爱思英语编者按:亨利·基辛格,美国最伟大的当代外交官也是该国的伟大思想者之一。

Henry Kissinger
亨利·基辛格

Ideas man
思想者

America's greatest modern diplomat was also one of its great thinkers
美国最伟大的当代外交官也是该国的伟大思想者之一

kissinger.jpg

NOBODY divides opinion like Henry Kissinger. As national security adviser and then secretary of state, under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, Mr Kissinger was both a media superstar and disowned by his former colleagues from Harvard. In 1973 he won the Nobel peace prize; yet critics like Christopher Hitchens insisted he deserved to stand trial for crimes against humanity. Mr Kissinger has been lionised as America's supreme 20th-century diplomat. However, after he left office in 1977 at the age of just 53, no president ever again trusted him with a senior job.

没有人像亨利·基辛格那样令人众说纷纭。先后作为尼克松总统和福特总统任期内的国家安全顾问和国务卿,基辛格既是一位媒体超级明星,也不被哈佛的前校友所认可。1973年,他获得了诺贝尔和平奖;然而,像克里斯托弗·希钦斯这样的批评者坚持认为,他应当因为反人类罪而接受审判。基辛格一直被尊崇为美国20世纪最伟大的外交官。然而,自从他在1979年刚过53岁就离职后,没有一位总统再托付给他一个高级工作。

Into this contested ground strides Niall Ferguson, with the first, magisterial instalment of a two-volume biography. Mr Ferguson, a British historian also at Harvard, has in the past sometimes produced work that is rushed and uneven. Not here. Like Mr Kissinger or loathe him, this is a work of engrossing scholarship.

携一套权威性的两卷本自传的第一卷,尼尔·弗格森涉足了这块竞争激烈的领域。作为一位同在哈佛的英国历史学家,弗格森之前常有匆忙之作问世,质量参差不一。这套书不是这样。喜欢基辛格也好,讨厌他也好,这是一部倾注了全力的学术研究的著作。

Three conclusions lie at the heart of Mr Ferguson's analysis. The first, and the bravest, is that the period before Mr Kissinger became a statesman is worth a volume all to itself. That turns out to be inspired. It creates room for a harrowing account of the Nazis' indoctrination of Fürth, the Kissingers' hometown in Bavaria, and the deepening persecution that so much of its Jewish population, including Mr Kissinger's father, found almost impossible to comprehend. Mr Ferguson goes on to describe Mr Kissinger's intellectual development after the second world war. Here, seen through the letters, articles and books of a first-class mind, is a gripping commentary on the geopolitics of the 1950s and 1960s, including the quagmire in Vietnam and the struggle with Soviet Russia over Berlin and Cuba.

三个结论位于弗格森分析的核心。第一个,也是最大胆的结论是,基辛格成为国务活动家之前的岁月值得将整整一卷全都给它。结果证明,这是一种灵感突发。它为一段有关纳粹在菲尔特——基辛格在巴伐利亚的家乡——的教化以及被包括基辛格父亲在内的众多犹太人认为是几乎不可理解的进一步迫害行为的悲惨描述创造了空间。弗格森接着描述了基辛格在二战后的知识发展。在此,见之于一位一流思想者的信件、文章和书籍中的是一种对于上世纪50、60年代的地缘政治的精辟评论,如美国在越南的困境以及美苏就柏林和古巴争斗。

This leads to Mr Ferguson's second conclusion: that Mr Kissinger matters because of his ideas. The contrast is with Walter Isaacson's celebrated biography, which analyses its subject chiefly in terms of his—flawed—character. Because he is concerned with ideas, Mr Ferguson has read Mr Kissinger's works with great care. He is thus able to skewer simplistic claims that the professor is essentially a devotee of Machiavelli or a simple exponent of the 19th-century European balance-of-power politics that he wrote about.

这引出了弗格森的第二个结论:基辛格的重要是因为他的思想。这同沃尔特·艾萨克森那部主要以他的——有缺陷的——性格来分析其主角的流行传记形成了鲜明的对比。因为他关注的是思想,弗格森非常认真地阅读了基辛格的著作。因而,他有能力去揭穿这位教授从本质上说是一位马基雅弗利的信徒,或者是他是自己曾经论述过的19世纪欧洲均势政治的一个简单的翻版的过分简单化的结论。

Instead Mr Ferguson sets out how academic study and experience on the fringes of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations forged the views of government that Mr Kissinger would later carry with him into the White House. Most important is a scathing scepticism of bureaucracies—especially the State Department—because they pursue their own agenda, gravitate towards the middle ground and drown decision-makers in paperwork. Successful government means escaping their influence.

相反,弗格森发现,在肯尼迪和约翰逊政府边缘的学术研究和经历对于基辛格形成后来会被他带进白宫的政府观的影响。其中最重要的是因其寻求自己的议程、倾向于走中间道路并且将决策者淹没在各种文件之中而形成的对于官僚机构——特别是美国国务院——的尖锐的怀疑主义。成功的政府意味着摆脱他们的影响。

Mr Kissinger came to see statesmen as “tragic” figures, forced to choose between unpalatable alternatives. Decisions are usually best taken early, because incoming evidence continually narrows the options. The tragedy is that nobody appreciates the disasters statesmen avoid. Johnson, for example, would always be blamed for expanding the Vietnam war, but had he abandoned South Vietnam in 1965, as some advised, the dominoes in South-East Asia might have fallen as country after country surrendered to communism.

后来,基辛格终于认识到,国务活动家就是被迫在各种难以接受选项中作出选择的“悲剧性”人物。早期做出的决定通常是最好的,因为随后的证据令选项越变越狭窄。不幸的是,没有人去赞赏国务活动家避免的灾难。例如,约翰逊总是会因为扩大了越南战争而受到指责。但是,如果他像某些人所建议的那样,在1965年抛弃南越的话,东南亚的多米诺骨牌就会随着一个又一个的国家倒向共产主义而倒塌。

This focus on ideas leads to the book's third conclusion. As the title underlines, Mr Ferguson thinks that, during this part of his life, the man usually taken to embody cold-war realpolitik was in fact an idealist. Readers may not be convinced.

这种对于思想的重视引出了本书的第三个结论。正如书名所强调的那样,弗格森认为,在基辛格一生的这段时期内,这位通常被当做是冷战现实政治化身的人,实际上是一位理想主义者。读者或许不会被说服。

To most people, an idealist is someone who stands by a moral principle, come what may. In foreign-policy scholarship, the term is associated with Woodrow Wilson's notion of subordinating power to international rules. It is not always clear which definition Mr Ferguson is using. At times, he bases his claim for Kissingerian idealism on a highly technical allusion to the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant. He wins the argument only by turning “idealism” into something that will fully satisfy neither lay nor scholarly readers.

对于大多数人来说,理想主义者是那种在任何情况下都会坚守某种道德原则的人。在外交政策学界,这个词语是同伍德罗·威尔逊的让权利屈服于国际法的观念联系在一起的。弗格森正在使用的是哪一种定义并不总是很清晰。有时,他的基辛格式理想主义是基于一种对于康德的道德哲学的高度技术性所指。他的论据能够站住脚,仅仅是因为他将“理想主义”转化成了某种会完全满足前提条件或者是学术读者的东西而已。

More interesting are the episodes where he cites the principled arguments Mr Kissinger uses against hard-nosed pragmatists—for example, during Kennedy's presidency, when he called for America to insist that the universal principle of self-determination should apply to Berlin, then partially under Russia's thumb.

更令人感兴趣的是那些他在其中引用了被基辛格用来反对冥顽不化的实用主义者的原则性论据的章节。例如,基辛格在肯尼迪总统任期内,用以呼吁美国坚持民族自决的普世原则应当适用于当时部分处于俄国控制之下的柏林的那些论据。

That certainly sounds like idealism. Yet Mr Kissinger understood that the appeal of communism was justice. He believed that to counter it the United States needed to promote ideals of its own. Mr Ferguson never manages to dispel the impression that for Mr Kissinger freedom and self-determination were not sacred principles in themselves, but tools provided by American political culture to be exploited by a ruthless tactician in the contest against revolutionary communism.

这听上去当然像理想主义。然而,当时的基辛格深知,共产主义的诉求是正义。他相信,为反击这种诉求,美国需要提倡自己的理想。弗格森从未设法消除的一种印象是:对于基辛格来说,自由和自决本身并不是神圣的原则,它们是在与革命的共产主义的竞赛中被一群无情的战略家所利用的源自美国文化的各种工具。

Mr Ferguson is able to portray Mr Kissinger as an idealist partly because he has so little to say about the professor's machinations in the pursuit and manipulation of power. Such behaviour was to be on lurid display in the Nixon White House. The much-awaited second volume will not so easily pass over it.

弗格森之所以能够把基辛格描绘成一位理想主义者,部分是因为他几乎涉及这位教授追求和操弄权力的阴谋。这样的行为已在尼克松的《白宫岁月》中得到过骇人听闻的展示。令人翘首期盼的第二卷是不会轻易地跳过这些内容的。

以下是Niall Ferguson关于基辛格式理想主义的解释:

There are reasons other than his longevity why so many world leaders—among them the Chinese President Xi Jinping—continue to seek the counsel of Henry Kissinger, who stepped down as U.S. secretary of state close to four decades ago. In this respect, Barack Obama is unusual. He is the first U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower not to seek Kissinger's advice. Periodically, commentators urge Obama to be more “Kissingerian.” Others argue that he is Kissingerian in practice, if not in rhetoric. But what exactly does the term mean?

如此多的世界领导人——包括中国国家主席习近平——之所以还在寻求在将近40年前卸任美国国务卿的亨利·基辛格的建议,除了长寿之外,还有别的原因。由此来看,奥巴马是不同寻常的。他是自艾森豪威尔以来的第一位没有寻求基辛格建议的美国总统。舆论界会定期敦促奥巴马变得更加“基辛格化”。其他人则认为,奥巴马是一位实践中的基辛格主义者,如果不是在言辞方面。但是,这个词语的真正含义是什么呢?

The conventional answer equates Kissinger with realism, a philosophy characterized by the cool assessment of foreign policy in the stark light of national self-interest, or, in the journalist Anthony Lewis' phrase, “an obsession with order and power at the expense of humanity.” Writing in 1983, Kissinger's former Harvard colleague Stanley Hoffmann depicted Kissinger as a Machiavellian “who believes that the preservation of the state . . . requires both ruthlessness and deceit at the expense of foreign and internal adversaries.” Many writers have simply assumed that Kissinger modeled himself on his supposed heroes, the Austrian statesman Klemens von Metternich and the Prussian leader Otto von Bismarck, the standard-bearers of classical European realpolitik.

传统的答案是在基辛格和现实主义之间划等号。所谓现实主义,是一种以在国家自身利益灯光下对外交政策进行冷静评估为其特点的哲学;用记者安东尼·刘易斯话说就是,这是“一种对于牺牲人类换取秩序和权力的痴迷”。基辛格的前哈佛校友斯坦利·霍夫曼曾在1983年的一篇文章中,将基辛格描绘为一位“崇信政府的存在. . .需要以无情和欺骗对待内外敌人之信条”的马基雅弗利式的权谋家。许多作家一直简单地认为,基辛格是按照他心目中的英雄——奥地利国务活动家梅特涅和普鲁士领导人俾斯麦这类经典的欧洲现实政治的承载者——塑造了自己。

Yet the international relations scholar Hans Morgenthau, who truly was a realist, once memorably described Kissinger as, like Odysseus, “many-sided.” In the early 1960s, for example, when the agonizing question arose of how much the United States should shore up the government of South Vietnam, Kissinger initially believed that South Vietnam's right to self-determination was worth U.S. lives. Morgenthau, the authentic realist, vehemently disagreed.

然而, 国际关系学者,真正的现实主义者——汉斯·摩根索曾经明确地把基辛格说成是一个,像奥德修斯那样的,“多面人”。例如,在上世纪60年代早期,当美国应当在多大程度上支撑南越政府这个令人挠头的问题出现时,基辛格的第一反应,就是相信南越的自决权值得美国人的生命。作为权威的现实主义者,摩根索曾坚决不同意这个观点。

In the 1950s and 1960s, Kissinger did indeed write about Metternich and Bismarck. But only someone who has not read (or who has willfully misread) what he wrote could seriously argue that he set out in the 1970s to replicate their approaches to foreign policy. Far from being a Machiavellian, Kissinger was from the outset of his career an idealist in at least three senses of the word.

基辛格的确在上世纪50、60年代论述过梅特涅和俾斯麦。但是,只有没有读过他的文章(或者时有意误读)的人才会真正相信,他在上世纪70年代就已经开始着手将他们的策略移植到外交政策中去了。基辛格绝非是一位马基雅弗利的人物,从职业生涯的一开始他就是一位至少在三个方面符合其含义的理想主义者。

First, even if Kissinger was never an idealist in the tradition of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, who sought universal peace through international law and collective security, he was not a realist. Kissinger rejected Wilsonian idealism because he felt that its high-mindedness was a recipe for policy paralysis. As he put it to his friend the historian Stephen Graubard in 1956, “The insistence on pure morality is in itself the most immoral of postures,” if only because it often led to inaction. But Kissinger knew that realism could also be paralyzing. As a refugee from Hitler's Germany who returned in 1944 in an American uniform to play his part in the final defeat of Nazism, Kissinger had paid a personal price for the diplomatic failures of the 1930s. And yet, as he pointed out in a 1957 interview, the British architects of appeasement, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain, had “thought of themselves as tough realists.”

首先,就算基辛格从来不是一位符合美国总统伍德罗·威尔逊的通过国际法和集体安全寻求普世和平之传统的理性主义者,他也不是一位现实主义者。基辛格是因为他认为崇高性是针对外交瘫痪的一个药方而拒绝了威尔逊式的理想主义。正如他在1956年对他的朋友——历史学家斯蒂芬·格劳巴德所说的那样,“对于纯粹的道德的坚守之本身是最不道德的姿态。”,如果仅仅因为这种坚守常常带来不作为的话。但是,当时的基辛格知道,理想主义也可能正在瘫痪之中。作为在1944年身着美军军装来扮演他在最后击败纳粹中的角色而归来的一位来自希特勒德国的难民,基辛格已经为上世纪30年代的外交失败付出了个人的代价。然而,正如他在1957年的一次专访中所说, 绥靖主义的英国设计师——斯坦利·鲍德温和内维尔·张伯伦曾经“自认为是严格意义上的现实主义者”。

Second, having immersed himself as an undergraduate at Harvard in the work of Immanuel Kant, Kissinger was an idealist in the philosophical sense. His unpublished senior thesis, “The Meaning of History,” was an admiring critique of Kant's philosophy of history. Kissinger's central argument was that “freedom is . . . an inner experience of life as a process of deciding meaningful alternatives.” “Perpetual peace” might indeed be the ultimate, ineluctable goal of history, as Kant argued, but from the point of view of the individual, that inevitability was not a constraint on freedom. As Kissinger wrote in his thesis, “Whatever one's conception about the necessity of events, at the moment of their performance their inevitability could offer no guide to action. . . . However we may explain actions in retrospect, their accomplishment occurred with the inner conviction of choice.”

其次,鉴于他是一位痴迷于伊曼努尔·康德著作的哈佛毕业生,基辛格是一位哲学意义上的理想主义者。他的未公开发表的毕业论文《历史的意义》是一部令人起敬的对于康德历史哲学的批判之作。基辛格这篇文章中的核心论点是:“自由是 . . . 生命作为一个对有意义的选择做出决定的过程的一种内在经历。”正如康德所说,“永久的和平”也许的确是历史最终的和不可逃避的目标。但是,从个人的角度的来看,这种不可避免性不是加之于自由的一种约束。正如基辛格在论文中所指出的那样,“不管一个人关于事件必然性的观点如何,在它们的表现时刻,其不可避免性无法提供行动的指南……然而,我们可能会在回顾时用选择的内在观念去解释它们的完成。”

Third, from an early stage in his career, Kissinger was a convinced antimaterialist, as hostile to capitalist forms of economic determinism as he was to Marxism-Leninism. It was dangerous, he argued in his senior thesis, to allow “an argument about democracy [to] become a discussion of the efficiency of economic systems, which is on the plane of objective necessity and therefore debatable.” By contrast, “the inward intuition of freedom . . . would reject totalitarianism even if it were economically more efficient.” This attitude contrasted starkly with that of his contemporaries, such as the economist and political theorist Walt Rostow, for whom the Cold War could be won so long as capitalist growth rates were higher than communist ones. “Unless we are able to make the concepts of freedom and respect for human dignity meaningful to the new nations,” Kissinger wrote in The Necessity for Choice, “the much-vaunted economic competition between us and Communism . . . will be without meaning.” In other words, liberal democratic ideals had to be defended for their own sake, without relying on the material success of capitalism to make the case for them. This was a theme to which Kissinger returned repeatedly in the 1960s as an adviser and speechwriter to Nelson Rockefeller, whose three unsuccessful bids for the Republican presidential nomination he supported.

第三,从其职业生涯的早期开始,基辛格就是一位毫不动摇的反物质决定论者,他对资本主义的各类经济决定论同对对马克思-列宁主义一样敌视。他在毕业论文中指出,放任“一种关于民主的轮调变身为成一种关于经济体系效率的讨论的行为”是危险的。与之相比,“自由的内在直觉……也会在哪怕其经济效率更高的情况下拒绝独裁主义。”这种态度同他的同辈——如认为只要资本主义的增长率高过共产主义,冷战就能够获胜的经济学家和政治理论家华尔特·罗斯托——的观点形成了鲜明的对比。“除非我们能够让自由的概念和对于人类尊严的尊重对于新生国家国家来说具有意义,”基辛格在《选择的必然性》中写道,“不然的话,被极端夸大了的我们与共产主义间的经济竞争. . . 将毫无意义。”换言之,自由民主理想不得不受到保护,是为了能让自己在没有依赖资本主义的物质成功的情况下让它们具有意义。这是基辛格在上世纪60年代作为三次在共和党总统提名战中失败的纳尔逊·洛克菲勒的顾问和演讲稿撰写者时曾经反复回归的一个主题。

As Kissinger observed in the first volume of his memoirs, “High office teaches decision-making, not substance. . . . On the whole, a period in high office consumes intellectual capital; it does not create it.” Since nearly all scholarly attention has been focused on Kissinger's time in office, his own intellectual capital—the ideas he developed between the early 1950s and the late 1960s at Harvard, at the Council on Foreign Relations, and for Rockefeller—has been insufficiently studied. Properly understood as an innovative critique of realpolitik, his ideas offer at least four key insights into foreign policy that Obama, not to mention his successor, would be well advised to study: history is the key to understanding rivals and allies; one must confront the problem of conjecture, with its asymmetric payoffs; many foreign policy decisions are choices between evils; and leaders should be wary of the perils of a morally vacuous realism.

正如基辛格在自传第一卷中所言,“高级职位教的是做决策,而不是实质…… 总的来说,高级职位的经历消耗的是知识资本;它没有创造知识资本。”由于几乎所有的学术焦点都集中在基辛格的在职其间,他自己的知识资本——他于上世纪50、60年代在哈佛、在外交关系协会以及为洛克菲勒工作时所形成的各种思想——一直处于没有得到充分的研究。在作为一种对于现实政治的创造性批判而得到正确的理解后,他的思想可为奥巴马,更不用提他的继任者,被很好地建议去学习的外交政策提供至少四个非常重要的真知灼见:历史是理解对手和盟友的钥匙;一个人必须直面有着不对称付出的揣测问题;许多外交决定都是在各种恶之间做出的选择;领导人应当对一种道德方面的虚无理想主义的危害保持警惕。