被遗忘的二十世纪

柏林——苏联解体迄今已经20年了,对很多历史学家来讲,苏联的解体标志着“短暂的二十世纪”从真正意义上的结束——这个世纪始于1914年,其特色是共产主义、法西斯主义和自由民主之间旷日持久的思想冲突,最后似乎以自由民主大获全胜而告结束。但在历史终结的过程中似乎出了些问题:我们迫不及待地想从近代史中吸取经验,但却根本不清楚到底应该吸取什么。

无疑所有历史都是当代史,而欧洲人今天特别需要从二十世纪汲取的教训则涉及黑暗年代中极端思想的力量——以及二战后建设的欧洲民主制度的特殊性。

从某种角度看,这场二十世纪伟大的思想斗争现在似乎像中世纪的学术辩论一样远离现实,这种观点在民众中普遍存在,但在青年一代中尤为明显。亚瑟·库斯勒和维克多·塞尔等学者冒着生命危险支持后来又反对共产主义,人们现在只是对他们伟大的政治作为一知半解,更遑论去深入理解他们的想法了。

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