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[经济学人] [2009.07.02]The kindness of history 历史的仁慈

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发表于 2010-4-28 18:44 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Bagehot
白芝浩

The kindness of history
历史的仁慈


Jul 2nd 2009        
From The Economist print edition
2009年7月2日
摘自印刷版《经济学家》


Gordon Brown may be thought of more charitably by posterity than by his contemporaries—if he goes honourably
如果戈登•布朗行为光明磊落,那么后人比起他同时代的人,对他的态度可能会更宽容一些。




ANTHONY EDEN equals the Suez crisis; Jim Callaghan connotes the “winter of discontent”: such are the simplifications and cruelties of national memory. Most prime ministers, especially the short-lived kind, are remembered for a single achievement or, more often, for one defining failure. Few now recollect Eden’s general-election win or Callaghan’s proto-modernising; some leaders, such as Alec Douglas-Home, are barely remembered at all. Even those who bestride an epoch are eventually reduced to a couple of salient features. In the end “Tony Blair” will evoke Iraq, maybe with a footnote on his constitutional reforms.
安东尼•艾登可等同于苏伊士危机,吉姆•卡拉汉可代指《我们不满的冬季》。这些都说明了民族记忆的简单化和残酷。对于大多数首相(尤其是那些短寿的)来说,人们能记得的只是他们的某项成就,或者更多时候是某个决定性的失败而已。如今几乎没有人能回想起艾登普选中的胜利或卡拉汉的初步现代化。有些领导人,比如道格拉斯霍姆,根本就没有人记得了。甚至是那些曾主宰了一个时代的领导人,最终留下的也只是几个突出事迹。布莱尔最后只让人想到伊拉克,可能注脚上会提一下他的法制改革。

Bagehot mentions this distillatory effect in order tentatively to advance an unfashionable view. It is that, odd as it now seems, history could one day come to regard Gordon Brown as a rather good prime minister, a much better one than he has been reckoned during his tragicomic premiership. At least, history might. Mr Brown may yet blow his chance of retrospective renown.
巴杰特说起这种蒸馏效应,旨在试探性地发展一个并不受欢迎的观点。那就是,历史有一天会把戈登•布朗尊为一位相当杰出的首相,比在他那悲喜交加的首相任内人们所预期的要好得多,不管这看起来有多么奇怪。至少历史可能会是这样的。布朗很有可能会与一个追加的荣誉擦肩而过。

A favourable verdict on Mr Brown would not rest on the hotch-potch plan for Britain that he published this week (see article); the initiatives it touts are mostly either old and narrow or vague and remote. History may not be much interested in Mr Brown’s timidity and confusion over many areas of policy: it will be indifferent to what he didn’t do. It will, though, recall his bout of boldness last autumn, when the government bailed out the banks. The rescue plan may have been imperfect (the banks requiring further injections of capital); the credit for it might properly belong to others too; it was uncharacteristic in its decisiveness and sweep; Mr Brown may bear some responsibility for the regulatory regime that failed in the first place. But the bail-out was lauded and emulated around the world, and probably averted a catastrophic financial meltdown. If, in 20 years, Mr Brown is associated with just one initiative, this will be it.
对布朗正面的裁定不会停留在他本周公布的英国“大杂烩”计划上;他极力赞扬的这些举措要么过时且狭隘,要么含糊而又不切实际。历史不会对布朗在政治的很多领域中表现出的胆怯和糊涂感兴趣,因为它不在乎他没有做什么。历史会铭记他去年秋天的一项大胆行动,即政府对银行的援救。尽管这项援救计划可能并不完善(银行需要更多的资金注入);其荣誉更确切地说属于其他人;他在决断和援助计划广度上也毫无独特性可言;布朗还可能要为最初失败的监管制度负一定的责任。但这次的救助行动广为世界其他国家赞扬和仿效,而且很有可能避免了一场灾难性的金融崩溃。如果在20年里,和布朗有关的举措只有一项的话,那一定就是这件事了。

There is at least a possibility—admittedly one that looked slighter amid the gloomy data released this week—that he will also be remembered for steering the British economy out of what had threatened to be a devastating recession, thus averting a fresh plague of long-term unemployment. Again, there are inevitable provisos, the most obvious of which is that the recovery hasn’t happened yet. If it does, it may be more attributable to monetary policy and the slump in the pound than to government action, worthwhile though the stimulus package and loan-guarantee schemes may prove. But, at a distance, that complex and uncertain provenance may be a nicety.
布朗至少还有可能因引导英国经济走出一次灾难性衰退、从而使英国免于新一轮长期失业之苦而被载入史册(无可否认,本周发布的众多沉重的数据使这一可能更小了)。同时而来的是不可避免的附带条件,最明显的就是复苏尚未开始。就算经济刺激计划和贷款担保计划最终证明是值得的,如果开始复苏了,这复苏也更多是由货币政策和英镑的暴跌引起的,而非政府干预。但是长远来看,这些复杂而不明朗的根源可能是微不足道的。

The only other positive monumental legacies Mr Brown might leave behind are in foreign affairs (ironically, perhaps, given his general lack of interest in them). The G20 meeting he convened in April may not have been the pivotal, Bretton Woods-type summit that the prime minister hoped it would. But it could in time be seen as a gathering that recognised and institutionalised the dramatic shift in global power toward the emerging Asian economies. Meanwhile, Mr Brown’s premiership may come to mark the moment at which British foreign policy abandoned its grandiose post-imperial delusions and settled into third-rank humility, giving up its ambition to sway wars and crises in faraway regions like the Middle East or the Caucasus.
布朗留下不朽遗产的另一个仅有的可能,是在外交事务方面(讽刺的是他通常在这方面缺乏兴趣)。首相曾期望,他4月召集的20国集团峰会能象确立布雷顿森林体系的会议那样,成为一次关键性峰会,但事实并非如此。然而,它可被视为一次特殊的聚会,在这个聚会上人们认可了全球力量向亚洲新兴经济体戏剧性的转移,并将其制度化。同时,布朗作为首相也见证了一个重要时刻:英国的外交政策放弃了它傲慢的后帝国主义幻想,进入了一种低人一等的谦卑状态,也抛弃了在遥远地域(如中东和高加索)的战争和危机中呼风唤雨的野心。

As for much of the rest, all the galling shortcomings and shenanigans that pushed Mr Brown from authority to ridicule to pity and halfway back again: they will most likely fade and be forgotten. The YouTube fiasco and backfiring tax fiddles, the “bottled” general election and vicious spin doctors, the dictation of immigration policy by television actresses, even the regicidal plots and resigning ministers, will shrivel under the aspect of eternity. They have deformed Mr Brown’s time in Number 10, but will in the long run seem the routine scars of political battle.
对于其他大多数因素,一切由怨恨引发的毛病和诡计都很可能会被淡忘,它们曾把布朗从权威者变成滑稽的笑柄,又变成人们同情的对象,然后循环往复这个过程。YouTube的惨败(1)、骗税情况的复发(2)、普选的困境、幕僚势力的猖獗(3)、电视剧女演员传授的移民政策,甚至是杀君的密谋(4)和部长的辞呈(5),都会在历史的长河中干枯殆尽。它们虽扭曲了布朗当政的时代,而长久看来只不过是政治斗争中留下的常见的小伤疤罢了。

Two big political ruptures may, it is true, prove less perishable. One is the parliamentary-expenses scandal. History may fit Mr Brown up for that because it happened on his watch: to students in 2050, he may simply be the duck-island prime minister. On the other hand, the ruckus may turn out to be less transformative than it now feels. The other is the general-election humbling to which Mr Brown seems likely to lead his party. But history may be forgiving to him over that impending defeat—at least if Labour is not utterly annihilated—seeing it as the inevitable end of a superannuated government, of which he only latterly took charge.
两大政治力量的决裂可能没有那么大的危害。一件事是国会开销门事件。历史会帮布朗平息这件事,毕竟这发生在他的任内:对2050年的学生来说,他也许仅仅是鸭子岛的首相。另外,骚动可能最终不会像现在人们所想的那么有革命性。另一件事是布朗很可能领导工党经历一次令人感到羞辱的普选(就是普选很可能失利啦)。但是历史对他那即将发生的大挫败(至少如果工党没有被赶尽杀绝的话)会给予宽容,并把这视为他最近接管的一个老式政府不可避免的下场。

This may seem partial, unfair, a distortion: history always is. But Mr Brown has at least a shot at reputational redemption.
看起来这是偏袒的、不公的,是曲解,而历史总是如此。何况布朗至少还有一次为他的名誉赎罪的机会。

Like the leaving of it 接受它的离去

He will forfeit it, however, if he behaves disreputably in what seems almost certain to be his last 11 months in office. History may be forgiving to losers, but the manner of their exits can still undo them. How leaders comport themselves when their number is up (and afterwards: think of Edward Heath’s sulk) can set the tone for their future memorialisation.
然而,如果他在仅剩的11个月(这似乎是注定了)的任期里行为不端的话,他就会丧失这个机会。历史可以宽恕失败者,但他们离开的方式仍然可以毁灭他们。领导者们在最后的日子里(之后就想想希斯的郁闷情绪吧)的行为举止,会给他们将来的回忆录定下基调。

Few now remember the ministerial careers Eden and Callaghan enjoyed before they inherited the top jobs. Similarly, Mr Brown’s cavalier management of the public finances as chancellor of the exchequer may stick instead to Mr Blair, whose name was above the main door for a decade. But Mr Brown will not escape opprobrium if as prime minister he presides over a debt problem that, through his refusal to face up to its dimensions and prescribe a credible remedy, sooner or later becomes a crisis. Then Mr Brown will be remembered for fantasy finances, mendacious promises and perhaps the intervention of the ratings agencies.
现在很少有人记得艾登和卡拉汉接受首相一职前的内阁工作。同样的,布朗作为国库大臣总领公共财政的职位可能比布莱尔要稳固,后者的名字在大门上方悬挂了10年。但是如果布朗作为首相,拒绝正视某项债务问题的规模程度,也想不出一个可信的补救办法,又迟早会引发危机,那么他也会难逃骂名。人们记得的将是他不切实际的金融政策、信口开河的允诺,或许还有他对评估机构的干预。

He still has a choice. He can be the prime minister who rescued the banks; or he can be the man who saved the banks but ruinously misled a nation. His electoral fate may be more or less decided. But his historical destiny is still in his hands.
布朗仍然有选择的余地。他可以做一个挽救银行的首相,也可以成为救了银行却毁灭性地误导了一个国家的人。他的选举结果也许多多少少掌握在别人手中,但他的历史命运却仍在他自己的手里。

1、)        Google旗下的视频分享网站YouTube,遭到至少三个不同版权所有人控告的侵权官司
2、)        非法企业从欧盟国家免税进口,在英国国内市场附加增值税后出售给消费者,但是没有向英国财政部纳税。 过去6年间,类似的进出口骗税给英国政府带来数十亿英镑的经济负担,并导致对外贸易统计数字的大调整。
3、)        英国外交幕僚采用单向负责制度,即只负责某个或者某几个国家的外交工作,并不一定要求外交幕僚对复杂的移动规则进行了解和掌握。
4、)        英国3名男子因为涉嫌在一个激进伊斯兰教网站上,恫言要刺杀首相布朗,被控上法庭。08年1月,他们在一个自称是英国“基地”组织的网站上张贴恐吓信息,要求英国从伊拉克和阿富汗撤军,同时释放被囚禁在英国的伊斯兰教囚犯,否则就会向布朗和前首相布莱尔发动自杀式袭击。
5、)     据英国《卫报》6月4日报道,6月3日,就在欧洲议会和英国地方选举前夕,英国卫生大臣帕特里夏•休伊特、儿童和青年事务大臣贝弗利•休斯、内政大臣史密斯以及布朗最亲密的盟友、内阁办公室部长汤姆•沃森相继提出辞职。一天之内4名部长辞职,工党的士气几近崩溃,首相布朗的威信遭到重创。
当地时间3日上午9时10分,卫生大臣休伊特首先请辞,并表示自己将不参加下次议会大选;9时29分,工党议员蔡特请辞,称将不会代表工党参加下届大选;10时56分,儿童和青年事务大臣休斯提出辞职,也不会参加下届议会选举;12时56分,内政大臣史密斯表示因家庭原因提出辞职;下午3时36分,内阁办公室部长沃森宣布辞职。
尽管内政大臣史密斯的辞职在意料当中,布朗也准备在欧洲议会和英国地方选举后,对内阁进行改组,重新选择合适人选。然而,没等布朗重整旗鼓,他发现自己已经陷入手忙脚乱之中,他的支持者们要求他下台。沃森和休斯的意外辞职,更加深了工党的混乱,另外两名将代表工党参加下届大选的议员大卫•蔡特和伊恩•吉布森也受到“报销门”丑闻牵连,宣布辞职。
一些后座议员称,工党正面临着失败的局势,影子内阁外交大臣威廉•休格说,现在的政府已经成了“政治行尸”。保守党领袖卡梅伦表示,英国政府现在正变成国际社会的笑柄。这次“辞职潮”进一步削弱了布朗的威信,令工党在欧洲及地方选举前夕大伤元气,舆论认为工党可能会在选举中惨败。
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发表于 2010-4-28 19:19 | 显示全部楼层
好吧,看屏幕看的眼睛都快瞎了,橘黄色是我不确定的地方,欢迎大家批评指正~
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发表于 2010-4-28 19:54 | 显示全部楼层
楼主辛苦了!
下次发帖请注意发帖格式。
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发表于 2010-4-28 20:29 | 显示全部楼层
谢谢你!明白了
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发表于 2010-4-28 21:04 | 显示全部楼层
咦!突然发现我登堂入室了!哇哈哈~
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发表于 2010-4-28 21:39 | 显示全部楼层
一段
footnote:If you describe an event as a footnote, you mean that it is fairly unimportant although it will probably be remembered.很漂亮,但是这里直译出来就不是很妥当了
二段
retrospective renown应该指后代在回顾时对他加以赞扬
五段
giving up its ambition to sway wars and crises in faraway regions like the Middle East or the Caucasus.这句话的理解不同意,我认为这里的to是结果状语。有这么几点,第一,ambition在西方话语下,是褒义词,但你不能说发动战争是英国的ambition,要是这样他会被先灭的;第二,事实上,英国是参加了战争(伊拉克战争;高加索地区就不清楚了哈)
七段
rupture: an occasion when something suddenly bursts or tears
political ruptures并非政治力量分裂,而是两大政治事件,但是事件并不能完全体现出rupture的意义,还要在琢磨
general-election humbling:这里我认为指的是大选参加的选民很少,不知道大家怎么看
九段
comport:To conduct or behave (oneself) in a particular manner,这个词翻译不准
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:14 | 显示全部楼层
谢谢姐姐指点!:loveliness:
哎~我找到差距了~想请教一下:
第一段:那个'footnote'该怎么处理看起来才不显得生硬呢?
第二段:'retrospective renown'放在句子里具体怎么翻呀?我也觉得我翻的有些奇怪
第五段:我明白了,发动战争不是英国的ambition,而是他放弃ambition后去做的事情
第九段:comport:To conduct or behave (oneself) in a particular manner。这个'particular'到底在这里是怎么特殊法呢?
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:49 | 显示全部楼层
话说,每次看白芝浩,我都恨不得去撞墙,他的文章就是为了提醒我,我跟文盲没太大差距:L
给lz拍一砖,有不对的地方请见谅,他的文章我这辈子大概不太有希望百分百理解了

P3:the credit for it might properly belong to others too;
这里的credit是荣誉的意思,properly没翻出来

p3:it was uncharacteristic in its decisiveness and sweep
觉得sweep这里是指这项援救计划的广度

p3:Mr Brown may bear some responsibility for the regulatory regime that failed in the first place.
这里in the first place翻成“首先”不太妥当,应该是“最初,开始时”的意思

p3:If, in 20 years, Mr Brown is associated with just one initiative, this will be it.
我的理解是:如果在20年里,人们会把布朗和一项举措联系起来的话,那一定就是这件事了。

P4:There is at least a possibility—admittedly one that looked slighter amid the gloomy data released this week—that he will also be remembered for steering the British economy out of what had threatened to be a devastating recession, thus averting a fresh plague of long-term unemployment.
One是指possibility,slighter也是指possibility。我觉得这句话的语序也需稍微调整下,因为我觉得thus averting……和steering……是并列的,都是接在for后面,只不过作者中间用的连接词不是and而thus。试译:布朗至少还有可能因引导英国经济走出一次灾难性衰退、从而使英国免于新一轮长期失业之苦而被载入史册(无可否认,本周发布的众多沉重的数据使这一可能更小了)。

P4:If it does, it may be more attributable to monetary policy and the slump in the pound than to government action, worthwhile though the stimulus package and loan-guarantee schemes may prove.
这句话我的理解:就算经济刺激计划和贷款担保计划最终证明是值得的,经济真复苏了,那经济复苏也很可能更多被归功于由货币政策和英镑的暴跌,而非政府干预。

P5:The G20 meeting he convened in April may not have been the pivotal, Bretton Woods-type summit that the prime minister hoped it would.
他4月召集的20国集团峰会不一定是关键,首相希望它能像布雷顿森林体系的峰会一样
红字部分是一个词组
首相曾期望,他4月召集的20国集团峰会能象确立布雷顿森林体系的会议那样,成为一次关键性峰会,但事实并非如此。

P5:giving up its ambition to sway wars and crises in faraway regions like the Middle East or the Caucasus.
这里用的sway wars and crises,是不是对战争和危机产生决定性影响这一类的意思?我觉得是说:也抛弃了在遥远地域(如中东和高加索)的战争和危机中成为主导的雄心。

P6:the aspect of eternity 不如翻成:历史的长河 因为eternity强调的是时间的长久

P7:History may fit Mr Brown up for that because it happened on his watch
Fit up:If someone fits another person up, they try to make it seem that that person is responsible for a crime. (BRIT INFORMAL)

P7:The other is the general-election humbling to which Mr Brown seems likely to lead his party.
联系下文,我觉得意思是:另一件事是布朗很可能领导工党经历一次令人感到羞辱的普选(就是普选很可能失利啦)。楼主自己组织一下。

P9:How leaders comport themselves when their number is up (and afterwards: think of Edward Heath’s sulk) can set the tone for their future memorialisation.
是不是可以说:领导者们在执政最后的日子里行为举止,会给他们将来的回忆录定下基调。

P10:Similarly, Mr Brown’s cavalier management of the public finances as chancellor of the exchequer may stick instead to Mr Blair,
这句话中的cavalier,我不是特别理解它的意思:目空一切,独断专行?但我记得布朗当财政大臣好像还是当得不错的呀?这句话:我的理解是:同样的,布朗作为财政大臣对公共财政的管理也总是和布莱尔联系在一起

另外,楼主能不能解释下“YouTube的惨败、骗税情况的复发、普选的困境、幕僚势力的猖獗、电视剧女演员传授的移民政策,甚至是杀君的密谋和部长的辞呈,都会在历史的大环境中干枯殆尽。”里面很多事情我不太了解,你不如加些注解?
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发表于 2010-4-28 23:24 | 显示全部楼层
O(∩_∩)O谢谢高人细致的点评
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发表于 2010-4-28 23:59 | 显示全部楼层
文章最后加的一段乱七八糟的是什么?
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