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为什么苏格拉底痛恨民主?

Why Socrates Hated Democracy

一直以来 我们都高度赞扬民主 甚至认为 在古雅典时期
We are used to thinking very highly of democracy – and by extension, of Ancient Athens,
文明由此而生 帕特农神庙也几乎成为了民主价值的代名词
the civilisation that gave rise to it. The Parthenon has become almost a byword for democratic values
这也是为什么许多民主国家领导人喜欢在此留影的原因
which is why so many leaders of democracies like to be photographed there.
正因为如此 当我们发现古希腊最伟大的成就之一
It’s therefore very striking to discover that one of Ancient Greece’s great achievements,
哲学 对其另一主要成就民主高度怀疑时有多么震惊
Philosophy, was highly suspicious of its other achievement, Democracy.
希腊哲学之父苏格拉底在与柏拉图的对话中 描述了
The founding father of Greek Philosophy – Socrates – is portrayed, in the dialogues of Plato, as hugely pessimistic
他对于整个民主思想的悲观主义 在共和国第六书中 柏拉图讲到
about the whole business of democracy. In Book Six of The Republic, Plato describes
苏格拉底与阿德曼图讨论 并想通过
Socrates falling into conversation with a character called Adeimantus and trying to
将民主比作船来让阿德曼图看到民主的缺陷
get him to see the flaws of democracy by comparing a society to a ship. If you were heading out
如果你想搭船开始一段旅程 你会选择谁来操控这艘船?苏格拉底这样问他
on a journey by sea, asks Socrates, who would you ideally want deciding who was in charge
任何人还是受过海上航行训练的人?
of the vessel? Just anyone or people educated in the rules and demands of seafaring? The
阿德曼图:当然是后者苏格拉底:那么为什么我们总认为
latter of course, says Adeimantus, so why then, responds Socrates, do we keep thinking
任何年纪大的人都适合去决定谁应该成为一个国家的领导?
that any old person should be fit to judge who should be a ruler of a country? Socrates’s
苏格拉底认为选举是一项技能 不是随意的直觉 就像其他任何技能一样
point is that voting in an election is a skill, not a random intuition. And like any skill,
需要人们系统地学习 让没有学习过的人去选举
it needs to be taught systematically to people. Letting the citizenry vote without an education
就和让他们在暴风雨中操控航向萨摩斯岛的三层划桨战船一样不负责任
is as irresponsible as putting them in charge of a trireme sailing to Samos in a storm.
苏格拉底后来直接体验过 因为选举人的愚蠢所造成的灾难
Socrates was to have first hand, catastrophic experience of the foolishness of voters. In
在公元前399年 因为被指控腐坏雅典年轻人的思想 苏格拉底被对簿公堂请来
399 BC, the philosopher was put on trial on trumped up charges of corrupting the youth
一个由五百雅典人组成的陪审团判断这个案件 最终以微弱差距
of Athens. A jury of 500 Athenians was invited to weigh up the case and decided by a narrow
定谳苏格拉底有罪 他被判定用毒芹处以死刑 在那个漫长的过程中
margin that the philosopher was guilty. He was put to death by hemlock in a process which
他吃每一口时都让有思想的人感觉到悲痛 如同耶稣受难时门徒们的感受
is, for thinking people, every bit as tragic as Jesus’s condemnation has been for Christians.
至关重要的是 苏格拉底不是正常意义上的精英 他不认为
Crucially, Socrates was not elitist in the normal sense. He didn’t believe that a narrow
只能小部分人应该选举 然而他却坚持认为只有那些
few should only ever vote. He did, however, insist that only those who had thought about
理性深刻地思考过相关问题的人才能选举 我们忘记了
issues rationally and deeply should be let near a vote. We have forgotten this distinction
理性民主和与生俱来的民主之间的差别 我们将选举权赋予了每一个人
between an intellectual democracy and a democracy by birthright. We have given the vote to all
而忘了将其与智慧联系起来 而苏格拉底非常清楚这将会导致什么样的后果
without connecting it to wisdom. And Socrates knew exactly where that would lead:
它将演变成希腊人最害怕的一种结果——群众煽动
to a system the Greeks feared above all, demagoguery.
群众煽动曾给古希腊人造成惨痛的教训 拿声名狼藉的亚西比德举个例子
Ancient Athens had painful experience of demagogues, for example, the louche figure of Alcibiades,
这是一个富裕有魅力并且演讲能力出众的人 他破坏了基本的自由并且推动了
a rich, charismatic, smooth-talking wealthy man who eroded basic freedoms and helped to
雅典对与西西里岛的灾难性军事侵略 苏格拉底知道人们有多容易
push Athens to its disastrous military adventures in Sicily. Socrates knew how easily people
在寻求选举时被激发他们对于容易答案的渴望 他让我们想象一场
seeking election could exploit our desire for easy answers. He asked us to imagine an
发生在两个候选人之间的选举 一个是像医生那样的人 一个是
election debate between two candidates, one who was like a doctor and the other who was
像糖果商人那样的人 糖果商人可能会这样说他的对手 你们看这个人
like a sweet shop owner. The sweet shop owner would say of his rival: Look, this person
他在你们身上做了太多坏事 他弄疼你们 给你们很苦的药 让你们
here has worked many evils on you. He hurts you, gives you bitter potions and tells you
不要吃喝你们喜欢的任何东西 他永远不会像我一样用多种美妙事物
not to eat and drink whatever you like. He’ll never serve you feasts of many and varied
设宴款待你们 苏格拉底让我们思考观众们的反应 说 你们
pleasant things like I will. Socrates asks us to consider the audience response: Do you
认为这个医生能够有效地反驳糖果商人吗?实际上他会说 我让你们陷于疼痛
think the doctor would be able to reply effectively? The true answer – ‘I cause you trouble,
违背你们的意愿只是为了帮助你们 但是这并没有在选举者中得到太多认可
and go against you desires in order to help you’ would cause an uproar among the voters,
你们不认为我们已经忘记了苏格拉底对于民主的明显的警告吗
don’t you think? We have forgotten all about Socrates’s salient warnings against democracy.
我们倾向于认为民主毫无疑问是好的 而不是
We have preferred to think of democracy as an unambiguous good – rather than as something
只有在教育体制环绕其中时它才有效 因此我们
that is only ever as effective as the education system that surrounds it. As a result, we
选举出了非常多的糖果商人 而医生 只有极少数
have elected many sweet shop owners, and very few doctors.

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视频概述

苏格拉底(希腊语:Σωκράτης/英语:Socrates,公元前469—公元前399年),古希腊著名的思想家、哲学家、教育家、公民陪审员。

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLJBzhcSWTk

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