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社会学:亚历西斯·德·托克维尔 – 译学馆
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社会学:亚历西斯·德·托克维尔

SOCIOLOGY - Alexis De Tocqueville

社会学
亚历西斯·德·托克维尔
Democracy was achieved by such a long arduous and heroic struggle
实现民主的斗争是这样的持久艰苦而英勇
that it can feel embarrassing even shameful
以致于人们在对它失望时
to be pretty disappointed by it.
可能会感到尴尬甚至丢人
Perhaps the best guy to such feelings and to modern democracy in general
也许 对这种感受和现代民主体会最深的人
is a 19th century French aristocrat,
大概是19世纪的一个法国贵族
Alexis De Tocqueville
亚历克斯·德·托克维尔
For Tocqueville,
对托克维尔来说
democracy was a highly exotic and new political option.
民主是一种极具异国色彩的政治新选择
He’d been born in 1805
他出生于1805年
when Napoleon was the populist dictator of half of Europe.
拿破仑当时是半个欧洲的民粹主义独裁者
But he presciently believed
但托克维尔预见性地认为
that democracy was going to be the future all over the world
在未来 民主将会遍布全世界
and so he wanted to know
因此 他想要了解
what would that be like?
民主世界是什么样的?
To find out,
为了寻找答案
he set out to America with a grant from the French government.
他带着法国政府的资助金出发去美国
He arrived in New York
1831年5月
together with his friend Gustave de Beaumont in May of 1831.
他和朋友古斯塔夫·德·博蒙一起抵达纽约
And then embarked on a nine-month journey around the new nation.
然后 他们开启了为期九个月的环美之旅
After his journey, he compiled his thoughts into
旅程结束后 他把自己的思想加以编辑
one of the greatest works of political philosophy,
形成了一部非常伟大的政治哲学著作
Democracy in America published in 1835.
即1835年出版的《论美国的民主》
In the book De Tocqueville was particularly alive to
在本书中 托克维尔特别关注
the problematic and darker sides of democracy.
民主充满问题的黑暗面
Five issues struck him in particular.
这五个问题是他特别关心的
1 民主孕育了物质主义
In France,
从儿时起
this is society that the Tocqueville knew from childhood.
托克维尔了解的法国社会就是这样的:
Making money didn’t appear at the forefront of people’s minds.
赚钱并不是人们最关心的问题
The poor had almost no chance of acquiring wealth,
穷人几乎没有机会获得财富
and the tiny upper stratum of landed aristocrats didn’t need to make any more money.
且上层的小地主贵族不需要再赚更多的钱
As a result for very different reasons,
出于各式各样的原因
money was not the way to judge a life.
财富并不是衡量生活的标准
However, the Americans that de Tocqueville met on his journey
然而 托克维尔在旅途中遇到的美国人
believed constantly that
始终相信
through hard work it was possible to make a fortune
努力工作可以使自己获得财富
and to do so was entirely admirable and right.
而且获得财富是完全正确且值得欣赏的
Money seem to be quite simply the only achievement that Americans respected.
金钱似乎是美国人唯一尊重的成就
For example, De Tocqueville observed that
例如 托克维尔观察到
in America people believed that
在美国 人们认为
a book that did not sell well just couldn’t be any good
如果一本书卖得不好 那它就一文不值
because the only test of goodness for any item
因为 能创造多少财富
was how much money it happens to make.
是衡量商品好坏的唯一标准
Democracy and capitalism had thus created seemingly equitable
由此 民主和资本主义创造出了一种看似公平
but also very flat an oppressive way
但又是一种纯粹压迫性的
for humans to judge each other.
人类用来相互评判的方式
2 民主孕育出嫉妒和羞耻
In a chapter of Democracy in America entitled
《论美国的民主》其中一章的题目是:
why the Americans are often so restless
为什么美国人在繁荣时期
in the midst of their prosperity?
总是如此焦躁不安?
De Tocqueville sketched an enduring analysis of
托克维尔对高期望值与不满意之间
the relationship between high expectations and dissatisfaction
以及政治平等与嫉妒之间的关系
between political equality and envy.
进行了持久的分析
He wrote, when all the prerogatives of birth and fortune have been abolished,
他写道 当出身和命运的特权都被废除时
when every profession is open to everyone,
当每一种职业向每个人都开放时
an ambitious man may think
一个有抱负的人会认为
it is easy to launch himself on a great career,
自己很容易就能投身伟大的事业
and feel that he has been called to no common destiny
并感觉自己被非同寻常的命运召唤着
But this is a delusion which experience quickly corrects.
但凭经验很快就能纠正这个妄想
When inequality is the general rule in society
当不平等已成为社会的普遍规则时
the greatest inequalities attract no attention
最严重的不平等无法引起人们的注意
But when everything is more or less level,
但当一切或多或少都处于平均水平时
the slightest variation is noticed.
连最轻微的变化也会被注意到
That is the reason for the strange melancholy
这就是富裕的民主国家的居民
often haunting inhabitants of democracies in the midst of abundance,
经常感到莫名其妙的忧郁的原因
and of that disgust with life sometimes gripping them
有时 即使在轻松平和的环境中
even in calm and easy circumstances.
对生活的这种厌恶也继续困扰着他们
The old rigid hierarchical European system
欧洲森严的旧等级制度
that had denied all hope of social movement to the poor
剥夺了穷人进行社会运动的一切希望
was unjust in a thousand all too obvious ways to Tocqueville recognized.
在托克维尔看来 这种制度的不公平是显而易见的
But it had offered those on the lower rungs
但它向那些处于较低等级的人
one notable freedom.
提供了一种重要的自由
The freedom not to have to take the achievements of quite so many people in society
即不必拿社会上多数人的成就
as reference points,
做参照标准的自由
and then find themselves severely wanting in status
因此他们不会认为自己的地位亟待提升
and importance as a result.
自己非常需要得到重视
3 多数人的暴政
Typically we think of democracy as being the opposite of tyranny.
我们通常认为 民主是暴政的对立面
But de Tocqueville noticed that democracy could easily create
但托克维尔注意到 民主很容易创造出
its own specialized type of tyranny that of the majority.
它独特的暴政类型:多数人的暴政
Democratic culture he thought often ends up demonizing
他认为 民主文化通常最终会把
any assertion of difference, and especially cultural superiority
任何异见 (尤其是文化优越感)妖魔化
Even though such attitudes might be connected with real merit,
尽管这些态度可能与真正的美德相关
in a tyranny of the majority
在多数人的暴政下
a society has an aggressive leveling instinct.
社会有一种进行侵略性整顿的本能
It’s regarded as a civic virtue
这种做法被认为是一种公民美德:
to take on anyone who seems to be getting above themselves,
教导任何看起来自视甚高的人
and to cut them viciously down to size.
恶毒地让他们不要自命不凡
4 民主促使我们反抗权威
De Tocqueville was disturbed by the way
令托克维尔感到困扰的是
in which in the United States people have no distinction.
在美国 人与人之间没有差异
Refused to think that anyone could be better than them.
他们认为 判断某人能比他们更优秀时
Just because they had say trained to be a doctor for seven years
不能仅仅因为那些人受过七年的医生训练
or study the law for two decades
或学习了二十年的法律
or written some very good books.
或写了些非常好的书
A healthy and admirable reluctance
这种正常合理且令人钦佩的
to defer to people too easily,
不愿轻易顺从他人的态度
encouraged an unhelpful refusal
助长了一种无用的拒绝:
to accept any kind of submission at all.
拒绝接受任何形式的服从
And yet as the Tocqueville saw it,
但正如托克维尔所看到的
it simply must be the case that some people in society are
社会上的某些人确实比其他人
wiser, more intelligent, kinder or more mature than others
更有智慧 更聪明 更善良 更成熟
and therefore should be listen to with special attention.
因此 要特别注意倾听这些人的话语
Democracy was De Tocqueville thought fatally biased towards mediocrity
托克维尔认为 民主注定偏爱平庸大众
5 民主破坏了思想自由
You suppose that democracy would encourage citizens to have an open mind,
你以为 民主会鼓励公民拥有开放的思想
however De Tocqueville came to the opposite conclusion
但托克维尔却得出了相反的结论
that one could find few places with less independence of mind
很少有比美国更缺乏独立思考的大脑
and true freedom of discussion than in America.
和真正的讨论自由的地方了
Trusting that their system was fair and just
美国人相信 他们的制度是公平公正的
Americans simply gave up on critical thinking
他们干脆放弃批判性思考
and put their faith in newspapers, and so called common sense instead
转而相信报纸和所谓的常识
Furthermore, as this was a commercial society
此外 由于这是一个商业社会
Americans were very conscious of not wanting to step too far out of line with their neighbors
美国人非常不愿与他们的邻居过分不一致
who might also be customers.
因为邻居可能也是顾客
It was better to trot out cliches than to try to be original
宣扬陈腔滥调总比追求特立独行的原创好
and never more so than when there was something to sell.
尤其是在需要卖出东西的时候
Although De Tocqueville says a lot of really quite grim things about Democracy and America,
尽管托克维尔说了很多关于民主和美国的坏话
De Tocqueville wasn’t anti-democratic or Anti-America.
但托克维尔并不反对民主或反对美国
He was just trying to show why living in a democracy
他只是想阐明 为什么生活在一个民主国家
could in some key ways be really quite annoying and frustrating.
在某些关键方面会很令人恼火和沮丧
He is teaching us the stoic lesson
他教给我们斯多葛式的理念:
that certain pains just need to be expected.
某些痛苦只是需要被期待
Don’t be too surprised or shocked.
可别太惊讶或震惊
Don’t come along with the wrong expectations.
不要抱错了期望
Politics in a democracy
在某些关键方面
it’s going to be pretty awful in some major ways.
民主国家的政治会相当糟糕
It’s not that we’re doing anything specifically wrong.
这并不是说我们做错了些什么事
It’s just the price you pay,
这只是你付出的代价
and should be willing to pay,
当你给予所有人最终权力时
when you give ultimate authority to everyone.
你也应当愿意付出这份代价

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生命学院 社会学 介绍了亚历西斯·德·托克维尔,托克维尔提出的对民主的见解等

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