2011年2月8日星期二

里根百年

里根信神,里根不是神。与他的经济口号相反,由于联邦开支并未有实质性缩减(占GDP比例仅从22.2%降至21.2%),他任内出现巨额赤字。此事广为人知,无须多言。并且用“国会不合作”的借口来为他辩护,很难站得住脚。而在贸易问题上,他完全可以被看作一位典型的保护主义者。好在,他对几大行业的去管制化算得上实至名归,也确实减了税率。

里根最伟大之处应该还是,如他最著名的绰号the Great Communicator所体现的,沟通。他参与扭转了整个时代的舆论气氛,戳破了自由之敌的道德面具,为自由赢回了名誉,让古老的智慧重返人心:“无恒产者无恒心”,财产权有保障才有自由,也才谈得上道德。(咬牙切齿的左翼分子自然会说那是宣传,是意识形态。)里根之前,自由之友们面对左翼论敌的嚣张气焰,还需要小心翼翼地先让步,说Yes...But... 而里根不管这些,理直气壮地说No,就轮到对方先让步了。于是在里根之后,这些颠倒是非,以抢劫他人为正当的左棍们再自诩道德标兵,就变成了笑话。无论里根在民主体制下为了讨好利益集团,说到做到的多么少,对于一个靠纳税人交钱养活的政客,能说出“政府本身才是问题”这样的话已经很不容易,并且类似的例子还有不少:

  • The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
  • The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.
  • It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first(指卖淫).
  • Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

这些来自最近两天有点热的一个帖子。不知道今天对Medicaid和Medicare不敢置一词的共和党人还能不能放出这等狠话。我还挺喜欢这句:The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant: It’s just that they know so much that isn’t so. 看到后在豆瓣上随便发挥了几句:

伪知识(pseudo-knowledge)越多越反动。知识分子误国误民。给定作为复杂现象(参考哈耶克《复杂现象理论》、《知识的矫饰》——即诺奖演说The Pretence of Knowledge,邓正来译作《知识的僭妄》——等文)的经济问题永远会有争论,给定政府可以很方便地利用左派经济学家(实为伪知识)的所谓“研究成果”来正当化自己危害社会的政策,无视右派经济学家的政策建议,一个合理的推论就是,一个完全没有经济学家(无论左派右派)的世界,很可能会比现在美好得多。

当然同样的话适合社会学家(用枫林仙的话来说,社会学是集体主义和唯心主义残余最多的学科),至少在我的阅读范围内如此。

下面这段批评左翼“政治正确”意识形态的话跟中国没什么关系,但也不妨放在这里:

Our coins bear the words ‘In God We Trust.’ We take the oath of office asking his help in keeping that oath. And we proclaim that we are a Nation under God when we pledge allegiance to the flag. But we can’t mention his name in a public school or even sing religious hymns that are non-denominational. Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers but there must be no mention of the Man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.

宗教重新渗入美国政治,遏止虚无主义的泛滥,显然也是里根的重要成就之一。

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