凯恩斯1937年演讲稿:人口减少的经济后果——药方是更公平的分配

一瓣 2021-05-04 22:24
翻译:许博渊
校对:陈达飞

前言:


也许是因为“货币三论”众所周知,凯恩斯的“人口论”就被埋没了。凯恩斯年轻时非常仰慕同为剑桥大学出身的马尔萨斯。早在1914年,就在剑桥大学开设了一门叫做“人口”的课程,讲义草稿并未被收录在凯恩斯文集中,一直躺在剑桥大学档案室,直到20世纪末才被发现。


本文是凯恩斯在1936年出版《通论》之后,发表于1937年的一个演讲稿,原题为“人口减少的经济后果”,其背景是,世界正深陷“大萧条”之后的“长期停滞”状态,英国正深受人口红利消退之困扰。凯恩斯认为,人类尚未摆脱“马尔萨斯陷阱”的魔咒,关键要看如何处理,其给出的药方是:更公平的分配。“在人口稳定的情况下,要想维持国内繁荣和和平,就必须完全依赖更平等的收入分配以增加消费,迫使利率下降。对于当下和未来的中国而言,意义不言而喻。






The future never resembles the past——as we well know. But, generally speaking, our imagination and our knowledge are too weak to tell us particular changes to expect. We do not know what the future holds. Nevertheless, as living and moving beings, weare forced to act. Peace and comfort of mind require that we should hide from ourselves how little we foresee. Yet we must be guided by some hypothesis. We tend, therefore, to substitute for the knowledge which is unattainable certain conventions, the chief of which is to assume, contrary to all likelihood, that the future will resemble the past. This is how we act in practice. Though it was, I think, an ingredient in the complacency of the nineteenth century that,in their philosophical reflections on human behavior, they accepted an extraordinary contraption the Benthamite School, by which all possible consequences of alternative courses of action were supposed to have attached to them, first a number expressing their comparative advantage, and secondly another number expressing the probability of their following from the course of actionin question; so that multiplying together the numbers attached to all thepossible consequences of a given action and adding the results, we coulddiscover what to do. In this way a mythical system of probable knowledge was employed to reduce the future to the same calculable status as the present. Noone has ever acted on this theory. But even to-day I believe that our thought is sometimes influenced by some such pseudo-rationalistic notions.
 
众所周知,未来从未与历史相似。但是,总的来说,我们的想象和知识太过浅薄以至于不能预见特定的变化,我们不知道未来会如何。然而,作为“鲜活的”人,我们不得不有所行动。内心的平和与舒适要求我们应该隐藏自己预见的是如此之少。但是,我们必须受一些假说的指导,因此我们倾向于用某些惯例来代替无法获得的知识,与所有的可能性相反,其中最主要的是假设未来与过去相似,这是我们在现实中的行为。我认为,尽管这是十九世纪的自满情绪的一个构成要素,但是在当时的人对人类行为的哲学思考中,他们接受了一种非同寻常的理论——边沁学派,据此,替代性行动方案的所有可能后果都应被表示为两个数字,第一个数字表示他们的比较优势,另一个数字表示它们采取有关行动方案的概率;因此,将一个特定行动的所有可能后果所附有的数字相乘,并将结果相加,我们就可以知道该做什么。通过这种方式,一个神话般的或然知识系统被用于把未来降低到与当下同等的可计算的状态。从未有人按照这一理论行事。但即使到了今天,我们的思想有时仍会受到一些伪理性主义观念的影响。
 
Now I emphasize tonight the importance of this convention by which we assume the future to be much more like the past than is reasonable——a convention of behaviour which none of us could possibly do without——because, as I think, it continues to influence our minds even in those cases where we do have good reason to expect a definite change. And, perhaps, the most outstanding example of a case where we in fact have a considerable power of seeing into the future is the prospective trend of population. We know much more securely than we know almost any other social or economic factor relating to the future that, in the place of the steady and indeed steeply rising level of population which we have experienced for a great number of decades, we shall be faced in a very short time with a stationary or adeclining level. The rate of decline is doubtful, but it is virtually certainthat the change-over, compared with what we have been used to, will be substantial. We have this unusual degree of knowledge concerning the future because of the long but definite time-lag in the effects of vital statistics. Nevertheless theidea of the future being different from the present is so repugnant to our conventional modes of thought and behavior that we, most of us, offer a great resistance to acting on it in practice. There are, indeed consequences already predictable as a result population being changed into a decline. But my object this evening is to deal, in particular, with one outstanding economic consequence of this impending change; if that is to say, I can, for a moment,persuade you sufficiently to depart from the established conventions of yourmind as to accept the idea that the future will differ from the past.
 
今晚我要强调这种惯例的重要性,这是一种我们任何人都不可能不接受的行为惯例,依照这个惯例,我们想当然地假定历史会重演。因为我认为,即使在那些我们确实有充足的理由期待明确变化的情况下,这种假定仍会影响我们的思想。也许,最突出的例子是人口的未来趋势,在这个案例中,我们实际上有相当大的能力预见未来。与其他任何有关于未来社会或经济的因素相比,我们更有把握的是,人口水平在经历了几十年的稳定和急剧上升之后,将在短期内面临一个静止或下降的趋势。虽然下降的速度有待商榷,但几乎可以肯定的是,与我们已经习惯的情况相比,这种转变将是巨大的。我们对未来有这种不寻常的了解,是因为人口统计的结果存在长期且明确的时滞。然而,“未来不同于现在”这一想法与我们传统的思想和行为模式是如此的相悖,以至于我们大多数人都强烈反对在实践中按照它行事。事实上,由于人口减少而导致的后果已经可以预见,我今晚的目的是处理这种即将到来的变化的一个显著的经济后果;这就是说,我要暂时说服你们离开头脑中的既定惯例,接受“未来不同于过去”的观点。

 


An increasing population has a very important influence on the demand for capital. Not onlydoes the demand for capital——apart from technical changes and an improved standard of life——increase more or less in proportion to population. But, business expectations being based much more on present than on prospective demand, an era of increasing population tends to promote optimism, since demand will ingeneral tend to exceed, rather than fall short of what was hoped for. Moreover a mistake, resulting in a particular type of capital being in temporary over-supply, is in such conditions rapidly corrected. But in an era of declining population the opposite is true. Demand tends to be below what was expected, and a state of over-supply is less easily corrected. Thus a pessimistic atmosphere may ensue; and, although at long last pessimism may tendto correct itself through its effect on supply, the first result to prosperity of a change-over from an increasing to a declining population may be very disastrous.
 
人口增加对资本需求有非常重要的影响。除了技术变革和生活水平的提高外,资本的需求或多或少地与人口成比例增长。但是,商业预期更多的是基于当前的需求而不是未来的需求,人口增长的时代往往会滋生乐观主义,因为需求通常会超过而不是低于预期。此外,在这种情况下,导致某类资本暂时供过于求的错误会迅速得到纠正。但在一个人口减少的时代,情况恰恰相反。需求往往低于预期,而供过于求的状态则不太容易纠正。因此,悲观的气氛可能随之而来;并且,尽管悲观主义最终可能通过影响供给而自我纠正,但从人口增加到人口减少的转变给繁荣带来的首要后果可能是灾难性的。
 
In assessing thecauses of the enormous increase in capital during the nineteenth century and since, too little importance, I think, has been given to the influence of an increasing population as distinct from other influences. The demand for capital depends, of course, on three factors; on population, on the standard of life,and on capital technique. By capital technique I mean the relative importanceof long processes as an efficient method of procuring what is currently consumed, the factor I have in mind being conveniently described as the period of production, which is, roughly speaking, a weighted average of the interval which elapses between the work done and the consumption of the product. Inother words the demand for capital depends on the number of consumers, the average level of consumption, and the average period of production.
 
我认为,在评估19世纪以来资本大量增加的原因时,不同于其他影响因素,人口增长的影响没有得到足够的重视。当然,对资本的需求取决于三个因素:人口、生活水平和资本技术。我所说的资本技术是指长期内作为采购当前消费品的有效方法的相对重要性,我所考虑的因素可以方便地描述为生产周期,粗略地说,它是所做工作和产品消费之间的时间间隔的加权平均。换言之,对资本的需求取决于消费者人数、平均消费水平和平均生产周期。
 
Now it isnecessarily the case that an increase in population increases proportionately the demand for capital; and the progress of invention may be relied on to raise the standard of life. But the effect of invention on the period of production depends on the type of invention which is characteristic of the age. It may have been true of the nineteenth century that improvements in transport,standards of housing and public services were of such a character that they didtend somewhat to increase the period of consumption. It is well known that highly durable objects were characteristic of the Victorian civilization. But it is not equally clear that the same thing is true today. Many modern inventions are directed towards finding ways of reducing the amount a given result; and partlyas the result of our experience as to the rapidity of change in tastes and technique,our preference is decidedly directed towards those types of capital goods whichare not too durable. I do not believe, therefore, that we can rely on current changes of technique being of the kind which tend of themselves to increase materially the average period of production. It may even be the case that, apart from the effect of possible changes in the rate of interest, the average period may be tending to diminish. Moreover an improving average level of consumption may conceivably have, in itself, the effect of diminishing the average period of production. For as we get richer, our consumption tends to be directed towards those articles of consumption, particularly the services ofother people, which have a relatively short average period of production.
 
现在,人口的增加必然会按比例增加对资本的需求;还可以通过技术进步来提高生活水平。但是,发明对生产周期的影响,取决于该时代特有的发明类型。十九世纪的情况可能是这样的:交通、住房标准和公共服务的改进在一定程度上具有延长消费期的特点。众所周知,高度耐用的物品是维多利亚时代文明的特征。但是,同样的事情在今天是否属实,并不十分清楚。许多现代发明都是为了找到减少某一特定结果的方法;还有一部分是出于我们的喜好和技术快速变化的经验,我们对那些资本节约型商品的偏好是明确的。因此,我认为,不能依赖目前的技术变化,这种变化本身就会大大增加平均生产周期。甚至可能的情况是,除了利率的可能变化的影响之外,平均周期可能趋于缩减。此外,可以想象,平均消费水平的提高,本身就有减少平均生产周期的作用。因为随着我们越来越富有,我们的消费倾向于转向那些平均生产周期较短的消费物品,特别是平均生命周期相对较短的其他人的服务
 
Now, if the number of consumers is falling off and we cannot rely on any significant technical lengthening of the period of production, the demand for a net increase of capital goods is thrown back into being wholly dependent on an improvement inthe average level of consumption or on a fall in the rate of interest. I will attempt to give a few very rough figures to illustrate the order of magnitude of the different factors involves.
 
现在,如果消费者的数量正在减少,而且不能指望生产周期有任何重大技术性延长,那么对资本品净增长的需求就会完全取决于平均消费水平的提高或利率的下降。我将尝试给出几个非常粗略的数字,以说明所涉及的不同因素的大小顺序。
 
Let us consider the period of just over fifty years from 1860 to 1913. I find no evidence ofany important change in the length of the technical period of production. Statistics of quantity of real capital present special difficulties. But those which we have do not suggest that there have been large changes in the amount of capital employed to produce a unit of output. Two of the most highly capitalized services, those of housing and of agriculture, are old-established. Agriculture hasdiminished in relative importance. Only if people were to spend a decidedly increased proportion of their incomes on housing, as to which there is indeed acertain amount of evidence for the post-war period, should I expect asignificant lengthening of the technical period of production. For the fifty years before the war, during which the long-period average of the rate ofinterest was fairly constant, I feel some confidence that the period was notlengthened by much more than 10 per cent., if as much.
 
回顾从1860年到1913年的50多年间。我没有发现生产技术周期长度有任何重要变化的证据。对实际资本数量的统计存在困难,但是,我们所掌握的这些数据并没有表明,生产一个单位的产出所使用的资本数量有很大的变化。住房和农业这两种资本化程度最高的服务,都是历史悠久的。农业的相对重要性已经下降。只有当人们用于住房上的收入比例明显增加时(战后确实有一定的证据),我才会预测生产的技术周期会明显延长。在战前的50年里,利率的长期平均数相当稳定,如果是这样,我有信心,这一时期内利率的增长不会超过10%
 
Now during the same period the British population increased by about 50 per cent. And the population which British industry and investment was serving by a much higherfigure. And I suppose that the standard of life must have risen by somewhere about 60 per cent. Thus the increased demand for capital was primarily attributableto the increasing population and to the rising standard of life, and only in a minordegree to technical changes of a kind which called for an increasingcapitalization per unit of consumption. To sum up, the population figures,which are reliable, indicate that about half the increase in capital was requiredto serve the increasing population. Perhaps the figures were about as follows,though I would emphasize that these conclusions are very rough and to beregarded only as broad pointers to what was going on:
 
现在,在同一时期,英国人口增加了约50%。而英国工业和投资所服务的人口则增加了更多。我想,生活水平肯定提高了约60%。因此,对资本需求的增加主要归因于人口的增加和生活水平的提高,而只是在很小的程度上归因于需要增加每单位消费的资本化的那种技术变革。总而言之,可靠的人口数据表明,大约一半的资本增长是为了满足不断增长的人口。数字大约如下,但我要强调,这些结论是非常粗略的估计,只能被看作是对正在发生的事情的大致指引。

 
It follows that astationary population with the same improvement in the standard of life and thesame lengthening of the period of production would have required an increase inthe stock of capital of only a little more than half of the increase whichactually occurred. Moreover, whilst nearly half of the home investment wasrequired by the increase in population, probably a substantially higherproportion of the foreign investment of that period was attributable to thiscause.
 
因此,在生活水平得到同样提高、生产周期得到同样延长的情况下,一个稳定的人口数量需要的资本存量的增长只比实际增长的一半多一点。此外,当近一半的国内投资是由人口增长所要求的时候,这一时期的外国投资中可能有相当大的比例也是由于这一原因。
 
On the other handit is possible that the increase in average incomes, the decline in the size offamilies, and a number of other institutional and social influences may haveraised the proportion of the national income which tends to be saved in conditionsof full employment. I do not feel confident about this, since there are otherfactors, notably the taxation of the very rich, which tend in the opposite direction.But I think we can safely say——and this is sufficient for my argument——that theproportion of the national income which would be saved to-day in conditions offull employment lies somewhere between 8 per cent and 15 per cent of the incomeof each year. What annual percentage increase in the stock of capital wouldthis rate of saving involve? To answer this we have to estimate how many yearsof our national income the existing stock of capital represents. This is not afigure which we know accurately, but it is possible to indicate an order ofmagnitude. You will probably find when I tell you the answer that it differs agood deal from what you expect. The existing national stock of capital is equalto about four time a year’s national income. That is to say, if our annualincome is in the neighbourhood of f4000 millions, our stock of capital is perhapsf15000 millions. (I am not here including foreign investment, which would raisethe figure to, say, four and a half times.) It follows that new investment at arate of somewhere between 8 per cent and 15 per cent of a year’s income means acumulative increment in the stock of capital of somewhere between 2 per centand 4 per cent per annum.
 
另一方面,平均收入的增加、家庭规模的缩小以及其他一些制度和社会的影响,可能提高了在充分就业条件下倾向于储蓄的国民收入的比例。我对这一点没有信心,因为还有其他因素,特别是对富人的征税,这些因素倾向于相反的方向。但我认为,我们可以有把握地说——这对我的论点来说已经足够了——在充分就业的条件下,当前储蓄占国民收入的比例大约在每年收入的8%15%之间。这个储蓄率会使资本存量每年增加百分之多少?为了回答这个问题,我们必须估计现有的资本存量代表多少年的国民收入。这是一个不太可能准确知道的数字,但有可能指出一个数量级。当我说出答案时,你可能会发现它与你所期望的有很大差别。现有的国家资本存量大约相当于年国民收入的四倍。也就是说,如果我们的年收入在400亿英镑左右,我们的资本存量可能是150亿英镑。(我在这里不包括外国投资,它将使这个数字上升到4.5倍)因此,以每年收入的8%15%的速度进行的新投资,意味着资本存量的累计每年增长在2%4%之间。
 
Let merecapitulate the argument. Please take note that I have been making so far twotacit assumptions——namely that there is no drastic change in the distributionof wealth or in any other factor affecting the proportion of income that issaved; and further, that there is no large change in the rate of interest sufficientto modify substantially the length of the average period of production. To theremoval of these two assumptions we shall return later. On these assumptions,however, with our existing organization and in conditions of prosperity and fullemployment, we shall have to discover a demand for net additions to our stockof capital amounting to somewhere between 2 per cent and 4 per cent annually.And this will have to continue year after year indefinitely. Let us in what followstake the lower estimate——namely 2 per cent——since if this is too low the argument will be a fortiori.
 
概括而言,请注意,到目前为止,我一直在做两个默认的假设——即财富分配或任何其他影响储蓄收入比例的因素没有发生急剧变化;此外,利率没有发生足以改变平均生产周期长度的变化。关于这两个假设的消除,我们将在后面讨论。然而,根据这些假设,以我们现有的组织,在繁荣和充分就业的条件下,我们将发现对我们的资本存量的净增长的需求,每年达到2%4%之间。而且这种情况必将年复一年地持续下去。我们将在下文中采用较低的估计值,即2%,因为如果这个估值过于低,论点将无从谈起。
 
Hitherto thedemand for new capital has come from two sources, each of about equal strength:a little more than half of it to meet the demands of inventions andimprovements which increase output per head and permit a higher standard oflife.
 
迄今为止,对新资本的需求来自两个方面,每个方面的力量都差不多:其中一半以上是为了满足发明和改进的需求,这些发明和改进增加了人均产出,并提供了更高的生活水平。
 
Now pastexperience shows that a great cumulative increment than 1 per cent per annum inthe standard of life has seldom proved practicable. Even if the fertility ofinvention would permit more, we cannot easily adjust ourselves to a greaterrate of change than this involves. There may have been one or two decades inthis country during the past hundred years when improvement has proceeded atthe rate of 1 per cent per annum. But generally speaking the rate ofimprovement seems to have been somewhat less than I per cent per annumcumulative.
 
现在,过去的经验表明,生活水平每年超过1%的累积增长,很少被证明是可行的。即使创新集聚可以实现更高增长,我们也不能轻易地调整自己,以适应比这更大的变化率。在过去的一百年里,这个国家可能有一二十年的时间以每年1%的速度增长。但一般来说,年化累积增速似乎略低于1%
 
I am heredistinguishing, you will see, between those inventions which enable a unit ofcapital to yield a unit of product with the aid of less labour than before, andthose which lead to a change in the amount of capital employed more than inproportion to the resulting output. I am assuming that the former class ofimprovements will proceed in the future as in the recent past, and am ready totake as my assumption that they will proceed in the near future up to the beststandard we have ever experienced in any previous decade; and I calculate thatinventions falling under this head are not likely to absorb much more than halfof our savings, assuming conditions of full employment and a stationarypopulation. But in the second category some inventions cut some way and somethe other, and it is not clear——assuming a constant rate of interest——that thenet result of invention changes demand for capital per unit of output one wayor the other.
 
你会看到,我在这里区分了两种发明,一种是使单位资本使用比以前更少的劳动生产单位产品的发明,另一种是导致所使用的资本量的变化超过产出比例的发明。我假设前一类改进在未来会像在过去一样进行,并准备接受我的假设,即在不久的将来它们将达到我们在过去任何十年中所经历的最佳标准;我计算过,假设在充分就业和人口稳定的条件下,属于这一类的发明不可能吸收一半以上的储蓄。但是,在第二类发明中,有些发明会在某些或其他方面产生影响,而且目前尚不清楚的是,假设利率不变,发明的净结果是否会在某一方面改变单位产出的资本需求。
 
It follows, thereforethat to ensure equilibrium conditions of prosperity over a period of years itwill be essential, either that wealter our institutions and the distribution of wealth in a way which causes asmaller proportion of income to be saved, or that we reduce the rate ofinterest sufficiently to make profitable very large changes in technique or inthe direction of consumption which involve a much larger use of capital inproportion to output. Or, of course, as would be wisest, we could pursue bothpolicies to a certain extent.
 
因此,为了确保多年来繁荣的平衡条件,我们必须改变我们的制度和财富分配方式使收入中的一小部分被储蓄起来,或者我们充分降低利率,使技术或消费方向发生有利可图的巨大变化,从而使资本的利用与产出成比例地增加。当然,最明智的做法是,我们可以在一定程度上同时采取这两种政策。

 
 

What relation dothese views bear to the older Malthusian theory that more capital resources perhead (chiefly envisaged by the older writers in the shape of Land) must be ofimmense benefit to the standard of life, and that the growth of population wasdisastrous to human standards by retarding this increase? It may seem at firstsight that I am contesting this old theory and am arguing, on the contrary,that a phase of declining population will make it immensely more difficult thanbefore to maintain prosperity.
 
这些观点与更早的马尔萨斯理论有什么关系呢?马尔萨斯人口论认为,更多的人均资本资源(主要是老一辈作者以土地的形式设想的)必定会给生活水平带来巨大的好处,而人口的增长会通过阻碍这种好处对人类的生活标准产生灾难性影响。与之相反,乍一看,我似乎是在质疑这一旧理论并认为在人口下降的阶段维持繁荣比以前困难得多。
 
In a sense this isa true interpretation of what I am saying. But if there are any old Malthusianshere present let them not suppose that I am rejecting their essential argument.Unquestionably a stationary population does facilitate a rising standard of life;but on one condition only——namely that the increase in resources or in consumption, as the casemay be, which the stationariness of population makes possible, does actuallytake place. For we have now learned that we have another devil at our elbow atleast as fierce as the Malthusian——namely the devil of unemployment escapingthrough the breakdown of effective demand. Perhaps we could call this devil tooa Malthusian devil, since it was Malthus himself who first told us about him.For just as the young Malthus was disturbed by the facts of population as hesaw them round him and sought to rationalize that problem, so the older Malthuswas no less disturbed by the facts of unemployment as he saw them round him andsought far less successfully so far as his influence on the rest of the worldwas concerned-to rationalize that problem too. Now when Malthusian devil P. ischained up, Malthusian devil U. is liable to break loose. When devil P. ofPopulation is chained up, we are free of one menace; but we are more exposed tothe other devil U. of Unemployed Resources than we were before.
 
从某种意义上说,这是对我所讲内容的真实解释。但是,如果在座的有任何马尔萨斯主义者,请你们不要以为我在反对他们的基本论点。毫无疑问,稳定的人口数量确实有助于提高生活水平;但这需要一个条件,即资源或消费不断增加才行。因为我们现在已经知道,当前还有一个至少和马尔萨斯所说的一样可怕的恶魔,即从有效需求的崩溃中逃脱的失业恶魔。也许我们也可以把这个恶魔称为马尔萨斯恶魔,因为它是马尔萨斯本人首先告诉我们的。正如年轻的马尔萨斯被他周围的人口事实所困扰,并试图使这个问题合理化一样,年长的马尔萨斯也同样被他周围的失业事实所困扰,并试图使这个问题合理化,但就他对世界其他地区的影响而言,却不那么成功。现在,当马尔萨斯的恶魔P(人口)被锁起来的时候,马尔萨斯的恶魔U(失业)就有可能被释放。当人口这个恶魔被锁住时,我们摆脱了一个威胁;但我们比以前更容易受到另一个失业资源的恶魔U的影响。
 
With a stationarypopulation we shall, I argue, be absolutely dependent for the maintenance ofprosperity and civil peace on policies of increasing consumption by a moreequal distribution of incomes and of forcing down the rate of interest so as tomake profitable a substantial change in the length of the period of production.If we do not, of set and determined purpose, pursue these policies, thenwithout question we shall be cheated of the benefits which we stand to gain bythe chaining up of one devil, and shall suffer from the perhaps more intolerabledepredations of the other.
 
我认为,在人口稳定的情况下,要想维持国内繁荣和和平,就必须完全依赖更平等的收入分配来增加消费的政策以及迫使利率下降,从而使生产周期的大幅度改变是有益的。如果我们不能坚定不移地奉行这些政策,那么毫无疑问,我们将被骗走我们因一个恶魔的束缚而获得的利益,并将遭受另一个恶魔更难以忍受的蹂躏。
 
Yet there will bemany social and political forces to oppose the necessary change. It is probablethat we cannot make the changes wisely unless we make them gradually. We mustforesee what is before us and move to meet it half-way. If capitalist societyrejects a more equal distribution of incomes and the forces of banking andfinance succeed in maintaining the rate of interest somewhere near the figurewhich ruled on the average during the nineteenth century (which was, by theway, a little lower than the rate of interest which rules to-day), then achronic tendency towards the under-employment of resources must in the end sapand destroy that form of society. But if, on the other hand, persuaded andguided by the spirit of the age and such enlightenment as there is, itpermits——as I believe it may——a gradual evolution in our attitude towardsaccumulation, so that it shall be appropriate to the circumstances of astationary or declining population, we shall be able, perhaps, to get the bestof both worlds——to maintain the liberties and independence of our presentsystem, whilst its more signal faults gradually suffer euthanasia as thediminishing importance of capital accumulation and the rewards attaching to itfall into their proper position in the social scheme.
 
然而,会有许多社会和政治力量来反对必要的变革。除非我们循序渐进,否则很可能无法明智地做出改变。我们必须预见到摆在我们面前的东西,并采取行动来面对它。如果资本主义社会拒绝更平等的收入分配,拒绝通过银行和金融的力量将利率维持在接近19世纪的平均水平(顺便说一下,这比今天的利率略低),那么,长期以来资源利用不足的趋势最终一定会削弱和摧毁这种社会形式。但另一方面,如果在时代精神和现有的启蒙运动的说服和指导下,它允许我们逐渐改变对积累的态度(我认为它可能),使它适合于人口静止或下降的情况,我们也许将能够得到两全其美的结果,即保持我们目前体制的自由和独立,而随着资本积累的重要性日益降低以及与之对应的回报在社会计划中处于适当的位置,其更明显的缺点将逐渐被消灭。
 
A too rapidlydeclining population would obviously involve many severe problems, and thereare strong reasons lying outside the scope of this evening’s discussion why inthat event, or in the threat of that event, measures ought to be taken toprevent it. But a stationary or slowly declining population may, if we exercisethe necessary strength and wisdom, enable us to raise the standard of life towhat it should be, whilst retaining those parts of our traditional scheme of lifewhich we value the more now that we see what happens to those who lose them.
 
人口过快下降显然会带来许多严重的问题,并且在今晚的讨论范围之外,有充分的理由说明为什么在这种情况下,或者在这种情况的威胁下,应该采取措施来防止这种情况。但是,如果我们运用必要的力量和智慧,稳定或缓慢下降的人口可能使我们能够将生活水平提高到应有的水平,同时保留我们传统生活计划中我们更加重视的那些部分,因为我们现在看到了那些失去这些部分的人的下场。
 
In the final summingup, therefore, I do not depart from the old Malthusian conclusion. I only wishto warn you that the chaining up of the one devil may, if we are careless, onlyserve to loose another still fiercer and more intractable.
 
总而言之,我们并没有逃离“马尔萨斯陷阱”。我只想警告你们,如果我们不小心,锁住一个恶魔可能会释放另一个恶魔,而且,这是一个更令人恐惧和更不可驾驭的恶魔。

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一瓣公益



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