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2011-11-03 19:00:27|  分类: 他科之璞可以攻玉 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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The overall question, then, is this: What profound intellectual and moral impotence will the nation suffer tomorrow, following the castration of its culture today?
I fear that the baneful *(bane: the cause of ruin or trouble;the curse)effects on society will outlast by many years the particular political interests that gave rise to them. So much more guilty, in the eyes of history, are those who have sacrificed the country's spiritual future for the sake of their present power interests.
Just as the constant increase of entropy 熵is the basic law of the universe, so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy.
Life rebels against all uniformity and leveling; its aim is not sameness, but variety, the restlessness of transcendence, the adventure of novelty and rebellion against the status quo. An essential condition for its enhancement is the secret constantly made manifest.
On the other hand, the essence of authority (whose aim is reduced to protecting its own permanence by forcibly imposing the uniformity of perpetual consent) consists basically in a distrust of all variety, uniqueness, and transcendence; in an aversion to everything unknown, impalpable, and currently obscure; in a proclivity for the uniform, the identical, and the inert; in deep affection for the status quo. In it, the mechanical spirit prevails over the vital. The order it strives for is no frank quest for ever higher forms of social self-organization, equivalent to its evolving complexity of structure, but, on the contrary, a decline toward that "state of maximum probability" representing the climax of entropy. Following the direction of entropy, it goes against the direction of life.  
  而另一方面,权威的本质 (它的目标被减缩成通过强迫性的强加和无休止赞同的整齐划一来保护自己的永久性) 主要表现为对所有多样化、独特性和超越的不信任;存在于一种对所有未知的、摸不着的和通常是含糊的事物的厌恶;存在于对千人一面、一致性和惰性的癖好;存在于对现状深深的眷恋,在其中,呆板的精神胜过生命。它所力求的秩序不是真诚地追求社会自我组织的最高形式,以及与发展中的复杂结构相适应,而是与其相反,是一种朝向代表熵的顶峰的“最大可能性状态”的衰退。追随熵的方向,它走向反对生活的方向。 
In a person's life, as we know, there is a moment when the complexity of structure begins suddenly to decline and his path turns in the direction of entropy. This is the moment when he, too, succumbs to the general law of the universe: the moment of death.
Somewhere at the bottom of every political authority which has chosen the path to entropy (and would like to treat the individual as a computer into which any program can be fed with the assurance that he will carry it out), there lies hidden the death principle. There is an odor of death even in the notion of "order" which such an authority puts into practice and which sees every manifestation of genuine life, every exceptional deed, individual expression, thought, every unusual idea or wish, as a red light signaling confusion, chaos, and anarchy.
在每一个选择通往熵的道路的政治权威 (并且总是喜欢将个人视作可以输入任何程序并确信他将要去完成的电脑) 的底部,存在着这种隐蔽的死亡原则。甚至在“秩序”这个概念中便存在着一种死亡的气味,这样一种权威将每一种真正的生活现象,每一个意外的行动、个人的表达、思想、每个不同寻常的概念和希望,都视作打上了混乱、嘈杂和无政府状态标志的红灯。
The entire political practice of the present regime, as I have tried to outline it here step by step, confirms that those concepts which were always crucial for its program-order, calm, consolidation, "guiding the nation out of its crisis," "halting disruption," "assuaging hot tempers" and so on-have finally acquired the same lethal(causing or sufficient to cause death)meaning that they have for every regime committed to entropy.   
True enough, order prevails: a bureaucratic order of gray monotony that stifles all individuality; of mechanical precision that suppresses everything of unique quality; of musty*(mouldy,发霉的,霉臭的)inertia that excludes the transcendent. What prevails is order without life. True enough, the country is calm. Calm as a morgue*(mortuary,停尸房) or a grave, would you not say?
In a society which is really alive, something is always happen ing. The interplay of current activities and events, of overt and concealed movement, produces a constant succession of unique situations which provoke further and fresh movement. The mysterious, vital polarity of the continuous and the changing, the regular and the random, the foreseen and the unexpected, has its effect in the time dimension and is borne out in the flow of events. The more highly structured the life of a society, the more highly structured its time dimension, and the more prominent the element of uniqueness and unrepeatability within the time flow. This, in turn, of course, makes it easier to reflect its sequential character, to represent it, that is, as an irreversible stream of noninterchangeable situations, and so, in retrospect, to understand better whatever is governed by regular laws in society. The richer the life society lives, then, the better it perceives the dimension of social time, the dimension of history.
In other words, wherever there is room for social activity, room is created for a social memory as well. Any society that is alive is a society with a history.
If the element of continuity and causality is so vitally linked in history with the element of unrepeatabidity and unpredicb ability, we may well ask how true history-that inextinguishable source of "chaos," fountainhead of unrest, and slap in the face to law and order-can ever exist in a world ruled by an "entropic" regime.
The answer is plain: it cannot. And, indeed, it does not on the surface, anyway. Under such a regime, the elimination of life in the proper sense brings social time to a halt, so that history disappears from its purview.*(the range of physical or mental vision)
In our own country, too, one has the impression that for some time there has been no history. Slowly but surely, we are losing the sense of time. We begin to forget what happened when, what came earlier and what later, and the feeling that it really does not matter overwhelms us. As uniqueness disappears from the flow of events, so does continuity; everything merges into the single gray image of one and the same cycle and we say, "There is nothing happening-" Here, too, a deadly order has been imposed: all activity is completely organized and so completely deadened. The deadening of the sense of unfolding time in society inevitably kills it in private life as well. No longer backed by social history or the history of the individual within it, private life declines to a prehistoric level where time derives its only rhythm from such events as birth, marriage, and death.  
The loss of the sense of social time seems, in every way, to cast society back into the primeval state where, for thousands of years, humanity could get no further in measuring it than by the cosmic and climatic pattern of endlessly repeated annual seasons and the religious rites associated with them.  
The gap left by the disquieting dimension of history has, naturally, to be filled. So the disorder of real history is replaced by the orderliness of pseudo-history, whose author is not the life of society, but an official planner. Instead of events, we are offered nonevents; we live from anniversary to anniversary, from celebration to celebration, from parade to parade, from a unanimous congress to unanimous elections and back again; from a Press Day to an Artillery Day, and vice versa. It is no coincidence that, thanks to this substitution for history, we are able to review everything that is happening in society, past and future, by simply glancing at the calendar. And the notoriously Familiar character of the recurrent rituals makes such information quite as adequate as if we had been present at the events themselves.
What we have, then, is perfect order-but at the cost of reverting to prehistory. Even so, we must enter a caveat: whereas for our ancestors the repeated rituals always had a deep existential *(将这个重要的词漏译了)meaning, for us they are merely a routine performed for its own sake. The government keeps them going to maintain the impression that history is moving. The public goes through the motions to keep out of trouble.
因此,我们拥有了一个完备的秩序,但是付出了回到前历史的代价。即使这样,我们必须引进一个说明:对我们的祖先来说,重复的仪式总有一个深层的含义,而对我们,我们仅仅是为我们自身利益*(即使不明白“for its own sake”这个常用短语,也该看明白是its而不是our)所表演的一套例行公事。政府保留它们*(应译为“使”)是为了保持历史还在运行的印象。公众通过这些活动避开麻烦。 
An "entropic" regime has one means of increasing the general entropy within its own sphere of influence, namely, by tightening its own central control, rendering itself more mon olithic, and enclosing society in a straitjacket of one dimensional manipulation. But with every step it takes in this direction, it inevitably increases its own entropy too.
In an effort to immobilize the world, it immobilizes itself, undermining its own ability to cope with anything new or to resist the natural currents of life. The "entropic" regime is, thus, doomed to become the victim of its own lethal principle, and the most vulnerable victim at that, thanks to the absence of any impulse within its own structure that could, as it were, make it face up to itself. Life, by contrast, with its irrepressible urge to oppose entropy, is able all the more successfully and inventively to resist being violated, the faster the violating authority succumbs to its own sclerosis(硬化症).
在使世界僵止不动的努力中,它也令自己僵止不动,暗中瓦解了自己对任何新生事物妥善处理或阻挡自然的生活之流的能力。因此,这种“熵”的制度注定地变成它自己的致命原则的牺牲品而且是最脆弱的牺牲品,由于在它自身结构之内缺乏任何动力,将转向自己的反面*(face up to是“正面”的意思)。与此相反,生活以她压抑不了的渴望反对熵,她越来越有能力成功地和富有创造性地抵制被强暴,即强暴的权威将更快地受制于其自身。 
In trying to paralyze life, then, the authorities paralyze themselves and, in the long run, make themselves incapable of paralyzing life.
In other words, life may be subjected to a prolonged and thorough process of violation, enfeeblement, and anesthesia*(麻痹). Yet, in the end, it cannot be permanently halted. Albeit quietly, covertly, and slowly, it nevertheless goes on. Though it be estranged from itself a thousand times, it always manages in some way to recuperate; however violently ravished, it always survives, in the end, the power which ravished it. It cannot be otherwise, in view of the profoundly ambivalent nature of every "entropic” authority, which can only suppress life if there is life to suppress and so, in the last resort, depends for its own existence on life, whereas life in no way depends on it. The only force that can truly destroy life on our planet is the force which knows no compromise: the universal validity of the second law of thermodynamics.
If life cannot be destroyed for good, then neither can history be brought entirely to a halt. A secret streamlet trickles on beneath the heavy cover of inertia and pseudo-events, slowly and inconspicuously undercutting* (cut away the part below or under (a thing))it. It may be a long process, but one day it must happen: the cover will no longer hold and will start to crack.
This is the moment when once more something visibly begins to happen, something truly new and unique, something unscheduled in the official calendar of "happenings," something that makes us no longer indifferent to what occurs and when,something truly historic, in the sense that history again demands to be heard.    
But how, in our particular circumstances, could it come about that history "demands to be heard"? What does such a prospect really imply?
I am neither historian nor prophet, yet there are some observations touching on the structure of these "moments" which one cannot avoid making.
Where there is, in some degree, open competition for power as the only real guarantee of public control over its exercise and, in the last resort, the only guarantee of free speech, the political authorities must willy-nilly participate in some kind of permanent and overt dialogue with the life of society. They are forced continually to wrestle with all kinds of questions which life puts to them. Where no such competition exists and freedom of speech is, therefore, of necessity sooner or later suppressed-as is the case with every "entropic" regime-the authorities, instead of adapting themselves to life, try to adapt life to themselves. Instead of coping openly and continually with real conflicts, demands, and issues, they simply draw a veil over them. Yet somewhere under this cover, these conflicts and demands continue, grow, and multiply, only to burst forth when the moment arrives when the cover can no longer hold them down. This is the moment when the dead weight of inertia crumbles and history steps out again into the arena.
And what happens after that?
The authorities are certainly still strong enough to prevent those vital conflicts from issuing in the shape of open discussion or open rivalry for power. But they have no longer the strength to resist this pressure altogether. So life vents itself where it can-in the secret corridors of power, where it can insist on secret discussion and finally on secret competition. For this, of course, the authorities are unprepared: any substantive dialogue with life is outside their range of competence. So they panic. Life sows confusion in their council chambers in the shape of personal quarrels, intrigues, pitfalls, and confrontations. It even infects, as it were, their own representatives: the death mask of impersonality that their officials wore to confirm their identity with the monolith of power is suddenly dropped, revealing live people competing for power in the most "human" way and struggling in self-defense, one against the other.  
This is the notorious moment for palace revolutions and putsches* (an attempt at political revolution ;a violent uprising) , for sudden and outwardly mystifying changes of portfolio and changes of key points in set speeches, the moment when real or construed conspiracies and secret centers are revealed, the moment when real or imaginary crimes are made known and ancient guilt unearthed, the moment for mutual dismissals from office, mutual denigration, and perhaps even arrests and trials. Whereas before every man in authority had spoken the same language, used the same clichés, applauded the successful fulfillment of the same targets, now suddenly the monolith of power breaks down into distinguishable persons, still speaking the same language, but using it to make personal attacks on one another. And we learn with astonishment that some of them-those, that is, who lost in the secret struggle for power-had never taken their targets seriously and never successfully fulfilled them far from it,whereas others-the winners-had really meant what they said and are alone capable of achieving their aims.
The more rational the construction of the official calendar of nonevents over the years, the more irrational the effect of a sudden irruption of genuine history. All its long-suppressed elements of unrepeatability, uniqueness, and incalculability, all its long-denied mysteries, come rushing through the breach. Where for years we had been denied the slightest, most ordinary surprise, life is now one huge surprise-and it is well worth it. The whole disorderliness of history, concealed under artificial order for years, suddenly spurts out.
How well we know all this! How often we have witnessed it in our part of the world! The machine that worked for years to apparent perfection, faultlessly, without a hitch *(an impediment;a temporary obstacle) , falls apart overnight. The system that seemed likely to reign unchanged  world without end, since nothing could call its power in question amid all those unanimous votes and elections, is shattered without warning. And, to our amazement, we find that nothing was the way we had thought it was.  
The moment when such a tornado whirls through the musty edifice*(a building , esp.a large imposing one) of petrified power structures is, of course, far from being just a source of amusement for all of us who are outside the ramparts of authority. For we, too, are always involved, albeit indirectly. Is it not the quiet perennial pressure of life, the ceaselessly resisted, but finally irresistible demands and interests of all society, its conflicts and its tensions, which ever and again spoke the foundations of power? No wonder society continually reawakens at such moments, attaches itself to them, receives them with great alertness, gets excited by them, and seeks to exploit them! In almost every case, such tremors provoke hopes or fears of one kind or another, create-or seem to create-scope for the realization of life's various impulses and ambitions, and accelerate all kinds of movements within society.
Yet, in almost every case, it is equally true that this situation, owing to the basically unnatural structure of the kind of confrontation with life which such shakeups of power bring about, carries with it many incalculable risks.
I shall try to illuminate further one such risk.  
If every day someone takes orders in silence from an incompetent superior, if every day he solemnly performs ritual acts which he privately finds ridiculous, if he unhesitatingly gives answers to questionnaires which are contrary to his real opinions and is prepared to deny himself in public, if he sees no difficulty in feigning sympathy or even affection where, in fact, he feels only indifference or aversion, it still does not mean that he has entirely lost the use of one of the basic human senses, namely, the sense of dignity.   
On the contrary: even if they never speak of it, people have a very acute appreciation of the price they have paid for outward peace and quiet: the permanent humiliation of their human dignity. The less direct resistance they put up to it comforting themselves by driving it from their mind and deceiving themselves with the thought that it is of no account, or else simply gritting their teeth-the deeper the experience etches itself into their emotional memory. The man who can resist humiliation can quickly forget it; but the man who can long tolerate it must long remember it. In actual fact, then, nothing remains forgotten. All the fear one has endured, the dissimulation one has been forced into, all the painful and degrading buffoonery, *(1.a ludicrous person,2.a jester, a mocker)and, worst of all, perhaps, the feeling of having displayed one's cowardice-all this settles and accumulates somewhere in the bottom of our social consciousness, quietly fermenting.  
Clearly, this is no healthy situation. Left untreated, the abscesses suppurate; the pus cannot escape from the body, and the malady spreads throughout the organism. The natural human emotion is denied the process of objectivization and instead, caged up over long periods in the emotional memory, is gradually deformed into a sick cramp, into a toxic substance not unlike the carbon monoxide produced by incomplete combustion.
No wonder, then, that when the crust cracks and the lava of life rolls out, there appear not only well-considered attempts to rectify old wrongs, not only searchings for truth and for reforms matching life's needs, but also symptoms of bilious hatred, vengeful wrath, and a feverish desire for immediate compensation for all the degradation endured. (The impulsive and often wayward forms of this desire may also spring largely from a vague impression that the whole outbreak has come too late, at a time when it has lost its meaning, having no longer any immediate motive and so carrying no immediate risk, when it is actually just an ersatz *(substitute ,imitation (esp.of inferior quality))for something that should have happened in quite a different context.)
  那么无疑地,当这种结痂破裂和生活的遗留物被大声说出,这时出现的不只是考虑周详的纠正过去错误的尝试,不只是寻求真理和谋求满足生活需要的改革,也有着旺盛的暴躁的仇恨、报复性的惯怒,和一种对于所有忍受的屈辱直接弥补的狂热的要求。 (这种要求的冲击波和经常反复无常的形式也许大部分来源于一种含糊的印象,即整个爆发来得太迟了,已经到了失去它的意义,不再有任何直接的动因和并不带来直接的危险这一时刻,实际上它仅仅是在另外一个十分不同的上下文中发生的某种东西的代用品。)
No wonder, again, that the men in power, accustomed for years to absolute agreement, unanimous and unreserved support, and a total unity of total pretense, are so shocked by the upsurge of suppressed feelings at such a moment that they feel exposed to such an unheard-of threat and, in this mood (assuming themselves to be the sole guarantors of the world's survival), detect such an unprecedented threat to the rest of the world, too, that they do not hesitate to call upon millions of foreign soldiers to save both themselves and the world.
  无疑地,那些掌权的人们,多年来习惯于绝对听从,习惯于一致的和无保留的支持,习惯于整个是虚伪的统一整体,当他们感到曝光于这样一种前所未闻的威胁中时,对于被压抑的情感的暴涨感到震惊。并且在这种心情下 (设想他们自己是拯救世界的唯一保证人) 察觉到这样一种对这个世界的其余的人们也是空前未有的威胁时,他们毫不犹豫地召集了上百万外国士兵来挽救他们自己和这个世界。 
We experienced one such explosion not long ago. Those who had spent years humiliating and insulting people and were then so shocked when those people tried to raise their own voices, now label the whole episode an "outbreak of passions." And what, pray, were the passions that broke out? Those who know what protracted and thoroughgoing humiliations had preceded the explosion, and who understand the psycho-social mechanics of the subsequent reaction to them should be more surprised at the relatively calm, objective and, indeed, loyal form which the explosion took. Yet, as everyone knows, we had to pay a cruel price for that moment of truth.
The authorities in power today are profoundly different from those who ruled prior to that recent explosion. Not only because the latter were, so to speak, "originals" and their successors a mere formalized imitation, incapable of refiecting(?) the extent to which the "originals" had meanwhile lost their mystique, but primarily for another reason.
  今天执政当权的人和那些在这次爆发之前统治的前任有深刻的不同。这不仅在于前任们, 如通常所说“有创见性” ,而他们继任者仅仅是一种形式上的模仿,“有创见性”已经失去了它的神秘性;而且是另有原因。
For whereas the earlier version rested on a genuine and not inconsiderable social basis derived from the trustful support accorded, though in declining measure, by one part of the population, and on the equally genuine and considerable attractiveness (which also gradually evaporated) of the social benefits it originally promised, today's regime rests solely on the ruling minority's instinct for self preservation and on the fear of the ruled majority.
In these circumstances, it is hard to foresee all the feasible scenarios for a future "moment of truth": to foresee how such a complex and undisguised degradation of the whole of society might one day demand restitution. And it is quite impossible to estimate the scope and depth of the tragic consequences which such a moment might inflict, perhaps must inflict, on our two nations.  
In this context, it is amazing that a government which advertises itself as the most scientific on record is unable to grasp the elementary rules of its own operations or to learn from its own past.
I have made it clear that I have no fear of life in Czechoslovakia coming to a halt, or of history being suspended forever with the accession to power of the present leaders. Every situation in history and every epoch have been succeeded by a fresh situation and a new epoch, and for better or worse, the new ones have always been quite remote from the expectations of the organizers and rulers of the preceding period.
What I am afraid of is something else. The whole of this letter is concerned, in fact, with what I really fear-the pointlessly harsh and long-lasting consequences which the present violent abuses will have for our nations. I fear the price we are all bound to pay for the drastic suppression of history, the cruel and needless banishment(formally expel(a person),esp.from a country) of life into the underground of society and the depths of the human soul, the new compulsory deferment of every opportunity for society to live in anything like a natural way. And perhaps it is apparent from what I wrote a little way back that I am not only worried about our current payments in terms of everyday bitterness at the spoliation of society and human degradation, or about the heavy tax we shall have to pay in the long-lasting spiritual and moral decline of society. I am also concerned with the scarcely calculable surcharge which may be imposed on us when the moment next arrives for life and history to demand their due.
The degree of responsibility a political leader bears for the condition of his country must always vary and, obviously, can never be absolute. He never rules alone, and so some portion of responsibility rests on those who surround him. No country exists in a vacuum, so its policies are in some way always influenced by those of other countries. Clearly the previous rulers always have much to answer for, since it was their policies which predetermined the present situation. The public, too, has much to answer for, both individually, through the daily personal decisions of each responsible human being which went to create the total state of affairs, or collectively, as a socio-historic whole, limited by circumstances and in its turn limiting those circumstances.
Despite these qualifications, which naturally apply in our current situation as in any other, your responsibility as a political leader is still a great one. You help to determine the climate in which we all have to live and can therefore directly influence the final size of the bill our society will be paying for today's process of consolidation.
The Czechs and Slovaks, like any other nation, harbor within themselves simultaneously the most disparate potentialities. We have had, still have, and will continue to have our heroes, and, equally, our informers and traitors. We are capable of unleashing our imagination and creativity, of rising spiritually and morally to unexpected heights, of fighting for the truth and sacrificing ourselves for others.
But it lies in us equally to succumb to total apathy, to take no interest in anything but our bellies, and to spend our time tripping one another up*(挑错). And though human souls are far from being mere pint pots that anything can be poured into (note the arrogant implications of that dreadful phrase so frequent in official speeches, when it is complained that "we"-that is, "the government"-find that such-and-such ideas are being instilled into people's heads), it depends, nevertheless, very much on the leaders which of these contrary tendencies that slumber in society will be mobilized, which set of potentialities will be given the chance of fulfillment, and which will be suppressed.
  但是,这同样也有赖于如果我们自己屈从整个儿冷漠,除了对我们的胃感兴趣以外对其他事情不感兴趣,以及把时间花在互相挑剔上面。尽管人类灵魂远远不是一个任何东西都能往里面倒的容器 (注意在官方的议论中,这样可怕的短语如此经常地夸张使用,当“我们”即“政府”抱怨这样那样的思想正在灌输到人们的头脑之中时) ,然而,它也非常取决于某个领导人,是他可能将社会中沉睡着的那些相反的倾向中哪一种调动出来,将何种潜能给予实现的机会和将何种压抑下去。 
So far, it is the worst in us which is being systematically activated and enlarged-egotism, hypocrisy, indifference, cowardice, fear, resignation, and the desire to escape every personal responsibility, regardless of the general consequences.
Yet even today's national leadership has the opportunity to influence society by its policies in such a way as to encourage not the worse side of us, but the better.
 到目前为止,在我们中间最坏的是——自我中心、伪善、冷漠、懦弱、恐惧、屈从,从个人责任中逃脱出来并无视其普遍的结果——这样一些东西正在系统地发挥作用和得到蔓延。 但是,即使是今天的民族的领导人也有机会通过其政策影响社会,以唤起人们身上更好的东西,而不是更坏的东西。 
So far, you and your government have chosen the easy way out for yourselves, and the most dangerous road for society: the path of inner decay for the sake of outward appearances; of deadening life for the sake of increasing uniformity; of deepening the spiritual and moral crisis of our society, and ceaselessly degrading human dignity, for the puny sake of protecting your own power.   
Yet, even within the given limitations, you have the chance to do much toward at least a relative improvement of the situation. This might be a more strenuous and less gratifying way, whose benefits would not be immediately obvious and which would meet with resistance here and there. But in the light of our society's true interests and prospects, this way would be vastly the more meaningful one.
As a citizen of this country, I hereby request, openly and publicly, that you and the leading representatives of the present regime consider seriously the matters to which I have tried to draw your attention, that you assess in their light the degree of your historic responsibility, and act accordingly. 
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