• The English Revolution

    2012年05月26日

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    我最近这些天读了Trevelyan写的《英国革命》,感触颇深。其英国如果依照法律,即使在今天王仍然有很大的利,包括指认、罢免诸相,制定、废黜法律的等。但是这些西只在文件中,并没有人真正执行。可以想,如果今天的英国女王号施令罢免首相,首先不会有任何人执行,并且王自己会被当做笑柄。

     

    十七世纪时的英国革命,也是英国的最后一次革命。那时英国,上至王公大臣,下至平民百姓,无一不意识到詹姆斯二世的独裁、与天主教政策对英国的危害;即使掌控国会、在过去几十年都效忠Stuarts王朝的Tory党派,也逐渐不能忍受詹姆斯的独裁。当威廉姆斯三世从荷兰攻打到英国夺的时候,举国上下的各派势力——从Tories到Whigs,从大公教徒到新教徒——都没有任何阻抗。带兵迎战的詹姆斯自己也半路开始怀疑自己的将士是否还效忠自己,而半路撤退。最终英国革命没有任何交兵,没有任何伤亡,以詹姆斯自愿逃亡法国告捷。

     

    我觉得这应该是革命最好的状态。当一个国家的国民从下至上都懂得民主与自由的时候,实际上不需要大规模的形制上的改,自然而然的,民主就会形成。而换言之,我们看一个国家民主与自由的程度,就反映了这个国家多数人对二者的接受程度。当社会中大多数人都懂得自由、民主的时候,我们一定会有它们。当政府不能给予民主自由的时候,也正说明二者尚不能被多数民众接受。中国有非常完善的法体系,缺少的是懂得法制、民主的民众。而这绝不是一朝一夕可以有的。

     

    Trevelyan, George Macaulay. The English Revolution 1688-1689. Oxford University Press, 1938.

     

    The expulsion of James was a revolutionary act, but otherwise the spirit of this strange Revolution was the opposite of revolutionary. It came not to overthrow the law but to confirm it against a law-breaking king. It came not to coerce people into one pattern of opinion in politics or religion, but to give them freedom under and by the law. (p.11)

     

    Since public justice was henceforth to be impartial and no longer a mere instrument of the Crown, the law of Treason was altered by Statute in 1695 much to the advantage of the accused. He was to have a copy of the indictment. He was to be defended by Counsel. He was enabled to compel the attendance of witnesses for the defence. An overt act of Treason had to be proved by two witnesses. Henceforth, for the first time in our history, judicial murder ceased to be an ordinary weapon of politics and government. (p.169)

     

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