How to Change the World
How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxism, by Eric Hobsbawm, Little, Brown, RRP£25, 480 pages
《如何改朝换代：马克思及马克思主义的故事》(How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxism)，作者：艾瑞克•霍布斯鲍姆(Eric Hobsbawm)，由利特尔-布朗公司(Little, Brown)出版，建议零售价25英镑，480页。
Born in June 1917, months before the October Revolution, Eric Hobsbawm has outlived both the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of Great Britain, which he joined in 1936. He is still in mourning. “The fall of the USSR and the Soviet model,” he writes in How to Change the World, “was traumatic not only for communists but for socialists everywhere.”
艾瑞克•霍布斯鲍姆出生于1917年，几个月后，苏联10月革命爆发，他活得比苏联以 及英国共产党（他1936年加入）都还长。对此结局他至今仍感伤心，他在《如何改朝换代》一书中写道，“苏联的垮台以及苏联模式的失败不仅在共产党员、而 且在全世界的社会党人的心头造成了巨大创伤。”
Speak for yourself, comrade. I, like many other socialists, greeted the fall of the Soviet model with unqualified rejoicing; and I don’t doubt that Karl Marx would have been celebrating. His favourite motto, de omnibus disputandum (“everything should be questioned”), was not one that had any currency in the realm of “actually existing socialism” – a hideous hybrid of mendacity, thuggery and incompetence.
这是代表你说的话，同志，而我与其它许多社会党人一样，对苏联模式的垮台欢呼雀跃；而 且卡尔•马克思本人也会拍手称快，对此我毫不怀疑。他最有名的名言“应该质疑一切”(de omnibus disputandum)在“现存的社会主义政权”国家（集谎言、暗杀以及无能于一身的可怕怪胎）压根就没有市场。
This collection of essays and lectures about Marxism after Marx is slightly disfigured by the author’s enduring party-line coyness. When writing about how the anti-fascist campaigns of the 1930s brought new recruits to the communist cause, he cannot even bring himself to mention the Hitler-Stalin pact, referring only to “temporary episodes such as 1939-41”. The Soviet invasion of Hungary and the crushing of the Prague Spring are skipped over.
这本关于后马克思时代纵论马克思主义的随笔及讲座集因作者长期以来含糊其辞的党派路线 而略显逊色。当写道上世纪30年代反法西斯运动如何让许多人投身共产主义事业，他甚至没有勇气提及希特勒与斯大林所签订的条约，而只是笼统地说成 “1939至1941年间的一些偶发事件”。苏联入侵匈牙利以及残酷镇压布拉格之春(the Prague Spring)更是被略过不谈。
To anyone under 50, this book – with its lauding of Lenin and trashing of “dissidents” (the inverted commas are Hobsbawm’s), and its restaging of old academic disputes – will seem either incomprehensible or unpalatable. Those wanting a 21st-century assessment will have to wait for a new generation, untarnished by forgotten feuds and loyalties, to read Marx with unblinkered eyes.
本书对列宁极尽誉美之词、诋毁那些“持不同政见者”（引号为霍布斯鲍姆所加），以及重 新挑起原先学术界对此问题的争论，在不到50岁的任何人看来，似乎既难以理喻，又颇为反感。那些希冀能以21世纪的观点重新评判的人，只能等待未来一代人 以不偏不倚的态度研读马克思了，他们没有受以前内部争斗以及忠诚思想的“侵蚀”。
Even so, Hobsbawm’s own lucid intelligence shines through the noxious 20th-century fog, especially in a couple of chapters on that enduringly interesting thinker Antonio Gramsci. And he makes his central point – that Marx will endure as long as capitalism does – so forcefully that I hope it will inspire younger writers to salvage something from the wreckage. Soon after the events of 1989 an idea was put about that Marx’s legacy had been buried under the rubble of the Berlin Wall. “So far as I am aware,” Hobsbawm observes, “no leader of a party of the European left in the past 25 years has declared capitalism as such to be unacceptable as a system. The only public figure to do so unhesitatingly was Pope John Paul II.”
即便如此，霍氏自身缜密的才智在丢纲乱目的20世纪迷局中还是显得出类拔萃，尤其是写 思想家安东尼奥•葛兰西(Antonio Gramsci)的那几章（长久以来葛氏的思想让人心驰神往）。他得出了中心思想——只要资本主义存在一天，马克思思想就有存在的价值——写得如此雄辩有 力，以致我希望它会激励年轻作家能从（前苏联等的）废墟中抢救些什么。1989年风波后不久，流传着这样的观点：随着柏林墙的倒坍，马克思的遗产也随之被 埋葬。“据我所知，”霍氏评述道，“过去25前，没有一个欧洲左派政党的领袖公开宣称资本主义是必须埋葬的制度。唯一坚持这个立场的公众人物是教皇约翰• 保罗二世(Pope John Paul II)。”
In truth, however, Marx’s works had been interred many decades earlier, trapped under all those grim Stalinist monuments to a deity who looked a bit like him but had a heart of stone. The death of communism provided an opportunity to rescue the man from his self-appointed disciples and hear what he himself had to say. Since he ceased to be an icon, Marx has become far more interesting.
但事实上，马克思的著作早在几十年前就已被葬送了，各种斯大林式的残酷运动把它“塑 造”成了一尊神：与马克思貌合神离、空剩铁石心肠。共产主义的灭亡提供了这样的机会：把人从固步自封的纪律中拯救出来，并倾听自己的心声。从他不再成为偶 像的那天起，马克思就变得更让人感兴趣。
As Hobsbawm admits, there’s no denying Marx’s fallibility. What he mistook for the death throes of the capitalist era turned out to be its birth pangs. He left behind no finished body of systematic theory, nor did he translate “the grandeur of his vision” (a tribute from the thoroughly non-Marxist economist Joseph Schumpeter) into a coherent and satisfactory analysis. The biggest threat to capitalism now is not the proletarians – whom Marx imagined as its gravediggers – but capitalism’s own recklessness, as the crisis of 2008 vividly demonstrated.
正如霍氏自己所承认的：毋庸置疑，马克思也会犯错误。他误以为垂死挣扎的资本主义时代 到头来只是它的阵痛而已。他遗留给后世未完成的理论体系，也未对“自己心目中的宏伟蓝图”（这是彻头彻尾非马克思主义经济学家熊彼特(Joseph Schumpeter)的颂词）做出条理清晰、令人信服的剖析。如今资本主义面临的最大危险不是来自无产阶级——马克思设想他们是资本主义的掘墓人——而 是资本主义自身的轻率鲁莽，2008年的经济危机活生生地证明了这一点。
Yet not all of Marx’s grand vision can or should be forgotten. Hobsbawm recalls a lunch around the turn of the century at which George Soros said of Marx: “That man discovered something about capitalism 150 years ago that we must take notice of.” Much the same point was made by the FT in 1998, when economic meltdown in Russia, currency collapses in Asia and market panic around the world prompted this newspaper to wonder if we had moved “from the triumph of global capitalism to its crisis in barely a decade”.
然而，并非马克思所有的宏伟蓝图可以或应该被忘却。霍布斯鲍姆回忆了世纪之交的一次午 餐会，席间，乔治•索罗斯(George Soros)这样评价马克思：“此人在150年前发现了资本主义制度的缺陷，对此我们必须引以为戒。”《金融时报》在1998年也表述了几乎同样的观点， 当时俄罗斯经济濒临崩溃，亚洲各国货币狂泻，全球市场恐慌引发该报发此感慨：“全球资本主义是否已经在短短的10年间从成功转向危机”。
As Schumpeter pointed out, capitalism depends on the “creative destruction” of perpetual instability. It lives by crises and booms. This was ignored in the post-communist epoch, when financial gurus babbled about new paradigms and a Labour chancellor in Britain proclaimed that he had abolished the cycle of “boom and bust”. No reader of Marx could utter such vainglorious nonsense.
正如熊彼特所指出的：资本主义依赖于永恒的不稳定所引发的“创造性破坏” (creative destruction)。它的生存赖于周期性的危机与繁荣。这一点在后共产主义时代遭忽视，当时金融界的权威们对新的发展模式胡说八道，英国某工党首相 甚至公开宣称他的政府已经消除了“繁荣与萧条”的周期律。任何读过马克思著作的人都不会如此信口雌黄。
It may be hard to believe, but 60 years ago many western politicians feared the Soviet bloc might outpace them. Hobsbawm notes that the advance of both communism and the USSR after the second world war seemed, at least in Europe, “to require from governments and employers alike a counter-policy of full employment and systematic social security. But the USSR no longer exists, and with the fall of the Berlin Wall capitalism could forget how to be frightened”.
也许这很难让人相信，但60年前，西方许多政客担心苏联集团可能会赶超自己。霍布斯鲍 姆注意道：至少在欧洲，二战后共产主义及苏联的发展“促使政府以及雇主实现充分就业及彻底的社会保障，而这与经济政策背道而驰。但如今苏联已不复存在，而 且随着柏林墙的倒塌，资本主义大可忘掉当初是如何恐惧的。”
There are many reasons for still reading Marx in our turbulent times, but this is not the least of them. He is, Hobsbawm suggests, an essential memento mori – the shackled slave who reminds capitalist generals that even they are mortal.
Francis Wheen is the author of ‘Karl Marx’ and ‘Marx’s Das Kapital: A Biography’