您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 观点 >> 正文

为文明和问“为什么”的权利而战

更新时间:2017-1-27 9:20:07 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Banal Belligerence of Donald Trump
为文明和问“为什么”的权利而战

The soldiers, millions of them, came home from the war. They dispersed across the country, in big towns and small. It was not easy to recount what had happened to them, and for the dead it was impossible.

数以百万计的士兵从战场归来,分散到全国各地的大小城镇。他们身上发生的事情一言难尽,对于死者更是不可能。

Something in the nature of their sacrifice was unsayable. The country was not especially interested. War had not brought the nation together but had divided it. The sudden flash, the boom, the acrid stench and utter randomness of death were as haunting as they were incommunicable.

他们的牺牲在本质上有某些不可言说的东西。国家对此不是特别感兴趣。战争没有为这个国家带来团结,而是带来了分裂。突如其来的闪光、爆炸、刺鼻的臭气和完全随机的死亡无法说出口,所以才那么阴魂不散。

This was war without victory, the kind that invites silence. For the soldiers, who fought in the belief that their cause was right and their nation just, the silence was humiliating. They bore their injuries, visible and invisible, with stoicism.

这是没有胜利的战争,是那种带来沉默的战争。那些士兵相信自己的事业是正义的,而他们的国家是正确的,对于他们来说,这种沉默是一种羞辱。他们坚毅地承受着自己身上看得见与看不见的伤口。

Resentments accumulated. The years went by, bringing only mediocrity. Glory and victory were forgotten words. Perhaps someone might mutter, “Thank you for your service.” That was it. There was no national memorial, for what would be memorialized?

怨恨在积累着。时光一年年过去,只带来平庸的生活。荣耀和胜利是被遗忘的字眼。也许有人会小声说一句:“感谢你的服务。”仅此而已。没有什么国家纪念碑,到底要纪念什么呢?

Savings evaporated overnight in an economic meltdown engineered by financiers and facilitated by the abolishers of risk.

一夜之间,他们的积蓄在经济危机中蒸发了,这个危机由金融家们制造,得到风险废除者的鼎力协助。

Democracy, the great diluter, slow and compromised, was inadequate for the expression of the soldiers’ emotions. Reasonable leaders with rational arguments could not assuage the loss. They seemed to belittle it with their parsing of every question and their half-decisions.

民主,这伟大的稀释剂,它迟缓、妥协,不足以表达士兵们的情绪。明事理的领袖提出理性的主张也不能减轻损失。他们似乎在用对每一个问题的语法分析和半青半黄的决策来表达轻蔑。

No, what was needed was a leader with answers, somebody to marshal a popular movement and cut through hesitations, a strongman who would put the nation first and mythologize its greatness, a figure ready to scapegoat without mercy, a unifier giving voice to the trampled masses, a man who could use democracy without being its slave.

不,他们需要的是一个带来答案的领袖,需要有人来组织一场民众运动,斩断那些优柔寡断;需要一个铁腕人士来把国家放在首位,让它的伟大成为传奇;需要一个可以毫不留情地找出替罪羊的人;一个能团结众人的人,让遭受践踏的大众发声;他可以利用民主,同时又不会成为民主的奴隶。

Over 15 years national embitterment festered and yearning intensified. But which 15 years? Anyone these days may be forgiven for moments of disorientation. The 15 years from the devastating German defeat of 1918 to the electoral victory (with 43.9 percent of the vote) of Adolf Hitler in 1933? Or the 15 years from the devastating 9/11 attack on the United States to the electoral victory (with 46.1 percent of the vote) of Donald Trump in 2016?

15年来,这个国家的愤懑日益加剧,而渴望也愈来愈强烈。但是,到底是哪15年?这些天来,任何人偶尔感到困惑都是情有可原的。是从1918年德国毁灭性的战败到1933年阿道夫·希特勒(Adolf Hitler)胜利当选(以43.9%的选票)这15年,还是从对美国的9·11袭击到唐纳德·特朗普在2016年胜利当选(以46.1%的选票)这15年?

National humiliation is long in gestation and violent in resolution.

国家耻辱会有漫长的酝酿和暴力的解决。

German soldiers, two million of them killed in the Great War, came home to fractious and uneasy democratic politics, the ignominy of reparations, the hyperinflation of the early 1920s, the crash of 1929, and the paralysis of a political system held hostage by the extremes of left and right.

共有200万德国士兵在一战中丧生,回国后又经历了令人沮丧不安的民主政治、战争赔款的耻辱、1920年代初期的恶性通货膨胀和1929年的大崩溃,政治体制由极左和极右翼轮流掌控,已经陷入瘫痪。

Some 2.7 million American soldiers came home to a country that had been shopping while they served in the Afghan and Iraqi wars, with 6,893 killed and more than 52,000 injured. They returned to an increasingly dysfunctional and polarized polity; to the financial disaster of 2008; to the mystery of what the spending of trillions of dollars in those wars had achieved; to stagnant incomes; to the steady diminishment of American uniqueness and the apparent erosion of its power.

大约有270万美国士兵从战场归来,他们在阿富汗战争和伊拉克战争中服役期间,这个国家在忙着购物。他们当中有6893人死亡,超过52000人受伤。他们回来,要面对日益运转不良和两极化的政体;2008年金融灾难;那些耗资数万亿美元的战争究竟有何收效成为不解之谜;收入不景气;美国的独特性持续减少,它的力量受到明显侵蚀。

Every American should look at the map in Kael Weston’s powerful book, “The Mirror Test.” It shows, with dots, the hometowns of U.S. service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. No state is spared. The map should be hung in classrooms across the country.

每个美国人都应该看看卡尔·韦斯顿(Kael Weston)那本震撼人心的书《镜子测试》(The Mirror Test)中的地图。它以圆点标出在伊拉克和阿富汗丧生的美国士兵的家乡。没有任何一个州幸免。这地图应悬挂在全国的教室中。

I have tried to tread carefully with analogies between the Fascist ideologies of 1930s Europe and Trump. American democracy is resilient. But the first days of the Trump presidency — whose roots of course lie in far more than the American military debacles since 9/11 — pushed me over the top. The president is playing with fire.

将法西斯意识形态盛行的1930年代欧洲与特朗普之间进行类比时,我力求谨慎。美国民主的适应能力很强。但特朗普担任总统的头几天——其根源当然远远不止于自9·11以来美国军事的溃败——便令我忍无可忍。总统是在玩火。

To say, as he did, that the elected representatives of American democracy are worthless and that the people are everything is to lay the foundations of totalitarianism. It is to say that democratic institutions are irrelevant and all that counts is the great leader and the masses he arouses. To speak of “American carnage” is to deploy the dangerous lexicon of blood, soil and nation. To boast of “a historic movement, the likes of the which the world has never seen before” is to demonstrate consuming megalomania. To declaim “America first” and again, “America first,” is to recall the darkest clarion calls of nationalist dictators. To exalt protectionism is to risk a return to a world of barriers and confrontation. To utter falsehood after falsehood, directly or through a spokesman, is to foster the disorientation that makes crowds susceptible to the delusions of strongmen.

如果像他所说的,美国民主的民选代表是毫无价值的,人民才是一切,这等于是在为极权主义奠定基础。这等于说,民主体系是无关紧要的,伟大的领导人和他所煽动起来的群众才是最重要的。“美国的浩劫”这样的表述,采用的是一种融合鲜血、土地和国家的危险语汇。他吹嘘“历史性的运动,世界从来没见过这样的事”,表现出极度的权欲熏心。他一再声明“美国优先”,是在吹响民族主义独裁者最阴暗的号角。他主张保护主义,其风险是回到一个充满壁垒和对抗的世界。他一再说出谎言,有时是自己直接出口,有时是通过新闻发言人,这是为了制造迷惑,使人群更容易受到铁腕领袖的感染。

Trump’s outrageous claims have a purpose: to destroy rational thought. When Primo Levi arrived at Auschwitz he reached, in his thirst, for an icicle outside his window but a guard snatched it away. “Warum?” Levi asked (why?). To which the guard responded, “Hier ist kein warum” (here there is no why).

特朗普种种骇人的主张有这样一个目的:那就是摧毁合乎情理的思维。抵达奥斯威辛集中营的普里莫·莱维(Primo Levi)想用窗外的一个冰锥解渴,但是守卫把它夺走了。 “Warum(为什么)?”莱维问。守卫回答,“Hier ist kein warum(在这里没有为什么)。”

As the great historian Fritz Stern observed, “This denial of ‘why’ was the authentic expression of all totalitarianism, revealing its deepest meaning, a negation of Western civilization.”

正如伟大的历史学家弗里茨·施特恩(Fritz Stern)所观察到的,“这种对‘为什么’的否认是所有极权主义的真实表达,揭示出它最深刻的意义,即对西方文明的否定。”

Americans are going to have to fight for their civilization and the right to ask why against the banal belligerence of Trump.

美国人要开始奋战了,为了自己的文明,还有向特朗普这种寻常中的挑衅争斗问出“为什么”的权利。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表