Demokratické ponaučení z Tocquevilla

Zdá se být zcela na místě, že kvůli irácké válce svět 200 let po narození Alexise de Tocquevilla debatuje o podstatě demokracie. Tocqueville právem proslul tím, že odmítl reakční nostalgii a za náš osud považoval vítězství demokracie, avšak zároveň varoval před nebezpečími, která demokracie pro svobodu znamená. Měli bychom jeho obavy stále sdílet?

Tocqueville pokládal demokracii nejen za politický režim, ale především za intelektuální režim, který obecně formuje zvyky společnosti, čímž jí dává sociologický a psychologický rozměr. Demokratické režimy, tvrdil Tocqueville, určují naše myšlenky, touhy a vášně. Tak jako existoval renesanční člověk a ve dvacátém století homo sovieticus, „člověk demokratický“ je formou lidské bytosti.

Podle Tocquevilla by systémové účinky demokracie mohly občany vést ke ztrátě zdůvodněného uvažování. Mohli by jen předstírat, že události a hodnoty posuzují samostatně; ve skutečnosti by pouze kopírovali hrubé a zjednodušené názory mas. Co Tocqueville nazývá držením „společenské moci“ nad míněním, je skutečně v demokratických režimech zřejmě nejsilnější – jeho náhled předpovídá nárůst současné demagogie a mediální manipulace.

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