索尔仁尼琴在哈佛大学的演讲

作者: 阮一峰

日期: 2005年6月27日

腾讯课堂 NEXT 学院

前不久,有朋友在"读书公园"论坛上,贴出了诺贝尔文学奖得主索尔仁尼琴1978年在哈佛大学毕业典礼上的演讲

索尔仁尼琴在演讲中批评了西方社会的弊端。这其实很不容易,因为他那时是流亡者,全靠西方的支持生活。人家想听他说苏联的专制,但是他偏偏讲西方的阴暗面,所以当时很多人不高兴,主流媒体都对他的这篇演讲给出负面评论。但是索尔仁尼琴不管,他照讲不误,这才是真正的知识分子,才能在秘密警察和铁窗生活的压力下坚贞不屈。

我翻译了部分片断,英语全文请看这里

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索尔仁尼琴先讲了,西方文明的强势地位。

How short a time ago, relatively, the small new European world was easily seizing colonies everywhere, not only without anticipating any real resistance, but also usually despising any possible values in the conquered peoples' approach to life. On the face of it, it was an overwhelming success, there were no geographic frontiers to it.

与其他文明相比,欧洲文明的历史较短,面积也较小。但是,工业革命后新崛起的欧洲国家,轻易地就在全球建立了很多殖民地。这并不是很久远的事。它们不仅没有遇到真正的抵抗,而且鄙视被征服人们的价值观。它们横扫一切,获得巨大成功,任何地理疆界都无法阻碍。

And all of a sudden in the twentieth century came the discovery of its fragility and friability. We now see that the conquests proved to be short lived and precarious, and this in turn points to defects in the Western view of the world which led to these conquests.

进入二十世纪,突然之间,西方文明发现了自己的脆弱。我们现在看到了,那些征服被证明是短命和摇摇欲坠的,这反过来表明西方世界作为征服者是有弱点的。

But the blindness of superiority continues in spite of all and upholds the belief that vast regions everywhere on our planet should develop and mature to the level of present day Western systems which in theory are the best and in practice the most attractive. ...Countries are judged on the merit of their progress in this direction.

但是尽管如此,盲目的优越感仍然存在,仍然有人相信,我们这颗星球广饶地域的每个角落,都应该发展和培育整个当今西方世界的那套系统,因为那是理论和实践上最有吸引力的系统。......人们判断一个国家是否进步,就看它类似西方国家的程度。

However, it is a conception which developed out of Western incomprehension of the essence of other worlds, out of the mistake of measuring them all with a Western yardstick. The real picture of our planet's development is quite different.

这种看法的源头,是西方世界对于其他文明了解不够,以及错误地采用西方的标准衡量一切。

然后,他讲了物质主义主导了西方社会。

Every citizen has been granted the desired freedom and material goods in such quantity and of such quality as to guarantee in theory the achievement of happiness... however... the constant desire to have still more things and a still better life and the struggle to obtain them imprints many Western faces with worry and even depression..."

每个公民都得到了所要的自由和物质,理论上足以保证能够获得幸福。......但是,.追求更多物质、更好生活的欲望和斗争,在许多西方人脸上都打下了焦虑、甚至消沉的烙印。

Everything beyond physical well-being and accumulation of material goods, all other human requirements and characteristics of a subtler and higher nature, were left outside the area of attention of state and social systems, as if human life did not have any superior sense.

除了物质以外的其他东西,包括人类那些微妙和高尚的天性,都被排斥在政治和社会系统以外,就好像人类生活中从来不存在这些非物质的东西一样。

消费至上的观念导致信息泛滥。

[in addition to the right to know] people also have the right not to know, and it is a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk. A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information.

除了知情权以外,人也应该拥有不知情权,后者的价值要大得多。它意味着我们高尚的灵魂不必被那些废话和空谈充斥。过度的信息对于一个过着充实生活的人来说,是一种不必要的负担。

在法律规范之外,缺乏道德规范。

I have spent all my life under a communist regime and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either.

我在共产主义社会中度过了一生,我可以告诉你们,没有任何客观公正的法律规范的社会是一个十分可怕的社会。但是,一个只有法律规范的社会对人类来说,也同样可怕。

(in a legalistic society) If one is right from a legal point of view, nothing more is required, nobody may mention that one could still not be entirely right, and urge self-restraint, a willingness to renounce such legal rights, sacrifice and selfless risk: it would sound simply absurd. One almost never sees voluntary self-restraint.

在一个法权社会中,如果一个人是合法的,那么其他人对他就不能有更多的要求了,谈论他是否全部合理就没有意义了。在法权之外的自我控制和自我牺牲就变得很荒唐了。我们可能永远都看不到这种人的出现。

追求更高度的精神生活,才是生命的意义。

If humanism were right in declaring that man is born to be happy, he would not be born to die. Since his body is doomed to die, his task on earth evidently must be of a more spiritual nature. It cannot [be] unrestrained enjoyment of everyday life. It cannot be the search for the best ways to obtain material goods and then cheerfully get the most out of them. It has to be the fulfillment of a permanent, earnest duty so that one's life journey may become an experience of moral growth, so that one may leave life a better human being than one started it.""...we shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life where our physical nature will not be cursed as in the Middle Ages, but, even more importantly, our spiritual being will not be trampled upon as in the Modern era.

人道主义观点认为人应该生而快乐,如果这是正确的,那么人就不是为了死亡而出生的。因为我们注定要死,所以我们活在地球上的任务就一定是去寻找更多的精神追求。这种追求不可能是日常生活中无节制的享乐,也不可能是去设法追求物质财富并愉快的享受它们。它一定表现为完成某种永久和重要的使命,只有这样,一个人的生命才能变成某种精神成长的经历,才能在死去时成为一个比出生时更好的人类......我们一定要有一种更宽广的眼界,追求一种生命的新高度,在那里我们的物质生活不会像中世纪那样贫乏,但是更重要的是,在那里我们的精神生活不会像现代社会中那样受践踏。

(完)

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留言(3条)

伟大的心灵。

尤其喜欢最后那段before the turn, 不过时隔30年再看, 犹感希望渺茫.

除了知情权以外,人也应该拥有不知情权

en,很喜欢这句。

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