发布时间: 2015-01-12   浏览次数: 51



The Idea of Communism

My aim today is to describe a conceptual operation to which, for reasons that I hope will be convincing, I will give the name 'the Idea of communism'. No doubt the trickiest part of this construction is the most general one, the one that involves explaining what an Idea is, not just with respect to political truths (in which case the Idea is that of communism) but with respect to any truth (in which case the Idea is a modern version of what Plato attempted to convey to us under the names of eidos, or idea, or even more precisely the Idea of the Good). I will leave a good deal of this generality implicit, 1 in order to be as clear as possible regarding the Idea of communism.

Three basic elements - a political, a historical and a subjective one - are needed for the operation of 'the Idea of communism'.

First, the political element. This concerns what I call a truth, a political truth. Regarding my analysis of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (a political truth if ever there was one), one reviewer for a British newspaper remarked - merely from noting my positive account of this episode of Chinese history (which he of course regards as a sinister, bloody catastrophe) – that it was “ not hard to feel a certain pride in workaday Anglo-Saxon empiricism, which inoculates us [the readers of the Observer] against the tyranny of pure political abstraction'. He was basically taking pride in the fact that the dominant imperative in the world today is 'Live without an Idea'. So, to please him, I will begin by saying that a political truth can, after all, be described in a purely empirical way: it is a concrete, time-specific sequence in which a new thought and a new practice of collective emancipation arise, exist, and eventually disappear.







今天我要描述一个概念性操作,我将其命名为“共产主义观念”,同时也希翼我给出的理由能让大家信服。当然,这个操作过程中最棘手的部分在于如何处理观念的普遍性。这要求大家在说明观念的时候,不仅要考虑到政治真理(在这种情况下,观念即共产主义观念),还要考虑到所有真理(在这种情况下,观念即柏拉图观念思想的一种现代说法。他尝试以观念, 或者更准确的说法“上帝的观念”来向大家传达这个概念)。接下来,我会尽可能把种普遍性作为我论证的一部分,从而把共产主义观念说明得更加清楚明白一些。


第一,政治元素。这涉及到我所说的真理,即政治真理。关于我对中国学问大革命的分析(假如历史上真的存在这样一个政治真理),一家英国报纸的评论家点评到——他只留意到我对中国这次历史事件的正面评价(他当然认为学问大革命是一场险恶而血腥的灾难性事件)—— 要“感受普通盎格鲁—撒克逊人引以为豪的经验主义并不难,要知道这种经验主义还能使大家(观察家报的读者)免遭纯粹政治抽象的暴政”。然而令他引以为荣的是当今世界的通行规则 “活着不需要观念”。所以,为了满足他,我会说政治真理最终也是可以用纯粹的经验主义的方式来描述的:这是一种具体的,发生在特定时期的序列,在这序列之中,新思想,新的集体解放产生,存在,并最终消失。

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