2011年1月31日星期一

今日佳句

还是来自《控制国家》。因为中文版算不上佳译,后面附上原文:

政治权力可以通过抽象的概念得到限制的观念就像传说中的不死鸟那样难以烧毁。 (The notion that a political power can be constrained by an abstraction is as difficult to destroy as the legendary Phoenix.)

这句后面还有:

在最近对17世纪40年代的英国政治文献的一项研究中,David L. Smith (1994)断言他发现了“立宪保皇主义”的政治学说,他把这种学说解释成英国君主的权力是受到“法治”限制的主张。在我看来,他用来支持这种理论时援引的著作家们完全缺乏理解一种并非严格的等级制的政治秩序的想象力…… (In a recent study of the English political literature of the 1640s, David L. Smith (1994) claims to find that the political doctrine that then emerged was "constitutional royalism," which he construes as the contention that the power of the English monarch is limited by "the rule of law." It seems to me that the writers he cites in support of this theory simply lacked the imagination to conceive of any political order that was not strictly hierarchical...)

以上内容,都是下面这段话里的一个脚注。作为倾向于制度主义的学者,斯科特·戈登写这些话是为了批评爱德华·科克(Edward Coke, 1552-1634)等人的“古代宪法”学说,即议会政府和英国人自由的源头可以追溯到早于大宪章的时代:

早在1604年,在向国王请愿时,议会就轻率地蔑视都铎时期的君主的惯例,并直率地要求下院的实质性权利,这种权利被辩护成古已有之的东西。……爱德华·科克作为一名历史学权威的声望为英格兰的古代宪法的观念提供了受到议会党人无保留地欢迎的支持。现代历史学家们已经指出这种观念是完全缺乏经验基础的,但科克对这个观念的处理本身已经成了英国宪政历史的一个重要事实。根据他的观点,古代宪法是包含在英国的普通法之中的,而后者在当代英国依然保持活力并继续得到发展。这样,英格兰就可以被认为有一部体现在普通法院的判决之中的实在的宪法。随着国王的特权法院的摒弃和法官的安全保障的发展,法院开始成为英国政府中的一个独立的权力中心。正如我多次强调的,如果没有一个机构能够对君主对施加给他的约束的解释提出有效的挑战,国王要收到神意、自然法、为大众利益服务的职责的约束的观念都是没有价值的。在17世纪,不但议会被确定为一个有力的政治机构,法院作为政府和公民之间的一个保护性缓冲器在所有现代立宪政体中发挥的作用也已经被奠定了基础。 (As early as 1604, in an address to the king, Parliament blithely disregarded the practices of the Tudor monarchs and minced no words in claiming substantial rights for the commons, which it defended as ancient... Edward Coke's reputation as a historical authority provided the notion of England's ancient constitution with support that parliamentarians welcomed uncritically. Modern historians have pointed out that it is totally devoid of empirical foundations (see, e.g., Hulme, 1960; Skinner, 1965), but Coke's treatment of the idea became, in itself, an important fact of English constitutional history. In his view, the ancient constitution was contained in the English common law, which remained alive, and continued to develop, in contemporary England. Thus England was argued to have a tangible constitution, embodied in the judgments of the common law courts. With the abandonment of the royal prerogative courts, and the development of secure tenure for judges, the judiciary began to emerge as an independent center of power in English government. As I have frequently emphasized, the notion that the Crown is constrained by divine will, or by natural law, or by the obligation to serve the salus populi, is of no account if there is no institution that can effectively challenge the monarch's interpretation of such constraints. During the seventeenth century not only did Parliament become established as a powerful political institution; the foundation was also laid for the role of the judiciary as a protective buffer between the government and the citizenry, a role that it plays in all modern constitutional polities.)

我想这些话很好地提示了我们,在观念之外,法治还需要什么条件。所以花了点时间把以上中文部分敲出来,与各位常提“法治”、“普通法”等观念的朋友们共享。当然,最好还是看英文。

5 条评论:

  1. 我的疑惑是,司法独立这样的政治制度安排,又是如何成为可能的呢?

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  2. 呵呵,疑惑啥,你还不比我清楚?如果不是有本钱的诸侯倒逼,那就是像某些前殖民地那样,外力灌输呗。总之,社会权力不能压倒性地集中在一个本土势力手里。

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  3. 《控制国家》litz不可能没读过吧,既然连我都读过了:)
    整本书都是围绕权力的“对抗模式”展开,很彻底地反布丹的主权学说。大意就是只有在诸权力的均势下,才有宪政,也方能控制住国家(controlling the state)。再说得糙一点就是几个黑老大谁都不敢动谁,大家才能好好说话,摆事实讲道理,才有规矩方圆,才可能有自由。只有一个主子,想怎么玩你都行。当然这不是什么新鲜的东西了。不过对过分强调观念力量的人来说算一剂解毒药。

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  4. 惭愧,还真没有读过这本书。元非太自谦了,你的阅读范围,那可是相当的广啊。

    早年在国内时候,读书时候多却几乎都是哲学。出国以后特别读博以来,读paper和chapter的时候多,完整读一本书时候少。

    希望新年能少上网,多读书。

    新年好

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  5. 我民科嘛,读得杂很正常

    听说政治学有经济学化的倾向,计量当然早就遍地都是,现在又动辄博弈论什么的。能说的早见有人说过了,自己还得做出所谓的新东西来,其实无趣地很,以后学术史上也基本留不下来。费脑子还没钱赚,你们搞学术的不容易啊。祝新年好运吧,早日混上终身教职,不管在哪。

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