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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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Economistの本気

 
今週のEconomistは創刊175周年。年数的には半端な気もしますが、創刊の志を見直すエッセイは気合十分でした。長さは1万語、ワードに印刷してみると20ページくらいになりました(汗)しかもウエブ版には40以上の本や記事を参考資料として紹介しています。

Liberalism
Reinventing liberalism for the 21st century

創刊の志というのはto champion free trade, free markets, and limited governmentと簡単にまとめていて、それを現代に合わせてどのように展開していけばいいのか移民、税体制などの改善点を過去の取り組みを随時参照しながら具体的に考えています。長い記事を簡潔にまとめる気力はないので、社説の方を見ています。

The Economist at 175
Success turned liberals into a complacent elite. They need to rekindle their desire for radicalism

to champion free trade, free markets, and limited governmentと簡潔にまとめていた信条をここでは universal commitment to individual dignity, open markets, limited government and a faith in human progress brought about by debate and reformともう少し詳しめに書いています。

For The Economist this is profoundly worrying. We were created 175 years ago to campaign for liberalism—not the leftish “progressivism” of American university campuses or the rightish “ultraliberalism” conjured up by the French commentariat, but a universal commitment to individual dignity, open markets, limited government and a faith in human progress brought about by debate and reform.

Yutaがフランシス・フクヤマの本を読んだばかりなのかもしれませんが、彼の主張とこのEconomistの主張は似たものを感じます。皆のためを考える、全体を配慮するcivic respect for all、common interestの方をおろそかになっているというのです。特にヌクヌクと暮らしているエリートに手厳しいです。

Liberals have forgotten that their founding idea is civic respect for all. Our centenary editorial, written in 1943 as the war against fascism raged, set this out in two complementary principles. The first is freedom: that it is “not only just and wise but also profitable…to let people do what they want.” The second is the common interest: that “human society…can be an association for the welfare of all.”

Today’s liberal meritocracy sits uncomfortably with that inclusive definition of freedom. The ruling class live in a bubble. They go to the same colleges, marry each other, live in the same streets and work in the same offices. Remote from power, most people are expected to be content with growing material prosperity instead. Yet, amid stagnating productivity and the fiscal austerity that followed the financial crisis of 2008, even this promise has often been broken.

こちらの部分でもcommon interestが細分化され、対立を招いてしまっていることを嘆いています。

Instead people are retreating into group identities defined by race, religion or sexuality. As a result, that second principle, the common interest, has fragmented. Identity politics is a valid response to discrimination but, as identities multiply, the politics of each group collides with the politics of all the rest. Instead of generating useful compromises, debate becomes an exercise in tribal outrage. Leaders on the right, in particular, exploit the insecurity engendered by immigration as a way of whipping up support. And they use smug left-wing arguments about political correctness to feed their voters’ sense of being looked down on. The result is polarisation. Sometimes that leads to paralysis, sometimes to the tyranny of the majority. At worst it emboldens far-right authoritarians.

Economistによれば自己保身に走るのではなく、根本的な断絶的な変化を恐れない態度こそがliberalismだそうです。創刊時にCorn Laws廃止を訴えたのは、庶民の立場に立っていたからだ。現代のリベラルも苦しんでいる側の人々に立つべきだと訴えています。

It is the moment for a liberal reinvention. Liberals need to spend less time dismissing their critics as fools and bigots and more fixing what is wrong. The true spirit of liberalism is not self-preserving, but radical and disruptive. The Economist was founded to campaign for the repeal of the Corn Laws, which charged duties on imports of grain into Victorian Britain. Today that sounds comically small-bore. But in the 1840s, 60% of the income of factory workers went on food, a third of that on bread. We were created to take the part of the poor against the corn-cultivating gentry. Today, in that same vision, liberals need to side with a struggling precariat against the patricians.

Corn Lawsはロングマンも見出しに立ててくれています。

(ウィズダム)
Corn Laws
⦅英⦆;〖the ~〗〘史〙穀物法〘輸入穀物に重税を課した; 1846年廃止〙.

(ロングマン)
Corn ˌLaws, the    
laws in Britain in the 19th century controlling the price of foreign corn, and making it more expensive than corn produced in Britain. This protected British farmers from competition, but hurt the ordinary people, and after much protest, the laws were changed in 1846.

Economistの読者の多くはエリート層だと思うんですが、自己批判・自己改革を促さないと昨今のポピュリズムの流れは変えられないという危機感があるのでしょうかねえ。フェイスブックのことを以前このブログでも取り上げましたが、口ではもっともらしいことを言っていても、実際にやっていたことは自分の利益の最大化で、その影響力に無関心だったんですから、普通の人は政治不信、グローバル化反対になってしまいますよね。しかも今年はリーマンショックから10年でもありますから、グローバル化によって人生狂わされたという恨みがぶり返している人もいるでしょうし。。。
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Yuta

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