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为什么丧失美洲殖民地让英国人如此恼火?有很多原因。其中一个,美洲是放逐囚犯的便宜之地,长年累月已约达4万名囚犯被流放至此。……

 

 

流 放

 

FOR the English, there were many reasons why losing the American colonies was annoying. One was that America had been a handy place to exile convicts, some 40,000 of them over the years. George III took a personal interest in the hunt for new spots to resettle those (in his words) “unworthy to remain in this island”. Gibraltar was considered, as was west Africa, before ministers plumped for newly discovered Australia. By the time transportation ended (accused of lowering the tone of the Australian colonies), almost 200,000 men, women and children had been shipped Down Under, most never to return. Transportation was sorely missed: Parliament pondered newpenal colonies in the Falkland Islands and even Antarctica, amid public panicat the idea of ex-prisoners roaming English streets.

 
 

为什么丧失美洲殖民地让英国人如此恼火?有很多原因。其中一个,美洲是放逐囚犯的便宜之地,长年累月已约达4万名囚犯被流放至此。对那些”不配留在这个岛上”(用乔治三世自己的话)的囚犯,他兴致勃勃地亲自寻觅再次安顿的新地点。在各部长们支持选择新发现的澳大利亚前,直布罗陀和西非都被列入考虑之地。到流放政策终止时(该政策以镇压澳大利亚殖民地的罪名被控诉),几乎有20万男女和孩子被船运到澳大利亚和新西兰,大多数再也没回来。英国人对流放政策可是念念不忘;前科犯可以在大街小巷任意活动,民众对此感到恐慌,于是议会考虑将新的刑事殖民地设在福克兰群岛甚至南极洲。

 
 

Repeatedly in history, when faced withrising crime or mob violence, respectable English citizens have yearned for those who alarm them to vanish: whether via the gallows, by removal to the edges of the earth, behind prison walls or (after race riots in the late 20th century) through calls for immigration to be curbed or reversed. Yet geography has just as often thwarted such desires: in urbanised, crowded England, the respectable have long lived cheek-by-jowl with those who alarm them.

 
 

史上有过多次这样的事:面对犯罪迭起和聚众暴力,体面的英国公民便呼吁让那些带来惊恐的人从视野中消失:送上绞刑架、迁至地球边缘地带、关入监狱,或者(20世纪晚期的种族骚乱后)控制或撤销移民入境。但出于地理上的原因,他们的此类要求往往受阻:英国逐渐城镇化,拥挤不堪,体面的公民长期以来都和危险分子同住一个屋檐下。

 
 

They still do. Indeed, soaring property prices—which have pushed London’s middle classes into ever-edgier neighbourhoods—help explain some of the more lurid headlines during last week’s disorder. For instance, the press reported hand-to-hand combat between masked looters and staff armed with rolling pins at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Notting Hill, in west London. The last time England saw such serious riots, in 1981, much of Notting Hill was a tough place, still blighted by slum housing; now it’s a partly tough place, full of millionaires.

 
 

现在仍然如此。的确,房价飙升让伦敦的中产阶级被迫前往更偏远的地方定居,这有助于解释上周骚乱中一些耸人听闻的头版头条。譬如,媒体报道过一则新闻,事件发生在伦敦西部诺丁山的米其林星级餐厅,蒙面抢劫犯和拿着擀面杖的员工展开了肉搏战。这是英国最近得知的如此严重的骚乱。1981年,诺丁山很大部分地区生活还很艰难,贫民窟密布;现在,那里生活的全是百万富翁,一定程度上脱离了困顿生活。

 
 

A week after the riots, sharp political debate has broken out about what lies behind those four days and nights of near-anarchy, and how to fix the social failings they exposed. Much of the debate has fallen into the familiar tramlines of a clash between an authoritarian right and a compassionate left. But other ancient echoes can also be heard.

 
 

骚乱发生的一周后,一场激烈的政治辩论展开:4个日夜的近乎无政府主义背后是什么?如何弥补他们暴露出来的社会软肋?辩论大多落入大家熟悉的冲突套路:独裁的右派对慈悲的左派。但也可以听到其他历史上出现过的声音。

 
 

Conservative MPs have praised judges for handing down swingeing punishments, including four-year jail terms handed to two men who (unsuccessfully) tried to whip up riots via their Facebook pages.Tory MPs have backed moves to evict the families of convicted rioters from council housing. The home secretary, Theresa May, says officials will look atgeneral dusk-to-dawn curfews. The conservative press is demanding the reversalof plans to scrap thousands of prison places (part of the drive to cut Britain’s budget deficit).

 
 

保守的国会议员赞扬了从严处罚罪犯的判决,包括对2个试图通过facebook让骚乱升级(未遂)的男人处以4年刑期。保守党议员支持把罪犯家属驱逐出简廉租房。内务大臣特雷莎.梅伊(Theresa May)说,官方会考虑实行从黄昏到黎明的全面宵禁。保守党的官方媒体要求政府收回取消数千所监狱的计划(部分原因是为削减英国的财政赤字)。

 
 

Such moves seem to chime with early public-opinion polls. YouGov, a pollster, found majorities for stripping welfare benefits from rioters, and for jailing looters, arsonists and those found guilty of violent disorder for several years. The newspapers and streets are full of voices declaring that family structures have fallen apart, and that society has been shattered by shifts in the labour market that have left England with an underclass knowing nothing of the world of work.

 
 

这样的行动似乎和早期的民意调查相一致。YouGov调研公司发现大多数人几年来一直支持剥夺一类人的社会福利,包括暴民、在狱的抢劫犯、纵火犯和因暴乱而治罪的人。报纸和大街小巷所见所闻,都是关于家庭结构已经分崩离析,社会因劳动力市场的转变而被分裂,这种转变只给英国留下一个对职场一无所知的下层阶级。

 
 

It is not hard to sniff the makings of an English panic. Popular responses to the 2011 riots—hefty jail terms, evictions and curfews—are all, deep down, ways of wishing scary people far away.

 
 

要得知英国的恐慌缘何而来,不难。民众对2011年骚乱的反应—-从重判刑、驱逐出境和宵禁,都是从内心深处希望远离带来恐慌的人。

 
 

A classic text of English criminology, Geoffrey Pearson’s 1983 work “Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears”, lovingly traces repeating cycles of alarm about unprecedented crime rates and uniquely dreadful young people all the way back to the 16th century. The peak of transportation coincided with a panic brought on by the Industrial Revolution, which was held to have destroyed family structures (working mothers caused much alarm) and shattered traditional values. In 1843, at a time when about one in five of all convicted prisoners was being shipped to Australia,the House of Commons heard that the “morals of children are tenfold worse than formerly”, while parents in Nottingham were frankly “vicious”.

 
 

英国犯罪学有一本经典教材—-杰弗里.彼尔森1983年写就的《流氓:担惊受怕的历史》。不断创新高的犯罪率和极其可怕的年轻人引发周期性恐慌,这本书对此深入研究,一直追溯到了16世纪。人们坚信工业革命瓦解了家庭结构(母亲上岗工作占很大部分)和传统价值观,而流放的高峰期恰好与此波带来的恐慌期相重合。1843年,这段时间内每5个罪犯就有1个被船运至澳大利亚,下议院听说当诺丁汉的父母举止露骨地堕落时,”孩子们的品性便比之前差了十倍”。

 
 

Yet even then, English reformers were buoyed by the inescapable reality that cities were thronged with both respectable folk and what were termed the “dangerous classes”. Proximity meant that questions of rehabilitation could not be avoided for ever.

 
 

但即使是那段时间,英国的改革者意识到了无法逃避的现实:拥挤的城市里有体面的公民,也有被定为”危险级别”的人群。这几乎意味着不可能永远避免改过迁善的问题。

 
 

Now, once again, politicians are appealing to the desire to expel and remove bad elements from society. That impulse lurks in the English urban character, but so does pragmatism. With luck, pragmatism will win.

 
 

现在,政客们再次诉求将不稳定因素从生活所在的社会驱逐和移除出去。这种冲动一直隐藏在英国城市居民的个性中,但他们身上也流淌着实用主义的血液。如果幸运的话,实用主义会占上风。

 
 

Today’s urban English mostly seem to likeliving in their jumbled-up neighbourhoods. They do not wish to live in strictly segregated cities or nervous, gated suburbs. That should strengthen the hands of those urging rehabilitation over retribution. Even the most hawkish know the jailed will be out in time.

 
 

如今的城市居民似乎大多乐于住在鱼龙混杂的环境里,不希望住在严格隔离的城市或让人紧张、有门禁的郊区。那应该会导致急于用改过迁善的方法来代替惩罚。即使最强硬的人也知道囚犯迟早会出狱。

 
 

There are other reasons for hope. When England erupted in weeks of violence in 1981, the riots in Brixton, Moss Side and Toxteth left the country in a toxic stew of racial tension and mutual incomprehension. Newspapers of the day inveighed, nastily, against what one called an “unnecessarily imported” crisis of “ethnic criminality”. In riot-torndistricts, the police were widely hated. This time round, the mood in neighbourhoods recovering from looting involves relief as well as anger, and a strong desire to fix things. Racial tensions are lower. Nationwide, there is fretting about weak police tactics, which initially left looters feeling they could rampage with impunity. But it is easier to make the police a bit tougher than to persuade citizens not to loathe them.

 
 

希望仍在,还有其他原因。1981年,Brixton Moss SideToxteth三个城市爆发了长达数周的骚乱,让英国陷入种族冲突和互不理解的煎熬中。有人称这是一场”本不该有”的”民族犯罪”危机,当时的报纸对此进行了猛烈的抨击。受到骚乱影响的社区,警察处处遭遇白眼。这次抢劫风波后弥漫在社区上空的情绪,有如释重负,有愤怒,还有修复损失的强烈意愿。种族间的紧张气氛有所缓解。就全国范围而言,民众都在抱怨警察战术低劣,导致抢劫者从一开始就觉得他们可以恣意妄为且能免除惩罚。与其去说服公民不要憎恶警察,让警力生猛一些更为容易。

 
 

The English have given themselves a shock.They must now set to work making their society better. They have no choice.

 
 

英国人让自己吃了一惊。他们现在必须开始改善他们的社会。别无选择。

(文章来源:ECO中文网。)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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