李世默TED演讲稿(中英文)

李世默TED演讲稿(中英文)

李世默TED:

中国崛起与“元叙事”的终结

Good morning. My name is Eric Li, and I was born here. But no, I wasn’t born there. This was where I was born: Shanghai, at the height of the Cultural Revolution. My grandmother tells me that she heard the sound of gunfire along with my first cries. When I was growing up, I was told a story that explained all I ever needed to know that humanity. It went like this. All human societies develop in linear progression, beginning with primitive society, then slave society, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, and finally, guess where we end up? Communism! Sooner or later, all of humanity, regardless of culture, language, nationality, will arrive at this final stage of political and social development. The entire world’s peoples will be unified in this paradise on earth and live happily ever after. But before we get there, we’re engaged in a struggle between good and evil, the good of socialism against the evil of capitalism, and the good shall triumph. That, of course, was the meta-narrative distilled from the theories of Karl Marx. And the Chinese bought it. We were taught that grand story day in and day out. It became part of us, and we believed in it. The story was a bestseller. About on third of the entire world’s population lived under that meta narrative. Then, the world changed overnight. As for me, disillusioned by the failed religion of my youth, I went to America and became a Berkeley hippie. Now, as I was coming of age, something else happened. As if one big story wasn’t enough, I was told another one. This one was just as grand. It also claims that all human societies develop in a linear progression towards a singular end. This one went as follows. All societies, regardless of culture, be it Christian, Muslim, Confucian, must progress from traditional societies in which groups are the basic units to modern societies in which atomized individuals are the sovereign units, and all these individuals are, by definition, rational, and they all want one thing: the vote. Because they all rational, once given the vote, they produce good government and live happily ever after. Paradise on earth, again. Sooner or later, electoral democracy will be the only political system for all countries

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