伍德罗·威尔逊《民族生命力的解放》 -经典文学英译-中英双语赏析

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THE LIBERATION OF A PEOPLE’S VITAL ENERGIES

By Woodrow Wilson

THE LIBERATION OF A PEOPLE’S VITAL ENERGIES, by Woodrow Wilson, from his The New Freedom, New York, Doubleday, Page and Company, 1913. As reprinted in Maurice Garland Fulton’s National Ideals and Problems, pp. 301-310.

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), American political scientist and historian, president of the United States of America during the World War, prime promoter of the League of Nations.

No matter how often we think of it, the discovery of America must each time make a fresh appeal to our imaginations. For centuries, indeed from the beginning, the face of Europe had been turned toward the east. All the routes of trade, every impulse and energy, ran from west to east. The Atlantic lay at the world’s back door. Then, suddenly, the conquest of Constantinople by the Turk closed the route to the Orient. Europe had either to face about or lack any outlet for her energies; the unknown sea at the west at last was ventured upon, and the earth learned that it was twice as big as it had thought. Columbus did not find, as he had expected, the civilization of Cathay; he found an empty continent. In that part of the world, upon that new-found half of the globe, mankind, late in its history, was thus afforded an opportunity to set up a new civilization; here it was strangely privileged to make a new human experiment.

Never can that moment of unique opportunity fail to excite the emotion of all who consider its strangeness and richness; a thousand fanciful histories of the earth might be contrived without the imagination daring to conceive such a romance as the hiding away of half the globe until the fulness of time had come for a new start in civilization. A mere sea captain’s ambition to trace a new trade route gave way to a moral adventure for humanity. The race was to found a new order here on this delectable land, which no man approached without receiving, as the old voyagers relate, you remember, sweet airs out of woods aflame with flowers and murmurous with the sound of pellucid waters. The hemisphere lay waiting to be touched with life—life from the old centers of living, surely, but cleansed of defilement, and cured of weariness, so as to be fit for the virgin purity of a new bride. The whole thing springs into the imagination like a wonderful vision, an exquisite marvel which once only in all history could be vouchsafed.

One other thing only compares with it; only one other thing touches the springs of emotion as does the picture of the ships of Columbus drawing near the bright shores—and that is the thought of the choke in the throat of the immigrant of to-day as he gazes from the steerage deck at the land where he has been taught to believe he in his turn shall find an earthly paradise, where, a free man, he shall forget the heartaches of the old life, and enter into the fulfilment of the hope of the world. For has not every ship that has pointed her prow westward borne hither the hopes of generation after generation of the oppressed of other lands? How always have men’s hearts beat as they saw the coast of America rise to their view! How it has always seemed to them that the dweller there would at last be rid of kings, of privileged classes, and of all those bonds which had kept men depressed and helpless, and would there realize the full fruition of his sense of honest manhood, would there be one of a great body of brothers, not seeking to defraud and deceive one another, but seeking to accomplish the general good!

What was in the writings of the men who founded America—to serve the selfish interests of America? Do you find that in their writings? No; to serve the cause of humanity, to bring liberty to mankind. They set up their standards here in America in the tenet of hope, as a beacon of encouragement to all the nations of the world; and men came thronging to these shores with an expectancy that never existed before, with a confidence they never dared feel before, and found here for generations together a haven of peace, of opportunity, of equality.

God send that in the complicated state of modern affairs we may recover the standards and repeat the achievements of that heroic age!

For life is no longer the comparatively simple thing it was. Our relations one with another have been profoundly modified by the new agencies of rapid communication and transportation, tending swiftly to concentrate life, widen communities, fuse interests and complicate all the processes of living. The individual is dizzily swept about in a thousand new whirlpools of activities. Tyranny has become more subtle, and has learned to wear the guise of mere industry, and even of benevolence. Freedom has become a somewhat different matter. It cannot, —eternal principle that it is, —it cannot have altered, yet it shows itself in new aspects. Perhaps it is only revealing its deeper meaning.

What is liberty?

I have long had an image in my mind of what constitutes liberty. Suppose that I were building a great piece of powerful machinery, and suppose that I should so awkwardly and unskilfully assemble the parts of it that every time one part tried to move it would be interfered with by the others, and the whole thing would buckle up and be checked. Liberty for the several parts would consist in the best possible assembling and adjustment of them all, would it not? If you want the great piston of the engine to run with absolute freedom, give it absolutely perfect alignment and adjustment with the other parts of the machine, so that it is free, not because it is let alone or isolated, but because it has been associated most skilfully and carefully with the other parts of the great structure.

What is liberty? You say of the locomotive that it runs free. What do you mean? You mean that its parts are so assembled and adjusted that friction is reduced to a minimum, and that it has perfect adjustment. We say of a boat skimming the water with light foot. “How free she runs,” when we mean, how perfectly she is adjusted to the force of the wind, how perfectly she obeys the great breath out of the heavens that fills her sails. Throw her head up into the wind and see how she will halt and stagger, how every sheet will shiver and her whole frame be shaken, how instantly she is “in irons,” in the expressive phrase of the sea. She is free only when you have let her fall off again and have recovered once more her nice adjustment to the forces she must obey and cannot defy.

Human freedom consists in perfect adjustments of human interests and human activities and human energies.

Now, the adjustments necessary between individuals, between individuals and the complex institutions amidst which they live, and between those institutions and the government, are infinitely more intricate to-day than ever before. No doubt this is a tiresome and roundabout way of saying the thing, yet perhaps it is worth while to get somewhat clearly in our mind what makes all the trouble to-day. Life has become complex; there are many more elements, more parts, to it than ever before. And, therefore, it is harder to keep everything adjusted—and harder to find out where the trouble lies when the machine gets out of order.

You know that one of the interesting things that Mr. Jefferson said in those early days of simplicity which marked the beginnings of our government was that the best government consisted in as little governing as possible. And there is still a sense in which that is true. It is still intolerable for the government to interfere with our individual activities except where it is necessary to interfere with them in order to free them. But I feel confident that if Jefferson were living in our day he would see what we see: that the individual is caught in a great confused nexus of all sorts of complicated circumstances, and that to let him alone is to leave him helpless as against the obstacles with which he has to contend; and that, therefore, law in our day must come to the assistance of the individual. It must come to his assistance to see that he gets fair play; that is all, but that is much. Without the watchful interference, the resolute interference, of the government, there can be no fair play between individuals and such powerful institutions as the trusts. Freedom to-day is something more than being let alone. The program of a government of freedom must in these days be positive, not negative merely.

Well, then, in this new sense and meaning of it, are we preserving freedom in this land of ours, the hope of all the earth?

Have we, inheritors of this continent and of the ideals to which the fathers consecrated it—have we maintained them, realizing them, as each generation must, anew? Are we, in the consciousness that the life of man is pledged to higher levels here than elsewhere, striving still to bear aloft the standards of liberty and hope, or, disillusioned and defeated, are we feeling the disgrace of having had a free field in which to do new things and of not having done them?

The answer must be, I am sure, that we have been in a fair way of failure—tragic failure. And we stand in danger of utter failure yet except we fulfil speedily the determination we have reached, to deal with the new and subtle tyrannies according to their deserts. Don’t deceive yourselves for a moment as to the power of the great interests which now dominate our development. They are so great that it is almost an open question whether the government of the United States can dominate them or not. Go one step further, make their organized power permanent, and it may be too late to turn back. The roads diverge at the point where we stand. They stretch their vistas out to regions where they are very far separated from one another; at the end of one is the old tiresome scene of government tied up with special interests;and at the other shines the liberating light of individual initiative, of individual liberty, of individual freedom, the light of untrammeled enterprise. I believe that that light shines out of the heavens itself that God has created. I believe in human liberty as I believe in the wine of life. There is no salvation for men in the pitiful condescensions of industrial masters. Guardians have no place in a land of freemen. Prosperity guaranteed by trustees has no prospect of endurance. Monopoly means the atrophy of enterprise. If monopoly persists, monopoly will always sit at the helm of the government. I do not expect to see monopoly restrain itself. If there are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States, they are going to own it;what we have to determine now is whether we are big enough, whether we are men enough, whether we are free enough, to take possession again of the government which is our own. We haven’t had free access to it, our minds have not touched it by way of guidance, in half a generation, and now we are engaged in nothing less than the recovery of what was made with our own hands, and acts only by our delegated authority.

I tell you, when you discuss the question of the tariffs and of the trusts, you are discussing the very lives of yourselves and your children. I believe that I am preaching the very cause of some of the gentlemen whom I am opposing when I preach the cause of free industry in the United States, for I think they are slowly girding the tree that bears the inestimable fruits of our life, and that if they are permitted to gird it entirely nature will take her revenge and the tree will die.

I do not believe that America is securely great because she has great men in her now. America is great in proportion as she can make sure of having great men in the next generation. She is rich in her unborn children; rich, that is to say, if those unborn children see the sun in a day of opportunity, see the sun when they are free to exercise their energies as they will. If they open their eyes in a land where there is no special privilege, then we shall come into a new era of American greatness and American liberty; but if they open their eyes in a country where they must be employees or nothing, if they open their eyes in a land of merely regulated monopoly, where all the conditions of industry are determined by small groups of men, then they will see an American such as the founders of this Republic would have wept to think of. The only hope is in the release of the forces which philanthropic trust presidents want to monopolize. Only the emancipation, the freeing and heartening of the vital energies of all the people will redeem us. In all that I may have to do in public affairs in the United States I am going to think of towns such as I have seen in Indiana, towns of the old American pattern, that own and operate their own industries, hopefully and happily. My thought is going to be bent upon the multiplication of towns of that kind and the prevention of the concentration of industry in this country in such a fashion and upon such a scale that towns that own themselves will be impossible. You know what the vitality of America consists of. Its vitality does not lie in New York, nor in Chicago; it will not be sapped by anything that happens in St. Louis. The vitality of America lies in the brains, the energies, the enterprise of the people throughout the land; in the efficiency of their factories and in the richness of the fields that stretch beyond the borders of the town; in the wealth which they extract from nature and originate for themselves through the inventive genius characteristic of all free American communities.

That is the wealth of America, and if America discourages the locality, the community, the self-contained town, she will kill the nation. A nation is as rich as her free communities;she is not as rich as her capital city or her metropolis. The amount of money in Wall Street is no indication of the wealth of the American people. That indication can be found only in the fertility of the American mind and the productivity of American industry everywhere throughout the United States. If America were not rich and fertile, there would be no money in Wall Street. If Americans were not vital and able to take care of themselves, the great money exchanges would break down. The welfare, the very existence of the nation, rests at last upon the great mass of the people; its prosperity depends at last upon the spirit in which they go about their work in their several communities throughout the broad land. In proportion as her towns and her countrysides are happy and hopeful will America realize the high ambitions which have marked her in the eyes of all the world.

The welfare, the happiness, the energy and spirit of the men and women who do the daily work in our mines and factories, on our railroads, in our offices and ports of trade, on our farms and on the sea, is the underlying necessity of all prosperity. There can be nothing wholesome unless their life is wholesome; there can be no contentment unless they are contented. Their physical welfare affects the soundness of the whole nation. How would it suit the prosperity of the United States, how would it suit business, to have a people that went every day sadly or sullenly to their work? How would the future look to you if you felt that the aspiration had gone out of most men, the confidence of success, the hope that they might improve their condition? Do you not see that just so soon as the old self-confidence of America, just so soon as her old boasted advantage of individual liberty and opportunity, is taken away, all the energy of her people begins to subside, to slacken, to grow loose and pulpy, without fiber, and men simply cast about to see that the day does not end disastrously with them?

So we must put heart into the people by taking the heartlessness out of politics, business, and industry. We have got to make politics a thing in which an honest man can take his part with satisfaction because he knows that his opinion will count as much as the next man’s, and that the boss and the interests have been dethroned. Business we have got to untrammel, abolishing tariff favors, and railroad discrimination, and credit denials, and all forms of unjust handicaps against the little man. Industry we have got to humanize, —not through the trusts but through the direct action of law guaranteeing protection against dangers and compensation for injuries, guaranteeing sanitary conditions, proper hours, the right to organize, and all the other things which the conscience of the country demands as the workingman’s right. We have got to cheer and inspirit our people with the sure prospects of social justice and due reward, with the vision of the open gates of opportunity for all. We have got to set the energy and the initiative of this great people absolutely free, so that the future of America will be greater than the past, so that the pride of America will grow with achievement, so that America will know as she advances from generation to generation that each brood of her sons is greater and more enlightened than that which preceded it, know that she is fulfilling the promise that she has made to mankind.

Such is the vision of some of us who now come to assist in its realization. For we Democrats would not have endured this long burden of exile if we had not seen a vision. We could have traded; we could have got into the game; we could have surrendered and made terms; we could have played the rôle of patrons to the men who wanted to dominate the interests of the country—and here and there gentlemen who pretended to be of us did make those arrangements. They couldn’t stand privation. You never can stand it unless you have within you some imperishable food upon which to sustain life and courage, the food of those visions of the spirit where a table is set before us laden with palatable fruits, the fruits of hope, the fruits of imagination, those invisible things of the spirit which are the only things upon which we can sustain ourselves through this weary world without fainting. We have carried in our minds, after you had thought you had obscured and blurred them, the ideals of those men who first set their foot upon America, those little bands who came to make a foothold in the wilderness, because the great teeming nations that they had left behind them had forgotten what human liberty was, liberty of thought, liberty of religion, liberty of residence, liberty of action.

Since their day the meaning of liberty has deepened. But it has not ceased to be a fundamental demand of the human spirit, a fundamental necessity for the life of the soul. And the day is at hand when it shall be realized on this consecrated soil—a New Freedom—a Liberty widened and deepened to match the broadened life of man in modern America, restoring to him in very truth the control of his government, throwing wide all gates of lawful enterprise, unfettering his energies, and warming the generous impulses of his heart—a process of release, emancipation, and inspiration, full of a breath of life as sweet and wholesome as the airs that filled the sails of the caravels of Columbus and gave the promise and boast of magnificent Opportunity in which America dare not fail.

Notes

conquest of Constantinople by the Turk. In 1453, after a stirring siege, Constantinople fell to the Turks under Mohammed II.

unknown sea at the west, the Atlantic Ocean.

Columbus, Christopher (1436? or 1446-1506), Genoese sea captain who discovered America in 1492.

Cathay, an old name for China; Cataya, of Tatar origin, from the Khatan or Kitan, who ruled in northern China in the 10th and 11th centuries; an old name said to have been introduced by Marco Polo.

half the globe, the American half of the globe.

the race, the human race, the people of Europe, in this particular case.

to found, to take the first steps or measures in erecting or building up;furnish the materials for beginning; originate.

delectable, highly pleasing; delightful.

pellucid, being transparent; clear.

defilement, pollution, foulness, dirtiness, uncleanliness.

vouchsafed, bestowed, conceded.

choke in the throat. Why?

the bright shores, of America, bright because the immigrants are happy at the thought that they have now arrived in a country where the future is bright with hopes.

steerage deck, in a passenger vessel the section occupied by passengers paying the smallest fares and receiving admittedly inferior accommodations, now usually on the lower deck in the bows.

an earthly paradise, a place of bliss on this earth; a place of supreme felicity or delight on this earth.

the oppressed, the people who have been oppressed in their own home land.

defraud, cheat.

tenet, any opinion, dogma, belief, or doctrine, held as true.

beacon, a signal, especially a signal fire on a pole, building, or other eminence, to notify of the approach of an enemy; hence, enlightenment, inspiration.

widen, make wider, enlarge, expand.

fuse, unite or blend, as if melted together.

guise, external appearance, especially in respect to dress or costume;hence, shape, semblance.

roundabout, circuitous, indirect; going around in a circle.

Mr. Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826), author of the American Declaration of Independence, third president of the United States of America.

nexus, bond of connection; tie, link.

fair play, equal conditions for all.

trusts, organized associations of several companies for purpose of defeating competition, the shareholders in each company transferring all or most of the stock to a central committee and losing their voting power while entitled to the profits.

disillusioned, free from an illusion or deception.

except we, unless we.

deserts, what he deserves; merits or demerits; that which is deserved.

an open question, matter on which differences of opinion are legitimate.

diverge, extend from a common point in different directions; lead away from one another.

vistas, mental views or prospects, extending over a series of events, thoughts, or the like.

untrammeled, not confined or impeded; freed of anything which impedes or obstructs activity, progress, or freedom.

wine of life, the blood that maintains life in our bodies.

condescension, voluntary descent from one’s rank or dignity in intercourse with an inferior.

atrophy, a wasting away from want of nourishment; diminution in bulk or slow emaciation of the body or of any part.

monopoly, exclusive possession of the trade in some commodity;exclusive possession, control, or exercise of a thing.

tariffs, customs or duties to be paid on imports or exports.

girding, killing by encircling or cutting away the bark all around.

philanthropic, benevolent; loving, one’s fellow-men; humane. The word is used ironically here. Trust presidents spend a small part of their ill-gotten gains to establish philanthropic institutions and at the same time prevent their fellow-beings from enjoying a larger share of the profits that are made in the business through the toil of the workers.

Indiana, one of the central states of the United States of America.

multiplication, multiplying, increasing rapidly.

New York, Chicago, and St. Louis, American cities.

sapped, exhaust the vigor of.

self-contained town, a town that is compact or complete in itself, that can take care of its own needs.

metropolis, large city.

Wall Street, the chief financial center of the United States of America, Wall Street, in New York City, where the Stock Exchange and the large banks are located.

sullenly, gloomily, dismally.

pulpy, like the soft succulent part of any fruit.

heart, courage, spirit.

heartlessness, cruelty, pitilessness, lack of feeling.

untrammel, free, release.

tariff favors, tariff rates made favorable to certain groups or interests.

railroad discrimination, rates on railroads that are lowered to favor certain groups; rates discriminating in favor of this group and against that group.

credit denials, credit given to one person and denied another, so that he who receives credit has the advantage in business over the person who is denied money in the bank. Credit is money entered in the books of the bank and put at the disposal of the person to whom the credit has been extended.

handicaps, disadvantages that render success in competition more difficult.

humanize, render humane; soften; refine or civilize.

guaranteeing, securing, warranting.

inspirit, put spirit into, encourage.

brood, group, generation.

Democrats, members of the Democratic Party of the United States of America. President Wilson was a Democrat, as was is President Roosevelt then.

traded, come to terms with the other political power, the Republicans, who were then in power, by trading or exchanging interests.

got into the game, taken a part in politics; have had a share in government.

privation, being deprived or destitute of something, especially of something required or desired.

imperishable, not subject to decay, indestructible; enduring permanently.

palatable, agreeable to the palate or taste, savory; acceptable, pleasing.

blurred, made indistinct; effaced; made dim.

foothold, a hold for the feet; place where one may tread or stand;hence, established place; basis for operation; foundation.

teeming, filled to overflowing with people.

unfettering, loosening from fetters or restraint; unchaining; liberating.

emancipation, act of setting or making free; hence, deliverance from any onerous and controlling power or influence.

caravels, vessels. In the 15th and the 16th centuries, a small vessel with broad bows, high narrow poop, three or four masts, and usually lateen sails on the two or three aftermasts. Columbus had two caravels with him on his great voyage.

Questions

  1. Why does the story of the discovery of America appeal to the imagination?
  2. Why has America appealed to the immigrant?
  3. What was the ideal of the men who founded America?
  4. Why is it difficult to keep that ideal in the present world?
  5. What is liberty?
  6. Why must law come to the assistance of the individual more than formerly?
  7. From what is liberty in danger?
  8. Upon what does the greatness of America depend?
  9. Where do the vitality and wealth of America lie?
  10. What is the underlying necessity of all prosperity?
  11. What reforms of politics and industry are suggested?
  12. How has the meaning of liberty changed since America was founded?

参考译文

【作品简介】

《民族生命力的解放》一文选自伍德罗·威尔逊所著《新自由》,纽约道布尔戴·佩奇出版公司1913年出版。后收入莫里斯·加兰·富尔顿编辑的《民族理想与问题》,301—310页。

【作者简介】

伍德罗·威尔逊(1856—1924),美国政治学者、历史学家。第一次世界大战期间任美国总统,国际联盟的主要推动者。

民族生命力的解放

无论多少次,每当想到美洲的发现,我们总会浮想联翩。几个世纪以来,确切地说是自始以来,欧洲一直把面孔扭向东方。所有贸易路线,每次冲动、每股能量,都从西方延伸向东方。大西洋曾经位于世界的后门。突然,土耳其人占据了君士坦丁堡,关闭了通向东方的道路。欧洲若不转身,其能量将无处宣泄;最终欧洲人冒险进入西方那片未知的海洋,于是地球人知道了那里比先前想象的要大上一倍。哥伦布未能如其所愿找到华夏文明,却发现了一块空旷的大陆。在世界的那片区域,在那个新发现的半球上,人类在其历史的后期得到了一个机会,开创新的文明;在这里,人类莫名其妙地获得了特权,进行前所未有的人类实验。

只要想到那片陌生与富庶的土地,想到那个绝无仅有的机会来临的时刻,所有人必定会心潮澎湃;构想地球有上千种神奇的历史需要想象力,但是,半个地球一直隐藏起来,直到新的文明开端的时机成熟才显露出来,这个想法需要更大胆的想象力。一位海上船长追寻新商路的简单雄心,让位于人类的精神历险。这个种族将在这片令人欣喜的土地上建立新秩序。你应该记得,正如老航海家所说,凡是接近这片土地的人都曾享受那清新的空气,那空气来自鲜花似火、清水潺潺的林间。这个半球在那里静静地等待,等待生命的触碰——那生命来自古老的生活中心,洗尽了污浊,褪去了疲惫,才与新娘般的纯洁相配。整个景象清晰地浮现在想象中,在所有的历史中,这优美的奇迹上天仅能赐予一次。

唯有另一件事可与之相提并论,只有这件事可以与哥伦布的船队靠近明亮海岸的画面一样令人心潮澎湃——那就是今天的移民从甲板上看到陆地时不禁哽咽,他相信在那里能找到一个人间天堂。他,一个自由人,将忘记以往的心痛,开始在那个世界达成希望。一艘艘西行的船只难道不曾把一代代在其他土地上饱受压迫人们的希冀带到这片土地吗?当美国的海岸线出现在视野中的时候,他们的内心是怎样地狂跳呀!他们一直认为,居住在那里的人们最终会消灭国王及特权阶级,挣脱一切压迫人民、剥夺希望的锁链,拥有堂堂正正的人的感觉,和许许多多的兄弟一道,为了共同的利益而奋斗,不再尔虞我诈。

创立美国的伟人在宣言中写过什么?——为美国那些自私的利益集团服务吗?里面有这样的词句吗?没有,而是要服务于人类的事业,让全人类得到自由解放。他们在美国这里以希望为信条树立了标准,它是一盏灯火,给世界各国人民带来鼓舞;这片海岸上纷至沓来的人们抱着以前从未有过的希冀,带着以前从不敢奢望的自信,历经几代在这里找到了一片拥有和平、机遇、平等的避难所。

上帝给我们带来启示,在纷繁复杂的现代事务中,我们可以重建那些标准,重现那个英雄时代的伟大成就!

因为生命不再像以前那样简单了。人与人之间的关系被便捷的通讯和交通工具深刻地改变了,人们生活的联系更加紧密,社区扩大,兴趣融合,生活的一切过程变得复杂。每个人都在数以千计的新活动的漩涡中旋转,头晕目眩。暴政变得更加隐秘,披上了工业甚至慈善的伪装。自由也与以往有所不同,虽是不能改变的永恒原则,却呈现出新的面貌,又或许只是展现了更深刻的意义。

何谓自由?

我的心目中一直有一个自由的意象。假如我正在建造一台庞大而强劲的机器,对部件组装却非常笨拙生疏,以致每当一个部件快要活动时,都会遭到其他部件的干扰,整个机器也会被固定住并接受检查。对那些零件来说,自由就是把它们以最好的方式组合起来、妥善调整,对吗?如果你想让引擎的巨大活塞完全自由地运动,就要让它和机器的其他部件完美地调和起来,这样它就获得了自由,不是因为它被孤立起来,而是因为它与那个庞大结构的其他部分巧妙而精细地结合在了一起。

何谓自由?你会说到自由奔跑的火车头。那是什么意思呢?你的意思是:它的部件经过组合调整,将摩擦减至最小,它们经过了完美的调整。我们会说到一艘轻快掠过水面的船只。“她跑得多么自由呀!”我们的意思是,她完美地顺应了风力,完美地顺从了鼓起船帆的来自天堂的气息。倘若她逆风而行,便会停滞蹒跚,每片船板都会颤抖,船的框架也会摇晃,用海上的形象表达方法来说,她马上就会像“戴上镣铐”一样。只有当她转向顺风,再次顺应她必须遵从、无法挑衅的力量,她才会获得自由。

人类的自由在于人类的利益、活动与能量之间的完美调和。

现在,人与人之间、人与生活于其中的复杂机构之间、机构与政府之间,都面临着必要的调整,这种调整比以往任何时候都更加微妙。毫无疑问,这种说法迂回婉转而令人生厌,然而,把造成今天麻烦的原因考虑清楚还是值得的。生活变得复杂了,它比以往任何时候都拥有更多元素、更多部件。因此,调和一切比以往更加困难了,而且当机器出现故障时,找到故障所在也比以往更加困难。

众所周知,杰斐逊先生早年在谈到早期政府的简单特点时说过一句耐人寻味的话,那就是,最好的政府是管理最少的政府。这话今天仍然有几分道理。除非为了保障自由的目的,政府若干涉我们的个人活动,仍然是难以容忍的。但是我有信心,如果杰斐逊生活在我们这个时代,他会看到我们所目睹的景象:个人在各种复杂环境中被纷繁的关系所困扰,若任其独自处置这些关系,他就会在必须解决的障碍面前感觉无助;因此,我们今天的法律必须为个人提供援助。法律必须确保个人得到公平的待遇,仅此而已,却不易做到。没有政府密切关注、坚决干涉,个人与托拉斯等强大的机构之间就不会有公平竞争。今天的自由不仅仅是任其自生自灭。今天,政府的自由计划必须是积极的,而不仅仅是消极的。

那么,在这个新的意义下,在我们这片承载着整个地球的希望的土地上,我们是否在维护自由呢?

作为这片大陆和先辈们神圣理想的继承者,我们是否履行了每一代人必须履行的责任,维护并实现了这些理念?既然知道这里的人们比其他任何地方的人都拥有更高的目标,我们是否还在为捍卫自由和希望的标准而努力?或者在经受了挫折、幻想破灭之后,我们是否为自己曾经拥有一片自由领域却未能开拓进取而倍感羞愧?

我认为答案一定是,我们经历了地地道道的失败——悲剧一般的失败。如果我们不能迅速地将决心付诸行动,对以新的隐蔽形式出现的暴政没有给予应有的处理,我们就面临着全面溃败的危险。对于左右我们发展的主要利益集团的力量,一刻也不要自欺欺人。这些利益集团力量强大,乃至美国政府能否对其有效控制仍然是个未知的问题。如果再进一步,让他们组织化的力量永久持续下去,那时恐怕就无法回头了。在我们的脚下,出现了岔路。它们延伸到远方,彼此互不相通。在一条路的尽头,是政府与特殊利益集团勾结的龌龊景象;而另一条路的尽头,闪耀的是个体主动、自由、不受羁绊、积极进取的解放之光。我相信,那光明来自上帝所创造的天堂。我相信人类自由,我视它如生命的美酒。工业巨头的屈尊怜悯不会拯救人类。在自由人民的土地上,无须为卫士留出位置。托管机构所保障的繁荣是没有长久的前景的。垄断意味着进取精神的衰退。如果垄断继续存在,它将永远掌握着政府。我不奢望垄断会自我克制。如果这个国家有人力量强大,足以拥有美国政府,那么他们就会这么做;我们现在必须确定的是,我们是否足够强大,是否足够勇敢,是否足够自由,能夺回原本属于我们的政府。十多年来,我们不能自由地进入政府,我们的思想也没能通过引导而与之接触,现在我们所投身的事业恰恰是夺回我们用双手创造的东西,令它只通过我们委派的权威代表行使权力。

告诉你吧,当你讨论关税和托拉斯时,你在讨论的正是你自己和子女的生活。我相信,当我提倡在美国实行自由产业时,我所提倡的恰恰是一些我所反对的先生们的事业。因为我认为他们在慢慢地束缚结出我们生命中丰硕果实的树木,如果任由他们把树木完全束缚起来,大自然会向人类报复,树木必将枯亡。

我并不会因为美国现在拥有杰出的人才,就相信美国强大、高枕无忧。美国的强大程度,与能否确保下一代大量涌现杰出人才息息相关。美国的财富在于那些尚未出生的婴儿;也就是说,如果这些孩子看到太阳的那天,是充满机遇的一天,是他们能够自由发挥能力的一天,那么国家才算得上富有。如果他们睁开眼睛,眼前是一块没有特权的土地,那么我们将步入美国强大自由的新时代;但是如果他们睁开眼睛时,这块国土只能让他们成为雇工甚至失业,垄断仅仅略有收敛,所有的工业条件仍由少数人决定,那么他们看到的是会令这个民主国家的创立者哭泣的美国。唯一的希望是释放慈善托拉斯总裁们希望垄断的权力。唯有解放,使所有人的重要能力都得到释放与鼓励,我们才能获得拯救。在美国公共事务中我有许多要做的,其中之一就是建造我在印第安纳参观过的城镇,那些古老的美国风格的城镇,它们拥有并运营着自己的产业,充满希望与快乐。我更愿意看到那种城镇的数量增加,防止国家产业大范围集中,以致城镇无法拥有这些产业。你们知道美国的生命力所在。它的生命力不在纽约,也不在芝加哥;圣路易斯发生的任何事情也不会将其削弱。美国的生命力在于整个国民的智慧、精力、进取精神;在于工厂的效率、绵延到城镇以外的田野的富庶;在于从大自然所获取的财富以及通过发明天赋所创造的财富,而这种发明天赋是所有自由的美国社区所具有的。

那是美国的财富,如果美国打压那片区域、那个社区、那个自给自足的城镇,将会扼杀这个国家。国家的富有程度即其自由社区的富有程度,而不是首都或者都市的富有程度。华尔街的金钱并不能代表美国人民的财富。唯有美国土地上所有美国人民都拥有丰富的思想,美国工业拥有很高的产出效率,才能说明美国的富庶。如果美国并不富有而肥沃,华尔街就不会拥有金钱。如果美国人缺乏生命力,不能妥善地管理自己,那些庞大的金钱交易机构就会崩溃。福利是国家的存亡之本,归根结底在于人民大众;国家是否繁荣,取决于广袤国土上的人民在各自社区里工作的精神状态。如果城镇和乡村都充满幸福与希望,美国就会实现远大的抱负,这远大的志向是美国在全世界人民眼中的标志。

每天在矿山、工厂、铁路、办公室、贸易口岸、农场、海上辛勤工作的男男女女,他们的福利、幸福、精力与精神状态,是一切繁荣的必要基础。没有健康的生活,就没有健康;如果得不到满足,满足感就荡然无存。他们的物质福利影响到整个国家的稳固。如果每天上班大家都悲伤沮丧,何谈美国的繁荣,何谈繁忙的事业?如果你发觉多数人已经丢掉期望,丧失了成功的信心,抛弃了改变境遇的希望,那么,你认为未来会如何?你不曾看到吗,当美国昔日的自信,还有昔日引以为傲的自由与机会被剥夺之时,美国人民的所有力量都开始衰弱、松懈、疲软乏力,再没有一点儿个性,而人们却在苦苦寻找,希望白昼没有灾难般地随之消失。

所以我们必须消除政治、商业和工业中的无情因素,使人们重拾勇气。我们必须改变政治,使正直的人能从中感到满足,因为他知道他的意见会和其他人的一样重要,老板和利益集团已经不再高高在上了。我们必须清除商业障碍,废除关税优惠、铁路歧视、信贷拒绝,以及针对弱势人士的所有形式的不公正待遇。我们应让工业更有人情味,不是通过托拉斯,而是通过直接的法律行为,这些法律保护工人免遭危险,获得伤害赔偿,保障卫生条件、适当的工作时间、组织的权利,以及国家正义所要求的其他工人权利。我们必须展现社会正义与公平回报的确定前景,提供对一切人开放的机会之门,以此来鼓舞、激励我们的人民。我们必须使这个伟大民族的生命力和主动性获得绝对自由,未来的美国才会比以往更加强大,美国的自尊才会随着成就而增长,经过一代又一代人的努力进步,美国会看到:每代儿女都比他们的父辈更加杰出、更加开明,美国正在履行她向全人类做出的承诺。

这就是我们一些人现在致力实现的愿景。假如没有愿景,我们民主党人是无法承受漫长流放的巨大压力的。我们可能会进行交易,可能融入这场博弈之中,可能投降妥协,可能去支持那些希望控制国家利益的人——还有随处可见的假托为了我们而做出那些安排的先生们。他们不能忍受贫困。你们也永远不能忍受,除非心中有不灭的食粮,足以延续生命与勇气,足以维持精神的愿景——我们面前放好了一张桌子,上面摆满了甜美的水果,那是希望之果、想象力之果,那些看不见的精神是唯一使我们在这个枯燥乏味的世界不会晕倒、继续生存下去的东西。你曾认为那些最先踏上美国土地的人们的理想已经模糊,但它们一直保留在我们的思想中。那一群群人在一片荒芜中寻找立足之地,因为他们抛在身后的强大富庶的国家已经忘记了何为人类自由——思想自由、宗教自由、居住自由、行动自由。

从他们那时起,自由的意义得到了深化。但是它依然是人类精神的基本要求,灵魂生活重要的必需品。在这片神圣的土地上,新自由实现之日已不遥远,其意义得到了扩展与深化,这与现代美国人的生活范围扩大相适应。它使美国人真正重新控制政府,敞开所有鼓励合法进取的大门,释放他们的能量,温暖内心慷慨的冲动——这是一个释放、解放、鼓舞的过程,充满生命的气息,它就像鼓起哥伦布船帆的空气一样清新而健康,给美国不会错失的伟大机遇带来承诺与自豪。

 

(李春江 译)

未经允许不得转载:帕布莉卡 » 伍德罗·威尔逊《民族生命力的解放》 -经典文学英译-中英双语赏析

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