Leszek Kolakowski

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May 21, 2019, 9:05:18 AM5/21/19
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莱谢克•柯拉柯夫斯基

Jul 30th 2009
From The Economist print edition

Leszek Kolakowski, a Polish-born Oxford philosopher, died on July 17th, aged 81
生于波兰的牛津哲学家莱谢克•柯拉柯夫斯基于7月17日去世,享年81岁。


HIS life was learning—about history, about his times, about himself. Like some other erstwhile true believers, he became one of most cogent critics of his former faith. Having spent his youthful years as an ardent communist and atheist, Leszek Kolakowski, one of the great minds of the modern era, turned into Marxism’s most perceptive opponent, and one with a profound respect for religion.

柯拉柯夫斯基终其一生,求知不止:既研习历史、理解时代,又省悟自身。如同昔日的某些真正信徒一样,他也成为其原有信仰最有力的批判者之一。跻身当代伟大思想家之列的莱谢克•柯拉柯夫斯基在青年时代曾是一名热忱的共产党员和无神论者,但日后他转变为马克思主义最富见解的劲敌,同时也成为一位对宗教抱有深深敬意的人物。

His intellectual life started in the misery of Nazi-occupied Poland—he had to study in secret, mostly alone—and finished in one of the nicest places imaginable: Oxford’s All Souls College. In a university tailor-made for gifted misfits, Mr Kolakowski was happy: he was left alone to read, write, and, less often, talk. All Souls provided a glorious academic retreat: the only obligation is to dine there regularly. His distinctive hat, craggy features, idiosyncratic English and perspex walking stick established him as a landmark even in a city studded with oddities and treasures.

柯氏的知识生涯始于纳粹占领时期波兰的悲惨环境中,为此他只能几乎独自一人、潜行于求学之路上;而其终点却是人们所能想到的最佳场所之一——牛津万灵学院。在这所为天赋异常之人量身打造的大学中,柯拉柯夫斯基如鱼得水:他可以不受打扰地读书、写作,偶尔也可谈话。万灵学院提供了一片极好的学术净土,身处其中之人的唯一义务便是定期于此聚餐。与众不同的帽子、皱纹密布的脸庞、风格古怪的英语以及塑胶质地的拐杖,这些特征使得柯拉柯夫斯基甚至能从这座异客高人密布的城市中脱颖而出,成为标志性的人物。

“Philosopher” was his usual label, but not a wholly accurate one: historian of ideas would be better. Mr Kolakowski showed little interest in the Oxford tradition of analytical philosophy; like his great Oxonian philosophical contemporary, Isaiah Berlin, he formulated no grand scheme of ideas. His forte was to explain the development, attractiveness and shortcomings of political ideas and systems, particularly the communism invented by Karl Marx and practised across the Soviet empire.

柯氏通常被冠以“哲学家”的头衔,但这并不完全准确:思想史家这个称号将更为贴切。柯拉柯夫斯基对于牛津的分析哲学传统并未表现出多大的兴趣;与伟大的牛津哲学同辈以赛亚•伯林一样,柯氏也没有构建起宏大的理念体系。他的长项在于对各种政治理念与体制的发展、亮点和不足加以解释,尤其精通由卡尔•马克思创造出的、在苏维埃帝国全境付诸实践的共产主义。

His magnum opus was the three-volume “Main Currents of Marxism: Its Rise, Growth and Dissolution”, published in the 1970s. It calmly and expertly demolished the pillars of Marxist thought: the labour theory of value, the idea of class struggle, historical materialism and the like. He also pointed out, again without unnecessary polemics, the practical shortcomings of communist systems. Stalinism was not an aberration, he argued, but the inevitable consequence of pursuing a communist utopia. For that, powerful left-wing voices such as the historian E.P. Thompson berated him as a traitor to the noble socialist ideals that he once espoused.

柯氏的代表作是出版于上世纪七十年代的三卷本著作——《马克思主义的主要流派:其兴起、成长与消亡》。本书用平静而娴熟的论述将马克思主义学说的支柱一一击碎:劳动价值论、阶级斗争观念、历史唯物主义,凡此种种,概莫能外。他也毫不拖泥带水地指出了共产主义体制的实际缺陷。在他笔下,斯大林主义并非怪胎,而是对共产主义乌托邦的追求所必然导致的结果。因为这一论断,诸如历史学家E.P.汤普森等强力左翼人士指责柯拉柯夫斯基背叛了他曾一度信奉的社会主义高贵理念。

Against the devil
对抗魔鬼

Both his experience and beliefs made such criticism seem patronising. Mr Kolakowski had lived under two kinds of totalitarianism, Nazism and communism; his ideas had been censored even in the supposedly more liberal communist Poland of the late 1950s and 1960s. What finally drove him, and his Jewish wife Tamara, to emigrate was the communist-inspired anti-Semitic campaign of 1968. Few if any of his leftist critics had such experiences. In a spirited rejoinder to Thompson, Mr Kolakowski wrote: “The only medicine communism has invented—the centralised, beyond social control, state ownership of the national wealth and one-party rule—is worse than the illness it is supposed to cure; it is less efficient economically and it makes the bureaucratic character of social relations an absolute principle.”

不过,在柯拉柯夫斯基的阅历和信念面前,上述的批评看上去颇为傲慢。柯氏曾亲身经历过纳粹主义和共产主义这两种极权制度;即便是在被认为更加自由的、上世纪五十年代后期与六十年代的共产主义波兰,他的思想也受到审查。最终,1968年由共产党挑起的反犹运动使得他与犹太裔夫人塔玛拉远走他乡。在他的左翼批评者中,鲜有人曾有这般经历。柯拉柯夫斯基在一篇针对汤普森的激情洋溢的驳文中写道:“共产主义发明的唯一药物便是将权力集于一身、不受社会控制的国家财富国有和一党专政制度,而这一模式比它原本准备治疗的弊病更加糟糕;它在经济上的效率更低,此外它还使得官僚特征成为社会关系的绝对准则。”

His opponents in that argument seem to have landed on the dustheap of history. But Mr Kolakowski’s distaste for communism did not make him an evangelist for free-market liberalism: he was too inquisitive, sceptical and irreverent to support any particular doctrine strongly. He was particularly critical of those who relied solely on science for answers to the big questions about life. He criticised too the emptiness of secular materialism. Increasingly, he became convinced that religion, in some form or other, was a necessary part of human existence. He was no churchgoer, but asked what his next target would be after communism, he replied, only half-jokingly, “the devil”.

柯氏在这场争论中的对手们似乎已被扫落于历史的垃圾堆[注1]之中。但柯拉柯夫斯基对共产主义的厌恶并未令他成为一名崇尚自由市场的自由主义狂热传道者:他过于好奇、满腹猜疑、又不带敬畏之心,因此绝不会坚定地支持某种特定的学说。对于那些一心仰仗科学给出关于人生重大问题答案的人,他的批判尤为激烈;而世俗唯物主义的虚无也是他的抨击目标。日复一日,他渐渐相信种种类型的宗教是人类生存必不可少的一部分。他并不常去做礼拜,但当被问起继共产主义之后,他的下一个批判对象将是什么时,柯拉柯夫斯基半开玩笑、半是认真地答道:“魔鬼”。

For those involved in the struggle against communism, on both sides of the iron curtain, he became a guru, ranking along with Czeslaw Milosz, the émigré Polish poet whose book “The Captive Mind”, published in 1953, unpicked the mind-mangling effects of communist thought.

对于铁幕两侧那些被卷入这场对抗共产主义之争的人们来说,柯氏成了一位与波兰流亡诗人切斯拉夫•米沃什齐名的权威导师,后者于1953年出版的《被禁锢的思想》一书消解了共产主义思想带来的魅惑效果。

In those early days, of course, Mr Kolakowski was still a loyal, if critical, party member. Some of his fans preferred to forget that. They also overlooked his youthful tirades against Poland’s Catholic church. As a zealous party member when the remnants of wartime anti-communism were still strong, he used to carry a pistol for fear of assassination. Remembering his father’s murder during the Nazi occupation, the young Kolakowski accepted communism as an alternative both to Nazi militarism and to the failures of Poland’s pre-war system of semi-authoritarian capitalism. Indeed his country’s post-war communist rulers saw the brainy, determined youngster as a prize prospect and rewarded him with a trip to Moscow in 1950 to experience the delights of Soviet rule.

当然在那段早年岁月中,柯拉柯夫斯基仍然是一位忠诚的党员,只是或许有一些批判性。对这段历史,他的部分崇拜者试图加以遗忘;他们也无视其年轻时针对波兰天主教会的激烈抨击。彼时,战时反共产主义势力的残余依旧强大,因此身为一名狂热党员的他,习惯于携带手枪以防暗杀。对父亲在纳粹占领时期被人谋杀一事的记忆犹新,使得年轻的柯拉柯夫斯基将共产主义视为纳粹军国主义与波兰战前半威权资本主义制度失败的替代品。事实上,该国战后的共产主义统治者也将这位聪颖而坚定的青年视为宝贵的希望。作为奖励,柯拉柯夫斯基在1950年获得了前往莫斯科的机会,以体验苏维埃统治带给人们的欢悦。

That backfired. He wrote later of the “material and spiritual desolation” he saw there, though it took two decades for his faith in Poland’s socialist system to erode entirely. In the late 1960s, he made his way to America but found the radical campus leftism “pathetic and disgusting”; no place to bring up his daughter, he felt. He visited America regularly, though, and it was in his Jefferson lecture, the highest honour the federal government gives for intellectual achievement, that he coined his best-known aphorism: “We learn history not in order to know how to behave or how to succeed, but to know who we are.”

这一计划适得其反,日后他记录下了在苏联所见到的“物质与精神的荒漠”,不过待他彻底丧失对波兰社会主义体制的信仰,又过去了二十年时间。在上世纪六十年代后期,他前往美国,但却发现激进的校园左翼运动“可悲又可恶”;他觉得这儿不适合女儿的成长。不过他仍然会定期访问美国,而且正是在“杰弗逊讲座”这一联邦政府对于知识成就所能给予的最高荣誉活动中,柯拉柯夫斯基说出了他那句最为人所熟知的名言:“学习历史,不是为了知道该怎么做或者怎样取得成功,而是为了认识自己。”

注1:“历史的垃圾堆”指里根总统在1982年对共产主义所作的预言。
有兴趣了解这一短语不同版本历史的同学还可以参见这篇文章http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/004250.html

Anthony Yuan
about.me/yyq123

cathayan

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May 21, 2019, 9:47:08 PM5/21/19
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共产主义发明的唯一药物便是将权力集于一身、不受社会控制的国家财富国有和一党专政制度,而这一模式比它原本准备治疗的弊病更加糟糕;它在经济上的效率更低,此外它还使得官僚特征成为社会关系的绝对准则。
对于那些一心仰仗科学给出关于人生重大问题答案的人,他的批判尤为激烈;而世俗唯物主义的虚无也是他的抨击目标。日复一日,他渐渐相信种种类型的宗教是人类生存必不可少的一部分。
他前往美国,但却发现激进的校园左翼运动“可悲又可恶”;

这些都降低了他的可信度和权威性。社会主义和共产主义作为人类的一种可能,作为小群体内曾经长期实行的社会制度,就这么被批判是很不合理的——他们想批判的只是斯大林式共产主义和更加普遍适用的官僚主义,以加由这两者加持的独裁统治。

事实上,现在发达国家普遍实行社会主义,包括美国的社会主义成分可能都大于中国。至于共产主义,无非是因为条件所限,主要是被资本主义加强的私产制度所限,而不能发展出所需的制度和心理,因而不能实行。引用某个书上讲的日耳曼社会中的传统共产主义:每到冬天,没饭吃的人就四处游荡,他们走进一户还有食物的房子,大家就一起吃,吃完了一起上路,走向下一座有食物的房子。慢慢的,这个队伍可以拖的很长。这个接近于原始共产主义,属于物质很不丰富的情况下必须的社会制度,也可能因此,一旦有了较为丰富的物质,人类就不能再实行共产主义了,心理上就不能接受。但是未来再丰富一些,谁知道呢?
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Calon

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May 24, 2019, 9:36:08 PM5/24/19
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日耳曼的这种原始“共产主义”连社会组织都谈不上,和共产主义者心目中的理想完全不是一回事吧。

未来的物质生产要达到完全没有稀缺的程度才不会被经济学规律所束缚。
 

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cathayan

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May 26, 2019, 11:07:11 PM5/26/19
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这其实反映了人类一种潜意识追求,也是一种内在恐惧驱动的,害怕无依无靠,最好就是所有人照顾所有人,无论物资丰裕还是贫乏,都互相照顾——我觉得这是非常基本,经常都会被忘掉的一种追求,时不时都会浮起在社会上,只不过人类现在显然无力处理这个问题,即便物资完全丰沛无虞,可能人也处理不了。。。宗教其实在这方面做的挺好的,等于是求助于外力了
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