The Principles of Democracy

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Democracy requires presentation of a number of social conditions and the work of various institutions for its absolute effectiveness. Democracy can be fully implemented in the societies, where these conditions and institutions exist. The level of economic development is decisive for democratization from the standpoint of researchers. Therefore, poverty is one of the main and, perhaps, the most important obstacles for the proper democratic development. The future of democracy highly depends on the future of economic development and the features that hinder the economic development are the main obstacles to the democracy's development.

The prospect of growth of national prosperity and the development of democracy is very illusory in advancing countries. Most countries with low per capita income do not let their nations be free in their views and are undemocratic. The relationship between the economic development and the legitimacy of regime is increasing in modern conditions. The citizens of economically developed countries have the features that greatly contribute to the stability of political system and a more active behavior in the economic sphere. Such citizens are more tolerant to others, as well as more confident in their abilities and competencies. At the same time, modern political democracy is not embodied in the spontaneous market economy.

Increase in the level of education, coupled with the growth of national income, has a decisive influence on the behavior and political needs of a new highly educated generation. People with a large annual income, who work in complex interdependent industries and are more educated, are usually more inclined to seek for the ways of raising the level of political freedom. Nations that are able to raise their standard of living and level of education prepare the ground for the establishment of democratic structures by expanding the foundation, so the democratization could be carried out by law.

There are higher chances to reach successful democratization in a country, if it is a result of modernization of the social and economic structures. Successful democratization also requires a wider spread of school education, the reduction of morality and chronic epidemics, self-sufficiency in food products, the expansion of the middle classes and increasing number of new elite population. Other factor that contributes to the increase of democratization is the penetration of a certain way of thinking into the minds of population. The changed way of thinking and the system of valuable effects attach the value of an institutionalized appearance to the nature of social change.



Public confidence in the government in its various manifestations is an essential component of the democratization process. At the same time, the democratization is impossible without support of government. The support of citizens provides the regime with legitimacy, required for a successful implementation of democratic reforms (Mann).

It is possible to identify the main structural criteria of democracy. First, is a common rule of law that is based on the confirmation by the society during periodic elections, resulting in a major role in the decision to play that come from popularity elected representatives of legislative and executive power. Second, is the competing policy, which refers to competitive elections and representation process that ensures the transfer of the will of people and its execution. Third, is the role of parties that are considered to be the main mechanism for the formation of the will of people, its conscious choice and influence on the government. Finally, these are civil, political and social rights that form the modern democracy.

Democracies differ by the nation's relative wealth. Significant costs are directed to the development of education and health in countries with such types of democracy. Social indicators of democracy can also be reflected in the way of income and sectorial equity, the burden of taxes, literacy, and the use of mass media.

The following conditions characterize strong democracies. These are the liberation of civil society from the burdens of dictatorship, the sense of national community, the lack of social conflicts, and the development of reliable and efficient constitution that can adapt to the changing circumstances. Such criteria as economic growth, a more equitable distribution of income, the increase in the level of literacy and education, the development of communications, and the media can be considered as the derivatives of stable democratic processes, rather than a necessary condition for their existence. The legacy of the past has a significant influence on the process of democratization. Particularly, these are the relationship between the military and civilian forces, as well as the state and civil society, which can create certain conditions that limit or extend the range of possible alternatives (Behrouzi).

The problem of democracy lies in the accountability of the ruling class to the people who require expressing their approval or disapproval of the elite's activities by voting. The non-use of force and peace are also the conditions of democracy, the use of which is necessary for the non-violent conquest of power, based on the principles of uncertainty and a subject to recall.

One of the most important conditions for a democratic nation is political freedom. However, political freedom is not sufficient when authorities choose to act in a repeated pattern, resulting in no real choice, If the actions of country's authority are always stable, then the political life or election campaigns will be business-dominated by wealthy people with authority. In a nation that has a high level of social inequality, most people are not aware of a low civil status level. Government can be perceived as democratic if citizens can confirm their confidence to the country's rulers by giving them their voices during the free elections.

Democracy must be representative. The political representatives of democracy must comply with all the people in the community or, at least, to a large extent, so that the people could identify themselves with the political authorities. The representatives of democracy do more than simply imply about the existence of institutions that guarantee freedom of political choice. They are also supposed to represent people's social interests, which would provide them with the degree of priority on their political representation in society. The stability of democracy depends on a deeply rooted support of ruling authorities by the citizens. Democracies that do not have such a basis for legitimacy cannot be considered stable (Kurlantzick).

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If a certain country lacks an effective legal system, it then leaves the democratic society without the proper protection and might create the ground for abuse by governmental authorities, criminal groups and political elite. One of the major conditions for successful functioning of the mechanism of democracy is the existence of a stable civil society that is fully protected from unauthorized law interventions. A country can be considered as democratic if it can offer a nation the ability to have an open unfettered debate; it is one of democracy's essential factors. The democracy is supposed to operate in terms of full awareness, providing the freedom of speech and press.

A democratic country also requires the presence of political parties. A democratic way of life is connected to the technique of democracy. The status of political freedom can be preserved if the mass of population is constantly feeling the awareness of freedom, particularly if it is always directed at all the realities of freedom and people actually care about saving it. Democracy is inconceivable without liberality. It is supposed to be linked with freedom. In a different scenario, it degenerates into tyranny.

The awareness of the value of freedom by the main mass of population should be complemented by the presence of certain habits of a joint life in it that become the human nature in its essence. Such habits include the respect for the law, natural humanity in a dialogue, respect for the rights of other people, attention and willingness to help, rejection of violence against minority groups, constant readiness to compromise on various everyday issue, etc (Kurlantzick).

Democracy also requires the presence of a written or unwritten constitution, enclosing freedom, human rights and the constitutional state from the attacks by temporarily staying power of the majority. Democracy requires the separation of politics from economics and philosophical problems, the separation of powers and a well-functioning judicial system.

Stability of the state requires citizens to execute even the solutions of power against which they object. It means that the minority obeys the will of the right to express public disagreement with the government policies, in case of the existence of democracy. The change of the power takes may sometimes be peaceful, while, in some cases, the opposition has the right to express public disagreement with government policies. Consequently, in the eyes of citizens, the legitimacy is considered as one of the most important conditions for democracy's stability. The legitimacy of the democracy's practice can be based on equality of all participants of the process. The presence of common basic values, which allows reaching out an agreement in respect with the principles of political behavior, plays a key role during this process. The democratic values are helpful in building the trust between citizens and encourage people to comply with the existing rules, as well as justify the use of force to protect the rights of a nation (Kurlantzick).

There is a condition that should be followed in order to reach the stable democratic regime; the condition is the presence of sufficient materials, as well as spiritual and psychological resources at a disposal. In this respect, democracy is in no way different from any other regime. The interesting thing about democracy is that its resources can be self-renewed in the framework of the existing institutional systems.

It is absolutely relevant to allocate internal factors (economical and socio-cultural), along with the factor of leadership, and external conditions of democratic stability. The external conditions of democratic stability legitimately includes an environment's provision that would minimize or exclude the possibility of intervention to destroy the existing political system. It is possible to consider a variety of respectively favorable conditions that depend on the available resources and the size of the country; those factors do not refer to a non-political character of the system, but they allow controlling a potential aggressor. For instance, the states of European democracy that are small in scale and resources felt relatively comfortable in the conditions of prevailing balancing state of political authority of the world states during the Cold War. On the contrary, such countries as Austria and Germany have once found themselves surrounded by the modernizing post-communist countries that are to less extent immune to border conflicts, the flares of nationalism and other manifestations of instability (Janda et al.).

The list of conditions under which democracy remains an effective instrument of a free society shows that democracy is always implemented in a particular social context and cannot be reduced to the universal suffrage that gives away the power to the majority of the winning elections. A common argument against the participation in democratic elections is that a single vote has no specific value, so the voting is not worth the trouble, while the procedure itself causes only disappointment to the publicity. Even if that one vote does not matter, the decision is still taken by the general sum of votes, each of which forms the voting process (Menzel and Harvey).


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The nature of elections involves the availability of participation in the election of all the candidates, the presence of equal competitive opportunities, monitoring and summarizing the application of equal and adequate sanctions for violating the rules of game. Availability of the necessary cultural values is another important condition for democracy. The values create a favorable climate for the formation of a stable, sustainable democracy.

The consideration of a modern theoretical concept of democracy refers to a variety of ways of the democracy's definition, which is directly connected to the actual diversity of its practical forms of existence, as well as understanding of various processes of the researchers of democracy. There is no doubt that the types of democracy discussed above have something in common. Democracy is a way of political society, as well as a certain social system. Each direction characterizes its type of democracy. In any case, the theoretical description of democracy is based on a real experience. There certainly are societies that in reality can connect capitalism with undemocratic political systems. However, it is important to emphasize that capitalism has similar features that democracy possesses, limits the absolutism of state power, and creates its own non-state reality by strengthening the position of autonomous economic entities. On the contrary, the socialist economy is organically alien to democracy and is often accompanied with a dictatorship, whether it is the dictatorship of the proletariat or a vanguard party (Mann).

The paper has discussed the principles of democracy that can uncover the conditions of democratic stability. Thus, democracy exists under the conditions of modernization of the social and economic structures, a wider spread of school education, the reduction of morality and chronic epidemics, self-sufficiency in food products, the expansion of the middle classes and the birth of new elite. The penetration into the minds of such mentality and system of valuable effects, which attach value of an institutionalized appearance to the nature of social changes are other terms of democratic fundamental strength. Additional conditions that ensure democratic stability are the liberation of civil society from the burdens of dictatorship, a sense of national community, the lack of social conflicts, and the development of a reliable, efficient constitution that can easily adapt to the changing circumstances. At the same time, the existence of comprehensive economic and religious, as well as psychological resources at its disposal can be regarded as the most important condition for the democratic regime's stability.

The political stability is a characteristic or a condition of political life that manifests itself in a stable functioning of all political institutions that exist in the society, in compliance with legal, political and moral standards, as well as the most important social traditions that prevail in it. It also manifests in the peaceful settlement of conflict situations that allow the public system to function effectively and develop by maintaining its structure and certainty.

It is forbidden to set the personal political preferences over higher standards of democracy and the rule of law. In general, the society should work on the system's improvement and not change the values and ideals of human rights and freedoms. The nations must build a democratic society for themselves without violating the standards by those who are not in compliance with it. The societies must create the policies, so that everyone will feel free.

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