“我感到极度悲伤”:一个失去美国领导的西方世界

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BERLIN — As images of America’s overwhelmed hospital wards and snaking jobless lines have flickered across the world, people on the European side of the Atlantic are looking at the richest and most powerful nation in the world with disbelief.

柏林——当美国人满为患的医院病房和蜿蜒的失业者队伍的影像在世界各地播放,大西洋另一边的欧洲民众正难以置信地注视着这个世界上最富有和最强大的国家。

“When people see these pictures of New York City they say, ‘How can this happen? How is this possible?’” said Henrik Enderlein, president of the Berlin-based Hertie School, a university focused on public policy. “We are all stunned. Look at the jobless lines. Twenty-two million,” he added.

“当人们看到纽约城的照片时,他们说,‘怎么会发生这样的事情?这怎么可能?’”位于柏林的公共政策院校赫尔蒂行政学院(Hertie School)的校长亨利·恩德莱因(Henrik Enderlein)说。“我们都惊呆了。看看失业者排起的长队。2200万,”他还说。

“I feel a desperate sadness,” said Timothy Garton Ash, a professor of European history at Oxford University and a lifelong and ardent Atlanticist.

牛津大学欧洲历史学教授、一生笃信大西洋主义的蒂莫西·加顿·阿什(Timothy Garton Ash)说:“我感到极度悲伤。”

The pandemic sweeping the globe has done more than take lives and livelihoods from New Delhi to New York. It is shaking fundamental assumptions about American exceptionalism — the special role the United States played for decades after World War II as the reach of its values and power made it a global leader and example to the world.

从新德里到纽约,席卷全球的疫情不只是在夺取人的生命和生计。它还动摇了美国例外主义的基本假设——凭借价值观与国力的巨大影响而成为全球领导者和世界榜样的美国,在二战后数十年扮演了一种特殊的角色。

Today it is leading in a different way: More than 840,000 Americans have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and at least 46,784 have died from it, more than anywhere else in the world.

如今它领先的地方却大不相同:超过84万名美国人被诊断患有Covid-19,至少46784人死亡,比世界其他任何地方都多。

As the calamity unfolds, President Trump and state governors are not only arguing over what to do, but also over who has the authority to do it. Mr. Trump has fomented protests against the safety measures urged by scientific advisers, misrepresented facts about the virus and the government response nearly daily, and this week used the virus to cut off the issuing of green cards to people seeking to emigrate to the United States.

随着灾难的展开,特朗普总统和州长不仅在争论该做什么,还在争论谁有权这样做。特朗普对科学顾问敦促采取的安全措施提出了抗议,几乎每天都在就病毒和政府的应对给出不实陈述,而本周,他以病毒为借口停止向寻求移民美国的人发放绿卡。

“America has not done badly, it has done exceptionally badly,” said Dominique Moïsi, a political scientist and senior adviser at the Paris-based Institut Montaigne.

总部位于巴黎的蒙泰涅研究所(Institut Montaigne)的政治学家和高级顾问多米尼克·莫伊西(Dominique Moïsi)说:“美国的表现不是差,是指数级的差。”

The pandemic has exposed the strengths and weaknesses of just about every society, Mr. Moïsi noted. It has demonstrated the strength of, and suppression of information by, an authoritarian Chinese state as it imposed a lockdown in the city of Wuhan. It has shown the value of Germany’s deep well of public trust and collective spirit, even as it has underscored the country’s reluctance to step up forcefully and lead Europe.

莫伊西指出,疫情暴露了几乎每个社会的优点和缺点。它显示了一个专制的中国政府对武汉市的封锁强度,同时也带来了对信息的压制。它显示了德国深厚的公众信任和集体精神的价值,也突显了德国不愿挺身而出领导欧洲。

And in the United States, it has exposed two great weaknesses that, in the eyes of many Europeans, have compounded one another: the erratic leadership of Mr. Trump, who has devalued expertise and often refused to follow the advice of his scientific advisers, and the absence of a robust public health care system and social safety net.

在许多欧洲人眼中,在美国的疫情暴露了两个并存的重大弱点:特朗反复无常的领导——他贬低了专业知识并且常常拒绝听从他的科学顾问的建议,以及缺乏健全的公共卫生保健系统和社会安全保障。

“America prepared for the wrong kind of war,” Mr. Moïsi said. “It prepared for a new 9/11, but instead a virus came.”

“美国在准备的是另一种战争,”穆伊斯说。“它为新的9·11做了准备,但是来的是病毒。”

“It raises the question: Has America become the wrong kind of power with the wrong kind of priorities?” he asked.

“这提出了一个问题:美国是不是已经成为一个本末倒置的不良大国?”他问。

Ever since Mr. Trump moved into the White House and turned America First into his administration’s guiding mantra, Europeans have had to get used to the president’s casual willingness to risk decades-old alliances and rip up international agreements. Early on, he called NATO “obsolete” and withdrew U.S. support from the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal.

自从入主白宫并将“美国优先”变成其政府的指导方针以来,总统动不动威胁要拆散数十年的联盟,撕毁国际协定,欧洲人不得不去适应他的这种随心所欲。他早已称北约是个“过时”的东西,并让美国撤出了巴黎气候协定和伊朗核协议。

But this is perhaps the first global crisis in more than a century where no one is even looking to the United States for leadership.

然而,这一次的疫情,可能是一个多世纪以来第一次无人向美国寻求领导的全球危机。

In Berlin, Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, has said as much.

在柏林,德国外交大臣海克斯·马斯(Heiko Maas)也这么说。

China took “very authoritarian measures, while in the U.S., the virus was played down for a long time,” Mr. Maas recently told Der Spiegel magazine.

马斯最近对《明镜》周刊(Der Spiegel)说,中国采取了“非常专制的措施,而在美国,这种病毒久久没有得到正视”。

“These are two extremes, neither of which can be a model for Europe,” Mr. Maas said.

马斯说:“这是两个极端,它们都不能作为欧洲的榜样。”

America once told a story of hope, and not just to Americans. West Germans like Mr. Maas, who grew up on the front line of the Cold War, knew that story by heart, and like many others in the world, believed it.

曾经,美国带来的是希望的故事,不仅是带给美国人。像马斯这样在冷战前线长大的西德人熟悉这个故事,和世界上许多其他人一样,也相信这个故事。

But nearly three decades later, America’s story is in trouble.

但是近30年后,美国的故事陷入了困境。

The country that defeated fascism in Europe 75 years ago next month, and defended democracy on the continent in the decades that followed, is doing a worse job of protecting its own citizens than many autocracies and democracies.

这个国家在75年前帮助欧洲击败了法西斯,并在随后的几十年里捍卫了欧洲大陆的民主,如今在保护自己的公民方面却不如许多独裁和民主政体。

There is a special irony: Germany and South Korea, both products of enlightened postwar American leadership, have become potent examples of best practices in the coronavirus crisis.

有一点格外讽刺:德国和韩国均为战后美国领导启迪下的产物,如今已经成为新冠病毒危机中采取最佳措施的表率。

But critics now see America failing not only to lead the world’s response, but letting down its own people as well.

但是批评家们现在看到,美国不仅不能领导世界应对危机,还辜负了自己的人民。

“There is not only no global leadership, there is no national and no federal leadership in the United States,” said Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Growth Lab at Harvard’s Center for International Development. “In some sense this is the failure of leadership of the U.S. in the U.S.”

“美国没有全球领导,也没有国家和联邦领导,”哈佛国际发展中心(Harvard’s Center for International Development)增长实验室主任里卡多·豪斯曼(Ricardo Hausmann)说。“从某种意义上讲,这是美国领导力在美国的失败。”

Of course, some countries in Europe have also been overwhelmed by the virus, with the number of dead from Covid-19 much higher as a percentage of the population in Italy, Spain and France than in the United States. But they were struck sooner and had less time to prepare and react.

当然,病毒也使欧洲的一些国家不堪重负,意大利、西班牙和法国的Covid-19死亡数的人口百分比远高于美国。但是它们受到的打击更快,做准备和应对的时间更少。

The contrast between how the United States and Germany responded to the virus is particularly striking.

美国和德国在应对上的差异尤其令人吃惊。

While Chancellor Angela Merkel has been criticized for not taking a forceful enough leadership role in Europe, Germany is being praised for a near-textbook response to the pandemic, at least by Western standards. That is thanks to a robust public health care system, but also a strategy of mass testing and trusted and effective political leadership.

尽管总理安格拉·默克尔(Angela Merkel)因在欧洲未能发挥足够有力的领导作用而受到批评,但德国采取的近乎教科书式的应对——至少在西方标准上如此——受到赞誉。这要归功于强大的公共卫生保健系统,还得益于大规模检测战略以及可信和有效的政治领导。

Ms. Merkel has done what Mr. Trump has not. She has been clear and honest about the risks with voters and swift in her response. She has rallied all 16 state governors behind her. A trained physicist, she has followed scientific advice and learned from best practice elsewhere.

默克尔做了特朗普没有做的事情。她清晰并诚实地对待她所面临的竞选风险,而且反应迅速。她让所有16位州长跟她并肩作战。作为科班出身的物理学家,她遵循科学建议,并从其他国家的最佳实践中学习。

Not long ago, Ms. Merkel was considered a spent force, having announced that this would be her last term. Now her approval ratings are at 80 percent.

默克尔不久前宣布这将是她的最后任期,被认为大势已去。而现在她的支持率是80%。

“She has the mind of a scientist and the heart of a pastor’s daughter,” Mr. Garton Ash said.

加顿·阿什说:“她拥有科学家的头脑,和一个牧师女儿的心灵。”

Mr. Trump, in a hurry to restart the economy in an election year, has appointed a panel of business executives to chart a course out of the lockdown.

特朗普急于在大选年重启经济,已任命一个企业高管小组制定解除封锁的路线图。

Ms. Merkel, like everyone, would like to find a way out, too, but this week she warned Germans to remain cautious. She is listening to the advice of a multidisciplinary panel of 26 academics from Germany’s national academy of science. The panel includes not just medical experts and economists but also behavioral psychologists, education experts, sociologists, philosophers and constitutional experts.

默克尔也和所有人一样,想找到一条出路,但本周她警告德国人保持谨慎。她正在听取来自德国国家科学院的26名学者组成的多学科小组的建议。该小组不仅包括医学专家和经济学家,还包括行为心理学家、教育专家、社会学家、哲学家和宪法专家。

“You need a holistic approach to this crisis,” said Gerald Haug, the academy’s president, who chairs the German panel. “Our politicians get that.”

“你需要全方位地应对这场危机,”该学院院长杰拉尔德·豪格(Gerald Haug)表示。“我们的政客明白这一点。”

A climatologist, Mr. Haug used to do research at Columbia University in New York.

豪格是气候学家,曾在纽约的哥伦比亚大学做过研究。

The United States has some of the world’s best and brightest minds in science, he said. “The difference is, they’re not being listened to.”

他说,美国拥有一些世界上最杰出以及最聪明的科学人才。“区别是,他们的意见没有被听取。”

“It’s a tragedy,” he added.

“这是一场悲剧,”他接着说。

Some cautioned that the final history of how countries fare after the pandemic is still a long way from being written.

一些人担心,大流行之后各国的历史将如何书写,目前还远远看不出端倪。

A pandemic is a very specific kind of stress test for political systems, said Mr. Garton Ash, the history professor. The military balance of power has not shifted at all. The United States remains the world’s largest economy. And it was entirely unclear what global region would be best equipped to kick-start growth after a deep recession.

历史学教授加顿·阿什(Garton Ash)说,大流行是对政治制度的一种非常具体的压力测试。军事力量的平衡完全没有改变。美国仍然是世界上最大的经济体。而且,在经历了严重的衰退之后,全球究竟哪个地区最具备启动增长的能力,还完全是个未知数。

“All of our economies are going to face a terrible test,” he said. “No one knows who will come out stronger at the end.”

“所有经济体都将面临可怕的考验,”他说。“没人知道最后谁会变得更强。”

Benjamin Haddad, a French researcher at the Atlantic Council, wrote that while the pandemic was testing U.S. leadership, it is “too soon to tell” if it would do long-term damage.

大西洋理事会(Atlantic Council)的法国研究员本雅明·阿达(Benjamin Haddad)写道,虽然大流行正在考验美国的领导地位,但现在判断是否会造成长期损害还“为时过早”。

“It is possible that the United States will resort to unexpected resources, and at the same time find a form of national unity in its foreign policy regarding the strategic rivalry with China, which it has been lacking until now,” Mr. Haddad wrote.

“美国可能会援用意想不到的资源,同时在与中国的战略竞争中,在外交政策上达成一种国家团结,美国目前缺乏这种团结。”

There is another wild card in the short term, Mr. Moïsi pointed out. The United States has an election in November. That, and the aftermath of the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s, might also affect the course of history.

莫伊西指出,短期内还有一个不确定因素。美国将在11月举行大选。这件事,加上自上世纪30年代以来最严重的经济危机的后果,可能也会影响历史的进程。

The Great Depression gave rise to America’s New Deal. Maybe the coronavirus will lead the United States to embrace a stronger public safety net and develop a national consensus for more accessible health care, Mr. Moïsi suggested.

大萧条催生了美国的新政。莫伊西表示,或许新冠病毒会让美国引入一个更强的公共安全网络,并在建立更易得的医疗保健方面达成全国共识。

“Europe’s social democratic systems are not only more human, they leave us better prepared and fit to deal with a crisis like this than the more brutal capitalistic system in the United States,” Mr. Moïsi said.

“欧洲的社会民主制度不仅更人性化,还让我们比实行残酷资本主义制度的美国更有准备,更适合应对这样的危机,”莫伊西说。

The current crisis, some fear, could act like an accelerator of history, speeding up a decline in influence of both the United States and Europe.

一些人担心,当前的危机可能会像一个历史的加速器,导致美国和欧洲影响力更快地下降。

“Sometime in 2021 we come out of this crisis and we will be in 2030,” said Mr. Moïsi. “There will be more Asia in the world and less West.”

“我们将在2021年的某个时候走出这场危机,然后到了2030年,”莫伊西说。“世界上亚洲的成分增多,西方减少。”

Mr. Garton Ash said that the United States should take an urgent warning from a long line of empires that rose and fell.

加顿·阿什说,美国应该从一长串帝国兴衰的故事中得到一个紧迫的警示。

“To a historian it’s nothing new, that’s what happens,” said Mr. Garton Ash. “It’s a very familiar story in world history that after a certain amount of time a power declines.”

“对于历史学家来说,这并不是什么新鲜事,”他说。“这是世界历史上经常发生的故事,一段时间后,一个大国会衰落。”

“You accumulate problems, and because you’re such a strong player, you can carry these dysfunctionalities for a long time,” he said. “Until something happens and you can’t anymore.”

“你积累了很多问题,因为你是一股强大的势力,因此能够在很长一段时间内容纳这些机能的失调,”他说。“直到有什么事情发生,搞得你不能继续这样下去。”

Christopher F. Schuetze自柏林、Constant Méheut自巴黎对本文有报道贡献。
Katrin Bennhold是《纽约时报》柏林分社社长。此前她曾驻伦敦、巴黎,负责报道从民粹主义兴起到性别的一系列议题。欢迎在Twitter和Facebook上关注她。
翻译:晋其角、邓妍
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