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POLITICAL THEORY – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Political Theory
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
现代生活常常会被进步思想所深深吸引 在18世纪
Modern life is deeply attracted to the idea of progress. In the 18th century
当欧洲社会变得更加富裕和现代化的时候 传统观点认为
as European societies became ever richer and more technological, the conventional view
was that mankind was firmly set on a positive trajectory
from savagery and ignorance toward prosperity and civilization.
但是 有一位18世纪的哲学家却对此
But there was at least one eighteen century philosopher
表达了强烈的反对 即便时至今日
who violently disagreed, and who continues to have
very provocative things to say to our own era.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born to an educated watchmaker in Geneva in 1712.
在他十岁的时候 他的父亲被卷入了法律争端中
When he was 10, his father got into a legal dispute
and the family was forced to flee Geneva.
自此 卢梭的人生陷入了深度的不稳定和隔绝当中
From that point on Rousseau’s life was marked by deep instability and isolation.
作为一个年轻人 卢梭去了巴黎 并接触到了
As a young man Rousseau went to Paris and there was exposed
奢靡享乐的生活 这是巴黎奥斯汀政权的新潮流
to the opulence and luxury, that was the order of the day in Austin regime Paris.
It was a far cry from his birthplace of Geneva
a city that was sober and deeply opposed to luxury goods.
之后在1749年的一天 他读了一份《法兰西信使》
Then one day in 1749, he read a copy of a newspaper,
The Mercure de France that contained an advert for an essay
on the subject of whether recent advances in arts and sciences
have contributed to what was called the “purification of morals”
换句话说 我们的世界是不是变得更好了
in other words, was the world getting better?
卢梭经历了某种顿悟 这令他感到文明进步
Rousseau experienced something of an epiphany. It struck him that civilization
事实上并没有改善人心 而正相反
and progress had not in fact improved people. Instead they’d exacted a terrible
他们对曾经高尚的人类道德造成了可怕的 破坏性的影响
destructive influence on the morality of human beings who had once been good.
Rousseau took this insight and turned it into the central thesis of what became
著名论断的中心论点 他的论据很简单
his celebrated discourse on the Arts and Sciences. His argument was simple:
人们曾经是善良而快乐的 但随着人们从前社会状态中出来
Individuals had once been good and happy but as people had emerged from their pre
并加入社会 他们就变得饱受邪恶与罪恶折磨了
social state and join society they had become plagued by vice and sin. In this
work and its twin, The Discourse on the Origins and Foundations of Inequality,
Rousseau went on to sketch what it would have been like at the beginning of history,
一个他称之为“自然状态”的田园牧歌时期 很久以前
an idyllic period that he called “the state of nature.” A long time ago
当男人和女人们还生活在森林当中 从未进过超市或读过报纸时
when men and women lived in forests and had never entered a shop or read a
newspaper the philosopher pictured people more easily understanding their own
minds and so being drawn towards essential features of a satisfied life,
a love of a family,
对自然的尊重 对宇宙美丽的敬畏 对别人的好奇心
respect for nature, an awe at the beauty of the universe, curiosity about others and
以及对音乐和简单娱乐的一点品味 “自然状态”
a taste for music and simple entertainments. The “state of nature” was
是道德的 是由自发的怜悯和对于别人和他们的痛苦的同情心所引领的
moral and guided by spontaneous pity, empathy for others and their suffering.
那么 卢梭所认为的文明中使人类堕落
So what was it about civilization that Rousseau thought had corrupted people
并导致了道德腐化的事物究竟是什么呢? 卢梭宣称迈向文明这件事
and led to moral degeneracy? Rousseau claimed that the march toward
唤醒了人们不健康的自爱 也就是他所称的自负
civilization had awakened in people an unhealthy form of self-love, amour-propre,
它是虚假的 被骄傲 妒忌 和虚荣簇拥着的
he called it, something that was artificial and centered around pride,
卢梭认为 这种有害的自爱是随着人们
jealousy, and vanity. Rousseau argued that this destructive form of self love had
搬入城市而出现的 自此 他们开始互相攀比
emerged as people had moved into cities and there had begun to compare
themselves to others and created their identities solely by reference to their
开化的人们不再去想自己想要什么 自己的感觉是什么
neighbors. Civilized people had stopped thinking about what they wanted and they
而仅仅模仿别人 并进入了对地位和金钱的
felt and merely imitated other people, entering into ruinous competitions for
status and money and losing sight of their own sensations.
Rousseau is forever associated with a term “noble savage”
because it was his work that describe the innocence and morality
并将其与现代的颓废进行了对比 在卢梭当年写作的时候
of our ancestors and contrasted it with modern decadence. At the time Rousseau was
writing, European Society was fascinated by the plight of the native North American
tribes. Reports of Indian society drawn up in the 16th century had once
described the Indians as materially simple but psychologically very rich and
interesting. Communities with small, close-knit,
平均主义的 有宗教的 幽默而尚武的 然而在欧洲人
egalitariam, religious, playful, and martial. However within a few decades of the
到来之后的几十年里 在接触了欧洲的工业技术和奢侈之后
arrival of the Europeans the status system of Indian society have been
revolutionized through contact with a technology and luxury of European industry.
印第安人现在也变得需要枪支 酒精 珠宝和镜子
Indians now longed for guns alcohol, beads, and mirrors.
自杀率和酗酒率攀升 曾经的社区不复存在
Rates of suicide and alcoholism had risen, communities were fracturing,
而各个派系之间也开始不断争吵 现代社会毁了这些曾经幸福地生活在
and factions were squabbling. The modern world had ruined the lives of people who’d once lived
“自然状态”中的人的生活 卢梭对于性善论的兴趣令他
happily in the “state of nature.” Rousseau’s interest in natural goodness made him
对关于儿童的那些尽管不是很贴近现实的想法很感兴趣 在1762年
very interested in the idea, though not quite the reality, of children. In 1762 he
他写了《爱弥儿:论教育》 这可能是关于如何养孩子
wrote Émile, or On Education, perhaps the most successful book ever written about
方面最成功的一本书 卢梭认为孩子出生时本性是善良的
how to raise children. Rousseau suggested that children were born naturally good and
因此 养育他们的关键是防止他们被社会引向堕落
that the key to raising them was therefore always to prevent their corruption by
这个想法产生了广泛的影响 在此之前 父母将孩子
society. This idea was widely influential. Parents who had before this time seen
视作是邪恶的 最好不过将他们视作一张白纸 而现在
their children as wicked or at best as blank slates now viewed them as founts
父母把他们视为智慧之泉 并试图让他们在童年自由玩耍
of wisdom and tried to give them a childhood full of play and visits to
探访森林和湖泊 卢梭成为了孩子中心式的教育的开创者
forests and lakes. Rousseau became the inventor of child-centered education. He
他还是母乳喂养的强烈支持者 他宣称
was also a great proponent of breastfeeding, declaring “Let mothers
“如果让母亲去养育他们的孩子 道德将自我改良 而自然的感情
deign to nurse their children, morals will reform themselves, nature’s sentiments
将在每一个人心中被唤醒 而国家也会有更多的人口
will be awakened in every heart and the state will be repeopled.” It was, he knew,
他知道这有点夸张 但即使是在那些长期以来蔑视这种做法的富人当中
a bit of hyperbole but its spurred a wave of breastfeeding even among the
也引发了一轮母乳喂养的浪潮 艺术家们纷纷赶去作画 并给予母乳喂养这一新潮流
wealthy who had long disdained the practice. Artists rushed to paint and honor the new
很高的赞誉 正是因为卢梭非常珍视人类的
vogue for breastfeeding. Because Rousseau so closely valued human beings in their
本性 他在自己所写的文章中常常
original state, it followed that in the novels he wrote, Rousseau also constantly
celebrated intense feelings rather than great deeds or social events. In his
novel, Julie, written in 1761, Roussseaudepicted the excitement and anguish of an
upper-class women caught in a love triangle between her sensitive tutor and
无聊但门当户对的贵族对象的三角关系 激动而痛苦的心情
her boring but socially sanctioned aristocratic match. Rousseau’s
卢梭的同辈人可能认为朱莉不明智 她的感情是心血来潮
contemporaries might have seen Julie as unwise and her feelings as a passing
但卢梭升华了她的爱情 希望我们看到这段感情的庄严
fancy, but Rousseau painted her love in a higher light. He urged us to see its grandeur,
深度和荣耀 在关于自身生活的文章中
depth and honor. In his writings about his own life,
卢梭同样是很浪漫的 或者说的难听一点 自我陶醉的
Rousseau was similarly romantic or, what one might unkindly call, self-absorbed. In his
在他那著名的 史上第一自传《忏悔录》中 卢梭用了
famous Confessions, one of the first ever autobiographies, Rousseau spend pages
exploring his inner life: How frustrating he found shopping, the surprising feeling of
对于他前任的新伴侣出乎预料的敏感 或是园艺工作的乐趣
tenderness for his ex’s new partner, or the joys of gardening.To him,
对于他来说这些并非琐事或是自我陶醉的话题 它们是
these weren’t trivial or self-absorbed topics, they were part of an important
更重要的工作的一部分:展现生命的内情 他扬言:
task: to show what living is like on the inside. “I have conceived of a new genre of service to
“我给人们构想了一种新服务 给人们提供他们中的一个的准确镜像
render to man,” he boasted, “to offer them the faithful image of one amongst them
以便他们学会了解自身” 卢梭死于1778年 享年66岁
in order for them to learn to know themselves. Rousseau died in 1778 age 66. His
他的声望则继续增长着 他是死后仍影响
reputation has continued to grow. He was from beyond the grave
法国大革命的英雄之一 而且他还是很多19世纪
one of the heroes of the French Revolution and he became an icon to a
作家和艺术家的偶像 卢梭可以被视作
great many artists and writers of the 19th century. Rousseau can be considered as
one of the founding figures of what we now know as the Romantic Movement, an
代表着原始优于文明 孩子优于成人
ideology responsible for valuing the primitive over the civilized, the child
over the adult, the passionate lover over the calmly loyal spouse. The modern world
尽管现代社会崇尚地位 机械 和资本价值 在许多方面
despite its addiction to status, machinery, and capitalist values, in many
每个人的心仍是极度浪漫的 令人震惊的是
ways continues to be profoundly romantic in its heart. It’s astonishing that so
许多被我们当做常识或仅仅是自然而然的东西 都是可以
much of what we take to be common sense, or just natural, can directly be traced
back to the work of one not always wise but always highly intriguing and
provocative thinker.