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全球化面临的政治威胁 Globalisation

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THE POLITICAL THREATS TO GLOBALISATION 

If you had to define “globalisation” with an image, what would it be? A container ship from China stuffed with toys and T-shirts? A programmer tapping at a keyboard in Bangalore? A plane circling gloomily over Heathrow airport?

如果你必须用一种比喻来定义“全球化”,那会是什么?一艘塞满玩具和T恤的中国集装箱船?一位在班加罗尔敲打键盘的程序员?一架忧郁地盘旋在希思罗机场上空的飞机?

Most people's pictures of globalisation are to do with economics, technology and business. But before markets, modems and manufacturers could do their work, political changes had to take place. The foundations of the globalised business world are political – and so are the biggest threats to the system.

多数人对全球化的印象离不开经济学、科技和商业。但在市场、调制解调器和制造商可以发挥作用之前,政治变革必须到位。全球化商业世界的基石是政治——它同时也是该体系面临的最大威胁。

The challenge to the globalisation consensus comes from below. Political elites in the US, Asia and Europe are struggling to convince citizens that globalisation is not just a game that benefits the rich. If the argument is lost in any of the major world economies, the political consensus that underpins globalisation could unravel.
 
全球化共识的挑战来自下层。美国、亚洲和欧洲的政界精英正竭力说服其国民,让他们相信全球化不只是一场富人受益的游戏。如果这种主张在任何一个主要全球经济体中不能站住脚,作为全球化基石的政治共识就可能瓦解。

That consensus is a recent creation. The political changes that made globalisation possible took place in a remarkably short period of time – from 1978 to 1991 to be precise. The first and most important development was China's decision to turn from Maoism to the market, with the reforms initiated by Deng Xiaoping in 1978. A year later, Margaret Thatcher came to power in Britain. One of her first acts was the abolition of foreign exchange controls, easing London's rise as a global financial centre and setting an example that was emulated internationally. Then, in 1980, Ronald Reagan took power in the US on a platform of deregulation and tax cuts – giving a huge boost to market ideology around the world. In the mid-1980s, the European Union committed itself to creating a single market.

这种共识是最近的产物。使全球化成为可能的政治变革发生在非常短的一段时间内——确切地说,是从1978年至1991年。第一个、也是最重要的一个进展,是中国决定从毛泽东时代的计划经济走向市场经济——邓小平于1978年启动了相应的改革。一年后,玛格丽特•撒切尔(Margaret Thatcher)在英国掌权。她采取的首批举措之一是取消外汇管制,减轻了伦敦崛起为全球金融中心的痛苦,为全球树立了榜样。然后,1980年,罗纳德•里根(Ronald Reagan)凭借解除管制和减税的施政纲领执掌美国大权,极大地推动了全球各地的市场意识形态。上世纪80年代中期,欧盟(EU)承诺创建单一市场。

In 1989, the collapse of the Berlin wall allowed eastern Europe – and Russia itself – to join the globalisation game. The 1980s also saw the discrediting of protectionist populists in the largest countries of Latin America. Finally, in 1991, came another huge change: the decision by Indian leaders to move away from the regulation and protectionism that had hobbled the Indian economy since independence.

1989年柏林墙的倒塌,让东欧(以及俄罗斯本身)得以加入全球化游戏。上世纪80年代还见证了拉美大国民粹主义贸易保护论者的声誉扫地。最后,在1991年,发生了另一个巨大的变化:印度领导人决定摆脱自独立以来一直束缚印度经济发展的管制和保护主义。

So, in less than 15 years, the political elites in the power centres of the world had come to broadly similar conclusions. They embraced global business and market economics.

因此,在不到15年的时间内,处于世界权力核心的政界精英们得出了大体相似的结论。他们欢迎全球化商业和市场经济。

The result is a world in which it now feels as natural to do business in Beijing, Moscow and Delhi as in London and New York. But this world has been with us for less than 20 years. Previous eras of globalisation were ended by political upheaval – the outbreak of war in 1914 and the rise of fascism in the 1930s. So could the same thing happen again?

其结果是构建了这样一个世界:如今在北京、莫斯科和德里做生意,感觉就和在伦敦和纽约一样自然。但这样一个世界伴随我们的时间还不到20年。早先的全球化时代都因政治剧变而终结——1914年战争的爆发,以及上世纪30年代法西斯主义的抬头。那么,相同的一幕会重演吗?

The most obvious threat is a crisis in the most important political and economic relationship in the world – that between the US and China. The Bush administration, despite its bellicose reputation, has been assiduous in avoiding confrontation with China; and the Chinese similarly have no desire for a clash with America – at least, not now. Globalisation has created a web of mutual interests. The real risk in Chinese-American relations is of miscalculation: a clash – whether over trade or Tibet or Taiwan – that escalates into something that does real damage. Combine a looming recession in America, a presidential election and the Beijing Olympics and you have a formula for potential trouble.

最明显的威胁,是全球最重要政治和经济关系陷入危机——即美中关系。尽管背负着好战的名声,但布什(Bush)政府一直努力避免与中国对抗;中国政府同样也无意与美国发生冲突——至少不是现在。全球化缔造了一个共同利益网络。中美关系的真正风险在于计算错误:由贸易问题抑或西藏和台湾问题引起的冲突,升级成为会造成真正伤害的问题。加上日以迫近的美国经济衰退、总统大选和北京奥运会,你就有了一个可能带来麻烦的“方程式”。

Over the longer-term, terrorism and climate change also pose risks to the system. Globalisation depends on ease of travel. But, in different ways, both global warming and global terrorism threaten the ability to hop on a plane at a moment's notice.

就更长期来看,恐怖主义和气候变化也对全球化体系构成了威胁。全球化取决于旅行的便利。但全球变暖和全球恐怖主义,均以不同的方式威胁着人们随时登上飞机的能力。

But the biggest risk is that politicians simply begin to lose the argument for globalisation. A recent opinion poll showed that 58 per cent of Americans think globalisation is bad for the US and just 28 per cent think it has helped America. Ten years ago there was a narrow majority in favour of globalisation. Politicians are reacting to this shift. Democratic presidential candidates are taking an increasingly sceptical line on free trade. Republicans rail against illegal immigration.

但最大的威胁在于,政客们正开始丢弃全球化主张。最近的一次民意调查显示,58%的美国人认为全球化对美国不利,仅28%的美国人认为全球化对美国有帮助。10年前,支持全球化的人略占多数。政客们正对这种转变做出反应。民主党总统候选人开始对自由贸易持日益怀疑的态度。共和党则抨击非法移民问题。

In Europe, Nicolas Sarkozy, French president, has been arguing for protectionism on a European level. He wants to re-establish “community preference” – essentially higher tariffs against goods from outside the European Union. Mr Sarkozy does not have many EU allies yet. But the re-election of Silvio Berlusconi in Italy could change that.

在欧洲,法国总统尼古拉•萨科齐(Nicolas Sarkozy)一直主张在欧洲层面上实行保护主义。他希望重建“共同体优先”(community preference)——其实质就是对来自欧盟以外的商品征收更高关税。萨科齐在欧盟还没有多少盟友。不过,意大利西尔维奥•贝卢斯科尼(Silvio Berlusconi)的再度当选可能改变这种局面。

Outsiders see the Indians and the Chinese as the greatest beneficiaries of globalisation. But the last Indian government lost a general election, largely because poor, rural voters felt left out by the boom. With another election in the offing, India's politicians are not rushing to sign a new world trade deal. The political climate in a one-party state such as China is harder to gauge. But the authorities' evident anxiety about rural unemployment, environmental protests and the wealth gap between the rich coasts and the poorer inland regions suggests that global capitalism can be a tough sell – even in China.

外界认为,印度人和中国人是全球化的最大受益者。但上届印度政府在大选中之所以失利,主要原因就是贫困的农村选民感觉自己被排除在全球化热潮之外。随着另一次选举即将来临,印度的政客们目前不会急于签订新的全球贸易协议。评估中国等一党制国家的政治气候难度更大。但中国政府对农村失业、环保抗议和富裕沿海地区与较贫困内陆地区贫富差距的明显担忧,说明推销全球资本主义可能是一场攻坚战——即便是在中国。

The sense that the poor have lost out as a result of globalisation has grown with the rise in world food prices. Hunger – that most traditional threat to ruling elites – is returning to many countries that have embraced globalisation.

全球化的结果是穷人成为输家——全球食品价格的上涨,加深了人们的这种感觉。作为对统治精英最为传统的威胁,饥饿正在许多拥抱全球化的国家重现。

Political leaders around the world are struggling to contain all these pressures and maintain the consensus that has made globalisation possible. But their task is getting harder. Globalisation was made possible by political change. But what politics made, politics can take away.

世界各地的政治领袖正奋力遏制这些压力,维持使全球化成为可能的共识。但他们的任务正变得更加艰巨。政治变革令全球化成为可能。但政治造之,亦能覆之。

Gideon Rachman

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