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亓官先生
胡卜凱

相對於社會學和心理學,我對政治學的興趣開始得比較晚。一方面從1415歲開始,我主要想了解的問題在倫理學;另一方面,我和大多數人一樣,性向上急功近利;對政治學的興趣始於軍事學。

大學一年級前後我讀了徐訏先生的《回到個人主義與自由主義》,印象深刻35歲以前,我在聖荷西大學附近舊書攤上,買了常常被其他學者介紹和引用的《君王論》和《政府論》,但大概都只讀了1/41/3。不過,馬克思的政治經濟學批判我倒是讀得非常仔細,此書也構成我對政治的基本理解。當然,之後偶而也會涉獵一些政治學方面的書籍,但為數不多。

2002年以前,除了以上四本經典名著之外,我對政治/政治學的了解,大部分來自新聞報導和報紙/期刊上的政治評論。2001年我退休以後開使在網上漫遊由於在不同論壇上經常和其他網友就政治理論與實際議題進行討論,我不時有「書到用時方恨少」的感慨。於是我開始花較多時間閱讀「政治學」領域的書籍

我對「政治」的「定義以及對「民主政治」的詮釋,都是根據以往30多年對政治實務的觀察,以及這段時間對政治理論的領悟,綜合兩者而形成。

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公平、自由、和不應如何做學問
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0.  前言

我想瓦爾頓教授大作的重點在介紹康德的「權利中心論」(本欄上一篇);她指出羅爾斯和婁澤克兩位理論的不足,來襯托或彰顯康德理論的優越。羅爾斯在台灣應該蠻受歡迎我也沒有讀完整本公平論我就不多說他(1)。本城市在2011刊登過關於婁澤克和他思想的討論。有興趣的朋友可以參考。

我對康德的思想沒有熟悉到可以置喙的地步;以下只就「公平」、「自由」、和「做學問」這三個議題略抒己見。

1. 
公平

我曾說過,「權利」不是「天賦」的;它是爭來的,搶來的,某些人甚至要用生命換的。「公平」不是「權利」,它也並不具有任何「應然性」或「高貴性」。換句話說,如果一個人覺得社會待他/她「不公平」,通常此人只能「喊冤」、「告狀」、「抬棺材」、「丟雞蛋」、和「拉白布條」等等。如果困難不得解決,他/她可以繼之以「丟炸彈」、「上梁山泊」、或「冒充耶穌的兄弟」之類。當然/她也可以摸摸鼻子或跳樓、臥軌

一般而言,「公平」不過是維持社會穩定運作的一個概念或參數。我們可以把它看成是測量一個社會「穩定度」的指標

一個社會的「公平性」越高,這個社會的「穩定度」也就越高。反之,一個「公平性」低的社會,將經常處於紛爭、衝突的狀況,最後導致動亂內戰或崩潰。

如果以上的分析有幾分道理,我建議

「政府」的「功能」或「責任」之一,是維持,以及盡可能提高社會的「公平性」。

我這個理論應該比康德繞來繞去的論述淺顯易懂;根據它推論出來的政策,也會比根據康德說法推論出來的政策,更具「可行性」,也能更有效解決社會的不穩定狀況。

上述觀點我以前表達過很多次,只是呈現方式有所不同。請參考《探討民主政治》一文。

2. 
自由

2.1
自由的本質

拙作《重新檢視「個人主義」和「自由主義」》一文中,已經把我所了解的「自由」說得很清楚。以下特別強調其中兩點:

1) 
「『自由』行為」不得打擾到他人,更不得侵犯他人的權利和利益。否則,它們不得稱為「『自由』行為」,而應該叫做「『吃人夠夠』行為」。
2) 
「公平性」蘊含:保障每一個社會成員具有行使最基本「『自由』行為」的能力。

至於「打擾」、「侵犯」、「權利」、「利益」、「保障」、「能力」、和「最基本「『自由』行為」等詞彙指示些什麼,由每個社會的成員們自行協商決定。

2.2
自由的「羊頭性」

許多人臉皮薄,不好意思明目張膽的維護自己擁有的「特權」(2);於是拿「自由」來當做護身符。其伎倆是:號稱自己在維護「公民『自由』權」(3)。但是,這些人口中的「自由」,指的其實是你、我眼中的「特權」。

3. 
「自由」和「公平」有衝突?

如果看官們同意以上12兩節的看法,不但不會認為「公平」和「自由」之間有衝突;反而會跟我一樣,認為兩者相輔相成:

「自由」是爭取「公平」的武器;「公平」是維護「自由」的機制。

許多人往往因為思路有盲點,或思考時不自覺的歪七扭八打著轉,以至於搞不清楚一對相關的概念。例如「自由」和「平等」;又如「自由」和「民主」等等。我對它們做過一些釐清和分析的工作;前者請見此欄,後者請讀此文;並敬請指正。

4. 
學者們思路混亂的源頭

我在第1節中用「繞來繞去」一詞形容康德的論述,並無不敬之意;只是單純表達我的讀後感。學者們或許想把自己思想的來龍去派說得清楚精緻一些;或許想增加自己主張的說服性;或許只不過想掉掉書袋;總之,其結果往往成為學者們把簡單事務變複雜了。在這個過程中,一不小心,他/門的思路也變混亂了。第3節觸及的議題則是此傾向的兩個特例。

根據拙作《「政治」答客問》一文的淺見,我歸納出三個研究社會科學的要點(4)

1) 
人生活的目的在求生存下去和生活得舒適」;生存下去」和生活得舒適」都需要資源;所以,追求資源或一般人說的貪婪」,實際上是每個人生活」下去的自然反應」正常行為」。
2) 
任何一個地區(或社會)(任何)資源都不夠當地人的需求」(5);從而巧取豪奪」和「坑矇拐騙」即使不是每個人的自然反應」正常行為」,事實上它們都在許多人的「行為選項範圍之內
3) 
以上兩段話中的每個人」,嚴格的說,在統計上可能只包括任何社會中95%左右的人;從而,即使不是每個人」都如此這般,以上兩段話所描述的情況,涵蓋了政府官員、教授教員、和尚牧師、男女老幼等各行各業的人士

我不是說,任何社會中95%左右的人是壞人」;我說的是,正如重賞之下必有勇夫」;在厚利當前」時刻,社會中95%左右的人都有貪贓枉法、偷雞摸狗、男盜女娼的傾向

面對和接受以上所描述的現實,我們才能有效的設計出

一套維持社會穩定運作的制度和機制;也才能落實「公平」、「自由」、和「權利」這些概念

不肯面對和接受這個現實,再多幾個九彎十八拐的理論,也不過是為了混飯吃而製造論文乃至於廢紙

5. 
結論

社會科學的理論要解決「人」的問題。要解決「人」的問題,就必須面對一個個活生生,需要吃、喝、拉、撒、和炒飯的「人」

「人」不是抽象的概念,不是籃球高手不是幕後木偶也的確不是工具但只要有機會和權力,他/她在95%左右的場合下,會把另一個「人」當工具來增加自己的資源以及存活機會

附註:

1. 我讀過兩三本介紹/批評《公平論》的書,如阿樂杭卓教授的羅爾斯公平」概念的侷限,他認為羅爾斯的「正義即公平」理論矛盾(或推論漏洞)百出
2.
這些「特權」可能來自:祖上靠騎馬打仗發家的,如歐洲各國貴族後裔;老子是幹走私的,如甘迺迪家族;老子是幹革命的,如薄熙來、習近平
3.
婁澤克是公民自由權論」的大師請見瓦爾頓教授大作和本文第0節中的超連結。本城市2013-2014刊登了幾篇討論教宗方濟針對全球經濟狀況所做宣示的文章;該欄開欄文2013/12/16貼文2014/02/01貼文討論到此一思想。亦請參考此文
4
. 前幾天整理舊作時,無意間看到2005年我和兩位網友討論社會科學「方法論」的文章其中一位以英文賜教,我也以英文回應。對此議題有興趣的朋友,請前往此欄瀏覽(該欄共有4)
5
. 拙作《交換價值和資源分配》對此觀點有更細緻的分析。

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羅爾斯和婁澤克:公平或自由? -- Helga Varden
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胡卜凱

這篇文章點出兩個重要的概念:公平和自由雖然我並不熟悉康德羅爾斯和婁澤克的著作但對他們三位的思想算得上略有所知。我會略為討論瓦爾頓教授的大作;也很想聽聽各位對公平」和「自由」的看法。


Rawls vs Nozick: Justice or Freedom?

The answer depends on what kind of freedom you want

Helga Varden, 06/06/24

Whether we want justice or freedom is the central political question behind all our political disputes – we have Rawls and Nozick to thank for this. In modern politics, the left is associated with seeking justice: we find this in ideas of equality and social justice. The right, on the other hand, is associated with the protection of a libertarian notion of freedom. We must move beyond this divide, argues Helga Varden. Some freedoms are worth fighting for more than others, and some freedoms cannot be pursued by everyone until we undo the existing injustice present in the system. – Editor’s Notes


In the 1960s, Harvard University made two hires that would greatly impact the direction of political theory for the next several decades, namely
John Rawls (1962) and Robert Nozick (1969). Prior to their philosophical works in the following decade, political theory in the English-speaking world was dominated by consequentialism or utilitarianism – theories that view justice in terms of the consequences of one’s conduct on happiness, the good, or utility in the world. After their interventions, this was most certainly no longer true; discussions of individuals’ rights, freedom and equality were now centerstage.

The most systematic political thinker of the two was Rawls, and in 1971, he published A Theory of Justice, which aimed to challenge the current state of affairs in political theory and, indeed, revolutionized political theory. Simplified, Rawls proposed that when we think about the most basic questions of justice, like the basic principles of our constitution, to do it well, a certain thought experiment is useful:

Like the blindfolded Lady Justice, imagine that you and your fellow citizens, cloaked in a veil of ignorance and seeking to protect and ensure a set of primary goods that you all need to live well, are discussing the question of which principles should govern your basic public legal and political institutions. The
veil of ignorance makes it impossible for each of you to know facts about yourself that track bias and oppression (such as your class, your sex, your race, your talents and abilities, religion etc.) and also exactly what your conception of the good or happy life is. The set of primary goods, instead, is assumed to include both natural goods like intelligence, imagination, and health and social goods like rights, liberties, income and wealth, and social bases of self-respect that you all want and need to do well regardless of what kind of life you find meaningful. If we deliberate well, under these conditions, Rawls proposed, we will be able to identify principles that should negotiate our interactions in a way that is fair to each citizen viewed as free and equal; hence Rawls calls his position “justice as fairness.”

Rawls proposes that when we deliberate in this space – which he calls “the original position” – we will end up concluding that two principles of justice – the principles of justice as fairness – should ground our public legal and political institutions. The first principle states, simplified, that each person has fundamental, indefeasible rights to an adequate set of basic liberties that is consistent with the same set for each and all. The second principle concerns social and economic inequalities, and it has two parts:

(i) the principle of opportunity, according to which public offices and positions must be open to all; and
(ii) the difference principle, according to which these inequalities can only be justified insofar as they are to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged members of society.

He also proposed that our deep intuitions of justice neither permit us to let considerations of the second principle override the first nor considerations of the difference principle to override those of the principle of opportunity. Rawls, in short, proposed that only societies that are based on these principles, so understood, can justify any claim that the basic structure of their public legal and political institutions is consistent with treating its citizens as free and equal.

Nozick was deeply unconvinced and worried by Rawls’s theory, and just three years later – lightning speed in academia – he published Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974), which claimed that Rawls’s theory does not secure each person’s freedom and equality through principles of justice as fairness. Nozick argued that Rawls’s justice as fairness is actually a theory that is profoundly unfair on those who work hard and do well; indeed, Nozick thinks, it is a theory that makes freedom impossible and enslavement a reality. Nozick is especially critical of the difference principle. He argued that if we let the difference principle structure our legal and political institutions, then we end up with a society in which individuals do not have equal rights to be free.

Nozick illustrates this logic by invoking the famous American basketball player Wilt Chamberlain. Imagine, he writes, that many people want to come to see Chamberlain play, and they are willing, and thus freely choose to pay money to do so. As a result, Chamberlain becomes quite rich quite fast. The problem, according to Nozick, is that the difference principle is inconsistent with this wealth accumulating to Chamberlain – a wealth that is the result of Chamberlain working hard to realize his talents and the free choices of paying individuals – because the difference principle seemingly requires a transfer of (some of) this wealth from Chamberlain to those who are the least advantaged in society (through taxation). Hence, Nozick argues, Rawls’s theory of justice as fairness is inconsistent with any exercise of liberty because free choices will always upset patterns of economic distribution. Put another way, Rawls’s theory of justice as fairness requires a certain end-result theory of economic justice to be maintained – that economic inequalities always benefit the worst off – but this is inconsistent with liberty because liberty is fundamentally open-ended in terms of end-results. You can’t have it both ways in your theory; you have to choose either freedom or certain end-results. In this way, Nozick’s critique was also that although Rawls wanted to present a theory that is not consequentialist, he in fact ended up with one that is.

From the 1970s, political theory in the English-speaking world was no longer the same: the theories of Rawls and Nozick have since been critically engaged or developed from all theoretical directions. Among the very many works that have utilized the theories of Rawls or Nozick, three especially have been significant in broadening the horizons of the philosophical tradition to encompass feminist philosophy, the philosophy of race, and the philosophy of disability: Susan Okin Moller’s Justice Gender and the Family (1989), Charles Mills The Racial Contract (1997), and Eva Kittay Love’s Labor (1999).

Importantly too, of course, in the United States – where these two thinkers lived – Rawls’s liberalism fit well with the kind of left-leaning political thinking dominant in the Democratic Party in the late 1900s, while Nozick’s libertarianism appeals to the sort of right-wing political thinking found in the Republican Part of the same time period. Hence too, for better or for worse, discussions around these two political thinkers often also channeled much party-political sentiment into these academic discussions in the US.

Finally, these discussions – crucial as they were to igniting post-consequentialist or post-utilitarian political theory in the English-speaking world – are actually rooted in older philosophical discussions. And since scholars around the world are celebrating Immanuel Kant’s 300th birthday this year – with birthday parties, conferences, special publications, and all the other things academics do to celebrate such events – and both Rawls and Nozick viewed themselves as presenting Kant-inspired theories, focusing on this Kant connection seems appropriate.

Most of us know about
Kant indirectly in that his thinking about human dignity, freedom, natural science, and religion has revolutionized our world to that point that when we invoke our “common sense” on these topics, we often (unwittingly) draw on Kant’s ideas. In the 1970s, when Rawls and Nozick were writing and publishing their theories, it was Kant’s works on ethics – especially on freedom and dignity – that inspired most political thinkers, including Rawls and Nozick.

As was common at the time, therefore, Rawls and Nozick didn’t engage with what is now known as Kant’s main legal and political writing, a work called the “Doctrine of Right,” which we find in Kant’s The Metaphysics of Morals. One reason consequentialism was so influential before Rawls and Nozick was correspondingly the peculiar historical fact that this work of Kant had received so little scholarly attention. This, however, changed towards the end of the 1990s and into the 2000s. As Rawls revised and developed his theory of justice as fairness – in books like Political Liberalism (1993) and The Law of Peoples (1993) – Kant scholars now engaged with both Rawls and Nozick by using the critical tools given us by Kant himself in addition to presenting their own, new Kantian theories of justice based on Kant’s “Doctrine of Right.” These new theories were fundamentally grounded in Kant’s works and often claim to keep what is good in Rawls or Nozick and move beyond them – some also with the help of other neglected works (of Kant and others).

To make their case, some Kantians argue that although more philosophically sophisticated than Nozick’s account in many regards and being a more consistent freedom theory, Kant defends a position theoretically very close to the libertarian one Nozick defends. The most influential book of this kind is Sharon B. Byrd and Joachim Hruschka’s Kant’s Doctrine of Right: A Commentary.

Others disagree, arguing in ways that are philosophically much closer to Rawls. For instance, Paul Guyer in Kant on Freedom, Law, and Happiness (2000) argues that Kant’s own position is in fact philosophically very similar to Rawls. Others think this is going too far and argue that though the positions are complementary or philosophically similar in several important regards, Kant’s argument is much more complex than Rawls’s, since Kant gives us important theories we cannot find in Rawls. The most influential book of this kind is Arthur Ripstein’s Force and Freedom: Kant’s Legal and Political Philosophy (2009). For example, Kantians of this stripe (including me) maintain that Kant himself provides a theory of the kinds of liberties all human beings should have – what Rawls’s first principle more vaguely characterizes as an adequate set of liberties – such as freedom of thought and the right to bodily integrity, to private property, to contract, and to start a family. In addition, for these Kantians, Kant gives us philosophical resources that enable us to understand why poverty is a systemic problem that the state (and not private individuals) has the right and duty of justice to assume responsibility for. Kant can explain why the state must ensure that all citizens have legal access to means at all times, including why citizens’ exercise of freedom cannot be made dependent on charity or on someone wanting to hire them. More generally, Kant can explain why the state must assume a monopoly on coercion and responsibility for the economy, the financial system, and legal movement across land.

Not only does Kant have the resources to answer Nozick’s criticisms, but, in my view, he does not appeal to the kinds of arguments Nozick finds objectionable in Rawls. Indeed, some of the ingeniousness of Kant’s theory in the “Doctrine of Right” is that he can show that if you argue consistently from the foundation of each person’s right to freedom – understood as a right not to be enslaved – you cannot end up with Nozick’s libertarianism. Kant’s “Doctrine of Right” can also show us why Nozick’s famous Wilt Chamberlain argument doesn’t get off the ground. In Nozick’s example, Chamberlain’s contract gives him 25 cents per $1 of the entrance fees of those paying to see him play. The problem is that once we introduce money – dollars and cents – and professional basketball teams, it is no longer philosophically plausible only to appeal to what Chamberlain and his fans do. We must now explain how freedom is possible within an economic system on which we are all dependent, one that also requires a financial system enabled by the state through legislation, the issuing and controlling of legal tender (including money), and the positing, applying, and enforcing laws governing businesses (including professional basketball teams). We need an explanation, in other words, of how freedom is possible once our exercise of it is systemically dependent. What we need and what Nozick doesn’t and cannot (given his theoretical parameters) provide (while Kant can) is an account of systemic (in)justice.

Finally, as might be expected from the above, many Kantians have been and are working with philosophical resources found in other neglected Kant texts to help us overcome Kant’s own sexism, racism, heterosexism, ablism, etc., including as we find them in his “Doctrine of Right,” views contrary to his principled theory of justice as freedom. In fact, in my view, some of the most exciting contemporary philosophy – what we might call the “philosophy of the isms” -- is happening exactly here.

To illustrate the spirit of some of this work, consider again Rawls’s veil of ignorance or Nozick’s Chamberlain example. We may reasonably point out that in understanding the complex questions of justice surrounding Chamberlain, we cannot avoid the glaringly obvious fact that Chamberlain was a Black man who lived in the US, where playing professional basketball within the parameters of the NBA was one of the very few opportunities available to young Black men of his generation. Hence, there is something troublesome about choosing an actual Black player (without even noting this fact) and then arguing as if (or that) the most fundamental questions of justice facing this person at this historical time in the US is whether or not he is taxed for his income to benefit the worst off in society. After all, it seems fair to say, one of the most basic problems of justice facing Chamberlain (and any other actual basketball player, however racialized) at this time was the fact of racism (in the US generally and in professional NBA basketball). And this is a question that Nozick never mentions or takes on, since in an ideal, just world – hence as a matter of ideal theory – this problem would not exist and in this world, the biggest danger to freedom would be redistributive taxation measures. The problem is not that Nozick doesn’t have an in principle argument against Rawls; the problem is that these ideal theories of justice seem unable to capture important aspects of actual and particular cases of serious injustice. In a spirit similar to Moller Okin, Mills and Kittay, many so-called non-ideal philosophers of the isms today focus some of their criticism exactly on this type of issue. They emphasize that we don’t live in the ideal world and our theories are not minimally satisfying if they cannot also help us think better about, and act better in our ever so real, messy non-ideal realities.

In addition, notice too that reasoning behind Rawls’s veil of ignorance is insufficient to address the way in which our reasoning is easily skewed and distorted when we live in worlds characterized by systemic forces of racism, sexism, heterosexism, ablism, etc. For example, here we might point to other facts Nozick fails to mention: Chamberlain is also known for his inability to handle important complexities concerning his racialized or gendered identity. Such failures and blind spots are common among those who are able to break glass ceilings, and they are important to understand if we are to adequately characterize the problems of systemic injustice of our times. And neither Rawls’s nor Nozick’s theories can help us there.

Understanding basic questions of justice, including in relation to Chamberlain, then, is much more complicated than reasoning behind the veil of ignorance – which blinds us to phenomena tracking the history of
race and gender – or the question of whether or not the income from his professional basketball games should be taxed so as to assist those who find themselves in the most disadvantaged societal positions. And, some of us argue, that although Kant-the-man wasn’t able to do this, his philosophical system – especially in dialogue with the world of neglected freedom thinkers of the past – gives us resources with which we can theorize these aspects of justice better. Rawls and Nozick were, in other words, crucial to helping us yet again take up and develop further philosophical resources left behind by those who went before us, thereby also honoring their efforts to strive to leave the world a little better, a little freer than we found it.


Helga Varden is a Norwegian-American philosopher and Professor of Philosophy and Gender and Women Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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戰爭、謠言、和地緣政治邏輯 - Srdja Trifkovic
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崔夫柯維克教授是《年代記事》月刊的「外交事務」主編;該雜誌同仁的立場是古早保守主義

崔夫柯維克教授可說是「現實主義的現實主義者」或「冷血現實主義者」;這一點跟我的立場幾乎雷同。他批評美國國際政策部份相當到位讓非親美派人士讀起來覺得很爽。但我對該文某些觀點,如俄烏戰爭部份,不能苟同值得我花點時間來駁斥,請稍等幾天

索引:

decrepit
破舊的,老朽的,年久失修的,破爛不堪的
duopoly雙佔 (相對於獨佔,monopoly)
Washington Beltway
:環繞華盛頓特區的二級高速公路;此處指美國政府或華盛頓(美國首都)政治圈。


Wars, Rumors, and Geopolitical Logic

SRDJA TRIFKOVIC, 05/03/24

The world faces the danger of a major war. To grasp the magnitude of that threat, it is necessary to go beyond the trajectory of news from Ukraine. It is also necessary on the one hand to seek a balanced appreciation of the variable factor of human will in the management of international crises, and the immutable factors of geographic reality on the other.

The decision in Washington to expand NATO and weaponize Ukraine against Russia was an act of human will; so was the decision in Moscow to respond to this challenge with military force. The permanence of Ukraine’s geographic position, on the other hand, makes this challenge an existential issue for Russia, no less than the control over the Jordan river valley and the Golan Heights is an existential issue for Israel, and the control over its coastal seas is an existential issue for China. A state striving for security can change segments of its space by building Great Walls and Maginot Lines, but it is inseparably bound to the physical framework of its existence: to the location of its land, its position, shape, and size, its resources, and its borders.

Unlike mountain ranges and rivers, however, borders are not fixed realities that separate sovereignties and legal authorities. They are military-political arrangements subject to change depending on power relations. There is nothing sacred or permanent about them. They have been shifting for centuries in favor of the stronger and at the expense of the weaker, regardless of legal or moral claims. The future border between Ukraine and Russia, or between Israel and its Arab neighbors, not to mention China’s maritime frontier, will not be decided at a conference table. They will be decided by the realities created on the ground by force and threat of force.

Of course, the new borders will also be challenged in the fullness of time. Their durability primarily will depend on the raw might of the winners, and on the consensus of their decision-makers to defend the new status quo. In the drama of international politics, power has always been based on strength and will. Territory and physical space has always been the ultimate currency in that cruel and dangerous business.

Most Russians, Jews, and Chinese have finally come to understand that there is no “right” or “wrong” side of history. In the 20th century, all three have paid dearly for this progressivist fallacy—the belief in history as an independent agent that will lead humanity to a better world. This belief engenders megalomaniac visions and leads to horrors of the Gulag, the Holocaust, and the Great March Forward. This fatal misconception is alive and well inside the Washington Beltway, however.

That misconception of history having “sides” also explains why a war with Russia in the near future, or with China at some later stage this century, is a distinct possibility. It rests on the narcissistic assertion of American exceptionalism, the claim that “our values” are universal (transgenderism included). Closely related is the claim, as was once asserted by Madeleine Albright, that “if we have to use force, it is because we are America, the indispensable nation; we stand tall, we see further into the future than others.” Such insanity facilitates dehumanizing and killing designated foes: in Serbia in 1999, in Iraq in 2003, in Libya and Syria soon thereafter.

The corollary of this “vision” is that a world which fails to accept America’s exceptionalism, indispensability, and farsightedness does not deserve to exist. It is therefore not only possible but mandatory to keep upping the ante: moderation is weakness, and restraint is cowardice. Such an approach to politics among nations treats the factor of space as irrelevant, since America is guided by an abstract concept of national interest. In other words, “our values” will continue to define “who we are” in the context of “rules based international order.”

Contrary to this collective psychosis, most other states think in traditional terms and base their calculus on real, visible, and tangible spaces. The bigger the country, the more resilient it is, as the historical experience of Russia shows. Instead of the conqueror swallowing the territory and gaining strength from it, the territory repeatedly swallowed the conqueror and exhausted his strength.

This has not changed even in the nuclear age. It is precisely in the nuclear era—as both Russians and Chinese have come to understand—that a great power needs a great territory to deploy its production potential and military effectiveness over as wide a space as possible. The grand strategy of both powers is based on survival, security, and economic strengthening. It may evolve depending on specific circumstances, but it still stems from a set of basic assumptions which would be recognized by the great statesmen of the past, from Caesar to Churchill.

In Washington, by contrast, for the past 30 years we have had an ongoing deviation from the accumulated experiences of previous generations. As the examples of Kings Philip II and Louis XIV, Napoleon, and Hitler show, putting ideology before geopolitics in formulating grand strategy—or simply allowing personal grandomania to override reason—is a sure path to failure.

The United States seems determined to follow this path. America’s near-complete diplomatic isolation over Israel’s actions in Gaza is unprecedented and just one example of a deeper malaise. Its continuation of the proxy war in Ukraine regardless of cost and risk, and despite the catastrophic military situation on the ground, is reminiscent of the failed powers of yore trusting in willpower to trump reality.

It is not just the matter of Ukraine today or Taiwan tomorrow. Rejection of geopolitical reality is pervasive in the current administration as it refuses to see the spontaneous aspiration of the international system towards polycentricity. This tendency has been present from the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire until today. Europe in the classical era of the balance of power—from the end of the Thirty Years War to the outbreak of the Great War—functioned according to the matrix woven in Renaissance Italy. It proved effective in suppressing challengers aspiring to a hegemonic order, from Louis XIV to Hitler.

The system collapsed with the two-stage suicide of the West between 1914 and 1945, the bipolarity of the Cold War, and America’s “unipolar moment” after the implosion of the USSR. Unipolarity proved to be an atypical and unnatural moment in history. Despite the hegemonic rhetoric, laden with ideological platitudes, the spatial dimension of rivalries in specific geographical locations is impossible to overlook. Ukraine, the Middle East, and Taiwan all belong to the Rimland that surrounds the Heartland. The geopolitical map has changed faster over the past hundred-odd years than in any previous period, but the dynamics of spatially determined conflicts among the key players are constant.

For nearly half a century after World War II, the world rested on a relatively stable bipolar model. Both superpowers tacitly accepted the existence of rival spheres of interest, which was seen in the marked restraint of the U.S. during the Soviet interventions in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. The geopolitical game was played out in the disputed areas of the Third World (the Middle East, Indochina, Africa, Central America), but the rules of the game rested on a relatively rational calculation of the costs and benefits of foreign policies. Client wars remained localized. The implicit rationality of both sides made possible the de-escalation of occasional crises (Berlin 1949, Korea 1950, Cuba 1962) that threatened disaster.

The world is becoming multipolar again, but the U.S. is not yet ready to accept that fact. The situation has no historical precedent: a hegemonic power has temporarily achieved monopolar dominance of the system and is now resisting its return to the normal state of multipolarity. From the Congress of Vienna until 1914, international relations were dominated by a stable model of balanced multipolarity. It provided Europe and the world with 99 years of relative peace and prosperity. Would-be hegemons faced coalitions ready to make any sacrifice to defeat them, regardless of ideological differences.

Today, Russia and China also have potential causes of mutual conflict, but their differences are minor compared to the challenge of suppressing a hegemon that does not know its measure. We have seen a bizarre reversal of roles. The Soviet Union was a revolutionary force, a disruptor in the name of ideologically defined utopian objectives. It was opposed during the Cold War by an America practicing containment in defense of the status quo.

Today, by contrast, the United States has become the bearer of revolutionary dynamism with global ambitions, in the name of postmodern ideological norms. It is resisted by an informal but increasingly assertive coalition of weaker forces, such as the rapidly expanding BRICS nations, that strive to reaffirm the essentially conservative principles of national interest, identity, and state sovereignty. They stand up against the American variant of the old Soviet doctrine of limited sovereignty, which today goes by the name of “rules based international order.”

The new, American emanation of that legally and morally unsustainable concept does not have a geographically limited domain, unlike the Soviet model that only applied to the countries within the socialist camp. Sooner or later, it will result in the creation of a counter-coalition like those that successfully opposed other would-be hegemons, from Xerxes to Hitler. The big question remains whether, and at what cost to themselves and the rest of the world, this fact will be understood by the neoconservative-neoliberal duopoly in Washington.

Declining powers tend to make risky and destabilizing moves, as shown by the example of Philip II sending the Armada against England in 1588, or Austria-Hungary annexing Bosnia in 1908. America seems ready to follow suit on a much grander scale over Ukraine. Much of Europe—culturally and morally decrepit—seems ready to follow obediently. The story cannot end well unless there is a belated outbreak of sanity in the collective West.

Today’s international relations are conditioned by geopolitical considerations which override ideology. There is no value system—especially not the monstrosity of wokedom espoused by the U.S.—capable of changing the aspiration of major powers (Russia, China) or regional ones (Israel) to increase their security by expanding control over spaces, resources, and access routes.

The essence of spatial competition does not change; only the essential pressure points do. It is in the American interest for the U.S. policy making elite to understand that this will be true until the end of history, which will come about only when the world passes from time into eternity.


Dr. Srdja Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor of Chronicles, is the author of The Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad


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評介當下四個全球政略學派 -- Gabriel Elefteriu
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俄勒弗特瑞悠先生是英國政略學家,立場應該屬於中間偏右」;對英國全球戰略政策曾有過建樹。但從下文看來,他大概不再是主流派。

這篇文章的內容相當有營養,文筆也很犀利,看得出作者有兩把刷子;值得細讀玩味。另請參考此欄2023/12/162023/12/17兩篇貼文。

附註:

ab initio
自始,從開始以來
aberrations
脫離常規,反常現象,異常行為
appeasement
姑息政策綏靖政策;緩和,討好
Applebaum-type
:應該指Anne Applebaum
bleeding-heart
老好人,爛好人
contortion
扭曲,被扭曲(或歪曲)的事物;抽筋
Dughin, Alexandr
:普丁麾下極右派政治哲學家
hew
堅持,固守
Kallas, Kaja
愛沙尼亞現任總理
Mearsheimer, John
美國著名國際關係學家
Mosley, Oswald
:英國納粹黨領袖(已故)
power:實力
primacy
:主導地位,宰制地位,宰制能力
retrenchment
:此處指在國際霸權鬥爭中「轉進(「撤退」是也)縮編,緊縮開支,裁減工人
starry-eyed
天真的,過分樂觀的,不切實際的
Whitehall
:此處指英國政府及其官僚系統


Where do you fit in? Today’s four schools of thought on strategic policy: Post-Modern Globalists, the Multipolarity School, the Eurasianist School, and the Classical Primacy School

Gabriel Elefteriu, 04/11/24

The Western conversation on statecraft and defence in our times appears to have reached new peaks of strife, cacophony and sheer multiplicity and divergence of views even on basic tenets and assumptions of policy. Modern democratic societies traditionally possessed of free speech have never been short of strong debates and varied opinions on the big questions regarding the most advisable course of action in international affairs.

But in the past – even the recent past – these exchanges, for all their sharpness, were anchored in a greater corpus of shared beliefs.

One of these beliefs that has informed the worldview of generations of statesmen and foreign policy experts has been the Western ascendancy in the world system, and the fact that this was a good thing. Today there are disagreements on both – and much more.

The reasons for this intellectual fragmentation are not difficult to discern. It is an incontrovertible fact that the West, which has dominated global affairs for hundreds of years, is now experiencing an unprecedented challenge to its collective power and standing, primarily from the rise of China.

This is happening at the same time as a certain dysfunction in the Western mind – brought on by the postmodern intellectual development, in different guises, of the Marxist infection that began in the 19th century – has now metastasized across our governing classes and cultural elites.

Today’s foreign policy debate thus has to take place in the context of a highly destabilising mix of unprecedented external systemic pressure and internal loss of coherence and inversion of values – which is striking deeper than ever, at the very roots of Western civilisation and philosophical traditions.

No wonder there is confusion even on fundamental ideas such as what constitutes realism, with every faction under the sun seemingly trying to appropriate the label for themselves, from ultra-isolationists to the most aggressive hawks.

But stronger and increasingly clearly delineated intellectual positions are also coming into sharper focus. In this respect, the debates over the Ukraine war and over how the US should deal with the China challenge are serving to separate some of the conceptual waters.

We can arguably distinguish four schools of thought when it comes to the political-intellectual “camps” that are fighting over the West’s strategic policy today.

These are but broad categories that group people and perspectives by what they have most in common; as such, they are not exclusive and the views and positions of some figures may spill over across other factions. But this classification may help bring some understanding to the debates of our times.

1.  The Postmodern Globalist School This school represents the incumbent elite that, by and large, populates Western foreign policy and defence establishments. In their ranks are found the high priests of the US and European “strategic community”, often holding tenured professorships, running the biggest and most influential think tanks, or enjoying a post-retirement career from high level official government jobs as consultants, authors or all-round “sages”.

They are the rules-based international order” and “liberal democracy” stalwarts who pontificate on the “moral” aspects of this or that policy, virtue-signal about “human rights” and inveigh against “tyrants” and “illiberal democracysuch as that supposedly overseen by Viktor Orban in Hungary.

This is the Davos and Munich Security Conference crowd, aligned to all the pieties and nonsensical policies of our times, from Net Zero to EU’s integrationist agenda (with its end point, the United States of Europe).

They also form the backbone of the “transatlantic community”, but, as with almost everything else – and unlike the generation before them – they’ve made an idol out of NATO and of most of the other key tenets of their worldview, which they worship uncritically with religious fervour.

This explains the unhinged fury they unleash upon those, like Trump or the erstwhile Brexiteers, who threaten to slaughter their sacred cows: such acts are seen not as merely foolish mistakes (which could be a topic of reasoned debate) but as impieties that are beyond discussion ab initio.

Like all schools of thought, Postmodern Globalism includes sub-groups and factions that sometimes cross over in interesting ways. The Neocons – from Cheney to Rumsfeld and Bolton – notorious for their disastrous post-9/11 adventurism, readiness to bomb other peoples, and ideological commitment to democratising the whole world, if possible, at the point of a gun, are only the most prominent example.

But the biggest and most nefarious faction – which, unlike the relatively niche neoconservatives, has actually marched through all the institutions during the “unipolar” era – are the mainstream Liberal Internationalists. Unlike the cynical, “red in tooth and claw”-Neocons, the bleeding-heart Liberals are motivated by the rule of law and Biblical levels of self-righteousness that can be equally ferocious when it comes to the use of force in the cause of so-called “justice”.

For all their faults, the Postmodern Globalists fundamentally believe in a world system set to Western standards, in which “the West” – however loosely defined – remains the dominant organising force.

As with all postmodernists who reject reality forideology” and “constructedaberrations, they’ve become lost in their own hypocrisy. They are sympathetic to Third World calls for “reparations” for colonial-era “sins”, and push for high foreign aid spending, but instinctively they are convinced this is the way to shore up the West’s – and their ownposition in the world. There are also genuine cases, among them, of true believers in things like aid spending for its own sake and out of a desire to “help others” (with other people’s money, of course).

2.  The Multipolarity School. In an earlier age this would have been called “the balance-of-power” school. But today’s notion of Multipolarity – or Poly-centrism as it is often known primarily in Russia – carries much more meaning, across multiple dimensions, than the “mere” Realpolitik outlook associated with a Bismarck-type approach to foreign affairs or with the original pragmatism of the balance of power construct negotiated by the likes of Castlereagh and Metternich at Vienna in 1815.

Today’s Multipolarists hold to a few core, shared tenets: from (Western) declinism to the inexorable – and even welcome – rise of China. Many of them are also deeply impressed by new anti-West formats like BRICS and tend to accept theories about at least the existence if not the superiority of the so-called “civilisational states” like, supposedly, Russia and China.

Multipolarists have a hefty dose of scorn for the current state of the West and are starry-eyed about its enemies and their “achievements” – even if they cannot always bring themselves to praise the likes of Beijing publicly.

There are two main sub-schools or branches of Multipolarity thinking. Engagement Multipolarists are essentially demoralised, defeatist Postmodern Globalists. They are a hybrid or “transition” sub-school of foreign policy thinking that is currently rising through the ranks in Western establishments, challenging the Postmodern Globalist ascendancy.

It holds to the old “rules based international order” doctrine – at least declaratively – but at the same time it advises engaging with China and other rivals or unsavoury partners on pragmatic grounds.

Not necessarily admirers of the West’s rivals, Engagement Multipolarists are nonetheless willing to compromise some of their principles and “make room at the table” for the autocracies, on account of the latter’s supposed power as well as the “justice” of their “demands”. On Ukraine, they mostly hew to the Postmodern Globalist NATO consensus.

The rising star of this branch of Multipolarity is best observed in the UK, where the Government’s 2023 Integrated Review Refresh (Britain’s highest strategic document) was explicit that we have “definitively” transitioned to a “multipolar world”.

It further noted – in complete opposition to the Biden doctrine – that “today’s international system cannot simply be reduced to ‘democracy versus autocracy’”, a statement that overturns the main Postmodern Globalist tenet. At the same time, though, Britain remains a pillar of the “free world” with all its liberal-internationalist trappings, institutions and so on.

But in a British context the struggle between the two factions – the incumbent Postmodern Globalist establishment and the rising Engagement Multipolarists – can be seen clearly in the vicious Whitehall “wars” over decisions like banning Huawei from Britain’s 5G network, which are precisely over engagement with Beijing.

The second distinctive branch of the Multipolar school are the Bloc Multipolarists.

Like the others, they fundamentally believe that the West has definitively lost its position of primacy in the world, but they come to different conclusions as to what is to be done. Instead of engagement, they believe in its opposite:

drawing sharper distinctions with our rivals and dividing the world into “spheres of influence” or blocs. These are often the Mearsheimer-typerealists” who expound on the necessity of pushing Ukraine into a “negotiated” peace with Russia.

They think in terms of “grand bargains” with our systemic rivals and in the possibility of long-term co-existence of very different geopolitical alignments and sub-systems on the same planet – an old dream that goes back to the early Cold War, or indeed to the Fascist and Imperial Japanese visions for how the world should be run.

Interestingly, this has also endured as one of the core ideas behind the EU, whose raison d’etre is to create a continental bloc that can “compete” with the others in Asia and America. It is precisely for this reason why a fascist like Oswald Mosley became such a strong champion of a European union.

All types of Multipolarists masquerade as realists”. Listen to them and you will hear endless reasons why the West can’t do this or that, why it has to compromise with its rivals to various degrees, and why various forms of retrenchment – at the expense of erstwhile allies – represent good strategy “in the national interest”.

Indeed, a splinter group of the Bloc Multipolarists – the so-called “Isolationists” – positively reject the concept of primacy and foreign entanglements in the first place.

All this, again, comes from a fundamentally defeatist mindset: these are people who have convinced themselves that “China is the future– or versions thereof – and that the West is doomed. Unlike the Eurasianists, however, Multipolarists do not like the results of their analysis.

3.  The Eurasianist School. The name of this school references the concept most closely associated with Alexandr Dughin, one of Putin’s court intellectuals. Stripped down of all the extra nonsense, the core Eurasianist belief is that the degenerate West, overrun by godless progressive liberalism is in terminal decline in every sense: culturally and socially, but also economically and – in the longer term – militarily as well. In this reading of world affairs, the future belongs to the “family-values”, Church-inspired ultra-conservatism – and the “normality” that it will restore to Christendom – all coupled with the stupendous technological and manufacturing power of China.

No matter that the Chinese Communists are by history, culture and by Marxist-Leninist definition not just non-Christian but full-on atheists: they compensate, in Eurasianist eyes, through their fervour against that most hated of Western ideas, individualism, and the notion of personal choice – not to mention democracy.

Tightly entwined with all this is the other great “Eurasianist virtue” that both China and Russia share: a working model of vigorous authoritarianism that operates through a strong State and is able to get things done.

This heady mix of virile political-military power, performativetraditionalism”, intense anti-individualism, and monumental achievement (in China’s case) works wonders on increasingly significant sections of Western societies and political parties, particularly – but not only – on the far Right.

Many of the older forms of Leftwing politics also make soft targets for this kind of propaganda, especially when it comes to the classic Left-wing critiques of “individualism”, Western/American “imperialism” – including the “neoliberal economics” associated with degenerate Capitalism – but also the in-built socialist appreciation for the power of the State in the service of the “people”.

In Western foreign policy discourse, Eurasianism translates into anti-NATO, anti-American, anti-EU, anti-Ukraine, pro-“peace” and anti-“globalist” positions. Eurasianists will readily recite the familiar Kremlin-style charge sheet against the West, starting with Kosovo, Iraq and Libya, continuing with “NATO’s aggressive expansion”, and, of course denouncing the supremacy of the dollar, Western sanctions policy and so on.

The conceptual meeting point of all those of a Eurasianist persuasion in foreign policy is the doctrine of non-intervention, long cherished by every autocrat past and present. This is where Eurasianists come closest to the more extreme, isolationist versions of Bloc Multipolarists.

4.  The Classical Primacy School. The Primacists are conservative realists who essentially take their cue from “the greatest generation” of statesmen and strategists: the conquerors of the Second World War and the creators of the post-war world order – from Eisenhower, Marshall, Truman and Acheson to Churchill, Bevin or Ismay and many others – with its international institutions and security system grounded in American military power and informed by a sober understanding o what war means. For all these same reasons, Primacists are often dismissed as out of touch with today’s “realities”, intellectual relics from a bygone age.

Essentially the Primacists are old-school Machiavellians who care about mantenere lo Stato, a phrase which in today’s globalised world we may adapt as maintaining the status quo. They are proud of the historical achievements of the West and believe that the postwar world order has worked well in the interests of Western peoples – and that the first priority is to try to maintain and shore it up.

Unlike the Multipolarists, Primacists are not declinists: while acknowledging the West’s problems they are not ready to throw in the towel. They retain an optimistic view of what the Western alliance, led by America, can still achieve – if it gets its act together.

They differ from the Postmodern Globalists too, in that the Primacist view of the world is based on power, not on constructivist notions like “rules-based international order”. They are realists in the Kissingerian (rather than Bismarckian, or Realpolitik) mould, which is to say they hold to a form of higher realism that prioritises the role of power over morals not from an inherent amorality but because they understand that without victory in the geopolitical competition no defence of liberal principles is possible at all.

The Primacist prescription for strategic policy centres on old-school military competition, and even roll-back: restoring the West’s military capacity, and strengthening its political-military alliances, in order to secure or recover strategic positions around the globe in order to contain and balance-out the power of the new Axis of Russia, Iran and China.

They are fundamentally optimistic about the West’s underlying resources and ability to reform and bounce back from its current low ebb, and they tend to believe that adversaries like China and Russia have more and deeper problems of their own than commonly acknowledged.  

Classical Primacy, as its name implies, rests atop the classical tradition of what today we call “strategic thinking”, going back to Thucydides. It draws on the body of knowledge about the conduct of war – the quintessential issue in relations between independent polities – as revealed by historical experience.

In other words, it precedes the multiplicity ofinternational relations theories and the reams of “intellectual” contortions about foreign policy produced from the 20th century onwards with the academic mainstreaming of these subjects. It also operates not with “values” – another innovation of modern politics – but with “principles”.

Classical Primacy reflects the true, natural or common-sense realism of statecraft throughout the ages – well summarised by Machiavelli in The Prince – which, quite sensibly, holds that being first in the pecking order of your surrounding “system” is the best position, and that achieving and maintaining that status is a matter of (military) powe coupled with cunning, self-serving diplomacy – including useful alliances and other means of influence.

So there isn’t much room, under the banner of this School, with its rich heritage, for significantly distinct sub-currents or branches; but two dispositions or flavours of Classical Primacy may be usefully noted as applied to the context of our times.

The first is Reactionary Primacy, now a vanishingly-small faction which is essentially driven by an imperial mindset and that concentrates the more hardcore-radical and intransigent energies and perspectives found amongst Classical Primacists.

The Reactionaries of this school are adamant that we need to double down on the postwar paradigm of Western power, American exceptionalism and a US-led “free world”, while driving hard reforms at home and ditching all distinctively liberal-internationalist prescriptions.

The second grouping comprises the Transactional Primacists who likewise subscribe to all the headline beliefs of Classical Primacy – especially the vital, bottom-line need for a strong America as the prime mover and ordering power in the world – but are more flexible on the methods for achieving that bottom-line. As shown in these pages, Donald Trump is a representative of this sub-category – as is, by and large, Elbridge Colby.

Transactional Primacists take perhaps a too honest view of the problems with Western power, thus running the risk of creating self-fulfilling prophecies. They are willing to reprioritise foreign policy goals and to acknowledge that not all aspects of the status quo can be saved in the first instance – hence the retrenchment calls from figures like Colby for the US to switch focus from Europe to Asia, which are wrongly read as a form of American “retreat”.

Transactional Primacists are therefore ready to leave room for détente and tactical adjustment of the international system by negotiation with the autocracies – but, crucially, from a position of strength. This essentially harks back to the Kissingerian conception of détente – and especially its de facto successful implementation under Reagan – recently re-articulated in a typically expert fashion by Niall Ferguson.

The struggle for influence

Naturally, all these foreign policy schools of thought correspond or are connected to political movements. Their influence over the actual policy direction of key Western powers – and, eventually, the West as a collective of free and open nations – is

The Postmodern Globalists still rule across most of the West, but the Liberal Internationalist elite is now on the backfoot, squeezed between the “second coming” of Applebaum-type Neocon hawks (and their European equivalents, like Kaja Kallas) on the back of the Ukraine war, and the rise of the Engagement Policycentrists who are driven by China’s growing power.

The Eurasianists are currently confined to the far Right fringes of the European political community and to some of the true-isolationist groupings in the United States.

Theirs might look like a hopeless cause, but a more correct analogy is with the completely marginal position occupied by the Bolsheviks right up to 1917. A war that went the wrong way for the Imperial establishment of the time and a political revolution run by incompetents suddenly opened the way for a shock Bolshevik takeover at lightning speed. So the Eurasianists should not be dismissed as a false problem.

In their turn, Reactionary Primacists look to be the weakest grouping. They are fighting a rearguard political-cultural battle against both postmodern liberal extremism and the radical, populist backlash – while their foreign policy solutions involve such high levels of military spending and economic re-orientation of Western states as to be practically unfeasible except in a revolutionary situation.

Nonetheless, they are closest to the mark, at least in theory, in terms of what needs to be done; and their arguments can help stiffen up others who reject the notion of inevitable Western decline.

But the most interesting and also important intellectual battle over foreign policy in this period is that between the Bloc Polycentrists and the Transactional Primacists.

Both claim a “realist” reading of the global balance of power, recognising that the West is in decline. But the former believe it’s irreversible and want to save what they can from the Western position through appeasement dressed up as “accommodation”, while the latter believe it’s still all to play for and have a hardnosed recovery agenda centred on re-building our strength and confronting our adversaries.

Who will win this Game of (foreign policy) Camps is no mere academic question: the outcome will determine the West’s future.


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《歐洲的民族主義源於自由主義》短評
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休漢默教授是一位政治學家;只是此文思路嚴謹度很低(請見本欄上一篇文章)。我沒有時間和精力詳細討論,略舉四點於下:

1) 
他把「民族主義」和「民族國家」混為一談。

2) 
他宣稱「自由主義」跟「民族主義」兩者間有淵源;但他沒有說清楚這個「淵源」的來龍去脈。事件A和事件B同時發生或先後發生,並不蘊含事件A和事件B之間有任何關係。

3) 
鼓吹「民族主義」無法讓新移民「同化」或「融合」到移入國。

4) 
「認同」是一個有意識的「抉擇」/「決策」行為但推動此行為的因素在「意識型態」之外,還有其它「客觀因素」。如休漢默教授指出:第二、三代阿拉伯移民有「回歸」自己的宗教和文化傳統這個趨勢,我可以想到兩個無法藉宣揚「民族主義」來突破的「融合」障礙:
a. 
由於膚色、口音、行為模式的「不同」,移民很難進入移入國原有國民的「生活圈圈」;也就不得不走上「同類相聚」的老路。當過留學生和高教育水準兩岸三地移民都能體會我這個觀察。
b. 
在被歧視/霸凌/排擠的情況下,第二、三代阿拉伯移民只能尋找「同類」來得到「同類感」;並從而結合起來,對抗歧視/霸凌/排擠她/他們的人或一群人。

新移民教育水準導致的社會階層經濟收入」兩個議題,對新移民能否「同化」或「融合」到移入國有高度的相關性。新移民的社會地位與經濟條件,一定會驅使這些人在移入國家引發衝突或反擊。休漢默教授卻未就此類議題著墨;它們需要專業學者來研究,我就不予深論了。

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歐洲的民族主義源於自由主義 - Ralph Schoellhammer
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索引:

conditio sine qua non:必要條件
cosmopolitanism大同主義
tutelage
:監護; 託管;輔導; 指導


European nationalism’s roots are found in nineteenth century liberalism – if the EU sweeps away the nation-state it will prove a victory for the forces of reaction

Ralph Schoellhammer, 02/09/24

The upcoming elections in Europe are often described as a competition between the reactionary forces of a resurgent nationalism and the cosmopolitanism of liberal progressive. Such a description, however, obscures the important role the idea of the nation played in the emergence of European liberalism.

Historically, the idea of the nation state reached its apex during the second half of the nineteenth century, yet already after 1945 it became heavily discredited due to two world wars, genocides and ethnic cleansings of the twentieth century.

In much contemporary debate, nationalism and racism appear to be treated as identical concepts. History, however, begs to differ: Progressive movements between 1815 and the failed “Spring of Nations” that swept through Europe in 1848/49 had considered nationalism the twin sister of liberalism, both victimised by the Reaction of the monarchical European elites.

An eminent contemporary and the founding father of Italian unification, Giuseppe Mazzini, regarded the creation of nation states conditio sine qua non for a peacefully united and socially just Europe. Nationalism was not aimed against universalism, but viewed as a first step in its direction.

Certainly, the nation state was always more an agreed upon myth than reality – as Eric Hobsbawm points out, during the French Revolution modern French was used by a maximum of 15 per cent of the population, and as late as 1860 only about 2.5 per cent Italians used High Italian as everyday language.

But the idea proved to be immensely powerful and became a replacement for religion as the societal glue in an ever more secularizing Europe.

This emotional attachment to the nation state has been promoted culturally and institutionally by state authorities since the late eighteenth century. Education systems, military service, and the arts served to create a national consciousness.

The project of nation state building was ubiquitous, from liberal societies like Great Britain to autocratic systems like Russia. In other words, the nation built the state as much as the state built the nation.

In many respects, the early nation states were supporting the emancipation of formerly suppressed groups – equal legal status for Jews spread throughout Western Europe between 1791 and 1890, allowing for a deepening participation in the political and legal life of their home countries. Also the status of women gradually improved, with the outlawing of wife beating at the same time.

The key difference between the absolutist monarchical state and the nation state was that the claim to be legitimised by the “nation” increasingly required popular approval, and successively expanded the political rights of the masses to unprecedented dimensions.

Max Weber’s ideal type of a state that treats all citizens equally was significantly easier to realise in a nation state than in other state-forms that existed before. 

It constituted a fundamental counter-project to tribally, religiously or dynastically defined medieval societies. This is why it was welcomed by the Left and Right after 1789, since they hoped that it would free mankind from feudal vices such as clerical and monarchic tutelage or a rigidly impermeable social order.

Many also expected that this was just the first step towards a new cosmopolitan world order, resting, as proposed by Immanuel Kant, on free nation states, since neither a supranational empire nor subnational small-statism would satisfy the ideals of enlightened cosmopolitanism

The question is if an end of the nation state would create a more or less unified world. Far from being perfect, national myths have proven to be powerful forces, and national identities – in contrast to European or global ones – are a reality. If national identities were abolished, will people fill this vacuum with cosmopolitanism or more particularistic and potentially conflicting identities?

All over Europe and increasingly in the United States there is a conflict over collective identities, highlighted by the recent decision of the Bavarian government to place crucifixes in all public offices.

Similarly, the reassertion of Islam in the second and third generation of immigrants is pitching communities all over the continent against each other. 

With ongoing immigration from predominantly Muslim countries such identity conflicts will deepen, yet without the integrative power of the nation state the European future will not be the United States of Europe, but the balkanisation of the continent.

One must not support or even agree with the aggressive new nationalism of a Le Pen in France or a Viktor Orban in Hungary, but to deny the historical role of patriotism and nationalism as the fundament of societal solidarity bears its own risks. 

The problem is not so much the sentiment of nationalism than a very dangerous brand of illiberal nationalism that is spreading especially in Western and Eastern Europe, but increasingly also in the United States.

The answer to this problem, however, is not anti-nationalism but possibly a form of liberal nationalism that takes the question of solidarity among individuals seriously enough to concede that solidarity needs to be built on a shared emotional fundament.

It is questionable if the alternatives to an enlightened nationalism are desirable. A resurgence of religion or fervent local loyalties as can be seen in Scotland and Catalonia will not only weaken Europe politically, but it will breed emotional hostilities that make it unlikely that people who cannot stand the thought of living together in one country will happily join hands under the umbrella of the European Union.


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川普無免責權裁定分析 -- Alan Feuer/Charlie Savage
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本文要點已經見於聯邦上訴法院裁定川普無免責權》(該欄2024/02/07)。三位法官裁定意見書中,對「三權分立」與「權力制衡」兩個原則有所闡述,可資借鏡;故轉載於此欄此外,三位法官駁回川普律師主張「免責權」論述的詳細理由,則請參考此文


Federal Appeals Court Rejects Trump’s Claim of Absolute Immunity

The ruling answered a question that an appeals court had never addressed: Can former presidents escape being held accountable by the criminal justice system for things they did while in office?

Alan Feuer/Charlie Savage, 02/06/24

A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected former President Donald J. Trump’s claim that he was immune from prosecution on charges of plotting to subvert the results of the 2020 election, ruling that he must go to trial on a criminal indictment accusing him of seeking to overturn his loss to President Biden.

The unanimous ruling, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, handed Mr. Trump a significant defeat. But it was unlikely to be the final word on his claims of executive immunity: Mr. Trump, who is on a path to locking up the Republican presidential nomination, is expected to continue his appeal to the Supreme Court.

Still, the panel’s 57-page ruling signaled an important moment in American jurisprudence, answering a question that had never been addressed by an appeals court: Can former presidents escape being held accountable by the criminal justice system for things they did while in office?

PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY

The Times analyzed and annotated the ruling by a federal appeals panel rejecting former President Donald J. Trump’s claim of absolute immunity.

The question is novel because no former president until Mr. Trump had been indicted, so there was never an opportunity for a defendant to make — and courts to consider — the sweeping claim of executive immunity that he put forward.

The panel, composed of two judges appointed by Democrats and one Republican appointee, said in its decision that, despite the privileges of the office he once held, Mr. Trump was subject to federal criminal law like any other American.

“For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant,” the panel wrote. “But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as president no longer protects him against this prosecution.”

The three judges cast Mr. Trump’s immunity claims as a danger to the nation’s
constitutional system.

“At bottom, former President Trump’s stance would collapse our system of separated powers by placing the president beyond the reach of all three branches,” they wrote. “Presidential immunity against federal indictment would mean that, as to the president, the Congress could not legislate, the executive could not prosecute and the judiciary could not review. We cannot accept that the office of the presidency places its former occupants above the law for all time thereafter.”

A spokesman for Jack Smith, the special counsel who brought the case against Mr. Trump, declined to comment on the decision.

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Mr. Trump’s campaign, said the former president “respectfully disagrees” with the decision and would appeal it.

“If immunity is not granted to a president, every future president who leaves office will be immediately indicted by the opposing party,” Mr. Cheung said. “Without complete immunity, a president of the United States would not be able to properly function.”

The panel’s ruling came nearly a month after it heard arguments on the immunity issue from Mr. Trump’s legal team and from prosecutors working for Mr. Smith. While the decision was quick by the standards of a normal appeal, what happens next will be arguably more important in determining not only when a trial on the election subversion charges will take place, but also on the timing of Mr. Trump’s three other criminal trials.

In addition to the federal indictment charging him with seeking to overturn his election loss in 2020, he faces similar charges brought by a district attorney in Georgia. In a footnote, the panel stressed that its decision did not address the separate question of whether state prosecutors could charge a former president over official actions.

Mr. Smith, the special counsel appointed to oversee the federal prosecutions, has also brought a case in Florida accusing Mr. Trump of mishandling highly sensitive classified documents after leaving office and obstructing efforts to retrieve them. And Mr. Trump is scheduled to go on trial next month in Manhattan on charges related to hush-money payments to a porn star during the 2016 campaign.

When Mr. Trump first sought to have the federal election case dismissed on grounds of immunity, it was an attempt to expand the protections the Supreme Court had already granted to sitting and former presidents against civil lawsuits concerning their official actions.

While not accepting that Mr. Trump’s actions were official — the panel noted that presidents have no constitutionally prescribed role in counting electoral college votes — the judges rejected his arguments about being immune from criminal charges.

“We cannot accept former President Trump’s claim that a president has unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralize the most fundamental check on executive power — the recognition and implementation of election results,” the judges wrote. “Nor can we sanction his apparent contention that the executive has carte blanche to violate the rights of individual citizens to vote and to have their votes count.”

The unsigned decision was issued by all three judges: Karen L. Henderson, an appointee of former President George H.W. Bush, and two appointees of President Biden, Judges Florence Y. Pan and J. Michelle Childs.

During the arguments last month, the judges signaled particular concern after Mr. Trump’s lawyer argued that a former president could avoid criminal prosecution even for ordering SEAL Team 6, an elite group of Navy commandos, to assassinate one of his political rivals unless the Senate had first convicted him at an impeachment trial.

The panel rejected the Trump legal team’s arguments about the necessity of an impeachment conviction before bringing criminal charges.

And in another significant part of their decision, the three appellate judges also circumscribed Mr. Trump’s ability to use further appeals to waste more time and delay the election case from going to trial — a strategy the former president has pursued since the indictment against him was filed in August in Federal District Court in Washington.

The panel said that Mr. Trump had until Monday to ask the Supreme Court to get involved in the case and continue a stay of all the underlying proceedings. The case was initially put on hold by the trial judge in December.

But the panel imposed a rule designed to discourage Mr. Trump from making an intermediate challenge to the full court of appeals. It said that if Mr. Trump instead took that route, trial preparations could begin again after Feb. 12.

If the question does reach the Supreme Court, the justices will first have to decide whether to accept the case or to reject it and allow the appeals court’s ruling against Mr. Trump to stand.

If they decline to hear the issue, the case would be sent directly back to the trial judge, Tanya S. Chutkan. She scrapped her initial March 4 date for the trial last week, but has otherwise shown every sign of wanting to move the charges toward trial as quickly as possible.

If, however, the Supreme Court does accept the case, the crucial question will become how quickly the justices act in asking for briefs and in scheduling arguments. Should they move rapidly to hear the case and issue a decision, there remains the chance that a trial on the election charges will occur before the general election in November.

But if the justices take their time, it is possible a trial could be delayed until after the election. If that were to happen and Mr. Trump were to win, he would be in a position to ask his Justice Department to dismiss the case or even seek to pardon himself.

Even though Mr. Trump put three of the justices on the bench, the Supreme Court has not shown much of an appetite for wading into issues related to his efforts to tinker with the mechanics of American democracy.

But the question of how to handle Mr. Trump’s immunity claim is heading the Supreme Court’s way as it prepares for arguments on Thursday about another momentous question related to the former president: whether he can be disqualified from the ballot for having engaged in an act of insurrection by encouraging his supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Alan Feuer covers extremism and political violence for The Times, focusing on the criminal cases involving the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and against former President Donald J. Trump.  More about Alan Feuer
Charlie Savage writes about national security and legal policy. More about Charlie Savage

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Four charges for the former president. Former President Donald Trump was charged with four counts in connection with his widespread efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The indictment was filed by the special counsel Jack Smith in Federal District Court in Washington. Here are some key takeaways:

The indictment portrayed an attack on American democracy. Smith framed his case against Trump as one that cuts to a key function of democracy: the peaceful transfer of power. By underscoring this theme, Smith cast his effort as an effort not just to hold Trump accountable but also to defend the very core of democracy.

Trump was placed at the center of the conspiracy charges. Smith put Trump at the heart of three conspiracies that culminated on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to obstruct Congress’s role in ratifying the Electoral College outcome. The special counsel argued that Trump knew that his claims about a stolen election were false, a point that, if proved, could be important to convincing a jury to convict him.

Trump didn’t do it alone. The indictment lists six co-conspirators without naming or indicting them. Based on the descriptions provided, they match the profiles of Trump lawyers and advisers who were willing to argue increasingly outlandish conspiracy and legal theories to keep him in power. It’s unclear whether these co-conspirators will be indicted.

Trump’s political power remains strong. Trump may be on trial in 2024 in three or four separate criminal cases, but so far the indictments appear not to have affected his standing with Republican voters. By a large margin, he remains his party’s front-runner in the presidential primaries.

A Guide to the Various Trump Investigations

Confused about the inquiries and legal cases involving former President Donald Trump? We’re here to help.

Key Cases and Inquiries: The former president faces several investigations at both the state and the federal levels, into matters related to his business and political careers. 
Here is a close look at each.

*  Case Tracker: Trump is at the center of four criminal investigations. 
Keep track of the developments in each here.
What if Trump Is Convicted?: Will any of the proceedings hinder Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign? Can a convicted felon even run for office? 
Here is what we know, and what we don’t know.
Receive a Weekly Update: Sign up for the 
Trump on Trial newsletter to get the latest news and analysis on the cases in New York, Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C.


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永久戰爭:古已有之的地緣政治和衝突 -- 《展望》
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(請參閱本欄上一篇)

 
The Forever Wars: Geopolitics And Conflicts Are As Ancient As History

From the ancient conflicts over hunting grounds to the ongoing wars in the Gaza Strip and Ukraine, land has continued to drive humans into warfare. The combination of geography and politicsgeopolitics— is key to understanding the timeless human proclivity for wars and conflicts.

Outlook Web Desk, 01/02/24

In the ancient Indian strategic treatise ‘Arthashastra’, Chanakya wrote that your immediate neighbour is your natural enemy as they covet your territory and resources.

While it might appear to be a generalisation, and critiques of Chanakya have been written, the core of the idea has survived the test of time. From the ancient conflicts of early humans over hunting grounds to the ongoing wars in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip, the idea of land remains central to wars and conflicts.  

When geography combines with politics, geopolitics is born. From the Great Game in Afghanistan to India’s confrontations with its belligerent neighbours, the politics of geography has often led to wars. The basic cause —geopolitics— is as old as time. In its simplest sense, the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict is also one over land: Who gets how much of a chunk of land in the Middle East for their nation? The conflict in the region is also not new. It’s the conflict’s latest iteration. 

For centuries, the Christians and the Muslims fought over the Holy Land of Jerusalem where the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have their holiest sites at a stone’s throw from each other. Before that, the Babylonians expelled the Jews and destroyed their Temple of Solomon on Temple Mount, which was rebuilt and was again destroyed later by the Romans. Thus, the conflict in the Holy Land runs much deeper than one might realise at first. 

In his piece on Jewish-Muslim relations, Iftikhar Gilani writes that the Jews and Muslims lived relatively peacefully in the region before the 20th century. Thus, the framing of the conflict in religious terms is an incorrect interpretation of history. 

In his piece, Dilip Simeon traces the Zionist movement for Jewish nationhood and writes about the cycle of violence in the region. 

The Outlook’s year-end issue on Palestine also features an extract from Palestinian-American public intellectual Edward Said’s book ‘On Palestine’, in which he indicted the Israelis for their campaign against Palestinians. “In sum, Palestinians must die a slow death so that Israel can have its security, which is just around the corner but cannot be realised because of the special Israeli ‘insecurity’. The whole world must sympathise, while the cries of Palestinian orphans, sick old women, bereaved communities and tortured prisoners simply go unheard and unrecorded,” writes Said.


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《永久戰爭:古已有之的地緣政治和衝突》讀後 
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展望》是印度人辦的刊物,在巴議題上的立場相對公允。這篇文章可能是編者引言(請見本欄下一篇)。它雖然以「地緣政治」為標題,但其主旨在闡述「戰爭」和導致「戰爭」的動力。例如,該文第1段和倒數第3段的最後一句分別是:

Chanakya wrote that your immediate neighbour is your natural enemy as they covet your territory and resources.

“Thus, the framing of the conflict in religious terms is an incorrect interpretation of history.“

它印證了我反覆說明的:

政治是爭奪資源分配權的活動;而戰爭是政治的另一種形式。所以,只要資源不足以分配得皆大歡喜;在人類社會中,「戰爭」永遠會發生

這是該文主標題用了「永久戰爭」一詞的背景

同理,將國際間的任何暴力相向事件視為「文明衝突」,也是一種對歷史或政治的錯誤「詮釋」

該文最後一段引述另一篇文章所引用撒伊德博士對以巴紛爭的評論;讓人相當痛心。

“…, while the cries of Palestinian orphans, sick old women, bereaved communities and tortured prisoners simply go unheard and unrecorded,” writes Said.

相關閱讀

Tracing The Unholy War On Palestine

索引

belligerent:好鬥的、好戰的(該文用法);交戰國(多數)
covet
覬覦垂涎、貪圖
Great Game in Afghanista:阿富汗爭奪史
proclivity
傾向(該文用法);癖


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群眾取向路線走紅是對當前政治趨勢必須做的修正 - Jonathan Tobin
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胡卜凱

這篇分析可以跟本欄《群眾取向政治路線淪為花招》一文合看兩文作者都同意荷蘭與阿根廷新領導人的成敗將由他們兩位的治理能力來決定;但對兩位新領導人勝出的原因則有不同的看法

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pearl-clutching
:自以為站在道德高度,對不以為然的事或行為故作震撼狀A very shocked reaction, especially one in which you show more shock than you really feel in order to show that you think something is morally wrong.



The Populist Wave in Argentina and the Netherlands Is a Necessary Course    Correction

Jonathan Tobin, Editor in chief, JNS.org, 11/27/23

One of the laziest tropes of political analysis is the impulse to link political results from different nations in order to produce a narrative about international affairs. The point of such efforts usually has little to do with events on the ground in these disparate places and everything to do with the politics of the United States.

That's why pundits label the victors of recent elections in Argentina and The Netherlands as the "Donald Trumps" of their respective nations and treat their victories as calamities. It has a lot more to do with the political establishment's alarm about the possibility of the original Trump winning a second term in the White House in 2024 than it does about what has happened in Western Europe or South America.

The main issues that drove the victories of Javier Milei in Argentina and Geert Wilders in The Netherlands have little to do with each other. It was the hyper-inflation destroying the Argentine economy that lifted the eccentric libertarian economist and political novice Milei to victory. Meanwhile, the opening that gave Wilders his win was the sense that Dutch society and its liberal values are being subverted by out-of-control immigration from Muslim countries; Wilders has been campaigning on this issue for decades amidst constant death threats from Islamists.

And like other supposed "Trumps"—Brazil's Javier Bolsonaro or Hungary's Viktor Orban—Wilders' and Milei's ability to govern and to stay in office will hinge on local issues and their ability to represent more than a protest vote in a single election cycle.

Still, the loose talk about the existence of a populist wave sweeping the globe is rooted in more than liberal pearl-clutching about Trump leading President Joe Biden in the polls. As much as the voters in these two countries were primarily motivated by unrelated issues, the successes of both Milei and Wilders do have something in common. They reflect a willingness on the part of voters to listen to those who are treated as dangerous outliers by the political establishments in those countries and to elect them to high office.

But far from that signifying a new era of fascism driven by uncouth rabble-rousing hatemongers, as the punditry class would have it, these victories actually demonstrate the awakening of voters in very different places to the idea that they need to re-evaluate the conventional wisdom that ruling elites have been peddling. Whether you call it populism or anti-globalism or, in the case of Trump, "America First," the success of these candidates and parties is part of a necessary course correction that is happening across the board as ordinary citizens in democracies begin to pick up on the fact that the governing classes are disinterested in what concerns them.

The Dutch election, in which Wilders and his Party for Freedom won an unexpected plurality, was decided by the growing concerns across Western Europe about the impact of unlimited immigration. Wilders is routinely categorized as being on the far Right, but while he is extreme in his rhetoric about Islam and Muslims, he actually a liberal. He speaks for those who rightly understand that a society that restricts freedom in order to cater to the demands of Islamists is one that is doomed.

Others who led on this issue were either assassinated, like Pym Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh, or driven from the country, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. But while Wilders is damned as an Islamophobe, decades of efforts by the Dutch political establishment to ignore the way their country is changing for the worse as a result of the refusal of immigrants to assimilate have only bolstered his standing.

While the political and cultural elites may see open borders in Europe and the United States as part of their vision for a better world, the Dutch electorate has had no choice but to turn to populists like Wilders in order to try and put the brakes on the disintegration of their national identities.

Immigration isn't the problem in Argentina. Their worry is a corrupt governing class that has presided over a failing economy for decades because of the country's addiction to socialist ideas. The legacy of Peronism, a unique combination of a neo-fascist authoritarianism and collectivist economics with a populist base, still hangs over Argentina. Milei's platform opposing globalism, socialism, and the "siren song of social justice" and replacing it with one based on economic freedom provides an alternative that the elites fear and long-suffering Argentine voters welcome.

Both Wilders and Milei face formidable challenges implementing their ideas and, like Trump, could well be derailed by their own inexperience in office and a concerted campaign by the establishments in their countries to ensure that their victories are transitory.


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