向野蛮沦落的长征

伊拉克战争的后果之一是(再次)将"文明"和"野蛮"国家间的虚假界线暴露无余。阿布格莱布疟俘事件显示:美国可以像其它国家一样原始野蛮。多数时候,伊境内的野蛮行为没有记载,比如美国坦克潮水般地涌入伊拉克居民区,以镇压"叛乱份子"的名义杀死几十条无辜的生命。令人毛骨悚然的美国人质斩首事件表明:野蛮的影子随处可见。

在特定条件下,任何社会都可能堕入原始野蛮的深渊。很多历史学家认为不知为什么,希特勒统治下的德国社会变得特别邪恶。事实并非如此。一次大战的战败令德国陷入动荡,1919年的严酷和平、20年代的恶性通胀、30年代的大萧条,否则德国不会如此。恰恰相反,20世纪早期,德国是全球最富有的国家之一,有着令人艳羡的教育水平和科技实力。Hannah Arendt谈论"邪恶的普遍性"而非特殊性时,更为接近事实的真相。

堕入野蛮似乎有两个共同特征。首先是人们冷酷无情地将世界划分为"我们"和"他们",再将"他们"降格到非人类状态。这种区别的形成可能由于他们增强了组织"内部"的凝聚力,培植对外仇恨借以促进内部团结。

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