[原创翻译][ 美国 AlterNet ] 为什么美国患有妄想迫害症

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Noam Chomsky: Why Americans AreParanoid About Everything (Including Zombies)


Noam Chomsky explainswhy Americans have always had high levels of fear -- fear of Indians, ofAfrican-Americans ... even zombies.


AlterNet / By Noam Chomsky February 19, 2014 |

The following is a transcript ofa part of an interview Noam Chomsky recently did with a group of students viaSkype. Towards the end, a student asks the linguist and critic the quirkyquestion why zombies figure so prominently in American popular culture. Hereplied with a brilliant analysis of the history of fear in America.Question: This might sound kind of random,but I would really like to ask your opinion of why you think there's thispreoccupation with the apocolypse and with zombies right now in ourculture.



[i][i]Noam Chomsky: I’ve never seen a real study, but myguess is that it's a reflection of fear and desperation. It's a veryfrightened country. The United States is an unusually frightened country. And in such circumstances, people concoct either for escape or maybeout of relief, fears that terrible things happen. Actually, the fear of the United States isa pretty interesting cultural phenomenon. It actually goes back to thecolonies. There are some good studies out there. A very interestingbook by a literary critic, Bruce Franklin. It's called War Stars. You might want to take a look at it. It's a study of popular literature, the kind of literature that mostpeople read from the earliest days to the present. When it gets to thepresent it switches to television, things like that. Just kind of popularculture. There are a couple of themes that runthrough it that are pretty striking. For one thing, onemajor theme in popular literature is that we are about to face destruction fromsome terrible, awesome enemy. And at the last minute we are saved by asuperhero or a super weapon, or in recent years high school kids going to thehills to chase away the Russians, things like that. That's onetheme that runs through constantly. And there's a sub-theme. Itturns out this enemy, this horrible enemy that's about to destroy us, issomebody we're crushing. [/i][/i]

诺姆乔姆斯基:我从未认真研究过,但我认为这是对恐惧和绝望的(心里)反映。这是一个畏怯的国度。美国是一个非常容易恐惧的国家。在这种情况下,人们或编造或逃避或需要某种安慰,惧怕某种可怕事情的发生。确实,恐惧在美国是一个非常有趣的文化现象,事实上它可以追溯到殖民地(时期)。一些不错的研究成果都出自那儿。文学评论家布鲁斯富兰克林出了一本很有趣的书,叫做《War Stars》,你或许想看看它。它对通俗文学这类文学的研究,至始至终都是很多人的“床头读物”。当它改编到电视上,想想看,那就变成了一种文化。通过(不同)主题风格的搭配就会变得引人入胜,首先,在通俗文学中一个重要的主题是,是让我们面对一些骇人的毁灭,和令人恐惧的敌人。然后最后一刻,我们的超级英雄或超级武器就会力挽狂澜,或近些年(上映)的高校小伙冲进山里打跑的那些俄国人,等诸如此类的主题始终贯穿其中。其中有这么一个故事,故事中出现了一个坏蛋,这个可怕的敌人想要毁灭我们,但到最后这个可怕的家伙被我们征服了!

So you go back to the early years, theterrible enemy was the Indians, who were going to destroy us. Thecolonists were, of course, invaders. They were invading thecontinent. Whatever you think about the Indians, they weredefending their own territory. There's a scene in the Declaration ofIndependence, people read it every July 4th, but not many people pay attentionto what they're reading. It's kind of like a prayer book, you move onsomewhere else. But if you read it and pay attention, there are somepretty remarkable passages. So one passage is a list of a bill ofindictment against King George the Third of England explaining why thecolonists were revolting. One of them is “He unleashed against us themerciless Indian savages, whose known way of warfare is torture and destruction” and so on. Well, Thomas Jefferson, who wrote that and is avery great thinker of the Enlightenment, knew perfectly well that it was the mercilessEnglish savages whose known way of warfare was destruction and murder and weretaking over the country and driving out or exterminating the natives. But it's switched in the Declaration of Independence and nobody commentson it for years. That's another sign of the same concern.


After that it became the slaves. There was going to be a slave revolt, a terrible slave revolt, and theslave population, the black population was going to rise up and kill all themen, rape all the women, destroy the country, something like that. Thenit goes on through the centuries. It becomes modern times, Hispanicnarco-traffickers are going to come in and destroy the society. One thingafter another. And these are real fears.


That's a lot of what lies behind theextremely unusual gun culture in the United States. It's quite unique. Homicides, deaths by guns in the United States are way outside—there's a kind ofhysteria about having guns. A large part of the population believes theyjust have to have them to protect themselves. From who? From theUnited Nations. Or from the federal government. From aliens. Maybe from zombies. Whoever it is. We just have to have gunsto protect ourselves. That's not known elsewhere in the world. Maybe in, say, Syria, a country that's warring you might find somethinglike that. But in a country that's not only at peace but has an unusualsecurity and a great degree of freedom, that's quite remarkable.

一些隐藏在美国背后的枪支文化非比寻常。而且它还独一无二。杀人犯、枪杀是美国一大特色——(但)一提到枪就近乎歇斯底里,很大一部分人认为它们(枪)可用来保护自己。(他们在)防卫谁?防卫美国?防卫联邦政府?防卫外星人?难道是僵尸?管他是什么。我们就是要用枪来保护自己(不要问为什么)。他们难道不知道世界其他地方不是这样的么. 或许可找个借口说,叙利亚,或许你觉得一个处于战争的国家需要这样。但是在这个国家里需要的不仅是和平还需要绝对的安全、无所拘束,这是显而易见的。

I suspect that what you're bringing up ispart of that. I think it's, much of it is kind of just a recognition, atsome level of the psyche, that if you've got your boot on somebody's neck,there's something wrong. And that the people you're oppressing may riseup and defend themselves, and then you're in trouble. And another is strangeproperties the country has always had of fear of invented dangers. Thereis a kind of paranoid streak in the culture that's pretty unusual.

我怀疑造成美国人普遍恐惧的部分原因,是来自人们在成长中的 耳濡目染。我的意思是,只有这样才能得到承认,在某种心里程度上,如果有人唆使你踹某个人的脖子,这肯定有些不对劲。如果那个人为了保护自己,而对你采取了反制措施、你就有的麻烦了。另一层原因是这个国家拥有一种怪异的特质,总是对虚构出的危险感到恐惧。这种妄想迫害文化实在不可思议。

Noam Chomsky is a professor oflinguistics and philosophy at MIT.


本文内容于 2014/2/26 19:24:24 被bluebit编辑

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