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Over the past three weeks the ABC programFour Corners has presented special reports on American politics, which involvedone of our best journalists, Sarah Ferguson, travelling to the US on specialassignment. I watched these programs and I enjoyed them. But in part I enjoyedthem because they covered ground that is already familiar.

过去的三周以来,澳大利亚广播公司(ABC)的十字路口栏目对美国政治做了特别报道,参与其中的有我们最出色的记者之一莎拉·弗格森,带着特殊任务赶赴美国。我看了这些节目,也很喜欢。但我喜欢它们的一部分原因是:他们报道所涉的是我们已经熟悉的地方。

If the same effort had gone into bringingus in-depth special reports from, say, Jakarta or Mumbai they would have beenless familiar, but perhaps more interesting. Most important they would not bestories already covered by major English language media to which we haveextraordinary access.

如果付出同样的努力奉献给我们的是对比如说雅加达或孟买的深入特别报道,它们就没有那么熟悉了,但可能会更有意思。最重要的是,它们不会是我们那些拥有特别渠道的主要英语媒体已经报道过的新闻。

As we struggle to make sense of a changingworld order, in which the role of the US seems less defined and dependable, ourfascination with things American continues to grow. It is one of the ironies ofcurrent Australian life that preoccupation with “the Anglosphere”, a favouritephrase of former prime minister Tony Abbott’s, is in practice shared by manywho regard themselves as progressive.

正当我们绞尽脑汁试图去理解这个变幻莫测的世界秩序时,而在这其中美国发挥的作用不再明确和可以信赖,我们对美国事物的迷恋却仍在继续增长。这便是当今澳大利亚人生活中的一大讽刺,对“英语文化圈”的全神贯注,这是前总理托尼·艾伯特最爱的一个惯用语,也被现实中很多自以为先进的人士们袭用。

What is the Anglosphere? TheMerriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “the countries of the world in whichthe English language and cultural values predominate”, clearly referring toBritain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. A surprisinglyrecent term, it was coined by the science-fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his1995 novel The Diamond Age, and then picked up by a number of conservativecommentators.

那么英语文化圈是什么?韦氏大词典将其定义为“英语语言和文化价值观占主导的国家”,显然指的是英国、美国、加拿大、澳大利亚和新西兰。这个最近出现的惊人术语,是科幻小说家尼尔·斯蒂芬森在1995年的小说《钻石时代》中创造出来的,然后就被很多保守派评论家拿去用了。



(图解:尼尔·斯蒂芬森,美国著名赛伯朋克流科幻作家,有《雪崩》《钻石时代》等存世,其作直接创造了“虚拟实境”的概念)

The Churchillian notion of near-mythicalbonds created by the English language and British heritage has always attractedAustralian conservatives. Chris Berg from the Institute of Public Affairs wrotein 2012:

由英语语言和英国传统缔造的丘吉尔式近乎神话的纽带理念一直都吸引着澳大利亚的保守主义者。澳大利亚公共事务研究所的克里斯·伯格在2012年写道:

Our heritage is not something to be ashamedof. It is not a coincidence the oldest surviving democracies are in theAnglosphere. Or that a tradition of liberty, stretching back to the MagnaCarta, has given English-speaking nations a greater protection of human rightsand private property. We ought to be proud, not bashful. Sure, it’s morefashionable to talk of the ‘Asian century’. But the Anglosphere will shapeAustralia’s cultural and political views for a century. It’s a shame onlyconservatives feel comfortable talking about it.

“我们的传统没有什么可羞耻的。现存最古老的民主国家在英语文化圈里,这并不是巧合。乃至自由的传统,可以追溯到大宪章,这让说英语的国家能更好地保护人权和私有财产。我们应该感到自豪,而不是羞怯不安。当然了,谈论‘亚洲世纪’确实更时髦一些。但英语文化圈还会在下一个一百年中塑造澳大利亚的文化观和政治观。只有保守派能很自在地谈论这些,实是一种耻辱。”

Both former foreign affairs minister BobCarr and former prime minister Kevin Rudd attacked Abbott’s enthusiasm for theAnglosphere. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is far less likely to invoke theterm, and the election of Donald Trump means the idea has gone out of fashionon the right, who are struggling how to respond to a US president who is boththeir worst fears and their greatest hopes made flesh.

前外交部长鲍勃·卡尔和前总理陆克文抨击了艾伯特对英语文化圈的狂热。总理马尔科姆·特恩布尔不太可能援引这个术语,而特朗普的当选意味着这种思想在右翼阵营中不再流行,他们正在艰难抉择,要如何回应这样一位既让他们最害怕又让他们最大希望成真的美国总统。

Yet despite 50 years of governments talkingabout Australia as part of Asia, now somewhat rebadged in the concept of theIndo-Pacific, our cultural guardians continue to behave as if nothing haschanged. We may be wary of Trump’s America, and a little bemused by thereappearance of Little Britain, but we still look unreflectively to the US andBritain for intellectual guidance.

然而尽管50年来政府不断谈论澳大利亚是亚洲的一部分,现在则是贴了张“印度太平洋区”的皮重新推出,我们的文化捍卫者们行事依然如故,仿佛什么也没有改变过。我们也许对特朗普的美国抱持着谨慎态度,同时对于小不列颠的再现有那么点茫然,但我们仍然会不加思考地指望美英来为我们指引智慧。

The Anglo obsession

痴迷盎格鲁

Take the ABC’s flagship talk program,Q&A. In the week of the Sydney Writers Festival, Q&A ran a panel onwhich four of the five writers worked and lived in New York, and the bulk ofthe questions were about Trump. The following week they included a British Torynovelist, Stanley Johnson, whose real claim to fame seemed to be that he wasBoris Johnson’s father.

就拿澳大利亚广播公司(ABC)的谈话类节目Q&A(你问我答)来说。在悉尼作家节的那周中,Q&A节目组织了一个座谈小组,五个作家里有四个是在纽约工作生活,而且有一大堆问题都是关于特朗普的。接下来的那周,他们把一个英国保守党小说家纳入了进来,即斯坦利·约翰森,他能出名的真正原因貌似是:他是鲍里斯·约翰逊的父亲。

(译注:鲍里斯·约翰逊,曾任伦敦市长和英国外交大臣)

This was in part a reflection of theextraordinary emphasis on American writers at the festival, and the scarcity ofwriters from other parts of the world. But it was particularly notable in ayear when the festival’s theme was power, and only some of the invited writers,such as Chinese-Canadian Yiwei Xue, might have taken part in a discussion ofthe different ways power is played out in, say, China, India, Saudi Arabia.

这部分反映出,这个节日对美国作家超乎寻常的重视,以及缺少来自世界其他国家的作家。但尤其值得注意的是,有一年该节日的主题是权力,受邀作家中只有一部分参与了一场讨论,比如加拿大华裔作家薛忆沩,是关于权力在譬如说中国、印度、沙特阿拉伯等国发挥作用的不同方式。

The obsession continues. The Monthlyrecently announced a weekly dispatch from the US, because “the number ofAustralians reporting from the United States has dwindled”. Unlike, of course,the Australian reporters based in Beijing, Delhi or Sao Paulo. And theMelbourne Writers Festival is already promoting the first of its guests, withprominent Americans such as Ronan Farrow, Emily Nussbaum, Ta-Nehisi Coates andDavid Neiwart, although it deserves credit for also highlighting a number ofAustralian and international writers.

这种痴迷还在继续。《Monthly》杂志最近播报了一份来自美国的每周快讯,因为“美国对澳大利亚的报道变少了”。当然了,这种操作和总部在北京、德里或是圣保罗的澳大利亚记者是不同的。而墨尔本作家节已经推出了它的第一批嘉宾,里面有诸如罗南·法罗、艾米丽·努斯鲍姆、塔-内西斯·科茨和大卫·内瓦特这样的杰出美国人,虽然它理应得到一些肯定,因为也聚焦了一批澳大利亚和国际作家。

A common language meansthat inevitably wewill be more aware of writers in English and the cultural fashions of New York,London and Hollywood. We have access to the richest and most diverse range ofcultural production in the world, and we grow up reading, viewing andinterfacing with the Anglo metropolis.

共同的语言意味着我们不可避免地会更了解英语作家,以及纽约、伦敦乃至好莱坞的文化风潮。我们有渠道接触到世界上最丰富多样的文化产品,而且我们是阅读着、品评着并且和英语圈里的大都市交互着长大的。

But Australia is not Britain or the UnitedStates, and there is a paradox that we are more and more obsessed with themeven as their relative importance in the world, and certainly in our region ofthe world, declines.

但澳大利亚既不是英国也不是美国,而自相矛盾的是,我们越来越痴迷它们,哪怕它们在世界中乃至在我们这个地区内的相对重要性在不断下降。

The intelligentsia recite “Trump, Brexit”as a summary of everything wrong with global politics – occasionally they willrefer to Putin – but somehow the setbacks for democracy in countries closer tous, such as Thailand and the Philippines, are rarely mentioned.

知识界把“特朗普、英国脱欧”当成全球政治所有弊病的总结来念叨,偶尔他们会提及普京,但在离我们更近的国家中某种程度的民主倒退,比如在泰国和菲律宾,都很少会被提到。

Thus the experienced and progressivejournalist, David McKnight, begins his book, Populism Now!, with quotationsfrom Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn. Predictably, they are quickly contrastedto Trump and Brexit.

因此,资深的进步记者戴维·麦克奈特是以引用伯尼·桑德斯和杰里米·科尔宾的话来为他的书《民粹主义进行时!》开篇的。可以预见的是,他们很快就会和特朗普和英国脱欧形成鲜明对比。

(译注:伯尼·桑德斯是美国佛蒙特州联邦参议员,也是美国历史上第一位信奉社会主义的参议员,曾位居《时代周刊》2016年“全球最具影响力人物”榜首;杰里米·科尔宾为英国最大的反对党工党党魁)

What is striking about these tropes is thatthey show so little interest in countries where there may be more usefulprogressive models for Australia, even if, like Germany, they don’t speakEnglish. A few years ago, Andrew Scott pointed to some interesting publicpolicies in Scandinavia, but these are largely ignored. We pay relativelylittle attention to either Canada or New Zealand, although they share moresimilarities with us than either of the major Anglospheric powers.

这些比喻的惊人之处在于,他们对那些可能存在对澳大利亚来说更有用先进模型的国家展现出的兴趣如此之少,比如德国,即使他们不说英语。几年前,安德鲁·斯考特指出了北欧的一些有趣的公共政策,但这些中的大部分都被忽略了。我们对加拿大和新西兰的关注相对而言很少,尽管它们和我们的共同点要比英语文化圈里的那两个大国更多。

Similar issues arise in the current debatesabout whether and how “Western civilisation” should be taught in ouruniversities. A full course in “Western civilisation” would of course examinethe complex interaction between Europe and the rest of the world, and theextent to which these interactions shaped our assumptions of liberal progress.

在最近关于我们的大学是否应该教授乃至如何教授“西方文明”的辩论中,出现了类似的问题。一门完整的“西方文明”课程当然会考察欧洲和世界其他国家间的复杂互动,以及这些互动在何种程度上塑造了我们对自由进步的假设。

If students are led to ponder the extent towhich the foundation of the United States depended upon slavery, or why Nazismcould arise in one of the great centres of Western culture, they may be betterprepared to develop an understanding of the world less dominated by thepreoccupations of London and New York.

如果能引导学生仔细思考,乃至去碰触美国的根基有赖于奴隶制,或是为什么纳粹主义能在西方文化的一大伟大中心兴起这类问题,他们可能就会对理解这个世界做好更周全的准备,而这个世界被伦敦和纽约的成见支配的程度已经下降了。

Culture shapes politics

文化塑造政治

Our political debates are inevitablycoloured by the cultural dominance of Anglo-American literature, film andmusic. All small countries face questions of how to develop their own culturewhile open to the rest of the world. In Australia, language is both a barrierand an opportunity.

我们的政治争论不可避免地受到盎格鲁系美国的文学、电影和音乐之影响。所有的小国都面临着在对世界其他国家开放的同时如何发展出自己文化的问题。在澳大利亚,语言既是障碍也是良机。

It is no surprise that our film andtelevision viewing is heavily American: of the top ten grossing films inAustralia only two, from the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series, are notunambiguously American. Only three Australian films, led by Crocodile Dundee,make the top 50.

我们看的电影电视是严重美国化的,这并不令人惊讶:在澳大利亚前十部最卖座的电影中,其分布从哈利波特到指环王系列均有,只有两部不是典型的美国电影。只有三部以《鳄鱼邓迪》为首的澳大利亚电影进入了前50。



Avatar is the highest-grossing film of alltime in Australia. IMDB

(图解:《阿凡达》是澳大利亚有史以来票房最高的电影)

Television is more complex; the ABC inparticular is fond of British material, although Australian-made programsregularly win high ratings, heavily skewed towards sports and reality shows.SBS offers an extraordinary range of non-English language programs, often fromcountries with small diasporas in Australia; how many Scandinavian-noir seriescan there be?

电视的情况更复杂一些;澳大利亚广播公司尤其钟爱英国的电视素材,并且向运动类和真人秀节目倾斜严重,虽然澳大利亚制作的节目一向评价很高。SBS电视台提供了范围异乎寻常大的非英语节目以供选择,通常是那些移居到澳大利亚的小族裔的国家;那里面又能看到多少北欧连续剧呢?

There is a great deal to relish about thedominance of the US in our cultural imagining, whether it be jazz, The GoodFight or the cartoons of The New Yorker. But the problems arise when we echoAmerican rhetoric to respond to very different political realities in Australia.

关于美国在我们文化想象中的主导地位,从爵士乐、电视剧《傲骨之战》到《纽约客》杂志,存在大量值得津津乐道的东西。但当我们为了回应澳大利亚非常不同的政治现实而去附和美国人的花言巧语时,问题就出现了。

This is clearest in foreign policy debates,where successive governments have accepted an American view of the world evenwhile insisting that Australia must work within its own region. Because so muchof our view of the world comes to us through American and, to a lesser extent,British eyes, we are uncritical of the dominant view of Washington andWhitehall, and its implicit assumptions that they represent forces of good.

这一点在外交政策争论中再明显不过了,即使坚持澳大利亚必须在自己的地区内行事,连续几届政府已经接受了美国人对这个世界的看法。因为我们对世界的大量看法大部分是通过美国人、小部分是通过英国人的眼睛形成的,我们对华盛顿和英国白厅占有统治地位的看法不加批判地接受,而这里隐含的假设是:他们代表了正义的力量。

There was a certain irony in Australianmilitary operations in Afghanistan taking place under the aegis of NATO: theNorth Atlantic Treaty Organisation. But Australia has a bipartisan record ofsending troops overseas to win the gratitude of our “great and powerfulfriends”.

澳大利亚在阿富汗的军事行动存在一定的讽刺意味,那是在北约(北大西洋公约组织)的支持下发生的。但澳大利亚的两大党为了赢得我们“伟大且强大朋友们”的感激,都有向海外派兵的记录。

With an American president who seemsuninterested in traditional alliances and unmoved by appeals to protectdemocracy or human rights, one might expect the government would be moreconscious of the reality that US and Australian interests will not alwaysconverge. On the contrary: they seem to be working harder to align us with theUnited States.

由于上来了一位似乎对传统盟友不感兴趣并对保护民主或人权的呼吁无动于衷的美国总统,有人也许会指望政府更清楚地认识到美国和澳大利亚的利益并不总是一致的现实。而事实恰恰相反:他们似乎更努力地使我们国家和美国结盟。

In the short run it might pay off: it seemsto have for steel exports. But the inability of the major parties to view theUnited States dispassionately, as a great power with interests that will oftendiverge from ours, is increasingly hobbling our foreign policy.

从短期看,这可能会带来好结果:这看起来有利于钢铁出口。但主要政党没有能力心平气和地把美国视为一个常会和我们的利益背道而驰的大国,这正日益严重地掣肘我们的外交政策。

This is where culture and foreign policymeet: alarm bells about Chinese influence ignore the far greater sway of American, to a lesser extent British,influence on our everyday lives. Yes, China is a repressive authoritarian statewhich is trying to increase its global influence. Yes, we should be cautiousabout their expansion. But too often we view this through an American prism,rather than making the effort to understand how the shifting power relationsare being understood in countries in our region.

文化和外交绞缠一处的情况就在于此:关于中国影响力的警钟,忽视了远比前者深重的美国人乃至程度略轻的英国人对我们日常生活的统治和影响。是的,中国是一个试图增强全球影响力的专制国家。是的,我们应当小心他们的扩张。但我们看待此事时,太频繁地使用了美国人的棱镜,而不是努力去理解我们这个地区内的国家是如何理解权力关系转移的。

Of course our diplomats know this, but forits size Australia has an under-resourced foreign service. We are less wellrepresented abroad than most other members of the G20. But politicians reflectlarger cultural assumptions, and the major parties are united in seeing theworld through an America-centric focus.

我们的外交官们当然是清楚这一点的,但限于其规模,澳大利亚驻外事务处的资源是不足的。我们在海外的表现不如G20中的大部分其他国家。但政治家身上呈现出了更重大的文化预设,而且主要政党一致以一种以美国为中心的视角在看待世界。

Except for occasional feeds from Al Jazeeraon SBS television news, we rely heavily on American and British reports for ourunderstanding of the outside world. The ABC does its best to cover overseasstories with reporters based around the world, but its network is small andunder-resourced. Inevitably, overseas news will come to reflect thepreoccupations of New York, London and Los Angeles.

除了SBS电视新闻时不时会放送一些半岛电视台的内容,我们在理解外部世界时严重依赖美国和英国的报道。澳大利亚广播公司在报导海外新闻上尽了全力,在全世界都驻有记者,但它的网络很小且资源不足。于是海外新闻就不可避免地反映了纽约、伦敦和洛杉矶的成见。

Broadening our horizons

开拓眼界

If we want a serious discussion aboutpopulist politics and the threat of “illiberal democracy”, there are far moreexamples to draw on than Trump and Brexit: Hungary, the Philippines, Venezuelaand Turkey are all examples of countries where authoritarian governments areincreasingly threatening human rights and freedom of expression.

如果我们想严肃地讨论民粹政治和“狭隘民主”的威胁,有比特朗普和英国脱欧多得多的案例可以拿来利用:匈牙利、菲律宾、委内瑞拉和土耳其都是独裁政府日益威胁人权和言论自由的例子。

There are writers in all these countries,whose insights would be somewhat different to those from New York and whosevoices might shake some of the assumptions on which we base our picture of thelarger world. I recognise that institutions like writers festivals and theWheeler Centre depend heavily on publishers, and that publishing in New Yorkand London dominates the Australian market.

所有这些国家都有作家,他们的洞见会和来自纽约的作家有所不同,而且他们的声音可能会动摇部分我们以其为基础以想象更广阔世界的假设。我发现诸如作家节和惠勒中心等机构是高度依赖出版商的,而纽约和伦敦的出版业统治着澳大利亚市场。

But there are many people within Australiawho can speak with authority about a larger world. SBS Radio broadcasts in 74languages, yet despite the language of diversity, it is rare for speakers frommost of the countries represented to be asked onto mainstream platforms.

但澳大利亚还是有很多人能就更大的世界发表权威意见。SBS电台以74种语言广播,然而尽管其语言具备多样性,但很少会请代表全世界大部分国家的发言者进入主流平台。

Our political culture shares many elementswith Britain and the United States, and there are good reasons to uphold thebasic values and understandings of individual freedom that are part of a commonlegacy. But these values are not unique to “the Anglosphere”, and often theyare more honoured in rhetoric than practice.

我们的政治文化和英国美国有着很多共同之处,并且有充分的理由去维护作为共同遗产一部分的个人自由的基本价值观和共识。但这些价值观并不是“英语文化圈”独有的,而且相比在现实中,它们往往在说辞中更受尊崇。

The danger of aligning ourselves with theAnglosphere is that it distorts the complexity of the greater world and alignsus with policies that are neither in our national interest nor that of a morejust world. Just as republicans can enjoy the spectacle of a royal wedding withoutabandoning the idea of an Australian head of state, we need to remind ourselvesthat Trump is, literally, not our president.

与英语文化圈结盟的危险在于,这样会扭曲更广大世界的复杂性,还会让我们向既不符合我们的国家利益,也非更公正世界的政策看齐。正如共和党人可以享受壮观的皇室婚礼,同时不抛弃澳大利亚元首的想法,我们也必须提醒自己:特朗普还真不是我们的总统。

(作者为澳大利亚白人,来自澳大利亚拉筹伯大学)