Chris Van Es

تمدين سوق الأفكار

كمبريدج ــ في عام 1919، كتب رئيس المحكمة العليا الأميركية أوليفر وندل في رأي مخالف شهير: "عندما يدرك الناس أن الزمن أبطل العديد من العقائد والمبادئ المتحاربة، فقد تنتهي بهم الحال إلى اليقين بأن الطريق الأمثل للوصول إلى الخير المطلق المرغوب يتمثل في التبادل الحر للأفكار ــ وأن أفضل اختبار للحقيقة هو قوة الفكرة ومقدرتها على اكتساب القبول في المنافسة داخل السوق، وأن الحقيقة هي الأساس الوحيد الذي يمكن بالاستناد إليه تنفيذ رغباتهم بأمان".

ولكن مثله كمثل أي سوق أخرى فإن سوق الأفكار تحتاج إلى التنظيم: ويتعين على المشاركين في هذه السوق أن يتقيدوا بمعايير الصدق والأمانة والتواضع والكياسة. وعلاوة على ذلك فيتعين على كل من يتداول فكرة أن يلتزم بهذه المبادئ.

بطبيعة الحال، عمل الساسة على مر العصور على تلويث سوق الأفكار بالذم والطعن. ولكن من المدهش أن السياسة الأميركية حققت بعض التقدم. فوفقاً لدراسة أجراها مركز أننبيرج للسياسة العامة كانت السلوكيات الفظة في الكونجرس في الأعوام الأخيرة أقل حدة مما كانت عليه في تسعينيات أو أربعينيات القرن العشرين. وقد أدين عضو مجلس الشيوخ الأميركي تيد كروز على نطاق واسع بسبب استجوابه العدواني في يناير/كانون الأول لوزير الدفاع المقبل آنذاك تشاك هيجل. ولكن الطعن في وطنية أحد المرشحين كان عُرفاً سائداً في العهد المكارثي؛ ولكنه أصبح أقل شيوعاً اليوم.

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