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Uncharted Territory

自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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今週のアジア版TIMEのカバーストーリーは強権的な政権を扱ったRise of the Strongmanですがそれほどページ数はありません。むしろFBIの記事の方が充実しています。現にUS版ではこちらがカバーストーリー。アジア版だとFBIが表紙よりはこちらの方がアピールすると考えたのでしょうか。記事最後を紹介してしまうのでこれから読みたい方は読み飛ばしてください。

欧米の民主主義制度なんて見習う必要ないんじゃないか、強権的な政府の方が軍事的、経済的な安全を保障してくれるのではないかという気持ちがある限り、今後もトランプやプーチンのような人物が登場する懸念はなくならないと述べています。

WORLD POLITICS
Ian Bremmer @ianbremmer  May 3, 2018

Perhaps the most worrying element of the strongman’s rise is the message it sends. The systems that powered the Cold War’s winners now look much less appealing than they did a generation ago. Why emulate the U.S. or European political systems, with all the checks and balances that prevent even the most determined leaders from taking on chronic problems, when one determined leader can offer a credible shortcut to greater security and national pride? As long as that rings true, the greatest threat may be the strongmen yet to come.



このあたりのトピックはちょうど雑誌Foreig Affairsも取り上げていました。強権的な政府は世界経済で大きな割合を占めるようになり、文化的なソフトパワーも広げているというのです。記事のはじめの方にある、先進国のアンケート調査で軍事政権を好ましいと考える人が増えているのは危険な兆候ですね。

Autocracy's Global Ascendance
By Yascha Mounk and Roberto Stefan Foa

Taking the material foundations of democratic hegemony seriously casts the story of democracy’s greatest successes in a different light, and it also changes how one thinks about its current crisis. As liberal democracies have become worse at improving their citizens’ living standards, populist movements that disavow liberalism are emerging from Brussels to Brasília and from Warsaw to Washington. A striking number of citizens have started to ascribe less importance to living in a democracy: whereas two-thirds of Americans above the age of 65 say it is absolutely important to them to live in a democracy, for example, less than one-third of those below the age of 35 say the same thing. A growing minority is even open to authoritarian alternatives: from 1995 to 2017, the share of French, Germans, and Italians who favored military rule more than tripled. 

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New forms of authoritarian capitalism may eventually suffer similar types of economic stagnation. So far, however, the form of authoritarian capitalism that has emerged in Arab Gulf states and East Asia—combining a strong state with relatively free markets and reasonably secure property rights—is having a good run. Of the 15 countries in the world with the highest per capita incomes, almost two-thirds are nondemocracies. Even comparatively unsuccessful authoritarian states, such as Iran, Kazakhstan, and Russia, can boast per capita incomes above $20,000. China, whose per capita income was vastly lower as recently as two decades ago, is rapidly starting to catch up. Although average incomes in its rural hinterlands remain low, the country has proved that it can offer a higher level of wealth in its more urban areas: the coastal region of China now comprises some 420 million people, with an average income of $23,000 and growing. In other words, hundreds of millions of people can now be said to live under conditions of “authoritarian modernity.” In the eyes of their less affluent imitators around the world, their remarkable prosperity serves as a testament to the fact that the road to prosperity no longer needs to run through liberal democracy. 

今回のTIMEの記事はIan Bremmer本人による著書Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalismのプロモーションも兼ねてのものでしょう。Us vs. Themという思考法を生み出している現状を分析しているようです。IntroductionではIan Bremmer本人がボストンの貧しい地域から勤勉さで今の地位に登り詰めた過去を語っています。そのような「アメリカンドリーム」が今のアメリカでは叶えられなくなっている、トランプ支持に傾くのも仕方がない状況になっているというのです。

May 3, 2018

We can attack these populists, mock them, or dismiss them, but they know something important about the people they’re talking to, and they understand that many people believe that “globalism” and “globalization” have failed them. These would‑be leaders have a talent for drawing boundaries between people. They offer a compelling vision of division, of “us vs. them,” of the worthy citizen fighting for his rights against the entitled or grasping thief. Depending on the country and the moment, “them” may mean rich people or poor people, foreigners or religious, racial, and ethnic minorities. It can mean supporters of a rival political party or people who live in a different part of the country. It can mean politicians, bankers, or reporters. However applied, it’s a tried- and- true political tool.

Us vs. Them is not about the rocks or the damage they do on impact. Rocks are expressions of frustration. They don’t solve problems. Instead, we must look more closely at the deeper sources of these frustrations, at how governments around the world are likely to respond to them, and how political leaders, institutions, companies, schools, and citizens can work together to make things better.

これからこの本を読もうと思いますが、単純な解決方法はないでしょう。この辺りはForeiang Affairsの次の記事が当てはまると思います。ポピュリストが真の解決をもたらさないが、かといって今ままでの考えでも対処できない。なんとも落ち着かない宙ぶらりんの状態が現在のようです。この著者は南北戦争後のアメリカが乗り越えたように持ち前の柔軟性と回復力で今回の危機も乗り越えていけるだろうと期待を込めています。

How American Democracy Fails Its Way to Success
By Walter Russell Mead

The United States is passing through something similar today. The information revolution is disrupting the country’s social and economic order as profoundly as the Industrial Revolution did. The ideologies and policies that fit American society a generation ago are becoming steadily less applicable to the problems it faces today. The United States’ political parties and most of its political leaders lack the vision and ideas that could solve its most urgent problems. Intellectual and policy elites, for the most part, are too wedded to paradigms that no longer work, but the populists who seek to replace them don’t have real answers, either. It is, in many ways, a stressful and anxious time to be alive. And that anxiety has prompted a pervasive sense of despair about American democracy—a fear that it has reached a point of dysfunction and decay from which it will never recover. 

The effects of rapid change are often unwelcome, but the process of transformation is one of growth and development, not of decline and fall. Indeed, the ability to cope with change remains one of the United States’ greatest sources of strength. In the nineteenth century, people often compared the United States unfavorably with the orderly Prussian-led German empire. Today, the contrast often drawn is with China’s efficient modernization. Yet there is resilience and flexibility in the creative disorder of a free society. There are reasons to believe that, once again, the United States can find a path to an open and humane society that capitalizes on the riches that the new economy will produce. 

「安易な解決法に飛びつかずに、真の問題に試行錯誤しながら取り組むこと」書くのは簡単ですが、実行に写すのはなんとも大変そうです。でも大変だからといってやらなくていい理由にはなりません。。。。
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