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  • Business in China So much for capitalism Mar 5th 2009 | HONG KONG From The Economist print edition The opening up of China’s economy goes into reverse FOR two decades, in the 1980s and 1990s, China pushed forward a series of economic reforms that came at a vast cost, exceeded only by their vaster rewards. Now, as the financial crisis sweeps across the world, those reforms are going into reverse. It is a sign of how hard governments find it to shake off the habit of ownership. When China began to extract production from the hands of the state, big firms were broken up, reconfigured or closed. Ever so slowly, the government began to privatise its largest industries, selling slices of companies in public offerings on foreign exchanges, and making them adopt at least the pretence of modern governance. How far China has gone in transforming its economy is a matter of debate. Unarguably, it remains a place where companies face heavy direct and indirect state control. But in places there has also been dramatic change, and China has prospered as broader economic freedoms contributed to growth. Outright criticism of the shift was muted, even among bureaucrats opposed to the new approach. But over the past year this reticence has begun to wane, as the crisis in the West has led to intense criticism of capitalism—and one domestic industry after another has, as in the West, gone back to the government for support. In December China Investment Corporation, one of the country’s many sovereign-wealth funds, acknowledged buying shares of Chinese banks on the open market. Other government-backed funds are thought to have been buying as well, which may explain why the banks’ share prices have held up even as banks elsewhere totter. Meanwhile, the state-controlled China Development Bank is said to be negotiating a takeover of Shenzhen Development Bank, one of the few financial institutions controlled by foreigners. It is a similar story in aviation. In the late 1980s the government created three gigantic carriers—Air China, China Eastern, and China Southern—to provide competition and service where there had previously been none. The carriers have succeeded in a limited way, dramatically expanding coverage across China, but management has undergone frequent shifts and none of the airlines has a good reputation. All three operate at a loss, and two of them, according to the Chinese state-run press, have received large capital injections from the central government in recent months. A broad, government- driven reorganisation is expected in the next 18 months. Similarly, five big power-generation firms were split out of a single company in 2002 to foster competition. Any sense of true operating independence was badly undermined last year, however,
  • when the government imposed price caps on electricity, even as the utilities grappled with rising coal and oil prices. Those prices have since fallen, but so has demand. On February 20th the Chinese press reported that the government was injecting $13 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) into the companies, indirectly boosting its stake. Even China’s car industry, which is alive with competitors, is coming further under the government umbrella. More than 10 billion yuan in subsidies is being paid to carmakers, and billions of yuan more are being granted to encourage car sales. Various deals are being mulled between Chinese firms and distressed foreign brands, and these too would need financial support from the government. Beyond that, Chinese newspapers report that a broad restructuring is in the offing, which would reorganise the industry into four state-controlled giants. In the West the prospect of nationalisation causes companies’ share prices to collapse, but the opposite often occurs in China, and share prices rise instead. In a state-controlled system, it is good to have the state’s explicit endorsement and protection. But it comes at a cost. The reason China initially backed away from state control was because companies were inefficient and corrupt, and ultimately people suffered. In today’s panic, perhaps, that is a secondary concern. But times will eventually change for nationalised firms in China—and for those in the West, too. 《经济学人》中国,资本主义化到此为止 995 个读者 runningde... @ 14 小时 8 分钟前 双语对照 原文 字体大小 小 中 大 简介 介@在西方国家,国有化预期会导致公司股价暴跌,而在中国情况正好相反,股价不降反升。 在政府主导的体制内,政府的支持和保护很是受用,但代价不菲。 。资本主义化到此为止! 化到 化 1980 年代和 1990 年代的 20 年,中国进行了一系列成本巨大的经济改革,这些改革的收益远超 到 过成本。现在随着金融风暴袭遍全球,这些改革正在倒转,这也是一个迹象表明各国政府很难 摆脱拥有权的习惯。 摆脱 摆 当中国政府不再控制大公司的生产时,他们就开始破产、重组或者关闭。政府逐渐开始私有化最大型的工业 脱 企业,在国外股市中将部分公开募集资金,这样,至少表面上看,这些大企业具有了现代公司治理机制。 企业 企 中国经济转变的程度仍是个值得讨论的话题,毫无疑问,中国的企业仍然直接或间接的接受 业 政府管制,但某些地方已有了根本转变,逐步扩大的经济自由促进了经济的繁荣增长。完全批 评改革的声音消失了,甚至那些起初反对改革的官员也不再批评。但是 2008 年批评声音又逐渐 抬头,如同西方的经济危机导致人们强烈的批评资本主义那样——一个接一个的国内行业接受 政府的支持。 政府 政 12 月,中国主 权基金之一的中国投资公司承认正在公开市场收购中国的银行的股份。据悉,其他政府背景的 府 基金也在进行同样的收购,这就可以解释为什么当其他地方银行股价暴 跌之时中国银行股价能止住下跌。同时,
  • 国家控制的中国投资银行正在谈判接管深圳发展银行,深圳发展银行是为数不多的外资控股额商业银行。 国家 国 航空业的情况也类似,1980 年代末,中国政府成立了三家航空巨头——国航,东航和南航—— 家 此举旨在首次为航空业提供竞争机会和为顾客提供良好的服务。三家巨头的成功是很有限的, 航线范围极大的扩展了,管理却经常变化,三巨头无一例外,声誉都很糟糕。据中国国营新闻 社报道,三巨头均处于亏损状态,其中两家最近几月已接受中央政府的注资,政府主导的重组 将在未来 18 个月内完成。 个月 个 同样为了形成竞争机制,2002 年中国将单一的发电企业拆分为五个。去年,煤电价格上涨之 月 际,政府却强制限制电价,企业自主经营理念被严重的破坏了。此后,煤电价格下跌,需求也 下降了。2 月 20 日,中国媒体报道政府给发电企业注资 130 亿元间接地扩大了政府所占股份。 亿元 亿 甚至已经形成竞争局面的中国汽车业,也躲到了政府的保护伞之下。政府已补贴汽车制造商 元 超过 100 亿人民币,后续还将有数十亿人民币补贴投入来刺激汽车销售。中国汽车制造商和备 受打击的国外汽车制造商正在酝酿多项合作。这些合作也同样需要政府的资金支持。此外,中 国报纸有报道称汽车业即将进行大重组,现有汽车制造商将合并为四家国有汽车制造业巨头。 为四 为 在西方国家,国有化预期会导致公司股价暴跌,而在中国情况正好相反,股价不降反升。在 四 政府主导的体制内,政府的支持和保护很是受用,但代价不菲。最初中国不愿政府主导企业, 是因为这样做会带来公司的低效率和腐败,最终老百姓遭殃。而今在金融危机的恐慌中,这种 负面效应或许成了次要考虑的问题了。但对于这些中国国有化公司——还有那些西方国家国有 化公司,情势终将改变。 中国眼中的世界眼中的中国 3473 个读者 shelly762... @ 2009 年 03 月 20 日 双语对照 原文 字体大小 小 中大 简介 我没写错,中国和世界的关系就是这么纠结。 P.S.有关原文的意见,到《经济学人》的网站去发评论,说在这里,外国人也看不到;有关我 的翻译,欢迎大家提意见。 中国眼中的世界眼中的中国 覆巢之下,没有完卵。然而对于中国的 许多人来说,席卷全球的经济危机的阴风也有些许振奋 人心的意味。30年来,中国的发展令人瞩目。但是中国也缺少一件能够取悦一些极端民族主 义者的外衣:陪 着他们一起遭受经济衰退。现在资本主义国家都面临着恐慌。欧洲和日本陷入 了二战以来最严重的衰退,现在几乎都算不上是中国的对手。超级大国美国,也从顶峰 跌落。 虽然中国领导人避免公开表露出得意的态度,但是中国政府认为现在是重申中国大国崛起的时 候,他们也认为他们能够得到主导世界的权力。 中国总 理温家宝现在也不再坚持以前那套说辞,说中国在世界舞台上是个小角色,只专心于本 国经济发展。现在他说中国是个“大国”,他还对美国大手笔的支出计划表示 忧虑,因为这会
  • 威胁到中国的价值一万亿美元的美国国债。美国新财长警告中国不要操控汇率的言词也被中国 讥之为“荒唐的;原本该来道歉的希拉里·克林顿在北 京受到了欢迎,但是山姆师兄变成了山 姆同学。这个月中国在南中国海与美国间谍船进行了明显地小规模冲突。但是,至少美国还在 中国关注的范围内。而欧洲却像 一个小点一样被忽略了:中国取消了中欧峰会;由于萨科奇胆 敢会见达赖喇嘛,法国还在中国的黑名单上。 现在世界面临着双极化的地缘政治局势,所谓双极就是中国和 美国。这是一个在中国和其他国 家都广泛流传的观点。所以,下个月的在伦敦举行的G20峰会就成了奥巴马和胡锦涛之间 的“G2”峰会。欧洲刚刚告别乔治·布 什的单边政治,还不想面临来自太平洋两岸的双面夹 击;日本一直以来都认为亚洲国家对它充满敌意。美国国会由于担心美国最大的敌人也要冒险 采取保护主义行 动。这些都说明了“双极世界”这种状况不仅使欧洲和日本担心,也使美国忧 虑。 帷幕之下的中国 在恐慌蔓延之前,中国那些既逞强又示弱的宣言根本不值一提。中国仍然是一个穷国,面临 着,用温总理的话说,“新世纪以来最困难的一年”。最近,坊间流传中国有 2000 万就业岗位 流失,这个数字说明了问题的严重性。世行把预期的中国经济增长率调低到了 6.5%。与别国相 比,这个数字很可观,但是对于习惯了两位数增长率的中国人来说,这个数字意味着衰退。虽 然每年都有数以万计的抗议者:失地的农民;下岗工人;环境污染的受害者。即使神奇的中国 完成了8%的官方数字,人们的抱怨也会与日俱增。 中国现 在正进行着一场激烈的讨论,讨论的内容是中国的经济体制和中国要成为何种大国,对 于这种讨论,中国是没有什么底气的,所以政府也不喜欢这样的讨论。今年, 中国政府甚至缩 短了每年的例行内阁会议,也就是全国人民代表大会,他们想把讨论限制在幕后,也屏蔽了一 些网络论坛。自由主义者们要求更广泛的开放,政府的 回应还是跟以前一样。但是中国领导人 们也面临着来自极左派国家主义者的不满,他们认为中国现在的经济下滑是阻止中国继续进行 市场化改革的机会,也是使中国 更加引人注目的机会。中国的愤怒会导致中国排外,但是也不 是所有的左派国家主义者都是危险的;有人要求的不过是更好的公共服务和社会保障,这些都 是中国十 分需要的。 所以中国的问题比西方人想像的要复杂。世界不是双极的,也许永远都不会变成双极。虽然欧 盟麻烦重重,但是全球最大的经济体。印度的人口会超过中国。但是。但是这并不会遮蔽这样 一个事实:中国的相对实力的增长——中国和西方都要学着适应这一点。 对于奥巴马来说,这意味着要做一些艰难的平衡。从长远角度看,如果在他卸任之前他不能够 把中国引 向自由的多边体系,他就是失败的。短期看来,他应该敦促中国遵守诺言,批评中国 的错误:希拉里在中国的时候应该提出西藏问题和人权问题。布什政府的理念是 欢迎中国在国 际体系内做一个“负责任的成员”。与G7和G8相比,G20给予了中国更多在国际事务上 的决策权。但是对于中国来说,这也要求中国负责地行驶 自己的影响力。 中国,曾经的问题,现在的账单 中国在世界舞台上的形象不怎么好。在对待伊朗和苏丹的问题上,中国使用了中国主要的地缘 政治资产——安理会常任理事国的地位——以不想干涉别过事物的理由阻碍计划的进行。这种 令人遗憾的局面需要时间来解决。但是在目前的经济情况十分危机的情况下,还有行动的空 间。 在过去的25年里,没有哪个国家像中国那 样在全球化进程中获取了如此大的利益。全球化把 几亿中国人从勉强糊口的生活中拉出来,将他们打造成了中产阶级。在这过程中中国是个暴躁 的攫取者。所以最近 一轮的世贸谈判脱离轨道。G20会议给了中国一次展示其改变的决心的 机会。尤其是现在人们要求中国为IMF提供资金支持,以拯救那些深受经济危机打击的国
  • 家,如东欧的一些国家。中国政府中的一些人反对对IMF提供支持,因为那些资金会帮到那 些曾经有“反华心理”的前社会主义国家。忽略这样的牢骚换来的就是 中国的一点进步。但是 这样的想法就说明了中国曾经就是这样理解大国的内涵。 The new world order How China sees the world Mar 19th 2009 From The Economist print edition And how the world should see China IT IS an ill wind that blows no one any good. For many in China even the buffeting by the gale that has hit the global economy has a bracing message. The rise of China over the past three decades has been astonishing. But it has lacked the one feature it needed fully to satisfy the ultranationalist fringe: an accompanying decline of the West. Now capitalism is in a funk in its heartlands. Europe and Japan, embroiled in the deepest post-war recession, are barely worth consideration as rivals. America, the superpower, has passed its peak. Although in public China’s leaders eschew triumphalism, there is a sense in Beijing that the reassertion of the Middle Kingdom’s global ascendancy is at hand (see article). China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao, no longer sticks to the script that China is a humble player in world affairs that wants to focus on its own economic development. He talks of China as a “great power” and worries about America’s profligate spending endangering his $1 trillion nest egg there. Incautious remarks by the new American treasury secretary about China manipulating its currency were dismissed as ridiculous; a duly penitent Hillary Clinton was welcomed in Beijing, but as an equal. This month saw an apparent attempt to engineer a low-level naval confrontation with an American spy ship in the South China Sea. Yet at least the Americans get noticed. Europe, that speck on the horizon, is ignored: an EU summit was cancelled and France is still blacklisted because Nicolas Sarkozy dared to meet the Dalai Lama.
  • Already a big idea has spread far beyond China: that geopolitics is now a bipolar affair, with America and China the only two that matter. Thus in London next month the real business will not be the G20 meeting but the “G2” summit between Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao. This not only worries the Europeans, who, having got rid of George Bush’s unipolar politics, have no wish to see it replaced by a Pacific duopoly, and the Japanese, who have long been paranoid about their rivals in Asia. It also seems to be having an effect in Washington, where Congress’s fascination with America’s nearest rival risks acquiring a protectionist edge. Reds under the bed Before panic spreads, it is worth noting that China’s new assertiveness reflects weakness as well as strength. This remains a poor country facing, in Mr Wen’s words, its most difficult year of the new century. The latest wild guess at how many jobs have already been lost—20m—hints at the scale of the problem. The World Bank has cut its forecast for China’s growth this year to 6.5%. That is robust compared with almost anywhere else, but to many Chinese, used to double-digit rates, it will feel like a recession. Already there are tens of thousands of protests each year: from those robbed of their land for development; from laid-off workers; from those suffering the side-effects of environmental despoliation. Even if China magically achieves its official 8% target, the grievances will worsen. Far from oozing self-confidence, China is witnessing a fierce debate both about its economic system and the sort of great power it wants to be—and it is a debate the government does not like. This year the regime curtailed even the perfunctory annual meeting of its parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), preferring to confine discussion to back-rooms and obscure internet forums. Liberals calling for greater openness are being dealt with in the time-honoured repressive fashion. But China’s leaders also face rumblings of discontent from leftist nationalists, who see the downturn as a chance to halt market-oriented reforms at home, and for China to assert itself more stridently abroad. An angry China can veer into xenophobia, but not all the nationalist left’s causes are so dangerous: one is for the better public services and social-safety net the country sorely needs. So China is in a more precarious situation than many Westerners think. The world is not bipolar and may never become so. The EU, for all its faults, is the world’s biggest economy. India’s population will overtake China’s. But that does not obscure the fact that China’s relative power is plainly growing— and both the West and China itself need to adjust to this. For Mr Obama, this means pulling off a difficult balancing act. In the longer term, if he has not managed to seduce China (and for that matter India and Brazil) more firmly into the liberal multilateral system by the time he leaves office, then historians may judge him a failure. In the short term he needs to hold China to its promises and to scold it for its lapses: Mrs Clinton should have taken it to task over Tibet and human rights when she was there. The Bush administration made much of the idea of welcoming China as a “responsible stakeholder” in the international system. The G20 is a chance to give China a bigger stake in global decision-making than was available in the small clubs of the G7 and G8. But it is also a chance for China to show it can exercise its new influence responsibly.
  • The bill for the great Chinese takeaway China’s record as a citizen of the world is strikingly threadbare. On a host of issues from Iran to Sudan, it has used its main geopolitical asset, its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, to obstruct progress, hiding behind the excuse that it does not want to intervene in other countries’ affairs. That, sadly, will take time to change. But on the more immediate issue at hand, the world economy, there is room for action. Over the past quarter-century no country has gained more from globalisation than China. Hundreds of millions of its people have been dragged out of subsistence into the middle class. China has been a grumpy taker in this process. It helped derail the latest round of world trade talks. The G20 meeting offers it a chance to show a change of heart. In particular, it is being asked to bolster the IMF’s resources so that the fund can rescue crisis-hit countries in places like eastern Europe. Some in Beijing would prefer to ignore the IMF, since it might help ex-communist countries that have developed “an anti-China mentality”. Rising above such cavilling and paying up would be a small step in itself. But it would be a sign that the Middle Kingdom has understood what it is to be a great power. 当代中国的官方马克思主义 1263 个读者 智威 @ 2 天前 17:40 双语对照 原文 字体大小 小 中 大 简介 当代政府的一幕话剧。本文以外国人观察物权法出台的角度描述了马克思主义其实是“话语人 质”的现实。政治就是强者的意志,学术不过是为其服务的女佣。 2006 年 11 月,我在北京参加了“国际产权和物权的理论与实践”的研讨会。这并不仅仅是学 术会议,而是与当时物权法草案的激烈争论有关(1)。尽管没有发言直接点明这部新法律,但 是每个人心里都明白讨论的是什么。 与会人员的姿态是一个涉及中国社会变化的意识形态斗争的有趣案例。他们使用马克思主义 的语言和观点,夹杂着西方主流的新古典主义经济理论,支持中国转向私有权和市场经济。下 面我将回顾在这次会议上听到和看到的建议主张。不过我先说说会议背景,帮助你们了解这些 建议主张的前因后果。 物权法草案的支持者认为企业和各种资产的私有权必须有效保护才能进一步推动经济发展。 为达到这个目标,需要新法律详细说明,更重要的是,有效保证私有财产人的权利。 批评者不同意新法律草案,指责这将走上放弃社会主义的 道路。他们认为保证私有权,并且 提高到公有财产相同的地位,将会削弱国有企业在社会主义社会的重要作用。更糟糕的是,新 法律甚至保护了过去通过腐败的内部 交易将国有企业私有化所产生的私有权(2)。这将会鼓 励更多欺诈性质的国有企业私有化。而且,这将使私营企业里的剥削劳动者的行为合法化。 这样的政治争论平常是难以看到的。这种争论出现在中国社会不同的地点,包括学术机构, 各种共产党和国家机构。这些会议使一个外来者能够直接看到甚至参与到这次争论之中。
  • 会议的主要发起者是中国共产党一个不太出名的中央委员会的某个机构,名为中央编译局。 会议由德国罗莎卢森堡基金会协同组织。这个基金会附属于民主社会党。后者来自于前德国民 主共和国共产党。 有些外国人参加了会议,大部分来自中国。中国的参与者包括各个大学的教授,社会科学院 的研究人员和一些党政官员。其中一位来自向国务院总理进言的国务院发展研究中心,另一位 来自中央党校。外国参与者在知识背景和政治背景上不尽相同,大多数是罗莎卢森堡基金会选 派的。我在中国有些名气主要因为反对新自由主义,特别是反对私有化。我被邀请进行美国产 权和物权的马克思主义分析,这可能与中国的物权和私有化讨论有关系。 中国的政治争 论,不是被幕后操纵就是用一种伊索寓言式的语言叙述,这对于主流媒体已经 成为陈词滥调。在会议中,马克思主义是讨论的官方语言,至少对那些中国与会者而 言。1978 年市场改革开放之后,中国经济和社会体制发生了巨大的变化,但是“官方马克思主义”仍然存 在于国家的意识形态中,并且是讨论经济问题时使用的 语言。因此,在会议中,绝大多数的中 国发言者,无论他们代表辩论的哪一方,都将他们的看法放在马克思主义的语言里并且常常用 马克思主义观点支持他们的主 张。然而,西方新古典经济学思想已经支配了中国大学的经济 系。很多情况下,发言者的思路是新古典主义的,无论用什么语言去表达。 最后的相关背景信息涉及到今日中国的阶级结构和及其与中国共产党之间的关系。最初中国 共产党的党员身份是向工人、农民和知识分子开放的。在 90 年代早期起 步的私营经济经过快 速发展,创造了一群本土的资本家。尽管他们富有并且愈加具有影响力,但是至少在官方层面 被禁止加入执政的中国共产党。几年之前,经过激 烈的政治斗争,中国共产党的章程改变了, 允许企业家加入。产权问题之外的政治斗争的回响也能在某些会议发言中听到。 读者现在可以鉴别会议中不同的参与者所提出的值得注意的陈述和意见了。在几个例子中, 我将直接引用发言,但是大部分中国发言者的陈述我只是意译主要的观 点。下面的每个陈述至 少是一个中国发言者提出的,还有一些被几个发言者稍加改变的重复过。某些情况我在括号里 加入了评论以解释和澄清。我将以赞同中国当前 社会发展方向的发言者的意见开始——这也代 表了绝大多数发言者——最后以少数某些人的声明作为结束。这些人反对中国走向资本主义, 或者至少不同意扭曲马克思主义来迎合这种走向。 会议中的陈述和主题 •当国有企业变成许多持股人的股份公司,这代表了马克思和恩格斯所形容的所有权社会化,因 为所有权由单独所有变成一大群持有者。(必须指出,这是由一位中央党校的发言人提出 的。) •如果国有企业变成股份公司,雇员分配到一些股票,这就达到了“‘马克思’的财产私人所有的目 标”。 •处理国有企业必须遵从“国际规则”,建立“现代产权制度”。[在八十年代苏联和东欧国家,所采 用是资本主义规则和资本主义财产权的委婉说法] •企业只有是私有的才能在社会主义市场经济条件下更有效率。[这话由几个人提出,直接来源 于西方新古典主义经济学。] •国有企业剥削工人,属于国家资本主义制度。国有企业剥削程度很严重。[这点来解释国有企 业私有化不会引入剥削或者资本主义,因为这两者已经在国有企业里出现了。]
  • •企业所有权的本质和国家是资本主义制度或者社会主义制 度没有关系。企业应该私有化,经 营目标是盈利。社会主义国家是指政府对剩余价值征税,通过养老金和其他社会项目将财政收 入利益大众。[这个维护私有制的说 法暗示了中国经济制度已经与美国和西欧非常相似。同时 中国并没有抛弃社会主义制度。然而按照这种定义,所有的工业化资本主义国家实际上都是社 会主义制 度。] •美国的数百万股东的公司,比中国目前的情况更具有社会主义所有权形式。 • “[二战之后]资本主义不再和劳工对抗,甚至开始联合···现代资本主义···正在逐步创造类 似社会主义的新型资本主义制度。” •中国共产党在新民主主义时期执行了古典马克思主义的正确路线。[这是指 1949 年解放之后, 当时共产党实现资产阶级民主革命,但是没有试图建立社会主义制度。]其后的政策[当时共产 党转向了建设社会主义制度]改变是错误的,应该继续推行新民主主义政策。[这点和 1989-91 年 发生在莫斯科的广泛讨论很相似。苏维埃共产党应该保持 1921-27 年的新经济制度,提倡私营 企业发挥重要作用和市场调节的混合经济。] •除去现在的劳动和过去劳动[后者是马克思主义术语,指生产生产方式的劳动]还有第三种劳 动,名为“风险性劳动”。马克思主义理论应该包括这种劳动者。他们大多数发扬了企业家精神 担负了风险。[很明显“企业家”比如资本家也是一种劳动者,因此他们加入共产党是完全正确 的。] 当我听到这些论题——和我在提问讨论阶段提出问题时——我有种强烈的似曾相识的感觉。 这些论题的大部分和 1991 年我在莫斯科,当时是苏联的最后一年,从苏联学者,党政干部那里 听到的完全一样。 现在谈谈那些中国与会者反对私有财产和私有化风潮的一些意见: •对马克思和 恩格斯的德文原著的深入研究证明他们显然认为共产主义包括了废除私有财产。 某些人认为这是马克思和恩格斯著作的误译的想法是错误的。我们不应该歪曲马克思 主义来证 明现在的政策有道理。[一些中国的马克思主义者一直认为马克思和恩格斯没有真正说过共产主 义包括了废除私有财产。] •私有制并不是解决国有企业的真正办法。使用资本的权利属于劳动者,要符合他们的利益。 • “不正常的私有化”[这是指国有企业领导者非法的将其变为私有财产]制造了资本主义企业,这 应该被禁止。 •虽然有些国有企业的利润率较低,但是盈利并不是衡量企业社会贡献和经济福利的最佳方法。 •许多支持罗纳德•科斯[因为反对国家管制私营经济而闻名的右翼英国产权理论家]理论的中国经 济学家是错误的。科斯的中国追随者声称科斯提供了中国所需要的产权理论,而这是马克思所 没有的。相反,产权是生产关系的合法形式,是马克思详细分析的一种关系。与科斯的观点相 反,私营经济并非效率所必需的。公共产权应该是最重要的。[这个年 纪大的左派学院经济学 家详细引用了著名的美国左倾经济学家约瑟夫•斯蒂格利茨批判科斯的言论。这个左派中国经济 学家依靠积极的资本主义甚至有点异端倾向的 美国经济学家斯蒂格利茨去反对科斯,这一点令 我想起 1991 年在莫斯科,当时少数几个左派苏联经济学家引用如约翰•肯尼斯•加尔布雷斯去反 对自由市场理 论。]
  • 注释 1 全国人民代表大会在 2007 年 3 月 16 日通过了新的《中华人民共和国物权法》。 2 在腐败的内部私有化交易后,新私有化的企业经常被卖给一个第三方。这个第三方至少没有 官方的参与最初私有化的过程。反对者指出,如果最终的产权持有人声称以“善意意图”获得了 产权,草案的一个条款(106 条)就可以帮助他们逃脱责任,并且使个人的财产所有权得到保 护。 The State of Official Marxism in China Today The State of Official Marxism in China Today David Kotz During November 13–14, 2006, I participated in an “International Conference on Ownership & Property Rights: Theory & Practice,” in Beijing. This was not just an academic conference, it was related to a sharp debate taking place in China at that time over a proposed new law on property rights.1 Although none of the presentations at the conference made any direct reference to the proposed new law, everyone knew that it was the subtext of the conference debate. The positions put forth by the participants in this conference provide an interesting window into the ideological struggle over the direction of social change in China. They illustrate the ways in which Marxist language and Marxist propositions, intermixed with ideas drawn from mainstream Western neoclassical economic theory, are used today in China to support the completion of China’s shift to private property and a market economy. Below I will reproduce some of the statements and positions voiced (and written) at this conference. But first some background information will help to place the statements in their historical context. The supporters of the proposed property rights law were arguing that further economic progress in China required that private ownership of business enterprises and other assets must be made more secure. To achieve this end, a new law was needed specifying, and more importantly guaranteeing, the rights of owners of private property. Critics resisted the proposed new law, charging that it represented a step toward abandoning the socialist system. They argued that guaranteeing private property rights, and elevating them to the same level as public property rights, would undermine the key role of state owned enterprises (SOEs) in a socialist system. To make matters worse, critics charged, the new law could potentially even safeguard the ownership claims of those who ended up in control of former SOEs that had been privatized through a corrupt insider deal.2 This would encourage further fraudulent privatizations of SOEs. Further, they argued, it would legitimize the exploitation of labor which occurs in private enterprises. Such political debates are normally difficult to observe in China. This debate had been taking place in various locations in Chinese society, including academic institutions and various Communist Party and state institutions. The above conference provided a way for an outsider directly to observe, and even participate in, this debate. The main sponsor of the conference was a little-known bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) called the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau. The conference was cosponsored by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation of Germany, which is attached to the Party of
  • Democratic Socialism. The latter is descended from the Communist Party of the former German Democratic Republic. While there were a few foreign participants, most were from China. The Chinese participants included professors from various Chinese universities, researchers from the Academy of Social Sciences, and some party and state officials. Among the latter there was one from the Development Research Center of the State Council, which provides policy advice to the prime minister, and one from the Central Party School. The foreign participants were quite diverse intellectually and politically, with most of them selected by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. I am known in China as a critic of neoliberalism in general, and privatization in particular, and I was invited to present a Marxist analysis of ownership and property rights in the United States that might be relevant to the property rights and privatization debate in China. It has long been commonplace to read in the mainstream media that political debates in China are typically conducted, not just behind the scenes, but in a kind of Aesopian language. In this conference Marxism was the official language of discussion, at least for the Chinese participants. Despite the enormous transformation of China’s economic and social system since the beginning of what is called the “market reform and opening” in 1978, a kind of “official Marxism” remains the formal state ideology and the language for discussion of economic issues. Thus, most of the Chinese speakers at this conference, whichever side of the debate they were on, couched their views in Marxist language and often used traditional Marxist propositions to buttress their claims. However, Western neoclassical economic thought has become dominant in the leading economics departments at universities in China, and in many cases it was neoclassical ideas that underlay the comments of the speakers, whatever the language used to express them. A final relevant piece of background information concerns the class structure of China today and its relation to the CCP. Originally membership in the CCP was open to workers, peasants, and intellectuals. The rapid development of private business starting in the early 1990s created a class of indigenous capitalists who, while wealthy and increasingly influential, were at least officially barred from membership in the ruling CCP. Then a few years ago, after a sharp political struggle, the CCP membership rules were changed to open membership to “entrepreneurs.” Reverberations of that political battle, as well as the one over property rights, could be heard in some of the conference presentations. Readers can now appreciate the remarkable statements and positions put forward by various participants in this conference. In a few cases I provide a direct quotation, but most of the statements below paraphrase the main theses or points made by various Chinese speakers at the conference. Each statement below was made by at least one Chinese speaker, and some were repeated, with variations, by several speakers. In some cases I have added interpretive or clarifying comments in brackets. I begin with statements by participants who favor the current direction of social change in China—which represented the vast majority of speakers—and end with pronouncements by the few who either oppose China’s march to capitalism or are at least resisting the distortion of Marxism to justify that march. Statements and Themes from the Conference • When an SOE is turned into a joint stock corporation with many shareholders, it represents socialization of ownership as Marx and Engels described it, since ownership goes from a single owner to a large number of owners [among others, this was stated by someone from the Central Party School].
  • • If SOEs are turned into joint stock corporations and the employees are given some shares of the stock, then this would achieve “Marx’s objective of private ownership of property.” • In dealing with the SOEs, we must follow “international norms” and establish a “modern property rights system.” [As in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s, the terms in quotes were euphemisms for capitalist norms and capitalist property rights.] • Enterprises can be efficient in our socialist market economy only if they are privately owned. [This statement, voiced by several people, comes directly from Western “neoclassical” economic theory.] • SOEs exploit their workers and are state capitalist institutions, and SOEs often have a very high rate of exploitation. [The point was that privatizing SOEs will not introduce exploitation or capitalist relations since both are already present in SOEs.] • The nature of ownership of the enterprises has no bearing on whether a country is capitalist or socialist. Enterprises should always be privately owned and operated for profit. What makes a country socialist is that the government taxes the surplus value and uses the proceeds to benefit the people through pensions and other social programs. [Along with justifying privatization, this implies that, as China’s economy becomes much like those of the United States and Western Europe, China is not abandoning socialism since, by this definition, all of the industrialized capitalist countries are actually socialist.] • The United States has companies with millions of shareholders, which is a far more socialized form of ownership than anything that exists in China. • “[After the Second World War] Capitalism not only gave up its fierce antagonism to labor, but even began combining with labor....Modern gradually creating a new type of capitalism that is more like socialism.” • The CCP followed the correct approach, in line with classical Marxism, during the period of New Democracy [i.e., the period directly following the 1949 liberation, when the party said it was completing the bourgeois democratic revolution but not yet trying to build socialism]. The change in policy after that period [when the party shifted its aim to building socialism] was an error, and instead the New Democracy policy should have been continued. [This was spookily simiqilar to the widespread argument in Moscow in 1989–91 that the Soviet Communist Party should have stayed with the New Economic Policy of 1921–27, which called for a mixed economy with a significant role for private business and with market forces playing the main coordinating role.] • Besides current labor and past labor [the latter the Marxist term for the labor required to produce the means of production], there is a third type of labor, namely “risk labor.” Marxist theory should take account of this third type of labor, which is expended by those who take risks through entrepreneurship. [The obvious point was that “entrepreneurs,” i.e., capitalists, are a type of worker, and hence it is correct that they are allowed to join the Communist Party.] As I listened to these themes—and as I raised questions about them in the question/discussion periods —I had a strong feeling of déjà vu. Many of them were the same themes I had heard (and had argued against) in Moscow in 1991, the last year of the Soviet Union, coming from Soviet academics and party and state officials. Now for some comments by Chinese conference participants that swam against the private property and privatization tide: • A thorough study of the original German versions of Marx and Engels’s writings on communism shows that they clearly viewed communism as involving the abolition of private
  • property. Those who have argued that this idea arose from a mistranslation of Marx and Engels’s works are mistaken. We should not distort Marxism to justify current policies. [Some “Marxists” in China have been arguing that Marx and Engels never actually wrote that communism would involve abolition of private property.] • Privatization is not the right solution to the problems of the SOEs. The right to use capital should belong to the workers and serve their interests. • “Informal privatization” [in which an SOE’s director illegally turns it into his private company] creates capitalist enterprises and should not be permitted. • While some SOEs may have low profit rates, profitability is not a good measure of an enterprise’s contribution to social and economic welfare. • The many Chinese economists who support the theories of Ronald Coase [a rightwing British property-rights theorist who is known for opposing any significant state regulation of private business] are mistaken. The Chinese followers of Coase claim that Marx had no theory of property rights and that Coase supplies the property rights theory that China needs. On the contrary, property rights are the legal manifestation of production relations, a relationship which Marx analyzes at some length. Contrary to Coase’s view, private property is not necessary for efficiency. Public ownership should be primary. [This older leftist academic economist cited at some length statements by the well-known U.S. left-of-center economist Joseph Stiglitz condemning the work of Coase. The reliance by a leftist Chinese economist on the pro-capitalist —yet somewhat heretical—U.S. economist Stiglitz to make a criticism of Coase reminded me of 1991 in Moscow, when the few leftist Soviet economists struggled to criticize free market theory by citing people such as John Kenneth Galbraith.] Notes 1. The new “Property Rights Law of the People’s Republic of China” was passed by the National People’s Congress on March 16, 2007. 2. After such corrupt insider privatizations, the newly privatized enterprise is often then sold to a third party, who at least officially was not involved in the original privatization process. Opponents charged that one of the provisions of the proposed new law (article 106) would hold the final owner blameless and secure that person’s right of ownership, as long as the final owner could claim that she or he obtained the property with “benign intent.” 聪明人把知道说出来,而智者则不声张 5270 个读者 boxi @ 5 天前 15:36 双语对照 原文 字体大小 小 中 大 简介 何为聪明人?何为智者?哪种人既没智慧,也不聪明? 一个人聪明与否要看他的回答。一个人是否有智慧则要看他的提问。 - 纳吉布.马福兹,作家 (1911- ) 聪明人总会告诉你答案。甚至是你没留意过的事情。其目的是给你留下印象。更确切地说,正 如纳西塞斯*一样,是为了要从你脸上的反应看到所映衬出的自己。 这也许是由于自负、骄傲以及不安全感导致他要寻求你的反应。你是聪明人需求的实现。你是
  • 满足了他需求的听众。 智者不会试图说服你任何事情。智者试图构建自我,而非你。他提出问题,因为他想了解更多 东西。他需要了解更多,因为他意识到,有那么多的东西他几乎一无所知。他意识到自己不懂的 要多于他懂的。 智者不会对你改宗劝诱。如果你有此意愿并充满渴求,他也许会引导你找出自己的答案。他不 会强迫你,因为他有自己的追求。 然后还有一种人,他们既不聪明,也缺乏智慧,总想向我们传达他们知道有多少。他们不会问 问题。他们希望给人们留下这样的印象,那就是只要需要,他们都能知道。 他们从商业伦常中已经学会,自己应当“永远也别让人看出焦虑”。绝对不要给人留下这样的印 象,好像你不懂。不懂也要装懂。装吧,反正大多数时候别人是看不出你不懂的。 尽管这是很显然的商业伦理,但却不是真的。不懂又不问的人永远也不会在竞争中获胜,因为 实际上他人了解真相。而懂得的人能抵达理想王国。 不问问题的人不想学习。他们依旧无知。既然他们连自己都给说服了,好像自己想知道多少就 能知道多少,这种无知也就心安理得了。 但他们依旧贫乏。他们精神上是贫乏的,因为总是先考虑自己。他们的知识是贫乏的,因为他 们关上了机会之门。 他们品格上是贫乏的,因为他们连自己都欺骗,自然骗起他人来也是毫不 含糊。 智者会分享其所知。但你得问他。否则的话他会很忙的。 他有自己的追求,并假设你也有。 *纳西塞斯(Narcissus)是希腊神话里的美少年,水仙花的英文是 Narcissus,自恋狂的英文是 Narcissism,而将两者连贯起来,是这样的一个希腊 神话。 纳西塞斯(Narcissus)是希腊神话里的 美少年。他的父亲是河神,母亲是仙女。 纳西塞斯出生后,母亲得到神谕:纳斯索斯长大后,会 是天下第一美男子;然而,他会因为迷恋自己的容貌,郁郁而终。为了逃避神谕的应验, 纳西塞 斯的母亲刻意安排儿子在山林间长大,远离溪流、湖泊、大海,为的是让纳西塞斯永远无法看 见自己的容貌。 纳西塞斯如母亲所愿,在山林间平安长大,而他亦如神谕所料,容貌俊美非 凡,成为天下第一美男子。见过他的少女,无不深深地爱上他。然而, 纳西塞斯性格高傲,没 有一位女子能得到他的爱。他只喜欢整天与友伴在山林间打猎,对于倾情于他的少女不屑一 顾。 山林女神厄科(Echo)对纳西塞斯一见钟情,但是苦于不能表达自己的感情,只能简单地重复 别人的话音。 纳西塞斯对她的痴情不理不睬。 纳西塞斯的铁石心肠使她伤透了心。她请求维纳 斯惩罚他,让他承受痛苦的熬煎。忧郁、期盼、一无所获,使她离开了她往昔的伙伴,漫无目 的地走进了森林。在这 里,她的忧伤有增无减,容颜憔悴,她从山林消失了,但是,她那柔美
  • 的声音始终萦绕幽谷而不去。如果你漫步在寂静的山林,她会回应你的声音。这就是山林女神 厄科 - Echo(回音)。 纳西塞斯的冷面石心,伤透了少女的心,报应女神娜米西斯(Nemesis)看不过眼,决定教训他。 一天, 纳西塞斯在野外狩猎,天气异常酷热,不一会儿,他已经汗流浃背。就在这时,微风吹 来,渗着阵阵清凉,他循着风向前走。逛着逛着,迎面而来的,是一个水清如 镜的湖。湖,对 拿斯索斯来说,是陌生的。 纳西塞斯走过去,坐在湖边,正想伸手去摸一摸湖水,试试那是一 种怎样的感觉,谁知当他定睛在平滑如镜的湖面时,看见一张完美的面孔,不禁惊为天人, 纳 西塞斯心想:这美人是谁呢?真漂亮呀。凝望了一会儿,他发觉,当他向水中的美人挥手,水中 的美人也向他挥手;当他向水中的美人微笑,水中的美人也向他微 笑;但当他伸手去触摸那美 人,那美人便立刻消失了;当他把手缩回来,不一会儿,那美人又再出现,并情深款款地看着 他, 纳西塞斯当然不知道浮现湖面的其实就是自己的倒影。他竟然深深地爱上了自己的倒影。 为了不愿失去湖中的人儿,他日夜守护在湖边,日子一天一天地过去, 纳西塞斯还是不寝不 食,不眠不休地呆在湖边,甘心做他心中美人的守护神,他时而伏在湖边休息,时而绕着湖岸 漫行,但目光始终离不开水中的倒影,永远是目不 转睛地凝望湖面,最后,神谕还是应验了。 纳西塞斯因为迷恋自己的倒影,枯坐死在湖边。 仙 女们知道这件事后,伤心欲绝,赶去湖边,想把纳西塞斯的尸体好好安葬。但纳西塞斯惯坐 的湖边,除了长着一丛奇异的小花外,空空如也。原来爱神怜惜纳西塞 斯,把他化成水仙花, 盛开在有水的地方,让他永远看着自己的倒影。那丛奇异的小花,,清幽脱俗而高傲孤清,甚 为美丽。为了纪念纳西塞斯,仙女们就把这种花 命名为 Narcissus,也就是水仙花了。而这亦是 水仙花为何总是长在水边的原故。也因为这个故事,人们用 Narcissism 形容那些异常喜爱自己 容 貌、有自恋倾向的人。 The clever man tells, the wise man knows quietly You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. - Naguib Mahfouz, writer (1911- ) A clever man will always tell you answers. He will tell you things you may not even care about. His purpose is to impress. To be more accurate, his purpose is, like that of Narcissus, to see himself reflected in the reaction on your face. It may be arrogance, hubris or insecurity that causes him to seek a reaction from you. You are the fulfillment of the need of a clever man. You are the audience that satisfies his need. A wise man will not try to convince you of anything. A wise man is trying to build himself, not to build you. He asks questions because he wants to learn more. He needs to learn more because he is aware of how little he knows about so many things. He is aware less of what he knows than of what he does not yet know. A wise man will not proselytize you. If you are willing and eager, he may guide you to find your own answers. He will not push you because he is on his own quest.
  • Then we have those who are neither clever, wanting to convey to us how much they know, nor wise. They do not ask questions. They wish to give the impression that they know as much as they need to know. They have learned from the ethics of business that they should "never let them see you sweat." Never give the impression that you don't know. When you don't know, fake it. Pretend. Most times the others won't know that you don't know. While that is the apparent ethic of business, it's not a real one. The person who doesn't ask questions and who doesn't know will never rise against the competition because deep down the others know the truth. The ones who know will reach where they want to go. The ones who do not ask questions don't try to learn. They remain ignorant. Comfortably ignorant, as they persuade even themselves that they know as much as they need to know. Yet they are always poor. Poor of spirit because they think of themselves first. Poor of intellect because they close doors of opportunity to learn. Poor of character because they deceive even themselves, thus have no hesitation about deceiving others. A wise man will share what he knows. But you will have to ask. Otherwise he will be busy. He has his own quest. He will assume that you have your own. 简介 一些在我们看来司空见惯、见怪不怪的事情,在外人看来有时候会很惊讶。外部文化或文明, 有时候是一面很好的镜子…… 在中国,我还没见过一个单身妈妈,一个都没有。有没有单身妈妈呢?肯定有,但是在一个 14 亿人口的国家里,单身妈妈毕竟太少了。即使偶然碰到个别单身妈 妈,往往不是因为离婚就 是因为丈夫早逝。(总之,)在中国,女人因非婚姻关系而自己养孩子的事情几乎是闻所未闻 的。 前不久我去中国西部旅游,有个熟人告诉我说:“去年冬天,我的朋友做了一次流产,我帮 忙照顾了几个星期。她在大学里有个男朋友,把她搞怀孕了。除了做流产,她实在没有(别 的)办法。” “难道没人劝她把孩子留下来?那样至少还能把孩子送给别人收养啊”我问道。 “当然不行啦”,这是我听到的回答,“如果没有丈夫,却有了孩子,等于毁灭了她从大学毕 业和找个好工作的机会。”我从朋友处了解到,(这个女孩的)那个男朋友也没打算娶她,因为 他们之间的关系并不认真。 在美国,如果有女人考虑做流产手术,那里的有关组织,比如计划生育联盟,就会提供其他 办法供她们选择,在中国是得不到此类咨询的。中国的单身女子如果怀孕了,做流产手术就是 唯一的出路。
  • 在中国,想养育一个非婚生子女也没那么容易。现在中国的大多数大学生在经济上完全依赖 父母,如果再生个孩子,就会给父母增加额外负担。就像我的朋友为我所做的解释那样:对很 多年轻女子而言,如果选择把孩子生下来,就完完全全意味着她们的高等教育生涯走到尽头 了。 然而,更为重要的原因还是,中国女子如果没有结婚就生了孩子,她们所要承受的风言风语 就会非常严重,(因为)文化传统根本就容不下(这种行为)。 我的朋友解释说:“那样会使她的家人蒙受耻辱”。在中国,有个十分古老的传统,即在新婚 之夜的次日“查床单”,以验证新娘是不是处女。尽管这个古旧的传统 很快就会消失,但是中国 的大多数家长还是害怕家人在朋友圈子里丢尽脸面。如果家里有个女儿未婚生子,流言蜚语就 会源源不断。婚前性行为倒是可以另当别论, 可未婚生子绝对会给女孩的整个家庭带来耻辱, 而且对于这个女孩来说,还有将来能嫁给谁的问题。在中国,只有十分特别的男人才可能愿意 娶一个单身妈妈为妻, 而且在中国文化里十分重要的婚礼上,(作为一个单身妈妈),自然会 让女方的亲人们脸上挂不住。 因此,“妇女有不做流产的优先决定权”(Pro-choice)在中国是不存在的,出路只有一条,那 就是以牺牲掉孩子的代价来换取女孩的未来。在中国,流产手术再普通不过了,简直就像切除 扁桃体。 我那个熟人告诉我:“她怀孕才一个月,就决定做流产了。她不会把胎儿看成是一个人的, 那只不过是一次医疗手术而已。” 但是,朋友告诉我说,她所照料的那个女孩,这样的经历给她带来的痛苦不但有身体上的, 还有感情上的。 我的朋友承认说:“经受这样的事情,实在太可怕了。她很伤心。” 那个女孩没有别的选择,而那个孩子没有生存的权利。这就是我听了这个故事以后的感想。 Why Single Mothers in China Are So Rare I have never met a single mother in China. Not one. Do they exist? Sure, but even in a country of 1.4 billion people, they are few and far between. And if you do happen to run into a single mother, it is more than likely that she lost her husband through a divorce or early death. Women choosing to keep their babies out-of-wedlock in China is almost unheard of. “I spent a few weeks last winter taking care of a friend who had an abortion,” an acquaintance of mine related to me during my recent trip to western China. “She had a boyfriend in University who got her pregnant and she really had no choice but to get rid of it.” “Did anyone suggest to her that she keep the baby and at least give it up for adoption?” I asked. “Of course not,” came the reply. “Having a baby without a husband could have ruined her chance to graduate from university and have a successful career.” According to my friend, the boyfriend had no intention of marrying the girl as the relationship was not that serious.
  • Unlike in America, where organizations like Planned Parenthood are supposed to present other options to mothers who are contemplating an abortion, there is no such counsel given in China. If a woman is single and pregnant in China, there is only one option; the baby must go. Not that keeping a baby out-of-wedlock in China would be easy. Most university students in China are completely dependent on their parents for financial support and choosing to have a baby would place an extra burden on them. Just as my friend suggested, for many young women, choosing to have a baby could very well mean the end of their higher education. But even more importantly, there is still a strong social stigma that is placed on women in China who have children before they are married. It is simply not culturally acceptable. “It would bring shame on her family,” explained my friend. While the age old tradition in China of ‘checking the sheets’ after the wedding night to make sure the bride was a virgin may be fast fading away, most Chinese parents are afraid of ‘losing face’ in front of their family members in friends. An unmarried daughter with a child would be a constant source for rumors and gossip. Having sex before marriage is one thing, but having a baby before marriage would most definitely bring shame upon the girl’s entire family. And then there would be the question about who the girl could marry someday. It would take a special man to marry a single mother in China and the wedding process, which is so important in Chinese culture, would be naturally tainted in the eyes of the girl’s relatives. Thus, there is no such thing as pro-choice in China. There is only one choice; the baby is sacrificed to secure the future of the girl. In China, an abortion procedure is as common as having one’s tonsils removed. “She was only one month pregnant when she had the abortion,” my aquaintance told me. “She didn’t see it as a person. It was just a medical procedure.” Yet, according to my friend, the girl that she took care of suffered both physically and emotionally from the experience. “It was a horrible thing for her to go through,” my friend admitted. “She was very sad.” As was I when I heard this story. The girl never had a choice and the baby never had a chance. 独眼巨人(Cyclope,又翻译成“车轮眼”,因为 cyclope 在希腊文中原本是“ring-eyed”之意)是一种巨大的生物。他 们的额头正中只长着一只圆形的眼睛。据古希腊诗人赫西奥德(Hesiod,归于他写的主要史诗有关于古代农耕生活 的《工作与时日》Works and Days,和关于众神及世界的起源的描述《神谱》Theogony.其作品是研究希腊神 话、古希腊农业技术、天文学和记时的重要文献。)的记载,他们强悍难斗而且“喜怒无常”。他们的所有举动,最 后都会以暴力结尾。他们的名字意为“圆眼睛的”。 希腊神话中其实有两代独眼巨人。 第一代是三兄弟,是大地女神盖娅(Gaia,Mother Earth)和天空之神乌拉 诺斯(Uranus,Sky)的孩子,分别叫作 Brontes (“雷鸣”), Steropes (“闪电”), Arges (“电光”).第二代独眼巨人是波塞冬 的儿子,其中最有名的就是荷马的《奥德赛》里记载的波吕斐摩斯(Polyphemus)。 据某些版本的奥林匹亚神系的早期历史,大地女神盖娅试图制造一种阳寿有限的生灵遍布这颗星球,独眼巨人 和 百手巨人(Hecatonchires,赫卡通刻伊瑞斯,希腊神话里面的百手三巨人,指的是由 Uranus 和 Gaia 所生的三个 儿子布里亚柔斯 Briareus, 科托斯 Cottus 和古阿斯 Gyges,每个人各有 50 个头,100 只手,曾经和众神在与泰坦巨人的 战争间发挥威力,一战成名)都是失败的作品。
  • Brontes, Steropes 和 Arges 都是手艺高超的铁匠。他们为奥林匹亚诸神服务,宙斯的霹雳 电、波塞冬的三叉戟、哈迪斯的暗盔(Helmet of Darkness,又叫作 Cap of Invisibility,所以也 译为“隐身帽” ),就是后来帕尔修斯(Perseus)在斩掉美杜沙的头时配戴的那顶,都是由他 们打造。 独眼巨人早 年大部分时间都被囚禁着。他们的父亲乌拉诺斯厌恶自己所有的子嗣(包括泰坦神、独眼巨人、百 手巨人),把他们深囚在大地女神盖娅的体内。乌拉诺斯被他的儿 子克罗诺斯(Cronus,泰坦神之一)打败取代 之后,独眼巨人得以释放,自由了一段时间。但是克罗诺斯多疑而偏执,他害怕独眼巨人的能力,将他们投到塔 尔塔罗斯(Tartarus,冥府底下暗无天日之深渊,惩罚之所)关押起来。直到泰坦之战(Titanomachy,宙斯反对其父 克罗诺斯而发动的奥林匹 斯诸神与泰坦诸神之间的战争,历时十年),宙斯将他们释放,寻求他们的协助。 在独眼巨人的 协助之下,宙斯凭借霹雳电推翻了克罗诺斯和泰坦诸神,取而代之成为宇宙(cosmos,强调其秩 序与协调)的主宰。宙斯感激独眼巨人的帮助,允许他们居住 在奥林匹斯山,作锻冶之神赫斐斯托斯 (Hephaestus)的助手,为自己锻造军械修理盔甲。希腊人把伯罗奔尼撒半岛上梯林斯和迈锡尼城的坚固要塞也归 功于他们。 传说阿波罗的儿子阿斯克勒庇俄斯(Asclepius,医药之神,原为凡人,后被宙斯提到天上,成为蛇夫座 Ophiuchus)因为医术高超有一次起死回生,触怒宙斯,被他用霹雳电击死。阿波罗为报复宙斯,射杀了为他锻造 霹雳电的独眼巨人。独眼巨人的鬼魂后来居于埃特纳火山的洞窟里——这个传说解释了为什么总是有烟从那座山 中升腾而出。 第二代的独眼巨人是 一群西西里岛上的牧羊人,他们原始而野蛮,已忘却了冶金的技术。波吕斐摩斯,波塞冬 与海洋中的宁芙女神托奥萨(Thoosa)的儿子,是他们中间唯一值得 一提的。关于他,荷马的《奥德赛》中有详 细的描述。来到西西里岛这个独眼巨人的领地后,奥德修斯和最勇敢的十二个伙伴进入波吕斐摩斯关羊群的山洞 里。波吕 斐摩斯用一块巨石挡住了出口,把他们关在了里面,并且生吞了其中几个。第二天晚上,奥德修斯骗波 吕斐摩斯自己名叫“没有人”,而且诱骗他喝得烂醉如泥。待 波吕斐摩斯醉倒之后,奥德修斯用一截烧红的橄榄木 将他的眼睛戳瞎。波吕斐摩斯惨叫而起,向洞外面闻声而来的独眼巨人呼喊,说“没有人”在试图杀害他。其他 巨 人以为是神降病患,便没进洞来救他。后来,独眼巨人不得不移开巨石放他的羊出去吃草。奥德修斯和幸存的伙 伴抱在羊的肚子下面逃离了山洞。 奥德修斯逃出后乘船驶离西西里岛时,他对着波吕斐摩斯大叫,告诉他戳瞎他眼睛的是伊萨卡的奥德修斯。盛 怒的巨人用巨石循着声音砸向他们的船,而且向他的父亲波塞冬呼号,要他为自己向奥德修斯复仇。 今天的学者从历史的角度推测有关独眼巨人这 个神话形象的起源。一种解释是在远古的时代,冶金匠人们都 佩戴独眼眼罩,这样至少能保证一只眼睛不被飞溅的火星弄坏。而且,这些冶金匠人为了表示对给他们 的锻炉带 来火焰的太阳的崇敬和感谢,有时会在自己身上纹上一些同心圆组成的纹身。而那些制作金属器物如碗罐、盔 甲、戏剧面具等的工匠,他们的纹身中也常常 有这种同心圆的图案。神话中第一代独眼巨人就是与冶金锻造联系 在一起,而第二代却不是。很显然第二代原始而野蛮的独眼巨人与第一代的独眼巨人没有直接联 系,是后来加到 整个神话系统里去的。遭遇波吕斐摩斯这一段插曲也许早就存在,有它自己独立的体系和寓意,到后来才被荷马 用到史诗《奥德赛》里面去。
  • Keeping an Eye Out for the CYCLOPES The Cyclopes were giant beings with a single, round eye in the middle of their foreheads. According to the ancient Greek writer Hesiod, they were strong, stubborn, and “abrupt of emotion.” Their every action ebbed with violence and power and their name means "ring- eyed". There are actually two generations of Cyclopes in Greek myth. The first generation consisted of three brothers, Brontes (“thunderer”), Steropes (“lightning”), and Arges (“brightness”), who came from the union of Gaia (Mother Earth) and Uranus (Sky). The second generation descended from Poseidon, and the most famous of these was Polyphemus from Homer’s Odyssey. According to some versions of early Olympian history, the Cyclopes and the Hecatonchires (Hundred-handed-ones) were failed attempts by Mother Earth to create a race of mortals to populate the planet. Brontes, Steropes, and Arges (the three descended from Gaia and Uranus) were the inventive blacksmiths of the Olympian gods. They were skilled metal workers and created Zeus’ thunderbolts, Poseidon’s trident, and Hades’ Helmet of Darkness that was later used by Perseus while on his quest to decapitate Medusa. However, they spent the majority of their early existence imprisoned. Their father Uranus (sky) hated all of his offspring (the Titans, Cyclopes and Hecatonchires or hundred-handed- ones) and kept them confined deep within Gaia (earth). The defeat of Uranus by his son Cronus (a Titan) freed the Cyclopes for a time, but Cronus was a paranoid ruler. He feared the Cyclopes’ power and cast them into Tartarus (the place of punishment in the underworld) where they remained imprisoned until Zeus (an Olympian and son of Cronus) released them, requiring their aid in the Titanomachy (battle of the Titans). With the assistance of the Cyclopes and their thunderbolts, Zeus overthrew Cronus and the Titans and became ruler of the cosmos. He was grateful for the Cyclopes’ help and allowed them to stay in Olympus as his armorers and helpers to Hephaestus, god of smiths. The Greeks also credited them with building the massive fortifications at Tiryns and Mycenae in the Peloponnese. It is said that the god Apollo killed the Cyclopes to avenge the death of his son Asclepius, whom the Cyclopes had killed for bringing mortals back to life. The ghosts of the Cyclopes then went to live in the caverns of volcanic Mount Aetna - this legend served to explain the smoke that frequently rose from that mountain. Brontes, Steropes, and Arges are mainly mentioned in passing in most of the myths to convey strength in heroes and the fine quality of weapons but are major characters in one other event – their deaths at the hands of Apollo. Zeus struck Asclepius, Apollo’s son, down with a thunderbolt for having risen a person from the dead. Apollo was outraged and killed the Cyclopes who had forged the deadly thunderbolt. It appears that Apollo’s rage was misplaced, yet by killing the Cyclopes, he was indirectly punishing Zeus. The ghosts of Brontes, Steropes, and Arges are said to dwell in Mt. Aetna, an active volcano that smokes as a result of their burning forges.
  • The second generation of Cyclopes was a band of lawless shepherds living in Sicily who had lost the skill of metallurgy. Polyphemus, son of Poseidon and the sea nymph Thoosa, is the only notable individual of the lot and figures prominently in Homer’s Odyssey. Odysseus and his crew landed on Sicily, realm of the Cyclopes. He and a few of his best men became trapped in Polyphemus’ cave when Polyphemus rolled a large boulder in front of the entrance to corral his sheep while Odysseus was still inside. Polyphemus was fond of human flesh and devoured many of the men for dinner. On the second night, Odysseus told Polyphemus that his name was “Nobody,” and tricked him into drinking enough wine to pass out. While he was incapacitated, Odysseus/Nobody blinded him with a red hot poker. Polyphemus shouted in pain to the other Cyclopes on the island that “Nobody” was trying to kill him, so no one came to his rescue. Eventually, he had to roll away the stone to allow his sheep to graze. Odysseus and the remaining crew clung to the bellies of the exiting sheep where Polyphemus could not feel them as they passed him on their way to pasture and escaped. As Odysseus sailed away from the island, he shouted to Polyphemus that it was Odysseus who had blinded him. Enraged, the Cyclops threw huge boulders at the ship and shouted to his father, Poseidon, to avenge him. Recent scholars have hypothesized about the origin of the Cyclopes’ single eye. One possibility is that in ancient times, smiths could have worn an eye patch over one eye to prevent being blinded in both eyes from flying sparks. Also, smiths sometimes tattooed themselves with concentric circles which could have been in honor of the sun which provided the fire for their furnaces. Concentric rings were also part of the pattern for making bowls, helmets, masks, and other metal objects. Notice that the first generation Cyclopes were associated with metal-working while the second generation was not. Apparently, the lawless band of Cyclopes is a later addition to the myths. The incidence with Polyphemus seems to have had an independent existence from the Odyssey before Homer added it to his epic adventure. It was probably told as a separate myth at certain functions. It is uncertain why the Cyclopes were demoted from the smiths of the gods to a lawless group of monsters with no reverence for the gods. When the universe came into being, there were many monsters and vague forms that were gradually replaced with beings with more human forms. Order was replacing chaos. The monsters were phased out, and this could have lead to the transformation of the “good” Cyclopes to the “evil” Cyclopes that were destined to be fought and defeated by the divine human form. They next arrived at the country of the Cyclopses. The Cyclopses were giants, who inhabited an island of which they were the only possessors. The name means "round eye," and these giants were so called because they had but one eye, and that placed in the middle of the forehead. They dwelt in caves and fed on the wild productions of the island and on what their flocks yielded, for they were shepherds. Ulysses left the main body of his ships at anchor, and with one vessel went to the Cyclopses' island to explore for supplies. He landed with his companions, carrying with them a jar of wine for a present, and coming to a large cave they entered it, and finding no one within examined
  • its contents. They found it stored with the richest of the flock, quantities of cheese, pails and bowls of milk, lambs and kids in their pens, all in nice order. Presently arrived the master of the cave, Polyphemus, bearing an immense bundle of firewood, which he threw down before the cavern's mouth. He then drove into the cave the sheep and goats to be milked, and, entering, rolled to the cave's mouth an enormous rock, that twenty oxen could not draw. Next he sat down and milked his ewes, preparing a part for cheese, and setting the rest aside for his customary drink. Then, turning round his great eye, he discerned the strangers, and growled out to them, demanding who they were, and where from. Ulysses replied most humbly, stating that they were Greeks, from the great expedition that had lately won so much glory in the conquest of Troy; that they were now on their way home, and finished by imploring his hospitality in the name of the gods. Polyphemus deigned no answer, but reaching out his hand seized two of the Greeks, whom he hurled against the side of the cave, and dashed out their brains. He proceeded to devour them with great relish, and having made a hearty meal, stretched himself out on the floor to sleep. Ulysses was tempted to seize the opportunity and plunge his sword into him as be slept, but recollected that it would only expose them all to certain destruction, as the rock with which the giant had closed up the door was far beyond their power to remove, and they would therefore be in hopeless imprisonment. Next morning the giant seized two more of the Greeks, and dispatched them in the same manner as their companions, feasting on their flesh till no fragment was left. He then moved away the rock from the door, drove out his flocks, and went out, carefully replacing the barrier after him. When he was gone Ulysses planned how he might take vengeance for his murdered friends, and effect his escape with his surviving companions. He made his men prepare a massive bar of wood cut by the Cyclops for a staff, which they found in the cave. They sharpened the end of it, and seasoned it in the fire, and hid it under the straw on the cavern floor. Then four of the boldest were selected, with whom Ulysses joined himself as a fifth. The Cyclops came home at evening, rolled away the stone and drove in his flock as usual. After milking them and making his arrangements as before, he seized two more of Ulysses' companions and dashed their brains out, and made his evening meal upon them as he had on the others. After he had supped, Ulysses approaching him handed him a bowl of wine, saying, "Cyclops, this is wine; taste and drink after thy meal of men's flesh." He took and drank it, and was hugely delighted with it, and called for more. Ulysses supplied him once again, which pleased the giant so much that he promised him as a favor that he should be the last of the party devoured. He asked his name, to which Ulysses replied, "My name is Noman." After his supper the giant lay down to repose, and was soon found asleep. Then Ulysses with his four select friends thrust the end of the stake into the fire till it was all one burning coal, then poising it exactly above the giant's only eye, they buried it deeply into the socket, twirling it round as a carpenter does his auger.
  • The howling monster with his outcry filled the cavern, and Ulysses with his aides nimbly got out of his way and concealed themselves in the cave. He, bellowing, called aloud on all the Cyclopes dwelling in the caves around him, far and near. They on his cry flocked round the den, and inquired what grievous hurt had caused him to sound such an alarm and break their slumbers. He replied, "O friends, I die, and Noman gives the blow." They answered, "If no man hurts thee it is the stroke of Jove (Zeus), and thou must bear it." So saying, they left him groaning. Next morning the Cyclops rolled away the stone to let his flock out to pasture, but planted himself in the door of the cave to feel of all as they went out, that Ulysses and his men should not escape with them. But Ulysses had made his men harness the rams of the flock three abreast, with osiers which they found on the floor of the cave. To the middle ram of the three one of the Greeks suspended himself, so protected by the exterior rams on either side. As they passed, the giant felt of the animals' backs and sides, but never thought of their bellies; so the men all passed safe, Ulysses himself being on the last one that passed. When they had got a few paces from the cavern, Ulysses and his friends released themselves from their rams, and drove a good part of the flock down to the shore to their boat. They put them aboard with all haste, then pushed off from the shore, and when at a safe distance Ulysses shouted out, "Cyclops, the gods have well requited thee for thy atrocious deeds. Know it is Ulysses to whom thou owest thy shameful loss of sight." The Cyclops, hearing this, seized a rock that projected from the side of the mountain, and rending it from its bed he lifted it high in the air, then exerting all his force, hurled it in the direction of the voice. Down came the mass, just clearing the vessel's stern. The ocean, at the plunge of the huge rock, heaved the ship towards the land, so that it barely escaped being swamped by the waves. When they had with the utmost difficulty pulled off shore, Ulysses was about to hail the giant again, but his friends besought him not to do so. He could not forbear, however, letting the giant know that they had escaped his missile, but waited till they had reached a safer distance than before. The giant answered them with curses, but Ulysses and his friends plied their oars vigorously, and soon regained their companions. 简介 综合比对学校教育和自学的优缺点。不过作者似乎更加提倡自学,而且拉出了盖茨,戴尔,等 等 从梦想的工作干起:不需上学,只需一张借阅卡 如果你可以做你喜欢的事谋生并且收入颇丰怎么样?最重要的是,如果你不必上学,不必在课 堂上花费几百个小时,不必在获得学位时债务成山怎么样?听起来不错,不是吗? 的确,大学毕业生的平均年薪超过一些没有学士学位的人。但是,一大堆全球顶尖的创新者和 富翁在高中或大学辍学。 (例如:沃尔特.迪士尼,史蒂夫.乔布斯,约翰尼.德普,比尔.盖茨和
  • 昆滕.塔伦蒂诺。 ) 他们怎么做呢? 真的有可能使人们的自学,向昂贵的学位教育一样取得好效果吗?每种方法都有其独特的优点 和缺点,我不试图说服你选一种或另一种。我只是指出,过去十年中环境有了很大的变化,开 辟一条具有自己特色的路比以往任何时候可能性都大。最大的问题是确定什么工作最适合你。 很多人不知道,我中学没有毕业。二年级开始时,我对上课不再有任何兴趣。课程对我来说太 简单,我感觉我是在被强迫学习我不感兴趣的东西。我觉得我没有参加属于我的教育。所以, 我不再上课了。 几年后我参加了一所社区学院。我也没有从那里毕业,但与中学相比,我比较喜欢这里。我没 有选择主修课,只是上我感兴趣的。我没有得到学位的愿望,只是为了了解我感兴趣的事。 老实说,我觉得在学校上感兴趣的课时,应当更加集中精力,因为太多的注意力放在派对和完 成课程要求上。大学是学习你所感兴趣的事物的机会,谁在乎他们是不是适合于主修课?我没 有。 在你不知道(大学)之外还有什么选项的情况下,这里有一些不需要大学学位的职业机会: 网络写手 作者 生活教练 演员 音乐家 软件工程师 销售 企业家 厨师 社会媒体顾问 播音员 DJ 职业摄影师 可能性仅被你的想象羁绊。这些所需的大部分技能可以通过自学和一张简单的阅读卡学到。你 显然也可以在正式场合学到大多数这些职业技能,但是不一定有这个必要。 在我看来,未来十年,我们将看到更多的人会选择自学这条路。大量的免费信息和自学资源正 在爆炸。像维基百科(Wikipedia,自学资源网)和个人 MBA(Personal MBA, 自学资源网) 等正使我们的环境发生改变。不仅如此,把自己变成专家并且组建自己的网络,比以往任何时 候都变得容易。像博客和在线交流平台,可让你证明您的 专业知识,省去在工作岗位十几年的 攀爬。 Twitter(网站)和 LinkedIn(网站)的社会网络可以让您省去中间联系和中间人,直接 和您想认识的人进行互利合作。 尽管这一切听上去美妙,但这条道路并不总是令人称心如意。你需要有一些素质,以便使自己
  • 成为一个(传统教育的)叛离者: 主动作为。这意味着你必须要激励自己学习并且沉浸在所学的领域。 你必须有激情。您的源动力将来自你的激情。如果你不热爱你正在做的,继续下去是很困难 的。 自力更生。由于没有前车可鉴,你必须自己开路。您需要一定的创造性和自律意识。 最好有一个团队。有一批志同道合人士的支持,将更容易为了你的目标坚持下去。或跟随一个 导师。 我不认为传统的(教育)方式没有任何价值。它们各有利弊。让我们来看看大学毕业生和自学 的人各自的优缺点。 大学学位的优点: 课程内容摆在你面前。你不必花费大量时间来研究需要学习什么,只需简单地参照课程结构进 行。 (人际关系)网是现成的。如果你在高校做得对,出来时你可以具有一个现成的已经牢靠的职 业或者生意联系网。 信誉。相当程度上证明你已经认真研究过你的专业。 大学学位的缺点: 课程过于死板。如果你和你的同行在学习相同的东西,你怎样才能与众不同呢? 说穿了,上大学很贵。 你被迫学习你并不关心的事。学位的课程要求,常常要你上一些几乎与学位无关的课。 自学的长处: 没有严格的课程,你可以更加灵活地建立一个知识库。如果您有很高的积极性,你可能会注意 到一个受过传统教育的人容易忽视的东西。 有可能需要更短的时间。如果你聪明,与首先取得一个学位相比,你可以花费较短的时间使自 己达到专业。 你更容易控制需要多长时间达到专业。 不太贵。图书证和注册维基(Wikipedia)都是免费的。 自学的缺点: 不容易,如果你没有自律意识。 你必须建立自己的(人际关系)网。在图书馆耗着不会给你带来与本行业的其他人接触的机 会。 你必须建立信誉。如果你没有一个学位做支撑,要证明你的能力,必须通过过去的成功。总之 自学和信誉不相关,因为不管有无大学学位,客户或公司希望看到不只是你研究过什么或者取 得怎样的分数,还有你已经实现了什么。 一些领域需要学位。有一些领域自学不足以证明你专业的性合法。例如:医生,律师,等。然
  • 而,这是职业名录中的一小部分。 因此,如果你考虑自学这条路,这里有一些很好的资源帮助你开始: 谷歌学术(Google Scholar)-轻松搜查同行在你感兴趣的主题上的文章,论文,著作。 维基百科(Wikipedia)-几乎有所有话题的信息和背景。 个人工商管理硕士(Personal MBA)-遵循可以教你一切你需要知道的关于成功做一桩生意的 哲学。 麻省理工学院开放式课件(MIT OpenCourseWare) 财务你的自由(Finance Your Freedom)-关于创建自己的职业道路、摒弃由 Clay Collins 创建 的主流方式的一个伟大的博客。 职业叛逆者(Career Renegade)-一本由 Jonathan Fields 写的,关于非常规的职业生涯和做自己 喜欢的事谋生的一本书。它也有一套实在的自我学习资源。 结束语 如果渴望成为化学家,人类学家,一名医生或律师,自学成才的道路可能不是你的最佳选择。 如果正梦想着技术、社会传媒、写作或者创业生涯,自学可能是你最好的选择。这一切都取决 于你想要的生活。很明显,你也可以两者结合起来。 最后,真正重要的是社会经验,还没有图书馆,教室或教师可以提供。 本文作者禅宗习惯贡献者 Jonathan Mead 的照亮心灵(Illuminated Mind)。若要了解更多关 于如何生活没有限制,抓紧订阅照明心灵(subscription to Illuminated Mind)。 - 如果你喜欢这篇文章,请登陆 或 StumbleUpon。我非常感谢。 : )
  • Land Your Dream Job: Ditch School and Get a Library Card Article by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead; follow him on twitter. What if you could do what you love for a living and make a great income at it? On top of that, what if you didn’t have to go to school, spend hundreds of hours in a classroom and end up with a mountain of debt when you finally earn your degree? Sounds nice, doesn’t it? It’s true that the average college graduate earns more than someone without a bachelor’s degree. However, a good chunk of the biggest innovators and multimillionaires in the world were either high school or college drop outs. (See: Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Johnny Depp, Bill Gates and Quinten Tarantino.) So how did they do it? Is it really possible to make as good of a living being self-taught, as someone with an expensive degree? Each path has their unique benefits and drawbacks, and I’m not trying to convince you one way or another. I’m just pointing out that the playing field has changed a lot in the past decade, and it’s
  • more possible than ever to trail blaze your own path. The biggest point is to determine what works best for you. A lot of people don’t know this, but I never graduated from high school. At the beginning of my sophomore year I just stopped having an interest in going to class. The work was too easy for me and I felt I was being forced to learn about things that I had no interest in. I felt like I had no participation in my own education. So I stopped going. A few years later I ended up attending a community college. I never finished that either, but I did like it a lot better than high school. I didn’t choose a set major; I just took whatever classes interested me. I had no desire to actually obtain a degree, I only wanted to learn about the things that interested me. Honestly, I think taking classes that you find interesting should be a greater focus in college, because too much emphasis is being placed on partying and fulfilling course requirements. College is your chance to study the things you care about. Who cares if they don’t apply to your major? I didn’t. In case you’re wondering what kind of options are out there, here are a few career opportunities that don’t require a college degree: • Pro-blogger • Author • Life coach • Actor • Musician • Software developer • Sales • Entrepreneur • Chef • Social media consultant • Public speaker • DJ • Professional photographer The possibilities are only limited to your imagination. Most of the skills needed for these pursuits can be learned with a simple library card and self teaching. You can obviously study most of these career paths in a formal setting as well, but it’s not necessarily required. It’s my opinion that over the course of the next decade, we’ll see a lot more people on the scene of the self starting career path. The amount of free information and self educations resources is exploding. Places like Wikipedia and Personal MBA are changing the playing field. Not only that, but it’s becoming easier to establish yourself as an expert and build your network than ever before. Things like blogging and online content publishing platforms can allow you to demonstrate your expertise without decades of climbing your way up the corporate ladder. Social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn can allow you to cut out the middle man and build direct, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you need to know. Despite how romantic this all sounds, this path isn’t always bed of roses. There are some qualities you need in order to be a self-made renegade:
  • • Be a self starter. This means that you have to be self motivated to learn and immerse yourself in the knowledge of your field. • You have to have passion. Your source for motivation will come from your passion. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, it will be hard to keep going. • Self-reliance. Since there’s no course to follow, you’ll have to pave your own way. You need a certain amount of creativity and self-discipline to remain persistent. • It helps to have a tribe. It will be much easier to stay true to your goals when you have support from a group of like-minded people or from a mentor. I’m not claiming that the traditional path doesn’t have any value. There are benefits and disadvantages to each side. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a college graduate vs. the self educated person. College degree pros: • Curriculum is laid out before you. You don’t have to do much work researching what you need to learn about, you simply follow the course structure. • Network is built for you. If you do things right in college, you can likely come out with an already strong network of business / professional contacts. • Credibility. A reputable degree proves you’ve thoroughly studied your profession. College degree cons: • Curriculum can be too rigid. If you’re learning the same things everyone else is learning in your profession, how do you differentiate yourself? • To put it bluntly, college is expensive. • You are forced to learn things you don’t really care about. Course requirements for a degree often require that you to take classes with hardly any relevance to your major. Self educated pros: • No strict curriculum allows you to be more flexible in building a knowledge base. If you’re highly motivated, you’re likely to pick out things that a traditionally educated person would miss. • Has the possibility to take less time. If you’re smart, you can establish yourself in a profession in much less time than by first getting a degree. • You’re more in control of how long it will take to become established. • Less expensive. A library card and access to Wikipedia are free. Self education cons: • Not easy if you’re not disciplined. • You have to build your own network. Hanging out at library doesn’t give you much opportunity to network with others in your field. • You have to establish credibility. If you don’t have a degree to back you up, you’ll have to demonstrate your competence through past successes. This is kind of irrelevant anyway, because college degree or not, a client or company will want to see not just what you’ve studied or your grades, but what you’ve actually accomplished.
  • • Some fields require a degree. There are some fields where being self-educated isn’t enough to practice your profession legally. See: doctor, lawyer, etc. This is, however, a small fraction of the career spectrum. So if you’re thinking about the DIY path, here are some good resources to get you started: • Google Scholar - Easily searched peer-reviewed papers, theses, books and articles on your topic of interest. • Wikipedia - Information and background on nearly every subject. • Personal MBA - Follows the philosophy that you can teach yourself everything you need to know about running a successful business. • MIT OpenCourseWare • Finance Your Freedom - A great blog on creating your own career path and ditching the mainstream by Clay Collins. • Career Renegade - An awesome book by Jonathan Fields on unconventional career paths and doing what you love for a living. It also has a solid chapter on self teaching resources. Closing thoughts If you’re looking to become a chemist, anthropologist, a doctor or a lawyer, the self-educated path is probably not the best choice for you. If you’re looking for a career in technology, social media, writing or starting your own business, self teaching is probably your best bet. It all depends on what you want out of life. You can obviously have a hybrid of both, too. In the end, what really matters is real world experience, something no library, classroom or teacher can offer. This article was written by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead of Illuminated Mind. To learn more about how to live without limits, grab a subscription to Illuminated Mind. — If you liked this article, please share it on or StumbleUpon. I’d appreciate it. :) 对圣雄甘地的思考 897 个读者 MINSHENG @ 3 天前 11:24 双语对照 原文 字体大小 小 中 大 简介 奥威尔闻名于世的当然是《动物庄园》和《1984》,但他的生命是富有传奇和多姿多彩的,他 留下的作品题材广泛,有不少臧否人物和作品的佳作,此文从他的独特角度分析了圣雄甘地, 评论多于事实,但全部是基于事实的思考。 对圣雄甘地的思考 奥威尔 1949
  • 对圣人的判断应该永远使用有罪推定,不过,对圣人的测验方法当然不能一成不变。就甘地的 情况来说,人倾向于提出的问题是:甘地在多大程度上受虚荣心的影响 - 受一个谦卑,赤 裸的老人坐在祈祷席上用纯粹的精神力量震撼帝国的自我意识的影响  - 还有多大程度上他因 进入政治妥协了自己的原则,而政治的本质就与强迫和欺诈不可分割?要给出明确的答案,就 不得不极详尽地研究他的行动和著作,因为他的一 生就是某种一举一动都意味深长的朝圣。不 过,这部截至于十九世纪二十年代的部分自传是对他有利的有力证词,更有利的是书中所写的 是他会称作是他生命中冥顽 不化的那一段,提醒人在圣人或亚圣背後是位非常精明能干的人, 如果他那么选择的话,他会是杰出成功的律师、管理者或者甚至商人。 我记得大约自传首次出现的时间从某个印刷低劣的印度报纸阅读开篇的章节。那些章节给我留 下了好印象,而那时甘地本 人却没有给我好印象。那些人们与他联系在一起的东西 - 家纺 布,“灵魂力量”和素食主义-没有吸引力,而且他的中世纪式的纲领显然在落后,饥饿且人口 过 多的国家没有可行性。另外明显的是英国人在利用他,或者自以为在利用他。严格地说,他 是位民族主义者,是一个敌人,但由于在每次危机中他都运用自己的力量 阻止暴力-这一点在 英国人看来意味着阻止任何有效的行动-他会被看作是“我们的人”。这一点有时候私下里不无 嘲讽地承认。印度的百万富翁们的态度相似,甘 地号召他们忏悔,自然地,他们偏向他胜过偏 向社会主义者和共产主义者,那些人一有机会会实际上拿走他们的金钱。这种算计长远来说有 多大的可靠性值得怀疑; 如甘地本人所说“骗人者最终欺篇的只是他们自己”;但无论如何,涉 及他的时候的那种几乎无例外的柔和部分来自觉得他有用的感觉。英国保守派变得对他愤怒是 在 1942 年,当时他实际上把他的非暴力转向了不同的征服者。 但即使那时我也看得出来,那些说起他来既有乐趣又有反对的英国官员也真诚地喜欢他,钦佩 他,虽然有点勉强。没有任何人用任何粗俗的方式提到过他腐败或者有野心,或者他做的任何 事是由恐惧或者敌意促成的。评价象甘地那樣的人,人们似乎直觉地运用高标准,以至于他的 一些美德几乎未引起注意。例如,即使从他的自传也能明白他的天生的人身勇气是相当突出的: 他死去的方式后来就说明了这点,因为一个多多少少把自己的命看得重要的公众人物都 会有更 充分地保护。再者,他好象没有那种发狂的多疑,这个正如 E.M Forster 在“印度之行”里正确地 说到,是不断发作的印度病,正象虚伪之于英国。尽管毫无疑问他的精明足以发现欺骗,他好 像只要可能就相信别的人的行为出发点是好 的、有一种可以接近的更好的天性。而且尽管他出 身贫穷的中层社会家庭,起始相当不顺并且很可能其貌不扬,他并没有受嫉妒或者卑劣感的煎 熬。当他第一次在南 非见到肤色歧视的最恶劣的形式时,似乎相当吃惊。即使他在与事实上的 有色战争战斗时,他也没有以肤色或地位取人。一位省督、一位棉花百万富翁、一位饿得半 死 的德拉威人苦力、一位英国列兵,都是应以差不多同样方式接近的平等的人。值得注意的是, 即使在最可能糟糕的境况,例如他在南非因捍卫印度社区而不受欢迎 时,他也不乏欧洲朋友。 自传以短篇在报纸连载,不是文学杰作,但因其大部材料的寻常却更为感人。值得一提的是, 甘地起 初抱得是印度青年学生的正常的雄心,只是逐渐采用了他的那些偏激的思想,在某些情 况下还相当不情愿。有趣的是,他曾经戴大礼帽、上跳舞课、学习法语和拉丁 语、登上埃菲尔 铁塔甚至尝试学小提琴,所有这些都是尽可能全面吸收欧洲文明的意思。他不是那种从童年开 始就以其非凡的虔诚而受选的圣人,也不是那种历尽奢 华后脱离红尘的圣人。他全部坦白了年 轻时的不轨行为,但事实上没多少要坦白的。书的卷首插图有甘地去世时的财物的照片。全套 东西大概 5 英镑可以买得到。而甘地的罪,至少是肉体的罪,如果全部堆积起来也会跟他的财 物那样不起眼。几支香烟、几口肉、童年时偷了女佣的几个安那(印度旧货币-译 者注)、两 次逛妓院(每次都“没干什么”跑掉了)、一次与普利茅斯的女房东差点出轨、一次大发脾气 - 这差不多就是全部了。几乎从童年起他就有一种深深的执着,一种道德的而不是宗教的态度, 但直至 30 岁左右之前,没有非常确定的方向感。他首次参与可以称为 公共生活的事情是通过 素食主义。在他的不平常的品质背後,总是能感觉到他的祖先们-那些坚实的中层社会商人。能 感到即使在他放弃了个人抱负之后,他一定一 直是一位办法多多、精力充沛的律师和一位头脑 冷静的政治组织者,小心仔细地压低费用,一位娴熟的各种委员会的管理者和一位不屈不挠的
  • 募捐者。他的个性是超 常的混合型,但其中几乎没有任何东西你可以准确指出说成是坏的,而 且我相信,即使甘地最恶的敌人也会承认,他是一位只不过因为活着就丰富了这个世界的有趣 和不同寻常的人。至于他是否也是一位可爱的人、他的教导对那些不接受他的教导建立其上的 宗教信仰的人们有多大影响,我从未感到完全确定过。 近几年谈论甘地一 直是时尚,好象他不仅同情西方的左翼运动,而且整体上是其中的一部分。 尤其无政府主义者和和平主义者已经称他为他们自己人,只注意他反对中央集权制和国家 暴 力,却无视他的思想里重来世、反人道主义的倾向。不过我认为,因该认识到甘地的教导不能 与下述的信念相符:即人是认识衡量一切事物的标准并且我们的任务 是让生命值得在地球-我 们唯一的地球-上生存。他的教导要成立,只有假设上帝存在而且坚实物体的世界是可以逃离的 虚幻。值得思考的 是甘地加给自身的戒律,尽管他可能没有强求每一位追随者遵守每一个细 节,他认为如果要服务上帝或者人类那些戒律就必不可少。首先,不吃肉,而且可能的话没 有 任何形式的来自动物的食品。(甘地本人为了健康不得不让不喝牛奶,但好象觉得那是后 退。)戒酒戒烟而且即使素食也不要调料或调味品,因为吃饭只能是为了 保持体能而不能是为 了美味。第二,可能的话,无性交。如果必须要的话,只能是为了得到子嗣的唯一目的而且大 概得长时间的间隔。甘地本人 35 岁左右受了禁欲 戒,意味著不仅完全守身而且要排除性欲。 这种情况好象没有特别的饮食和频繁的禁食难以企及。而最后 - 这是要点 - 山的追求者决不能 有亲密的友情和任何排他的爱。 甘地说, 亲密的友情是危险的,因为“朋友相互反应”并由于对一个朋友的忠诚而导致做错事。 这毫无疑问是对的。再者,如果一个人要爱上帝,或者爱作为整体的人类,他 就不能把他的爱 给某个具体的个人。这也是对的并且标志出人道主义的与宗教的态度的调和停止点。对常人来 说,爱如果不是爱一些人胜过爱其他人的话,就没有任 何意义。至于甘地是否对自己的妻子子 女有任何的不体贴,自传里语焉不详,但无论如何说清了至少有三次情况他宁愿让妻子或一个 孩子死也不让用医生处方开的来 自动物的食品。实际上那种威胁的死亡从未出现,而甘地也 - 可以猜想,有许多来自对立方向的道德压力 - 总是给病人以犯一宗罪的代价活命的选择:尽管 如此,如果决定是完全由他自己作的话,他会完全禁止来自动物的食品,无论风险会有多大。 他说,我们为了活命而 要做的事一定要有某种界限,而那个界限完全在鸡汤的这面。这种态度 可能是高尚的,但我想按绝大多数人对这个词的理解,那是不人道的。作人的实质是不追求完 美,但有时因为忠诚甘愿犯罪,不把禁欲主义推到无法有友好交往的程度,准备好最终被生活 击败打碎,那是把爱系于其他个人的不可避免的代价。毫无疑问,酒、 烟以及诸如此类的东西 是圣人必须要避免的,但是成圣也是人类必须要避免的一件事。对此有一个明显反驳,但使用 之前要三思而行。在此瑜伽盛行的时代,太容易 假设“不依恋”不仅胜过全部接受尘世生活,而 且凡夫俗子拒绝“不依恋”是因为那太难做到了:换言之,凡夫俗子是失败的圣人。这么说是否 真实值得怀疑。许多 人真心地不想做圣人,而且很可能一些成圣的或企望成圣的从来就没觉得 做人有什么吸引力。如果能跟踪其心理根底,我相信,“不依恋”的主要动机是逃离生的痛 苦的 欲望,首当其冲逃离爱,因爱无论是否关乎性,都是艰难的。不过这里无须辩论“重来生”或者 人道主义理想那个“较高”。关键是它们互不相容。一个人必须 在上帝与人之间做出选择,而所 有的“激进派”和“进步派”,从最温和的自由主义者到最极端的无政府主义者,实际上都选择了 人。 不过,甘地的 和平主义可以在某种程度上与他的其它教导区分开来。和平主义的动机是宗教性 的,但他说也是一种具体的能够产生期望的政治结果的技术,方法。甘地的态度不是 绝大多数 西方和平主义者的那种。Satyagraha(非暴力抵抗及不合作主义)首先发端演变于南非,是某种 非暴力战争,一种不用伤害敌人或者感到或引起 仇恨的打败敌人的办法。这种主义要求一系列 的做法,如民间不合作,罢工,卧轨,警察攻击时不逃跑不反抗等等。甘地反对把 Satyagraha 译成“消极抵 抗”:好象在古吉拉特语里,词义是“坚持真理”。 甘地早年时在波尔战争里的英 国一方抬过担架,在 1914-1918 年的战争里也准备好了再当担架员。即 使在他发誓彻底放弃 暴力后,他也诚实地明白在战争中经常必须要选择一方。他没有走枯燥不实的路线家装每次战
  • 争中双方都是一模一样的,谁胜谁负没有差别,实 际上,他也不能,因为他的全部政治生命以 民族独立为中心。他也不象绝大多数西方和平主义者那样,专门回避尴尬的问题。有关不久之 前的战争,每一位和平主义 者有明确义务要回答的问题是:“犹太人怎么办?你是否准备看到 他们被灭绝?如果不是,你建议如何不用诉诸战争挽救他们?”我必须说,我没有听到任何一位 西 方和平主义者对这个问题的诚实回答,尽管我听到大量的回避,一般都是“你是另一位”那 类。但是,有这么回事,1938 年的时候,有人问了甘地有点同样的问 题,而且他的答复记录在 路易斯 菲舍先生写的“甘地与斯大林”。按照菲舍先生的说法,甘地的观点是德国犹太人应该 集体自杀,那会“让世界和德国人觉醒到 希特勒的暴行”。战后他为自己辩解说:反正犹太人已 经被杀了,还不如死得有些意义。给人的印象是即使如菲舍先生那样热情的支持者也对这种态 度大吃一惊,而 甘地只不过是诚实而已。如果你不打算剥夺生命,你就必须经常预备以其它方 式失去生命。1942 年时,他力促非暴力不抵抗对付日本侵略,他准备好了承认可能 会有几百万 死亡的代价。 同时,有理由认为甘地不 了解极权主义的本质而以他自己与英国政府的斗争看待一切,毕竟他 是出生于 1869 年。这里的要点不是英国人待他多宽容,而是他总是能掌握公众的注意力。可 以从上面引用的短语看到,他相信“唤醒世界”,而这只能在世界有机会听到你的作为才有可 能。如果在一个政权的反对派半夜消失,之后杳无音讯的国度里,难以 明白甘地的方法如何运 用。没有出版自由和集会自由,不仅没有可能呼吁外部意见,也不可能产生群众运动,甚至不 可能让你的对手知道你的意图。当下在俄国有没 有一位甘地?而如果有的话,他正在成就什 么?假如碰巧所有俄国群众同时有同样的想法,他们也只能实践民间不合作,即使那样,从乌 克兰大饥荒的历史看来,也 不会有什么不同。但是,假设我们承认可以有效地用非暴力抵抗对 付自己的政府甚至外来占领力量,又如何在国际范围付诸实践呢?甘地对上次战争的各种相互 冲突 的说法好象说明他意识到了这个问题的难度。 应用到对外政策,和平主义要么不再是和 平主义的,要么就变成绥靖。再者,甘地与个人打交道时用得得心应手的假 设-所有人都多多 少少可以亲近,都会响应慷慨的姿态-需要认真地质疑。例如,你和疯子打交道时就不一定 对。然后问题变成:“谁是正常的?” 难道不会按另 一种文化的标准一种整体的文化是疯狂 的?而且,就一个人对整个国家感情的判断来说,慷慨的行动和友好的回应有没有任何明显的 联系?感激是不是国际政治的一 个因素? 这些以及同类的问题需要讨论,而且迫切地需要讨论,就在某个人按下按钮火箭起飞之前给我 们留下的这几年里讨论。文明能否承受再一次大战好象难以预测,至少可以想到出路在于非暴 力。甘地会 准备好真诚地考虑我上面提出的那类问题,这是他的美德,而且实际上,他很可能 会在他的众多的报纸文章里这里那里讨论绝大部分这类问题。人们对他的感觉是, 他有许多东 西不懂,却没有多少不敢说或不敢想的。我从没能够感到对甘地有多喜欢,但我不能感到肯定 的是,作为政治思想家甘地在主要方面是错的,我也不相信 他的人生是败笔。奇怪的是,他被 暗杀的时候,他的许多最热心的崇拜者哀伤地感叹他刚好活到看着自己一生的努力瓦解崩溃, 因为印度正陷于内战,那是一直预见 到的权力转移的副产品。但甘地的一生并不是用在平息印 度教与穆斯林的对立。他的主要的政治目标-和平结束英国统治-毕竟已经实现了。与平常一 样,相关的事 实互相抵触。在另一方面,英国人确实未经战斗就退出了印度,只有为数极少的 几个观察员在此事的大约一年前实际能预测到。在另一方面,这事是劳工党政府做 的,可以肯 定,保守党政府会采取不同的行动,尤其是在丘吉尔的领导下。但是,如果到 1945 年时英国已 有一大批同情印度独立的舆论,这在多大程度上是由于 甘地的个人影响呢?而如果印度和英国 最终达成得体有好的关系,有可能出现,这会不会部分是因为甘地通过固执地和没有仇恨地坚 持自己的斗争而把政治空气消了 毒?就是人甚至会想到问这样的问题也表明了他的地位。你可 能会和我一样,对甘地感到某种审美方面的厌恶,你也或许会拒绝那些代他要求的圣人功绩 (顺便提 下,他自己从未有任何此类要求),你也可能拒绝作为一种理想的圣人境界并因此感 到甘地的基本目标是反人类和反动的:但是,把他简单作为政治家来看,并与我 们时代的其他 政治领导相比,他设法留在身后的是多么干净的气味啊!
  • Reflections on Gandhi An essay by George Orwell, 1949. Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent, but the tests that have to be applied to them are not, of course, the same in all cases. In Gandhi's case the questions on feels inclined to ask are: to what extent was Gandhi moved by vanity - by the consciousness of himself as a humble, naked old man, sitting on a praying mat and shaking empires by sheer spiritual power - and to what extent did he compromise his own principles by entering politics, which of their nature are inseparable from coercion and fraud? To give a definite answer one would have to study Gandhi's acts and writings in immense detail, for his whole life was a sort of pilgrimage in which every act was significant. But this partial autobiography, which ends in the nineteen-twenties, is strong evidence in his favor, all the more because it covers what he would have called the unregenerate part of his life and reminds one that inside the saint, or near-saint, there was a very shrewd, able person who could, if he had chosen, have been a brilliant success as a lawyer, an administrator or perhaps even a businessman. At about the time when the autobiography first appeared I remember reading its opening chapters in the ill-printed pages of some Indian newspaper. They made a good impression on me, which Gandhi himself at that time did not. The things that one associated with him - home-spun cloth, "soul forces" and vegetarianism - were unappealing, and his medievalist program was obviously not viable in a backward, starving, over-populated country. It was also apparent that the British were making use of him, or thought they were making use of him. Strictly speaking, as a Nationalist, he was an enemy, but since in every crisis he would exert himself to prevent violence - which, from the British point of view, meant preventing any effective action whatever - he could be regarded as "our man." In private this was sometimes cynically admitted. The attitude of the Indian millionaires was similar. Gandhi called upon them to repent, and naturally they preferred him to the Socialists and Communists who, given the chance, would actually have taken their money away. How reliable such calculations are in the long run is doubtful; as Gandhi himself says, "in the end deceivers deceive only themselves"; but at any rate the gentleness with which he was nearly always handled was due partly to the feeling that he was useful. The British Conservatives only became really angry with him when, as in 1942, he was in effect turning his non-violence against a different conqueror. But I could see even then that the British officials who spoke of him with a mixture of amusement and disapproval also genuinely liked and admired him, after a fashion. Nobody ever suggested that he was corrupt, or ambitious in any vulgar way, or that anything he did was actuated by fear or malice. In judging a man like Gandhi one seems instinctively to apply high standards, so that some of his virtues have passed almost unnoticed. For instance, it is clear even from the autobiography that his natural physical courage was quite outstanding: the manner of his death was a later illustration of this, for a public man who attached any value to his own skin would have been more adequately guarded. Again, he seems to have been quite free from that maniacal suspiciousness which, as E.M. Forster rightly says in A Passage to India, is the besetting Indian vice, as hypocrisy is the British vice. Although no doubt he was shrewd enough in detecting dishonesty, he seems wherever possible to have believed that other people were acting in good faith and had a better nature through which they could be approached. And though he came of a poor middle-class family, started life rather unfavorably, and was probably of
  • unimpressive physical appearance, he was not afflicted by envy or by the feeling of inferiority. Color feeling when he first met it in its worst form in South Africa, seems rather to have astonished him. Even when he was fighting what was in effect a color war, he did not think of people in terms of race or status. The governor of a province, a cotton millionaire, a half-starved Dravidian coolie, a British private soldier were all equally human beings, to be approached in much the same way. It is noticeable that even in the worst possible circumstances, as in South Africa when he was making himself unpopular as the champion of the Indian community, he did not lack European friends. Written in short lengths for newspaper serialization, the autobiography is not a literary masterpiece, but it is the more impressive because of the commonplaceness of much of its material. It is well to be reminded that Gandhi started out with the normal ambitions of a young Indian student and only adopted his extremist opinions by degrees and, in some cases, rather unwillingly. There was a time, it is interesting to learn, when he wore a top hat, took dancing lessons, studied French and Latin, went up the Eiffel Tower and even tried to learn the violin - all this was the idea of assimilating European civilization as throughly as possible. He was not one of those saints who are marked out by their phenomenal piety from childhood onwards, nor one of the other kind who forsake the world after sensational debaucheries. He makes full confession of the misdeeds of his youth, but in fact there is not much to confess. As a frontispiece to the book there is a photograph of Gandhi's possessions at the time of his death. The whole outfit could be purchased for about 5 pounds***, and Gandhi's sins, at least his fleshly sins, would make the same sort of appearance if placed all in one heap. A few cigarettes, a few mouthfuls of meat, a few annas pilfered in childhood from the maidservant, two visits to a brothel (on each occasion he got away without "doing anything"), one narrowly escaped lapse with his landlady in Plymouth, one outburst of temper - that is about the whole collection. Almost from childhood onwards he had a deep earnestness, an attitude ethical rather than religious, but, until he was about thirty, no very definite sense of direction. His first entry into anything describable as public life was made by way of vegetarianism. Underneath his less ordinary qualities one feels all the time the solid middle- class businessmen who were his ancestors. One feels that even after he had abandoned personal ambition he must have been a resourceful, energetic lawyer and a hard-headed political organizer, carefulin keeping down expenses, an adroit handler of committees and an indefatigable chaser of subscriptions. His character was an extraordinarily mixed one, but there was almost nothing in it that you can put your finger on and call bad, and I believe that even Gandhi's worst enemies would admit that he was an interesting and unusual man who enriched the world simply by being alive . Whether he was also a lovable man, and whether his teachings can have much for those who do not accept the religious beliefs on which they are founded, I have never felt fully certain. Of late years it has been the fashion to talk about Gandhi as though he were not only sympathetic to the Western Left-wing movement, but were integrally part of it. Anarchists and pacifists, in particular, have claimed him for their own, noticing only that he was opposed to centralism and State violence and ignoring the other-worldly, anti-humanist tendency of his doctrines. But one should, I think, realize that Gandhi's teachings cannot be squared with the belief that Man is the measure of all things and that our job is to make life worth living on this earth, which is the only earth we have. They make sense only on the assumption that God exists and that the world of solid objects is an illusion to be escaped from. It is worth considering the disciplines which Gandhi imposed on himself and which - though he might not insist on every one of his followers observing every detail - he considered indispensable if one wanted to serve either God or humanity. First of all, no meat-eating, and if possible no animal food in any form. (Gandhi himself, for the sake of his health, had to compromise on milk, but seems to have felt this to be a backsliding.) No alcohol or tobacco, and no spices or condiments even of a vegetable kind, since food should be taken not for its own sake but solely in order to preserve one's strength. Secondly, if possible, no sexual intercourse. If sexual intercourse must happen, then it should be for the sole
  • purpose of begetting children and presumably at long intervals. Gandhi himself, in his middle thirties, took the vow of brahmacharya, which means not only complete chastity but the elimination of sexual desire. This condition, it seems, is difficult to attain without a special diet and frequent fasting. One of the dangers of milk-drinking is that it is apt to arouse sexual desire. And finally - this is the cardinal point - for the seeker after goodness there must be no close friendships and no exclusive loves whatever. Close friendships, Gandhi says, are dangerous, because "friends react on one another" and through loyalty to a friend one can be led into wrong-doing. This is unquestionably true. Moreover, if one is to love God, or to love humanity as a whole, one cannot give one's preference to any individual person. This again is true, and it marks the point at which the humanistic and the religious attitude cease to be reconcilable. To an ordinary human being, love means nothing if it does not mean loving some people more than others. The autobiography leaves it uncertain whether Gandhi behaved in an inconsiderate way to his wife and children, but at any rate it makes clear that on three occasions he was willing to let his wife or a child die rather than administer the animal food prescribed by the doctor. It is true that the threatened death never actually occurred, and also that Gandhi - with, one gathers, a good deal of moral pressure in the opposite direction - always gave the patient the choice of staying alive at the price of committing a sin: still, if the decision had been solely his own, he would have forbidden the animal food, whatever the risks might be. There must, he says, be some limit to what we will do in order to remain alive, and the limit is well on this side of chicken broth. This attitude is perhaps a noble one, but, in the sense which - I think - most people would give to the word, it is inhuman. The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon other human individuals. No doubt alcohol, tobacco, and so forth, are things that a saint must avoid, but sainthood is also a thing that human beings must avoid. There is an obvious retort to this, but one should be wary about making it. In this yogi-ridden age, it is too readily assumed that "non-attachment" is not only better than a full acceptance of earthly life, but that the ordinary man only rejects it because it is too difficult: in other words, that the average human being is a failed saint. It is doubtful whether this is true. Many people genuinely do not wish to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings. If one could follow it to its psychological roots, one would, I believe, find that the main motive for "non-attachment" is a desire to escape from the pain of living, and above all from love, which, sexual or non-sexual, is hard work. But it is not necessary here to argue whether the other- worldly or the humanistic ideal is "higher". The point is that they are incompatible. One must choose between God and Man, and all "radicals" and "progressives," from the mildest Liberal to the most extreme Anarchist, have in effect chosen Man. However, Gandhi's pacifism can be separated to some extent from his other teachings. Its motive was religious, but he claimed also for it that it was a definitive technique, a method, capable of producing desired political results. Gandhi's attitude was not that of most Western pacifists. Satyagraha, first evolved in South Africa, was a sort of non-violent warfare, a way of defeating the enemy without hurting him and without feeling or arousing hatred. It entailed such things as civil disobedience, strikes, lying down in front of railway trains, enduring police charges without running away and without hitting back, and the like. Gandhi objected to "passive resistance" as a translation of Satyagraha: in Gujarati, it seems, the word means "firmness in the truth." In his early days Gandhi served as a stretcher-bearer on the British side in the Boer War, and he was prepared to do the same again in the war of 1914-18. Even after he had completely abjured violence he was honest enough to see that in war it is usually necessary to take sides. He did not - indeed, since his whole political life centred round a struggle for national
  • independence, he could not - take the sterile and dishonest line of pretending that in every war both sides are exactly the same and it makes no difference who wins. Nor did he, like most Western pacifists, specialize in avoiding awkward questions. In relation to the late war, one question that every pacifist had a clear obligation to answer was: "What about the Jews? Are you prepared to see them exterminated? If not, how do you propose to save them without resorting to war?" I must say that I have never heard, from any Western pacifist, an honest answer to this question, though I have heard plenty of evasions, usually of the "you're another" type. But it so happens that Gandhi was asked a somewhat similar question in 1938 and that his answer is on record in Mr. Louis Fischer's Gandhi and Stalin. According to Mr. Fischer, Gandhi's view was that the German Jews ought to commit collective suicide, which "would have aroused the world and the people of Germany to Hitler's violence." After the war he justified himself: the Jews had been killed anyway, and might as well have died significantly. One has the impression that this attitude staggered even so warm an admirer as Mr. Fischer, but Gandhi was merely being honest. If you are not prepared to take life, you must often be prepared for lives to be lost in some other way. When, in 1942, he urged non-violent resistance against a Japanese invasion, he was ready to admit that it might cost several million deaths. At the same time there is reason to think that Gandhi, who after all was born in 1869, did not understand the nature of totalitarianism and saw everything in terms of his own struggle against the British government. The important point here is not so much that the British treated him forbearingly as that he was always able to command publicity. As can be seen from the phrase quoted above, he believed in "arousing the world," which is only possible if the world gets a chance to hear what you are doing. It is difficult to see how Gandhi's methods could be applied in a country where opponents of the regime disappear in the middle of the night and are never heard of again. Without a free press and the right of assembly, it is impossible not merely to appeal to outside opinion, but to bring a mass movement into being, or even to make your intentions known to your adversary. Is there a Gandhi in Russia at this moment? And if there is, what is he accomplishing? The Russian masses could only practise civil disobedience if the same idea happened to occur to all of them simultaneously, and even then, to judge by the history of the Ukraine famine, it would make no difference. But let it be granted that non-violent resistance can be effective against one's own government, or against an occupying power: even so, how does one put it into practise internationally? Gandhi's various conflicting statements on the late war seem to show that he felt the difficulty of this. Applied to foreign politics, pacifism either stops being pacifist or becomes appeasement. Moreover the assumption, which served Gandhi so well in dealing with individuals, that all human beings are more or less approachable and will respond to a generous gesture, needs to be seriously questioned. It is not necessarily true, for example, when you are dealing with lunatics. Then the question becomes: Who is sane? Was Hitler sane? And is it not possible for one whole culture to be insane by the standards of another? And, so far as one can gauge the feelings of whole nations, is there any apparent connection between a generous deed and a friendly response? Is gratitude a factor in international politics? These and kindred questions need discussion, and need it urgently, in the few years left to us before somebody presses the button and the rockets begin to fly. It seems doubtful whether civilization can stand another major war, and it is at least thinkable that the way out lies through non-violence. It is Gandhi's virtue that he would have been ready to give honest consideration to the kind of question that I have raised above; and, indeed, he probably did discuss most of these questions somewhere or other in his innumerable newspaper articles. One feels of him that there was much he did not understand, but not that there was anything that he was frightened of saying or thinking. I have never been able to feel much liking for Gandhi, but I do not feel sure that as a political thinker he was wrong in the main, nor do I believe that his life was a failure. It is curious that when he was assassinated, many of his warmest admirers exclaimed sorrowfully that he had lived just long enough to see his life work in ruins, because
  • India was engaged in a civil war which had always been foreseen as one of the byproducts of the transfer of power. But it was not in trying to smooth down Hindu-Moslem rivalry that Gandhi had spent his life. His main political objective, the peaceful ending of British rule, had after all been attained. As usual the relevant facts cut across one another. On the other hand, the British did get out of India without fighting, an event which very few observers indeed would have predicted until about a year before it happened. On the other hand, this was done by a Labour government, and it is certain that a Conservative government, especially a government headed by Churchill, would have acted differently. But if, by 1945, there had grown up in Britain a large body of opinion sympathetic to Indian independence, how far was this due to Gandhi's personal influence? And if, as may happen, India and Britain finally settle down into a decent and friendly relationship, will this be partly because Gandhi, by keeping up his struggle obstinately and without hatred, disinfected the political air? That one even thinks of asking such questions indicates his stature. One may feel, as I do, a sort of aesthetic distaste for Gandhi, one may reject the claims of sainthood made on his behalf (he never made any such claim himself, by the way), one may also reject sainthood as an ideal and therefore feel that Gandhi's basic aims were anti-human and reactionary: but regarded simply as a politician, and compared with the other leading political figures of our time, how clean a smell he has managed to leave behind! 海盗的起源与发展简史 1110 个读者 江天梦 @ 2 天前 03:53 双语对照 原文 字体大小 小 中 大 简介 索马里海盗的突然猖獗,使海盗的话题再度热闹起来,咱也来凑个热闹,呵呵。 在各种关于大海的故事中,总是离不开海盗的真人真事、海盗的传说和神话。如果你见过没 看过海盗题材电影,或者没读过海盗内容书籍的人,那才是怪事一桩。有意思的是,大多数人 对真正的海盗历史和海盗行为所存在的时间都知之不多,或根本就不了解。 系列故事片《加勒比海盗》上映后,出现了杰克船长(Captain Jack Sparrow)形象大流行的 现象,促使很多人组织海盗派对、穿着海盗衣服、大讲海盗黑话,对这些被媒体炒作得栩栩如 生、在海上纵横驰骋长达千年历史的人物角色,更是极尽学习仿效之能事。 海盗现 象由来已久。数百年来,世界上的任何大洋和公海,只要是船只所能到达的地方,就 有海盗的踪迹。早在埃及法老阿赫那吞时期(公元前 1350 年),就已有这样 的记载:有不明 国籍、不悬挂盟旗的船只,在海上从事掠夺性袭击活动。希腊、罗马在其帝国扩张思想大行其 道期间,在跨越重洋入侵他国领土的航线上,也不得不 面对海盗的肆虐。 据说,第一个给海盗现象下定义的是古希腊历史学家普鲁塔克(Plutarch),即海盗行为是 指非法袭击轮船或沿海城镇,不具有战争性质,只以抢劫钱财为唯一目的的活动。 我们今天所熟知的单词“ pirate” 或“pyrate”,大概是在公元前一世纪中期的时候,从罗马历史 学家波利比乌斯(Polybius)首次使用的词“periato”演变而来的,意思是“海洋掠夺者”。
  • 有意思的是,在第九、十和十一世纪期间十分猖獗的诺斯(Norse)强盗并不叫做海盗,而 叫做“维京人”(Vikings)和丹麦强盗(Danes)。 公元十三世纪末,中国的中央政权经历了重大的政治变革, 海盗行为也随之在东方盛行起 来。明朝期间(1368-1668 年),中国的海盗统治着中国海域。当时的(中国)海盗所用的船只 非常庞大,足足可以承载 300 多人,在中国沿海城市猖狂掠夺,肆虐时间长达好几个世纪。 当时,荷兰的东印度公司还想征用中国海盗来组建其私有武装船队,以帮助它实现对亚洲经 济贸易的控制权。欧洲商人也在雅加达设立(武装)基地,招募中国海盗,充当他们扩张利益 的工具。中国海盗毕竟只为自身利益着想,于是到后来,他们干脆建立自己的贸易公司,变卖 所掠夺的商品,所获取的钱财成倍增长。 曾经名噪一方的巴巴利(Barbary)海岸线,从北非海岸到埃及西部边境再到大西洋地区,从 16 世纪中期到 19 世纪末期,一直都是海盗和 反叛了的私人武装船队的天堂。巴巴利海盗曾让 人闻风丧胆,常常受雇于穆斯林国家,在地中海地区对基督教国家的船只进行袭击。当时叫做 克赛尔斯 (Corsairs)的强盗,也许是北非海盗(Barbarossa)中最没名气的了,但即使是这帮 海盗,也和阿尔及利亚和突尼斯联合起来,成立军事化国 家,接受奥特曼回教派的统治,以维 持其海盗收入。 十七世纪八十年代到十八世纪三十年代是海盗的黄金时期,也是全世界海洋冒险家的新时 代,他们的故事被拍成电影,被著书立说,神话和现实的界限模糊不清。杰克船长竟能和黑胡 子大盗共顶一个蓝天,而彼得潘号的胡克船长看起来简直和摩尔根船长一样逼真。可是谁能真 正说清楚谁是真人呢? 今天,海盗仍 然在公海为害四方,他们为了钱财而抢劫杀人。游轮如果离开佛罗里达沿海进 入国际海域,就常常会遭到袭击。现在海盗还在中国海域、地中海以及印度洋的索马里 海域横 行霸道,他们有自己的联盟,不属于任何国家,每个月都在抢劫过往的船只。只要能够发财, 海盗就会不停地在海上游弋,继续寻找他们所需要的目标,疯狂 抢夺轮船上的财宝。 ( 江 天 梦 译 ) The origin and short history of pirates The facts, legends and myths about pirates abounds from sea story to sea story. It is very unusual to meet anyone who has not seen a movie or read a book about pirates. Interestingly, most people know little or no history about real pirates and ages of piracy. The appearance of the popular Captain Jack Sparrow in the movie series "Pirates of the Caribbean", has stimulated many people to have pirate parties, wear pirate attire, speak like a pirate and learn all they can about the media hyped colorful characters that have raided the oceans for 1,000's of years. Piracy has been going on for centuries across the world in every ocean and open sea that vessels sailed. During the time of Egyptian Pharoah Akhenaten (1350 BC) written descriptions of plundering attacks were occurring by ships that bore no nations flag of allegiance. Both the Greeks and Romans faced pirates on the Mediterranean Sea when their empire expansionism took then across the water to foreign lands.
  • Plutarch (ancient Greek Historian) is said to have given the first definition of piracy as -'an illegal attack on a ship or coastal town, that was not of a warring nature, but for plunder of monetary gain alone'. The word we know today as 'pirate' or 'pyrate' comes from the Roman historian Polybius around the mid 100 BC era, who used the word 'periato' to describe sea marauders. It is interesting that Norse raiders of the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries were not called pirates, but rather 'Vikings' and 'Danes'. Piracy seemed to rise in the orient at the time China was enduring great political change in their central power beginning at the end of the 13th century. During the Ming Dynasty(1368-1668) Chinese pirates ruled the China Sea. Pirates using huge ships that could carry over 300 men pillaged the China coastal cities for several centuries. The Dutch East India Company tried to recruit Chinese pirates as privateers to help them control the Asian market trade. The European traders created a base in Jakarta and enlisted the Chinese pirates to help them expand their interests. Eventually the Chinese pirates, who were always out for their own self interests, formed their own trade companies and made double the money on their looted goods. The notorious Barbary Coast, which ran from the coast of North Africa to the western border of Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean was a haven for renegade privateers and pirates from the mid 1500's through the late 1800's. Barbary pirates were a fearsome group often "hired" by Muslim nations to attack Christians ships in the Mediterranean region. Known as corsairs, perhaps the most infamous Barbary Coast pirate was Barbarossa, who united Algeria and Tunisia as military states under the Ottoman sultanate and maintained his revenues by piracy. The Golden Age of Pirates, 1680 - 1730's, is the era of new world maritime adventurers,who movies and books have been made and written about, where myth and truth blur. Jack Sparrow co-exists with Blackbeard and Captain Hook of "Peter Pan" seems as real as Captain Morgan, but can you really say who really existed? Pirates still sail the high seas today raiding and killing for money and booty. Yachts are often attacked off the Florida coast when they enter international water. Pirates still sail regions of the China Seas, Mediterranean Sea and the sea off Somalia coast, owing their allegiance to no nation and robbing many private vessels every month. As long as there is money to be made, pirates will sail the seas seeking victims from whom they can relieve of their treasure. 余华小说«兄弟»英译本书评:中国的兄弟般的缺失 527 个读者 anobody @ 2 天前 21:03 双语对照 原文 字体大小 小 中 大 简介 余华十年来的头一本小说在它所坦率批评的国家得到的评价好坏不一。 余华的小说“兄弟”在中国于 2005 年和 2006 年分两部出版。较短的第一部背景为文化大革命时期 (1966-1976); 第二部则描写毛死后邓小平的“改革开放”政策下非常不同的年代里同样那些人物的经历。
  • 余华非常成功地描画了文革中让人恐惧的暴力和它对家庭的影响以及晚近 提倡快速致富的中国粗粝的一面,提供 了对过去四十年的历史近乎教科书般的叙述。他的许多情节看似荒诞不经,然而却有着坚实的事实依据。处女膜 再造在中国是 个大买卖,未经许可的危险药品在广泛出售,而最近有关掺毒婴儿奶粉和受污染血液制品的丑闻只 不过是人们为了致富而愿意铤而走险的几个小小的例子而已。 小说中的两个男孩因为一个寡妇带着个儿子嫁给了一个情况类似的鳏夫而成了兄弟。他们的外貌和个性十分不 同:秃子李---他之所以被这样称呼是因为他的被骚扰的母亲为了减少光顾理发铺的次数而让剃头匠给他剃了个光 头---长 得矮小敦实,莽撞而爱冒险,而他的哥哥宋刚则高大苍白,安静顺从。尽管差异很大,残酷的文革将他们 紧密地联系在一起,直到最后为了一个女人而失和。宋刚的 故事是个旁观者的故事,一个害羞的不太主动进取的 人。在继母临死之际他承诺她会照顾好秃子,他虽然尽了全力但是在找寻财富的道路上却落在了后面。小说中关 于他与逛荡周---一个四处兜售人造处女膜、丰胸乳和壮阳药的贩子的故事(“那些进口药是用基因工程和纳米科 技生产,而这些国产货则是按照故宫的明清宫廷秘方配制的”)既辛辣又十分滑稽。他们的某个更吓人的主顾给 自己买了进口的而给他的吠叫的德国牧羊犬买了国产的壮阳药。 秃子李则注定要发达。小的时候是宋刚照顾他,给他做饭吃;成年之后,秃子那横冲直撞的生活态度成了他成功 的保障。虽然他最初只是起步于一个国营福利工厂,除了他还有十四个员工---“两个瘸子、三个傻子、四个瞎子 和五个聋子”---没 多久他就靠回收垃圾赚了第一笔钱。后来他又转去倒腾另一种垃圾,便宜的带着怪异标签的日 本西服,很快竟被任命为省里的人民代表。当宋刚还骑着老式的永久牌 自行车时,秃子李已经从红色的桑塔纳换 成了白天开一辆白色的宝马轿车夜里则开一辆黑色的奔驰,因为“他想要成为一个顺应自然的人”。秃子打小就 对性着迷, 曾经因为想要强奸电线杆子而臭名昭著,等到年纪大了也有钱了,他决定设立首届全国处女选美比 赛。这制造了对处女膜再造和人造处女膜的突然需求:处女选美参 赛者第 1358 号已经是个一岁孩子的妈了她花 了 3000 元做手术但却忘了把妊娠纹给抹平;而第 864 号参赛选手则非但“不是一个原装处女”,为了确保冠军 的位置她已经与六位评委睡过了觉。 处女选美听上去不太可能,不过中国已经举行了好几届世界小姐比赛,而在 2007 年 春成都市把这个主意做了顺 理成章的推论,举行了第一次裸露的四川小姐选举。在那之前的一年,在博客中国举办的美丽博客作者比赛中, 一位叫做刺猬木木的博客 作者赢得了大众投票,但随即被剥夺了冠军资格,因为她把自己“半裸”的照片贴到了 网上。在余华所描绘的壮观然而却是可信的极端场景之间,也有那些平淡无奇 的时刻。逛荡周---也就是那个卖丰 胸乳和假伟哥的变色龙---只有在电视上看那些冗长的南朝鲜肥皂剧时才真正感到快活;在宋刚的父亲和秃子李母 亲的恋爱和婚姻中,大白兔太妃糖扮演了重要的角色,这种糖果曾经只有在中国的飞机航班上才吃得到。 整个小说的 主题中有一股强烈的澡堂便池的味道,这是从某种似乎是遗传的偷窥活动开始的。秃子李的父亲曾 经喜欢在公共澡堂偷看妇女,直到某次恶劣的事故发生这种习惯才 得以停止;让他妈妈感到尴尬的是,秃子李也 因为做同样的事情被抓到。他让别人花钱给他卖面条吃以交换他对被偷看妇女屁股的详细描述,对镇上那个美人 的兴趣 尤其大。他被铁匠一顿好打,因为铁匠从秃子的描述中认出了他的老婆。有钱了之后,秃子李不光坐拥一 个 1000 平方米的大办公室,连他坐的马桶都是镀金的。有些年轻的批评家觉得这难以置信,但是在生活中这是 真实的。任何 30 年前在中国呆过的人都会记得那些简陋不堪的厕所,具有足够的视觉可能性,这些厕所常常是搭 建在垫板之上,下面就是满满的化粪池,容易导致让秃子李的爸爸掉下去的那种事故。在 1993 年,仍然记得 50 年前一次去中国的旅行,玛莎·格尔霍恩说“在我五十年的旅行经历中,中国因其特别的上厕所的恐怖而突出”。 余华是中国最畅销的作家之一;一本早一点的小说“活着”,由张艺谋拍成了电影并获得了 1994 年戛纳电影节 的大奖。“许三观卖血记”(1995 年),如同“活着”,聚焦近年中国被污染血制品的恐怖。在沉寂十年之 后,“兄弟”在中国获得的反响是混杂不一的,部分原因是小说两部分之间很不同的性质。老一些的批评家觉得 余华对中国新企业主们的粗俗生活方式的详细描绘有点滥了,觉得他把这作为卖点。年轻一些的批评者们,他们 对原始马桶不熟悉,则批评他对文革的描画是严酷而黑色的,而他们自己对那个十年几乎一无所知。 余 华觉得这种尤其是年轻人当中迫不及待为中国辩护是让人沮丧的新民族主义的一个方面;他相信这种无知的、 自动的急于为中国辩护是对艺术表达的一种威胁。年轻 人,易于被挑动加入对日本因为其失于面对其历史的几乎 每年一度的攻击,却令人失望地对他们自己国家最近的历史显示出无知。而且,没有意识到文革的恐怖,他 们在
  • 某种程度上过于认同政府的政策了。最近在剑桥举行的有关互联网自由的会议上,来自中国的博士候选人,他们 中的许多享受政府资助,很高兴地宣布他们对网 站被封没有意见,因为当他们使用网络时他们已经“自我审 查”了。他们与毛的教导“造反有理”相去甚远了。 “兄弟”的英译使用美国拼法和词汇,一路下来干得很好。然而我不认为两位译者---他们提到了余华的重复的叙 事方式---把作者采用的由许多短章和概述组成的讲故事式的文体与中国传统经典小说如水浒传和三国演义中那种 典型的文学叙事方式很好地联系了起来。在“兄弟”英译本中只是偶尔提及了传统历史故事中的典故,比如讲到 打斗,使用了“扫堂腿”,使人强烈地回想起水浒传中的那些有名的打斗。中国读者不会丢失这些联系。 China's fraternal failings Yu Hua’s novel Brothers was first published in China in two parts, in 2005 and 2006. The shorter first part is set during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76); the second follows the same characters through the very different decades following Deng Xiaoping’s “Reform and Opening Up” campaign after the death of Mao. Yu Hua is remarkably successful in depicting the horrible violence of the Cultural Revolution and its effect on families and the brashness of the more recent get-rich-quick China, providing an almost text-book history of the past forty years. Though many of his set pieces may seem grotesque, they are solidly based in fact. Hymen-reconstruction is big business in China, dangerous unlicensed medicines are widely sold, and the recent scandals involving poisonous baby formula and infected blood are small examples of the dangerous lengths people are prepared to go to in order to get rich. The two boys in the novel become brothers when a widow with one son marries a similarly situated widower. Their appearance and personalities are very different: Baldy Li – so-called because his harassed mother would ask the barber to shave the child's head in order to save visits – is short and stocky, cheeky and adventurous, while his brother Song Gang is tall and pale, quiet and easily led. Despite their differences, the cruel events of the Cultural Revolution bind them closely together until they fall out over a woman. The story of Song Gang is that of a bystander, a shy man who does not push himself forward. Having promised his stepmother on her deathbed that he would always look after Baldy, he does his best but gets left behind in the desperate search for a quick fortune. The story of his involvement with Wandering Zhou, an itinerant seller of artificial hymens, bust-enhancing cream and vitality pills (“the imported ones are made with genetic engineering and nanotechnology, while the domestic ones are made from Ming-Qing dynastic medical files from the Palace Museum”) is both poignant and very funny. One of their more intimidating customers buys imported pills for himself and domestic ones for his snarling Alsatian. Baldy Li is destined to thrive. As a child, he is looked after by Song Gang who takes charge of the household and cooks for his brother; as an adult, Baldy has a head-butting approach to life which is almost a guarantee of success. Although he starts work in the state-owned Good Works factory which employs fourteen others – “two cripples, three idiots, four blind men and five deaf men” – it is not long before he makes his first fortune from recycling rubbish. He moves on to another form of rubbish, cheap Japanese suits with bizarre labels, and is soon appointed to the provincial People’s Congress. While Song Gang rides an old-fashioned Eternity bicycle, Baldy Li moves from a red Santana saloon to a white BMW for daytime and a black Mercedes for after dark, because “he wanted to become one with nature”. Obsessed with sex from childhood, when he was notorious for trying to rape telegraph poles, he decides when older and richer to set up the Inaugural National Virgin Beauty Competition. This creates a sudden demand for hymen-reconstruction surgery and artificial hymens: Virgin Beauty contestant Number 1358 is a mother of one who spends 3,000 yuan on surgery but forgets to have her
  • stretch marks removed; not only is contestant Number 864 “not an original virgin”, but in order to secure the championship she has slept with six of the judges. The beauty competition may sound unlikely but several Miss World competitions have been held in China, and in the spring of 2007, the city of Chengdu took the idea to its logical conclusion, staging the first naked Miss Sichuan competition. The year before, in Blog China’s Beautiful Blogger Contest, a blogger styling herself Hedgehog Mumu won the popular vote but was disqualified from the championship for posting “semi-nude” pictures of herself on the web. In between the fantastical but credible extremes described by Yu Hua, there are more prosaic moments. Wandering Zhou, the charlatan selling bust-enlarging cream and fake Viagra, is only truly happy when watching lengthy Korean soap operas on television; in the courtship and marriage of Song Gang’s father and Baldy Li’s mother, an important part is played by White Rabbit toffees, which used to be served on Chinese aeroplanes. There is a strong lavatorial theme throughout the novel, which begins with some apparently hereditary peeping-Tom activities. Baldy Li’s father used to spy on women in public lavatories until a nasty accident put an end to this habit; to his mother’s embarrassment, Baldy Li is caught doing the same thing. He gets people to buy him bowls of noodles in exchange for providing detailed descriptions of the women’s bottoms he has seen, particular interest being taken in that of the town beauty. He is beaten up by the blacksmith who recognizes his wife from Baldy Li’s description. When he becomes rich, as well as occupying a thousand-square metre office, Baldy sits on a gold-plated toilet seat. Some younger critics have found this hard to take, but it is true to life. Anyone who was in China thirty years ago will remember flimsy and rickety lavatories with plenty of viewing possibilities, often built out on stilts over a full cesspit far below, inviting accidents of the type that befell Baldy Li’s father. In 1993, remembering a trip to China over fifty years earlier, Martha Gellhorn said that “In fifty years of travel, China stands out in particular loo-going horror”. Yu Hua is one of China’s bestselling writers; an earlier novel To Live (1992) was made into a film by Zhang Yimou which won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 1994. Chronicle of a Blood Merchant (1995), like To Live, focused on the recent horrors of contaminated blood in China. After a silence of ten years, the critical reception of Brothers in China has been mixed, partly because of the very different nature of the novel’s two parts. Older critics felt that Yu Hua’s detailed depiction of the vulgar lifestyle of the new entrepreneurs in China was exploitative, and that he himself was selling out. Younger critics, those unused to primitive toilets, criticized him for his bleak, black picture of the Cultural Revolution, a decade of which they know almost nothing. Yu Hua sees this rush to the defence of China, particularly among the young, as an aspect of a depressing new nationalism; he believes that an uninformed, automatic rush to defend China is a threat to artistic expression. The young, easily roused to almost annual attacks on Japan for its failure to confront the past, are dismally ignorant of their country’s own more recent history. And, unaware of the horrors of the Cultural Revolution, they have become to some extent overcompliant with government policies. At a conference on internet freedom held in Cambridge recently, young PhD candidates from China, many supported by government grants, happily announced that they had no trouble with sites being blocked, for they “self-censored” when using the internet. They are a long way from Mao’s dictum, “It is right to rebel”. This translation of Brothers with its American spelling and vocabulary, cracks along well. However, I don’t think the translators, who refer to Yu Hua’s repetitive narrative, make the literary link between the storytelling style the author has adopted, with its many short chapters and recapitulations, and the
  • characteristic storytellers’ narrative in China’s classic novels such as Shui hu zhuan (variously translated as The Water Margin, Warriors of the Marsh or All Men Are Brothers), and San guo zhi (The Romance of the Three Kingdoms). There are occasional references to classic historical tales in Brothers, and the fights, especially when the “sweeping leg kick” is involved, are strongly reminiscent of the famous fights in Shui hu zhuan. These references will not be lost on Chinese readers. Yu Hua BROTHERS Translated by Eileen Cheng-yin Chow and Carlos Rojas 641pp. Picador. £17.99. 978 0 330 46971 5 Frances Wood is the author of The Silk Road, 2003. She is curator of the Chinese collections at the British Library.