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马克·里拉:支持革命的共和党人

马克·里拉:支持革命的共和党人

The Reactionary Mind

译言,附英文
评新书:柯瑞·罗宾(Corey Robin):《反动的心灵:从埃德蒙·柏克到萨拉·佩林》(The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin),Oxford University Press, 2011. 290 pp., $29.95。中英文,译文未校
标题

2004年,当时,参议员巴拉克·奥巴马通过宣称"不存在一个自由的美国和一个保守的美国--只有美利坚合众国"扶起了民主党的习俗(bring to its feet)。他以不同的方式来学习(He learned differently)。正如近来普林斯顿的历史学家肖恩·威兰茨(Sean Wilentz)在《新合众国》(The New Republic)中写道的那样,美国人关于后政党政治的幻想,又回到了合众国最早的日子。[1]为自己的目的而利用这一幻想的政客们取得了成功;那些真正相信它的人却遭遇了失败。而这也是件好事情。现代民主依赖于派别、原则和计划之间的区分,越清楚越好。

但当前公众对我们的正当的不满,不仅和党争有关。它也反应了这样的一种感觉,忌我们用来区分派别、原则和计划的标签已经失去了它们的价值。今天,自称自由主义者或保守主义者意味着什么?区分"进步人士"与"反动分子"有意思么,还是说那些(词语)不过是遭到滥用的、用来奉承自己的术语?(我们)很难知道如何谈论全球经济创造的新的贫富阶级,以及他们奇特的相互重叠的信仰(commitments,承诺)。抑或,在语言的地图上,该把在全球播种的新的民粹主义--有的是反全球化的,有的是反移民的,有的是自由主义的,有的是威权主义的--放在哪里。词语辜负了我们。

尽管听起来愚笨,但我们实际上还是需要分类(taxonomy)。分类是使当下的政治范畴变得对我们来说清晰可见的东西。不过,要分好类,还是需要一种特定的艺术,一种机智的冷静和历史的视角,一种此刻感(sense of the moment, 当下感),和一种,这,也会过去的感觉。政治科学家们,意图仿效硬科学的方法,在半个世纪以前,就在事情开始变得有趣的时候,在新的政治运动和联盟在民主社会中发展的时候,停止了对这种艺术的培养。我们也处在类似的时刻之中;我们需要一个向导。这就是为什么柯瑞·罗宾的《反动的心灵》是一本值得拥有的,有用的书--不是作为一个可遵从的范例,而是一个应该避免的反例。

罗宾,在布鲁克林学院教授政治科学,在过去十年间一直为《民族/国家》(The Nation)和其他出版物写作充满思想性的,关于美国右派的论文。《反动的心灵》集结了对像安·兰德(Ayn Rand),巴里·高华德(Barry Goldwater)和安托宁·斯卡利亚大法官(Justice Antonin Scalia)那样的著名右翼思想家,和一些转向左派的逃兵,如约翰·格雷(John Gray)和爱德华·鲁瓦克(Edward Luttwak)那样的思想家的论介。其中也有一些内容看起来逾越了我们的边界(即该书预设的边界--译注),包括一篇杰出的关于作为反革命思想家的霍布斯的论文。但这本书的目标不仅仅在于成为一本文集。它也被设想为一篇关于从十九世纪到当下的保守主义和反动的宏论。而这,正是它令人失望的地方。

问题在开头的几段话中就出现了,在那里罗宾展开了他关于政治史的普遍图景。这个图景并不复杂:

自现代开始,处于次属地位的男人女人们就已经开始了在国家、教会、工作场所,和其他等级化的制度中反对他们的上级的征途。他们集合在不同的旗帜下--劳工运动,女性主义,废奴运动,社会主义--并高喊不同的口号:自由、平等、权利、民主、革命。事实上在每个具体的实例中,他们的上级也都在抵抗他们,无论是暴力地还是非暴力地,合法律地还是不合法律地,公开地还是偷偷摸摸地......尽管他们之间存在真实的差异,但是,工厂里的工人,和办公室里的秘书,租地上的农民,种植园里的农奴--甚至婚姻里的妻子--就他们都生活在不平等权力的境况中而言,都一样。

 

这是作为WPA壁画(WPA mural,参考新政历史)的历史,并为任何在三十年代生活过,对六十年代有所记忆,或在学校里被要求阅读像霍华德·金恩(Howard Zinn,1922年8月24日-2010年1月27日,美国历史学家,学者,作家戏剧家,社会活动家。代表作为《人民的美利坚合众国史》[A People's History of the United States],主要研究领域为公民权利和反战运动,以及美国劳动史。--译注)、阿诺·约瑟夫·梅尔(Arno Mayer,生于1926年6月19日,美国马克思主义历史学家,研究领域为现代欧洲,外交史和大屠杀,现任普林斯顿大学历史学荣休教授。--译注)、E.P.汤普森(E.P.Thompson)、埃里克·霍布斯鲍姆(Eric Hobsbam)和约翰·爱德华·克里斯托弗·希尔(Christopher Hill,1912年2月6日-2003年2月23日,英国马克思主义历史学家,以对十七世纪英国史的研究而驰名。--译注)那样的历史学家的人所熟知。在他们的画布上,历史(上)的大地上的受苦的人们(damnés de la terre, 语出法农--译注)一起被带入了一个单一的苦难与抵抗的富有英雄色彩的图像。他们的帽子是白色的,洁白无瑕。在远处出现的是头戴黑毛的恶人,尽管他们的形象难以辨认。有时这些画上还会略微带上像中世纪壁画中拟人化的恶习所带的标签--"资本","人","白(人)","国家","旧制度"--但我们不知道这些标签坠在什么之上也不知道它们的故事是什么。这也不重要。要理解被压迫者并站到他们那边你需要知道的只是存在压迫者。

 

区别罗宾和老派左翼历史学家的,在于他对右派真的感兴趣并意图为之画像--尽管,再一次,他致力于保持肖像的简单(致力于使肖像简单化)。事实上,他认为,我们关于这个主题的许多混乱,乃是原则这样一个事实,即,我们被陈述良好-成熟政治原则的保守主义的知识分子,和认为他们定义了不同的右翼思想和行动潮流的历史学家误导了(taken in)。罗宾没有这两方面的倾向。在他看来,关于右派的基本的真理在于,它总是想做一件且只想做一件事情:使已经在下(down)的人保持在下的状态。这就是统一埃德蒙·柏克和萨拉·佩林的东西:

 

保守主义是这种反对次属阶级的代理(agency)的意图(发出)的理论的声音。它提供了在为什么不应允许既定秩序中的下级人士行使其独立的意志,为什么不应允许他们统治他们自己或制订政策方面最连贯也最深刻的论争。服从是他们的第一义务,(他们的)代理,则是精英的特权者。

 

如果你接受这些主张,那么,在接受罗宾在书中最不同寻常的那段话中所说的东西上你就不会有什么问题:

 

我互换地使用保守的(conservatice)、反动的(reactionary)和反革命的(counterrevolutionary)这些词:并非所有的反革命派都是保守的......但所有的保守主义者都在某种意义上说是反革命者。我把哲学家、政治家、奴隶主、三流作家、天主教徒、法西斯分子、福音派教徒、生意人、种族主义者和被雇佣的文人放到同一个表格中:霍布斯在哈耶克旁边,柏克在佩林对面,尼采在安·兰德和安托宁·斯卡利亚之间,而亚当斯、卡尔霍恩、奥克肖特、罗纳德·里根、托克维尔、西奥多·罗斯福、玛格丽特·撒切尔、恩斯特·云格尔、卡尔·施密特、温斯顿·邱吉尔、菲利丝·麦克阿萍·斯图尔特·施拉夫利(Phyllis Schlafly,生于1924年8月15日,美国公法律师,著名的保守主义活动家和作家,成立了鹰论坛[Eagle Forum]。她的著名事迹有反对现代女性主义观念和反对平权修正案。1964年她自己出版了自己的著作《一个选择,而不是一个回声》[A Choice, Not An Echo]。她还成立了Pere Marquette出版公司。--译注)、理查德·尼克松、欧文·克里斯托尔(Irving Kristol,1920年1月22日-2009年9月18日,美国专栏作家,记者和作家,被誉为"新保守主义的教父"。--译注)、弗兰西斯·福山和乔治·W.布什则散布在各个地方。

格伦·贝克(Glenn Beck,生于1964年2月10日,美国保守主义者,电台主持人,播客作家,作家,企业家,政治评论家并曾担任电视节目主持人。他主持了一个名为Glenn Beck Program的脱口秀。--译注)的黑板也没有这的一半满。

罗宾是一个堆卸工,一个超级堆卸工(über-lumper),他能取悦他陷入困境的左派读者,但同时又使他的整个事业变得不连贯。他没有看到,这是建立在一个闪亮的,构成的错误的基础上的:他设想了一个阶级,把其中以成员的特征孤立出来,然后再把这个特征归给这个阶级的每个成员。天主教的反动派约瑟夫·德·迈斯特和乔治·W.布什都在罗宾图式的右边;根据他的逻辑,因为迈斯特说一口流利的法语,所以布什的法语也必须流利。而这(布什说法语......)就会是某种国家机密了。然而这正是罗宾的行文方式,直到他把所有他不喜欢的人囚在他的笔下并给他们全都贴上保守主义和反动派和右翼人士的标签,而他又未能成功地区界这些术语。(稍后还会再说到这点。)

但如果说我们从上个世纪学到了什么的话,那就是,右是在变动的(la destra è mobile)。右派曾经是孤立主义者,继而成为了国际主义者,并且根据进来共和党的辩论来判断,可能正再次偷偷地回到孤立主义。在二十世纪七十年代,如果你认为公立学校被用于社会灌输,左右他们的权力应当分散,而孩子在家里学习更好的话,那就会把你放到极左派那边。今天,那些观点则会把你放到右边。我们应该认为这些变化仅仅关乎于怎样使人民远离权力最好么?

而右派内部的派系呢?在像《美国保守主义者》(The American Conservative)那样的杂志上发言的孤立主义的老保守主义者(Paleoconservatives,传统保守派,保守保守派,保守平方派)憎恨《标准周刊》(The Weekly Standard)的"美国至大"的新保守主义者,反对他们扩张主义的对外政策和无条件的对以色列的支持,而这种情感是相互的。《要事》(First Things)上抵抗同性婚姻的神学保守主义者把卡托研究所(the Cato Institute)的自由至上主义者逼得要发疯。今天,右派在移民、防务支出、华尔街纾困、税法、国家管制和许多其他事物上存在许多严重而必然的分歧。在那些争论上完胜的人决定了现在这一代这个国家看起来是什么样子。这些,罗宾都没有提到。

机会失去了。罗宾认为在现代政治中有两个部族并不错,而用"右"和"左"这两个术语来命名它们这点也和其他任何描述它们的人做的一样好。但在各自的不足内部还有做的事情比表达同一种见地的更加激进或更加节制的版本更多的氏族。最近美国政治中的大多数混乱,乃是右派氏族结构变动--像威廉·F.巴克利(William F. Buckley,1925年11月24日-2008年2月27日,美国保守主义作家和评论家,曾经创立政治杂志《民族/国家评论》[National Review],并主持了许多电视节目,同时还是一个报业辛迪加的专栏作家。--译注)和乔治·威尔(George Will,生于1941年5月4日,美国报纸专栏作家,记者,和作家。普利策奖得主。--译注)那样基于现实的保守主义者衰落,像格伦·贝克,安·柯尔特(Ann Coulter,生于1961年12月8日,美国律师,保守主义的社会政治评论家,作家,和辛迪加专栏作家。她出镜率很高,以新保守主义的政见和呈现及为这些政见辩护的争议性的方式而著名。--译注)和其他茶党的宠儿那样的新的民粹主义的反动派崛起--的结果。要理解为什么他们之间的区别同样重要,我们需要记住"保守"和"反动"这两个术语原来的意思是什么。

在法国大革命之后,"自由"和"保守"第一次成为政治倾向的标签。和所有争论性的术语一样,它们的意义和用法在党派的辩论中变动,但二者之间的哲学区分是在十九世纪中期确定下来的,这在很大程度上要归功于埃德蒙·柏克。在革命之后,柏克论争道,区分革命党人及其反对者的不是无神论和信仰,或民主和贵族制,甚或平等与等级制,而相反,是两种截然不同的对人类自然/本性的理解。柏克相信,由于人生在一个有其他人居住的功能性的社会,社会--他并不愿意使用大词--从形而上学上说优先于其中的个体。政治生活的单位是社会,而非个体,需要把个体看作他们寓居的社会的实例。

使保守主义者保守的是他们从柏克关于社会的见解引出的含义。保守主义者永远把社会看作一种我们接受而来并对之负有责任的遗产,我们对那些先来的人和那些后来的人都负有义务,而这些义务优先于我们的权利。和柏克一样,保守主义者也倾向于假定,这个遗产最好含蓄地通过习俗和传统上的缓慢的变革,而不是直截了当地通过政治行动传递下去。忠于柏克的保守主义者对变革没有敌意,他们痛恨的只是对先在的意见和传统施加暴力,并对专制主义敞开大门。这是柏克对法国大革命的批判的最深刻的基础;它不仅仅是一种对特权的辩护。

尽管哲学自由主义把它的根源追溯到宗教战争,但"自由"这个术语直到十九世纪早期西班牙宪法派夺权之后才被用作一个党派的标签。而只是在以后,在它与保守主义的对抗中,自由主义才获得了意识形态上的明晰性。像约翰·斯图亚特·密尔那样的古典自由主义者,与保守主义相对,在人类学和道德的基础上,给个人以优先于社会的地位。他们假设社会实际上是人类自由的建造,无论我们从社会继承了什么,它们都可以通过自由的人类行动来拆解和改造。这个假设,比其他假设更多地塑造了自由主义的性情。正是这种假设使得自由主义者怀疑对习俗或传统的诉求--考虑到它们是如此经常地被用来为特权和不义辩护。自由主义者,和保守主义者一样,都承认约束的需要,但自由主义者相信约束必须来自于超越特定社会与习俗的原则。原则是对我们自由的唯一合法的约束。

自由主义者和保守主义者之间的论争本质上是一场关于人类自然/本性及其与社会之关系的论争。另一方面,革命派和反动派之间的论争,则与自然/本性无关。那是一场关于历史的论争。

"反动"这个术语是在十九世纪中期,从自然科学移植到欧洲政治思想之中的--多亏了孟德斯鸠,他从牛顿那里挑出了这个术语。尽管,一开始,它和革命的概念并无关联,而后者在当时被认为是罕见且不可预测的事件,而不是某个历史展开过程的一部分。这种看法在1789年发生了变化,这时,法国革命党人摆开架势对抗那些公开谈论一种会把世界拉回正轨的反革命的人。反叛的欣悦感,旧制度的崩溃,(革命的大)恐怖,以及后来拿破仑的崛起给历史一种集体的人类自我解放的不可阻挡的过程。对反动派来说,这也是一个启示录般的事件,它发出了一个把天主教的欧洲放在世界文明之峰的过程结束的信号。一群人看到了灿烂的未来,另一群人则只看到大洪水。但革命派和反动派都同意一件事情:即严肃地思考政治意味着思考历史的过程,而不是人类的自然/本性。

然而,总是存在两种反动派,他们对历史的变革有着不同的态度。一类反动派梦想某种对某个在革命之前存在的真实的或想象的完美状态的回归。这(里说的革命)可以是任何一种革命--政治的、宗教的、经济的、甚或美学的。希望波旁王朝复辟的法国贵族,想要重新恢复早期东正教礼仪的俄国老信众,拒绝风格主义的拉斐尔前派画家,愤怒地反对及其的莫里斯和拉斯金的追随者,所有这些都是你可以成为复辟的反动派的那个派别。

 

第二个类型--(我)把它们称作救赎的反动派--则当然地接受革命是一个既成事实,没有回头路。但他们并不是历史的悲观主义者,或者说不全是。他们相信对一个末世的唯一理智的回应,是怀着从头开始的希望在引起一个末日。自从法国革命以来,反动派就一直认为他们是在向将破坏当前事态,并把民族,或信仰,或整个人类带到某个新的黄金时代--这个时代将赎回过去的方方面面而又无需回到过去--的反动的方向努力。

 

这就是法国反动派中心智最血腥的约瑟夫·德·迈斯特和二十世纪欧洲法西斯主义者共享的视像。法西斯主义者憎恨现代社会的方面是如此之多--代议制民主、资本主义、世界主义、宽容、资产阶级的精致--以至于我们忘了他们不过是在怀念教会和王位罢了。他们用他们战斗的伤疤和过分讲究的举止来鄙视孱弱的德国贵族,并准备通过钢铁的风暴来实现他们对一个新罗马的乡愁。他们并无保守可言。

 

今天,美国关于人类自然/本性的假设基本上说是自由主义的。我们当然地想定我们生而自由,我们构成社会,社会不构成我们,我们一起合法地统治我们自己。今天大多数自称保守主义者的知识分子也接受在《独立宣言》中列举的自明的真理,而传统的欧洲保守主义则不然。他们中有的一些人在写作公民社会的建构作用、为行使自由而需要的习惯和风俗以及政府行动的界限的时候还会引用欧洲的保守主义者。但严格来说,他们是像托克维尔那样的放慢步伐、抑制你的激情的自由主义者,而不是像柏克或T.S.艾略特或迈克尔·奥克肖特那样的保守主义者。至于那些像国会议员罗恩·保尔(Ron Paul)那样,提倡最小政府和放任经济的人,他们的自由至上主义实际上是早期自由主义的一个变种,而不是保守主义。记住这点是重要的。

 

然而,在历史问题上,美国人(的看法)则各不相同。正如人们在上一次伊拉克战争的升级中提醒我们注意的那样,此时或彼时,每一次,我们政治修辞中的预言的语气,总会激发民主先锋派的末世学的幻想--自由女士取代了法国的玛丽安娜站到了历史的街垒上。然后现实闯入,而美国人则回到相反的美国例外论的幻想--必须通过孤立和自我净化来保护这种例外不受历史的侵害。我们也分有我们的复辟的反动派,从南方怀念老种植园的人,到伟大的美国城市里鄙薄农业的人,到鄙视被这些城市吸引而来的移民的种族主义者,再到认为他们可以单干的无政府怪胎,到回到土地的信托基金的嬉皮士,再到(在他们给他们的苹果电脑充完电后)想把我们赶下网的准备好开火的生态恐怖主义者。除在美国政治的边缘外,我们所见不多的,是认为唯一的前进方式乃是摧毁历史给我们的一切并等待一种新的秩序从混乱中出现的救赎的反动派。至少到现在为止是这样的。

 

关于美国右派的真正的新闻,是政治末世论(apocalypticism)的主流化。自九十年代以来这种趋势就在知识分子中酝酿,但在过去四年中,多亏了右翼媒体设施和经济的崩溃,它才触及了一个更加广泛的公众并改变了共和党。那是怎样发生的说起来是个很长的故事,而这个故事的核心,在于引人注目的,新保守主义从智识运动向蛊惑人心的共和党宣传意识形态的嬗变。最早的新保守主义者是像欧文·克里斯托尔和纳森·格拉泽(Nathan Glazer)那样的失望的自由主义者,他们看到大量在其始作俑者不现实的预期的基础上制订的伟大社会计划的失败,结果便开始欣赏保守主义某些关于人类自然/本性和政治的假设的智慧。(用)克里斯托尔著名的妙语(来说),就是新保守主义者是被现实夺走原来性情的自由主义者。

 

然而,在八十年代的某段时间里,新保守主义的思想染上了一种更加黑暗的色调。大的问题不再是如何根据政治的限制来适调自由主义的热望,而是如何取消六十年代的文化革命--在他们严重,这场革命使家庭变得不稳定,使毒品的使用变得泛滥,使色情作品触手可及,并鼓励了社会的不文明。换言之,问题变成了,如何取消历史。期限,在像《评论》(Commentary)和《公共利益》(The Public Interest,我曾经帮助编辑过这份杂志)那样的出版物上的新保守主义的作品把他们自己描述为和"普通美国人"站在一起反对"作为对手的知识分子文化",并为那个目的而提倡他们并不必然共享,但认为对社会有用的"家庭价值"和宗教信仰的人。然而到了九十年代的时候,当这点变得显然,即许多美国人已经适应了文化的变化的时候,新保守主义者开始预言末日(the End Times,结束的时间),而像格特鲁德·希梅尔法布(Gertrude Himmelfarb)和罗伯特·勃克(Robert Bork)那样一度清醒的作家也开始出版标题类似于《看进深渊/论向深渊的观看》(On Looking into the Abyss)和《垂头走向蛾摩拉城》(Slouching Towards Gomorrah)的作品。

 

新的末世论在1996年受众广泛的神学保守主义杂志《要事》刊行的一次专题讨论中变得高度狂热,这个杂志是后来的理查德·约翰·纽豪斯(Richard John Neuhaus)编辑的。这本专号的标题是《民主的终结?政治对审判的篡夺》('The End of Democracy? The Juridicial Usurpation of Politics'),是由一个关于医生协助下的自杀的法庭判决激起的。开篇的编者前沿把以下问题摆到了读者眼前:考虑到"法律,由于它是为审判即刻早就的,已经宣告它独立于道德",以及,根据司法能动主义(Judicial Activism),"美利坚合众国政府不再凭被统治者的同意统治",那么,我们是否"已经抵达或者说[我们]正在抵达这样一个点,在这里,有良心的公民不再能够给现存政权以道德上的赞同",并因此而必须考虑"从不服从到抵抗到公民不服从到道德正当的革命"的回应?提出这个问题,编者们坚持,"并不是末世论"[2]。

这是高度反动的声音,而在格伦·贝克和他的民粹主义之厄运的先知同行们开始敲响关于媒体、政府和大学中受过教育的精英正在领导一场只有"一般美国人"才能组织的天鹅绒式的社会革命的警钟足足十年前,在右派就已经存在这样的声音了。末世论趋向于下,而不是上,而如今它正是把共和党精英和他们的铁杆根基结合在一起的那种东西。他们都同意必须用一切必要的手段从篡夺者手中"夺回"国家,并愿意支持任何共享他们关于我们时代之危机的途径的候选人,无论他是多么地不谙世故,多么地不够格或多么地狂热。在六十年代早期,政客威廉·F.巴克利就开玩笑说,他宁可被波士顿电话本上的前两千个人统治也不愿意被哈佛和MIT联合学院统治。2010年,《评论》的前任编辑诺曼·波德赫瑞茨(Norman Podhoretz)在《华尔街日报》中写道"我宁可被茶党统治也不愿意被民主党统治,我宁可萨拉·佩林而不是巴拉克·奥巴马坐进椭圆形办公室(总统办公室)。"说这话的人以前可是莱昂内尔·特里林的学生。他可不是在开玩笑。

在这个语境中看,当前华盛顿的僵局看起来就不是那么令人惊奇的了。在2010年国会竞选过程中,共和党候选人(和一些民主党人)在签署税改的《纳税人保护保证》('Taxpayer Protection Pledge')上都受到了巨大的压力,这个保证迫使他们反对一切增加任何个人或公司的边际税率(的决定),和一切关于不为其他税收的削减所弥补的抵免税收减除或抵免的限制。至今,除六名保守党代表和七位参议院外所有人都签署了这个集体自杀遗言--这使得整个群体(人民税制改革组织--译注)的主席,格罗弗·诺奎斯特(Grover Norquist),几乎和吉姆·琼斯牧师(Reverend Jim Jones,人民圣殿教的创立人--译注)一样成功。然而,这就是末世论的心灵运作的方式。它使人们信服如果他们毁掉他们周围的一切,那么凤凰就会不可避免地诞生。

 

同样的信念也在共和党总统候选人的辩论中得到表达,其中,竞争者们竞相展示他们在党政时要废除的机构有多多(如果他们记得这些机构的名字的话),他们要砍掉或饿死的计划游多多,以及他们对他们完成这些举措之后美国人民自己解决问题的独创新的信心有多大。如此令人不安的是,他们没有感觉到解释一个削弱了的政府还能如何面临新的全球经济的挑战,我们的教育体系应该如何回应这些挑战,地缘政治方面的含义会是什么,或者诸如此类的东西的必要。他们用艾尔弗雷德·纽曼(Alfred E. Neuman,虚构形象,幽默杂志《疯狂》[Mad]的封面人物)漫不经心的"什么,我才不担心呢?"来说他们的台词。

所有这些,都是新的--而这与保守主义的原则,或"有些人适合,并因此而应该统治其他人"的贵族偏见并没有多少关系,而在柯瑞·罗宾看来,那种贵族的偏见,是右派的一切的根源。不,这里有某种更加黑暗也更加反乌托邦的东西在发生作用。对知道他们想要通过革命来创造的是何种新世界的人们来说这已经足够令人感到不安了;而对于那些知道他们想要摧毁的是什么的人来说,这就是一个诅咒(原文为前者是足够的麻烦,后者是一个诅咒)。在我读到新的反动派或者听到他们说话的时候,我想起了里奥·那夫塔,托马斯·曼的《魔山》中那个患结核病被迫休假的耶稣,他在一个瑞士疗养院的走廊里前行,愤怒地反对现代的启蒙运动并寻找(他的)门徒。使那夫塔愤怒的是,历史不能逆转,因此他梦想对它的复仇。他谈论一个即将到来的末世,一个残酷和净化的时期,在这个时期后,人类原始的无知会再度回来而新的权威形式会得以建立。曼并没有以埃德蒙·柏克或夏多布利昂或俾斯麦或其他任何一个在传统欧洲右派那边的人物为原型来塑造那夫塔。他依据的原型是乔治·卢卡奇,同样厌恶自由主义者和保守主义者的一度是人民委员的匈牙利共产主义哲学家。一个我们时代的人。

2012年1月12日(出刊)

 

[1] 《海市蜃楼:后党派时代的漫长而悲剧的历史,从华盛顿到奥巴马》('The Mirage: The Long and Tragical History of Post-Partisanship, from Washington to Obama'), 《新合众国》(The New Republic), November 17, 2011。

[2] 《要务》,November 1996。关于这期奇怪专号的背景,参见戴蒙·林克(Daman Linker)的《神学保守主义者》(The Theocons)[Doubleday, 2006], Chapter 3。

 

王立秋 试译

Republicans for Revolution

January 12, 2012 New York Review of Books

Mark Lilla

The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin 
by Corey Robin 
Oxford University Press, 290 pp., $29.95                                                  lilla_1-011212.jpg

Jim Lo Scalzo/epa/Corbis

Republican presidential candidates Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann during the National Anthem before a debate, Washington, D.C., November 22, 2011

In 2004, then Senator Barack Obama brought the Democratic Party convention to its feet by declaring that there is "not a liberal America and a conservative America-there's the United States of America." He learned differently. As Princeton historian Sean Wilentz wrote recently in The New Republic, the American fantasy of a postpartisan politics runs back to the earliest days of the republic.1 Politicians who exploited it for their own purposes did well; those who genuinely believed in it failed. And it's a good thing, too. Modern democracy depends on distinctions among factions, principles, and programs, the clearer the better.

But the current public dissatisfaction with our parties is not just about partisanship. It also reflects a sense that the labels we use to distinguish factions, principles, and programs have lost their value. What does it mean to call oneself a liberal or conservative today? Does it make sense to distinguish "progressives" and "reactionaries," or are those just terms of abuse and self-flattery? It's hard to know how to talk about the new classes of rich and poor created by the global economy, and their strangely overlapping political commitments. Or where on the linguistic map to put the new populisms spawning around the world, some anti-global, some anti-immigrant, some libertarian, some authoritarian. Words are failing us.

Though it sounds dull, we actually need taxonomy. It is what renders the political present legible to us. Getting it right, though, requires a certain art, a kind of dispassionate alertness and historical perspective, a sense of the moment, and a sense that this, too, shall pass. Political scientists, intent on aping the methods of the hard sciences, stopped cultivating this art half a century ago, just as things started getting interesting, as new kinds of political movements and coalitions were developing in democratic societies. We're in a similar moment now; we need a guide. That's why Corey Robin's The Reactionary Mind is a useful book to have-not as an example to follow, but one to avoid.

Robin, who teaches political science at Brooklyn College, has been writing thoughtful essays on the American right for The Nation and other publications over the past decade. The Reactionary Mindcollects profiles of well-known right-wing thinkers like Ayn Rand, Barry Goldwater, and Justice Antonin Scalia, and some deserters who turned left, like John Gray and Edward Luttwak. There are also a few that look beyond our borders, including an excellent piece on Hobbes as a counterrevolutionary thinker. But the book aims to be more than a collection. It is conceived as a major statement on conservatism and reaction, from the eighteenth century to the present. And this is where it disappoints.

The problems begin in the opening paragraphs, where Robin lays out his general picture of political history. It is not overly complex:

Since the modern era began, men and women in subordinate positions have marched against their superiors in the state, church, workplace, and other hierarchical institutions. They have gathered under different banners-the labor movement, feminism, abolition, socialism-and shouted different slogans: freedom, equality, rights, democracy, revolution. In virtually every instance, their superiors have resisted them, violently and nonviolently, legally and illegally, overtly and covertly.... Despite the very real differences between them, workers in a factory are like secretaries in an office, peasants on a manor, slaves on a plantation-even wives in a marriage-in that they live and labor in conditions of unequal power.

This is history as WPA mural, and will be familiar to anyone who lived through the Thirties, remembers the Sixties, or was made to read historians like Howard Zinn, Arno Mayer, E.P. Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm, and Christopher Hill at school. In their tableau, history's damnés de la terre are brought together into a single heroic image of suffering and resistance. Their hats are white, immaculately so. Off in the distance are what appear to be black-hatted villains, though their features are difficult to make out. Sometimes they have little identification tags like those the personified vices wear in medieval frescoes-"capital," "men," "whites," "the state," "the old regime"-but we get no idea what they are after or what their stories are. Not that it matters. To understand the oppressed and side with them all you need to know is that there are oppressors.

What distinguishes Robin from the old-style left historians is that he's genuinely interested in the right and wants to paint its portrait-though, again, he's committed to keeping it simple. In fact, he thinks that much of our confusion about this subject stems from the fact that we have been taken in by conservative intellectuals who lay out benign-sounding political principles, and historians who accept them as defining different streams of right-wing thought and activity. Robin will have none of it. To his mind, the fundamental truth about the right is that it has always wanted one and only one thing: to keep down those who are already down. This is what unites Edmund Burke and Sarah Palin:

Conservatism is the theoretical voice of this animus against the agency of the subordinate classes. It provides the most consistent and profound argument as to why the lower orders should not be allowed to exercise their independent will, why they should not be allowed to govern themselves or the polity. Submission is their first duty, agency, the prerogative of the elite.

If you accept these claims, then you will have no trouble accepting what Robin says in the book's most extraordinary paragraph:

I use the words conservative, reactionary, and counterrevolutionary interchangeably: not all counterrevolutionaries are conservative...but all conservatives are, in one way or another, counterrevolutionary. I seat philosophers, statesmen, slaveholders, scribblers, Catholics, fascists, evangelicals, businessmen, racists, and hacks at the same table: Hobbes next to Hayek, Burke across from Palin, Nietzsche between Ayn Rand and Antonin Scalia, with Adams, Calhoun, Oakeshott, Ronald Reagan, Tocqueville, Theodore Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Ernst Jünger, Carl Schmitt, Winston Churchill, Phyllis Schlafly, Richard Nixon, Irving Kristol, Francis Fukuyama, and George W. Bush interspersed throughout.

Glenn Beck's blackboard was never half this full.

Robin is a lumper, an über-lumper, which may please his beleaguered readers on the left, but makes his entire enterprise incoherent. He fails to see that it is based on a glaring fallacy of composition: he posits a class, isolates a characteristic of one of its members, and then ascribes that characteristic to every member of the class. Catholic reactionary Joseph de Maistre and George W. Bush are both on the right in Robin's scheme; following his logic, since Maistre spoke flawless French, Bush must too. Which would be some national secret. Yet that's exactly how Robin proceeds, until he has corralled everyone he doesn't like into a pen and labeled them all conservatives and reactionaries and right-wingers, terms he fails to distinguish. (More on that in a moment.)

But if there's anything we've learned over the past century, it is that la destra è mobile. The right used to be isolationist, then became internationalist, and to judge by recent Republican debates may be tiptoeing back to isolationism again. In the 1970s, if you thought that public schools were being used for social indoctrination, that power over them should be decentralized, and that children would be better off learning at home, that put you on the far left. Today those views put you on the right. Are we to think that these shifts were only about how best to keep power from the people?

And what about all the factionalism within the right? Isolationist paleoconservatives at magazines likeThe American Conservative hate "American greatness" neoconservatives at The Weekly Standard for their expansionist foreign policies and unconditional support of Israel, and the feeling is mutual. Theoconservatives at the journal First Things who resist gay marriage drive libertarians at the Cato Institute up the wall. There are serious and consequential disagreements on the right today over immigration, defense spending, the Wall Street bailouts, the tax code, state surveillance, and much else. Who wins those arguments could very well determine what this country looks like a generation from now. Robin registers none of this.

An opportunity has been missed. Robin is not wrong to think there are two tribes in modern politics, and the terms "right" and "left" are as good as any other to describe them. But within each tribe there are clans that do more than express more radical or moderate versions of the same outlook. Most of the turmoil in American politics recently is the result of changes in the clan structure of the right, with the decline of reality-based conservatives like William F. Buckley and George Will and the ascendancy of new populist reactionaries like Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, and other Tea Party favorites. To understand why the distinction between them still matters, we need to remind ourselves what the terms "conservative" and "reactionary" originally meant.

"Liberal" and "conservative" first became labels for political tendencies in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Like all polemical terms their meaning and usage shifted around in partisan debate, but the philosophical distinction between them was settled by the mid-nineteenth century, thanks in large part to Edmund Burke. After the Revolution, Burke argued that what really separated its partisans and opponents were not atheism and faith, or democracy and aristocracy, or even equality and hierarchy, but instead two very different understandings of human nature. Burke believed that, since human beings are born into a functioning world populated by others, society is-to use a large word he wouldn't-metaphysically prior to the individuals in it. The unit of political life is society, not individuals, who need to be seen as instances of the societies they inhabit.

What makes conservatives conservative are the implications they have drawn from Burke's view of society. Conservatives have always seen society as a kind of inheritance we receive and are responsible for; we have obligations toward those who came before and to those who will come after, and these obligations take priority over our rights. Conservatives have also been inclined to assume, along with Burke, that this inheritance is best passed on implicitly through slow changes in custom and tradition, not through explicit political action. Conservatives loyal to Burke are not hostile to change, only to doctrines and principles that do violence to preexisting opinions and institutions, and open the door to despotism. This was the deepest basis of Burke's critique of the French Revolution; it was not simply a defense of privilege.

Though philosophical liberalism traces its roots back to the Wars of Religion, the term "liberal" was not used as a partisan label until the Spanish constitutionalists took it over in the early nineteenth century. And it was only later, in its confrontation with conservatism, that liberalism achieved ideological clarity. Classical liberals like John Stuart Mill, in contrast to conservatives, give individuals priority over society, on anthropological as well as moral grounds. They assume that societies are genuinely constructs of human freedom, that whatever we inherit from them, they can always be unmade or remade through free human action. This assumption, more than any other, shapes the liberal temperament. It is what makes liberals suspicious of appeals to custom or tradition, given that they have so often been used to justify privilege and injustice. Liberals, like conservatives, recognize the need for constraints, but believe they must come from principles that transcend particular societies and customs. Principles are the only legitimate constraints on our freedom.

The quarrel between liberals and conservatives is essentially a quarrel over the nature of human beings and their relation to society. The quarrel between revolutionaries and reactionaries, on the other hand, has little to do with nature. It is a quarrel over history.

The term "reaction" migrated from the natural sciences into European political thought in the mid-eighteenth century, thanks to Montesquieu, who had picked it up from Newton. Originally, though, it was not associated with the concept of revolutions, which were then thought to be rare and unpredictable events, not part of some process of historical unfolding. That changed in 1789, when partisans of the French Revolution squared off against those who spoke openly of a Counter-Revolution that would set the world aright. The euphoria of rebellion, the collapse of the Old Regime, the Terror, and the subsequent rise of Napoleon gave history a secular eschatological charge, which destroyed many of the remaining moderates. For European radicals, the French Revolution was a cosmic epiphany that began an unstoppable process of collective human self-emancipation. For reactionaries, too, it was an apocalyptic event, signaling the end of a process that had placed Catholic Europe at the summit of world civilizations. One group saw a radiant future, the other saw nothing but the deluge. But revolutionaries and reactionaries did agree on one thing: that thinking seriously about politics means thinking about the course of history, not human nature.

There have always been two kinds of reactionaries, though, with different attitudes toward historical change. One type dreams of a return to some real or imaginary state of perfection that existed before a revolution. This can be any sort of revolution-political, religious, economic, or even aesthetic. French aristocrats who hoped to restore the Bourbon dynasty, Russian Old Believers who wanted to recover early Orthodox Christian rites, Pre-Raphaelite painters who rejected the conventions of Mannerism, Morrisites and Ruskinites who raged against the machine, all these were what you might call restorative reactionaries.

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A second type-call them redemptive reactionaries-take for granted that the revolution is a fait accompli and that there is no going back. But they are not historical pessimists, or not entirely. They believe that the only sane response to an apocalypse is to provoke another, in hopes of starting over. Ever since the French Revolution reactionaries have seen themselves working toward counterrevolutions that would destroy the present state of affairs and transport the nation, or the faith, or the entire human race to some new Golden Age that would redeem aspects of the past without returning there.

This was the shared vision of Joseph de Maistre, the most bloody-minded of the French counterrevolutionaries, and twentieth-century European fascists. Fascists hated so many aspects of modern society-representative democracy, capitalism, cosmopolitanism, tolerance, bourgeois refinement-that we forget they were anything but nostalgic for Church and Crown. They had contempt for weak German aristocrats with their dueling scars and precious manners, and reserved their nostalgia for a new Rome to be brought into being through storms of steel. There was nothing conservative about them.

Americans' assumptions about human nature are basically liberal today. We take it for granted that we are born free, that we constitute society, it doesn't constitute us, and that together we legitimately govern ourselves. Most intellectuals who call themselves conservatives today accept as self-evident the truths enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, which no traditional European conservative could. Some of them have drawn from European conservatism when they write about the constructive role of civil society, the habits and mores needed to exercise liberty, and the limits of government action. But strictly speaking, they are go-slow, curb-your-enthusiasm liberals like Tocqueville, not conservatives like Burke or T.S. Eliot or Michael Oakeshott. As for those like Congressman Ron Paul who promote a minimal state and an unregulated economy, their libertarianism is actually a mutation of early liberalism, not conservatism. This is important to bear in mind.

On questions of history, however, Americans are all over the map. As we were reminded in the run-up to the last Iraq war, every now and then the prophetic strain in our political rhetoric inspires eschatological fantasies of democratic avant-gardism, with Lady Liberty replacing the French Marianne on top of history's barricades. Then reality intrudes and Americans revert to the converse fantasy of American exceptionalism, which must be protected from history through isolation and self-purification. We have also had our share of restorative reactionaries, from Southern nostalgics for the ol' plantation, to agrarian despisers of the great American cities, to racialist despisers of the immigrants they attracted, to no-government oddballs who think they can go it alone, to trust-fund hippies who went back to the land, to lock-and-load eco-terrorists who want to take us off the grid (after they recharge their Macs). What we have not seen much of, except on the fringes of American politics, are redemptive reactionaries who think the only way forward is to destroy what history has given us and wait for a new order to emerge out of the chaos. At least until now.

The real news on the American right is the mainstreaming of political apocalypticism. This has been brewing among intellectuals since the Nineties, but in the past four years, thanks to the right-wing media establishment and economic collapse, it has reached a wider public and transformed the Republican Party. How that happened would be a long story to tell, and central to it would be the remarkable transmutation of neoconservatism from intellectual movement to rabble-rousing Republican court ideology. The first neoconservatives were disappointed liberals like Irving Kristol and Nathan Glazer, who saw the failures of a large number of Great Society programs to deliver on the unrealistic expectations of its architects, and consequently began to appreciate the wisdom of certain conservative assumptions about human nature and politics. Kristol's famous quip that neoconservatives were liberals who'd been mugged by reality captured the original temperament.

Sometime in the Eighties, though, neoconservative thinking took on a darker hue. The big question was no longer how to adapt liberal aspirations to the limits of politics, but how to undo the cultural revolution of the Sixties that, in their eyes, had destabilized the family, popularized drug use, made pornography widely available, and encouraged public incivility. In other words, how to undo history. At first, neoconservatives writing in publications like Commentary and The Public Interest (which I once helped to edit) portrayed themselves as standing with "ordinary Americans" against the "adversary culture of intellectuals," and to that end promoted "family values" and religious beliefs they did not necessarily share, but thought socially useful. Yet by the Nineties, when it became apparent that lots of ordinary Americans had adjusted to the cultural changes, neoconservatives began predicting the End Times, and once-sober writers like Gertrude Himmelfarb and Robert Bork started publishing books with titles like On Looking into the Abyss and Slouching Towards Gomorrah.

The new apocalypticism reached a fever pitch in a symposium published in 1996 in the widely read theoconservative journal First Things, edited by the late Richard John Neuhaus. The special issue bore the title "The End of Democracy? The Judicial Usurpation of Politics," and was provoked by a court decision on physician-assisted suicide. The opening editorial put the following question before readers: Given that "law, as it is presently made by the judiciary, has declared its independence from morality," and that, due to judicial activism, "the government of the United States of America no longer governs by the consent of the governed," have we "reached or are [we] reaching the point where conscientious citizens can no longer give moral assent to the existing regime," and therefore must consider responses "ranging from noncompliance to resistance to civil disobedience to morally justified revolution"? To raise such a question, the editors insisted, "is in no way hyperbolic."2

This is the voice of high-brow reaction, and it was present on the right a good decade before Glenn Beck and his fellow prophets of populist doom began ringing alarm bells about educated elites in media, government, and the universities leading a velvet socialist revolution that only "ordinary Americans" could forestall. Apocalypticism trickled down, not up, and is now what binds Republican Party elites to their hard-core base. They all agree that the country must be "taken back" from the usurpers by any means necessary, and are willing to support any candidate, no matter how unworldly or unqualified or fanatical, who shares their picture of the crisis of our time. In the early Sixties, the patrician William F. Buckley joked that he would rather be governed by the first two thousand people in the Boston phonebook than by the combined faculties of Harvard and MIT. In 2010, former Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz wrote in The Wall Street Journal that "I would rather be ruled by the Tea Party than by the Democratic Party, and I would rather have Sarah Palin sitting in the Oval Office than Barack Obama." This from a former student of Lionel Trilling. And he wasn't joking.

Seen in this context, the current deadlock in Washington does not look so surprising. During the 2010 congressional election campaign, Republican candidates (and some Democrats) were put under enormous pressure to sign the Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," which obliges them to oppose any increase in the marginal personal or corporate tax rate, and any limits on deductions or tax credits that aren't offset by other tax cuts. To date, all but six Republican representatives and seven senators have signed this collective suicide note, making the group's president, Grover Norquist, nearly as successful as Reverend Jim Jones. That's how the apocalyptic mind works, though. It convinces people that if they bring everything down around them, a phoenix will inevitably be born.

The same faith has been expressed in the Republican presidential candidate debates, where the contenders compete to demonstrate how many agencies they would abolish when in office (if they remember their names), how many programs they would cut or starve, and how much faith they have in the ingenuity of the American people to figure it out for themselves once they're finished. What's so disturbing is that they don't feel compelled to explain how even a reduced government should meet the challenges of the new global economy, how our educational system should respond to them, what the geopolitical implications might be, or anything of the sort. They deliver their lines with the insouciant "what, me worry?" of Alfred E. Neuman.

All this is new-and it has little to do with the principles of conservatism, or with the aristocratic prejudice that "some are fit, and thus ought, to rule others," which Corey Robin sees at the root of everything on the right. No, there is something darker and dystopic at work here. People who know what kind of new world they want to create through revolution are trouble enough; those who only know what they want to destroy are a curse. When I read the new reactionaries or hear them speak I'm reminded of Leo Naphta, the consumptive furloughed Jesuit in Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, who prowls the corridors of a Swiss sanatorium, raging against the modern Enlightenment and looking for disciples. What infuriates Naphta is that history cannot be reversed, so he dreams of revenge against it. He speaks of a coming apocalypse, a period of cruelty and cleansing, after which man's original ignorance will return and new forms of authority will be established. Mann did not model Naphta on Edmund Burke or Chateaubriand or Bismarck or any other figure on the traditional European right. He modeled him on George Lukács, the Hungarian Communist philosopher and onetime commissar who loathed liberals and conservatives alike. A man for our time.

 

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