Some Thoughts on Tocqueville’s Comments on India |基於托克維爾論印度的若干個人思考

“India. A great position, from which England dominates all Asia. A glory which revives the entire English nation. What a sense of grandeur and power this possession creates in every part of that people. The value of a conquest ought not to be calculated only in terms of financial and commercial considerations……” Tocqueville on India.

Eminent liberals are invariably colonialists (or liberal interventionists): liberalism and colonialism — whether in classical Greece or modern Europe — rise and fall in synchrony. Not pure coincidence, for spontaneous orders are, after all, inherently expansive. Whilst liberal order in Europe manifests itself internally as constitutionalism, it germinates into colonialism externally.

偉大的自由主義者都是殖民主義者。無論古典希臘還是近代歐洲,自由和殖民都興衰同步。這不是偶然現象,任何自發秩序都有內在的擴張性。歐洲的自由秩序在內部體現為憲政,在外部就體現為殖民。

Colonialism is not racism. Rather, it is a natural proliferation of the mechanism which begets liberal order. Never should colonialism end, until the torch of liberty is passed onto overseas (if not sub-civilisational) territories; and never should colonialists be deplored, unless — for material indulgence — they betray their liberal mandate. Those who oppose colonialism on any ground other than liberal values risk aiding and abetting illiberal orders.

殖民主義的本質不是種族主義,而是自由秩序產生機制的播種。海外的子文明接過自由的火炬以後,殖民者的使命才能結束。殖民主義只有在一種情況下才應該受到譴責,那就是殖民者為物質利益而犧牲了文明使命。任何人反對殖民主義而不以自由價值為出發點,都很容易淪為自由秩序的敵人。

Translated by Y | 譯員:Y