观察者网

朱萧发:英国为什么脱欧,中国人读读《论语》就能明白

2018-06-08 07:22:22

当英国乐队“性手枪”的主唱约翰尼·罗顿在《上帝保佑女王》中唱出“在英格兰的梦想里没有未来”的时候,很难说这位留着绿色莫西干头、满口烂牙的朋克摇滚明星是不是有意识地将自己置于英国宪法历史当中。不管罗顿的原意是什么,他的评论触及了一个重要悖论,关乎英国与自身历史的关系。从1215年的《大宪章》以来,英国的宪法性文件从来没有授予新的权利。举例来说,1689年的《权利法案》以“王国真正的、古老的、不容置疑的权利”来证明自身合法性。它提出这些“古老的”权利均可追溯自盎格鲁-萨克逊源头,早在1066年的诺曼征服之前便已存在。其要义在于,英国宪法的每一次“进步”都是倒退,退回诺曼人以武力摧毁英格兰自由之前的时代,回归前封建时代保障自由的宪法。

在中国的学术和政治文化当中也存在类似的悖论,这可能会塑造未来一百年的东西方关系。颜回曾经请教老师孔子应该如何治理国家,孔子教导他要“实行夏朝的历法,乘坐商朝的交通工具,佩戴周朝的衣冠,取法舜和武王的音乐(行夏之时,乘殷之辂,服周之冕,乐则韶舞。——《论语·卫灵公》)。”孔子对中国现代政治思想的影响力毋庸多言,他这种用过去指引未来的说法看似主观随意,但其实是在提倡欣赏不同的国民特性,并警告颜回不要以牺牲民俗为代价拜倒在理性的神坛下。对中国与英国而言,历史不是某种人们必须逃离的噩梦,而是须要仔细品析的梦想。

这种历史观与奠定欧盟基础的政治哲学形成了鲜明对比。欧盟的成立与法国和俄国革命有相似之处,其根基都来自启蒙运动产生的理性主义观念。在欧盟看来,历史是一场必须尽快摆脱的噩梦,而理性则能将人们唤醒。它认为人类历史上之所以一再犯错误,宗教或民族等非理性观念要负责任,因此社会需要经历激进的彻底改造,摒弃传统价值观,拥抱“自由”(先抛开它的具体内涵不谈)这个所谓最理性的观念。只要社会遵循理性、追求自由,那么康德所说的“永久和平”就会诞生。250年后,康德的“世界公民法权”概念几乎被原株移植,结出的果实便是欧盟。

正如马克思对国际社会主义运动无比坚定,欧盟的联邦主义者也坚持认为,他们关于经济政治自由化的教条终将“破解历史难题”。欧盟的顶层设计者们将1945年视为元年是有道理的,因为二战结束后欧洲大陆上的战事显著减少。不过,若将这个现象简单归因为政治联盟,则未免流于盲目理想主义,或许经济繁荣发挥的作用更大。实际上,欧盟的伞状决策体制不考虑各个群体之间的利益冲突。这导致了匈牙利等国家出现紧张局势,尤其是意大利近日来的政治乱象可能导致欧盟瓦解。欧盟在移民问题上的立场造成了匈牙利和意大利的危机,它拒绝回应人们的焦虑——只要这种焦虑偏离了欧盟极度理性、科学客观和普世主义的原则。欧洲各国人民之间的差异远远大于欧盟那些当代启蒙主义者所愿意相信的程度。由于历史的复杂性影响着每一个人,使我们形成不同的欲望和成见,因此冲突本来就具有地域性。爱尔兰和匈牙利真有那么多共同点吗?如果没有的话,为什么要将同样的政策强加于两国公民呢?欧盟奉行的极度理性主义其实是一种乌托邦,它是不可能达到的。

1962年,英国工党党魁晓治·盖茨克以“1000年历史”面临终结的危险为理由,反对加入欧洲经济共同体(也就是后来的欧盟)。他其实是在暗示,英国从来没有真正加入过欧洲联邦主义者所谓的“欧洲命运共同体”——其实就是加洛林王朝和拿破仑一世谋求的欧洲大陆统治权——因此加入一个把“越来越紧密的联盟”作为目标写进宪法的联盟是逆时代潮流的。实际上,在2013年欧盟委员会的一项关于“欧盟公民”自我认可度的调查中,英国排名垫底。虽然对于某些人来说,这是件应当引以为耻的事,但事实上英国与欧洲大陆既没有“命运共同体”的基础,也没有共同的理性主义传统。

我们不妨从法律的角度来比较英国和欧洲大陆的文化。从这个层面上来说,欧盟仍然是极度理性主义者的试验项目,欧盟毫不动摇地坚持“四大自由”,即内部资本、人员、商品和服务流动的自由,这种坚持并非源于对每个国家不同需求的相对评估,而是基于抽象的、哲学化的原则。除此之外,法国和美国的宪法性文件都脱胎自启蒙运动传统,它们所主张的都是抽象概念,而不是传统实践。而在英国这边,大法官们曾经指出英国法律是完全不合逻辑的,这也正是它聪明之处。普通法的主体部分十分混杂,没有什么判例是“高屋建瓴”的,大多也不具有普适性,每个判决都只被限制在特定的范畴之内,先例永远不等于原则。而这样的法律构成了英国的宪法。

从这方面来看,英国和中国的政治文化就像失散多年的兄弟。有三种苦恼曾经困扰着法国的雅各宾派和苏维埃政权,造成了一系列人类最大的悲剧,但2500年前的孔子却早已看破这一切。首先,孔子不认可僵化的理论创造,认为那些强加严苛原则于自身的人比石头还不会变通。在《论语·子路》中,学生子贡想以人类行为的因果为“士”建立一套简单的评判公式,孔子训诫道:“言必信,行必果,硁硁然小人哉!”纵览马克思的《政治经济学批判大纲》我们可以发现,启蒙运动不外乎是把历史的复杂性缩减成简单公式。其次,孔子在《论语·先进》中教导我们,没有什么规则是不可变的,所谓“(善人)不践迹”。这与英国宪法灵活的特征有异曲同工之妙,托克维尔认为正因为有这样的宪法,英国才避免了出现法国那样的大革命。第三,孔子认为世上没有什么是不可质疑的,包括自己(吾与回言终日,不违,如愚。——《论语·为政》)。同样面对普世主义的侵袭,中国和英国的政治文化至少有以上三个共同点。

中英两国思想史有着惊人的相似之处,它们都拒绝教条化遵循抽象原则,而欧盟则对抽象原则无比痴迷。英国拒绝拥抱欧盟的联邦主义,因而被诟病为“活在过去”。这种说法倒是恰如其分。英国脱欧公投的不同寻常之处在于,它带给英国的不是加入某个政治工程的机会,而是退出的机会。结果就是英国宪法的时钟被拨回了《欧洲共同体法案》刚刚生效的1973年。实际上,英国“脱欧派”的一系列口头禅,比如“拿回我们的国家”、“主权沦丧”、“收回控制权”等,都指向这个时间点。想回到过去有什么错?历史是我们的个人身份和民族身份的根基,而决定这些身份认同则是我们的成见、偏见和希望,而不是某个毫无同情心、缺乏个性、被唤作“理性”的独裁者。如果欧盟有一天走向瓦解,那些“理性人”定会对一切横加指责——包括狭隘的英国、落后的南欧国家,以及落魄的难民——而不会注意到自身意识形态存在缺陷。他们已经成为了“理性”的奴隶。

鉴于中国和英国有着类似的历史观,中国应该留意英国如何对待自身的历史。虽然当下为英国脱欧进行任何辩护都是不明智的行为,而且中国历来不对外国内政高调表态,更何况欧盟是个远比英国更加庞大的市场,但也许未来终有一天,中国作为全球超重量级大国需要搁置短期实用主义,以长远的策略践行其价值观,对试图破坏多元传统和文化、试图建立单一性全球文明的势力说“不”。

在英国脱欧公投结果出炉后,曾有人问欧洲理事会主席唐纳德·图斯克是否能够想象一个英国仍然留在欧盟内部的未来。他耍了个职业官僚招牌式的小聪明,以披头士乐队主唱约翰·列侬的口吻回答了这个问题:“(欧盟)建立于一个看似不可实现的梦想之上,所以谁知道呢?你可能会说我在做梦,但我不是唯一的一个。”

在理解欧盟的政治哲学根基之后,不难发现图斯克的评论并不是拙劣的卖弄,更像是在无意间道破了玄机,暴露出他与列侬一致的目标(“想象如果世界没有国家……也没有宗教”——披头士《想象》)。与列侬一样,图斯克也希望世界“融为一体”,收敛至唯一的、严酷无情的道德体系之下,形成欧盟所谓的“越来越紧密的联盟”。这种无视历史的做法将破坏文化的完整性。欧洲当然应该直面并审视自身的历史,但无论如何也不应该忘记历史。今天的欧盟虽然看上去温良中立,但它继承的却是过去250年来欧洲大陆各种意图抹杀历史的残酷政权。这个故事最可悲的地方在于,除了就业、自由、主权和民主,英国被欧盟剥夺的清单里现在还得加上披头士。

(青年观察者张成译,观察者网杨晗轶校,翻页阅读英文原文)

When Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols sang “there is no future in England’s dreaming”, it is difficult to say whether this punk rock star, with his green mohican and bad teeth, meant to cast himself in the grand tradition of British constitutional history. However, regardless of intent, Rotten was commenting on the paradox central to Britain’s relationship with the past. In the UK’s great constitutional documents, stretching back to the Magna Carta in 1215, no new rights were ever conferred. For example, the Bill of Rights justifies itself as the “true, ancient, and indubitable rights of the kingdom”. These “ancient” rights were presented as being Anglo-Saxon in origin, preceding the Norman invasion of 1066. In essence, every constitutional “progression” is a step backwards - towards the pre-feudal, law-abiding constitution that preserved liberty - to a time before the Normans destroyed English freedom by force.

This paradox at the heart of progress - to go forward, we must go backwards - can also be identified in Chinese intellectual and political culture. This could shape East-West relations over the next century. When asked by a disciple how to govern a state, Confucius instructed him to “follow the calendar of the Xia dynasty, ride in the carriage of the Shang, wear the ceremonial cap of the Zhou, and as for music, embrace the music of the Shao and Wu”. In this seemingly arbitrary use of the past as a guide to future conduct, Confucius - whose influence on political thought in modern China needs no introduction - was advocating an appreciation for the singularity of national characteristics, and warning against prostrating before the altar of reason at the expense of native customs. Like the UK, China does not see history as a nightmare from which we must escape, but a dream we must carefully analyse.

This is in stark contrast with the political philosophy underpinning the European Union. Like the French and Russian Revolutions, the EU is a project based on the Enlightenment’s idea of rationalism. They claimed that the past was a terror from which we must awake - and reason was here to rouse us. Irrational concepts like religion or the nation were responsible for the same mistakes having been repeated in history. What was needed was a radical overhaul of society in which traditional values were abandoned in favour of that most rational of concepts - liberty (whatever that means). Once reason was followed, and liberty pursued, what Kant called ‘perpetual peace’ would arise. 250 years later, his ius cosmopoliticum would be followed almost to the book, coming to fruition as the European Union.

Like Marx and his International Socialism, EU federalists insist - no less virulently - that their centrist dogma of economic and political liberalisation will ‘solve the riddle of history’. Indeed, top EU figures have referred to 1945 as ‘year zero’. It is true that a remarkably low level of warfare has occurred on the continent since the Second World War. But it is blind idealism to claim that this is because of political union - greater prosperity is probably more responsible. (In any case, the EU was powerless in Bosnia.) The EU’s umbrella-style approach to policymaking gives no account for the clashes of interest between different groups. This has caused tensions in Hungary, and significantly, Italy - which may yet be the EU’s undoing. These two crises are down to its stance on immigration, which has exposed its refusal to engage with any anxieties that deviate from its hyper-rationalistic, scientifically objective, universal principles. We are far more different than the latter-day Enlightenment thinkers of the EU believe. Conflict is endemic; the complexities of history have touched each of us, shaping our desires and prejudices differently. Do Ireland and Bulgaria really have that much in common? If not, why should the same policies be forced upon its citizens? The EU’s hyper-rationalism is utopian because it is impossible.

In 1963, Hugh Gaitskell explained his opposition to joining what would later be known as the European Union (then just a common market) by warning of the end of ‘1000 years of history’. Speaking as leader of the Labour Party, he was implying that since the UK had never really been a part of what EU federalists ominously call ‘the community of fate’ - that Carolingian, Napoleonic struggle for mastery on the continent - it would be anachronistic to join a union which would later enshrine the objective of ‘ever-closer union’ in its constitution. Indeed, in 2013 the UK came bottom of an EU Commission survey asking to what extent its citizens agreed with the statement “you are a citizen of the EU”. I know people to whom that would be an accusation. The UK shares with Europe neither the ‘community of fate’ upon which the EU was founded - nor the rationalistic tradition.

To explore this idea, let’s compare the two cultures from a legal standpoint. In this regard, the EU is again an experiment in hyper-rationalism: the unyielding ‘four freedoms’ of capital, people, goods, and services are not based on a relativistic assessment of the different needs and cultures of each state, but an abstract, philosophical principle. In addition, the great constitutional documents of France and the US, both of which arose from the Enlightenment tradition, declare abstract principles rather than traditional practices. On the other hand, Lord Chancellors (responsible for the effecting running of the British courts) of the past have pointed out that the law in the UK is utterly, brilliantly, illogical. The miscellaneous body of Common Law, which makes up the British Constitution, is composed of rulings of which none are ‘higher’ or universal. Each case decides only what it decides: precedent is not principle.

In this regard, British and Chinese political culture are like long-lost brothers. Confucius stayed well away from three afflictions, which from the Jacobins to the Soviets have been the source of some of the greatest human tragedies. Firstly, he decried ‘theory-making’, thinking men who were enslaved to harsh and self-imposed principles to be no more imaginative than ‘stones’. One of the most memorable incidents of The Analects is when Confucius reprimands a disciple for trying to determine a formula for the cause and effect of human behaviour. A quick glance at Marx’s Grundrisse can show us how the Enlightenment is nothing if not the reduction of history’s complexities to a simple formula.  Secondly, Confucius taught that no rule should be ‘immutable’: ‘a good man is not slavish to a path others have trodden’. This fits with the famously supple nature of the British constitution, which Tocqueville credited for the lack of a French Revolution event in Britain. Thirdly, Confucius claimed that nothing should be ‘beyond doubt’. These three positions remind us of what Chinese and British political culture share in the face of hostile universalism.

The United Kingdom and the People’s Republic of China both have a history of ideas that is strikingly similar in their shared aversion to the dogmatic fixation on abstract principles embodied in the European project. For refusing to embrace EU federalism, the UK is smeared for ‘living in the past’. This cannot be denied. Unusually, the referendum gave the opportunity to vote not to join a political project, but leave one. As a result, the constitutional clock was turned back to 1973. Indeed, most of the buzzphrases used by Brexiteers - ‘we want our country back’, ‘loss of sovereignty’, ‘take back control’ - all alluded to this. But what is wrong with the past? It is where our identities - personal, national, or otherwise - are based. And it is our biases, prejudices, and hopes which make up our identity - not some unsympathetic, faceless dictator called Reason. When the breakdown of the EU finally, inevitably comes, you can be sure they will blame anyone, anything - the parochial British, the backward Southern states, even suffering refugees - than notice that their ideology is flawed, and Reason holds them prisoner.

Given China’s similar relationship with history, the PRC should take notice of the UK”s treatment. However, any defence of Britain would currently be inadvisable. Indeed, China is keeping its head down in the best tradition of Deng Xiaoping. Us Brits cannot blame them for this - the EU is a larger market. However, there will come a point when China’s super-heavyweight standing in the world compels it to put short-term pragmatism aside and assert its values in a long-term strategy against those, like the EU, who look to destroy the varied traditions and cultures of the world in favour of a single, global civilisation.

When asked whether he could imagine an outcome in which the UK stays a part of the EU (even after having voted to do the opposite), Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, channelled John Lennon. With that quirky wit for which career bureaucrats are famous, Tusk said that the EU was “built on dreams that seemed impossible to achieve, so who knows? You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”.

With an understanding of the political philosophy underpinning the EU, Tusk’s comments strike us less as an ill-conceived tease, and more like a Freudian slip revealing how he appears to share the sinister agenda (“imagine there’s [sic] no countries… and no religion too”) of the third most talented Beatle. Like Lennon, Tusk wants the world to “live as one” - under one unforgiving morality in what the EU calls ‘ever-closer union’. This undermines cultural integrity and ignores history. Europe should confront and scrutinise its history - but under no circumstances forget it. Thus far, the EU has shown itself to be the centrist heir to the brutal regimes of the last 250 years that aimed to do just that. But perhaps the saddest part of this story is that in addition to that which which the European Union has already taken from the United Kingdom - jobs, freedom, sovereignty, and democracy - we must now add The Beatles.

本文系观察者网独家稿件,文章内容纯属作者个人观点,不代表平台观点,未经授权,不得转载,否则将追究法律责任。关注观察者网微信guanchacn,每日阅读趣味文章。
朱萧发

朱萧发

剑桥大学新生,青年观察者

分享到
来源:观察者网 | 责任编辑:杨晗轶
作者最近文章
英国为什么脱欧,中国人读读《论语》就能明白
风闻·24小时最热
网友推荐最新闻
相关推荐
切换网页版
下载观察者App
tocomment gotop