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郑风田

公告: 本博客主要关注民生话题,还顺带介绍点国际万象.本人开放博客中所有文字的转载权(标“转”的除外)。任何人想转载我的文字,请各取所需。需要咨询的朋友请联系zft@sohu.com,zft2020@sina.com .,微信公众号:zhengfengtian, 微信号:zft2000 谢谢!--郑风田

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都是土著白人资本主义惹的祸?  

2009-04-30 19:02:27|  分类: 社会热点问题评论 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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为什么讲这次全球危机都是“土著白人资本主义”惹的祸?

郑风田 郎晓娟 中国人民大学

全球卷入经济危机,都是“土著白人资本主义”惹的祸?

大家都听说日本佬、美国佬等不邪的叫法,不知道听没听说过“白人佬”?或者我们干脆叫“土著白人”,主要指“Anglo-Saxon”人。“蓝眼睛的白人是带来金融危机的罪恶之源。”巴西总统如是说。也许从某种意义上说,他的话没错,至少白人世界里的《时代周刊》似乎同意他的说法。在20094月的一期杂志中,以“防卫白人佬的资本主义(In Defense of Paleface Capitalism)”为题,对全球经济危机的成因是不是白人佬带来的进行了反思。其结论是目前这次的全球金融危机都是土著白人世界所创下的那一套金融体系惹的祸。

追根溯源,这次次贷危机引发金融海啸,最后导致全球经济萧条,已经不是“白人资本主义”第一次惹祸了。自打17世纪荷兰人创立了现代金融体系,在其300年的发展过程中,一方面带来了资本主义世界的繁荣,另一方面,也带来了一次又一次的泡沫和经济崩溃。

Bug不断的“盎格鲁——撒克逊”牌操作系统

若是把当前这种影响波及全球的政治金融体系比作windows那样的操作系统,那么它已经有过三次升级了。自1620年“1.0版”在荷兰诞生,1700年在英国升级到2.0版,并借以推动全球贸易,随着英国成为“日不落帝国”,逐渐变成所谓“盎格鲁——撒克逊资本主义”,到1945年二战结束,这一体系漂洋过海来到美国,升级为现在的3.0版,纽约和华盛顿取代伦敦和阿姆斯特丹,成为全球政治和金融的中心。在这过程中,尽管收益并未获得公平的分配,且带来相当大的环境和社会成本,但这种“盎格鲁——撒克逊”牌操作系统正和windows一样好用,其带来的全球财富和知识的爆发式增长,也是显而易见的。

不幸的是,“盎格鲁——撒克逊”牌操作系统也和windows一样问题不断,一些大大小小的bug,常常使系统面临崩溃,在这种金融系统下,人们总是容易受到蛊惑,变得愚蠢而疯狂,认为股价、房价会永远上涨,梦想着获得越来越多的财富,泡沫就这样被越吹越大,最后破灭——像是这样从非理性繁荣到突然崩溃的循环,三百年来重复了一次又一次,人们却永远无法吸取教训。相反,当金融体系变得更加复杂,全球化和相互依赖程度加深,带来的后果也就越发地可怕。

正如本次由次贷危机引发的金融海啸,进而波及全球,成千上万的人失去工作,成千上万的家庭陷入贫困,而且,虽然是由发达国家“白人的金融体系”引发的灾难,其后果却不仅仅表现在欧洲和美国,那些发展中国家,如中国、印度、非洲以及巴西,都多多少少地受到了影响。

 “白人的资本主义”是恶魔吗?

所谓“白人的资本主义”,据《新闻周刊》解释,事实上就是指自由化的资本主义,它所带来的种种问题,早在这次金融危机之前就为各国所抨击,它可能加剧贫富差距、带来混乱、高风险、使社会动摇,更糟的,那些在其作用下抢先发展并获得财富和力量的国家会阻碍后来者的发展,并使他们不得不支付更高的代价。

但同时,正如提出“白人罪恶论”的巴西总统同时所指出的那样,也没有必要完全排斥市场,只是应该控制它的力量,并让穷人能够更多地从中受益,“白人的资本主义”也许的确带来了危机,无辜被波及的发展中国家们最需要做的,是改变以往的盲从态度,想办法对其加以改进,制定出适合自己国家的“新版本”,也许总有一天,会让“白人们”也能来遵守由发展中国家制定的新政策。

简评:巴西人是不是太自恋了?自以为他们玩经济跟玩足球似的?玩足球大家认,玩经济包括还没有多少人认巴西牌。

标题很吓人,愿望很美好,结论很不靠谱。把巴西作为全世界发展中国家的表率就更加不靠谱。

不过有一点的确没有说错:当前的金融体系有其难以克服的痼疾,资本主义世界里人们欲望的无限膨胀最终会带来崩溃和危机,也的确不该把欧美发达国家的经验和制度就作为“普世价值”简单照搬。但具体到实践中,要如何加以改进,怎样才能制定出新的规则并使其真正落实,在如今全球化和国家间相互依存度越来越深的背景下,可不是单单只有良好愿望就能做到的。

(编译者郑风田为中国人民大学;郎晓娟为中国人民大学博士生)

In Defense of Paleface Capitalism

By Walter Russell Mead | NEWSWEEK

Published Apr 11, 2009

From the magazine issue dated Apr 20, 2009

 

The truth is often shocking, and when Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva told a shocked British Prime Minister Gordon Brown—and the world press—that the financial crisis had been created by "white-skinned people with blue eyes," he spoke the truth. Actually, it's even worse than what Lula said. "White-skinned people with blue eyes" aren't just responsible for the current crisis; the blue-eyed palefaces are responsible for saddling the world with a financial system that has a built-in tendency to crash. The modern financial system grows out of a series of innovations in 17th-century Netherlands, and the Dutch were, on the whole, as Lula describes them. From the Netherlands, what the English called "Dutch finance" traveled over the English Channel, as the English borrowed Dutch ideas to build a stock market, promote global trade and establish the Bank of England, going on to build a maritime empire of commerce and sea power that dominated the world until World War II. Dutch finance became "Anglo-Saxon capitalism," but otherwise went on as before. When the British system fell apart, the center of world finance crossed the water again, and New York and Washington replaced London and Amsterdam as centers of global politics and finance.

 

This financial and political system is the operating system on which the world runs; the Dutch introduced version 1.0 in about 1620; the British introduced 2.0 in about 1700; the Americans upgraded to version 3.0 in 1945, and as an operating system, it works pretty well—most of the time. The 300 years of liberal, global capitalism have seen an extraordinary explosion in knowledge and human affluence. Not everybody shares in these benefits, and there are environmental and social costs to the rapid pross. Still, not many of us would like to turn the clock back to 1610.

 

But the system has bugs—among them, a tendency to crash. Ever since the great Dutch tulip bubble of 1637, the economic system has been prey to roller-coaster-style booms and busts. From the South Sea bubble of 1720 to the subprime loan bubble of our own time, the financial system leads people into irrational behavior and fever dreams of wealth and of eternally rising prices for stocks, houses—and tulips. These episodes never end well, and as time passes and the financial system grows more complex, more global and more interdependent, the cost of these periodic crashes gets worse. Today's is one of the worst; millions of people are losing their jobs, and millions of families once on the edge of prosperity are falling back into poverty—not just in America and Europe but in China, India, Africa and, as Lula knows all too well, Brazil.

 

At moments like this, even "Anglo-Saxons" have doubts about the system; but much of the world doesn't like Anglo-Saxon capitalism even when it works. Liberal capitalism may have created mass affluence in Holland and America, but things don't look as good in Brazil—or in Haiti. In countries like France, the system has made the country prosperous, but the anarchy and inequality of Anglo-Saxon style capitalism have irritated the French since the Scotsman John Law gave them their first financial bubble in 1720 (the Mississippi bubble). In Latin America, the right denounced liberal capitalism for centuries as a plot against the Roman Catholic Church; the left denounces it as a plot against the poor.

 

Liberal capitalism is risky, unequal and destabilizing. Worse, over time, the countries that embrace it tend to grow powerful and rich. Those nations that embrace the chilly logic and brave the rough seas of capitalist development end up developing and exploiting new technologies, creating new industries and gaining more power. Societies that respond with more reserve don't prosper as much in the good times and often pay a higher price when things go wrong. Just ask the Argentines. Or the Russians.

 

Lula himself is an example of something else. He's a man of the left with deep concern for the poor, but he also understands that for all its shortcomings, the market isn't the enemy of the poor. Brazil's task, Lula believes, isn't to make war on the market, à la Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, but to harness its vast potential for the sake of the poor. This is new. Thirty years ago, Brazil, like most of Latin America, was polarized between a radical, antiliberal left and a radical, antiliberal right. Today Brazilian politics are different; both the left and the right are more committed to free politics and free markets than they used to be.

 

Brazil is better off for the change. Although the current crisis is beginning to bite, Brazil has overcome the stagnation and corruption that halted growth after the first oil shocks and the Third World debt crisis, and is now one of a handful of countries with the power to shape the new century. And this hasn't just been the story in Brazil; more and more "developing" countries are turning into the pacesetters of liberal global capitalism. So Lula is right: the global crisis emerged from a system built, with all its many flaws, by blue-eyed palefaces. But if countries like Brazil can stick with their own versions of Dutch finance, the future of the system will increasingly be shaped by people who look more like Lula—and the palefaces are going to have to run hard to keep up.

 

Mead, the author of “God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World,” is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations

 

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