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共和政体不等于民主政体 A Republic, Not a Democracy

发表于 5/18/2017 17:50:14 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 郭国汀 于 5/18/2017 18:02 编辑

共和政体不等于民主政体  A Republic, Not a Democracy
             By Leslie M. Shaw[1]

    摘要: 美国开国元勋们创建的是共和政体而非民主政体。在一个民主形式的政府中,由人民大众立法;而在共和政府中则人民选举产生立法机构立法。在民主政府下,人民群众解释他们自已制定的法律;在共和政体中,人民直接或通过授予一个选任的行政总裁及由对制定法律没有发言权的法官解释法律。在民主政体中,人民群众管理政府事务,而在共和政体中他们选举行政总裁管理政府事务。近来,无论党派如何,也无论政府官员,专家学者,文人智者或平民群众皆众口一词:民主最好!然而他们均承认纯民主政府是所有可能的政体中最坏的一种,如果纯民主真能成为一种政府的话。纯民主政府或许是世界上唯一被公认为最坏的政府。必须明确人民并不解释宪法,他们创立一个在这方面拥有广泛权力的法庭,赋予其崇高的威望,命名为最高法院。在共和政体下,人民并不直接或通过公投方式制定法律,他们创设一个有权威的立法机构,包括上下两院,要求他们对当下国家而临的所有的问题采取措施制定规则,此种立法者被称作国会。人民群众在共和政体下,并不管理政府事务,他们选举一个行政总裁,命名他为总统。宪法是类似于一份介于社会成员多数派与所有少数派之间的合同,多数派同意个体权利将受到针对来自多数派,大众立法,群众解释法律及群众执法的歧视充分保障。
    In these days, when nothing that man has tested and approved seems sacred, and when the trend both at home and abroad indicates that civilization is liable to overstep and history be repeated, it may not be out of place to emphasize the fact that the United States of America was created a Republic, and not a Democracy. In the early history of the race sovereignty was generally lodged with a sovereign. In the stretch of ages many attempts had been made to lodge sovereignty with the people and to have it exercised directly.  A few experiments had been made in representative government, but at the time our Constitution was drafted republics had universally gone, as the United States seems tending, from representative government to popular government, and they had all passed hence, and by way of the dictator.
       Only the thoughtless use the terms "republic" and "democracy" as synonymous. In a democratic form of government, the people legislate en masse; in republics they choose legislators. Under a democratic form of government, the people en masse interpret laws which they themselves make; in republics the people select, either directly or through the appointive power of an elected Chief Executive, judges who interpret laws in the making of which they have no voice. In democracies the people administer the affairs of government en masse, while in republics they select Chief Executives.
       Until the administration of President Wilson everyone, with a possible exception here and there, called the United States what it is, or at least what it was, a Republic. Recently, regardless of party affiliations, office holders and would-be statesmen, pedagogues and would-be teachers, men of words and men of supposed wisdom, speak of democracy as most desirable; but every one of them will admit that pure democracy is the worst possible form of government, if indeed pure democracy can be called a government at all. Democracy is probably the only thing in the world that gets admittedly bad when it gets pure.
     In calling the Constitutional Convention to order, George Washington said: "If to please the people we present what we ourselves disapprove, how can we thereafter defend our work?   Let us raise a standard to which the wise and noble can repair; the event is in the hands of God." Then behind closed doors, pledged to secrecy, this body of chosen representatives of the people-it was not a mass convention-formulated the most perfect system of representative government that the world had, has, or ever will see. Standing in statesmanship from his girth above all other men who have yet lived, George Washington warned against trying to please the people. Not until men had ceased to cross the Atlantic primarily through love of liberty, and were coming from the ends of the earth primarily through love of dollars, many of them biologically unable to think in terms of Anglican liberty, did anyone suppose popular intelligence adequate for making or interpreting constitutions.
        The Constitutional Fathers need no defense from me. That picked body of men are recognized as surpassing any equal number ever gathered for any purpose, and they expressly provided that the people should never have the opportunity to cast a vote directly for or against the adoption of the Constitution or any amendment thereto. To make it clear that the people were not to interpret the Constitution, they created a tribunal with plenary power in this particular, clothed it with great dignity, and named it the Supreme Court. To make it clear that under a republican form of government the people are not to make laws, directly or by referendum, they created a dignified legislative body, composed of two houses, and required that they act concurrently in all matters, and they named it the Congress. To make it clear that the people in a republic do not administer the affairs of their government, they made express provision for the selection of a Chief Executive, and they named him the President.
       The Constitutional Fathers had great confidence in the American people. Having been themselves selected by the people, they believed the people would always be able to choose from their number men of like type. At that time, of course, the direct primary was not so much as considered. In fact Wisconsin, where the innovation originated, was then a wilderness. The Constitutional  Fathers   believed there would be many abundantly competent, by their vote, to select an able legislator and a wise statesman, who would not be personally competent to legislate or to direct legislators. They believed many would be competent to help select learned judges, who would not be personally competent to occupy the judicial bench or to instruct judges or to recall judicial decisions. They presumably knew it would be much safer to place the unlearned and the inexperienced on the bench, where at the worst they might ruin a few litigants, than to permit the untrained and inexperienced to enact laws, or to interpret statutes, or to administer the same, where at the best they might be expected to bring disaster upon all. Of all subjects that ever engaged the attention of thinking men, statecraft is the most complicated and involved.
         The War Department reports that investigations made by it in connection with the selective draft revealed the fact that seventy per cent of the American people are intellectually of the grade of fourteen year old children or under. If our Constitution should   ever be so amended as to change our form of government from a Republic, which is representative government, to a democracy, which is direct government, we need expect nothing better than the majority, a fourteen- year-old government, which in the opinion of some is below anything that the direct primary has yet produced.
       What is a constitution? A constitution is little else than a contract between the majority and all minorities, in which the majority agrees that individual rights shall be secure from mass prejudices, mass legislation, mass interpretations, and mass administration of laws.

[1] Former Secretary of the TreasuryLeslie M. Shaw ,Republic Not a Democracy ,9 Const. Rev.  (1925)  pp, 140 to 142 .

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