辽宁大学博士研究生教材 辽宁大学公共基础学院 Chapter V On Human Nature and Politics Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was a British philosopher and logician. He was one of the outstanding figures of 20th Century British philosophy, especially important for his work in mathematical logic. He published a vast number of books on logic, theory of knowledge, and many other topics. On Human Nature and Politics Undoubtedly the desire for food has been, and still is, one of the main causes of great political events. But man differs from other animals in one very important respect, and that is that he has desires – which are, so to speak（可谓）, infinite, – which can never be fully gratified, and – which would keep him restless even in Paradise. On Human Nature and Politics The boa constrictor (巨蟒), when he has had an adequate meal, goes to sleep, and does not wake until he needs another meal. Human beings, for the most part (绝大部分人), are not like this. When the Arabs, who had been used to living sparingly（节俭） on a few dates, acquired the riches of the Eastern Roman Empire and dwelt in palaces of almost unbelievable luxury, they did not, on that account （为此）, become inactive（现居不动）. On Human Nature and Politics Hunger could no longer be a motive, for Greek slaves supplied them with exquisite viands (精美的食物) at the slightest nod. But other desires kept them active: four in particular, which we can label (可以称之为) acquisitiveness, rivalry, vanity and love of power. Acquisitiveness (占有欲) - the wish to possess as much as possible of goods, or the title to (所有权) goods - is a motive which, I suppose, has its origin in a combination of fear with the desire for necessaries. On Human Nature and Politics I once befriended two little girls from Esthonia, who had narrowly escaped death from starvation in a famine (在 一次饥荒中差点被饿死). They lived in my family, and of course had plenty to eat. But they spent all their leisure visiting neighbouring farms and stealing potatoes, which they hoarded (贮藏). On Human Nature and Politics Rockefeller, who in his infancy had experienced great poverty, spent his adult life in a similar manner. Similarly the Arab chieftains could not forget the desert, and hoarded riches far beyond any possible physical need. No one can deny that it is one of the great motives especially among the more powerful, for, as I said before, it is one of the infinite motives. On Human Nature and Politics However much you may acquire you will always wish to acquire more; satiety is a dream which will always elude you (满足是个你永远实现不了的梦 ). But acquisitiveness is by no means the most powerful of the motives that survive the conquest of hunger (征服饥饿). Rivalry (竞争) is a much stronger motive. On Human Nature and Politics Over and over again in Muhammadan (伊斯兰教史上) history, dynasties have come to grief (遭难) because the sons of a sultan（苏丹） by different mothers could not agree, and in the resulting civil war universal ruin resulted (造成普遍的破坏). The same sort of thing happens in modern Europe. On Human Nature and Politics When the British Government very unwisely allowed the Kaiser（德皇） to be present at a naval review（海军检阅 式）at Spithead, the thought which arose in his mind was not the one which we had intended. What he thought was, “I must have a Navy as good as Grandmamma‘s（我必须拥有一个海军，跟祖母的一样好）.” And from this thought have sprung all our subsequent troubles（就是他的这个想法造成了一系列的麻烦）. On Human Nature and Politics The world would be a happier place than it is if acquisitiveness were always stronger than rivalry. But in fact, a great many men will cheerfully face impoverishment if they can thereby secure complete ruin for their rivals. （许多人只要保证把他们的竞争对手 彻底击败宁肯面对贫穷） On Human Nature and Politics Vanity（虚荣心）is a motive of immense potency（巨大潜 力的动机）. Anyone who has much to do with children knows how they are constantly performing some antic（滑稽动作） and saying "Look at me". "Look at me" is one of the most fundamental desires of the human heart. It can take innumerable forms, from buffoonery （讲粗俗的笑话）to the pursuit of posthumous fame（追求死后的声望）. On Human Nature and Politics There was a Renaissance Italian princeling（文艺复兴 时期的意大利王公） who was asked by the priest on his deathbed（临终前）if he had anything to repent of（忏 悔）. “Yes, ” he said. “There is one thing. On one occasion I had a visit from the Emperor and the Pope（教皇） simultaneously. I took them to the top of my tower to see the view, and I neglected the opportunity to throw them both down, which would have given me immortal fame（获 得不朽的声望）." On Human Nature and Politics History does not relate whether the priest gave him absolution（免罪）. One of the troubles about vanity is that it grows with what it feeds on（随着鼓励的增加而增 加）. The more you are talked about, the more you will wish to be talked about. The condemned murderer（判了刑的杀人犯）who is allowed to see the account of his trial（审判他的报导） in the Press is indignant（气愤）if he finds a newspaper which has reported it inadequately（没作充 足的报导）. On Human Nature and Politics And the more he finds about himself in other newspapers, the more indignant he will be with those whose reports are meagre（报导少的）. Politicians and literary men are in the same case. And the more famous they become, the more difficult the presscutting agency（剪报机构） finds it to satisfy them. On Human Nature and Politics It is scarcely possible to exaggerate the influence of vanity throughout the range of human life . (在人类生活的各个阶段,怎样夸大虚荣心的影响都不过分) Mankind have even committed the impiety of attributing similar desires to the deity, whom they imagine avid for continual praise. (人类犯了个大不敬的错误，认为神灵有同样的欲望， 想象神灵也渴望得到不断的歌颂。) On Human Nature and Politics But great as is the influence of the motives we have been considering, there is one which outweighs them all. Power, like vanity, is insatiable (无法得到满足). Nothing short of omnipotence could satisfy it completely (只有无限权力才能使它满足). On Human Nature and Politics It is, indeed, by far the strongest motive in the lives of important men. Love of power is greatly increased by the experience of power, and this applies to petty power as well as to that of potentates（至尊的当权者）. In the happy days before 1914, when well-to-do ladies could acquire a host of servants, On Human Nature and Politics their pleasure in exercising power over the domestics steadily increased with age（行使权力的快 乐与年龄俱增）. Since power over human beings is shown in making them do what they would rather not do, the man who is actuated by love of power is more apt to inflict pain than to permit pleasure. （往往易于给人造成痛苦而不让人快乐） On Human Nature and Politics If you ask your boss for leave of absence from the office on some legitimate occasion （正当理由）, his love of power will derive more satisfaction from refusal than from consent. If you require a building permit, the petty official （小负责人）concerned will obviously get more pleasure from saying "No" than from saying "Yes" . It is this sort of thing which makes the love of power such a dangerous motive. On Human Nature and Politics It would be a complete mistake to decry （贬 低） love of power altogether as a motive. Whether you will be led by this motive to actions which are useful, or to actions which are pernicious （有害的）, depends upon the social system, and upon your capacities. （这个动机是引导你去做有益的事 情还是去做有害的事情，取决于社会制度， 取决于你的能力。） On Human Nature and Politics I come now to other motives which, though in a sense less fundamental than those we have been considering, are still of considerable importance. The first of these is love of excitement（寻求刺激）. Human beings show their superiority to the brutes （优于牲畜）by their capacity for boredom, On Human Nature and Politics though I have sometimes thought, in examining the apes at the Zoo, that they, perhaps, have the rudiments of this tiresome emotion （厌倦情感的萌芽）. However that may be, experience shows that escape from boredom（摆脱厌倦）is one of the really powerful desires（强烈愿望） of almost all human beings. On Human Nature and Politics When white men first effect contact with some unspoilt race of savages （野蛮民族）, they offer them all kinds of benefits, from the light of the Gospel（基督教福音）to pumpkin pie. These, however, much as we may regret it（冷冷地接受）, most savages receive with indifference. What they really value among the gifts that we bring to them is intoxicating liquor （令人陶醉的酒）, which enables them, for the first time in their lives, to have the illusion, for a few brief moments, that it is better to be alive than dead. On Human Nature and Politics Red Indians, while they were still unaffected by white men, would smoke their pipes, not calmly as we do, but orgiastically, inhaling so deeply that they sank into a faint（发狂地猛吸直至陷入昏厥）. And when excitement by means of nicotine failed, a patriotic orator（爱国演说者）would stir them up （煽 动）to attack a neighbouring tribe, which would give them all the enjoyment that we derive from（从…获得）a horse race or a General Election. On Human Nature and Politics It is not altogether easy to decide what is the root cause of the love of excitement. I incline to（倾向于）think that our mental make-up（心 理构成）is adapted to the stage when men lived by hunting. – When a man spent a long day with very primitive weapons in stalking a deer（跟踪一头鹿）with the hope of dinner – and when, at the end of the day, he dragged the carcase triumphantly（胜利）to his cave, he sank down in contented weariness, while his wife dressed and cooked the meat. On Human Nature and Politics He was sleepy, and his bones ached, and the smell of cooking filled every nook and cranny of his consciousness（意识中的每个角落）. At last after eating, he sank into deep sleep. In such a life there was neither time nor energy for boredom. But when he took to（从事）agriculture, and made his wife do all the heavy work in the fields, he had time to reflect upon the vanity of human life, to invent mythologies and systems of philosophy, and to dream of the life hereafter. On Human Nature and Politics Our mental make-up is suited to a life of very severe physical labour（非常重的体力劳动）. I used, when I was younger, to take my holidays walking. I would cover 25 miles a day, and when the evening came I had no need of anything to keep me from boredom, since the delight of sitting amply sufficed（足够）. But modern life cannot be conducted on these physically strenuous principles（消耗体力的原则）. A great deal of work is sedentary（坐着）and most manual work exercises only a few specialized muscles. On Human Nature and Politics When London crowds assemble in Trafalgar Square to cheer to the echo an announcement that the government has decided to have them killed（欢呼政府决定让他们去送死 的声明）, they would not do so if they had walked 25 miles that day. This cure for bellicosity（用步行医治好战问题）is, however, impracticable, and if the human race is to survive other means must be found for securing an innocent outlet（无危害的途径）for the unused physical energy （发泄多余的体力）that produces love of excitement. On Human Nature and Politics This is a matter which has been too little considered, both by moralists (道德家)and by social reformers. The social reformers are of the opinion (认为)that they have more serious things to consider. The moralists, on the other hand, are immensely impressed with (产生极大兴趣)the seriousness of all the permitted outlets of the love of excitement; the seriousness, however, in their minds is that of Sin. On Human Nature and Politics I find myself unable to be in entire agreement with the grave men （严肃的人）who utter these warnings. The devil has many forms, some designed to （企图） deceive the young, some designed to deceive the old and serious. If it is the devil that tempts（引诱）the young to enjoy themselves, is it not the same personage that persuades the old to condemn（谴责） their enjoyment? On Human Nature and Politics What is serious about excitement is that so many of its forms are destructive. – It is destructive in those who cannot resist excess in alcohol or gambling（不能自控饮酒、赌博的人）. – It is destructive when it takes the form of mob violence（聚众斗殴）. – And above all it is destructive when it leads to war. On Human Nature and Politics It is so deep a need that it will find harmful outlets（有 害的发泄途径）of this kind unless innocent outlets （无危 害的 ）are at hand（现成的）. There are such innocent outlets at present in sport, and in politics so long as it is kept in constitutional bounds（只要在宪法规定范围之内） . But these are not sufficient, especially as the kind of politics that is most exciting is also the kind that does most harm. （最能产生刺激的那种政治，它也最能产生危害。） On Human Nature and Politics Civilized life has grown altogether too tame（沉闷）, and, if it is to be stable（稳定）, it must provide harmless outlets for the impulses（冲动）which our remote ancestors（远祖）satisfied in hunting. In Australia, where people are few and rabbits are many, I watched a whole populace(一群老百姓)satisfying the primitive impulse （冲动）in the primitive manner by the skilful slaughter（屠杀）of many thousands of rabbits. But in London or New York, where people are many and rabbits are few, On Human Nature and Politics some other means must be found to gratify primitive impulse. I think every big town should contain artificial waterfalls(人造瀑布) that people could descend in very fragile canoes(独木舟), and they should contain bathing pools full of mechanical sharks(机械鲨鱼). Any persons found advocating a preventive war (鼓吹打 一场防御战)should be condemned to two hours a day with these ingenious monsters(巧妙的怪物). Notes 1. Esthonia — a constituent republic of the Soviet Union. 2. Rockefeller—John D．Rockefeller(1839-1937)，American industrialist who was foremost among the men who created the modern petroleum industry in the U.S. 3. The Kaiser—German title，equivalent to emperor， derived from the Roman title ‘‘Caesar” and first associated with the Germans from 962 when their kings became Holy Roman emperors. 4. Spithead—a port in Southern England，it is the eastern part of the channel between Hampshire，on the mainland，and the Isle of Wight．It has been an anchorage for the Royal Navy for centuries. Notes 5. Valhalla—from Germanic mythology，the home of the gods, used in a commendatory sense as roughly the equivalent of heaven. 6. Trafalgar Square—a square in London，named in memory of a naval battle fought off Cape Trafalgar between the British fleet under Nelson and the combined French and Spanish fleets under Villenenve and Gravina．The British won an overwhelming victory.