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【经济学人】美式乌托邦 ︱ 取经号


导读


乌托邦是柏拉图笔下的“理想国”,是庄子书中的“无何有之乡”。乌托邦这个词源于希腊语,可以意为“没有的地方”,也可以意为“好地方”。也许很时候这个词代表着理想的但不实际的世外桃源,但这次让我们一起来体验一下实现世界中的完美天堂。


正文



American Utopianism

美式乌托邦


Short-lived, much loved

短命的狂热


How American idealists withdrew from the mainstream to create their own paradise

美国理想主义者退避俗世,自建天堂。

Feb 20th 2016 | From the print edition 


UTOPIANISM in politics gets a bad press. The case against the grand-scale, state-directed kind is well known and overwhelming. Utopia, the perfect society, is unattainable, for there is no such thing. Remaking society in pursuit of an illusion not only fails, it leads swiftly to mass murder and moral ruin. So recent history grimly attests.


乌托邦主义在政治上不是个好词,现在的主流观点是反对大规模、政府主导的事物。乌托邦这个完美的社会,则是可望不可及的海市蜃楼。强行让社会追求一个虚无缥缈的幻觉不只会以失败告终,也会很快走向大规模屠杀和道德崩溃,这已经被近代历史证实了。


Although true, that is just half the story. Not all modern Utopians aim to seize the state in order to cudgel the rest of the world back to paradise. Plenty of gentler ones want no more than to withdraw from the mainstream and create their own micro-paradise with a few like-minded idealists. Small experiments in collective living swept America, for example, early in the 19th century and again late in the 20th.


尽管这是事实,但并不全面。并不是所有的现代乌托邦都致力于夺取政权,并用暴力把世界改造成伊甸园。很多温和派乌托邦主义者充其量只希望退隐俗世,和一群志同道合者建造一个属于自己的微型天堂。从19世纪初到20世纪末,美国各地都有这些群居者的身影。


Most failed or fell short. None lasted. All were laughed at. Yet in this intelligent, sympathetic history, Chris Jennings makes a good case for remembering them well. Politics stultifies, he thinks, when people stop dreaming up alternative ways of life and putting them to small-scale test.


这种实践大都是失败的或者受人嘲笑。 Chris Jennings在他的书《现世天堂:美国乌托邦发展史》(《Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism.》)中记录了这段凝聚着前人智慧的而又令人同情的历史。他认为,如果人们停止对于另一种生活方式的梦想并不再付诸于实践,则是政治的停滞。


Though with occasional glances forward, Mr Jennings focuses largely on the 19th century. At least 100 experimental communes sprang up across the young American republic in the mid-1800s. Mr Jennings writes about five exemplary communities: the devout Shakers, Robert Owen’s New Harmony, the Fourierist collective at Brook Farm, Massachusetts, the Icarians at Nauvoo, Illinois, inspired by a French proto-communist, Etienne Cabet, and the Oneida Community in New York state practising “Bible communism” and “complex marriage”.


尽管书中偶尔会展望未来,Jennings把大部分笔墨放在了19世纪。19世纪中期,至少有100个实验性的公社在年轻的美利坚合众国中,如雨后春笋般萌芽般诞生。Jennings描述了其中5个典型的社区:虔诚的震教徒(一个基督教的分支教派——译者注),罗伯特·欧文的新和谐村,傅里叶空想社会主义者在布鲁克农场和马萨诸塞州的公社,继承了法国共产主义者Etienne Cabet的伊卡洛斯派在纳府和伊利诺伊的公社,以及纽约的奥奈达社区(实践了“圣经共产主义”和“群婚”模式)。


The Shakers’ founder was a Manchester Quaker, Ann Lee, a devout mother worn out by bearing dead or dying children. In 1774 she left for the New World, determined to forswear sex and create a following to share her belief. An optimistic faith in human betterment, hard work and a reputation for honest trading helped the Shakers thrive. At their peak in the early 19th century, they had perhaps 5,000 members scattered in some 20 villages across eight states. They counselled celibacy, to spare women the dangers of child-bearing, made spare, slim furniture, now treasured in museums, and practised a wild, shaking dance that was taken as a sign of benign possession by the Holy Spirit.


震教徒派创始人是一位名叫Ann Lee的曼彻斯特贵格会教徒,她虔诚却饱受丧子之痛。1774年,她决定开创一个新世界,她誓言禁欲并找到了志同道合的信徒。对于人类进步的乐观信心、努力工作、以及诚实交易使得震教徒派得以发展壮大。到了19世纪早期,教派发展到了鼎盛时期,在美国8个州的20个村子里散布着约5000名信徒。他们提倡独身禁欲,向妇女劝导生孩子的危险,制作现已被收藏于博物馆的细长家具,并跳一种狂野而颤抖的舞蹈,这被看作是圣灵良性附身的征兆。


Robert Owen, a British mill-owner and reformer, treated private property, along with organised religion and marriage, as a social scourge. In 1825 he bought land for a farm-and-factory commune in Indiana. It attracted farmers, artisans and intellectuals. Tools, food and housing were free. The commune had mixed-sex schools and a library. It sponsored scientific research. Without a shared faith or purpose, however, the members split into competing groups. By 1827, Owen’s secular community had disbanded. The difficulty of pursuing micro-communism in a capitalist society also dogged Cabet’s American followers. His New World Icarians split into several rival groupings. Shakers, Owenites and Icarians focused, each in their own way, on duties. They sought to tame human selfishness. Gloomy as he looked in portraits, the Frenchman Charles Fourier concentrated on fun. His writings inspired the Brook Farm commune near Boston and, less directly, Oneida. Fourier wanted to free people’s instincts so that everyone, especially women, might lead a life of varied enjoyments and sensual delight. Stripped of emphasis on sex, Fourier’s message that a good life was a cultivated life, not one of striving and work, appealed to New England intellectuals who formed Brook Farm’s core.


罗伯特欧文是英国一个工厂的厂长,同时他也是一位改革家,他把私有财产同有组织的宗教与婚姻归为社会灾祸。1825年,他在印第安纳州购买了农场,建造了将农场与工厂集一身的公社,吸引农民、艺术家与学者前往。工具,食物与住房都是免费提供,还有男女混合制的学校与图书馆。此外,公社还赞助科学研究。然而因没有共同的信仰或目的,公社内部发生分裂,成员间相互争斗。到了1827年,欧文的这个非宗教团体也解散了。在美国这样一个追求内阁政策的资本主义国家中,想要追求微型公社,困难重重。欧文的新世界Icarians分裂成几个敌对群体。无论是震教徒,欧文的组织还是Lcarians,都以他们各自的方式关注职责,都寻求驯化人类自私的心理。法国人查尔斯傅里叶关注于这其中的乐趣,尽管他在肖像画里看起来很忧伤。但他的著作鼓舞了波斯顿附近的“小溪农场”公社,还间接影响了奥奈达一带。傅里叶想要解放人们的本能以便每个人,尤其是女性,都尽可能的过上享受多种娱乐与感官愉悦的生活。他传递的信息不再只具有强调性,而是指好的生活,即耕种生活,并不是奋斗与工作的生活之一,这一观点对于“小溪农场”核心力量,一些来自新英格兰的学者颇有吸引力。


“Paradise Now” is more than a record of failed hopes. Some ideas spread to the mainstream. Fourier’s feminism is a good example. Fourierist communes foundered across the New World and Old; his ideas about gender equality lived on. No society could improve, Fourier believed, until women’s lot improved. “The best countries”, he wrote, “have always been those which allowed women the most freedom.” That is a common thought today. It was radical when Fourier wrote it in 1808.


《现世天堂》不止记录了一系列破败的幻想,其中的一些想法也成为了主流。傅里叶的女权主义就是极佳的例子。虽然傅里叶公社在新旧世界都破产了,但有关于性别平等的想法仍在产生影响。傅里叶认为,除非女性的命运得以改善,否则整个社会难以得以发展。他写道,“最好的国家总是那些给予女性最大的自由。”而今这一想法已再寻常不过。但1808年,傅里叶写下的这句话却显得尤为激进。


Women more generally are at the centre of the Utopian story. Some communes he writes about were democratic, some authoritarian. None was patriarchal. Mr Jennings’s book is rich in fond hopes and improbable ventures. Rather than nudging readers to mock, which is easy, the author reminds them instead to remember that the maddest-sounding ideas sometimes become motherhood.


女性更多的被置于乌托邦故事的中心。Jennings所描述的公社一些是民主的,一些是自治的,但没有一个是家长制的。他的书中记录了大量的温和希冀与不可信资产。尽管很容易,但作者却并不是去唆使读者去嘲弄社会,而是提醒读者要记得听起来最疯狂的想法有时候会变成为母之道。


From the print edition: Books andarts



 


学习笔记



1.    Grimly: 严峻地

"That's my affair, " said Hurstwood grimly.

“那是我自己的事,”赫斯渥冷淡地说。

 

2.     Cudgel: to hit hard; 用短棒打

  He often bullies you. I really take up the cudgel for you.

他常欺负你,我真为你打抱不平。

 

3.     Devout: 虔诚的
Over-devout souls may be somewhat puzzled by all this.

过度虔敬的心灵对这一切可能会有些困惑。

 

4.     Celibacy: 禁欲;独身(生活)

People in some religious orders take a vow of celibacy.

有些宗教修会的人发誓不结婚。

 

5.     Dog: 跟踪;笼罩在…心头

His dogged determination helped him to win the race.

他顽强的决心使他赢得比赛。

 

6.     Nudge: 推动;(温和的)劝说

Ms.Kumpf say the Green Party is informally nudging supporters to givetheir first votes to her.

Kumpf称绿党暗中劝说其支持者将第一票投给她.



外媒简介




《经济学人》是一份由伦敦经济学人报纸有限公司出版的杂志,风格机智,幽默,有力度,严肃又不失诙谐,并且注重于如何在最小的篇幅内告诉读者最多的信息。


杂志关注的新闻广泛涉及政治、商业、金融、科技和艺术等领域。杂志中所有文章都不署名,但又处处用事实说话相比较于其他国内外语报纸,它的态度更客观,视角更宽,在全球范围内的精英人士中享有独一无二的地位。


                                                                                 

翻译:邓小雪 & 颜琪琳

校对:杨霭琳

笔记:朱宵芸





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