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【经济学人】追忆光辉岁月:世界沉溺于过去

【经济学人】追忆光辉岁月:世界沉溺于过去


我们翻译这篇文章的理由


在宏大叙事逐渐消解,但各国各行其是的发展路线又逐渐触及瓶颈的当下,本文提出深刻的洞察:世界正沉溺于过去的辉煌中。发达国家荣光不再,发展中国家腾飞趋缓,转型中的世界走向历史的蜜糖罐。我们应该如何运用历史,如何解决问题,如何勾勒出未来的蓝图并且将其实现?这是当今世界亟需解决的问题。


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追忆光辉岁月


译者:陈可桐

校对:唐 萧

策划:伍豪 & 陈可桐


The world is fixated on the past

世界沉溺在过去中


Politicians have always exploited the past. But just now, rich countries and emerging economies are experiencing an outbreak of nostalgia. Right and left, democracies and autocracies, all are harking back to the glories of yesteryear. Even as President Donald Trump vows to “Make America great again”, President Xi Jinping is using his “Chinese dream” to banish a century of humiliation and return China to its golden age. Mexico’s new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has a mission to withstand global capitalism and restore his country’s economic sovereignty. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the most powerful politician in Poland, wants to purge the last traces of Soviet communism to bring about a renaissance of old-fashioned Polish values.

历史一直都是政客的掌上玩物。而最近,发达国家与发展中国家纷纷爆发了怀旧的情绪。左翼和右翼、民主政体和独裁政体,都开始追忆往日荣光。川普立誓「让美国再次伟大」,习近平试图用他的「中国梦」来驱散一个世纪以来的耻辱历史,实现复兴。墨西哥的新总统安德烈斯·曼努埃尔·洛佩斯·奥夫拉多尔的执政目标是抵御全球资本主义的入侵,维护墨西哥经济主权。波兰最强硬的政客雅罗斯瓦夫·卡钦斯基,希望彻底荡除本国的苏维埃共产主义,弘扬老派的波兰式价值观。

nostalgia /nɔˈstældʒə/ n. sentimentallonging for things that are past 对往事的怀恋; 怀旧

 

This orgy of reminiscence has different causes in different countries. In emerging markets past gloriesare often a foretaste of future triumphs. China, which has enjoyed 40 years of transformative growth, senses that it is on the threshold of something great. Under Narendra Modi, India has been celebrating its growing geopolitical heft with a Hindu-nationalist revival. In the rich world, by contrast, nostalgia usually stems from what Sophia Gaston, of the Henry Jackson Society, calls “an omnipresent, menacing feeling of decline”. Almost two-thirds of Britons think that life used to be better. A similar share of the French do not feel at home in the present. This year’s un World Happiness Report found that Americans are becoming less content. Large majorities in richand developing countries believe that robots and automation will increase inequality and harm employment. A poll of 28 countries in 2017 found that overhalf of respondents expected their living conditions to stagnate or worsen. Only 15% of Japanese think their children will be richer than their parents.

怀旧在各国大行其道,但原因不尽相同。在新兴市场中,过往的光辉常常是未来繁荣的浅尝。享受了四十年改革高速发展的中国,感到黄金时代似乎就要开始了。纳伦德拉·莫迪治下的印度在印度教民族主义的复兴中,欢庆地缘政治势力的崛起。相反,在发达国家,怀旧却往往发源于亨利·杰克逊协会的索菲亚·加斯顿所描述的:「无处不在、令人不适的衰退感」。几乎三分之二的英国人认为现在情况没有过去好,相当比例的法国人认为目前境况不佳。在发达国家与发展中国家,很多人认为,机器人和自动化会加剧不平等、恶化就业环境。2017年,一项遍及28个国家的调查发现,超过半数的受访者认为未来情况会停滞或恶化。只有15%的日本人认为未来的情况会变好。

orgy /ˈɔːdʒɪ / n. great indulgence in one ormore activity 放纵

foretaste /ˈfɔːteɪst; / n. small experience of sthbefore it actually happens; sample (在某事物到来之前的)浅尝; 样品

omnipresent /ˏɔmnɪˈpreznt/ adj. present everywhere 无处不在的

 

Vaults full of research attest to how emerging-market optimism is more soundly based than rich-country pessimism. People around the world are living longer, healthier lives; fewer fall victim to war and famine; as education spreads, discrimination and prejudice are waning. Similarly, the summers were rarely as idyllic or the nation as glorious as sentiment would have it.

无数的研究表明,相比新兴市场的乐观情绪,发达国家的悲观情绪不太站得住脚。在世界各地,人们的寿命确实延长了,身体也更健康了。人们更少遭受战争和饥荒的摧残,教育普及,歧视和偏见也确实变少了。不过同样的,新兴市场的情绪高涨,但实际上日子并没有那么好过,国家也并没有那么繁荣。

attest /əˈtest / v. be or giveclear proof of sth 作为或提供某事物的明证

 

But to reject pessimism and nostalgia as simply inaccurate misses the point. They are powerful forces that are shaping politics. To harness them, you must first understand them.

但如果简单地将悲观主义和怀旧情绪斥为不信,拒绝承认这些现象,那就忽略了真正的重点。这些情绪是塑造政治的强大力量,要控制它们,首先得理解它们。

 

Nostalgia serves optimists and pessimists alike as an anchor in a world being transformed. New technologies, including artificial intelligence, threaten to disrupt entire industries and to alter the relationship between the state and the citizen. After two centuries power is shifting from the West back to China. The planet is ageing faster than at anytime in history. Its climate is changing. It is ever more racially and culturally mixed.

对于乐观者和悲观者来说,怀旧都扮演着类似的角色——转型世界中的一只锚。人工智能等新兴科技对现有产业构成了颠覆式的威胁,对国家和人民之间的关系产生深远影响。经过了两个世纪的发展,权力中心慢慢从西方回到了中国。地球演化的速度从未如此迅猛。气候也在变化。在种族和文化上,这个世界都在变得更混杂。

 

At such moments, people are drawn to nostalgia as a source of reassurance and self-esteem. Many Brexiteers hope that leaving the European Union means they will once again belong to a dynamic “global Britain”. Catalans evoke an idealised past in pursuit of a distinctive identity. Alarmed by corruption and recession, Brazilians have elected a president who harks back to the certainties of a military dictatorship they rid themselves of three decades ago. When Mr Trump boosts coal and steel, men who feared that they had been marginalised in dirty, dying industries suddenly feel as if they are worth something again.

在这样的时刻,人们沉溺于怀旧,以支撑自己的安全感和尊严。许多脱欧支持者都期待着,离开欧盟能让英国重回那个昌盛的日不落帝国。加泰罗尼亚人在追求独立中回忆起了美好的过去。巴西人在当下的腐败和衰退的警醒中,选出了会将他们带回军政独裁时代的总统,距离他们把自己从那个时代解放出来,才过去不过三十年。当川普刺激煤炭和钢铁产业时,那些担心自己已经在肮脏垂死的产业中被边缘化的人,又感到了自己存在的价值。

 

In the rich world, nostalgia also offers a way to rebel against someone else’s idea of progress—to “take back control”. The far-right Alternative for Germany has its strongest support in the former East, where voters regret their loss of community and security. In France the gilets jaunes smash shop windows on the Champs-Elysées because they cannot make ends meet. They reject the trade-off offered by their president, Emmanuel Macron, between national prosperity and individual economic security.

在发达国家,怀旧还提供了一种反抗进步的途径:要「重掌大局」。极端右翼政党德国选择党在前东德地区拥趸最多,这些地区的选民都后悔自己失去了共产主义和安全。在法国,身着黄背心的反抗者在香榭丽舍大道上打砸,因为他们入不敷出。他们反抗总统埃马纽埃尔·马克龙在国家繁荣和个体经济安全之间所做的权衡。

make ends meet 使收支相抵

 

This makes nostalgia dangerous. Protesters do not necessarily expect to put back the clock—they may just be seeking to slow it down. And yet such sclerosis may only aggravate the sense of decline. In addition, the self-esteem that nostalgists crave often seems to feed xenophobia. India’s Hindu-nationalist revival has seen an increase in reported hate crimes towards Muslims. In the West people on the right remember a whiter past, with fewer cultures, even as the hard left condemns the machinations of global business. It is no accident that there has been a resurgence of anti-Semitism, not least in Britain’s Labour Party under the backward-looking Jeremy Corbyn.

这使怀旧变得危险。抗议者并非想要回到过去,他们只是想让时间慢下来。然而这样的停滞只会使情况恶化,加剧衰退。此外,怀旧者渴求的尊严似乎常常滋养了排外主义。印度的印度教民族主义者的复苏伴随着对穆斯林群体的犯罪增加。西方世界的右翼群体回忆起了那个白人更多、文化多样性更差的年代,即使是强硬的左翼也在谴责跨国公司的阴谋诡计。而反犹太主义的复燃也不足为奇,这在保守的杰瑞米·科尔宾领导下的英国工党中尤其明显。

sclerosis /skləˈrəusɪs/ n. an inability orreluctance to adapt or compromise 僵化

senophobia /ˏzenəˈfəubɪə / n. intense dislike or fear offoreigners or strangers 对外国人或陌生人的憎恶或恐惧

anti-Semitism hostility to andprejudice against Jewish people 反犹太主义

 

Because of the taint of xenophobia, progressives are quick to treat all nostalgia as prejudice, leading them to dismiss the fears of whole sections of society. That sweeping judgment is one more reason why populists have been able to exploit nostalgia so successfully.

进步论者常因为怀旧论中存在排外主义,就迅速地将其视为偏见,这使他们忽视了整个社会群体的恐惧。如此笼统宽泛的评价也是民粹主义者能够如此成功地利用怀旧情绪的原因。

sweeping /swiːpɪŋ / adj. without any exceptions;(too) general (指言语等)无例外的, (过于)笼统的

 

They are having it too easy. Nostalgia can be harnessed for good. At the start of the 20th century, Europe and America were nostalgic, too, buffeted by a similar confluence of technological, geopolitical and cultural change. Then a period of conflict and social upheavalled to universal suffrage and education for all. Today’s politicians can learn from that time. They must avoid war, obviously, by preserving and enhancing the institutions that enable countries to work together. But they should also find bold ways to deal with insecurity and alienation. That will involve the state working harder for the citizen by making education available throughout people’s lives, by overhauling taxation, devolving power to cities and regions, averting climate catastrophe, and wise management of immigration.

他们的看法还是太简单了。怀旧情绪是可以被引导到好的方向去的。20世纪初的欧洲和美国受到科技、地缘政治、文化的变化,产生的共同冲击,也经历了类似的怀旧。随后,一段冲突和动乱的时期才导致了普选权和普遍教育权的确立。今日的政客可以从中吸取经验教训。显然,他们必须通过保护、强化国际组织来加强国际合作,避免战争。但他们同样需要采取进取的姿态,妥善处理不稳定和分裂。国家需要提供终身教育,彻底翻修税收系统,向地方分权,避免气候灾害,管理移民,真正为公民服务。

universal suffrage 

the right of allthe adults in a country to vote in elections 普选权

19世纪中期,英国有以男性普选权为主要诉求的宪章运动。19世纪的领导民主运动的自由主义者和社会民主主义者,尤其在北欧,使用了口号“均等共有选举权”。但对于女性平等的普选权或投票权、选举权等等则要在20世纪初一战后才被重视。

 

If the past is a foreign country, let me emigrate

如果过去是一个国家,让我移民去那里

The nostalgists are on to something. When one way of running the world seems to be exhausted, but the next has yet to come into being, the past holds important lessons. When nothing seems to make sense, history becomes the supreme discipline. Knowing who you are and where you came from matters.

怀旧论者确实抓住了问题的重点。当某种运行世界的方式看起来不再奏效,其他的方式又不那么明晰时,历史,就蕴含着重大的意义。当一切看起来都那么不合理,历史就成为了最高的准则。知道自己是谁,从哪里来,很重要。

 

The best way to harness the past demolishes prejudice and opens horizons. A proper sense of history helps you grasp that progress depends on facing up to hard choices. Sometimes it can inspire, too. Fifty years ago Apollo 8 took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida. On December 24th it captured a photograph of Earth, a half-shrouded blue-white planet, seemingly united.

运用历史的最佳方式将消除偏见,打开视野。对历史的正确感知可以让你明白,面对艰难的抉择才能进步。而有时,历史也将给我们以启示。五十年前,阿波罗8号在佛罗里达州的卡纳维拉尔角发射。12月24日,它拍了一张地球的照片:一颗蓝白相间的星球探出半个身子,看起来是那样的团结。


【经济学人】追忆光辉岁月:世界沉溺于过去

  • 本文原载于 The Economist

  • 原文链接:https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/12/22/the-world-is-fixated-on-the-past



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