2011年9月10日星期六

The Conscience of a Conservative随记

Goldwater注意到,很多骨子里是保守派的人,竟然觉得有必要为此抱歉。尼克松认为共和党候选人应该做经济上的保守派,但同时是个conservative with a heart。(我们后来还能看到小布什的compassionate conservatism——你有没有想起汪丁丁的“复杂的自由主义”呢?)艾森豪威尔说,他在经济问题上是个保守派,但在人道问题上是个自由派。还有些共和党领袖自称“进步主义保守派”(progressive conservative)。Goldwater评论道,这标签也忒奇怪了,它暗示一般的保守主义是反对进步的。但事实上正是在保守主义原则被尊奉的时代,美国取得了最大的进步。自由派标榜自己有人性关怀,污蔑保守派只会维护经济特权地位。然而

Conservatism is not an economic theory, though it has economic implications. The shoe is precisely on the other foot: it is Socialism that subordinates all other considerations to man’s material wellbeing. It is Conservatism that puts material things in their proper place—that has a structured view of the human being and of human society, in which economics plays only a subsidiary role.

The root difference between the Conservatives and the Liberals of today is that Conservatives take account of the whole man, while the Liberals tend to look only at the material side of man’s nature. The Conservative believes that man is, in part, an economic, an animal creature; but that he is also a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires. What is more, these needs and desires reflect the superior side of man’s nature, and thus take precedence over his economic wants. Conservatism therefore looks upon the enhancement of man’s spiritual nature as the primary concern of political philosophy. Liberals, on the other hand,—in the name of a concern for “human beings”—regard the satisfaction of economic wants as the dominant mission of society. They are, moreover, in a hurry. So that their characteristic approach is to harness the society’s political and economic forces into a collective effort to compel “progress.” In this approach, I believe they fight against Nature.

保守主义不会过时,也无需遮遮掩掩或者加各类修饰语,正如亚里士多德的政治学不会过时。与时俱进的只会是保守主义原则的应用,而不是原则本身。

由于自由关涉人格(并且知识和社情民意分散在各地),中央政府违宪越权来包办福利,而不是尊重州权、地方自治权和个体自由,由社区和私营机构给予仅属必要的救济,会腐蚀人民的独立意识,让他们一步步地愈加依赖官僚体系,崇拜权力,使国民精神堕落下去。类似的联邦政府越俎代庖的恶劣例子,还有农业补贴和教育问题。“州权”理念的衣钵,后来由为他站台而声名鹊起的里根继承,但没能真的力挽中央集权化的狂澜。时过境迁,如今美国的要命窟窿,是医保等支出了。

Goldwater当然反对带有强迫性质的工会,仅赞同自愿参与并组织活动的工会。有意思的是,他认为工会和企业都只是商业组织,前者负责为会员议价,后者就是替股东赚钱,都不该和个人一样被给予政治捐款的资格。在本书最后一部分,他还对支持冷战的对外援助作了堪称苛刻的限制。这些,都是他与今天主流保守派的重要区隔。

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