Dave Kopel 柯大為研究論壇 > 武器和希臘人

武器和希腊人

作者:Dave Kopel 柯大為


创始人没有从稀薄的空气中祈求拥有武器的权力,他们从西方文明的创始人那里了解到它的价值


美国政府共和国形式的创造者走过时没有制定一切。美国政治哲学包括保持和拥有武器的权力完全基于贯穿18世纪英国的古希腊哲学巨著。

独立宣言是源自于托马斯杰克逊所称为的公众权力的初步书籍,如亚里斯多德,本塞罗,本德尼等关于拥有武器的权力亚里斯多德(西方文明最有影响力的哲学家)说了什么?许多直到今天都是正确的。

亚里斯多德是柏拉图的一个学生,在雅典外的柏拉图学院研究

美国共和国的创始人非常熟悉柏拉图和亚里斯多德两人的著作。当柏拉图和亚里斯多德在许多事上产生分歧时,他们就拥有武器对一个社会政治结构的重要性却意见一致:谁控制了武器谁就控制了政府。

柏拉图最伟大的政治哲学著作是著于公元前四世纪的第一部共和国。柏拉图就为什么社会总是从寡头政治(由一群富有的中坚份子统治)发展到民主政治(由人民统治)再发展到专制统治(由一个人统治)的原理进行了阐述。其中每一步都是重要的。

在寡头政治他们随后立法规定一笔钱作为公民身份资格;这笔钱在一个地方高一点,在另一个地方低一点,因为寡头政治或多或少排外;他们不允许任何财产低于固定价格的人拥有政府的任何股份。如果他们的工作不是胁迫的话,他们是通过武器力量实现结构变化。(共和国,书8政府的四个体本杰明Jowett Translation

柏拉图指出寡头政治的一个不利:另一个丢脸的特点一个可能的原因就是他们无力进行任何战争或是他们武装了大多数,然后他们比害怕敌人还害怕他们;或是,如果在战斗中他们不叫他们出来,他们是真正的寡头政治执政者,因为他们很少统治就很少战斗。

最终,寡头政治被民主政治代替,革命是否通过武器实现,或是害怕引起反对党的退出。换一句话说,是武装革命还是武装革命可怕的威胁使寡头失去了它的权力。但是一会儿后,人们向煽动行为屈服,一个君出现。 君解除了他的牺牲者的武装后才开始施以最残酷的暴政。在共和国一系列师生对话中,老师解释道:然后父母(人民)会发现一个怪物一直被培养在他的怀里;但当他想把他赶出的时候,他却发现自己太弱而他的儿子(君)强大。

学生:为什么,你的意思是说 君会用暴力?什么!如果他反对,他就打他的爸爸?老师:是的,他会的,第一步就是使他放下武器。

柏拉图理想的国家,君的一人统治被哲人-王的一人统治所代替。王用专业军队/警察类-使每一个人遵守的守护者。象前苏联人民,柏拉图理想国家的普通人民会通过使用武器被定期训练(每月一次),但是没有拥有武器的权力,武器会被集中储存在国家军械库(柏拉图,法律)。

柏拉图的乌托邦,没有人(男人或女人)可以不被领导;不管在虚假的战斗或真实的战斗中没有人能有独立行动的习惯。和平和战争一样,我们必须不断向我们的领导保持注意和服从。(法律)

与柏拉图政府原理最融洽的国家是现代的新加坡:坚固的控制,国民的整个生活由一个良好的国家细心地控制。

柏拉图的最重要的哲学派生是德国的Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel(1770 1883).Hegel提供了法西斯主义的智力基础,把国家看作神圣的,完全服从国家的个体。(Hegel和柏拉图在许多其它事件上有分歧,如理解基础,但他们政治本质上是相同的)

象柏拉图一样,亚里斯多德认为武器是政治权力的基础源泉,但和析拉图不一样的是,他想让普通人民拥有这个权力。在他的政治书里,他说,每一个公民应该工作来维持生活,应该参加政治和立法事务,应该拥有武器。

另一个哲学家(Hippodamus)希望在熟练的劳动,农业和防卫间有一个严格的角色区分。亚里斯多德批评其原理说:但是男人没有武器,工匠既没有武器也没有土地,因此他们就变成全部而不是战斗级的奴隶(亚里斯多德,政治,由本杰明Jowett翻译)

亚里斯多德认为拥有武器就是拥有政治权力:当大量的公民以共同的利益管理国家,政府被叫成一个普通的名字宪法. . .在宪法国家,战士有崇高的权力,拥有武器的就是公民。(书3,第七章)

亚里斯多德把民主(由人民统治)的发展和制造相关步兵的军事改革连接:当城市增加,重武器力量(与骑兵相反)增长,更多拥有国家的股份;这就是为什么我们称之为宪法政府的国家至今被叫做民主政治的原因(以上引用全部来自于书4,第13章)。

武器控制导向国家控制是必然的:那些可以使用或抵抗暴力的人们会情愿被征服是可能的. . .那些持有武器的人总是决定宪法的命运(书7,第9章节)

武器对任一个好的政府是重要的:那么让我们列举国家的功能,我们会很容易得出我们想要的.第三,必须有武器,因为社会的成员需要他们,在他们自己的手中既可以保持政权又可以压制不服从的臣民和抵抗外来侵略。(书7,第13章节)独裁者总是解除他们臣民的武装这并不奇怪:从寡头政治到. . .都不信任人民,因此剥夺他们的武器。(书5,第10章节)

有时候,裁军不是直接完成的,而是通过鼓励人民忽略武装训练.寡头政治欺骗人民的工具. . .有关。 。(4)武器的使用;(5)体育训练. . .关于(4)武器的拥有,(5)体育训练,他们以同样的精神立法(试图通过参加保持贫困)。因为穷人没有权力拥有武器,但富人会因没有武器而被罚款;同样方式穷人不会因为没有参加训练而被罚,结果不用害怕,他们不参加。但富人很可能被罚因此他们注意参加。

理论上那些拥有政府负担的人是那些管理政府的人,亚里斯多德写道政府应该被限于那些拥有武器的人。早期的美国共和国本质地反映了这个方案;一群有民兵义务的人基本上就是有资格投票的一群人。

在写于公元前350年的雅典宪法上,亚里斯多德给了一个19世纪晚期重新发现的雅典城邦的政治历史,雅典宪法为亚里斯多德的 君解除人民武装的原理提供了历史证据,尽管美国创始人没有雅典宪法,但通过其它来源,他们了解到书中所描述的许多政治事件。

在公元前六世纪,一个叫Pisistratus君接管了雅典。亚里斯多德解释暴 君是如何通过解除他控制的每一个城市人民的武装而获得绝对的权力:

Pallene取得战斗的胜利后他夺取了雅典,当他解除人民的武装时他最终建立了他的暴政,可以占领Naxos(一个希腊岛屿)并定Lyadamis为那儿的统治者。他以下列方法实现人民的裁军。他命令全副盔甲的游行队伍在Theseum(一个庙),并开始向人民做演讲。他说了一小会,人们叫他们听不见,因此他让他们到雅典卫城的门口以至于他的声音可以被听见。然后在他对他们说着长篇大论的时候,那些他指定去收集武器并把它们锁在Theseum的仓库里的人们来了并向他做了一个做完的信号。因此,Pisistratus在说完他所要讲的话时,他告诉人们他们武器的下落,并说他们不需要紧张和害怕,回家做他们自己的事情,他将来会管理国家的一切事务。(亚里斯多德,雅典宪法第15章节,由Sir Frederic G. Kenyon翻译)。

附带地,Pissistratus维持了一个和平的外交政策,可能是因为他不敢允许雅典公民在一个主要的战争中拥有武器根据大不列颠百科全书。Pissitratus被他的儿子Hippias继承。Hippias的弟弟Hipparchus被暗杀。开始政府不能发现任何阴谋线索;在现在的故事中,Hippias做了一切,他参加了那些离开他们的武器的队伍,然后发现那些持有秘密匕首的人,但不真实,因为那时,他们在队伍中不带武器,这成了民主政治后期组成的习惯(雅典宪法,第18章节)。用另外的词,在队伍中持有武器是一个民主政治的一个自由行为,不是一个君的行为。

在伯罗奔尼撒人战争中雅典被斯巴达击败后,斯巴达在公元前404年指定第三任暴君统治雅典。在这个30君群中有一个长期的雅典政治家,他和斯巴达协商和平,但他反对三十君的极端措施。亚里斯多德解释三十君怎样加固权力,怎样裁军为直接的军事规则铺路。

因而第三十决定解除一群人口的武装并摆脱Theramenes;他们做的方式如下。他们介绍两个法律给他们命令其通过的议事会;其中的第一个是给三十绝对的权力处死任一个没有包括在三千名单上的公民,第二个是所有那些帮助破坏Eetioneia堡垒的人,或以任何形式反对过组织以前寡头政治的四百(统治下公元前411年)的权力。Theramenes 两个都做了,据说这些法律通过时,他被排除特权,三十完全有权把他处死。Theramenes就这样被消除了,他们解除了这三千人以外所有人的武装,每一面都 显示出极大的残忍和罪恶。他们还派大使到Lacedaemonian(斯巴达)诽谤Theramenes的品质并寻求帮助;古斯巴达人回应他们的请求就派了Calilibius作为军事官员带着约七百人的军队来了并占领了雅典的卫城(37章)。

根据大不列颠百科全书,亚里斯多德比任一思想家都决定西方文明历史的方向和内容。拥有武器权力的讨论在后来的2400百年一直围绕着柏拉图和亚里斯多德提出的思想进行着;一方支持无责任的中央政府拥有所有的武器和权力。另一方支持市民持有武器权。不管当代枪控的争论的结果(如加拿大的枪注册,美国的枪封锁及英国的手枪充公)支持全民自由的朋友们决不能忘记政府控制枪的结局:坚决使有武装的市民解除武装权力,有时候是从征收那些自称自己为政府的人开始的。

自由,19998月,1999版權David B. Kopel 柯大為

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 Arms and the Greeks
by David Kopel


The founders didn't conjure up the right to bear arms out of thin air. They learned its value from the founders of Western civilization.


The creators of America's republican form of government did not make everything up as they went along. American political philosophy including the right to keep and bear arms was firmly grounded in historical experience and in the great works of philosophy from ancient Greece through 18th-century Britain.

The Declaration of Independence was derived from what Thomas Jefferson called, "the elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, etc." What did Aristotle the most influential philosopher of Western civilization say about the right to arms? Quite a lot that still rings true today.

Aristotle was a student of Plato, and studied at Plato's Academy outside Athens.

The Founders of the American Republic were intimately familiar with the writings of both Plato and Aristotle. And while Plato and Aristotle disagreed about many things, they agreed on the importance of arms-bearing to a society's political structure: whoever controlled the arms would control the government.

Plato's greatest work of political philosophy is The Republic, written in the first part of the fourth century, BCE. In The Republic, Plato explains his theory for why societies always progress from oligarchy (rule by a small group of elite rich) to democracy (rule by the people) to despotism (rule by a single man). At each step, the control of arms is essential.

In an oligarchy, "They next proceed to make a law which fixes a sum of money as the qualification of citizenship; the sum is higher in one place and lower in another, as the oligarchy is more or less exclusive; and they allow no one whose property falls below the amount fixed to have any share in the government. These changes in the constitution they effect by force of arms, if intimidation has not already done their work" (The Republic, Book VIII "Four Forms of Government," Benjamin Jowett transl.).

Plato points out one of the disadvantages of oligarchy: "Another discreditable feature is, that, for a like reason, they are incapable of carrying on any war. Either they arm the multitude, and then they are more afraid of them than of the enemy; or, if they do not call them out in the hour of battle, they are oligarchs indeed, few to fight as they are few to rule."

Eventually, the oligarchy is supplanted by democracy, "whether the revolution has been effected by arms, or whether fear has caused the opposite party to withdraw." In other words, either armed revolution or the credible threat of armed revolution causes the oligarchy to lose its power. But after a while, the people succumb to demagogy, and a tyrant arises. The tyrant does not begin his worst abuses until after he has disarmed his victims. In The Republic , which is a series of teacher-student dialogues, the teacher explains: "Then the parent (the people) will discover what a monster he has been fostering in his bosom; and, when he wants to drive him out, he will find that he is weak and his son (the tyrant) strong."

Student: "Why, you do not mean to say that the tyrant will use violence? What! Beat his father if he opposes him?" Teacher: "Yes, he will, having first disarmed him."

In Plato's ideal state, the one-man rule of a tyrant is replaced by the one-man rule of a philosopher-king. The king uses a professional military/police class the Guardians to keep everyone else in line. Like the people of the former Soviet Union, the common people of Plato's ideal state would be trained periodically (once a month) in use of arms, but would have no right to arms, and arms would be centrally stored in state armories (Plato, Laws).

In Plato's utopia, "no one, man or woman, must ever be left without someone in charge of him; nobody must get into the habit of acting independently in either sham fighting or the real thing, and in peace and war alike we must give our constant attention and obedience to our leader. . ." (Laws).

The country most in harmony with Plato's theory of government is modern Singapore: tightly regulated, with a subject's entire life carefully controlled by a "benign" state.

Plato's most important philosophic descendent is the German Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 1831). Hegel provided the intellectual foundation for fascism, seeing the state as sacred, and the individual as absolutely subservient to the state. (Hegel and Plato differed on many other issues, such as the basis of perception, but their politics were essentially similar.)

Like Plato, Aristotle considered arms a fundamental source of political power, but unlike Plato, Aristotle wanted ordinary people to possess this power. In Aristotle's book Politics, he argues that each citizen should work to earn his own living, should participate in political or legislative affairs, and should bear arms.

Aristotle criticized the theory of another philosopher (Hippodamus), who wanted a strict division of roles between skilled labor, agriculture, and defense: "But the husbandmen have no arms, and the artisans neither arms nor land, and therefore they become all but slaves of the warrior class" (Aristotle, Politics, translated by Benjamin Jowett).

Aristotle considered the possession of arms synonymous with possession of political power: "when the citizens at large administer the state for the common interest, the government is called by the generic name a constitution . . . in a constitutional government the fighting-men have the supreme power, and those who possess arms are the citizens" (Book 3, ch VII).

Aristotle linked the development of democracy (rule by the people) with military innovations making foot soldiers relevant: "But when cities increased and the heavy armed (as opposed to the cavalry) grew in strength, more had a share in the government; and this is the reason why the states which we call constitutional governments have been hitherto called democracies" (all of the above quotations from Book 4, ch. XIII).

It was inevitable that control of arms would lead to control of the state: "since it is an impossible thing that those who are able to use or to resist force should be willing to remain always in subjection . . . those who carry arms can always determine the fate of the constitution" (Book 7, ch. IX).

Arms are essential to any good government: "Let us then enumerate the functions of a state, and we shall easily elicit what we want. . . . thirdly, there must be arms, for the members of a community have need of them, and in their own hands, too, in order to maintain authority both against disobedient subjects and against external assailants" (Book 7, ch. VIII). It was hardly surprising that dictators always disarmed their subjects: "As of oligarchy so of tyranny . . . Both mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms" (Book 5, ch X).

Sometimes the disarmament was not accomplished directly, but instead by encouraging people to neglect arms training. "The devices by which oligarchies deceive the people . . . relate to . . . (4) the use of arms; (5) gymnastic exercises. . . . Concerning (4) the possession of arms, and (5) gymnastic exercises, they legislate in a similar spirit [trying to keep the poor from participating]. For the poor are not obliged to have arms, but the rich are fined for not having them; and in like manner no penalty is inflicted on the poor for non-attendance at the gymnasium, and consequently, having nothing to fear, they do not attend, whereas the rich are liable to a fine, and therefore they take care to attend."

Theorizing the people who bear the burdens of government should be the ones who run the government, Aristotle wrote that "The government should be confined to those who carry arms." The early American Republic essentially reflected this scheme; the group of people liable for militia duty was roughly the same as the group of people eligible to vote.

In The Athenian Constitution, written about 350 BCE, Aristotle gives a political history of the city-state of Athens. Rediscovered in the late 19th century, The Athenian Constitution provides historical evidence for Aristotle's theory that tyrants aim to disarm the people. Although The Athenian Constitution was not available to the American Founders, many of the political events described in the book were known to the founders through other sources.

In the sixth century BCE, a tyrant named Pisistratus took over Athens. Aristotle explained how the tyrant obtained absolute power by disarming the people of every city he controlled:

After his victory in the battle at Pallene he captured Athens, and when he had disarmed the people he at last had his tyranny securely established, and was able to take Naxos (a Greek island) and set up Lygdamis as ruler there. He effected the disarmament of the people in the following manner. He ordered a parade in full armour in the Theseum (a temple), and began to make a speech to the people. He spoke for a short time, until the people called out that they could not hear him, whereupon he bade them come up to the entrance of the Acropolis, in order that his voice might be better heard. Then, while he continued to speak to them at great length, men whom he had appointed for the purpose collected the arms and locked them up in the chambers of the Theseum hard by, and came and made a signal to him that it was done. Pisistratus accordingly, when he had finished the rest of what he had to say, told the people also what had happened to their arms; adding that they were not to be surprised or alarmed, but go home and attend to their private affairs, while he would himself for the future manage all the business of the state. (Aristotle, The Athenian Constitution, ch. 15, translated by Sir Frederic G. Kenyon)

Incidentally, Pisistratus maintained a peaceful foreign policy, "probably because he dared not allow the Athenian citizenry to bear arms in a major war," according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Pisistratus was succeeded by his son Hippias. Hippias's younger brother Hipparchus was assassinated. "At first the government could find no clue to the conspiracy; for the current story, that Hippias made all who were taking part in the procession leave their arms, and then detected those who were carrying secret daggers, cannot be true, since at that time they did not bear arms in the processions, this being a custom instituted at a later period by the democracy" (The Athenian Constitution, ch. 18). In other words, carrying arms during a parade was an activity of freemen in a democracy, not of the subjects of a tyrant.

After Athens's defeat by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, Sparta appointed the Thirty Tyrants to rule Athens in 404 BCE. Among this group of 30 was a long-time Athenian politician Theramenes, who had negotiated the peace with Sparta, but who opposed the more extreme measures of the Thirty. Aristotle explained how the Thirty Tyrants consolidated power, and how disarmament prepared the way for direct military rule:

Thereupon the Thirty decided to disarm the bulk of the population and to get rid of Theramenes; which they did in the following way. They introduced two laws into the Council, which they commanded it to pass; the first of them gave the Thirty absolute power to put to death any citizen who was not included in the list of the Three Thousand, while the second disqualified all persons from participation in the franchise who should have assisted in the demolition of the fort of Eetioneia, or have acted in any way against the Four Hundred who had organized the previous oligarchy (which had ruled in 411 BCE). Theramenes had done both, and accordingly, when these laws were ratified, he became excluded from the franchise and the Thirty had full power to put him to death. Theramenes having been thus removed, they disarmed all the people except the Three Thousand, and in every respect showed a great advance in cruelty and crime. They also sent ambassadors to Lacedaemonian (Sparta) to blacken the character of Theramenes and to ask for help; and the Lacedaemonians, in answer to their appeal, sent Callibius as military governor with about seven hundred troops, who came and occupied the Acropolis. (ch. 37)

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "Aristotle, more than any other thinker, determined the orientation and the content of Western intellectual history." The discussion of the right to arms in the next 24 centuries has followed the lines laid down by Plato and Aristotle; one side in favor of an unaccountable central government having all the arms and all the power; and the other side favoring rule by citizens who maintain their right to arms. Whatever the issue du jour of the contemporary gun control debate (e.g., gun registration in Canada; gun locks in the United States; handgun confiscation in the United Kingdom), friends of civil liberty should never forget the ultimate issue that drives the gun control movement: the determination to make armed citizens into disarmed subjects of a powerful, sometimes benign, collection of people who call themselves the government.


Liberty, August 1999, Copyright 1999, David B. Kopel

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