Über die Demokratie in Tea-Party-Amerika

BERKELEY – Als der französische Politiker und Moralphilosoph Alexis de Tocqueville im Jahr 1835 den ersten Band seines Werkes Über die Demokratie in Amerika  veröffentlichte, tat er dies im Glauben, dass sich Frankreich in großen Schwierigkeiten befand und viel von Amerika lernen konnte. Man kann sich daher nur fragen, was sich Tocqueville wohl über den Parteitag der Republikaner in Tampa, Florida, gedacht hätte.

In den Augen Tocquevilles hatte der Griff nach der zentralisierten Macht durch die absolutistischen Bourbonenkönige gefolgt von der Französischen Revolution und dem Kaiserreich Napoleons in der neofeudalen Ordnung Frankreichs das Gute mit dem Bösen vernichtet. Jahrzehnte später war die neue Ordnung noch immer im Wandel begriffen.

Zumindest in Tocquevilles Vorstellung waren die Untertanen der alten Ordnung eifrig bemüht, ihre jeweiligen Freiheiten zu schützen und eifersüchtig über ihre Bereiche der Unabhängigkeit zu wachen. Sie wussten, dass sie in ein Netz aus Verpflichtungen, Machtbefugnissen, Verantwortlichkeiten und Privilegien eingewoben waren, das genau so groß war wie Frankreich selbst. Allerdings hatte die „Lehre des Eigeninteresses“ unter den Franzosen des Jahres 1835 einen „Egoismus“ hervorgebracht, der „nicht weniger blind“ war.  Nachdem man eine „Aristokratie vernichtet“ hatte, waren die Franzosen „geneigt, deren Trümmer mit Selbstgefälligkeit zu überblicken.“

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