Just Like Everyone Sane Predicted, Brexit is a Self-Made Catastrophe of Jaw-Dropping Proportions

正如每个理智的人所预测的那样,英国脱欧是一场自我制造的、令人瞠目结舌的灾难QQ

Has a nation ever given up so much for so not even little? About five years ago, Britain made a disastrous choice — Brexit. It was propounded — and then compounded — by incompetent and venal politics, sophisticated disinformation campaigns, delusional politicians on both left and right, and a populace broken to the point of apathy by endless austerity.

有哪个国家可曾像英国这样,为了那么一小点的东西而付出如此大的代价?
大约五年前,英国做出了一个灾难性的选择——脱欧,它是由无能和腐败的政治、复杂的虚假信息运动、左翼和右翼的妄想政客,以及无休止的紧缩政策导致民众变得无动于衷而提出来的,然后又变得更加复杂。

Where had the Britain of the 90s and 2000s gone? The friendly, optimistic, warm, intelligent society, a beacon to the world, a leader among countries, one the world, by and large, admired and looked up? It had descended into a shambles of nationalism, folly, paranoia, greed, selfishness. Every form of human stupidity was on loud, vulgar display. Britain had made itself a laughingstock. But worse was to come: calamity.

90年代和2000年代的那个英国哪去了?那个有着友好、乐观、热情、智慧的英国社会哪去了?那个曾经的世界灯塔,国家间的领袖,世界上大多数人都尊敬和仰慕的国家哪去了?
它陷入了民族主义、愚蠢、偏执、贪婪和自私的混乱之中。
人类的每一种愚蠢行为都在大声地、粗俗地展示着,英国使自己成为笑柄,但更糟糕的事情还在后面 :
灾难。



Britain had always had “control” and “sovereignty,” because if it hadn’t, well, who else was imposing austerity to the point of fatally wrecking its crown jewels, the NHS, once the world’s best healthcare system, the BBC, once the world’s finest public broadcaster? Who else was making young people pay small fortunes to go to university and rapidly eroding the foundations of what once used to be an aspiring social democracy, guarantees like decent healthcare and a place to live and a little bit of money? Nobody had ever been in control of Britain’s fate but Britain. It was a paranoid delusion to think the EU was some puppetmaster. It was just that Brits couldn’t take responsibility for their own bad choices — electing a string of the worst governments the world has seen since the Weimar Republic.

英国一直就拥有“控制权”和“主权”,因为如果它没有,那么,又是谁在实施紧缩政策,以至于致命地破坏其皇冠上的的宝石——曾经是世界上最好的医疗保健系统的英国国民健康保险制度(NHS) ,又是谁毁掉了曾经一度公然世界上最好的公共广播公司BBC ?
是谁迅速侵蚀这个曾经雄心勃勃的、令人向往的社会民主制度的基础?这个制度曾经一度保证了像样的医疗保健、年轻人能以极小的花费上大学,民有所居,家有余钱。
除了英国,没有人能掌控英国的命运——认为欧盟是某个操纵者是一种偏执的妄想。
只是英国人不愿意为自己的错误选择承担责任——他们一连串地选出了自魏玛共和国以来世界上最糟糕的几届政府。

And yet this astonishingly stupid and pathetic delusion swept the country like wildfire, because it was seductive, since it’s always easier to blame someone else for your own bad decisions. Britain was ablaze, by 2015, in a fever dream of nationalism. If the EU was responsible for Britain’s dismal plight, then surely “taking back control” from it was how to restore Britain’s fortunes.

然而,这种令人惊讶的愚蠢和可悲的错觉像野火一样席卷了整个国家,因为它很诱人,因为把自己的错误决定归咎于别人总是很容易。
到2015年,英国在民族主义的狂热梦想中燃烧起来,如果欧盟要为英国的惨淡处境负责,那么从欧盟手中 “夺回控制权”无疑就是如何恢复英国命运的正确方法。

This Bacchanalian frenzy of scapegoating of scapegoating the EU soon became de rigeuer. Turn on the TV, and you’d see some crackpot that deserved no space whatsoever in a sane society — some extremist, funded by a fanatical billionaire. Was this America, after all? And on the BBC, no less — once the home of Jeremy Paxman and David Attenborough. The delusion was met with triumphalist cheers — snarls of self-satisfied rage came from the British public now, where not so long ago, the good sense of kindness and gentleness had settled comfortably in.
这种找欧盟做替罪羊的狂欢很快成为了一种惯例,打开电视,你会看到一些疯子(他们在一个理智的社会里根本不配占有一席之地)ー——一群由狂热的亿万富翁资助的极端份子。

难不成这里变成了美国 ?不, 这些就发生在 BBC 的节目中,这里曾经是杰里米 · 帕克斯曼 和大卫 · 艾登堡的家,这种错觉得到了必胜式的欢呼——如今,英国公众发出了自鸣得意的愤恨咆哮,而不久前,这里还是一片善良和温和的良好氛围。

Soon enough, thanks to this fervid atmosphere of scapegoating, British culture and society changed. So rapidly that the likes have scarcely been seen in a modern democracy. Jaw-droppingly, the government formally declared a “hostile atmosphere” to anyone that wasn’t “really” British, in one of the wierder and darker twists of modern history. America — was this now Russia? Maybe Poland?

由于这种寻找替罪羊的狂热氛围,很快,英国的文化和社会发生了变化,这种变化如此迅速,以至于现代民主国家几乎没有出现过这样的情况,令人瞠目结舌的是,政府正式宣布对任何不是“真正的”英国人“充满敌意的气氛”,这是现代历史上一个尤为古怪、黑暗的转折,先变美国,现在变俄罗斯?也许变波兰?

The formal declaration of a “hostile atmosphere” was aimed at unpeople — the hated Europeans, immigrants, foreigners, refugees, anyone who wasn’t “real.” Was this fascism? And soon enough, Britain had descended into xenophobia, brutality, and hate. The open scorn, derision, and hatred of these now unwanted, scapegoated others became a new cultural norm, and what economists call human capital flight began — all those people began to leave in a mass exodus, because life had become very unpleasant for them. They were bullied and harassed and hectored and abused, which is what happens when a country is given formal license to be “hostile.”

正式宣布的所谓“敌对气氛”针对的是“非人类”——讨厌的欧洲人、移民、外国人、难民,以及任何不“真实”的人,这不是法西斯主义是什么?很快,英国就陷入了仇外、残暴和仇恨的境地,对这些不受欢迎的人的公开蔑视、嘲笑和憎恨成为了一种新的文化常态,经济学家所说的“人力资本外逃”开始了——上述这些人开始大规模出走,因为他们的生活变得非常不愉快,他们被欺负、被骚扰、被威吓、被虐待,因为这个国家正式的对“敌对”加以认可。

But “they” — the unwelcome ones, the scapegoats, now blamed for the problems of a nation in steep, self-inflicted decline, all those decades of austerity bearing the bitter fruit of social collapse — were professors and doctors and nurses and investors and engineers and just everyday people who made things go. People a modern society needs.

“他们”——那些不受欢迎的人,那些替罪羊——是教授、医生、护士、投资者、工程师,是让英国这个社会正常运作的普通民众,是一个现代社会所必需的人,但是现在他们被指责要为让这个国家陷入了急剧的、自己造成的衰退负责,要为这个国家数十年的财政紧缩都带来了社会崩溃的苦果负责。

Good riddance, cried the new Britain. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out! It cackled in victorious, self-satisfied glee, at the wreckage of its own society, at the erosion of norms of decency and openness, at being part of the modern world no longer. If you weren’t angry, or vicious, or mean, if you didn’t want them gone, because, well, they were to blame after all, for the wreckage of us — well, then you must not really be part of this…this…monstrous and wretched thing Britain was now becoming, a mindless mass pulsing with hate, its dead eyes gleaming with destruction, its limbs twitching with rage.

“ 终于摆脱了他们了 ”新英国人喊道——出去的时候别让门撞到你!
面对自身社会的残骸,面对正派和开放的规范受到侵蚀,面对不再是现代世界的一部分,他们在胜利的、自我满足的欢呼声中咯咯地笑着。
如果你不愤怒,不邪恶,不卑鄙,如果你不希望他们消失,好吧,那么你一定不是这个...... 这个... .. 畸形和可怜的英国正在变成一个无意识的群体,充满仇恨,它死气沉沉的眼睛闪烁着毁灭的光芒,它的四肢因愤怒而抽搐。



Economics is destiny, for nations — like it or not. It’s an ugly fact. Keynes — the greatest mind, perhaps, of the 20th century, as far as social science goes, and in a grand irony, British — despised it himself. And yet he understood: the only way to escape its iron grip is to avert the sure disaster of being squeezed to death by its mercilessness. Disaster was about to unfold in Britain now.

经济是国家的命运,不管你喜欢与否,这是一个丑陋的事实。
就社会科学而言,凯恩斯可能是20世纪最伟大的思想家,具有极大讽刺意味的是,这位英国经济学家自己却很是鄙视社会科学,然而他明白:摆脱经济对一个国家的铁腕控制的唯一方法,就是避开被它无情挤压的必然灾难。现在,灾难即将降临英国。

And yet all this was dismissed as “scaremongering,” by a British press and political and social culture which had resorted to that most trite and jingoistic of British tropes — the Blitz Spirit. Keep calm and carry on! But was there some kind of…war…on? But I digress. Which side was right?
Duh. Now, finally the evidence on Brexit is rolling in. It’s worse than Brexit’s most vociferous critics — yours truly included — imagined. Brexit isn’t just a mistake, it turns out — it’s a calamity of historic, jaw-dropping, staggering proportions. Doubt me? Read on.

然而,这一切都被英国媒体、政治和社会文化斥为“危言耸听”,他们诉诸于英国最老套、最具侵略性的比喻——闪电战精神(Blitz Spirit),保持冷静,继续前进!但是有没有什么战争在进行?没有吧?是我离题了吗? 谁才是正确的?
现在,脱欧的证据终于出现了,这比英国脱欧最激烈的批评者 (包括我) 想象的还要糟糕,事实证明,脱欧不仅仅是一个错误——它是一场历史性的、令人瞠目结舌的、规模惊人的灾难。
怀疑我的说法?请继续读下去。

In the first month of the year, trade with Europe began to come to what’s known in economics as a sudden stop. That is one of the worst things that can happen in the dismal science. It’d be better to call it a “heart attack,” because it means an economy seizes up and suddenly stops functioning. Go ahead and read the numbers for yourself. They’re jaw dropping.Falls of 70%? 80%? 90%? A modern society has never seen anything remotely like this. The only analogues are variants of hardcore social collapse. These numbers mean that it’s as if entire swathes of the British economy are being vaporised by a laser beam from the heavens or a nuclear bomb, overnight.
Prepare to encounter truly mind-bending levels of human stupidity.

在今年(2021年)的第一个月,与欧洲的贸易开始出现经济学上所说的“骤停”,这是这门沉闷的科学中最糟糕的事情之一,更合适的称呼应该是“心脏骤停”,因为这意味着经济衰退,突然停止运转,看看这些数字,简直令人惊讶。
下降70% ?80% ?90% ?现代社会从未见过这样的事,唯一可看与之相类比的情况就是“核心性社会崩溃”。
这些数字意味着,整个英国经济在一夜之间被来自太空的激光束或核弹蒸发了。
准备好面对人类(正是那些强烈支持英国脱欧的人)极度的愚蠢吧。

Here’s a story about British expats living happily in Spain who voted for Brexit. Deluded enough to think that it wouldn’t mean anything, change anything, do anything. Now, predictably, they’re being deported, back to a country they don’t want to live in, and they’re shocked and outraged. How does a human mind even up this astonishingly stupid?

点击这里,你可以看到一个关于快乐地生活在西班牙的英国侨民投票支持脱欧的故事,他们自欺欺人地认为这并不意味着什么,不会改变什么,没什么影响—— 现在,可以预见的是,他们将被驱逐出境,回到一个他们不想生活的国家,他们感到震惊和愤怒。
人类的大脑是如何做到如此惊人的愚蠢的呢?

Britain is a leper now.
The British economy is beginning to die. In the worst way imaginable, really. It’s not a sudden death, which would be kinder, perhaps. It’s a gruesome and slow and painful one. It’s death by rotting away, one piece at a time. Whoops — there goes your nose. Ahh, too bad — a finger just fell off! Its industries are being killed off, one by one, just as if some poor soul had leprosy, and was slowly losing their limbs or fingers, or maybe if they had some terrible disease which wasted away the organs, one at a time.

英国现在就是个麻风病人。
英国的经济开始衰退,以你能想象到的最糟糕的方式衰退,不是突然死亡,也许这样会更仁慈些,这是一个可怕的,缓慢的,痛苦的过程,它是腐烂性的死亡,一次烂掉一个部分,喔,你的鼻子没了,啊,太糟糕了—— 一根手指刚刚掉了下来!
英国的工业正在一个接一个地被消灭,极像是某个得了麻风病的可怜人,正在慢慢地失去四肢或手指,或者也许他们得了某种可怕的疾病,在一次一个地消耗掉他们的器官。

The vicious cycle that began this hellish chapter in Britain’s story doesn’t stop — austerity, poverty, ruin — it only accelerate. Brexit was always just another word for austerity in thin disguise. The British left, shamefully, pathetically, hopefully stupid, which backed Brexit, never did — and so there was no real opposition politically, culturally, socially, to it, not at a level of any power, that is. Where does this vicious cycle of austerity fuelling nationalism end? Well, one place is Nazi Germany. Another is Soviet Russia. And yet another is Trump’s America. None of them are particularly nice places to be.

开启英国历史这一地狱篇章的恶性循环——紧缩、贫穷、毁灭——并没有停止,而是在加速。
脱欧一直只是披着薄薄伪装的紧缩政策的另一种说法,英国左派支持英国脱欧,他们可耻地、可怜地、但愿愚蠢地支持英国脱欧,但他们从未这样做过——因此,在政治上、文化上、社会上都没有真正的反对英国脱欧的声音,也就是说,没有任何实力层面的反对。这种助长民族主义的财政紧缩恶性循环何时结束?陷入这种循环的一个是曾经的纳粹德国,另一个是苏联,还有一个是特朗普的美国,这些地方都不是什么好地方。

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. Dante said those words were inscribed on the gates of hell. He might as well have been talking about Britain today. It is a society whose self-inflicted ruin has only just begun — and will last decades to come. Dante, that great explorer of despair, was beautiful and wise enough to imagine that hell was ruled by a certain principle he called “contrapasso”: the sinner’s punishment in hell would be to suffer the opposite of their sin. As they voyaged through the nine circles, the punishments would increase. You’d choke on gold, and then starve. It was a Western version of karma.

入此门者,弃一切希望—— 但丁说这些话被刻在了地狱的大门上,他说的也许是今天的英国,这个国家的自我毁灭才刚刚开始,而且还将持续数十年,但丁,这位伟大的绝望探险家,美丽而明智地想象着地狱由一种他称之为“contrapasso”(罪罚相称)的原则所统治:罪人在地狱里所受的惩罚将是他们所犯之罪的反面。当他们穿越这九个圈子时,惩罚就会增加。你会被金子噎死,然后饿死。这是西方版本的因果报应。
罪人在地狱的惩罚将是与他们的罪相反,当他们穿越九个圆圈时,惩罚会增加,你会被金子噎死,然后饿死,这是西方版的因果报应。

Want to know Britain’s future? That’s Britain’s future. A voyage through Dante’s inferno, by way of the law of contrapasso. But Britain isn’t Virgil in this story, the horrified tourist in hell. It’s the sinner — and the world is Virgil, being taught, in spectacular, vivid detail, the grim, painful lessons of how a country self-destructs. Contrapasso.

想知道英国的未来吗?这就是英国的未来,罪罚相称,一报还一报,穿越但丁的地狱之旅,但英国并不是故事中的维吉尔,地狱里惊恐的游客,而是一个罪人——这个世界才是维吉尔,以壮观的、生动的细节教导一个国家自我毁灭后严峻而痛苦的教训,罪罚相称。

Britain wanted to be an empire, supreme. Now it’s the world’s laughingstock, pariah, an idiot. Britain wanted to be rich. It is going to be very, very poor. Britain wanted to rule — now it will be ruled by America’s worst predators, hedge funds, criminals in suits, who send kids to early graves. Britain was seduced by delusions of hate and power — now it’s choking to death on them, bloodlet, staggering into the night. Britain was once the gateway to Europe — now it’s a bridge to the abyss of self-destruction. And all that happened because Britain wanted to blame everyone else for its own stupid mistakes — and it is left, in the end, with the stupidest of all, at the very top, in ascending order of stupidity, repeating those same mistakes, into oblivion.

英国想要成为一个至高无上的帝国,但现在它成了全世界的笑柄,贱民,白痴,英国想要变得富有,它将会非常非常贫穷,英国想要统治,现在它将被美国最坏的掠夺者、对冲基金、西装革履的罪犯统治,他们把孩子早早送进坟墓,英国被仇恨和权力的错觉所诱惑,现在它正被这些错觉窒息而死,血溅王座,蹒跚地步入漫漫黑夜,英国曾经是通往欧洲的大门,现在是通往自我毁灭深渊的桥梁,所有这一切的发生都是因为英国想把自己愚蠢的错误归咎于所有其他国家——最终,英国变成了最愚蠢的国家,重复同样的错误,最终被人遗忘。

Abandon all hope. Contrapasso rules in hell, especially for empires, grown old and feeble, but drunk, still with dreams of power and violence. Mario Puzo, that other great chronicler of greed, vanity, violence, and ruin, said it even better. Fools die.

入此门者,弃一切希望——罪罚相称原则主宰着地狱,尤其是对于“帝国”们来说,它们已经年老体弱,但仍醉心于权力和暴力的梦想,另一位记录贪婪、虚荣、暴力和毁灭的伟大史学家马里奥 · 普佐说得更好:愚蠢致死。