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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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WASP

 


亡くなったブッシュ大統領はWASPの典型と言われている人だそうで、彼を懐かしむことはWASPの支配を懐かしむことにつながる可能性があります。まさにそれを書いたNYTのコラムニストが炎上したそうです。

WASPって何と思う方は、次の新書がわかりやすく書いてあったと思います。(買って読んだはずですが行方不明中(汗))前回取り上げた「弱虫」絡みの話題はWASP的観点から取り上げると次のようになるようです。こちらは読者のコメントからの抜粋です。


ワスプ上流は、新興ワスプやホワイト・エスニックから「弱虫」とみられる。苦労が少ない分、非現実感に悩まされる。ジョージ・ブッシュ(パパブッシュ)も偏見による弱虫呼ばわりに悩まされ、父の選挙地盤である東部を捨てて男っぽさが売りのテキサスでニュー・マネーの仲間入りをして見せ、そこに地盤を築いたのもそれを否定するための演技である。上流における男らしさの虚勢と非現実感は表裏一体をなしている。
 ひと昔前の上流ワスプは、公共精神の最大の発露として盛んに戦争に志願した。弱虫でないことを誇示する手段でもある。上流ワスプは、かつては騎兵、近代戦では戦闘機パイロットといずれも貴族的とみられた部隊を志願する。
 戦争に代わる最大の男らしさの発露はスポーツで、上流層が入るブレップ・スクール(私立校・全寮制校)は授業でも寮生活でもスポーツに力を入れる。
 ケネディ兄弟(アイリッシュ系)は、上流作法だけでなく、自分のことを世間に分からせる技術も身につけるように父親から奨励された。一方、ブッシュ(パパブッシュ)(ワスプ)は両親から感情を隠すことを刷り込まれた。

大きな議論を巻き起こしたのはこちらのコラム。WASPの価値観を再評価する内容です。

Their more meritocratic, diverse and secular successors rule us neither as wisely nor as well.
By Ross Douthat Opinion Columnist Dec. 5, 2018

Put simply, Americans miss Bush because we miss the WASPs — because we feel, at some level, that their more meritocratic and diverse and secular successors rule us neither as wisely nor as well.

noblesse oblige and personal austerity and pietyやcosmopolitanismなどWASPの価値観を挙げているのは次のところです。

Those virtues included a spirit of noblesse oblige and personal austerity and piety that went beyond the thank-you notes and boat shoes and prep school chapel going — a spirit that trained the most privileged children for service, not just success, that sent men like Bush into combat alongside the sons of farmers and mechanics in the same way that it sent missionaries and diplomats abroad in the service of their churches and their country.

The WASP virtues also included a cosmopolitanism that was often more authentic than our own performative variety — a cosmopolitanism that coexisted with white man’s burden racism but also sometimes transcended it, because for every Brahmin bigot there was an Arabist or China hand or Hispanophile who understood the non-American world better than some of today’s shallow multiculturalists.

Fareed Zakariaは冒頭の動画とほぼ同じ内容をワシントンポストに書いています。

By Fareed Zakaria Columnist December 6

If at this point you think I am painting a fantasy of a world that never existed, let me give you a vivid example. On the Titanic’s maiden voyage, its first-class cabins were filled with the Forbes 400 of the age. As the ship began to sink and it became clear there were not enough lifeboats for everyone, something striking took place. As Wyn Wade recounts, the men let the women and children board the boats. In first class, about 95 percent of the women and children were saved, compared with only about 30 percent of the men. While, of course, first-class passengers had easier access to the boats, the point remains that some of the world’s most powerful men followed an unwritten code of conduct, even though it meant certain death for them.

Today’s elites are chosen in a much more open, democratic manner, largely through education. Those who do well on tests get into good colleges, then good graduate schools, then get the best jobs and so on. But their power flows from this treadmill of achievement, so they are constantly moving, looking out for their own survival and success. Their perspective is narrower, their horizon shorter-term, their actions more self-interested.

****

Let me be clear. I — of all people — am not calling for a revival of the WASP establishment. I am asking, can we learn something from its virtues? Today’s elites should be more aware of their privilege and at least live by one simple old-fashioned, universal idea — rich or poor, talented or not, educated or uneducated, every human being has equal moral worth.

Ross Douthatのコラムは反響が大きすぎたようで、弁明のようなコラムを書いていました。現在のエリートが自己中心的になっているというのはZakariaと同じ問題意識です。

An aristocracy that can’t admit it.
By Ross Douthat Opinion Columnist Dec. 8, 2018

But I think that same upper class was unwise to abandon an aristocratic self-conception in favor of a meritocratic one. On the evidence we have, the meritocratic ideal ends up being just as undemocratic as the old emphasis on inheritance and tradition, and it forges an elite that has an aristocracy’s vices (privilege, insularity, arrogance) without the sense of duty, self-restraint and noblesse oblige that WASPs at their best displayed.

現在は行き過ぎた能力主義になっていないかと問題点を挙げています。

This was meritocracy, the system that we now take for granted. And for several reasons it didn’t work as planned.

First, meritocracy segregates talent rather than dispersing it. By plucking the highest achievers from all over the country and encouraging them to cluster together in the same few cities, it robs localities of their potential leaders — so that instead of an Eastern establishment negotiating with overlapping groups of regional elites (or with working-class or ethnic leaders), you have a mass upper class segregated from demoralized peripheries.

Second, the meritocratic elite inevitably tends back toward aristocracy, because any definition of “merit” you choose will be easier for the children of these self-segregated meritocrats to achieve.

批判的な反響としては次のVICEなんかはYutaには説得力があります。the problem was that so many elites turned out to be corrupt, incompetent, or bothとWASPに問題がありありだったことを指摘しています。具体的にニクソンやレーガン、ブッシュの時代の問題点を挙げています。

VIEWS MY OWN
By Harry Cheadle Dec 6 2018, 7:29am
America can live without "noblesse oblige."

The Watergate scandal, a signature postwar sign that powerful people weren't especially competent or moral, was arguably handled by the establishment about as well as could be expected. Bush, who was chairman of the Republican National Committee at the time, defended Richard Nixon until deep into the saga, though he eventually urged the president to resign. But even if the post-Watergate era featured a host of campaign finance and pro-transparency reforms, elites didn't stop trying to hide unethical behavior. More than a decade later, the Reagan administration sold arms to the Iranian regime (in violation of an explicit Congressional ban) and funneled the profits to right-wing guerrillas in Nicaragua. The Iran-Contra scandal, as it was known, led to a years-long investigation that only ended when Bush, in arguably one of his worst moments, pardoned six officials caught up in it just before he left the White House. (The question of how closely Bush himself was involved in the affair may never be answered.)

The Reagan era provided Americans with more reasons to regard the ruling class with suspicion. Thanks in part to the anti-labor policies of Republicans, real wages were stagnant, and have mostly remained so since. The country's WASP leadership often ignored problems facing people who didn't look or act like them, as the Bush administration did when it continued Ronald Reagan's legacy of not reacting quickly or strongly enough to the AIDS epidemic. The war on drugs, endorsed by leaders of both parties, sent people of color to prison en masse—Bush accelerated it, calling for “more jails, more prisons, more courts, and more prosecutors.” And neither party came out of the 90s looking especially virtuous—Bill Clinton lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, his chief antagonist, was carrying on an affair while going after Clinton with puritan indignation.

まあ、コラムニストもWASPが歴史的にも立派だったと言いたかったのではなく、全体の利益のために動ける価値観の重要性を訴えたかっただけかもしれませんが、口では最もらしいことを言っておきながら、自分の利益最大化しか考えてない、そんなのがエリートだったら、我々庶民はポピュリストになって抵抗するしか手がないでしょう。
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Yuta

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