Tocqueville's Discussion on Race Relations in the United States
《论美国的民主》是法国政治思想家托克维尔在19世纪上半期完成的一部巨著,对该书的研究和论述不胜枚举,但基本未涉及托克维尔关于美国种族与种族关系的认识。事实上,托克维尔通过实地考察美国土著居民和黑人的困境,对美国白人和黑人与印第安人间的种族关系进行了详尽的评论,指出作为支配群体或多数人群体的白人不仅在法律上有权界定自身,而且还能通过自身历史和文化界定社会价值观,建构种族差异,美国的种族社会是社会建构的产物,同时也是一个不断被社会建构的过程。白人特权和种族主义根深蒂固存在于美国的法制和民情中。托克维尔还分析了基于白肤色的财产权和白人特权对白人产生的负面效应,他认为,白人从作为统治民族中获得的心理利益蒙蔽了白人,使他们看不到这一体制对他们征收了实质上和精神上的重税,他也由此预见到种族关系在美国难以得到改善。Democracy in America was written by Charles Alexis de Tocqueville during the first half of the 19 thcentury.The book has been extensively studied,but almost no researchers have discussed his views on races and race relations. In fact,Tocqueville examined racial differences and race relations in the US on the basis of social constructivism. He revealed that whites,as a kind of Herrenvolk,had the rights to define themselves and denigrate other racial identities legally,and that they also structured racial inequality in structuring democratic politics and social relations in America. Racial identities were social constructions. He argued that white privileges and racism were embedded in American laws and mores. Moreover,he maintained that the American race system generated negative externalities for whites. Finally,he predicted that racial inequality would undermine seriously American interests in the future.