Immanuel Wallerstein:雄鹰坠地(The Eagle Has Crash Landed)

作者:沃勒斯坦Immanuel Wallerstein) 2002年7月1日 The Foreign Policy
The United States in decline? Few people today would believe this assertion. The only ones who do are the U.S. hawks, who argue vociferously for policies to reverse the decline. This belief that the end of U.S. hegemony has already begun does not follow from the vulnerability that became apparent to all on September 11, 2001. In fact, the United States has been fading as a global power since the 1970s, and the U.S. response to the terrorist attacks has merely accelerated this decline. To understand why the so-called Pax Americana is on the wane requires examining the geopolitics of the 20th century, particularly of the century’s final three decades. This exercise uncovers a simple and inescapable conclusion: The economic, political, and military factors that contributed to U.S. hegemony are the same factors that will inexorably produce the coming U.S. decline.

The rise of the United States to global hegemony was a long process that began in earnest with the world recession of 1873. At that time, the United States and Germany began to acquire an increasing share of global markets, mainly at the expense of the steadily receding British economy. Both nations had recently acquired a stable political base -- the United States by successfully terminating the Civil War and Germany by achieving unification and defeating France in the Franco-Prussian War. From 1873 to 1914, the United States and Germany became the principal producers in certain leading sectors: steel and later automobiles for the United States and industrial chemicals for Germany.
The history books record that World War I broke out in 1914 and ended in 1918 and that World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945. However, it makes more sense to consider the two as a single, continuous "30 years' war" between the United States and Germany, with truces and local conflicts scattered in between. The competition for hegemonic succession took an ideological turn in 1933, when the Nazis came to power in Germany and began their quest to transcend the global system altogether, seeking not hegemony within the current system but rather a form of global empire. Recall the Nazi slogan ein tausendjähriges Reich (a thousand-year empire). In turn, the United States assumed the role of advocate of centrist world liberalism -- recall former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "four freedoms" (freedom of speech, of worship, from want, and from fear) -- and entered into a strategic alliance with the Soviet Union, making possible the defeat of Germany and its allies.
World War II resulted in enormous destruction of infrastructure and populations throughout Eurasia, from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, with almost no country left unscathed. The only major industrial power in the world to emerge intact -- and even greatly strengthened from an economic perspective -- was the United States, which moved swiftly to consolidate its position.
But the aspiring hegemon faced some practical political obstacles. During the war, the Allied powers had agreed on the establishment of the United Nations, composed primarily of countries that had been in the coalition against the Axis powers. The organization's critical feature was the Security Council, the only structure that could authorize the use of force. Since the U.N. Charter gave the right of veto to five powers -- including the United States and the Soviet Union -- the council was rendered largely toothless in practice. So it was not the founding of the United Nations in April 1945 that determined the geopolitical constraints of the second half of the 20th century but rather the Yalta meeting between Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin two months earlier.
The formal accords at Yalta were less important than the informal, unspoken agreements, which one can only assess by observing the behavior of the United States and the Soviet Union in the years that followed. When the war ended in Europe on May 8, 1945, Soviet and Western (that is, U.S., British, and French) troops were located in particular places -- essentially, along a line in the center of Europe that came to be called the Oder-Neisse Line. Aside from a few minor adjustments, they stayed there. In hindsight, Yalta signified the agreement of both sides that they could stay there and that neither side would use force to push the other out. This tacit accord applied to Asia as well, as evinced by U.S. occupation of Japan and the division of Korea. Politically, therefore, Yalta was an agreement on the status quo in which the Soviet Union controlled about one third of the world and the United States the rest.
Washington also faced more serious military challenges. The Soviet Union had the world's largest land forces, while the U.S. government was under domestic pressure to downsize its army, particularly by ending the draft. The United States therefore decided to assert its military strength not via land forces but through a monopoly of nuclear weapons (plus an air force capable of deploying them). This monopoly soon disappeared: By 1949, the Soviet Union had developed nuclear weapons as well. Ever since, the United States has been reduced to trying to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons (and chemical and biological weapons) by additional powers, an effort that, in the 21st century, does not seem terribly successful.
Until 1991, the United States and the Soviet Union coexisted in the "balance of terror" of the Cold War. This status quo was tested seriously only three times: the Berlin blockade of 1948–49, the Korean War in 1950–53, and the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The result in each case was restoration of the status quo. Moreover, note how each time the Soviet Union faced a political crisis among its satellite regimes -- East Germany in 1953, Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and Poland in 1981 -- the United States engaged in little more than propaganda exercises, allowing the Soviet Union to proceed largely as it deemed fit.
Of course, this passivity did not extend to the economic arena. The United States capitalized on the Cold War ambiance to launch massive economic reconstruction efforts, first in Western Europe and then in Japan (as well as in South Korea and Taiwan). The rationale was obvious: What was the point of having such overwhelming productive superiority if the rest of the world could not muster effective demand? Furthermore, economic reconstruction helped create clientelistic obligations on the part of the nations receiving U.S. aid; this sense of obligation fostered willingness to enter into military alliances and, even more important, into political subservience.
Finally, one should not underestimate the ideological and cultural component of U.S. hegemony. The immediate post-1945 period may have been the historical high point for the popularity of communist ideology. We easily forget today the large votes for Communist parties in free elections in countries such as Belgium, France, Italy, Czechoslovakia, and Finland, not to mention the support Communist parties gathered in Asia -- in Vietnam, India, and Japan -- and throughout Latin America. And that still leaves out areas such as China, Greece, and Iran, where free elections remained absent or constrained but where Communist parties enjoyed widespread appeal. In response, the United States sustained a massive anticommunist ideological offensive. In retrospect, this initiative appears largely successful: Washington brandished its role as the leader of the "free world" at least as effectively as the Soviet Union brandished its position as the leader of the "progressive" and "anti-imperialist" camp.
The United States' success as a hegemonic power in the postwar period created the conditions of the nation's hegemonic demise. This process is captured in four symbols: the war in Vietnam, the revolutions of 1968, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and the terrorist attacks of September 2001. Each symbol built upon the prior one, culminating in the situation in which the United States currently finds itself -- a lone superpower that lacks true power, a world leader nobody follows and few respect, and a nation drifting dangerously amidst a global chaos it cannot control.
What was the Vietnam War? First and foremost, it was the effort of the Vietnamese people to end colonial rule and establish their own state. The Vietnamese fought the French, the Japanese, and the Americans, and in the end the Vietnamese won -- quite an achievement, actually. Geopolitically, however, the war represented a rejection of the Yalta status quo by populations then labeled as Third World. Vietnam became such a powerful symbol because Washington was foolish enough to invest its full military might in the struggle, but the United States still lost. True, the United States didn't deploy nuclear weapons (a decision certain myopic groups on the right have long reproached), but such use would have shattered the Yalta accords and might have produced a nuclear holocaust -- an outcome the United States simply could not risk.
But Vietnam was not merely a military defeat or a blight on U.S. prestige. The war dealt a major blow to the United States' ability to remain the world's dominant economic power. The conflict was extremely expensive and more or less used up the U.S. gold reserves that had been so plentiful since 1945. Moreover, the United States incurred these costs just as Western Europe and Japan experienced major economic upswings. These conditions ended U.S. preeminence in the global economy. Since the late 1960s, members of this triad have been nearly economic equals, each doing better than the others for certain periods but none moving far ahead.
When the revolutions of 1968 broke out around the world, support for the Vietnamese became a major rhetorical component. "One, two, many Vietnams" and "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh" were chanted in many a street, not least in the United States. But the 1968ers did not merely condemn U.S. hegemony. They condemned Soviet collusion with the United States, they condemned Yalta, and they used or adapted the language of the Chinese cultural revolutionaries who divided the world into two camps -- the two superpowers and the rest of the world.
The denunciation of Soviet collusion led logically to the denunciation of those national forces closely allied with the Soviet Union, which meant in most cases the traditional Communist parties. But the 1968 revolutionaries also lashed out against other components of the Old Left -- national liberation movements in the Third World, social-democratic movements in Western Europe, and New Deal Democrats in the United States -- accusing them, too, of collusion with what the revolutionaries generically termed "U.S. imperialism."
The attack on Soviet collusion with Washington plus the attack on the Old Left further weakened the legitimacy of the Yalta arrangements on which the United States had fashioned the world order. It also undermined the position of centrist liberalism as the lone, legitimate global ideology. The direct political consequences of the world revolutions of 1968 were minimal, but the geopolitical and intellectual repercussions were enormous and irrevocable. Centrist liberalism tumbled from the throne it had occupied since the European revolutions of 1848 and that had enabled it to co-opt conservatives and radicals alike. These ideologies returned and once again represented a real gamut of choices. Conservatives would again become conservatives, and radicals, radicals. The centrist liberals did not disappear, but they were cut down to size. And in the process, the official U.S. ideological position -- antifascist, anticommunist, anticolonialist -- seemed thin and unconvincing to a growing portion of the world's populations.
The onset of international economic stagnation in the 1970s had two important consequences for U.S. power. First, stagnation resulted in the collapse of "developmentalism" -- the notion that every nation could catch up economically if the state took appropriate action -- which was the principal ideological claim of the Old Left movements then in power. One after another, these regimes faced internal disorder, declining standards of living, increasing debt dependency on international financial institutions, and eroding credibility. What had seemed in the 1960s to be the successful navigation of Third World decolonization by the United States -- minimizing disruption and maximizing the smooth transfer of power to regimes that were developmentalist but scarcely revolutionary -- gave way to disintegrating order, simmering discontents, and unchanneled radical temperaments. When the United States tried to intervene, it failed. In 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan sent troops to Lebanon to restore order. The troops were in effect forced out. He compensated by invading Grenada, a country without troops. President George H.W. Bush invaded Panama, another country without troops. But after he intervened in Somalia to restore order, the United States was in effect forced out, somewhat ignominiously. Since there was little the U.S. government could actually do to reverse the trend of declining hegemony, it chose simply to ignore this trend -- a policy that prevailed from the withdrawal from Vietnam until September 11, 2001.
Meanwhile, true conservatives began to assume control of key states and interstate institutions. The neoliberal offensive of the 1980s was marked by the Thatcher and Reagan regimes and the emergence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a key actor on the world scene. Where once (for more than a century) conservative forces had attempted to portray themselves as wiser liberals, now centrist liberals were compelled to argue that they were more effective conservatives. The conservative programs were clear. Domestically, conservatives tried to enact policies that would reduce the cost of labor, minimize environmental constraints on producers, and cut back on state welfare benefits. Actual successes were modest, so conservatives then moved vigorously into the international arena. The gatherings of the World Economic Forum in Davos provided a meeting ground for elites and the media. The IMF provided a club for finance ministers and central bankers. And the United States pushed for the creation of the World Trade Organization to enforce free commercial flows across the world's frontiers.
While the United States wasn't watching, the Soviet Union was collapsing. Yes, Ronald Reagan had dubbed the Soviet Union an "evil empire" and had used the rhetorical bombast of calling for the destruction of the Berlin Wall, but the United States didn't really mean it and certainly was not responsible for the Soviet Union's downfall. In truth, the Soviet Union and its East European imperial zone collapsed because of popular disillusionment with the Old Left in combination with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's efforts to save his regime by liquidating Yalta and instituting internal liberalization (perestroika plus glasnost). Gorbachev succeeded in liquidating Yalta but not in saving the Soviet Union (although he almost did, be it said).
The United States was stunned and puzzled by the sudden collapse, uncertain how to handle the consequences. The collapse of communism in effect signified the collapse of liberalism, removing the only ideological justification behind U.S. hegemony, a justification tacitly supported by liberalism's ostensible ideological opponent. This loss of legitimacy led directly to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein would never have dared had the Yalta arrangements remained in place. In retrospect, U.S. efforts in the Gulf War accomplished a truce at basically the same line of departure. But can a hegemonic power be satisfied with a tie in a war with a middling regional power? Saddam demonstrated that one could pick a fight with the United States and get away with it. Even more than the defeat in Vietnam, Saddam's brash challenge has eaten at the innards of the U.S. right, in particular those known as the hawks, which explains the fervor of their current desire to invade Iraq and destroy its regime.
Between the Gulf War and September 11, 2001, the two major arenas of world conflict were the Balkans and the Middle East. The United States has played a major diplomatic role in both regions. Looking back, how different would the results have been had the United States assumed a completely isolationist position? In the Balkans, an economically successful multinational state (Yugoslavia) broke down, essentially into its component parts. Over 10 years, most of the resulting states have engaged in a process of ethnification, experiencing fairly brutal violence, widespread human rights violations, and outright wars. Outside intervention -- in which the United States figured most prominently -- brought about a truce and ended the most egregious violence, but this intervention in no way reversed the ethnification, which is now consolidated and somewhat legitimated. Would these conflicts have ended differently without U.S. involvement? The violence might have continued longer, but the basic results would probably not have been too different. The picture is even grimmer in the Middle East, where, if anything, U.S. engagement has been deeper and its failures more spectacular. In the Balkans and the Middle East alike, the United States has failed to exert its hegemonic clout effectively, not for want of will or effort but for want of real power.
Then came September 11 -- the shock and the reaction. Under fire from U.S. legislators, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) now claims it had warned the Bush administration of possible threats. But despite the CIA's focus on al Qaeda and the agency's intelligence expertise, it could not foresee (and therefore, prevent) the execution of the terrorist strikes. Or so would argue CIA Director George Tenet. This testimony can hardly comfort the U.S. government or the American people. Whatever else historians may decide, the attacks of September 11, 2001, posed a major challenge to U.S. power. The persons responsible did not represent a major military power. They were members of a nonstate force, with a high degree of determination, some money, a band of dedicated followers, and a strong base in one weak state. In short, militarily, they were nothing. Yet they succeeded in a bold attack on U.S. soil.
George W. Bush came to power very critical of the Clinton administration's handling of world affairs. Bush and his advisors did not admit -- but were undoubtedly aware -- that Clinton's path had been the path of every U.S. president since Gerald Ford, including that of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. It had even been the path of the current Bush administration before September 11. One only needs to look at how Bush handled the downing of the U.S. plane off China in April 2001 to see that prudence had been the name of the game.
Following the terrorist attacks, Bush changed course, declaring war on terrorism, assuring the American people that "the outcome is certain" and informing the world that "you are either with us or against us." Long frustrated by even the most conservative U.S. administrations, the hawks finally came to dominate American policy. Their position is clear: The United States wields overwhelming military power, and even though countless foreign leaders consider it unwise for Washington to flex its military muscles, these same leaders cannot and will not do anything if the United States simply imposes its will on the rest. The hawks believe the United States should act as an imperial power for two reasons: First, the United States can get away with it. And second, if Washington doesn't exert its force, the United States will become increasingly marginalized.
Today, this hawkish position has three expressions: the military assault in Afghanistan, the de facto support for the Israeli attempt to liquidate the Palestinian Authority, and the invasion of Iraq, which is reportedly in the military preparation stage. Less than one year after the September 2001 terrorist attacks, it is perhaps too early to assess what such strategies will accomplish. Thus far, these schemes have led to the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan (without the complete dismantling of al Qaeda or the capture of its top leadership); enormous destruction in Palestine (without rendering Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat "irrelevant," as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he is); and heavy opposition from U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East to plans for an invasion of Iraq.
The hawks' reading of recent events emphasizes that opposition to U.S. actions, while serious, has remained largely verbal. Neither Western Europe nor Russia nor China nor Saudi Arabia has seemed ready to break ties in serious ways with the United States. In other words, hawks believe, Washington has indeed gotten away with it. The hawks assume a similar outcome will occur when the U.S. military actually invades Iraq and after that, when the United States exercises its authority elsewhere in the world, be it in Iran, North Korea, Colombia, or perhaps Indonesia. Ironically, the hawk reading has largely become the reading of the international left, which has been screaming about U.S. policies -- mainly because they fear that the chances of U.S. success are high.
But hawk interpretations are wrong and will only contribute to the United States' decline, transforming a gradual descent into a much more rapid and turbulent fall. Specifically, hawk approaches will fail for military, economic, and ideological reasons. Undoubtedly, the military remains the United States' strongest card; in fact, it is the only card. Today, the United States wields the most formidable military apparatus in the world. And if claims of new, unmatched military technologies are to be believed, the U.S. military edge over the rest of the world is considerably greater today than it was just a decade ago. But does that mean, then, that the United States can invade Iraq, conquer it rapidly, and install a friendly and stable regime? Unlikely. Bear in mind that of the three serious wars the U.S. military has fought since 1945 (Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War), one ended in defeat and two in draws -- not exactly a glorious record.
Saddam Hussein's army is not that of the Taliban, and his internal military control is far more coherent. A U.S. invasion would necessarily involve a serious land force, one that would have to fight its way to Baghdad and would likely suffer significant casualties. Such a force would also need staging grounds, and Saudi Arabia has made clear that it will not serve in this capacity. Would Kuwait or Turkey help out? Perhaps, if Washington calls in all its chips. Meanwhile, Saddam can be expected to deploy all weapons at his disposal, and it is precisely the U.S. government that keeps fretting over how nasty those weapons might be. The United States may twist the arms of regimes in the region, but popular sentiment clearly views the whole affair as reflecting a deep anti-Arab bias in the United States. Can such a conflict be won? The British General Staff has apparently already informed Prime Minister Tony Blair that it does not believe so.
And there is always the matter of "second fronts." Following the Gulf War, U.S. armed forces sought to prepare for the possibility of two simultaneous regional wars. After a while, the Pentagon quietly abandoned the idea as impractical and costly. But who can be sure that no potential U.S. enemies would strike when the United States appears bogged down in Iraq?
Consider, too, the question of U.S. popular tolerance of nonvictories. Americans hover between a patriotic fervor that lends support to all wartime presidents and a deep isolationist urge. Since 1945, patriotism has hit a wall whenever the death toll has risen. Why should today's reaction differ? And even if the hawks (who are almost all civilians) feel impervious to public opinion, U.S. Army generals, burnt by Vietnam, do not. And what about the economic front? In the 1980s, countless American analysts became hysterical over the Japanese economic miracle. They calmed down in the 1990s, given Japan's well-publicized financial difficulties. Yet after overstating how quickly Japan was moving forward, U.S. authorities now seem to be complacent, confident that Japan lags far behind. These days, Washington seems more inclined to lecture Japanese policymakers about what they are doing wrong.
Such triumphalism hardly appears warranted. Consider the following April 20, 2002, New York Times report: "A Japanese laboratory has built the world's fastest computer, a machine so powerful that it matches the raw processing power of the 20 fastest American computers combined and far outstrips the previous leader, an I.B.M.-built machine. The achievement ... is evidence that a technology race that most American engineers thought they were winning handily is far from over." The analysis goes on to note that there are "contrasting scientific and technological priorities" in the two countries. The Japanese machine is built to analyze climatic change, but U.S. machines are designed to simulate weapons. This contrast embodies the oldest story in the history of hegemonic powers. The dominant power concentrates (to its detriment) on the military; the candidate for successor concentrates on the economy. The latter has always paid off, handsomely. It did for the United States. Why should it not pay off for Japan as well, perhaps in alliance with China?
Finally, there is the ideological sphere. Right now, the U.S. economy seems relatively weak, even more so considering the exorbitant military expenses associated with hawk strategies. Moreover, Washington remains politically isolated; virtually no one (save Israel) thinks the hawk position makes sense or is worth encouraging. Other nations are afraid or unwilling to stand up to Washington directly, but even their foot-dragging is hurting the United States.
Yet the U.S. response amounts to little more than arrogant arm-twisting. Arrogance has its own negatives. Calling in chips means leaving fewer chips for next time, and surly acquiescence breeds increasing resentment. Over the last 200 years, the United States acquired a considerable amount of ideological credit. But these days, the United States is running through this credit even faster than it ran through its gold surplus in the 1960s. The United States faces two possibilities during the next 10 years: It can follow the hawks' path, with negative consequences for all but especially for itself. Or it can realize that the negatives are too great. Simon Tisdall of the Guardian recently argued that even disregarding international public opinion, "the U.S. is not able to fight a successful Iraqi war by itself without incurring immense damage, not least in terms of its economic interests and its energy supply. Mr. Bush is reduced to talking tough and looking ineffectual." And if the United States still invades Iraq and is then forced to withdraw, it will look even more ineffectual.
President Bush's options appear extremely limited, and there is little doubt that the United States will continue to decline as a decisive force in world affairs over the next decade. The real question is not whether U.S. hegemony is waning but whether the United States can devise a way to descend gracefully, with minimum damage to the world, and to itself.
Immanuel Wallerstein is a senior research scholar at Yale University and author of, most recently, The End of the World As We Know It: Social Science for the Twenty-First Century (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999).

雄鹰坠地(The Eagle Has Crash Landed)



歷史書中記載的第一次世界大戰始於1914年﹐結束於1918年﹔第二次世界大戰始於1939年﹐結束於1945年。但是﹐如果我們把這兩次大戰當做一次德美之間持續30年並且包括了幾次停戰和內部衝突的戰爭來考慮就更便於理解了。這次爭奪霸主地位的競爭在1933年發生了一次意識形態上的轉折﹐當時納粹黨在德國上臺﹐德國開始企圖淩駕於整個全球系統之上﹐它不僅是要在當時現有的系統內獲得霸主地位﹐還想建立一個全球性的帝國 回想納粹當年的口號千年帝國。而美國則開始扮演中立的世界自由派的角色當時的美國總統福蘭克林‧D‧羅斯福提出的四項自由言論自由﹑信仰自由﹑免於恐懼﹑免於匱乏)﹐並且和蘇聯形成了戰略聯盟的關係﹐使得打敗德國及其盟國成為現實。



雅爾塔會議中達成的那些私下的﹑未公開的協定﹐與那些正式協定相比更為重要。人們衹能通過後來數年中美國和蘇聯的行為來研究這些協定。194558日歐洲戰場結束戰爭時﹐蘇聯和西方國家(美﹑英﹑法)都把部隊部署在了一些特定地區實際上是沿歐洲中心的一條被稱為奧代爾‧奈斯分界線(Oder-Neisse Line)的兩端部署。除了一些細微的調整﹐雙方都保持在這些位置上。事後看來﹐雅爾塔會議意味著雙方達成了某種協定﹐同意雙方保持現有的領地﹐並約定不會動用武力趕走對方美國對日本的佔領和朝鮮的分治﹐表明這些不成文的協定在亞洲同樣被採用。從政治意義上來說﹐雅爾塔會議達成的協定規定了一種狀態蘇聯控制三分之一的世界而剩下的由美國來控制






美國在二戰後成功變為一個霸權的過程中﹐也為其霸權勢力的衰敗埋下了伏筆。美國霸權的衰敗過程體現在四個標誌性事件上越南戰爭﹑1968年的革命風潮﹑1989年柏林牆的倒塌和2001年的9.11事件每個事件都發生在前一個事件的基礎之上﹐它們最終使美國發現﹐自己成為了一個缺乏真實力量的孤獨強權一個無人追隨缺乏尊敬的世界領袖一個在一場無法控制的全球混亂中危險地漂流的國家( a nation drifting dangerously amidst a global chaos it cannot control



1968年﹐當革命在世界各地爆發之際﹐對越南的支援成為輿論攻勢的重要組成部分。一個﹑兩個﹑許多個越南胡﹑胡﹑胡志明這樣的呼聲不僅在美國﹐在全球的許多大街小巷都可以聽到。[2] 1968年的那些革命者們不僅譴責美國的霸權也譴責蘇聯和美國之間的秘密協定以及雅爾塔體系他們接受了中國文化大革命提出的說法﹐也就是把世界分成兩個超級大國世界上的其餘國家”(the two superpowers and the rest of the world

對蘇聯和美國之間相互勾結的譴責﹐自然導致對那些和蘇聯關係密切的國家勢力﹐也就是對那些傳統共產黨勢力的譴責。但是1968年的革命家們還強烈抨擊傳統左派勢力的其他組成部分 第三世界的民族解放運動西歐的社會民主運動美國的新政派民主黨勢力New Deal Democrats﹐革命勢力將它們統統斥為和美帝國主義勾結

對美蘇間互相勾結的譴責﹐加上對傳統左翼的抨擊﹐進一步削弱了美國賴以維持世界秩序的雅爾塔體系的合法性同時它也破壞了溫和自由主義centrist liberalism作為惟一合法的全球性意識形態的地位1968年的革命運動的直接政治影響很小﹐但在地緣政治和知識界產生的間接影響是鉅大的﹑不可替代的。溫和自由主義從1848年以來一直佔據的寶座上摔了下來﹐在那個寶座上﹐溫和自由主義者可以隨時傾向於保守勢力或激進勢力。這些不同的意識形態現在重新成為一種真正的立場選擇。保守派又成為了真正的保守派﹐激進派又成為了真正的激進派。溫和自由主義並沒有消失﹐衹不過是勢力縮小了而已。在這一過程中﹐美國的官方意識形態的立場反法西斯主義﹑反共產主義反殖民主義﹐對於越來越多的人來說已經顯得空洞並缺乏說服力。




當美國不經意之際﹐蘇聯崩潰了。的確﹐雷根曾授予蘇聯邪惡帝國的稱號﹐並大張旗鼓地叫嚷過推倒柏林牆。但美國並非真正有意讓蘇聯崩潰﹐並且也絕不該被算作蘇聯崩潰的導致者(the United States didn't really mean it and certainly was not responsible for the Soviet Union's downfall事實上﹐蘇聯及其東歐帝國版圖內的崩潰﹐是由於人們對傳統左翼的希望破滅﹐戈巴契夫為了拯救政權而清除雅爾塔體系﹐並開始國內自由化政策造成的戈巴契夫成功地清除了雅爾塔體系還是沒有挽救蘇聯(雖然可以說他幾乎成功)。In truth, the Soviet Union and its East European imperial zone collapsed because of popular disillusionment with the Old Left in combination with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's efforts to save his regime by liquidating Yalta and instituting internal liberalization (perestroika plus glasnost). Gorbachev succeeded in liquidating Yalta but not in saving the Soviet Union (although he almost did, be it said).




9.11事件發生了﹐在震驚之後﹐美國做出了反應。由於受到立法者們的猛烈抨擊﹐中央情報局現在聲稱曾經警告過布希政府潛在危險的存在。但是﹐即使是中央情報局對基地組織的密切注視﹐所掌握的專業技術也不可能預知(從而預防)這次恐怖襲擊。至少中央情報局局長喬治‧特內特(George Tenet)是這麼認為的。這種說法實在無法讓美國政府和美國人民安心。無論歷史學家們怎麼評價9.11事件的其他作用﹐它最重要的影響是對美國的威力造成了一次重大挑戰。事件的主謀並非一個重要軍事力量。他們屬於非國家勢力的一員﹐擁有堅定的決心﹑一定數量的資金﹑一批願意獻身的追隨者和一個在虛弱國家裡建立的強大基地。簡單地說﹐作為軍事力量﹐他們幾乎算不上什麼﹐但是他們成功地對美國本土實施了一次大膽的進攻。

喬治‧W‧布希執政後﹐對克林頓政府處理世界事務的方式非常不滿。布希和他的顧問們並不承認這一點﹐但是不容置疑的是他們都明白﹐克林頓所執行的路線是傑拉爾德‧福特(Gerald Ford)以來﹐所有美國總統包括雷根和老布希一直執行的路線。甚至在9.11事件以前﹐也是布希政府所執行的路線。從布希政府處理20014月中美撞機事件的態度上﹐就可以看出美國的行事方式還是以謹慎為主的

恐怖主義襲擊之後﹐布希改變了路線﹐向恐怖主義宣戰。他向美國人民保證勝利必將屬於美國﹐並且向全世界宣告你要麼和我們站在一起﹐要麼就是跟美國為敵”(you are either with us or against us即使是美國政府中最保守的那些人也早就很不耐煩了﹐鷹派終於成為美國政策制定的主導力量。他們的立場很清晰﹐美國要發揮自己強大軍事力量的優勢。雖然無數外國領導人認為美國動武是不明智的﹐但是如果美國非要把自己的意志強加於人﹐那些領導人也無可奈何。鷹派們認為美國應當採取帝國主義行動﹐有兩個原因﹕首先﹐美國這麼做不會受到懲罰;其次﹐如果美國不使用軍事力量﹐美國將越來越受到擠兌



但是﹐鷹派的理解是錯誤的﹐而且衹會導致美國衰落的加速﹐把一種逐漸的衰落變成一種更迅速和更激烈的暴跌( contribute to the United States' decline, transforming a gradual descent into a much more rapid and turbulent fall。更明確地說﹐鷹派的行事方法將會由於軍事﹑經濟以及意識形態等多方面的原因而遭到失敗。

無疑﹐軍事力量將繼續是美國最強大的一張王牌;實際上它也是美國唯一的王牌了。在今天﹐美國操縱著世界上最令人生畏的軍事工具。如果考慮到那些無可匹敵的新軍事技術﹐美國目前的軍事優勢比十年前更加鉅大。但是﹐這意味著美國可以快速地征服伊拉克並且建立一個更穩定並且對美國更友好的政權嗎﹖不太可能。不要忘記美國軍隊在1945年後陷入的三場主要戰爭 朝鮮戰爭﹑越南和海灣戰爭﹐一場打敗了﹐兩場以平手結束。這並非是一段光榮的歷史。





這種必勝的信心幾乎看不到有什麼事實根據。2002420日《紐約時報》報導﹕一個日本實驗室製造出世界上最快的電腦﹐這台機器的運算速度相當於20台美國電腦加在一起﹐並遠遠超過一直處於領先地位的IBM電腦。這項成就證明﹐這場被大多數美國工程師們自認為穩操勝券的科技競賽﹐遠沒結束。該報導接著分析說﹐美國和日本兩國在科技研究方面的側重點﹐形成了鮮明的對比。日本的設備是為分析氣候變化而建造的﹐美國的設備是為了類比武器。這種對比鮮明地表現出了一個歷史中關於霸權勢力最古老的故事佔主導地位的勢力專注於(而這是有害的)軍事實力而霸權的潛在接替者則專注於發展經濟( This contrast embodies the oldest story in the history of hegemonic powers. The dominant power concentrates (to its detriment) on the military; the candidate for successor concentrates on the economy後者一直都會獲得龐大的實在利益。美國當年就是這樣的﹐為什麼日本不會也像美國一樣獲得龐大的實在利益﹖也許是在和中國結盟後﹖



在未來的十年裡﹐美國將面對兩種可能性她可以繼續鷹派路線﹐對所有人尤其是她自己產生負面影響。或者她能意識到負面影響太大了。《衛報》(Guardian)的西蒙‧提斯戴爾(Simon Tisdall)爭論說﹐即使不考慮國際間的公眾意見﹐美國還是不可能在不對自身造成破壞的情況下打贏對伊拉克的戰爭﹐尤其是不可能不影響到自身的經濟利益和能源供應。布希先生已經到了嘴上強硬但看起來不起作用的境地了。如果美國還是決定入侵伊拉克最後卻被迫撤退﹐她會顯得更不起作用。



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