自 由 足 够 了 吗?

民主需要价值观吗?这个问题在面对一张张美国士兵严刑逼供和侮辱伊拉克战俘的照片时似乎显得有些荒谬。但事实是,民主的进步历史上都会牵涉到价值观的侵蚀以及个人自主权的上升。这意味着道德的不可知论和它的多重意义,但其中没有一个是神圣和必须的。

民主的确支持着一些价值观,但这些价值观是压倒性的自由主义的价值观。换句话说,个人权利取代了集体的(或整个社会的)义务和职责。对现代民主主义者来说,对自治个人最完全的尊重就是象汤姆士·杰夫森说的"不言自明"。但是,是不是民间的、政治的、和人权足以保证民主的力量以及其生存呢?今天的民主是否已经美好得可以重新恢复打败敌人所需的精力、包括自我牺牲呢?

这些问题在过去从来没有象现在这么急切过,部分因为基本的民主价值观在过去似乎没有象现在这么抽象。它们被活生生地运用于打击纳粹和苏维埃极权主义、法西斯主义、以及军事独裁的斗争中。借着民主的名义,使非殖民主义取得了胜利,少数派获得了平等和尊严。民主的价值如果用来代表个人权利的话可能会片面,但这也会使它全球化,使不管发生在世界哪个角落的反对压抑的斗争合法化。

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