Sophie Lee
Sophie Lee

发布于2020-08-04 10:04来源:原创 7 评论 12 点赞

Why Merkel dreams in black and white?

In black and white: 白纸黑字,以书面的形式



Who is Angela Merkel?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel continues her reign as the most powerful woman on the planet for 10 years running. Why? She clinched a third four-year term of Europe's most vibrant economy in December 2014, making her the longest-serving elected EU head of state. She fought off a national recession during the global economic crisis with stimulus packages and government subsidies for companies that cut hours for workers, and she is in the thick of trying to help Greece revive its economy. 

Even when she suddenly opened Germany’s borders to  more than one million people last summer, she phrased this quixotic act in  pragmatic language: “Wir schaffen das,” “We can do this.” Germany’s centre  has largely held since, despite big advances for the anti-immigrant  Alternative für Deutschland in last Sunday’s regional elections. Even amid the  migrant crisis, most mainstream German politicians have remained boring  pragmatists. Their aim: very slowly improve most people’s lives a little,  while averting disaster.


Quixotic act means impragmatic act.

Don Quixote:a paradox. He hankers for a new system and life while utilizing out-of-date chivalry; he looks forward to getting approved while keeps sneering  and satirising at others;he wants to change the society by himself while showing impotence in face of many unfairness.



That distinguishes Germany from other large  countries. In the US, France and Russia, politics is couched in the language  of dreams, greatness, heroes and utopia. There are pragmatic political  cultures and utopian ones, and, oddly, it’s the pragmatists who get closer to  utopia.


be couched in


当动词(in)= express,以...形式表达


It is... that... 强调句型,强调it is 和that 中间的人事物,很奇怪的是务实者才是最接近乌托邦的人,可这两类人明明是截然相反的。



Utopian politicians raise high expectations that  they can only disappoint. Every American president campaigns as a great  leader who will restore the American dream but then governs in prose. Pretty  soon people start complaining that he hasn’t delivered the American dream,  but of course he hasn’t: by definition, dreams are not reality.



in prose

Mario Cuomo Quote: “You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.”

That means if the candidates campaign in poetry instead of good hard specifics, and win, they may wind up governing in vain.



Utopians rarely improve people’s lives a little.  That’s partly because they are guided by hallowed old documents rather than  by modern best practice. A daft old document such as the Communist Manifesto  is particularly damaging but even a wise one such as the American  constitution often misleads. For instance, the main reason the US has more  than 30,000 gun deaths a year is the second amendment, adopted in 1791.


The Communist Manifesto (originally Manifesto of the Communist Party) is an 1848 political pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Commissioned by the Communist League and originally published in London just as the revolutions of 1848 began to erupt, the Manifesto was later recognised as one of the world's most influential political manuscripts. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and then-present) and the problems of capitalism and the capitalist mode of production, rather than a prediction of communism's potential future forms.

For instance
(1)for example一般只举同类人或物中的一个为例,作插入语,可置于句首、句中或句末。

for example 和 for instance的区别很小。即使外国人也很难说清楚区别,通常看个人的喜好。但是在读书和日常交流的时候,会发现 for instance更加书面话和学究话。在严谨的学术上用的更多些。

(2)such as一般用来列举同类人或物中的几个例子,插在被列举的例子和前面的名词之间,as后没有逗号。在使用such as时应注意后面列举事物的数量不能等于前面所提事物的总和,若相等时用namely或that is.


French politics, too, is packed with misleading old  verities. One — derived from the French Revolution — is that “the people”  should always be mounting the barricades to thwart the government. .


be packed with


derive from 起源于,来自

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France that lasted from 1789 until 1799, and was partially carried forward by Napoleon during the later expansion of the French Empire. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, experienced violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon that rapidly brought many of its principles to Western Europe and beyond.


Most utopians don’t even strive to improve people’s  lives. They aim for something greater. Russia annexed the Crimea to regain  imperial greatness, and no matter that western sanctions then made Russian lives  worse.


strive to 努力...,力图...

aim for以...为目标,瞄准

衍生:aim at sth针对,瞄准

      aim to do sth旨在做某事

annexe ['æneks]

n. 附属建筑;附加物

V. 附加;并吞(merge/ swallow up)


In Germany, by contrast, dreams of greatness have  been taboo since 1945. The first postwar chancellor Konrad Adenauer  campaigned under the slogan: “No Experiments”. A later successor, Helmut  Schmidt, famously advised: “Anyone who has visions should go to the doctor.”


by contrast

相比之下=in contrast (to)

联想到on the contrary相反地


Merkel got an additional anti-utopian inoculation:  she spent her first 35 years in a failed utopia, East Germany. She rarely  tells her own story, perhaps for fear of sounding inspirational, but she  graduated from Karl Marx University in Leipzig, and later, for her physics  PhD, had to write an additional “Marxist-Leninist” thesis. Her topic: the  farmer-worker relationship in the farmer-worker state. She got a bad grade  for overemphasising the farmers.


for fear of




Overemphasise=overemphasize 过分强调

构词法:over-  = 过度...; 超过;越过

例如:over+act = overact 行动过火,夸张表演

      over+ride =override 推翻

      over+time =overtime 超时的,加班


Britain has shuffled towards this boring pragmatic  tradition. Quietly and gradually, the country has dropped “Great” from its  name. Even Brexit campaigners aren’t selling imperial dreams; instead, they  depict a plucky little England signing trade deals alone. Luckily, the UK has  an escape valve that American politics lacks: all British fairytale fantasies  can be projected on to the royals. That allows the prime minister to be just a functionary.


shuffle ['ʃʌf(ə)l] 

n. 洗牌,洗纸牌;混乱,蒙混;拖着脚走

v. 洗牌;推诿,推卸;拖曳,慢吞吞地走;搅乱

shuffled towards 朝着...慢慢地走

valve [vælv] 

n. 阀;[解剖] 瓣膜;真空管;活门

vt. 装阀于;以活门调节

escape valve 可以用来逃脱的阀门=安全阀

functionary ['fʌn(k)ʃ(ə)n(ə)rɪ] 

n. 官员,公务员

adj. 官员的,公务员的;职务上的


衍生function ['fʌŋ(k)ʃ(ə)n]

n. 功能;[数] 函数;职责;盛大的集会

vi. 运行;活动;行使职责


diary (di[=day 日]+-ary 名词后缀,表示物→ 与每日事情有关的东西→ 日记) n. 日记;日记本

library (libr书+-ary名词后缀,表示场所→ 藏书、放书之处→ 图书馆) n. 图书馆;图书室

ordinary (ordin平常+-ary 形容词后缀, ......的) adj. 普通的;平常的

secretary (secret秘密+-ary 名词后缀,表示从事........人→ 为自己保管秘密文件的人→ 秘书) n. 秘书


But the pragmatists’ greatest achievement goes  unseen: averting disaster. 


go unseen: be neglected不为所见,被无视

go用作连系动词时,通常表示主语处于某种状态或由某种状态向另一种状态转变,后面多接形容词作其表语,此类形容词往往意义不佳,如:go hungry(挨饿),go thirsty(忍受口渴),go mad(发狂)等。这种“go+形容词”的结构在表达上实用而简明,现就其使用规律和意义归纳如下:

2. 当某人或某物的情况变坏时(一般来说,这种变化是不可逆的或永久性的),也常用“go+形容词”来表示,即由正常情况变为不正常或特殊情况。如go bad可以表示变质。

go critical(达到临界),go solid(变成固体),go negative(变成负值),go nuclear(核力量化),go metric(实行公制)。 


Germans understand the sentiment. They experienced  complete collapse in 1945, and then again under Merkel’s eyes in East Germany  in 1989. She once said she possessed “competence in the early detection of  collapsing systems”. When it looked as if the euro would collapse she told  Bulgaria’s prime minister Boyko Borisov that the “Maya and other  civilisations” had disappeared. In other words, today’s Europe could too. Her  heroic task: keep politics boring.




反 imcompetence

其实我也不知道为什么我就联想到了              n. impotence 无能  adj. Impotent 无力的,无效的

反n. potence 潜能;权力   adj. Potent 强有力的,有权势的

名次变形容词,通常都是-ce 变 -t

以p- 开头的形容词的反义词通常都是加im-

例如:possible  反 impossible

      practical  反 impractical

      pragmatic  反 impragmatic





  • 德国
  • 梦想
  • 笔记
  • 后缀
  • 形容词