发展教育,促进创新,创造机会。存在极大不确定性的时代已经来临。

Still, I believe in the resilience of liberal democracy, in the little man in the little booth. Greece knows that the democratic idea is stubborn.

但我依然对自由民主的复元能力充满信心,对小投票间内的小人物充满信心。希腊知道,民主理念有着顽强的生命力。

Technology has prized the world open. Nobody — not Vladimir Putin, not Xi Jinping, not Trump — can shatter that interconnectedness. Nor can anybody quash forever the human desire to be free and to live under the only form of government consistent with that desire — representative government installed with the consent of the people.

技术已经打通了这个世界。不管是弗拉迪米尔·普京、习近平还是特朗普,没人能粉碎这种互联性。也永远没有人能压制人们追求自由的心,无法压制他们想要生活在唯一与这种愿望一致的政府形式之下的渴望。

Liberalism demands acceptance of our human differences and the ability to mediate them through democratic institutions. It demands acceptance of multiple, perhaps incompatible truths. In an age of polarization and vilification this may seem a lofty aspiration. But democracies have a habit of rising to the challenges they face.

要实现自由主义,需要接受人类的差异,要有能力通过民主制度调和这些差异,还要能接受多个甚至相互冲突的真理。在一个趋向两极化和诋毁成风的年代,这似乎是一个高不可攀的志向。但民主制度有一种习惯,那就是振奋精神,接受挑战。

Democracies need to be challenged, unlike dictatorships that fear broad challenge because it may cause them to buckle. Challenge in democracies is also rebirth.

民主需要被挑战,这与独裁不同,后者害怕面临广泛的挑战,因为它们可能会因此垮掉。但对民主而言,挑战也意味着重生。

Respect the intelligence of voters. Sooner or later they come to their senses. Churchill was kicked out of office in an election in 1945, just months after defeating Hitler. Talk about gratitude. He was re-elected in 1951.

尊重选民的智慧。他们迟早会恢复理智。1945年刚刚打败希特勒几个月,丘吉尔就在一场选举中被赶下台。哪里看得到什么感恩。但1951年,他便再次赢得了大选。

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