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梦想家论坛 留学考试区 SAT考试  ›常志诚:SAT人文必读之国家诞生篇(二)—— 《不自由 毋宁死》
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[阅读] 常志诚:SAT人文必读之国家诞生篇(二)—— 《不自由 毋宁死》 [复制链接]

发表于 2016-9-21 15:32:50 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

    本文为天道教育教学总监常志诚老师写给在美国读书的学生的一封信,关于SAT人文必读的第二篇。希望能够对即将考试的同学有所帮助。

  博睿,

  你好!感谢你的教师节祝福!

  其实做老师,最开心的地方,就是能够不断看着自己的学生,一步步成长,一点点超越自己。我也有我的老师,记得有一次,我问到一位很尊敬的高中老师,他做教育最开心的地方是什么?他笑呵呵的告诉我说,就是对于这些20年、30年后的社会精英,在他/她们青春期价值观逐渐形成的过程中,能够起到一点点塑造、一点点影响,足慰平生。

  确然如此。你很喜欢的科幻小说《三体》中,提到一个“思想钢印”的概念,就是可以通过高端科技,给人的思维烙上某个绝对概念,很难更改。而现实生活中,其实也是可以有“思想钢印”的;在一个人的青春期形成的某些思想和价值观,也同样很难更改。你刚刚在美国上9年级,未来四年吧,几乎可以决定你的一生(价值观)。

 

  就如同我们上次谈到的北美《五月花号公约》,其实也可以理解成为在一个社会形成的幼年时期所拥有的基本信仰。还记得《五月花号公约》的厉害之处吗?那就是签署人立誓创立一个自治团体,这个团体是基于被管理者的同意而成立的,而且将依法而治。而自治和法治,也是贯穿美国文化始终的两个坐标词汇。谈到自治,就需要好好聊聊我们上次留的阅读文章,这篇被我评为“感动美国十大文章之一”的《不自由毋宁死》了。

  常志诚:SAT人文必读之国家诞生篇——《五月花号公约》

  (一)先说一下基本背景

  我们上次谈到的五月花号(1620年),只是驶向北美殖民地的千百艘船中的一艘。大量的移民,尤其是在欧洲受到各种宗教迫害,土地兼并压力等,需要到北美谋生的人,还在源源不断的来到北美。百十年后,这种殖民地的移民,以及在殖民地安家并繁衍后代的所谓“殖民地居民”,数量就极其可观了。当时英属殖民地的行政管理模式,就是在每个州建立一个殖民政府,由大英帝国直属,而当地居民需要向英国政府缴税。 

  这个模式,如果换成东方人的话,是比较容易接受的。毕竟,在我们的民族基因里,是习惯被人管理的。即使出现一些贪官污吏,作威作福,鱼肉百姓,东方人也更希冀于天子的圣明和包青天这种虚构人物的出现,而不会想到由自我管理。毕竟,明清两代的政治核心,是以提升皇权,压抑人性为前提的。

  但是,到了西方,情况就不同了。就在我们经历明清两代(14世纪-19世纪),国家性格从扩张变为保守,民族性格从张扬变为压抑时,西方社会恰恰在经历两次大规模的思想文化革新:宗教改革(14世纪-17世纪)和文艺复兴(15世纪-17世纪),而两次革新的核心,就是人性的解放。因此,当从宗教和艺术中,逐渐达到人性觉醒和人性解放时,他们又凭什么非要选择顺从于政府的统治,尤其是这个政府中,还多了些不公平的政策和不善良的官员?

  此外,还要给你介绍一个有意思的想法:人是用脚投票的。所谓用脚投票,就是人选择过什么样的生活,就会去寻找可以过上这种生活的地方。拿我来说,也是在国内完成大学学业,然后去北美走了一圈,最终选择回到北京,教书为乐,因为这就是我所喜欢的生活,所以我最终选择留在帝都。而我的很多同学,散于四方,或国内、或国外,或欧洲、或美洲、或澳洲,也是各自选择使然。

  同样的情况,试想一下,在300年前,什么人会选择北美?

  千万不要用现在的超级大国,去想象300年前的样子。五月花号时期(1620年)的北美,几乎可以说是蛮荒之地。你是去参观过费城大陆会议(1774)旧址的,即使到了那个年代,北美都还是以农耕为主,称不上富裕。而殖民地时期的北美,最吸引人的地方,莫过于大量的未开发土地,对于欧洲饱受土地兼并,没有耕地的农民来说,拥有自己的土地,哪怕是要去拓荒,也是梦寐以求的事情。

  因此,经历了人性觉醒,又是实打实地通过自己的努力,拥有土地,过上相对富足生活的北美居民,在面对当时的殖民地政府随意加税,而不需要经过他们同意时,会采取什么手段呢?

  没说的。他们选择反抗。

  而这中间还有三次重要的导火索,分别是由于英法七年战争所导致的北美军费传导(加税),波士顿惨案和波士顿倾茶事件。这三个事件,将来有机会我单辟话题再给你细说。历史有偶然,也有必然。当大趋势已然如此,具体的事件,都只是必然中的偶然罢了。

  (二)文章精彩节选

  以上就是帕特里克·亨利(Patrick Henry)在弗吉尼亚州议会上发表《不自由毋宁死》(1774.3.23)这篇著名演讲的前期历史背景。我喜欢和你多聊一些的,是一篇重要文献发生前的思想背景和历史情状。理解了这些,其实就是理解了一件事情为何发生;至于如何发生,和发生后的影响,就是之后讨论的话题了。

  我们来看正文。

  No man thinks more highly than I do of thepatriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have justaddressed the House. But different men often see thesame subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thoughtdisrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of acharacter very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely andwithout reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before theHouse is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it asnothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to themagnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only inthis way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the greatresponsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back myopinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should considermyself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyaltytoward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

  Mr. President, it isnatural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song ofthat siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men,engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, havingears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know thewhole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

  I have but one lamp bywhich my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no wayof judging of the future but by the past. And judgingby the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the Britishministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemenhave been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidioussmile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; itwill prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with akiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports withthose warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Arefleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shownourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to winback our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir.These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to whichkings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if itspurpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any otherpossible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of theworld, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she hasnone. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent overto bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been solong forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir,we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offerupon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of whichit is capable; but it has been all in vain.

    Shall we resort to entreaty andhumble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been alreadyexhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have doneeverything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we havesupplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have imploredits interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry andParliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and wehave been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain,after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean topreserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so longcontending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which wehave been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandonuntil the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--We must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal toarms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

  They tell us, sir, thatwe are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall webe stronger? Will it be the next week, or the nextyear? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shallbe stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution andinaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinelyon our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shallhave bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if wemake a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in ourpower. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, andin such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force whichour enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battlesalone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and whowill raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not tothe strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, wehave no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late toretire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Ourchains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The waris inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

  It is in vain, sir, toextenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweepsfrom the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Ourbrethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it thatgentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear,or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me,give me liberty or give me death!

  怎么样,是否感觉这篇文章写得荡气回肠?要知道,亨利可是当时弗吉尼亚州最有名的律师之一,而这个弗吉尼亚州,也是我最喜欢的美国州之一,尤其是它所独具的民主思辨特色,每每令我心驰神往。说句题外话,也是我们未来在讲美国总统系列时,会讲到的美国前四任总统,都是弗吉尼亚州出身,分别是乔治华盛顿、约翰亚当斯、托马斯杰弗逊、詹姆斯麦迪逊。

  就像你和我分享的,这篇文章并不难懂。我在原文中,做了简单标注,这里再稍微串一下文章结构:

  第一段,提出自己观点的不同(but different men … different lights)

  第二段,指出人们寄托于幻想(illusions of hope)

  第三段,说出自己的判断标准,即用以往经验判断(one lamp to guide … experience);并指出,让人们不要自欺欺人(let us not deceive ourselves)

  第四段,对于反驳者进行驳斥(they: we are weak; unable to cope with vs Henry: we are not weak)

  第五段,给出总结,不要再徒劳地缩小态势;不自由,毋宁死(in vain to extenuate the matter … give me liberty or give me death) 

  当然,亨利相当智慧,讲究策略,这个恰恰是你要不断学习体会的。他知道,要想获得别人的支持,不能一开始就言语激烈,一顿雷烟火炮。因此,他先安抚一下前面的谈话者(其实之前是有人不同意对英国动武的),说大家都只是观点不同,要允许他发表自己的观点;然后循循善诱,先指出对方存在的问题(illusion),再说出自己的评判标准(past experience),再针对部分人对英国的恐惧心理进行驳斥(we are not weak),最后一锤定音,必须战斗,不自由,毋宁死(give me liberty or give me death)。分明一篇《战国策》!

  至于好的句子,我在原文中,给你用红笔标注了,好好体会。

  (三)再说说帕特里克·亨利(Patrick Henry)的后半生

  我一直很喜欢帕特里克·亨利(Patrick Henry)这个人物,之所以喜欢,是因为他之后的人生轨迹,恰恰证明了一个我们每个人都不愿意面对,却又不得不面对的事实,那就是历史的残酷玩笑。

  历史的残酷玩笑,就在于迷雾重重,不管是谁都无法看清现实中的一切,而大多数人只希望看到自己想看到的和想要的现实。因此,当岁月蹉跎、英雄老去时,我们不禁感慨,这不就是一场场鲜活的悲喜剧吗?

  说回到帕特里克·亨利(Patrick Henry),你就会发现,他后面的每一个重要决定,从现在看,都是那么的时运不济,或者说,落入历史残酷的玩笑陷阱中。

  作为美国的重要国父之一,也是《独立宣言》的重要执笔人之一,他在1787年,却拒绝参加制宪会议,翌年在弗吉尼亚代表大会上反对批准《美国宪法》(SAT 可汗学院有一篇很难的History长双,就是他和詹姆斯麦迪逊在弗吉尼亚代表大会上PK是否要通过宪法,有机会咱们具体讲)。

  联邦政府成立后,他又坚持反对强大的中央政府,拒绝了华盛顿让他担任国务卿的邀请,还拒绝担任最高法院的大法官等职位。

  然而,在看到法国革命的疯狂后(还记得《双城记》中的暴民统治吧?),他的政治观点又开始转变,最终成为联邦主义者,可惜为时已晚,重要的政府空缺早已花落别家,而自由斗士帕特里克·亨利也垂垂老矣。

  1799年6月6日,帕特里克亨利,终于走到生命的尽头,被葬在弗吉尼亚的红山,他家族的墓地。

  世事无常,人生曲折。呵呵。

  不过我想和你分享的,以及之后还会不断提到的,就是美国在初建时,何其幸运,能够有一批如此慷慨、如此不畏权势、如此不慕名利的国父们。我们后面会继续讲到独立战争,制宪会议,你就会不断感到,你目前所处的那块大陆,总是不断散发着人性的光辉。

  (四)给一些拓展阅读,我们下次聊Common Sense《常识》

  Common Sense

  The Declaration of Independence

  George Washionton

  Great Expectations

  Oliver Twist

  David Copperfield

  Hard Times

本文为天道教育常志诚老师原创文章,转载请注明出处和作者,违者必究!

常志诚

    中国人民大学毕业,英语专业八级,ETS认证教师,京城知名SAT教师;8年SAT教学经验,专注于SAT阅读/写作的教学教法研究,学生遍布美国常青藤大学,2010年教授学生王同学是北京市当年唯一被哈佛大学录取的优秀学子。著有《SAT全真词汇大全》、《百分百SAT写作例子集》等畅销参考书。

  有数据,有故事,懂考试,更热爱梦想。

  扫一扫,留学资讯一手掌握!天道教育微信订阅号:tiandaojiaoyu


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