又中又英——Coup d'état

  American politicians and the media are using the word "insurrection" for the storming of the US Congress last week by President Donald Trump's supporters. Some describe the storming as a "coup d'état". The word "insurrection" means an organized attempt by people who want to defeat their government and take control of their country by violence. The word "storming" means a sudden attack and capture of a building. The French word "coup d'état", which is widely used in English, means a sudden defeat or overthrow of a government illegally by a small group of people, often a military one.

  I personally don't think an insurrection or coup d'état is possible in the US, nor do I think the Trump supporters who stormed the Congress could have succeeded in overthrowing the government, if that was what they wanted to do. This is because the US is a strong democracy with a military I don't believe will support an insurrection or coup d'état. The use of those words in the US last week made me think of Hong Kong's national security law. The law defines four broad areas as illegal. They are subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces.

  I have explained these words before. The one closest to insurrection is subversion. The word "insurrection" is not emphasized in the national security law, nor is coup d'état. To "subvert" means to destroy the power or influence of something, such as a government. The Cambridge Dictionary defines subversion as trying to destroy or damage a system of government. The police last week used the national security law to arrest over 50 opposition people for subversion. They allegedly either organized or took part in an unofficial primary election to choose candidates for Legislative Council elections to get enough elected members to vote down the government. But the government said that was subversion, or an attempt to overthrow the government. I don't believe Hong Kong's opposition can overthrow the government in the same way I don't believe Trump supporters can overthrow the US government.

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  美國政客與傳媒都在用 "insurrection" 一字,來描述上星期總統特朗普支持者突襲(storming)美國國會大廈。一些傳媒更形容那場突襲(storming)為 "coup d'état"。Insurrection是叛亂、起義,人民組織並試圖推翻政府,以武力奪取國家的主權。Storming則指突襲和佔領一棟大樓。法語 "coup d'état",在英文裏很常用,是指政變,即有一小撮人,通常是軍事組織,用非法的手段突然擊敗或推翻一個政府。

  我個人不認為叛亂(insurrection)或政變(coup d'état)在美國是可能的,也不認為突襲(stormed)國會大廈的特朗普支持者可以成功推翻政府——若那是他們想做的事。因為美國擁有強大的民主,輔以一支我不相信會支持叛亂(insurrection)或政變(coup d'état)的軍隊。上周在美國所用的這些字詞,令我想起香港的《國安法》。這則法例定義了四個寬闊的範疇屬於違法,那就是顛覆國家政權(subversion)、分裂國家、恐怖主義,以及勾結外國勢力。

  我從前已經解釋過這些字詞。最接近叛亂(insurrection)的就是 subversion。「叛亂」(insurrection)在《國安法》中並未強調,「政變」(coup d'état")也沒有。To "subvert" 意即破壞某事物,例如政府的權力或影響力。《牛津字典》定義subversion為意圖顛覆或破壞政府體制。上星期,警方用《國安法》下的顛覆(subversion)罪名,拘捕逾五十位反對派人士。他們涉嫌組織或參與非官方的初選,該次初選是揀選立法會選舉的候選人,以集得足夠的議員去投票否決、罷免政府。可是,政府說那是顛覆(subversion),或企圖推翻政府。我不認為香港的反對派可以推翻政府,正如我不相信特朗普支持者可以推翻美國政府。中譯:七刻[email protected]



Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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