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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.

過去的三周以來,澳大利亞廣播公司(ABC)的十字路口欄目對美國政治做了特別報道,參與其中的有我們最出色的記者之一莎拉·弗格森,帶著特殊任務趕赴美國。我看了這些節目,也很喜歡。但我喜歡它們的一部分原因是:他們報道所涉的是我們已經熟悉的地方。

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.

如果付出同樣的努力奉獻給我們的是對比如說雅加達或孟買的深入特別報道,它們就沒有那么熟悉了,但可能會更有意思。最重要的是,它們不會是我們那些擁有特別渠道的主要英語媒體已經報道過的新聞。

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.

正當我們絞盡腦汁試圖去理解這個變幻莫測的世界秩序時,而在這其中美國發揮的作用不再明確和可以信賴,我們對美國事物的迷戀卻仍在繼續增長。這便是當今澳大利亞人生活中的一大諷刺,對“英語文化圈”的全神貫注,這是前總理托尼·艾伯特最愛的一個慣用語,也被現實中很多自以為先進的人士們襲用。

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.

那么英語文化圈是什么?韋氏大詞典將其定義為“英語語言和文化價值觀占主導的國家”,顯然指的是英國、美國、加拿大、澳大利亞和新西蘭。這個最近出現的驚人術語,是科幻小說家尼爾·斯蒂芬森在1995年的小說《鉆石時代》中創造出來的,然后就被很多保守派評論家拿去用了。



(圖解:尼爾·斯蒂芬森,美國著名賽伯朋克流科幻作家,有《雪崩》《鉆石時代》等存世,其作直接創造了“虛擬實境”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:

由英語語言和英國傳統締造的丘吉爾式近乎神話的紐帶理念一直都吸引著澳大利亞的保守主義者。澳大利亞公共事務研究所的克里斯·伯格在2012年寫道:

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.

“我們的傳統沒有什么可羞恥的。現存最古老的民主國家在英語文化圈里,這并不是巧合。乃至自由的傳統,可以追溯到大憲章,這讓說英語的國家能更好地保護人權和私有財產。我們應該感到自豪,而不是羞怯不安。當然了,談論‘亞洲世紀’確實更時髦一些。但英語文化圈還會在下一個一百年中塑造澳大利亞的文化觀和政治觀。只有保守派能很自在地談論這些,實是一種恥辱。”

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.

前外交部長鮑勃·卡爾和前總理陸克文抨擊了艾伯特對英語文化圈的狂熱。總理馬爾科姆·特恩布爾不太可能援引這個術語,而特朗普的當選意味著這種思想在右翼陣營中不再流行,他們正在艱難抉擇,要如何回應這樣一位既讓他們最害怕又讓他們最大希望成真的美國總統。

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.

然而盡管50年來政府不斷談論澳大利亞是亞洲的一部分,現在則是貼了張“印度太平洋區”的皮重新推出,我們的文化捍衛者們行事依然如故,仿佛什么也沒有改變過。我們也許對特朗普的美國抱持著謹慎態度,同時對于小不列顛的再現有那么點茫然,但我們仍然會不加思考地指望美英來為我們指引智慧。

The Anglo obsession

癡迷盎格魯

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.

就拿澳大利亞廣播公司(ABC)的談話類節目Q&A(你問我答)來說。在悉尼作家節的那周中,Q&A節目組織了一個座談小組,五個作家里有四個是在紐約工作生活,而且有一大堆問題都是關于特朗普的。接下來的那周,他們把一個英國保守黨小說家納入了進來,即斯坦利·約翰森,他能出名的真正原因貌似是:他是鮑里斯·約翰遜的父親。

(譯注:鮑里斯·約翰遜,曾任倫敦市長和英國外交大臣)

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.

這部分反映出,這個節日對美國作家超乎尋常的重視,以及缺少來自世界其他國家的作家。但尤其值得注意的是,有一年該節日的主題是權力,受邀作家中只有一部分參與了一場討論,比如加拿大華裔作家薛憶溈,是關于權力在譬如說中國、印度、沙特阿拉伯等國發揮作用的不同方式。

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.

這種癡迷還在繼續。《Monthly》雜志最近播報了一份來自美國的每周快訊,因為“美國對澳大利亞的報道變少了”。當然了,這種操作和總部在北京、德里或是圣保羅的澳大利亞記者是不同的。而墨爾本作家節已經推出了它的第一批嘉賓,里面有諸如羅南·法羅、艾米麗·努斯鮑姆、塔-內西斯·科茨和大衛·內瓦特這樣的杰出美國人,雖然它理應得到一些肯定,因為也聚焦了一批澳大利亞和國際作家。

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.

共同的語言意味著我們不可避免地會更了解英語作家,以及紐約、倫敦乃至好萊塢的文化風潮。我們有渠道接觸到世界上最豐富多樣的文化產品,而且我們是閱讀著、品評著并且和英語圈里的大都市交互著長大的。

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.

但澳大利亞既不是英國也不是美國,而自相矛盾的是,我們越來越癡迷它們,哪怕它們在世界中乃至在我們這個地區內的相對重要性在不斷下降。

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.

知識界把“特朗普、英國脫歐”當成全球政治所有弊病的總結來念叨,偶爾他們會提及普京,但在離我們更近的國家中某種程度的民主倒退,比如在泰國和菲律賓,都很少會被提到。

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,資深的進步記者戴維·麥克奈特是以引用伯尼·桑德斯和杰里米·科爾賓的話來為他的書《民粹主義進行時!》開篇的。可以預見的是,他們很快就會和特朗普和英國脫歐形成鮮明對比。

(譯注:伯尼·桑德斯是美國佛蒙特州聯邦參議員,也是美國歷史上第一位信奉社會主義的參議員,曾位居《時代周刊》2016年“全球最具影響力人物”榜首;杰里米·科爾賓為英國最大的反對黨工黨黨魁)

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.

這些比喻的驚人之處在于,他們對那些可能存在對澳大利亞來說更有用先進模型的國家展現出的興趣如此之少,比如德國,即使他們不說英語。幾年前,安德魯·斯考特指出了北歐的一些有趣的公共政策,但這些中的大部分都被忽略了。我們對加拿大和新西蘭的關注相對而言很少,盡管它們和我們的共同點要比英語文化圈里的那兩個大國更多。

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.

在最近關于我們的大學是否應該教授乃至如何教授“西方文明”的辯論中,出現了類似的問題。一門完整的“西方文明”課程當然會考察歐洲和世界其他國家間的復雜互動,以及這些互動在何種程度上塑造了我們對自由進步的假設。

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.

如果能引導學生仔細思考,乃至去碰觸美國的根基有賴于奴隸制,或是為什么納粹主義能在西方文化的一大偉大中心興起這類問題,他們可能就會對理解這個世界做好更周全的準備,而這個世界被倫敦和紐約的成見支配的程度已經下降了。

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.

我們的政治爭論不可避免地受到盎格魯系美國的文學、電影和音樂之影響。所有的小國都面臨著在對世界其他國家開放的同時如何發展出自己文化的問題。在澳大利亞,語言既是障礙也是良機。

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.

我們看的電影電視是嚴重美國化的,這并不令人驚訝:在澳大利亞前十部最賣座的電影中,其分布從哈利波特到指環王系列均有,只有兩部不是典型的美國電影。只有三部以《鱷魚鄧迪》為首的澳大利亞電影進入了前50。



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

(圖解:《阿凡達》是澳大利亞有史以來票房最高的電影)

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?

電視的情況更復雜一些;澳大利亞廣播公司尤其鐘愛英國的電視素材,并且向運動類和真人秀節目傾斜嚴重,雖然澳大利亞制作的節目一向評價很高。SBS電視臺提供了范圍異乎尋常大的非英語節目以供選擇,通常是那些移居到澳大利亞的小族裔的國家;那里面又能看到多少北歐連續劇呢?

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.

關于美國在我們文化想象中的主導地位,從爵士樂、電視劇《傲骨之戰》到《紐約客》雜志,存在大量值得津津樂道的東西。但當我們為了回應澳大利亞非常不同的政治現實而去附和美國人的花言巧語時,問題就出現了。

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.

這一點在外交政策爭論中再明顯不過了,即使堅持澳大利亞必須在自己的地區內行事,連續幾屆政府已經接受了美國人對這個世界的看法。因為我們對世界的大量看法大部分是通過美國人、小部分是通過英國人的眼睛形成的,我們對華盛頓和英國白廳占有統治地位的看法不加批判地接受,而這里隱含的假設是:他們代表了正義的力量。

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”.

澳大利亞在阿富汗的軍事行動存在一定的諷刺意味,那是在北約(北大西洋公約組織)的支持下發生的。但澳大利亞的兩大黨為了贏得我們“偉大且強大朋友們”的感激,都有向海外派兵的記錄。

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.

由于上來了一位似乎對傳統盟友不感興趣并對保護民主或人權的呼吁無動于衷的美國總統,有人也許會指望政府更清楚地認識到美國和澳大利亞的利益并不總是一致的現實。而事實恰恰相反:他們似乎更努力地使我們國家和美國結盟。

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.

從短期看,這可能會帶來好結果:這看起來有利于鋼鐵出口。但主要政黨沒有能力心平氣和地把美國視為一個常會和我們的利益背道而馳的大國,這正日益嚴重地掣肘我們的外交政策。

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.

文化和外交絞纏一處的情況就在于此:關于中國影響力的警鐘,忽視了遠比前者深重的美國人乃至程度略輕的英國人對我們日常生活的統治和影響。是的,中國是一個試圖增強全球影響力的專制國家。是的,我們應當小心他們的擴張。但我們看待此事時,太頻繁地使用了美國人的棱鏡,而不是努力去理解我們這個地區內的國家是如何理解權力關系轉移的。

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.

我們的外交官們當然是清楚這一點的,但限于其規模,澳大利亞駐外事務處的資源是不足的。我們在海外的表現不如G20中的大部分其他國家。但政治家身上呈現出了更重大的文化預設,而且主要政黨一致以一種以美國為中心的視角在看待世界。

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電視新聞時不時會放送一些半島電視臺的內容,我們在理解外部世界時嚴重依賴美國和英國的報道。澳大利亞廣播公司在報導海外新聞上盡了全力,在全世界都駐有記者,但它的網絡很小且資源不足。于是海外新聞就不可避免地反映了紐約、倫敦和洛杉磯的成見。

Broadening our horizons

開拓眼界

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.

如果我們想嚴肅地討論民粹政治和“狹隘民主”的威脅,有比特朗普和英國脫歐多得多的案例可以拿來利用:匈牙利、菲律賓、委內瑞拉和土耳其都是獨裁政府日益威脅人權和言論自由的例子。

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.

所有這些國家都有作家,他們的洞見會和來自紐約的作家有所不同,而且他們的聲音可能會動搖部分我們以其為基礎以想象更廣闊世界的假設。我發現諸如作家節和惠勒中心等機構是高度依賴出版商的,而紐約和倫敦的出版業統治著澳大利亞市場。

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.

但澳大利亞還是有很多人能就更大的世界發表權威意見。SBS電臺以74種語言廣播,然而盡管其語言具備多樣性,但很少會請代表全世界大部分國家的發言者進入主流平臺。

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.

我們的政治文化和英國美國有著很多共同之處,并且有充分的理由去維護作為共同遺產一部分的個人自由的基本價值觀和共識。但這些價值觀并不是“英語文化圈”獨有的,而且相比在現實中,它們往往在說辭中更受尊崇。

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.

與英語文化圈結盟的危險在于,這樣會扭曲更廣大世界的復雜性,還會讓我們向既不符合我們的國家利益,也非更公正世界的政策看齊。正如共和黨人可以享受壯觀的皇室婚禮,同時不拋棄澳大利亞元首的想法,我們也必須提醒自己:特朗普還真不是我們的總統。

(作者為澳大利亞白人,來自澳大利亞拉籌伯大學)