American flag

精神错乱的美国民主

纽约—1831年,法国自由派贵族托克维尔访问美国。名义上,他是为了写一篇关于美国“开明”监狱系统(最新的概念是将犯人如同忏悔的僧侣那样关押在单间中)的研究。结果,这次美国之旅造就了托克维尔的名著《论美国的民主》,在这部著作中,他对美国公民自由大加推崇,将这个世界上第一个正宗自由民主与旧世界的制度相比较,认为后者不如前者。

但托克维尔也有严重保留。他认为,美国民主的最大危险是多数人的暴政,美国式生活中令人窒息的思想顺从,令人压抑的少数派观点和异见。他相信,任何无限权力,不管是个人暴君还是政治多数,都注定要在一地狼藉中结束。

从多数规则的角度讲,民主需要约束,一如其他所有制度的政府。因此,英国混合了当选政客的权力和君主特权。同样因此,美国人至今仍珍视宪法对政府权力的分割。

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