【大阅读】美国版真理大讨论:美国奋斗文化崩溃的代价

应鸣工作室2019-03-09 02:52:21


转自“西雅图雷尼尔”


译者前言

这是一篇在美国非常有争议的文章,文章的作者是宾夕法尼亚大学法学院的教授Amy Wax。这篇文章在美国的文化界和思想界掀起了轩然大波,美国左派群起而攻之。以至于宾夕法尼亚大学的33名教授联名要求开除作者。而这篇文章所引发的保守派和自由派的思想交锋在原文发表的半年后还在进行中,也许这是一场扭转美国左倾思潮的历史大讨论。


译文


       太少的美国人真正能够适应现代社会所需要的工作。适龄男性劳动参与率处于大萧条以来的最低点,鸦片类毒品滥用现象非常普遍,凶杀和暴力困扰着内陆城市。几乎有一半的孩子都是非婚生子女,而更多的孩子由单身母亲抚养。许多大学生缺乏基本的技能,高中生的排名低于世界上其他二十几个国家!


美国适龄男性劳动参与率历史曲线 图由译者补充



这些现象的成因是复杂多样的,但这种或者那种的社会病态隐喻着这个国家资本主义传统文化的崩溃


过去这种资本主义文化为我们的生活制定准则:


       先结婚然后再要小孩,为了家庭和孩子们努力维护婚姻。为了找到高收入的工作,努力获得所需的教育。努力工作,拒绝懒散。尽可能为你的客户和雇主多做一些事情。做一个爱国者,随时准备为国家服务。尽可能维护邻里和睦,具有公民意识,慈善意识。避免在公开场合使用粗俗的语言,尊重权威。避免药物滥用和犯罪。



这些基本的文化准则统治着1940年的后期到1960年代中期的思想界。在那个时代几乎所有的人不论背景和能力,都能有效地尊崇这些规则。因此这些文化准则为社会的生产效率提高,教育水平的提高,社会和谐起到了巨大的作用。

每个人都尊崇这些准则吗?当然不是!任何时代总有叛逆者和伪善者,阴奉阳违这些文化准则。俗话说的好,伪善是恶披着善的外衣。即便如此,这些伪善者也很少敢公开挑战这些准则。


当这些文化准则占主导地位的时候,一切都是完美的吗?当然不是。也有种族歧视,也有有限的性别区别对待和有限的反犹主义。但是必须承认当这些准则占主导地位的时候,妇女和少数民族的地位在稳步改善。消除歧视和增加机会并不一定需要这些文化准则的消亡作为代价。恰恰相反,因为这些准则的消亡,反而严重阻碍了弱势群体地位的改善。而且这种准则消亡的趋势也加速了福利国家所带来与日俱增的破坏性后果:福利国家通过接管家庭的财政支持,抑制了家庭对两位父母的需求。


(美国单亲妈妈(从未结婚)的比例从1968年的7%飙升到14年的50%)


如果社会对婚姻持强烈的保守态度,还可能抑制福利化国家的进程。而现实恰恰相反,单亲家长的数量呈天文数字增长,导致儿童更容易出现学业失败,吸毒上瘾,闲散,犯罪和贫穷。


无论哪个种族,单亲家庭的贫困率远高于双亲家庭(红色为单亲家庭贫困率,蓝色为双亲家庭的贫困率)


这种传统资本主义文化准则在20世纪60年代后期开始崩溃。经济繁荣,毒品,高等教育的扩张以及围绕越南战争的焦虑等因素的结合促成了一种反权威,幼稚,不切实际的( 性,毒品和摇滚乐)的文化。然而这种文化对一个成熟,繁荣的成人社会来说是行不通的。从这个时代开始看到了操纵身份认同的政治。这种政治颠覆了Martin Luther King Jr.这样的民权领袖所期望对不要以肤色作为评判标准的渴望。这种政治使他们反而对故意操纵种族,民族,性别以及现在的性取向话题的产生了浓厚的兴趣。



而那些本来拥有文化影响力的长者,由于种种原因放弃了他们作为倡导尊重,文明和成熟价值观的角色。因此,反准则文化取得了巨大的进展,特别是在学校的学者,作家,艺术家,演员和新闻工作者中间:这些人喜欢从传统文化准则中跳出来,将自己的罪行反而归结为德行和独树一帜的阶级标志。


然而并不是所有的文化都是平等的。至少有些文化并没有让自己的民众为推动经济发展做好准备。好比印第安人的文化是为游牧猎人设计的,但不适合21世纪的发达国家。在一些白人工薪阶层中的单亲,反社会的亚文化,在一些城市中反白人的说唱文化,在一些西班牙移民中的反融合亚文化同样无法适应21世纪社会的需求!这些文化取向不仅与先进的自由市场经济和可行的民主制度不相容,而且还破坏了美国人之间的团结和互惠意识。如果传统文化的准则不能得到广泛的恢复(美国中上层阶级中依然大部分遵从这些文化准则),那么情况将对我们所有人而言会变得更加糟糕!



那些已经抛弃了传统文化准则的普通美国人,如果重新接受这些准则是否会大大减少社会的病态?有充分的理由相信,在那些目前还遵循这些准则的人群中,无论受教育程度和富裕程度如何,凶杀率都很低,阿片类成瘾很少,贫困率也很低。那些现在按照亚文化生活的人,即便按照传统的文化准则生活,大部分人可能还是不会成为富人或者拥有精英工作,但他们的生活状况将比现在好得多,学校和社区会更安全,更愉快。更多的学生为建设性的工作和民主参与做好准备。


恢复传统阶级文化准则的主导地位,需要有文化的仲裁者-学者,媒体和好莱坞-放弃多元文化的诉苦抱怨和对被被压迫者的刻意修饰。他们不应该抨击传统的资本主义文化准则,而是想1950年一样,去拥抱这种文化准则。



原文

Too few Americans are qualified for the jobs available. Male working-age labor-force participation is at Depression-era lows. Opioid abuse is widespread. Homicidal violence plagues inner cities. Almost half of all children are born out of wedlock, and even more are raised by single mothers. Many college students lack basic skills, and high school students rank below those from two dozen other countries.

The causes of these phenomena are multiple and complex, but implicated in these and other maladies is the breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture.

That culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

These basic cultural precepts reigned from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s. They could be followed by people of all backgrounds and abilities, especially when backed up by almost universal endorsement. Adherence was a major contributor to the productivity, educational gains, and social coherence of that period.

Did everyone abide by those precepts? Of course not. There are always rebels — and hypocrites, those who publicly endorse the norms but transgress them. But as the saying goes, hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue. Even the deviants rarely disavowed or openly disparaged the prevailing expectations.

Was everything perfect during the period of bourgeois cultural hegemony? Of course not. There was racial discrimination, limited sex roles, and pockets of anti-Semitism. However, steady improvements for women and minorities were underway even when bourgeois norms reigned. Banishing discrimination and expanding opportunity does not require the demise of bourgeois culture. Quite the opposite: The loss of bourgeois habits seriously impeded the progress of disadvantaged groups. That trend also accelerated the destructive consequences of the growing welfare state, which, by taking over financial support of families, reduced the need for two parents. A strong pro-marriage norm might have blunted this effect. Instead, the number of single parents grew astronomically, producing children more prone to academic failure, addiction, idleness, crime, and poverty.

This cultural script began to break down in the late 1960s. A combination of factors — prosperity, the Pill, the expansion of higher education, and the doubts surrounding the Vietnam War — encouraged an antiauthoritarian, adolescent, wish-fulfillment ideal — sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll — that was unworthy of, and unworkable for, a mature, prosperous adult society. This era saw the beginnings of an identity politics that inverted the color-blind aspirations of civil rights leaders like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. into an obsession with race, ethnicity, gender, and now sexual preference.

And those adults with influence over the culture, for a variety of reasons, abandoned their role as advocates for respectability, civility, and adult values. As a consequence, the counterculture made great headway, particularly among the chattering classes — academics, writers, artists, actors, and journalists — who relished liberation from conventional constraints and turned condemning America and reviewing its crimes into a class marker of virtue and sophistication.

All cultures are not equal. Or at least they are not equal in preparing people to be productive in an advanced economy. The culture of the Plains Indians was designed for nomadic hunters, but is not suited to a First World, 21st-century environment. Nor are the single-parent, antisocial habits, prevalent among some working-class whites; the anti-“acting white” rap culture of inner-city blacks; the anti-assimilation ideas gaining ground among some Hispanic immigrants. These cultural orientations are not only incompatible with what an advanced free-market economy and a viable democracy require, they are also destructive of a sense of solidarity and reciprocity among Americans. If the bourgeois cultural script — which the upper-middle class still largely observes but now hesitates to preach — cannot be widely reinstated, things are likely to get worse for us all.

Would the re-embrace of bourgeois norms by the ordinary Americans who have abandoned them significantly reduce society’s pathologies? There is every reason to believe so. Among those who currently follow the old precepts, regardless of their level of education or affluence, the homicide rate is tiny, opioid addiction is rare, and poverty rates are low. Those who live by the simple rules that most people used to accept may not end up rich or hold elite jobs, but their lives will go far better than they do now. All schools and neighborhoods would be much safer and more pleasant. More students from all walks of life would be educated for constructive employment and democratic participation.

But restoring the hegemony of the bourgeois culture will require the arbiters of culture — the academics, media, and Hollywood — to relinquish multicultural grievance polemics and the preening pretense of defending the downtrodden. Instead of bashing the bourgeois culture, they should return to the 1950s posture of celebrating it.

Amy Wax is the Robert Mundheim professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. awax@law.upenn.eduLarry Alexander is the Warren distinguished professor at the University of San Diego School of Law. larrya@sandiego.edu

后续

这篇文章2017年8月9号在PA最大的日报上发表之后,在美国引起了轩然大波。


8月9日,《费城问询者报》发表文章。


8月10日,《每日费城报》采访Wax教授:宾大法学院教授说,并不是所有的文化都是生来平等的。“‘Not all cultures are created equal’ says Penn Law professor in op-ed”


8月13日,《每日费城报》发表文章 “Campus is abuzz over Penn Law professor Amy Wax’s controversial op-ed, which called for return of ‘bourgeois’ cultural values” 进一步攻击Wax


8月14日,《每日费城报》邀请宾大法学院的院长发表文章《On Charlottesville, free speech and diversity》 院长开始站队,发表驳斥文


8月20日,5名宾大法学院的教职工,在《每日费城报》发表署名文章《Notions of ‘bourgeois’ cultural superiority are based on bad history》,资本主义的传统准则优越性是基于错误的历史


8月30日,33名宾大法学院的教职工在《每日费城报》发表 致宾大法学社区的公开信,要求Wax教授滚蛋。


9月1号,Wax教授在《每日费城报》上发表 《对《致宾大法学社区公开信》的回应》,我有言论自由,我才不走。


9月3号,学术网站Heterodox Academy的Jonathan Klick教授的专栏中写道我不关心Wax教授到底政治正确不正确,但是我在乎他的经验不正确。


9月21号,宾大法学教授发表专栏文章:(我的一张大字报)Jonah Gelbach对Wax和Jon Haidt”的回应。



就是这位充满战斗精神的老奶奶,几乎是兵来将挡水来土掩,舌战群熊。


这个事情远没有完!在后面的断断续续的交锋中,前天Wax在华尔街日报上又扔了一枚炸弹《What Can’t Be Debated on Campus》。现在静观美国左翼社区的反击。美国的教育系统,新闻系统,法律系统已经左道一定程度了。这种撕破脸皮大讨论,对于社会的健康发展长远来看还是有益的。


也许我们正在经历一场美国式的实践是检验真理唯一标准的大讨论。



图片及其材料来自网络搜索,致谢!版权归原作者。仅用于教学参考。



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