Thursday, July 31, 2014
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看好欧洲的理由

巴黎—如今,很多人都相信欧元无法拯救希腊政坛乱象和西班牙失业高企:等着看吧,他们说,过不了几个月,欧盟不可避免的崩溃就会到来。

黑暗预言通常不会是对的,但也不是没有自我实现的可能。坦白讲,如今扮演凶兆预言家不仅成为一直信奉“没消息便是好消息”的媒体的热衷之事,而且看上去前所未有地明智。对欧盟来说,情况从来没有那样严重过。

正是在这样一个关键时刻,重塑信心——以及最重要的,在考虑问题时坚守常识——至关重要。有十大理由能够让我们相信,断言欧元以及整个欧盟的命运还为时过早。这十大理由都是十分理性的观点,应能让悲观分析师和惊慌不已的投资者深信不疑。

第一个希望的理由的欧洲的政治家风度正在回归,尽管其势头只相当于顺势疗法的程度。想在就预测奥朗德当选法国总统的影响还为时过早,但蒙蒂在意大利已经带来了不同。

当然,蒙蒂并不是选出来的,他的地位并不巩固,并且已经产生了争议,但意大利存在积极的准共识,让他得以实施拖延已久的结构性改革。现在预言这一共识会持续多久、改革会带来什么样的挑战还为时过早。但意大利这个在贝卢斯科尼骑士治国之下让人绝望的国家已经转变成现实乐观之源——尽管这种乐观并不牢靠。

第二个相信欧洲的理由是治理方面政治家风度的进步。蒙蒂和奥朗德都任命了女性担当关键部门一把手。在经历了长期的边缘化后,女性给欧洲带来了大有裨益的成功可望。

第三,欧洲的公共观念终于完全理解了危机的逻辑。没有什么比否定欧洲和欧洲人(希腊是例外)更离谱的错误了。要不是绝望所带来的清醒,蒙蒂根本不可能在意大利掌权。

法国人民同业也不再抱有幻想。他们之所以支持奥朗德,其实是在反对萨科齐而不是紧缩。从最新发布的民意调查结果看,法国选民认为新总统并不会履行“不可靠的承诺”,并做好了接受这一不可避免的结果的准备。

第四个希望的理由与欧洲的创造力有关。欧洲绝不是陈列古董的博物馆。当然,旅游业是一个重要产业,从这个角度看,欧洲的多样化也是独特的吸引力之源。但多样化同样是创新力的源泉。从德国车到法国奢侈品,欧洲工业竞争力不容低估。

只要欧洲像德国那样对自己坚信不疑,将长期战略规划和科学研发投资配置相结合,情况就会大为改观。事实上,在一些关键领域,欧洲拥有全世界公认的与其根深蒂固的质量文化相关的优良传统。

第五个乐观理由听起来有点似是而非。民族主义的泛滥曾经把欧洲拖入了灾难性的战争。但如今,欧洲内部民族主义情绪的回归造就了模仿和竞争的风潮,而这正是亚洲崛起的关键。韩国、中国大陆和台湾都以日本为师。同样地,很快,法国人也将以德国为师。

第六个理由与欧洲政治制度的性质有关。丘吉尔有一个著名的论断——民主是最坏的政治制度,除了比一切其他政治制度都好以外。这一论断在欧洲大陆得到了证实。80%的法国公民参与了总统大选投票。在电视中,他们看到,权力郑重、庄严、和平地从被他们抛弃的总统移交到了被他们选择的总统手中,这不仅让他们感觉良好,更让他们感到自豪,可以生活在一个民主国家中。欧洲人也许糊涂、低效、无法迅速决断,但民主将构成抵御经济和其他不确定性的长城。

第七个相信欧洲的理由与欧洲语言的一致性有关。没人愿意欧洲像中国那样,不但要学普通话,还要学各种方言。相比之下,英语、西班牙语、法语的使用范围都超越了国界,德语也有这一趋势。

在语言一致性的基础上可以看到支持欧盟不倒的第八个因素:文化多元主义。文化多元主义是一个颇具争议的话题,但它所带来的优势多于劣势。欧洲大陆对文化的融合让欧洲人民变得更富有,而不是更贫穷。

第九个希望的理由来自欧盟新成员和准成员。作为“新欧洲”的成员,波兰在后共产主义转型中从欧洲获益良多,现在正在回馈欧洲以正统性。而克罗地亚的加入(继黑山和其他一些巴尔干国家之后)可以弥补希腊退出的缺憾(如果希腊真的退出的话)。

最后也是最重要的是,欧洲和世界找不到更好的替代方案。希腊危机也许正在迫使欧洲走向更深层次的一体化(只是有没有希腊不得而知)。德国哲学家哈贝马斯曾提出过“转型现实”(transformational reality),这一复杂的称谓是对简单现实的概括:分则亡,合则能以我们自身的复杂方式尽力追求“伟大”。

当然,投资者考虑的是避险。他们曾今看好非民主新兴国家,并取得了成功,如今,他们对这些国家的弱点开始感到担心,出于审慎考虑,一些人已开始重新发现欧洲。他们将成为智者。

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  1. CommentedPascal Lieblich

    Mr. Moisi's article is unfortunately making me less, rather than more optimistic about the European enterprise ...

    With regard to the multiculturalism factor raised in the article, hasn't the political integration project, i.e. the creation of a European polity and identitity, faltered because of the emphasis on the need of a multicultural society and in particular the continuous efforts to add Turkey as a member state while it was clear that the citizens of few core states supported this move? (see f.eg., "Why not Turkey? Attitudes towards Turkish membership" , http://tinyurl.com/88swcly)


    Rather than allowing European integration time to deepen, haven't the leaders of the European Union try to shove their definition of a multicultural society down the throats of the Union's citizens? Europe has expanded too much, too quickly in every possible geographic direction. (Worse, the purpose of the expansion was nearly all economic reasons, but that on a side-note). The rapid expansion and emphasis on including Turkey as a member state has slowed down the process of political and fiscal integration, making it now much more difficult to devise appropriate solutions at the European federal level to current problems.

  2. CommentedPaul Ruckert

    Given recent developments, Professor Moisi is clearly fighting an uphill battle with this article. That said, if these are the 10 best reasons to be optimistic, then count me a pessimist.

  3. CommentedShan Jun Chang

    Hmm, let us examine the reasoning here. "Multiculturalism is a disputed model. But it is good. I'm not going to give you any reasons why, it just is, so there. Now, in my final sentence I'm simply going to restate the assertion with different adjectives".

  4. CommentedAndreas Psaras

    The approach of Zsolt Hermann, in his comment, is more to the point as well as to “What Needs to Be Done” taking the global view

  5. CommentedAndreas Psaras

    An interesting analysis by Dominique Moisi, irrespective of an inadequate understanding, in my view, of the Greek misfortune and the positive that can come out of it for the whole of Europe. When and if Europe matures to a level that allows effective solution to the “Greek problem” that is actually not only a Greek problem but also a European and systemic problem of the present economic system, then Europe will move forward.

  6. CommentedProcyon Mukherjee

    As an outsider in Europe, I had been privy to the transformational process at the back of a severe crisis in the period 2007 to 2011. I had seen how Europe reacts, specially Germany and Switzerland, and how the others like Italy and Spain seem like fence sitters, while France is embroiled in its own historicity, for better or for worse. The bondage that came from instincts of trade did not move beyond the confines of the narrow objective. I am not sure what the future holds for this ensemble if it does not go beyond the instincts of trade; evolution of a polity that takes the good with the bad and blends is what humanity makes as a difference, where instincts of trade fails.

    Procyon Mukherjee

  7. CommentedZsolt Hermann

    There is only one truly compelling reason why the European Union needs to survive, improve and provide example for the rest of the world:
    Today we evolved into a global, integral and interdependent humans system where we are all connected by multiple ties. There is no individual or nations that could break away or sustain itself.
    In such a system only a supra national democratic alliance can provide a foundation for a sustainable future.
    In fact if we examine our lives honestly and in detail we already live in a supra national network but our selfish egoistic tendencies manifesting especially in the field of politics, finances, and the media exploit old, historic rejections, hatred for self gain and profit not allowing the natural integration to take part.
    Thus the reasons the article places hope on are mostly not valid.
    Instead of individual statesmanship we need a team of visionary, transparent and selfless, elected public representatives who fulfill the expression "serving" the public above nations and individual benefit for the sake of the whole.
    Instead of European creativity in the form of luxury goods that are excessive and unnecessary, even harmful, we need European creativity in creating a fully integrated multi-national Union above all the cultural characteristics and differences while keeping them and uniting above them.
    Instead of self serving national democracies (which have not been working as true democracies serving the public for a very long time) we need a supra national democracy keeping the well being of the whole Union as priority.
    With the last reason, necessity/no other alternative, I agree with, as the article says: "divided we fall, whereas united, in our own complex manner, we may strive for “greatness” in the best sense."
    But this can only be achieved through a full integration with mutual responsibility, truly becoming a single Union.

      CommentedShan Jun Chang

      I think this analysis is rather shallow; surely the reason we don't simply enter into further union isn't that individual politicians and the finance sector are preserving the status quo for self gain; it's that in order to do so we'd have to cede more of our national sovereignty than we're comfortable with. In general, we identify more strongly with our own nations and believe that our interests are more likely to be served if our own government can act autonomously, and I would think that our politicians have the same reasoning. Don't you think this is a better reason than simply asserting, as usual, that blame lies at the feet of the greedy media, political class and financial sector?

      CommentedJohn-Albert Eadie

      I could not have put things as well as M. Hermann. I would add, that after truly becoming a union, Europe must then lead the rest of us into global unity. Because the globe itself is in dire straits. This is poisonous thinking to much of America, nevertheless it is true, and the quicker we get to being led by virtue, in the people and in their government, the sooner we will avoid incineration. Europe has to be where it happens first. Some time ago thinkers in Canada thought that it was a place to demonstrate unity in multiculturalism but I thought at the time, no, plainly it is Europe. Look at Canada today - we have a mini-Hitler, so it is certainly not happening here for some time. Very sorry for straying from the topic, except in a deep sense, I think I have not.

      CommentedCaitlin Luview

      #2: "Monti and Hollande have both appointed women to key ministerial positions. Marginalized for so long, women bring an appetite for success that will benefit Europe."

      To be clear, I don't think "marginalized women" seeking success in an old system of overconsumption is a benefit to Europe or the world. Although women can provide a new view, it is too little, too late.

      I find it interesting what a commenter here, Zsolt Hermann says, "Instead of individual statesmanship we need a team of visionary, transparent and selfless, elected public representatives who fulfill the expression "serving" the public above nations and individual benefit for the sake of the whole."

      This sounds to me like a similar definition to what motherhood is. If a team of people with the characteristics Zsolt has described can be assembled to steward the true needs and best benefit of the world through care, concern, and compassion in our relationships with one another (as a mother does her vital best to provide for and bring up her child), the world can start repairing and coming out of crisis as we each work to change our relationships into positive care.

      We are one global, interdependent and integral human family. When will we forge policy and practice that leads our human family into conducting our daily lives, attitudes, decisions, and actions in ways that provide the ability for every single human being on the planet to flourish and contribute their vitalness? Europe, within a union, has the chance to model greatness in cooperation and mutual care and concern to the entire world, for the good of all humanity. I so hope for it to rise to this challenge and opportunity... and soon!

  8. CommentedAndrés Arellano Báez

    If this are the ten best reasons to believe in Europe, the true is that "the Eurpean Union's irresistible collapse has started".

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