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《经济学人》:英国陷入无政府状态

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Riots in Britain
英国骚乱

Anarchy in the UK
英国的乱局

A bout of violent mindlessness that has shaken Britain’s sense of self—and may be exportable
极端的无知动摇了英国的自我意识,并可能祸水外流

Aug 13th 2011 | from the print edition

SHAME was the first response of many people in Britain to the riots that started in the Tottenham neighbourhood of London on August 6th, skipped across the capital in the following days and nights and spread to Manchester, Birmingham and many other cities. Alongside the shame, there was a jolting bafflement. The law-abiding majority suddenly saw that some of their compatriots were happy to torch cars and buildings, loot shops, and attack firemen and ambulance crews. The confidence trick at the heart of the social order was violently laid bare: it turns out that if sufficient numbers of criminals want to create havoc on the streets, they can. In the absence of internal, moral restraints, external ones can only do so much.

许多英国人对该国骚乱的第一反应是羞耻。这场骚乱8月6日始发于伦敦托特纳姆地区,在随后几天里掠过首都蔓延到曼彻斯特、伯明翰和其他一些城市。人们在羞耻之余,还深感困惑。那些守法的大多数突然看到,一些国人竟乐于焚烧汽车和房屋、劫掠商店以及袭击消防员和救护人员。社会秩序深层的骗局昭然若揭:原来,如果意图在街头制造大破坏的罪犯足够多,那么他们就能达到目的。当缺乏内在道德制约的情况下,外在制约的作用仅此而已。

The world watched London in fascinated amazement. Other nations tend to regard Britain as enviably orderly and law-abiding, at least compared with many of its more excitable continental neighbours. That peaceable image is only partly justified: contagious rioting has broken out before, typically during the summer, including in the 1980s, when Tottenham and some of the other flashpoint areas this week last erupted. This time, however, the complexion of the trouble is different from those earlier flare-ups. In its sheer mindlessness, it was, in a way, even more depressing.

全世界都惊异地看着伦敦。其他国家往往对英国的遵纪守法颇为羡慕,认为英国至少强于它的一些更易冲动的大陆邻邦。而它的这种平和形象只是部分才有正解:四处蔓延的骚乱先前已然爆发过,它们通常发生在夏季,其中就包括1980年代的那场骚乱,那是本周托特纳姆和其他一些“火药桶”地区最近一次骚乱。然而这次困局与早期的那些冲突不同,从其十足的无知一面来看,它在某种程度上更让人忧虑。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
assumption [ə'sʌmpʃən]

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n. 假定,设想,担任(职责等), 假装

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inspiring [in'spaiəriŋ]

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adj. 令人振奋的,激励人的,鼓舞人心的

 
orderly ['ɔ:dəli]

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adj. 有秩序的,整齐的,一丝不苟的,和平的

 
external [ik'stə:nl]

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adj. 外部的,外面的,外来的,表面的
n.

 
largesse [lɑ:'dʒes]

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n. 慷慨援助,施舍

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resentment [ri'zentmənt]

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n. 怨恨,愤恨

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fatal ['feitl]

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adj. 致命的,毁灭性的,决定性的

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motive ['məutiv]

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adj. 发动的,运动的,积极的,动机的
n.

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confidence ['kɔnfidəns]

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adj. 骗得信任的
n. 信任,信心,把握

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anarchy ['ænəki]

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n. 无政府状态,混乱

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