论美国茶党的民主

伯克利—1835年,法国政治家和道德哲学家托克维尔出版了《论美国的民主》上卷。他之所以写这么本书,是因为他觉得法国正陷入大麻烦中,可以从美国身上学到很多东西。要是他看了佛罗里达州坦帕市的共和党全国大会上仍作如是观,那真是有鬼了。

对托克维尔来说,法国先是被专制的波旁王朝攫取了中央集权,接着又受到大革命和拿破仑帝国的折腾,于是新封建秩序摧毁殆尽,不管是优点还是缺点都没有留下。几十年后,新秩序仍有待建立。

至少在托克维尔的想象中,旧秩序的国民狂热地保护非同寻常的自由,唯恐失去独立性。他们明白,他们被纳入了一张义务、权力、责任和特权之网,这张网就像法兰西一样大。但是,在1835年的法国人中间,“自利主义”已经产生了“自负……毫不逊色的盲目”。“打倒了贵族”的法国人“心满意足地看着留下的废墟。”

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