糟老头

发自伦敦——已经到了退休年龄的我有足够的资格成为一个糟老头。我应该会让我的孩子们以及由本人担任校长的牛津大学的学子们感到厌烦,因为糟老头对一切都看不顺眼,总有些人心不古之类的抱怨。但我本人可不是这样看待这个世界的。

我是在1962年上的大学,而且在第一个学期就碰上了古巴导弹危机。当时整个世界似乎就在一场核灾难的悬崖边缘走钢丝。在那些日子里,支撑全球和平只有一个众所周知的概念——“互相保证毁灭”(Mutually Assured Destruction,亦称共同毁灭原则)。那么在世人把核问题的焦点集中在防止核扩散,并把上一代人的核不扩散条约进一步加强完善的今天,难道不能说从前的世界比当今世界更糟糕,更危险吗?

当我在牛津读书的最后一年,我以学生身份访问美国并到了南部的阿拉巴马州。在此你可以回想一下理查德·尼克松出席非洲国家加纳的独立庆典时发生的小插曲。当时在典礼接待处尼克松把一位(黑人)嘉宾误认为加纳本地人,还走过去问他对能够投票并享受法治之下的自由感觉如何。“我可不知道,”那人回答,“我是阿拉巴马人。”

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