历史和欧洲

普林斯顿—历史很重要,但是以不同的方式。对一些地区和一些人来说,历史的含义是影响深远的地缘政治因素决定的永恒的冲突:四百年前和现在别无二致。对其他地区和其他人来说,历史意味着需要找到摆脱远古先例和陈旧偏见的方法。这一分歧决定了目前欧洲内外所存在的思想战争。

今年是第一次世界大战爆发一百周年几年,数十种对这场“终结所有战争的战争”的新分析纷纷出场亮相。寻找帝国欧洲的自满的当代继承者是一件颇有兴味的事情,特别其是坚定的信念——世界是互相联系、繁荣昌盛的,任何倒退都是不可想象的。如今,尽管全球供应链带来了巨大的文明效应,但叙利亚和南海等火药桶仍有可能引爆全世界——一如1914年的波斯尼亚冲突。

反思一战遗产也是振兴时代思维的契机。在英国,教育达成迈克尔·戈夫(Michael Gove)最近引发了一场针对认为一战是徒劳的历史学家,称一战是为对抗“德国精英的一根筋的社会达尔文主义”的“正义的战争”。这似乎是对当代欧洲实力斗争的不太含蓄的暗示。

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