Since my English is broken English which make me shame to write any English essays, although exiled to Canada six years, I still feel quite difficult to express myself clearly and accurately. However there is no way to improve my writing skill but writing, for practice make perfect.
My writing is only for practice not for expert or educate purpose, welcomed any friend to correct my error either in grammar, word or theory, fact and ideas. Following comment all come from my reading and thinking,for space and private use, I do want list all where these ideas come from and did not involved any intellectual property problem.
Second president of the United States John Adams observed that there ‘can be no republic without common good; no liberty without a republic, no common good without law, and no just law without a democratic branch in the constitution’. Here Adams combines the liberty with republic, Britain although remained the Monarchy but in essence adopted many principles of republic. But what is the republicanism?
Republicanism first is the idea of Government exists for common good, second it is the popular sovereign, for the best test of the public good; third, it is liberty under law, which enacted with reason and natural law(God will), purpose protected citizens from any other’s including the state’s invasion.
Liberalism was not known before 19 century. It was emerged with French revolution. Benjamin Constant articulated persuasively in1819, that liberty of ancients as actual participation in government, while liberty of modern meant the rule of law, and specific protections for individual rights, including freedoms of opinion, property, association,speech, religion, and private independence. He defined liberty as the right to be subjected only to the laws and never to arbitrary will of one or more individual.
Republicanism and liberalism basically do not conflict with each other, for both endorse law as the necessary vehicle of social justice. Republicanism is the parent of liberalism. As a legal theory of republican Rome, republicanism revived in Renaissance Italy, restated in Commonwealth England, realized in United States in 1787, reanimated by the French revolution in 1793.
The essential elements of a republican legal system include: 1)Pursuit common good, through 2) popular sovereign, and 3) the rule of law, under 4)mixed and balanced government, comprising 5) deliberative senate, 6) elected executive, and 7) representative House of legislature.
Republicanism secures the liberty of all citizens according to just law, through an independence judiciary, and liberty means that no one is subject to any other’s arbitrary will.
Central meaning of republican government is legislation for public or common good of people, need popular sovereign,because the people are best judge of public welfare and common interest;unfettered governors and factions will pursue their own interest as a human nature greed and selfish being; the rule of law constrains the people and governors from favour their private interests; senate as legislation, moderates the swings of popular emotion, protected minority’s rights, through deliberative debate . The House of Representative (Commons) controls the usurpations of the senate, and vice versa. Thus, the mixed republic government balanced governors against the senate and people are the best way to preserve the liberty of the whole.
When missing any part of three: Executive,legislature and judiciary, the common good and liberty cannot survive. Popular sovereignty without balance is simple democracy not republic. The majority will abuse unprotected minority, therefore imperatively to tyranny of majority. The rule of law can advanced the tyranny of despots. Senators and governors may exploit their authority for private interest.
Since individual independence is the first need of the modern society, ‘one must never require from them any sacrifices to establish political liberty.’ John Stuart Mill concluded that ‘the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others’.
John Locke defined the liberty of man in society as subjection to the duly enacted laws of a legislature established by consent,and independent of any private will. The legislative power should be limited tothe public good of society. Monarchist theorist Robert Filmer identified that the freedom as the ability for everyone to do what he lists, to live as hepleases, and not to be typed by any laws. Thus, freedom is not absolute right,it must be the liberty under the just law, which were enacted for common good,according to the reason and natural law, in another word the God’ will.
Both Liu Xiaobo and Yany Hengjin donot understand what is republicanism and liberalism, neither of them have right idea of democracy too. And this is why Mr.Liu wrongly praise Mr. Yu Keping’s fake theory of democracy and Mr. Yang support Rousseu’s out of date and narrow applicable theory of democracy.
I used to pointed out ten years ago, our Chinese are ignorance of modern political science, we know very little of theory and few have opportunity even have a look of those great politics works in the world. Of course,I myself also know very little, and this is why I need more study and thinking.
Only republicanism democracy is for common good, the pure or direct democracy is for fraction interest instead of public advantage.What we should fight for is republicanism constitutional democracy. The rule of just law, which enacted according reason and natural law spirit for common good, is the secret for any success state.