ニュース

2016年アメリカ大統領選挙

“We make America great again”の共和党のドナルド・トランプ氏が、大方の予想を裏切って2016年11月8日のアメリカ大統領選挙で勝利した。これは固唾を飲んで(うんざりするほど聞いた言葉!)見守っていた世界中の人々にかなりのショックを与えたようだ。トランプ氏の勝因は白人の低所得者層を取り込んだことや都市住民が民主党のクリントン氏に投票したのに対し、地方の住民がトランプ氏に投票したこと、不況で喘ぐ白人労働者、一部のラティーノやアジア系それに一部クリントン嫌いの白人女性などがトランプ氏に票が流れたと早くも選挙分析がなされた。ニューヨークタイムズなどアメリカの主要マスコミは、民社党寄りで、移民排斥、人種差別、反グローバリズムを掲げ過激な言動をするトランプ氏を批判していた。トランプ氏を支持する新聞は地方紙の2紙だけだと伝えられたばかりの大逆転劇だった。恐らくは10月の終わりに突如発表されたEBIによるクリントン候補のemail機密搭載再調査(投票日前に結局打ち切ったが)が勝敗を分けたかも。いやいや、隠れトランプ支持者(silent voter)や忘れられた人たちがいて、トランプに投票したと。その数1000万人とも。喘ぐ白人中間層の存在をヒラリー・クリントンは見間違った。establishment(既得権益)のchange(変革)を訴えたトランプ陣営の選挙戦術が勝ったのだ。イギリスのEU離脱と同じことがアメリカでも起きた。ポピュリズム(大衆迎合主義)ー。アメリカ大統領選挙はいつの時代も変革をもたらしてくれる人に賭けて来たともいえる。世界的に内向きな傾向、振り子が右に触れているのが気になる。

さて、気になるトランプの選挙公約の実行だ。
アメリカファースト、保護主義。
①移民問題。犯罪者の移民を送還。メキシコとの国境に壁を建設するなど。
②TPP(環太平洋戦略的経済連携協定)破棄。
③NAFTA(北米自由貿易協定)離脱。
④減税と高い関税。
⑤空港、鉄道、道路などの社会的インフラ整備。
⑥白人中間層などの雇用促進。
⑦安全保障問題。日本など海外にある米軍基地の負担、撤退も視野に。

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超人の面白テレビ観賞 TBS NEWS23 小泉純一郎元首相、退任後初のテレビインタビュー 3

元首相の小泉純一郎氏はインタビューで何を語ったか。福島第一原発事故直後にトモダチ作戦と称して福島県浜通り沖からアメリカ海兵隊が 入って救助作業をした。その時彼らは福島原発事故から出た放射性プルーム(煙霧)を浴びて活動していた。彼らは帰国後身体に異常をきたしていることに気づいた。彼らはトモダチ作戦中に被爆したことが原因と東電相手に医療検査や治療のために10億ドルの訴訟を起こした。控訴審で日本政府の助言者が被爆は米軍の責任と言い放ったという。原告は元アメリカ人兵士8人だったが450人以上の規模に膨れ上がった。アメリカの医療費は高額で有名だが(盲腸の手術費だけでも100万円以上になるらしい)、甲状腺など被爆が原因の治療費はこの人数を考えると莫大である。アメリカまで行って元海兵隊関係者の話を直接訊いた小泉純一郎氏は、彼らの治療費に少しでも役立てたいとミリオンダラー、1億円の寄付を募るキャンペーンを張ることにした。これに賛同した建築家の安藤忠雄氏がアイデアを出し、大阪で会費1万円の1000人、1000万円寄付集めの小泉純一郎講演会を企画、8月に実施した時には予想を上回る1300人が集まり、1300万円の寄付が集まった。また、会津で太陽光発電の電力会社を経営している人から1000万円の寄付、この11月には関西方式を東京で実施する予定だという。寄付目標の期限は来年3月だが、すでに7000万円の寄付が集まってると誇らしげに語った小泉純一郎氏。テレビを見ていた筆者もこれにはサプライズ、何とも頼もしい話じゃないか。
この後ニュースキャスター星浩氏の質問で小池百合子や子息の小泉進次郎の話に及んだがそれほど際立った発言はなかった。

このテレビインタビューを見て少し書き込み、しばし中断していたら、毎日新聞月曜コラム「風知草」で編集委員の山田孝男氏がこの小泉純一郎氏のトモダチ作戦について書いていた。筆者もテレビの小泉純一郎氏のインタビューを補足する意味でこのコラムを参考にした。しかも10月3日と10日の2週にわたって言及していて、最後はこう綴られていた。

批評ではなく、募金。批評ではなく、奉仕。原発政策を守るために「被ばくは米軍の責任」と言い放つ感覚の否定。元首相の常識を私は支持する。

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超人の面白テレビ観賞 TBS NEWS23 小泉純一郎元首相、退任後初のテレビインタビュー 2

小泉純一郎氏は今、一民間人として原発ゼロ問題に取組んでいる。初めは彼一流のパフォーマンスかと映ったが、その後の彼の行動を見ると益々真剣さを増している。今回のTBSのインタビューではまだまだ衰え知らずの小泉節、それどころか新たな取組みの凄さに目を見張ったほどだ。今や安全性がほとんど担保されない危険な原発を止めさせない限り、危険と隣り合わせの地域がいくつも存在し、住民が絶えず脅かされる状況が続く。知恵を絞って根本からエネルギー政策の転換を図っていくことが必要だ。その一つが原発を造らず自然エネルギーを利用した電力供給システムをいち早く構築することだろう。自然エネルギー利用システム構築はコスト高とか、原発の方が安いとか、様々な意見が出てはいるが、要はコストがかからないことが第一だが、科学的見地からの安全性や安心感そして信頼感を得られるかどうかだろう。私たちの子孫に莫大な付けを回してはならない。それがせめてものの同時代を生きる私たちの責務だ。原発から出る核のゴミ処理にはこれまたとてつもない時間がかかる。福島第一原発事故で被災した福島の人たちを思うとやりきれない。

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超人の面白テレビ観賞 TBS NEWS23 小泉純一郎元首相、退任後初のテレビインタビュー

TBSの夜の報道番組「NEWS23」はその昔筑紫哲也がニュースキャスターの頃はよく観ていた。(否、『朝日ジャーナル』の編集長時代の読ませる紙面が懐かしい)“異論!反論!objection”や“多事争論”(大分出身の筑紫哲也は同じ郷里の福澤諭吉の言葉を援用)のコーナーがあったりとニュースキャスターである筑紫哲也色がよく出ていた。番組は名セリフの『今日はこんなところです。お休みなさい』で終わる。最後までジャーナリストとして新聞、雑誌、テレビを舞台に反権力を貫いたジャーナリスト魂は記憶に残る。今11時台のニュース番組はというと、もっぱらザッピングを楽しんでいる。去年、ニュースキャスターの毎日新聞特別編集委員の岸井成格氏の言動が問題になり(国家権力のジャーナリズムへの介入といわれているが)、代わって朝日新聞特別編集委員の星浩氏(福島県白河市出身)をニュースキャスターに起用しまた、元TBSアナウンサーの雨宮塔子(TBSは女子アナ不足らしい)を再登板しさせてこの4月に番組を刷新したTBS。そのTBSの「NEWS 23」の番組に元首相の小泉純一郎氏が登場し初めてインタビューに応じた。相手はニュースキャスターの星浩氏。何かと話題の小泉純一郎氏も74歳だが、原発ゼロを掲げて益々意気軒昂だ。

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超人の面白ワールドニュース ピックアップ ロンドンの最新パブ事情

下記はロンドンの最近のパブ事情。ビールの値上がり、ワイン飲みや家飲みが増え、しかも地価が高騰していて、1992年に67,800軒あった店が、2014年には4/1減少して51,900軒に。この時期でも人口は10%増加しているにも拘わらずだ。ロンドンのワンズワース特別区では廃業する店も多く、また、店のオーナーは自治体主導でスーパーマーケットやアパート経営に転換させられている、とかなり深刻らしい。
London Borough Raises Pints — And Legal Protections — To U.K.'s Fading Pubs
by Frank Langfitt

The British pub is as much a part of the fabric of the United Kingdom as fish and chips and the queen, but each year hundreds close their doors for good. The reasons include the high price of beer, more people drinking at home and rising land prices.

Now — in an apparent first — the London borough of Wandsworth has designated 120 pubs for protection, requiring owners who want to transform them into apartments or supermarkets to get local government approval first.

Chris Cox has been watching pubs disappear in Wandsworth since the 1990s, and thinks the new regulation is great. Cox, who's just polished off a lager at the Falcon, one of the protected venues, says pubs provide far more to this nation than just beer and atmosphere.

"A pub creates community," says Cox, who works in ergonomics and has lived in Wandsworth for more than three decades.

At a pub, he says, you develop a relationship with other patrons and the staff, who keep tabs on you: "If they don't see you, they will ask questions — 'I wonder where he is?' And you end up with a supporting network
Jonathan Cook, deputy leader of the Wandsworth Council, says one of the big reasons pubs are closing in this borough — just southwest of London's center — is because of the city's real estate boom. For some pub owners, it makes more economic sense to sell to a buyer who wants to build a mini-supermarket or apartments.

"What we're saying is, 'Well, hang on a minute — we've got an interest here as well. The community values the pub and you've got to factor that into the equation as well,'" says Cook.

Shuttered pubs litter Wandsworth. The door to the old Ram Brewery is sealed in concrete. Aluminum sheets cover the windows of the Prince of Wales. In 1992 there were 67,800 public houses in the United Kingdom, according to the British Beer and Pub Association; by 2014, the association estimates that number had dropped by a quarter to 51,900. During the same period, the country's population increased by more than 10 percent.

The association blames changing tastes, including the growth in wine drinking, and high taxes for boosting beer prices. But the organization, which represents major brewers and pub-owning companies, opposes Wandsworth's solution.

"This can create a certain amount of uncertainty for all businesses in the pub sector," said Neil Williams, a spokesman for the association. "It makes it very difficult for a pub operator to sell on a venue."

Cook, the Wandsworth councilman, says the 120 pubs the borough has designated for protection are all thriving businesses. He emphasized that Wandsworth is not interested in propping up failing enterprises, but doesn't want to see any more valued venues sold off for other uses without public input.

Unlike the British Beer and Pub Association, David Law thinks Wandsworth's new regulation is crucial for protecting pubs. Law leases and runs the Eagle Ale House, and hopes other jurisdictions across the country adopt Wandsworth's idea.

"We protect our museums, our art galleries and our libraries," says Law. "A pub is a very big institution in the U.K. So I would argue that we need to be helping them and make them flourishing. We don't need to lose anymore."

from NPR, Sept.13, 2016.

上記の記事を読んだあと、毎日新聞朝刊にアサヒビールの社長のインタビュー記事が載った。日本のビール消費量は人口減少も去ることながら、若者のビール離れや家飲みが増えて、居酒屋にサーバーを提供するなどあの手この手を使って市場維持を図っていると。イギリスのビール会社ミラー社を買収し傘下におさめて、欧州をはじめとして世界に売って出る戦略らしい。(2016.9.16 記)

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超人の生真面目半分転生人語 8 相模原市の福祉障がい者施設での殺傷事件 

神奈川県相模原市緑区の福祉障がい者施設「津久井 やまゆり園」でクレイジーな障がい者殺傷事件が起きてから一週間、事件の真相がだんだんと明らかになりつつあるが、一つ気がかりなことは、容疑者の26歳の男性が大麻などの薬物使用で犯行に及んだのではないらしく、かなり以前から計画を練って犯行に及んだということだ。確信犯に近い行動だ。彼は役立たない者は生きていても意味がない、全員抹殺するという社会的弱者切り捨て思想、いわゆるヘイトクライム(憎悪犯罪)だ。事件から一週間以上経過してもそう漏らしているというのだ。これは精神を病んだ状態という他ない。然るべく精神鑑定を受けることが事件の解明には必要だろう。動機がどうであれ、19人もの障がい者を殺害し26人に傷を負わせた罪は大変重い。親御さんなど障がい者の家族は何ともやるせないに違いない。憎い、許せないの一言だろう。障がい者も懸命に生きているのだし、親御さんたちも愛情を持ってサポートしているのだ。その障がい者施設の元職員が真夜中寝静まった施設に侵入して次々と殺害したから尋常では考えられないことと言わざるえない。無抵抗のままの被害者はさぞ悔しかったはず。職員は拘束されていたものの、ほとんど被害はなかった。障がい者だけを狙い撃ちした悲惨な殺傷事件で、これだけの犠牲者を出したのは戦後最悪。アメリカのフロリダで性的マイノリティを銃撃した事件はまだ記憶に新しい。少し趣は違うが何年か前のノルウェーでの少年による銃乱射事件もヘイトクライム(憎悪犯罪)の類だ。
私たちはこういった言葉にならない悲惨な事件が起こりえることを日頃から身近な問題として受け入れていく覚悟が必要だろう。それにしても嫌な社会になったものだ。地震せよ災害にせよ、覚悟はある程度出来ているものの、今度は隣人にも気を遣なければならなくなった。寛容の精神持を持ち、理性と想像力をもっと働かせていかなければいけないと思うのだ。障がい者よ、めげるな ! 親御さんや障がい者施設の関係者には更に行きわたったサポートを続けてほしい。自分の身近でこんな悲惨な事件が起こったらと想像を巡らすとぞっとする、いや、卒倒してしまいそうだ。今回被害者の障がい者の詳細は公開されていないし、加害者の親御さんもメディアに登場していない。早く正確な事件の解明(容疑者の男性の殺傷に至った動機と精神状態の解明、措置入院→退院の問題など)を期待したい。そう、社会的弱者との共存が今問われている。弾力性のある創造的想像的なコミュニティーの出現が待たれているのだ。

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超人のジャーナリスト・アイ 165 スウェーデンの小新聞に「Pokémon Go」の記事

1468924391129.jpg

Många vill fånga monster i Pokémon Go

Ett nytt spel för mobiler
har blivit väldigt populärt.
Det heter Pokémon Go
och är nu det största spelet
för mobiler i USA.
Över 21 miljoner personer
spelar det.
Spelet handlar om att jaga monster.
För att fånga monstren måste spelarna
gå ut på gatorna där de bor och leta.
Monstren finns inte på riktigt.
Spelaren kan bara se dem
på sin telefon.
Men spelaren måste ta sig
dit där monstren är på en karta
för att få poäng i spelet.
Nu finns spelet också i Sverige.
I torsdags fick Arvid Nordvall i Norrbotten
ett oväntat besök.
En man knackade på dörren
och ville komma in.
– Han sa, Ursäkta men ni har
en Pokémon i hallen. Kan jag få
komma in och blippa den?
berättade Arvid Nordvall.

från 8 Sidor.
2016ー7ー15

『Pokémon Go』の最新情報公開サイトはこちら
👉http://www.pokemon.co.jp
任天堂のゲーム『ポケモン ゴー』がアメリカをはじめ世界的に大人気だ。“多くの人がポケモンゴーでモンスターを捕まえられる”というのはこの記事のタイトル。アメリカでのポケモン人気を紹介している。ポケモンゴーは今や2100万人以上の人がゲームに興じている最強の スマホゲームだ・・・。

追記 昨夜のテレビのニュースではこの『ポケモンゴー』のスマホゲームについてその超人気振りを報道していた。アメリカでは6500万人がこのスマホゲームに興じていて交通事故まで起きているという。日本の解禁日はそろそろだというが、安全性が確保されるかどうかがポイントらしい。(2016.7.21 記)

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超人のジャーナリスト・アイ 164 広島訪問 オバマ米大統領所感

下記はオバマ米大統領の広島訪問所感。毎日新聞2016年5月28日付朝刊から。

Full text of Obama's speech at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
May 27, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on May 27, 2016.

U.S. President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima on May 27, becoming the first sitting American president to do so after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city 71 years ago. After visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Obama laid a wreath before the cenotaph for A-bomb victims and made a speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Seventy-one years ago on a bright, cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed. A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city, and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself.

Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in the not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead, including over a hundred thousand Japanese men, women and children, thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held prisoner. Their souls speak to us, they ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become.

It is not the fact of war that sets Hiroshima apart. Artifacts tell us that violent conflict appeared with the very first man. Our early ancestors, having learned to make blades from flint, and spears from wood, used these tools not just for hunting, but against their own kind. On every continent, the history of civilization is filled with war, whether driven by scarcity of grain, or hunger for gold, compelled by nationalist fervor or religious zeal. Empires have risen and fallen. Peoples have been subjugated and liberated. And at each juncture, innocents have suffered -- a countless toll, their names forgotten by time.

The world war that reached its brutal end in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was fought among the wealthiest and most powerful of nations. Their civilizations had given the world great cities, and magnificent art. Their thinkers had advanced ideas of justice and harmony and truth. And yet the war grew out of the same base instinct for domination or conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes -- an old pattern amplified by new capabilities and without new constraints. In the span of a few years, some 60 million people would die: men, women, children, no different than us, shot, beaten, marched, bombed, jailed, starved, gassed to death.

There are many sites around the world that chronicle this war, memorials that tell stories of courage and heroism, graves and empty camps that echo of unspeakable depravity. Yet in the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies we are most starkly reminded of humanity's core contradiction -- how the very spark that marks us as a species, our thoughts, our imagination, our language, our tool-making, our ability to set ourselves apart from nature and bend it to our will -- those very things also give us the capacity for unmatched destruction.

How often does material advancement or social innovation blind us to this truth? How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause. Every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness. And yet no religion has been spared from believers who have claimed their faith is a license to kill.

Nations arise, telling a story that binds people together in sacrifice and cooperation, allowing for remarkable feats, but those same stories have so often been used to oppress and dehumanize those who are different.

Science allows us to communicate across the seas and fly above the clouds, to cure disease and understand the cosmos. But those same discoveries can be turned into ever more efficient killing machines.

The wars of the modern age teach us this truth. Hiroshima teaches this truth. Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well.

That is why we come to this place.

We stand here, in the middle of this city, and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. We force ourselves to feel the dread of children confused by what they see. We listen to a silent cry. We remember all the innocents killed across the arc of that terrible war, and the wars that came before, and the wars that would follow. Mere words cannot give voice to such suffering. But we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.

Someday the voices of the hibakusha will no longer be with us to bear witness. But the memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945 must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change.

And since that fateful day, we have made choices that give us hope. The United States and Japan forged not only an alliance, but a friendship that has won far more for our people than we could ever claim through war.

The nations of Europe built a union that replaced battlefields with bonds of commerce and democracy. Oppressed peoples and nations won liberation. An international community established institutions and treaties that worked to avoid war, and aspired to restrict, and roll back, and ultimately eliminate the existence of nuclear weapons.

Still, every act of aggression between nations, every act of terror and corruption and cruelty and oppression that we see around the world shows our work is never done.

We may not be able to eliminate man's capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we formed must possess the means to defend ourselves. But among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them. We may not realize this goal in my lifetime. But persistent effort can roll back the possibility of catastrophe.

We can chart a course that leads to the destruction of these stockpiles. We can stop the spread to new nations and secure deadly materials from fanatics. And yet that is not enough. For we see around the world today how even the crudest rifles and barrel bombs can serve up violence on a terrible scale.

We must change our mindset about war itself -- to prevent conflict through diplomacy, and strive to end conflicts after they've begun; to see our growing interdependence as a cause for peaceful cooperation, and not violent competition; to define our nations not by our capacity to destroy, but by what we build. And perhaps above all, we must reimagine our connection to one another as members of one human race -- for this, too, is what makes our species unique. We're not bound by genetic code to repeat the mistakes of the past. We can learn. We can choose. We can tell our children a different story, one that describes a common humanity, one that makes war less likely and cruelty less easily accepted. We see these stories in the hibakusha: the woman who forgave a pilot who flew the plane that dropped the atomic bomb because she recognized that what she really hated was war itself; the man who sought out families of Americans killed here because he believed their loss was equal to his own.

My own nation's story began with simple words: "All men are created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Realizing that ideal has never been easy, even within our own borders, even among our own citizens. But staying true to that story is worth the effort. It is an ideal to be strived for, an ideal that extends across continents and across oceans.

The irreducible worth of every person, the insistence that every life is precious, the radical and necessary notion that we are part of a single human family: That is the story that we all must tell.

That is why we come to Hiroshima, so that we might think of people we love, the first smile from our children in the morning, the gentle touch from a spouse over the kitchen table, the comforting embrace of a parent. We can think of those things and know that those same precious moments took place here, 71 years ago. Those who died, they are like us.

Ordinary people understand this, I think. They do not want more war. They would rather that the wonders of science be focused on improving life, and not eliminating it.

When the choices made by nations, when the choices made by leaders reflect this simple wisdom, then the lesson of Hiroshima is done.

The world was forever changed here. But today, the children of this city will go through their day in peace. What a precious thing that is. It is worth protecting, and then extending to every child.

That is the future we can choose, a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare, but as the start of our own moral awakening.

二度ほど読んだが、平易な英文で分かりやすかった。だが、この17分の所感は核兵器の廃絶を唱えるも、まだスタートラインにたったばかりと締め括った。一方で、“核のボタン”を持ち歩いているオバマ大統領の現実がある。私たちはいつになったらこういった矛盾から解き放たれるだろうか。

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超人のジャーナリスト・アイ 162 NPR news : Was Dr.Asperger a Nazi?

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下記はつい最近イギリスで出版されたJohn Donvan and Caren Zucker著『In a Different Key』(『違ったキーで』 : 筆者訳)の本の言及。“アスペルガー症候群”の産みの親で、今では世界中にその名が知られている自閉症、その歴史を扱った本。アマゾンジャパンでも新着とは書いてあったが(入荷したが売れ切れということかも)在庫がないみたい。早速分厚く高価の本をネットで注文した。イギリスから2週間ほどで届くようだ。「アスペルガー博士はナチス信奉者だった?「 疑惑が今なお自閉症につきまとう」というタイトルのNPR (アメリカ公共ラジオネットワーク) /スティーブ・シルバーマン氏の記事。

Was Dr. Asperger A Nazi? The Question Still Haunts Autism
by Steve Silberman.

The publication of a new history of autism called In a Different Key, by John Donvan and Caren Zucker, has reopened an unsettling question about the pioneering Viennese pediatrician Hans Asperger: Was he a Nazi sympathizer, or a man who paid lip service to his bosses' murderous ideology in order to save the lives of as many of his young patients as possible?

The implications of this question are far-reaching, because Asperger's work on autism at the University of Vienna in the 1930s was ignored for decades after the war. That had a catastrophic impact on autistic people and their families, and on the course of autism research. The controversy also gets to the heart of the difficulty of accurately judging the behavior of people living under brutal regimes, particularly decades after the fact.
In Donvan and Zucker's view, Asperger was an ambitious opportunist who uncritically spouted Nazi ideology in his first public lecture on autism in 1938, and enthusiastically signed letters "Heil Hitler!" Most devastatingly, he signed a letter of referral effectively condemning a little girl with encephalitis named Herta Schreiber to death in a Vienna rehab facility that had been converted into a killing center by Asperger's former colleague, Erwin Jekelius.
Donvan and Zucker base their conclusions on documents allegedly uncovered by a Holocaust scholar in Vienna named Herwig Czech, whose grandfather was a Nazi. Czech has made a career of documenting the horrific crimes of the medical establishment under the Third Reich, while "outing" secret Nazis like neurologist Walther Birkmayer, who pioneered the use of a drug called L-dopa to treat Parkinson's disease but was a member of the dreaded SS.
While researching my own history of autism, NeuroTribes, published in 2015, I ultimately came to take a more nuanced view of Asperger as a compassionate clinician and educator working under the most difficult possible circumstances as Hitler and his henchmen rose to power. My book explores the historical background of the Nazis' attempt to wipe disabled people off the face of the earth, including the fact that the Third Reich's genocidal policies were inspired by eugenics research originally conducted in America under the auspices of mainstream scientific organizations like the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Institute.
Courtesy of Maria Asperger Felder
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I also made clear that once the Nazis marched into Austria to annex the country for the fatherland in 1938, nearly all of Asperger's colleagues became fervent members of the Nazi party, while his Jewish colleagues were purged from the faculty at the University of Vienna and forced to flee the country or face death in a concentration camp. Many chose to commit suicide instead.
I focused primarily on the years leading up to World War II and on the crucial work that Asperger and his colleagues did at the Children's Clinic at the university, before the Nazis took over and transformed the once hallowed institution of learning into a center for the study of "racial hygiene" staffed by bumbling fanatics. What I found led me to conclude that Asperger was the true discoverer of what we now call the autism spectrum — a lifelong condition with a broad and strikingly heterogeneous range of clinical presentations.
To come to that conclusion, I drew on the first case history of autism, written at the Children's Clinic in 1935 by Asperger's colleague psychologist Anni Weiss, which had been overlooked for 80 years. Weiss evaluated a boy named Gottfried who exhibited many traits now considered classic manifestations of autism — including difficulty in relating to his peers, which made him a frequent target of bullying, heightened sensitivity to sound, and a rigidly logical cast of mind. After having Gottfried take an intelligence test, one that he undertook with great difficulty, Weiss came to an astonishingly prescient conclusion. Instead of presuming that the shy, awkward boy was feebleminded, as many of his teachers had done, Weiss noticed that Gottfried was acutely anxious about violating the rules of the test, which hampered his performance. She concluded that in fact he was highly intelligent, but in a way that couldn't be captured by the usual standardized tests.
I discovered another forgotten paper written by an American psychiatrist named Joseph Michaels, who visited Asperger's clinic before the war. At first skeptical about the lack of psychoanalytical frameworks guiding the staff, Michaels was eventually converted by what he called the clinic's "highly personal" approach, which viewed eccentric behavior as problematic only if it created problems for the child. "Fundamentally there appears to be no special interest in the differences between normal and abnormal," Michaels wrote, "as it is felt that theoretically this is unclear, and practically it is of no great importance ... great value is placed on intuition gained ... while working, or better, while living with the children."
Asperger and his colleagues would eventually examine more than 200 children with autism at all levels of ability — from nonspeaking children who would always require assistance in their daily lives to a young man who became an assistant professor of astronomy after detecting an error in one of Isaac Newton's proofs. Asperger noted the prevalence of autistic traits among "distinguished scientists," and went so far as to say, "It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential ... the necessary ingredient may be an ability to turn away from the everyday world, from the simply practical, an ability to rethink a subject with originality so as to create in new untrodden ways."
In his first talk on autism in 1938, which Donvan and Zucker put forth as evidence of Nazi sympathies, Asperger may well have emphasized his "most promising cases" to his Nazi bosses in part because newly passed eugenics laws in Austria targeted more impaired children for extermination. This tactic inadvertently led to one of the most pernicious myths about Asperger's legacy: that he only saw high-functioning children, when he made clear in his published work that he saw children from all points on the spectrum.
Donvan and Zucker's account of that lecture omits any reference to the most radical statement Asperger made that day: his observation that his patients' impairments were inextricable from their special gifts, forming "natural, necessary, interconnected aspects of one well-knit, harmonious personality." Later, he would make the prescient suggestion that the enhanced pattern-recognition abilities of his autistic patients would make them valuable code-breakers for the Reich. This view was completely at odds with the eugenicists' core belief that humanity could only thrive by shedding the "burden" of providing disabled people with the support they need, while they make contributions that only they can.
In this belief, Asperger anticipated the development of the modern neurodiversity movement, which views conditions like autism, dyslexia and ADHD as profound disabilities that can also convey striking gifts in the presence of adequate accommodations and educational resources.
As a clinician who worked with children with many types of hereditary disabilities, Asperger was in an acutely perilous position — particularly because the man who originally assigned him to work in the Children's Clinic, an infectious disease specialist named Franz Hamburger, became one of the most prominent Nazis in Austria. Hamburger portrayed the Fuehrer as a grand physician, opening up "new avenues of health for the 80 million folk of Germany."
Under the influence of fanatics like Hamburger, the distinction between normal and abnormal behavior became a litmus test that meant the difference between life and death. The Nazis embarked on a series of euthanasia campaigns to murder disabled children and adults in large numbers, which effectively became practice runs for the Holocaust. Doctors were required to report disabled children in their care, medical students were trained to administer lethal injections while filling out fictitious death certificates, and clinics and hospitals became factories of death — including the former rehab facility in Vienna called Am Spiegelgrund that became the primary killing center for all of Austria under the supervision of Erwin Jekelius.
Dissent in the ranks was punished harshly. A prominent bishop who objected to the mass murder of disabled children on religious grounds was quickly dispatched to a camp. Medical students at the University of Munich who opposed euthanasia were arrested, convicted of treason by a people's court and publicly beheaded. Asperger found himself in what he later described as a "truly dangerous situation." According to Adam Feinstein, author of A History of Autism, the Gestapo came to the clinic twice to arrest Asperger — and both times, Hamburger was able to send them away.
In order to retain his position at the university, the soft-spoken Asperger would have been required at the very least to take a loyalty oath to Hitler. After giving another talk in 1940, Asperger was chided by his colleague Josef Feldner for paying lip service to the Fuehrer, which, Feldner advised him, was "a bit too Nazistic for your reputation." Though nearly all of Asperger's colleagues eventually joined the Nazi party, Asperger never did.
Understanding the terrible historical forces that Asperger was up against makes sense of the oddly strident note he struck in his best-known paper, filed to Hamburger in 1943. "The example of autism shows particularly well how even abnormal personalities can be capable of development and adjustment," Asperger wrote. "This knowledge ... gives us the right and the duty to speak out for these children with the whole force of our personality."
Ultimately, Asperger's insights would inspire the British psychiatrist Lorna Wing to conceive of autism as a broad and inclusive spectrum instead of a rare, narrowly defined form of childhood psychosis — allegedly caused by unloving "refrigerator" parents — that was described by Leo Kanner, the child psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins Hospital who took sole credit for discovering the condition in 1943.
The real story was much more complicated than that. In fact, it was Kanner who rescued Georg Frankl and dozens of other Jewish clinicians from the gathering storm leading up to the Holocaust, reaping the benefits of Frankl's expertise by having him evaluate Kanner's first autistic patients. Kanner would go on to become the world's leading authority on autism, while mentioning Asperger's work only once in print, dismissively, much later in his career.
Rumors that Asperger was more compliant with his Nazi bosses than he himself suggested after the war have circulated for decades. As Donvan and Zucker point out, Eric Schopler, the founder of TEACCH — a pioneering autism education and research program in North Carolina — objected to Lorna Wing's coinage of the term "Asperger syndrome" for this reason, preferring the term "high-functioning autism." But In a Different Key raises the speculation about Asperger's character to a new level. Again citing Czech's research, the authors claim that Asperger served on a committee that decided which children should live and which should die, though they do not explore the possibility that Asperger could have used that position to save as many children as possible.
Czech has never made his information available to me, despite numerous requests of increasing urgency over the years, even after his allegations appeared in a review of my book in The Spectator by autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen. But I was able to find support for his claim that Asperger signed the letter of referral sending Herta Schreiber to Am Spiegelgrund in the work of another scholar named Waltraud Hauepl, whose sister also perished there. I have amended the text of future editions of my book to reflect this darkest episode in Asperger's career.
It would be unfortunate if Donvan and Zucker's revelations are used to discredit the work of Asperger and his colleagues Georg Frankl and Anni Weiss. As filmmaker Saskia Baron points out in her review of In a Different Key in The Guardian, "Whether Asperger was a saint or a sinner should not dominate the discourse around autism." (She probed the ethical dimensions of the Third Reich's medical crimes in her documentary Science and the Swastika: Hitler's Biological Soldiers.) What matters is focusing on the availability of services and support for autistic people and their families — a population that has been drastically underestimated in history, primarily because Asperger's work was not made widely available in English until 1991.
Without her serendipitous discovery of Asperger's work when it was still being overlooked, the British psychiatrist Lorna Wing would never have been inspired to broaden the diagnostic criteria for autism into a spectrum that included what she called Asperger's syndrome, making support services available to a wide range of people — including teenagers and adults — who had been excluded from a diagnosis before.
The reframing of autism as a spectrum in the 1990s also made possible marvelous things that Asperger himself could never have predicted, such as the emergence of a vibrant autistic culture (embodied in books like The Real Experts: Readings for Parents of Autistic Children), and the proliferation of autistic-run organizations like the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, which are demanding a place at the table when public policy that impacts autistic people and their families is formulated.
Asperger's daughter, Maria Asperger Felder, a pediatrician and psychiatrist in Vienna, told me recently that she is carrying on her father's work to this day, seeing autistic patients from age 5 to age 60. She also says that after the war, Georg Frankl immediately re-established contact with her father, and the two men maintained a lively correspondence about the progress of their patients, as they had done in the years before darkness fell in Austria. They also visited one another cordially in their respective home countries, which one wouldn't expect if Frankl believed that Asperger was a Nazi monster who had enthusiastically sent his young patients to their deaths.
I look forward to Herwig Czech finally making his research available to other scholars. But if Donvan and Zucker's allegations turn out to be true, the most important lesson of this tragic chapter in history is not that Asperger's work should be ignored, as it was in most of the world until developmental psychologist Uta Frith finally made it available in English. The most important lesson is not that brutal regimes like the Third Reich enable evil men to do evil, but that they are able to compel even well-intentioned people to do monstrous things.

Steve Silberman is author of NeuroTribes, a New York Times best-selling history of autism and the neurodiversity movement.
―from NPR news January 19, 2016

追記 昨夜(2016年2月2日)原書が届いた。12日かかったことになる。まだ開けていない。

追記2 今朝のネットニュースで東大生の4人に1人はアスペルガー症候群、との記事が載っていた。
http://s.news.nifty.com/topics/detail/160205054222_1.htm (2016.2.5)

追記3 いやはや日本語版権を取得した輩がいたとは、びっくりぽんや!ある英文学者にざっと目を通してもらって感触を得、翻訳したいと打診があったが―。残念だ(涙)。誰が取得したか探し当てたい。翻訳本が出ればわかるが。(2016.3.10 記)

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超人のジャーナリスト・アイ 161 スウェーデンの成人教育の取り組み

スウェーデンは2017年から新たな地方自治体による成人教育を実施すると発表。下記はスウェーデンの小さな新聞「8 sidor」から筆者の試訳。

Alla ska kunna få studera på Komvux
すべての人が地方自治体の成人教育で学べる

スウェーデンの全国民は、成人後でさえも高校教育が受けられる。その法案が議会に提出されて2017年から実施される見通しだ。アイダ・ハドジアリック大臣がダーゲンス・ニーヘーテル紙に寄稿。地方自治体による成人教育(Komvux)は成人のための教育だ。そこでは高卒の資格がない成人でさえ際立つ科目を履修すれば資格を取ることができる。議会が考えているのは、成績が悪かった人でさえ良い成績を修めるために地方自治体の成人教育で学べるだろうということだ。高卒の資格を持っていなかった人たちは就職が難しかった。議会が期待するのは、新法案がスウェーデンの就職増加につながることだ。法案には毎年5億3千5百クローナ(日本円で約77億4千1百万円)のコストがかかる。(2015年12月4日号「8sidor」の国内の記事から)

こういったスウェーデンの斬新な成人教育の取り組みに日本も見習ったらどうか。高福祉や難民受け入れの“大国”の社会教育政策に学ぶべきこともあると思うのだ。日本は今大学などの高等教育に躍起になっているが、それよりも社会教育を地方自治体と組んでもっと充実させるべきだと考えるが。

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