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论人性与政治 On Human Nature and Politics

On Human Nature and Politics
On Human Nature and Politics

论人性与政治

伯特兰·罗素

        毫无疑问对食物的渴望曾经是而且仍然是很多大的政治事件的主要原因之一。但是人类与其它动物在一个很重要的方面存在差异,那就是人类有欲望,而且可以说是 无穷无尽、永远无法充分满足的欲望,这些欲望使得他们即便到了天国也无法安静。蟒蛇在一顿饱餐之后就去睡,直到需要另外一顿时才醒来。人类,在很大程度上 则不会如此。阿拉伯人曾一度节俭地过着以几颗枣为生的生活,后来夺取了东罗马帝国的大量财富,住在无法想象的豪华宫殿中,他们没有因此而平静下来。饥饿已 经不再是一个动机,因为他们稍一点头示意,希腊奴隶就会给他们奉上精美食品。但是其它的欲望仍然促使他们十分活跃,尤其是四种欲望,我们称之为占有欲、竞 争欲、虚荣心和权力欲。

占有欲——渴望拥有尽可能多的财产权利。这是一种动机,我想,这种动机来源于恐惧和对生活必需品的渴望的结合。

我 曾经善待来自爱沙尼亚的两个小女孩,她们是从一场饥饿的饥荒中死里逃生的。她们住在我家里,当然有足够多的食物。但她们却一有空就跑到邻近的农场偷土豆并 囤积起来。洛克菲勒在年幼的时候生活十分贫苦,成年后仍以类似的方式生活着。与此类似,阿拉伯酋长坐在他们丝质的拜占庭长沙发椅上仍忘不掉沙漠,他们所囤 积的财富远远超过任何可能的身体需要。无论怎样对占有欲进行心理分析,没有人可以否认它是一种极为强大的动机——尤其是在有权有势的人们之中。因为,如我 前面所说,占有欲是一种无限的动机。不管你已拥有多么多,你仍将渴望占有更多。完全的满足是一个无法实现的梦。

虽然占有欲是资本主义制度的 主要动力来源,但在人们解决了饥饿问题之后,它却无论如何不再是最强烈动机。竞争欲是一个更为强大的动机。在伊斯兰教历史上,很多个王朝都一再惨遭不幸, 这是因为国王的多位妻子的儿子们彼此不和而引发内战,造成全面毁灭。在现代欧洲也发生了类似的事情。当英国政府不很明智地允许德国皇帝参加在 Spithead 举行的一次海军检阅时,他脑中涌现出的想法并不是我们原来的打算,他想到的是,“我一定要拥有一支和英国一样好的舰队”。正是他的这个想法,导致了我们后 来的一系列麻烦,如果占有欲总是强于竞争欲的话,世界也许比现在更美好。但事实上,许多人将愉快地面对贫困,如果他们能以贫困使他们的竞争对手彻底毁灭的 话,这就是现在的税收如此之高的原因。

虚荣心是一个有着极大潜在力的动机,任何一个经常同孩子打交道的人都知道他们常常会做一些滑稽动作并 要求说:“看看我”。“看看我”是人心最基本的欲望之一,这种欲望有多种表现形式,从孩子们的扮小丑到追求死后的名声,文艺复兴时曾有一个意大利小君主, 在临死前当牧师问他是否有何忏悔时,他回答道:“是,有一件事情。有一次国王和教皇同时来看我,我把他们带到塔顶观光,我忘了把他们都推下去,那样我就能 永远名昭于世。”历史没有叙述牧师是否宽恕了他。虚荣心的麻烦之一就是,喂它的东西越多,它就越膨胀,你被谈论的越多,你就越希望被人谈论。让一个被判了 死刑的罪犯看报纸上登的关于他的报道越多,就会对那些报道不充分的报纸越发愤怒,政治家和文人们也是如此。他们越是出名,剪报机构就会发现越难以满足他 们。怎样夸张虚荣心在人的一生中影响都不为过,从三岁孩童到那些眉头一皱世界就会为之一颤的统治者。人类甚至犯了这样的大不敬之罪:将这些欲望归之于神, 认为神总是渴望被不断赞扬。

虽然我们已考虑到了的动机的影响非常强大,还有一种动机比它们更有影响……权欲如同虚荣心,不达无限权力是永远 无法满足权欲的。由于它特别是精力充沛者的恶行,对权力的追求偶尔可能会达到目的,但成功的比例很小。权欲的确是重要人物生活中最强烈的动机。行使权力的 经历会更增加对权力的热爱,这不但适用于无足轻重的小权,也适用于君主手中的权力。在1914年第一次世界大战之前的幸福年代里,当一些富有的主妇拥有一 批侍从后,她们对仆人行使权力的乐趣随着年龄的增加而不断增长。同样地,在任何一个专制制度里,掌权者都会随着权力带来的愉悦而变得越来越暴虐。由于权力 的表现形式就是让人们做他们不愿做的事,被权欲所驱使的人就更倾向于给人们带来痛苦而不是喜悦。如果你因正当理由向你的上级请假,她不同意必同意会使他的 权欲得到更大的满足。如果你想得到建房许可证,有关的官员也会从说“不行”比说“可以”中获得更多乐趣。正是这类事才使得权欲成了一个非常危险的动机。但 是它也有有利的方面。我想对知识的追求主要就是受权欲的驱使。科技的进步也是一样。在政界,一个改革家爱权的程度绝不亚于一个独裁者。如果完全否定权欲这 一动机将是一个极大的错误。权欲这一动机究竟是引导人做出有益的行动还是有害的行动,取决于社会制度以及个人的能力。

现在我来谈谈其它的动 机,尽管在某种意义上这些没有我们已讨论过的动机那么要紧,但仍然有着相当的重要性。其中第一个是追求刺激。人优越于畜生之处表现在他们会感到厌倦,虽说 在观察动物园的猿类时我有时会想它们也许也有着这种讨厌的感情的萌芽。不管怎样,经验表明,几乎所有的人都具有真正强有力的欲望之一就是摆脱厌倦状态。

当 白人刚开始同那些尚未开化的野蛮种族交往时,他们带来了各种好处,从圣经福音的教导到南瓜馅饼。但是,大多数野蛮人都是很冷淡地接受了这一切,我们对此非 常遗憾。在我们带来的众多礼物中,他们最看重的是会令人陶醉的酒。正是这种酒,使他们平生第一次在一小段时间内有一种活着比死好的幻觉。

红 印第安人,在未受到白人影响时,喜欢用烟管抽烟,不是像我们那样平静地抽,而是非常疯狂地、深深地吸,以至于沉浸在一种昏迷的状态。当尼古丁不再满足刺激 需要时,就会有一个爱国的演说者将他们挑动起来攻打邻近的部落。这带给他们的享受,就像我们(依我们的气质)从赛马或大选中得到的享受一样。

对于现代文明人,就像对于原始的红印第安人部落一样,我认为正是对刺激的追求,才使他们为战争的爆发而叫好。这种情绪就像是看一场足球比赛,虽然其结果有时更加严重一点。

要 断定追求刺激这一动机的根本原因绝非易事。我倾向于认为我们的大脑结构适应人们以打猎为生时的状态。那时人们带着原始的武器,花上一整天的时间潜步跟踪一 只鹿,希望用它做晚餐。天黑时,他拖着猎物凯旋回山洞。他躺下来歇息,虽疲惫不堪,却心满意足。他的妻子便开始忙活着洗肉煮肉。他感到困顿,浑身酸痛。肉 的香味充满着他的每一个细胞。吃过晚饭后,他就沉沉睡去。在这样的生活中,人们没有时间也没有精力去感到厌倦。但是当他开始从事农业后,他的妻子被迫干完 田间所有的劳作,他便开始有时间考虑人类的生活名利,创造神话和哲学,并梦想从此以后可以过上在天国里自由驰骋狩猎的生活。

我们的大脑结构 适应繁重的体力劳动。在我年青的时候,经常利用假期进行长途跋涉。我一天会走上25里路。在夜晚降临时,我根本不需要任何东西帮我摆脱厌倦,因为能好好地 坐下来的喜悦已让我心满意足。但是现代生活不可能遵循这样靠体力劳动的原则。大量的工作是坐着完成,而大部分的体力劳动只运动几块专门的肌肉。很多伦敦人 聚众于特拉发格广场,疯狂的为政府宣布将他们处死的宣言而欢呼(指宣战)如果那天他们徒步走了25里路的话,他们就不会再这样欢呼了。但用这种方式医治人 们的好斗性是不现实的。如果人们想生存下去——这也许并不是人们所渴望的——就必须找到其他无害的途径来发泄人们体内那些产生爱和兴奋的剩余体力。

但 这个问题道德学家和社会改革家极少考虑过。社会改革家认为他们有更重要的事情去考虑。而另一方面,道德学家则为允许人们发泄激情的方式担忧,在他们看来, 其严重程度就等同于罪恶。舞厅、电影院和本世纪的爵士乐(如同我们听信的道德学家们所说的话),全都是地狱之门。所以,我们最好整日呆在家里,认真反思我 们的罪过对于那些严肃的人发出的这些警告,我不敢完全苟同。魔鬼有许多种形式,有的是专门用来诱骗年轻人寻欢作乐,难道不也正是同一个恶魔劝说老年人去诅 咒这一种享乐的吗?对老年人来说诅咒难道不是一种更适宜于他们的刺激吗?诅咒或许是一种药,如鸦片一样,只有不断加大剂量才能达到预期的效果?开始时我们 只是攻击电影院的罪恶,渐渐地则被引向诅咒反对党,南欧移民,亚洲移民,总之,除了我们圈子之外的所有人我们都咒,又难道不可怕吗?正是这种诅咒,漫延开 来便导致战争。我却从未听说过从舞厅引发的战争。

激情的可怕之处就在于它的许多形式都具有破坏性。对那些不能自控而过度酗酒或赌博者是有害 的,以民众暴乱的形式寻求刺激也是有害的。最具破坏性的就是它导致战争。而人们追求刺激又是一种根深蒂固的需要,所以除非有现成的无害的发泄方式,人们就 将采用诸如此类的有害的方式。只要控制在法律限制之内,这种无害方式在现在的体育以及政治活动中都有。但这些并不够,尤其是由于有些最刺激的政治活动本身 就最具破坏性。

文明生活已变得平淡无奇,如果要使其稳定,就必须找出无害的方式让人们发泄冲动,我们的老祖先可以通过打猎来满足这种冲动的 发泄。在澳大利亚,那里人少兔子多,我发现人们通过很熟练地屠宰成千上百的兔子这种原始的方式来满足他们的原始冲动。但在伦敦或纽约,这里人多兔子少,所 以必须找到其他方式。我想每一个大城市都应该有人造瀑布,人们可以乘着不堪一击的木船顺流而下。瀑布的下方应该有浴池,里面放满了机械鲨鱼。任何鼓吹防御 性战争的人都应被法统这些制作精巧的怪物每天在一起呆上两个小时。

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On Human Nature and Politics

Bertrand Russell

        Undoubtedly the desire for food has been, and still is, one of the main causes of great political events. But man differs from other animals in one very important respect, and that is that he has desires which are, so to speak, intimate, which can never be fully gratified, and which should keep him restless even in Paradise. The boa constrictor, when he had an adequate meal, goes to sleep, and does not wake until he needs another meal. Human beings, for the most not part are not like this. When the Arabs, who had been used to living sparingly on a few dates, acquired the riches of the Eastern Roman Empire and dwelt in palaces of almost unbelievable luxury, they did not, on that account, become inactive. Hunger could no longer be a motive, for Greek slaves supplied them with exquisite viands at the slightest nod. But other desires kept them active; four in particular, which we can label acquisitiveness, rivalry, vanity and love of power.

  Acquisitiveness-the wish to possess as much as possible of goods, or the title to goods-is a motive which, I suppose, has its origin in a combination of fear with the desire for necessaries.

  I once befriended two little girls from Esthonia, who had narrowly escaped death from starvation in a famine. They lived in my family, and of course had plenty to eat. But they spent all their leisure visiting neighbouring farms and stealing potatoes, which they hoarded. Rockefeller, who in his infancy had experienced great poverty, spent his adult life in a similar manner. Similarly the Arab chieftains on their silken Byzantine divans could not forget the desert, and hoarded riches far beyond any possible physical need. But whatever the psychoanalysis of acquisitiveness, no one can deny that it is one of the great motives -especially among the more powerful, for ,as I said before, it is one of the infinite motives .However much you may acquire you will always wish to acquire more ;satiety is a dream which will always elude you.

But acquisitiveness, although it is the mainspring of the capitalist system, is by no means the most powerful of the motives that survive the conquest of hunger .Rivalry is a much stronger motive. Over and over again in Muhammadan history, dynasties have come to grief because the sons of a sultan by different mothers could not agree, and in the resulting civil war universal ruin resulted. The same sort of thing happens in modern Europe When the British Government very unwisely allowed the Kaiser to be present at a naval review at Spithead, the thought which arose in his mind was not the one which we had intended. What he thought was.” I must have a Navy as good as Grandmamma’s.”And from this thought pier place than it is if acquisitiveness were always stronger than rivalry. But in fact ,a great many men will cheerfully face impoverishment if they can thereby secure complete ruin for their rivals, Hence the present level of taxation.

        Vanity is a motive of immense potency. Anyone who has much to do with children knows how they are constantly performing some antic and saying “Look at me”. “Look at me “is one of the most fundamental desires of the human heart. It can take innumerable forms, from buffoonery to the pursuit of posthumous fame. There was a Renaissance Italian princeling who was asked by the priest on his deathbed if he had anything to repent of “Yes,” he said “There is one thing. On one occasion I had a visit from the Emperor and the Pope simultaneously .I too tem to the top of my tower to see the view, and I neglected the opportunity to throw them both down .which would have given me immortal fame.” history does not relate whether the priest gave him absolution. One of the troubles about vanity is that it grows with what it feeds on .The talked about. The condemned murderer who is allowed to see the account of his trial in the Press is indignant if he finds a newspaper which has reported it inadequately. And the more he finds about himself in other newspapers, the more indignant he will be with those whose reports are meager. Politicians and literary men are in the same case. And the more famous they become, the more difficult the press cutting agency finds it to satisfy them .It is scarcely possible to exaggerate the influence of vanity throughout the range of human life, from the child of three to the potentate at whose frown the world trembles. Mankind have even committed the impiety of attributing similar desires to the deity, whom they imaging avid for continual praise.

But great as is the influence of the motives we have been considering, there is one which out weighs these all……Power, like vanity, is insatiable. Nothing short of omnipotence could satisfy it completely. And as it is especially the vice of energetic men, the casual efficacy of love of power is out of all proportion to its frequency. It is ,indeed, by far the strongest motive in the lives of important men .Love of power is greatly increased by the experience of power ,and this applies to petty power as well as to that of potentates ,In the happy days before 1914,when well-to -do ladies could acquire a host of servants, their pleasure in exercising power over the domestics steadily increased with age .Similarly, in any autocratic regime, the holders of power become increasingly, tyrannical with experience of the delights that power can afford. Since power over human beings is shown in making them do what they would rather not do, the man who is actuated by love of power is more apt to inflict pain than to permit pleasure .If you ask your boss for leave lf absence from the office on some legitimate occasion, his love of power will derive more satisfaction from refusal than from consent .If you require a building permit, the petty official concerned will obviously get more pleasure from saying “No” than from saying “Yes”. It is this sort of thing which makes the love of power such a dangerous motive ,But it has other sides which are more desirable .The pursuit of knowledge is ,I think ,mainly actuated by love lf power ,And so are all advances in scientific technique ,In politics also ,a reformer may have just as strong a love of power as a despot .It would be a complete mistake to decry love of power altogether as a motive ,Whether you will be led by this motive to actions which are useful ,or to actions which are pernicious ,depends upon the social system ,and upon your capacities .

I come now to other motives which ,though in a sense less fundamental than those we have been considering ,are still of considerable importuned ,The first of these is love of excitement .Human beings show their superiority to the brutes by their capacity for boredom ,though I have sometimes thought ,in Examining the apes at the Zoo, that they ,perhaps ,have the rudiments of this tiresome emotion .However that may be, experience shows that escape from boredom is one of the really powerful desires of almost all human beings.

  When white men first effect contact with some unspoilt race of savages, they offer them all kinds of benefits, from the light of the Gospel to pumpkin pie. These, however, much as we may regret it, most savages receive with indifference. What they really value among the gifts that we bring to them is intoxicating liquor ,which enables them .for the first time in their lives ,to have the illusion, for a few brief moments ,that it is better to be alive than dead.
Red Indians ,while they were still unaffected by white men ,would smoke their pipes .not calmly as we do ,but orgiastically ,in haling so deeply that they sank into a faint ,And when excitement by means of nicotine failed ,a patriotic orator would stir them up to attack a neighbouring tribe ,which would give them all the enjoyment that we (according to our temperament ) derive from a horse race of a General Election.

  With civilized men, as with primitive Red Indian tribes, it is, I think, chiefly love of excitement which makes the populace applaud when war breaks out; the emotion is exactly the same as at a football match, although the results are sometimes somewhat more serious.
It is not altogether easy to decide what is the root cause of the love of excitement. I incline to think that our mental make-up is adapted to the stage when men lived by hunting .When a man spent a long day with very primitive weapons in stalking a deer with the hope of dinner and when ,at the end of the day ,he dragged the carcase triumphantly to his cave ,he sank down in contented weariness, while his wife dressed and cooked the meat ,He was sleepy ,and his bones ached ,and the smell of cooking filled every nook and cranny of his consciousness. At last after eating, he sank into deep sleep. In such a life there was neither time nor energy for boredom. But when he took to agriculture, and made his wife do all the heavy work in the fields, he had time to reflect upon the vanity of human life, to invent mythologies and systems of philosophy, and to dream of the life hereafter in which he would perpetually hunt the wild boar of Valhalla.

Our mental make-up is suited to a life of very severe physical labour , I used ,when I was younger ,to take my holidays walking ,I would cover 25 miles a day ,and when the evening came I had no need of anything to keep me from boredom ,since the delight of sitting amply sufficed .But modern lift cannot be conducted on these physically strenuous principles ,A great deal of work is sedentary and most manual work exercises only a few specialized muscles. When London crowds assemble in Trafalgar Square to cheer to the echo an announcement that the government has decided to have them killed ,they would not do so if they had walked 25 miles that day .This cure for bellicosity is ,however ,impracticable and if the human race is to survive – a thing which is ,perhaps ,undesirable -other means must be found for securing an innocent outlet for the unused physical energy that produces love of excitement.

  This is a matter which has been too little considered, both by moralists and by social reformers .The social reformers are of the opinion that they have more serious things to consider , The moralists ,on the other hand ,are immensely impressed with the seriousness of all the permitted outlets of the love of excitement; the seriousness ,however ,in their minds is that of Sin ,Dance halls ,cinemas ,this age of jazz are all ,if we may believe our ears gateways to Hell, and we should be better employed sitting at home contemplating our sins. I find myself unable to be in entire agreement with the grave men who utter these warnings. The devil has many forms, some designed to deceive the young ,some designed to deceive the old and serious .If it is the devil that tempts the young to enjoy themselves ,is it not ,perhaps ,the same personage that persuades the old to condemn their enjoyment? And is not condemnation perhaps merely a form of excitement appropriate to old age? And is it not , perhaps ,a drug which -like opium -has to be taken in continually stronger doses to produce the desired effect? Is it not to be feared that ,beginning with the wickedness of the cinema, we should be led step by step to condemn the opposite political party ,dagoes ,wops, Asiatics ,and ,in short, everybody except the fellow members of our club? And it is from just such condemnations, when widespread, that wars proceed. I never heard of a war that proceeded from dance halls.
What is serious about excitement is that so many of its forms are destructive. It is destructive in those who cannot resist excess in alcohol or gambling. It is destructive when it takes the form of mob violence. And above all it is destructive when it leads to war. It is so deep a need that is will find harmful outlets of this kind unless innocent outlets are at hand. There are such innocent outlets at present in sport, and in politics so long as it is kept in constitutional bounds. But these are not sufficient, especially as the kind of politics that is most exciting is also the kind that does most harm.

Civilized life has grown altogether too tame, and, if it is to be stable, it must provide harmless outlets for the impulses which our remote ancestors satisfied in hunting. In Australia ,where people are few and rabbits are many ,I watched a whole populace satisfying the primitive impulse in the primitive manner by the skilful slaughter of many thousands of rabbits ,But in London or New York, where people are many and rabbits are few ,some other means must be found to gratify primitive impulse ,I think every big town should contain artificial waterfalls that people could descend in very fragile canoes ,and they should contain bathing pools full of mechanical sharks ,Any persons found advocating a preventive war should be condemned to two hours a day with these ingenious monsters.

 

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