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俄罗斯和西方此消彼长 世事难料

2016-12-23    来源:可可英语    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Twenty-five years ago this week I went to Moscow for Christmas.

25年前的这一周,我到莫斯科过圣诞节。

What was intended as a short visit to my family, who were living there at the time, ended up as a memorable trip in which I flew into the Soviet Union and a few days later flew out of the Russian Federation.

这原本是一次探望家人的短期旅程(他们当时住在莫斯科),结果却成了一次难忘之旅,我来到苏联,而在我几天后离开时,这个国家已变成了俄罗斯联邦。

In the intervening time an empire — the first avowedly communist state on earth, a superpower in a bipolar world of cold war antagonism — had expired.

其间,一个帝国(世界上第一个誓言实现共产主义的国家,冷战时期两极世界中的一个超级大国)灭亡。

That the empire was decaying had been plain to see for years, even to those who were in charge and had tried in vain to reform the system.

此前多年里,这个帝国明显变得越来越腐朽,甚至对那些掌权并试图改革体制(但未能奏效)的人而言也是如此。

Its final years were marked by increasing turmoil: the loss of territories, bungled coup attempts, growing economic hardship.

这个帝国的最后几年以动荡加剧为特点:领土沦丧、失败的政变企图、日益严重的经济困境。

Yet the end itself seemed almost bathetic.

然而,其结局本身近乎平淡无奇。

On Christmas Day — by the western, not Orthodox, calendar — Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, resigned, declaring his office extinct.

圣诞节那天(根据西方日历,而非东正教日历),苏联的第八位也是最后一位领导人米哈伊尔.戈尔巴乔夫(Mikhail Gorbachev)辞职,宣告他的职位不再存在。

State television later showed pictures of the Kremlin as the Soviet red flag with its hammer and sickle was lowered to be replaced by the red, white and blue banner of Russia.

官方电视台后来播放了克林姆林宫的照片,锤子和镰刀图案的苏联红旗降下,取而代之的是俄罗斯的红白蓝三色国旗。

Diplomats gave dramatic accounts of hasty farewell visits to the Kremlin, where officials were busy clearing desks and consigning the old regime to the archives or the shredders.

外交官们对匆忙前往克林姆林宫道别的经历作了戏剧性的描述,在克林姆林宫,官员们忙着清理办公桌,将旧政权的文件归档或送入碎纸机。

But for the most part one sensed people were not fully aware of the drama of the situation.

但总体而言,人们感觉,俄罗斯人并不完全清楚局势的戏剧化程度。

This was no great revolution, no storming of the palace.

这并非伟大革命,没有出现冲击宫殿的场面。

The upheaval was to come later as the economy stalled, the rouble plummeted and the old order collapsed.

剧变是后来才出现的:经济停滞、卢布汇率暴跌、旧秩序瓦解。

On the streets of Moscow, the development of the market economy played out in raw fashion.

在莫斯科街道上,市场经济的发展赤裸裸地展现出来。

Makeshift kiosks selling everything from alcohol to household appliances popped up everywhere.

临时售货亭如雨后春笋般出现在各地,售卖从酒到家用电器的各种商品。

A more pitiful sight were the clusters of individuals, often elderly, selling bric-a-brac heirlooms, homemade produce or even pets — anything to make a little bit of money.

一种更可怜的景象是一群人(往往是老人)售卖传家宝、自种农产品甚至宠物,任何能换取一点点钱的东西。

Taxis were replaced by a proto-Uber system of kerbside deals struck with private citizens.

出租车被类似优步(Uber)、由私人运营并可以讲价的路边交易体系取代。

Behind closed doors the commanding heights of the economy were carved up and parcelled out to a new caste of well-connected robber barons.

在幕后,俄罗斯国民经济的重要资产被瓜分,落到了背景深厚的新一代强盗大亨手里。

I was reminded of those days by the recent interview with Mr Gorbachev in which he blamed the west for the downfall of the Soviet Union.

最近对戈尔巴乔夫的一次采访让我想起了那些日子,在采访中,他批评西方是苏联解体的原因。

He likened this to a coup, saying he had acted as he did in order to prevent civil war.

他将其比作一场政变,他说,他所做的是为了阻止内战爆发。

The bitterness was still evident a quarter-century later.

25年后,这种耿耿于怀的情绪仍显而易见。

For those of us not bearing the brunt of defeat and upheaval, the end of the Soviet Union almost seemed the logical finale of a remarkable run of events in which the post-1945 world was turned on its head: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of the former Communist bloc, the move towards the end of apartheid.

对于未曾咽下失败和剧变苦果的我们而言,苏联解体几乎像是一系列引人注目事件的合乎逻辑的大结局,其间1945年后的世界完全颠倒:柏林墙倒塌、共产党国家阵营的瓦解、种族隔离政策行将终结。

What followed was a period of opening up, during which, in Europe at least, the direction of travel seemed to be all one way — towards liberalisation, globalisation.

接下来是一段开放时期,其间(至少在欧洲)发展方向似乎只有一个:自由化、全球化。

A moment of happiness, excitement and opportunity, especially for those lucky to be young.

这是一个洋溢着快乐、激动和机遇的时刻,特别是对于那些幸运的年轻人而言。

Now, to put it mildly, things look a little different — and not just in the accumulation of grey hairs.

如今,说得委婉点,情况看上去有点不同,而且不仅是大家都多了几根白发。

Brexit, Donald Trump’s US election victory and the rise in populism all point to a great backlash, the damping of those spirits unleashed a quarter of a century ago.

英国退欧、唐纳德.特朗普(Donald Trump)当选美国总统以及民粹主义的崛起都指向一种严重反弹,25年前迸发出的精神被当头浇了一瓢凉水。

Along the way, the glory of Russia appears to have been restored.

在此过程中,俄罗斯貌似再现辉煌。

Its president, Vladimir Putin, stands as one of the few victors in a year of breathtaking upheaval.

在发生了一个又一个惊心动魄的剧变的过去一年中,俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔.普京(Vladimir Putin)显然是为数不多的胜者之一。

From Aleppo to allegations of the hacking of the US election, the sense that Moscow has reclaimed the global power and relevance that it enjoyed during Soviet times is palpable.

从阿勒颇到利用黑客干扰美国大选的指控,人们明显感觉到,俄罗斯已夺回其在苏联时代享受的全球实力和相关性。

Against that, Barack Obama, the US president, has been marginalised.

相比之下,美国总统巴拉克.奥巴马(Barack Obama)被边缘化。

You might be forgiven for thinking that if any system is reeling from change, its stunned politicians struggling to keep up or busy clearing their desks, it is the western one.

你或许有理由认为,如果说有一个制度在艰难应对变化,其政界人士在震惊之下竭力跟上新现实或者忙着收拾办公桌,那便是西方的制度。

Perhaps.

或许吧。

Yet for all the confidence emanating from the Kremlin, the Russian system is not as secure as it seems.

然而,尽管克里姆林宫信心满满,但俄罗斯的体制并不像看上去那么安稳。

Yes, its politics and economics may be a world away from the free-for-all of the 1990s but acute tensions remain, as does the dire need for reform.

没错,该国的政治和经济可能与上世纪90年代的自由放任不可同日而语,但严峻的紧张仍然存在,改革的迫切需要仍然存在。

The foreign policy victories bring with them problems with no easy solution.

外交政策胜利本身也带来了一些不容易解决的问题。

And if there is one thing we learnt 25 years ago it is that, for all the appearances of permanence, systems can change, sometimes with bone-shuddering speed.

如果说我们在25年前学到了什么教训的话,那就是,尽管表面看似永恒,但制度可能会发生变化,有时速度快得让我们的骨头颤抖。



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