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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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様々に結びついて

 
バーニー・サンダースも出馬宣言したことで、民主党は自分がどれだけ左寄りかを競うようになりそうです。いいタイミングで若者たちが社会主義を信奉するようになっている傾向を先週のEconomistが取り上げていました。

The resurgent left
A new kind of left-wing doctrine is emerging. It is not the answer to capitalism’s problems

自由市場・能力主義を掲げるEconomistだから、若者たちの社会主義に批判的なのは予想できます。「貧富の差が広がっている」といった彼らの現状認識が正しくないとか、金持ちへの増税はそれほど財政には貢献しないと彼らの解決策が効果がないとか、いちいち批判しています。Yuta個人としては経済成長が望めないとどうしても経済分配の問題が出るのは仕方がないと思いますし、富の再分配の必要性も感じますが、このような方策は変化を妨げるものとというEconomistの指摘はなかなか鋭いですね。

Empowering workers to resist change would ossify the economy. Less dynamism is the opposite of what is needed for the revival of economic opportunity.

Rather than shield firms and jobs from change, the state should ensure markets are efficient and that workers, not jobs, are the focus of policy. Rather than obsess about redistribution, governments would do better to reduce rent-seeking, improve education and boost competition. 

Yuta流に強引にまとめるとEconomistの主張は「経済成長が望めないので今ある富の再分配を」ではなく、あくまで「経済成長が望めないなら経済成長ができる環境整備を」なんでしょう。リーマンショック後の過去10年間それができなかったから再分配の話が出てきているのでしょうが。。。reduce rent-seekingという表現が出てましたがオックスフォードの学習英英辞典には載っていました。口利きなんかの上位語みたいなものでしょうか。

(オックスフォード)
rent-seeking
the practice of trying to change or control public policy or economic conditions in order to increase your own profits
These government subsidies to favoured companies are a classic case of rent-seeking.

(Wikipedia)
レントシーキング(英: rent seeking)とは、民間企業などが政府や官僚組織へ働きかけを行い、法制度や政治政策の変更を行うことで、自らに都合よく規制を設定したり、または都合よく規制の緩和をさせるなどして、超過利潤(レント)を得るための活動を指す

英語学習的には構文や意味を理解した文章を一つでも増やして身につけていくことが大事ですが、こういった時事的な文章を読むには何が起こっているのか幅広く知っておかないと流れが読めないことがあります。息抜きの時にでも日本語でもいいからなんでも取り込むのがネイティブ素材を読もうと思っている英語学習者には必要です。EconomistのBriefingで詳しく取り上げていたMillennial socialismでは本筋の議論ではないですが、Millennial socialismの盛り上がりの例として次のような現象を取り上げていました。

Life, liberty and the pursuit of property

For the American generation which has grown up since the downfall of the ussr, socialism is no longer the boo word it once was. On the left, a lot of Americans are more sceptical than they used to be about capitalism (see chart 1). Indeed, what might be called “millennial socialism” is having something of a cultural moment. Publications like Jacobin and Tribune bedeck the coffee tables of the hip, young and socially conscious. No film has ever made trade unions look cooler than last year’s “Sorry To Bother You”, written and directed by Boots Riley, a rapper and activist. When Piers Morgan, a British television presenter, found it impossible to believe that a young interviewee might come from a left beyond Barack Obama, her response quickly turned up on t-shirts: “I’m literally a communist, you idiot”.

単なるミーハー自慢にしかなりませんが、ここで触れられていた映画やコメントはこのブログでも取り上げています。







雑誌版のサブタイトルで使われていたLife, liberty and the pursuit of propertyですが、ぴんときた方もいるのではないでしょうか。こちらはポップカルチャーではなく、お勉強的な領域ですが。。。米国独立宣言の有名な一節で過去にブログで取り上げたものを再度抜粋します。

米国独立宣言
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
われわれは、以下の事実を自明のことと信じる。すなわち、すべての人間は生まれながらにして平等で あり、その創造主によって、生命、自由、および幸福の追求を含む不可侵の権利を与えられているという こと。

日本国憲法
第十一条 国民は、すべての基本的人権の享有を妨げられない。この憲法が国民に保障する基本的人権は、侵すことのできない永久の権利として、現在及び将来の国民に与へられる。
Article 11. The people shall not be prevented from enjoying any of the fundamental human rights. These fundamental human rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution shall be conferred upon the people of this and future generations as eternal and inviolate rights.

********

第十三条 すべて国民は、個人として尊重される。生命、自由及び幸福追求に対する国民の権利については、公共の福祉に反しない限り、立法その他の国政の上で、最大の尊重を必要とする。
Article 13. All of the people shall be respected as individuals. Their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall, to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare, be the supreme consideration in legislation and in other governmental affairs.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of propertyはLife, liberty and the pursuit of happinessのもじりですが、富の再分配を求める態度をthe pursuit of propertyとしたのでしょう。過去に遡ればJames Harringtonの主張と共鳴するようですが、Thomas Jeffersonはロックの労働を重んじる思想の方に影響を受けていたとしています。このあたりは政治思想に馴染みがないと上滑りしてしまう部分ですね。Yutaもよくわかりません。

But the argument for redistribution of wealth goes beyond economics—and its roots spread far beyond the socialist canon. James Harrington, a political theorist of the 17th century, wrote that “Where there is inequality of estates, there must be inequality of power.” He saw a reasonably even distribution of wealth and the freedom of democratic politics as two sides of the same coin. His ideas were a strong influence on America’s founding fathers. John Adams wrote that “Harrington has shewn that Power always follows Property.” Though Thomas Jefferson plumped for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as the rights to be mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, he was inspired by John Locke’s trinity of life, liberty and property, and his love of the yeoman farmer stemmed from his belief that those who produced their own food never needed to bend to the will of another, and thus were truly free.

Well before Karl Marx started to write about alienation, the idea that people treated only as factors of production would not only lack true freedom, but also other opportunities to reach their full potential, was a mainstay of Enlightenment thought. Adam Smith worried that the factory system, where workers simply turned up and followed the instructions of capitalists, would make its participants “as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.” John Stuart Mill, who valued political freedom above all else, also predicted that under capitalism people would become passive, dull wage-slaves; he wanted to see many more working in co-operatives. The echoes of Harrington, Smith and Mill are clear in the works that articulate the views of today’s left, from Mark Fisher’s “Capitalist Realism” to David Graeber’s “Bullshit Jobs”. Globalisation, in their eyes, is less an engine for prosperity and more a generator of insecurity, unfreedom and unfairness.

この記事の前の方で以下のように触れていますが、このあたりの自由に対する考えを踏まえて書かれているのでしょう。抽象的な話なので難しいですね。

Millennial socialists, though, have their own ideas about freedom. They are not satisfied with the protection of existing freedoms; instead, they want to expand and fulfil freedoms yet to be obtained. Spreading economic power more widely, they say, will allow more people to make choices about what they want in their lives, and freedom without such capabilities is at best incomplete. Bhaskar Sunkara, founding editor of Jacobin, makes an analogy to India: what is the point of an ostensibly free press if a huge share of the population is unable to read?

忙しい中あれもこれも手を出すと肝心の英語力も上げられなくなってしまいます。でも有名なジョブズの言葉を忘れずに幅広い知識を受け入れようとする心構えぐらいは持っておきたいです。



I’ve said this before, but thought it was worth repeating: It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.

And nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices. And a lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and they’re looking at this as the next PC. The hardware and the software are done by different companies. And they’re talking about speeds and feeds just like they did with PCs.

And our experience and every bone in our body says that that is not the right approach to this. That these are post-PC devices that need to be even easier to use than a PC. That need to be even more intuitive than a PC. And where the software and the hardware and the applications need to intertwine in an even more seamless way than they do on a PC.

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