托克维克有关民主的教诲

托克维克出生200年后,世界由于伊拉克战争而就民主的性质展开辩论,这看起来合乎时宜。托克维克拒绝反动的恋旧,认为我们注定会获得民主的胜利,同时又警告民主对自由构成危险。他因此理所当然地闻名于世。我们如今是否依然应当像他那样担心呢?

托克维克认为民主不仅仅是一种政治制度,而首先是一种在总体上划定社会习惯的智识制度,因此也就具备社会和心理特性。托克维克主张,民主制度决定我们的思想、欲望和激情。正如先前文艺复兴式的博学之人以及二十世纪的苏维埃人种,“民主人种”也是人种之一。

就托克维尔而言,民主的体制性影响可能导致公民剥夺自身的理性思索。他们只能假装对事件和价值观作出自我判断;而实际上,他们仅仅是复制大众的粗糙而简化的观点。确实,托克维尔所称的“社会力量”对于观点的控制在民主制度中可能最为强劲。他的这一观点预言了当代蛊惑人心和媒体操纵的增长。

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