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Destinycalls upon Russia once more to face the West – or so Russians might believe.

天命再一次召唤俄罗斯直面西方—俄国人大抵是这样认为的。



Americais not alone in projecting itself as an exceptional power and indispensable forcefor good in the world. Russia makes the same claim. That sentiment is builtupon centuries of defeating invaders, as I explore in “Russia: The Story ofWar.” And it plays a key role in how Russia sees itself in its increasinglytense relationship with NATO and the West.

在这个世界上并不是只有美国把自己忖度为特殊的大国以及永远不可或缺的力量。俄罗斯作出了同样的论断。正如我在《俄罗斯:战争的故事》中研究发现的,那种感觉建立在数百年来对侵略者的战胜之上。


 
《俄罗斯:战争的故事》(Russia: The Story of War),哈佛大学出版社出版

The birthof Russian exceptionalism

俄罗斯例外论的诞生

ForRussia, its triumph over Nazi Germany in the Second World War is a pillar ofnational identity. Yet outsiders don’t often realize that Russians’ belief intheir special role in saving civilization from history’s villains actuallypredates the war.

对俄罗斯来说,其在二次世界大战中对纳粹德国的胜利是其民族认同的支柱。然而局外人并不总能意识到,俄国人经由从历史上各种坏人手中挽救文明而生发的对自身特殊角色的信仰,实际上在战前就已存在。

In 1812,Napoleon, a tyrant bent on world domination, invaded Russia only to see hisarmy destroyed. It was a tremendous victory and propelled Russia to lead acoalition of allies to liberate Europe from his grip. That campaign ended in1814 with their occupation of Paris. While Napoleon’s final defeat came atWaterloo in 1815, Russians insisted that they had inflicted the mortal wound.

1812年,一心想要统治全世界的暴君拿破仑入侵了俄国,却只能看着他的军队覆灭。这场惊人的胜利助推俄国引领反法同盟把欧洲从拿破仑的掌控中解放出来。
那张战役结束于1814年,以占领巴黎告终。当于1815年在滑铁卢给了拿破仑最后一击时,俄国人坚持认为他们已使其遭受致命伤。

After theNapoleonic Wars, a volcano of patriotism erupted across Russian society. At itscenter was the widely shared belief that Russia had saved Europe. Moreover, noother country on its own had repelled an invasion by Napoleon or crushed hisarmy, which had once seemed invincible. Commonly disparaged by WesternEuropeans as savages or barbarians, Russians could now turn their reputation onits head. As Denis Davidov, a flamboyant leader of partisans, declared: “Atlast, with head lifted proudly, one can say: ‘I am a Russian.’”

拿破仑战争后,在整个俄国社会中爱国主义如火山喷发。这场大爆发的核心是一种被普遍接受的信念,即是俄罗斯拯救了欧洲。此外,没有其他国家能凭一己之力击退拿破仑的入侵或粉碎他那曾被认为是不可战胜的军队。通常被西欧人诋毁为暴民或野蛮人的俄罗斯人,如今能够在声誉上完成大翻身。如同浮夸的游击队长Denis Davidov宣称的:“最终,一个人可以骄傲地抬着头说:‘我是一个俄罗斯人。’”

(译注:Denis Davidov译自Дени́с Васи́льевич Давы́до,即杰尼斯·瓦西里耶维奇·达维多夫,俄法1812年战争中的游击战代表人物,出身莫斯科的贵族家庭,喜好诗歌创作,在1812年是骠骑兵团的军官,为了保卫祖国,这位诗人换上农民服装,带领130名哥萨克起家袭击大军团的侧翼和补给线,在11月9日(俄历10月28日)的利雅科沃村合围并俘虏法军一个2000人纵队,是当年俄国游击战的代表作。)

Suchpride caused many writers and intellectuals in the 19th century to look deeperinto history for more evidence of this exceptionalism.

这份骄傲引发很多19世纪的作家和知识分子为寻求这种例外主义的证据,而更深入地研究历史。

Roll callof invaders

抵抗入侵者的集结号

Thatsearch led back to the 13th century, when the Mongols invaded Europe. Known as“God’s scourge,” their forces advanced no farther than Eastern Europe, allowingRussians centuries later to claim that they had shed their blood to protect therest of Europe from this dire threat.

那些研究带我们回到13世纪,当时蒙古人正入侵欧洲。他们被称为“上帝之鞭”的军队并不比东欧先进,这就使得几个世纪后的俄国人能够声称是他们洒出的热血保护了其余部分的欧洲免受这种恐怖的威胁。

Intellectualsadvanced subsequent invasions to bolster the argument of exceptionalism. In the16th century, the Crimean Tatars rode north, leaving Moscow in ashes. In the17th, the Poles did the same while also deposing the tsar and murdering thehead of the Russian Church. In the 18th, the Swedes invaded only to be defeatedby Peter the Great.

知识分子们举出后来的入侵以支持例外论的论点。在16世纪,克里米亚鞑靼人骑马北上,留下一个烧成灰烬了的莫斯科。17世纪时波兰人干了同样的事情,同时也废黜了沙皇,杀害了俄罗斯正教会牧首。18世纪,瑞典人侵略而来却被彼得大帝击败。

WithNapoleon’s invasion in the 19th, belief in Russia’s indispensable role wassecure, and it enjoyed solid currency across the political spectrum. FromFyodor Dostoevsky , an arch-conservative, to Lenin’s idol, the radicalrevolutionary Nicholai Chernyshevsky – all awarded their nation pedigree statusfor serving as a shield to defend civilization.

有了拿破仑在19世纪的入侵,这种认为俄罗斯是不可或缺角色的确信至此无疑了,而且这种信念在所有政治派别中都得到了真正的传播。从极端保守的陀思妥耶夫斯基,到列宁的偶像、激进革命派车尔尼雪夫斯基,他们都把作为守护文明之盾的纯种身份授予给了他们的祖国。   

Themilitary, to no surprise, took this idea as an article of faith. At century’send the head of Russia’s equivalent of West Point, General Nikolai Sukhotin,embraced it as “the key to understanding the special nature of Russia’sexperience of war” – something to which, he also added, no other Western nationcould lay claim.

军方不出意外地把这种思想作为信条。19世纪末,俄国可匹敌美国西点的军校校长尼古拉苏霍金将军,坚信这种思想是“理解俄罗斯战争经验特殊性的关键”。他还补充道,这是没有任何其他的西方国家能够宣称的东西。

Hitler’sattack in the next century – the greatest threat Russia has faced – hascemented its myth of exceptionalism. Just as no country has done what Russiahas done to protect others from aggressors, so runs the belief, no othercountry has itself also been such a frequent target of aggression.

在接下来一个世纪中来自希特勒的攻击堪称俄罗斯面对过的最严重威胁,这巩固了她的例外主义神话。就如同没有任何国家做过俄罗斯为保护其他人免受侵略者侵犯而做的事,于是信念由此绵延,也没有任何其他国家如此频繁地成为侵略者的目标。

What warmeans today

今天战争意味着什么

More thananything else, Russia’s experience of war has profoundly shaped its worldviewand self-image. That legacy also feeds a national narrative, one nurtured overcenturies, not just of epic proportion but of epic persuasion that can servemultiple purposes.

甚于任何其他因素,是俄罗斯对战争的体验深深地塑造了她的世界观和自我形象。这项遗产也滋养出一种民族叙事并被养成超过数百年,不仅盛大而且具备强大的说服力以至于能服务于多种目的。

First,and perhaps foremost, it can be invoked whenever Russia is painted as anaggressor. It ensures a presumption of innocence and just cause, no matter theaction taken. It even allows for a defensive gloss to burnish Russia’scampaigns of conquest that, by the end of the 19th century, made it the largestcontiguous empire, encompassing one-sixth of the world’s landmass.

首先而且可能最重要的一点是,每当俄国被刻画为侵略者时,它就会被唤起。无论采取的是什么样的行动,它确保了无罪推定和正当的理由。它甚至能原谅以一种自卫色彩来为俄国一系列的征服战争增添光亮,以至于到了19世纪末,它使得俄国成了最大的拥有连续领土的帝国,收入了世界陆地面积的六分之一。

Defensiveexpansionism, for example, can be invoked to explain Russia’s annexation ofCrimea – both times. The first instance was at the end of the 18th century inorder to eliminate the threat posed by the Crimean Tatars who for centuries hadraided Russia in pursuit of its most lucrative resource: Russians themselvesbound for the slave markets of the Middle East. The second time, of course, wasin 2014 when Russia argued it was protecting Russians on the peninsula from anostensibly hostile Ukrainian government.

举例来说,名为自卫的扩张主义能被拿来解释俄国全部两次对克里米亚的兼并。第一次兼并的例子发生在18世纪末,为了消除克里米亚鞑靼人造成的威胁,他们为了俄国最有利可图的资源:开往中东奴隶市场的俄罗斯人,劫掠俄国打数百年。第二次当然是在2014年,当时俄国辩称他们是在保护半岛上的俄罗斯族人免受表面上与之敌对的乌克兰政府的威胁。

Second,it helps underwrite Russia’s suspicion of others that is often decried asoverly paranoid or pathological. Here, too, one can go back to the Mongols.When they invaded, how did Russia’s western neighbors respond? By attackingRussia as well.

其次,它能帮助坐实俄国对其他国家的怀疑,这些国家常被描述得过分偏执或病态。这里同样也能往回追溯到蒙古人。当他们入侵时,俄国的西边的邻国们是怎么反应的?他们趁机也攻击了俄国。

Alsodriving this suspicion of the West, besides the sheer number of invasions, isthat the invaders have often been coalitions of nations, as if engaged in acollective conspiracy against Russia. Napoleon’s army included, among others,Poles, Italians and Germans, whereas Hungarians, Romanians and others joinedHitler’s ranks. In this reasoning, this is why NATO – especially after itsexpansion right up to Russia’s border – can be seen through the lens of dejavu, as if Europe once more is ganging up on Russia. Not for nothing dostate-sponsored advertisements replay a joke favored by Tsar Alexander III inthe late 19th century – but no longer in jest. He would ask, “How many alliesdoes Russia have?” Two, was the punch line: its Army and its Navy.

除了入侵的绝对数量,入侵者往往是国家联盟这点也推动了对西方的怀疑,这就好似是在发动一场针对俄罗斯的集体阴谋。拿破仑军除了其他部分,包括了波兰人、意大利人和德国人,而匈牙利人、罗马尼亚人和其他人加入了希特勒的序列。以此推理,这也是为什么北约,尤其在它的扩张一路延伸到俄国边界之后,通过似曾相识的镜头能被看穿,就好像欧洲又一次合伙对付俄罗斯。由政府资助的广告重播19世纪晚期沙皇亚历山大三世喜欢的一个笑话不是没有原因的,只是不再好笑了。他会问,“俄罗斯有多少盟友?”两个,便是那妙语:她的陆军和海军。

Third,calling on this legacy plays into the Kremlin’s drive to centralize power. Andin the hyper-patriotic climate it has caused, political opposition can betagged as treason, and foreign entities on Russian soil easily rebranded asforeign agents.

第三,召唤这项遗产推动了克里姆林宫的权利集中。并且在它导致的这种高亢的爱国主义风气中,政治上的反对势力会被贴上叛国的标签,并且俄罗斯领土上的外国单位很容易被更名为外国代理人。

In fact,the legitimacy of the office of president is inseparable from the aura of war.It is no coincidence that inauguration day is May 7, thus pairing it with May9, VE Day, and the massive celebrations marking the end of World War II. To addeffect, the presidential honor guard wears uniforms recalling the Napoleonicage. What else but the backdrop of Russia’s two greatest triumphs to cement theauthority of the state with the sacrifices of the people?

事实上,总统办公室的合法性与战争光环是分不开的。总统就职日定在5月7日并非巧合,如此就能与5月9日(胜利日)以及大规模标志二战结束的庆典活动组成双对。为了增进效果,总统仪仗队穿的制服恢复成了拿破仑时代的。除了用俄国的两次以人民牺牲为代价的最伟大胜利的背景来巩固国家权威还有什么呢?

Here wesee the true function of this civic religion: showcasing a sense ofexceptionalism that unites Russians behind an all-powerful center and unifiestheir turbulent and bloody thousand-year history along a single continuum asthe perpetual victim of foreign aggression. This mythic narrative is high-octanefuel for the engine of Russian nationalism, and today is pumped through allvenues of culture and society. And precisely because of its deep rootsextending back centuries, it enjoys widespread domestic support.

这里我们看到了公民宗教的真正功能:展示一种例外主义观念,它能在全能的中央之后团结俄罗斯人,并作为外国入侵的永久受害者,将他们动荡而血腥的千年历史统一到一个单一连续时间中。这个虚构的叙事便是俄罗斯民族主义引擎的高辛烷值燃料,在今天它被输送到文化和社会的所有场合。正是缘于它深深的根系追溯到几百年前,它在国内得到了广泛支持。   

Nothingbut war teaches Russians better that, while at the center of world-shakingevents, they are on the side of the good and always come out on top. Nothingraises the ideological scaffolding higher than seeking to make Russia greatagain following the breakup of the Soviet Union.

只有战争教会了俄罗斯人更多,当处于震撼世界的事件中心时,他们站在正义一边并且总能在最后赢得胜利。没什么能比接着苏联解体力图使俄罗斯再次伟大更能把意识形态脚手架提得更高的了。

“We are history’s makers,” the popular historian Vladimir Medinskydeclared shortly before becoming minister of culture. And in this telling,Russians certainly are.

受欢迎的历史学家弗拉基米尔梅德尼斯基在变成文化部长之前不久时宣称,“我们是历史的缔造者”。在这个叙述中,俄罗斯人的确是。