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经济学人双语人文新闻在线试听:一个衰落论者的观点

Lily85 于2013-01-25发布 l 已有人浏览
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瓦特·拉克尔是一位杰出的欧洲历史学家,现居于美国,他已经成为欧洲衰落的主要预言者。他的新作《衰落之后》总结了许多目前备受关注的主题:欧盟的经济陷入虚弱状态,主要原因是太慷慨的福利状况、太少的改革能力,不断缩小的人口,以及最糟糕的是,太多的穆斯林移民。
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Books and Arts; Book Review;The future of Europe;A declinist's case
文艺;书评;欧洲的未来;一个衰落论者的观点

After the Fall: The End of the European Dream and the Decline of a Continent. By Walter Laqueur.
《衰落之后》:关于欧洲梦的终结和欧洲大陆的衰落, 作者:瓦特·拉克尔。

A distinguished European historian who now lives and works in America, Walter Laqueur has turned into a leading prophet of European decline. His new book, “After the Fall”, stands as a summary of many pet themes: that the European Union has a weak economy with too lavish a welfare state and little capacity for reform, a shrinking population and, worst of all, too many Muslim immigrants.
瓦特·拉克尔是一位杰出的欧洲历史学家,现居于美国,他已经成为欧洲衰落的主要预言者。他的新作《衰落之后》总结了许多目前备受关注的主题:欧盟的经济陷入虚弱状态,主要原因是太慷慨的福利状况、太少的改革能力,不断缩小的人口,以及最糟糕的是,太多的穆斯林移民。

Mr Laqueur makes many telling points. The euro crisis (which, like most observers, he did not foresee) has laid bare many of the continent's economic ills. It has confirmed the insouciance of Mediterranean countries, in particular, over the urgent need to improve their competitiveness. Europe's demographic outlook is worrying, with an ageing population dependent on a shrinking workforce—a picture that gets worse as one moves eastward. And no European country has been a shining success at assimilating immigrants, especially (but not only) from Muslim countries.
拉克尔先生提出了许多生动的观点。欧洲危机(就像大多数观察家一样,他也没有预见到)深刻揭示出欧洲大陆的许多经济症结。特别的是,它证实了地中海国家对于提升它们国家的竞争力的紧迫需要的满不在乎。欧洲的人口年龄分布状况令人担忧,老龄化情况严重,而老年人赖以抚养的年轻劳动力数量萎缩,这一情况越往欧洲东部方向,就越为严重。并且,没有一个欧洲国家在融合移民方面具有显著的成功,特别是(但不仅仅是)吸纳那些来自穆斯林国家的移民方面。

Yet overall the author's gloom is still excessive. Europe's economic performance over the past decade has not been appreciably worse than America's, for example. Although it has a few basket-case countries, it also has (in Scandinavia and Germany, for instance) some of the world's strongest and most competitive economies. Moreover, the euro crisis is leading to more extensive reforms to repair battered public finances, increase liberalisation and bolster competition than would have seemed possible a few years ago.
尽管具有以上所有这些不利因素,但是作者的悲观情绪还是太多了。比如,过去十年欧洲的经济表现并不会比美国的经济表现有可察觉到的差距。尽管欧洲存在几个经济状况糟糕无比的国家,然而欧洲也拥有(例如斯卡迪纳维亚和德国)一些世界上最强大和最具竞争力的经济体。此外,与几年前所可能采取的措施相比,欧洲危机会导致欧洲国家采取更广泛的改革来修复重创的公共财政,促进自由化,以及鼓励竞争。

A bigger objection is the book's repeated and excessive stress on the supposedly damaging effects of Muslim immigration. Mr Laqueur stops short of subscribing to the worst fears of “Eurabia” once fashionable in right-wing American circles. But he overstates Islam's spread (there are perhaps 20m Muslims in Europe, just 4% of its current population of 500m). And he is surely wrong when he argues that Muslims will not assimilate, that sharia law may become widespread or that large parts of many European cities will come to resemble north Africa. An ageing continent needs immigrants. Moreover, both Turkey (which Mr Laqueur mostly traduces) and the Arab spring (which he barely mentions) suggest that reform and liberal democracy can, albeit with difficulties and arguments along the way, be made compatible with Islam.
一个更大的异议是关于这本书对于臆测的穆斯林移民的灾难性影响的重复和过度的强调。拉克尔先生没有采用曾经在右翼美国群体当中盛极一时的“阿拉伯化的欧洲大陆”的最深的恐惧。但是他过分夸大了伊斯兰教的发展(在欧洲大概有2000万穆斯林,只占现在欧洲5亿人口的4%)。可以确定的是,他有许多错误的地方,比如他认为穆斯林教众将不会融入欧洲大众,伊斯兰教法也许会在欧洲广泛传播,或者许多欧洲城市的大部分将变得和北非一样。一个不断老龄化的大陆需要移民。此外,土耳其(拉克尔先生曾经诋毁过)和阿拉伯之春运动(他很少提到)都表明,尽管在整个过程中具有重重困难和争议,但是改革和自由民主能够与伊斯兰教和谐相处。

The author's harangues against Muslim immigration disfigure what is otherwise an interesting and provocative book. So do several small errors that should have been picked up by a more careful publisher. The siloviki are not the political class in Russia, but a specific group linked to its security services; Greece joined the EU in 1981, not 2000, and Croatia will join in 2013, not 2011; the former mayor of London is called Ken not Neil Livingstone and the mayor of Amsterdam is Job not Jeff Cohen.
作者对于穆斯林移民的长篇大论毁掉了原本会是一本具有趣味和引起争议的书。更仔细的出版商原本应该找出一些小错误。西罗维基不是俄罗斯的政治阶级,而是与俄罗斯的安全部门有关联的特殊组织;希腊是在1981年加入欧盟,而不是2000年,克罗地亚将在2013年加入欧盟,而不是2011年;伦敦的前任市长名叫肯而不是内尔·利文斯通,阿姆斯特丹的市长是乔而不是杰夫·科恩。

In his conclusion Mr Laqueur concedes that “the prophets of declinism have been frequently wrong.” Nothing daunted, he goes on cheerily to assert that the EU may break up. Yet though his predictions may be dubious, his analysis is worth reading and pondering, especially by those who before the euro crisis were fond of declaring that Europe was showing the world a way to a better future.
在他的书的结尾拉克尔先生承认“预言衰退的预言家经常都被证明是错的”。但他毫无畏惧,他还是继续笃定的宣称欧盟或许会解体。尽管他的预言或许是值得怀疑的,但他的分析值得研读和深思,特别是对于那些在欧洲危机之前热衷于宣称欧洲向世界展示了一条通向更美好未来的道路的人。

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