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[经济学人] [2007.03.01]Myanmar:The Isolation Ward 闭关锁国

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发表于 2010-4-29 04:45 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Myanmar
缅甸


The isolation ward
闭关锁国(陈继龙 译)

Mar 1st 2007
From The Economist print edition




The River of Lost Footsteps: Histories of Burma
By Thant Myint-U



Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 361 pages; $25.

Faber and Faber; £20

Buy it at
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk


MOST writing about the benighted land of Burma, dubbed Myanmar by the grotesque junta running it, falls into one of two traps. Either it plumps for simplification, which is pardonable given the justness of its moral outrage. The conflict does indeed come closer than almost any other to one between baddies (the junta) and the followers of a super-goody (the almost-permanently detained opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi). At the other extreme, some writers become bogged down in the bewildering complexity underneath this simple framework: the tangled skein of ethnic rivalries and grudges that have fuelled one of the world's longest running civil wars, fought by more than a dozen armed insurgencies around Myanmar's borders.
缅甸(Myanmar)是一个愚昧落后的国家,荒唐可笑的执政军政府又称之为Burma。有关该国的大多数文学作品都难免走向两个极端之一。有的过于简单化,这倘若出于合情合理的道德义愤,倒是可以原谅的。这些作品通篇展现的几乎都是反派(指军政府)与正派(指几乎遭永久软禁的反对党领袖昂山素季)之间的冲突,别无它物。这是一个极端,另一个极端则是,有的作家过分纠缠于这一简单构架中所蕴藏的令人眼花缭乱的复杂性:缅甸边境地区十多个武装叛乱力量挑起的内战,在纷繁芜杂的种族对峙和积怨的推波助澜下,成了世界最旷日持久的内战之一。

Thant Myint-U's fine book seeks the middle ground. An academic historian and a former United Nations official, Mr Thant accuses the simplifiers of an “ahistorical” approach. He argues, justifiably, that Myanmar is “seen within the prism of the past ten or 20 years, as if three Anglo-Burmese wars, a century of colonial rule, an immensely destructive Japanese invasion and occupation, and five decades of civil war, foreign intervention and Communist insurgency had never happened.”
相比上述两个极端,吴丹敏(Thant Myint-U)的优秀著作则中规中矩。吴丹敏是一位注重理论研究的历史学家,曾在联合国任职。他指责简单化者在对待缅甸历史问题上“一叶障目”。他认为,“这些人的眼里只有过去10年或20年的缅甸,三次英缅战争(Anglo-Burmese wars)、一个世纪的殖民统治、日本人侵占造成的巨大破坏以及长达五十年的内战、外国干涉内政和缅共叛乱,等等这些似乎从未发生过。”

His book is part personal memoir, part history and part polemic. He tells the history of Myanmar from ancient times in an accessible and engaging way. But this is intended also as a contribution to a debate that has raged for nearly two decades among Myanmar's exiled democrats: should the West shun, isolate and bully the generals into engaging with Ms Suu Kyi and her many supporters? Or should it encourage the junta in the hope that, through the blandishments of modernity and economic advancement, it will eventually be coaxed to reform?
他的作品集个人回忆、历史记述与观点争鸣于一身。他从远古时代开始讲述缅甸历史,行文深入浅出,引人入胜。这也意在引出缅甸流亡民主人士争论了近20年的一个问题:西方国家是应当躲开并孤立那些将军,从而逼迫他们与昂山素季及其众多追随者兵戎相见,还是应当打着现代性和经济进步的幌子对军政府好言相劝,诱使其走上改革之路呢?

Mr Thant is entitled to a hearing. The grandson of U Thant, UN secretary-general in the 1960s, he grew up in America and Thailand, with summer visits to his ancestral homeland. But when Myanmar's pro-democracy movement was brutally crushed in 1988, and thousands of young people fled to makeshift camps on the Thai border, he joined them for some months.
如此讲述,吴丹敏是有资格的。作为上世纪60年代联合国秘书长吴丹的孙子,他在美国和泰国长大,曾多次在夏天造访其祖国。1988年缅甸民运遭残酷镇压后,数千青年逃至泰国边境上的难民营,他与他们共度了几个月的时光。

He has since parted company with the exile movement's pro-isolation orthodoxy. Time has moved on, he points out. Most of Myanmar's population was born after 1988. Thus, those for whom that was a life-defining moment are now in a minority. Isolation has not worked: it is “both counterproductive and dangerous”.
他一直都不同意流亡民运分子主张闭关自守的观点。他指出,时代是在前进的。缅甸人口大多数是1988年后出生的,曾经遭受命运浩劫的那一代人现已所剩无几。闭关自守是无益的:它已酿成“事与愿违甚至危险的后果”。

There is much in this argument; and it is easy to share the exasperation he seems to feel with some exiled lobbyists. Some have so lost sight of the ends in pursuing the means that each new government sanction or consumer-boycott-induced withdrawal of a foreign investor is celebrated as a triumph in itself.
此话意味深长,内中流露的愤懑明摆着是冲着某些流亡说客去的。每当政府出台新制约措施或消费者抵制造成外国投资人撤资,这些流亡人士都会欢呼雀跃,并且一条道走到黑,乐此不疲。

Mr Thant, however, skirts three difficulties. First, it is wrong to argue, as he does, that “the difference between the Burmese military regime and its counterparts in South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia is not that [it] has been any more repressive.” Oh yes it has; though it is also true, as he goes on, that “the others trusted the advice of technocrats, presided over long periods of economic growth and allowed for the development of civil society.”
然而,有三个问题吴丹敏处理不得当。首先,他和别人一样,认为“缅甸军事政权与韩国(此处可能为North Korea之误——译者按)、泰国、印度尼西亚军事政权的差异并不在于(前者)更专制。”这种观点是不正确的,事实上缅甸军事政权就是特别专制;尽管他接下来也指出,“其他国家采纳专家政治论者的谏言,引领经济长期增长,允许公民社会发展”,确有其事。

Second, isolation has been neither complete nor entirely involuntary. The generals have excluded the world as much as it has shunned them, and have found in China, India and South-East Asia neighbours who are more than ready to deal with them.
其次,一直以来,缅甸并非完全闭关自守,政府也并非全然不顾。将军们排斥这个世界,但世界照样也在躲避他们,而且他们已然察觉,中国、印度和东南亚邻国都非常乐于与他们开展贸易往来。

Third, unlike many other dictatorships, Myanmar has held an election, and lost it comprehensively. That was a long time ago, in 1990. But nothing that has happened since suggests the winners—Ms Suu Kyi's party—could not repeat the feat if given the chance. So their views, which do not match Mr Thant's, also carry weight.
第三,不同于其他许多专制国家,缅甸曾举行过一次大选,后来再也没有了。那是在1990年,距今已经很多年。大选后一切如旧,说明选举获胜者昂山素季的政党倘若还有这样的机会,也不可能再奏凯歌。所以,他们的观点虽然与吴丹敏相左,但还是有分量的。
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