Democracy - political regime, which is based on the method of collective decision-making with an equal influence of participants on the outcome of the process. Decision-making process in a democracy is better than in other forms of government, because it forces decision makers to consider the interests of the general public and provides them with more complete information. Democracy also has a positive influence on morality, as the consciousness of own influence on current policy encourages the development of personal dignity, responsibility, sense of justice and desire for the common good. Increase of the moral level of society and officials also leads to better decisions and laws as compared with society that is dominated by selfishness, irresponsibility and servility. On the other hand, a government under democracy is worse than under the monarchy, because democracy stimulates implementation of irresponsible policies, promoting the narrow interests of some at the expense of others, or even encountering various segments of society with each other. Democracy tends to underestimate the importance of knowledge and experience for the proper rule.
Some modern neoliberal philosophers criticize democracy for economic inefficiency and believe that society should be controlled by the market. The economic foundation of democracy is market that allows making a person economically free, to be interested in his activity and to be free from the dictates of political power. On the basis of property relations is created the civil society - a direct condition of democracy, its social principle, at which the legal law is the main regulator of social and individual life, obligatory for all and executed by all.
I consider democracy desirable to the extent that it protects individual freedom and private property. The basis of democracy is the right of everyone to personal freedom that on a societal scale means the right to self-determination. Human life is influenced by the legal, social and cultural environment. Implementation of reverse human impact on this environment is only possible through collective decision-making with an equal contribution of each person. From this we can conclude that the implementation of self-government requires democracy. In my opinion, the consequences of democratic way of decision making are irrelevant, as society, like an individual, has the right to dispose of his future, even to his own detriment. In practice, free individuals rarely agree on some issues, and the policy-making process can not fully respect the individual freedom of each. It turns out that the opponents of made decision are deprived of self-government, and therefore are victims of the dictatorship of the majority.
Democracy is a way of dealing with people like equals when it is necessary to organize their life together in a certain way. If people hold different views about the proper organization of the common space, each of them in fact is trying to dictate to others how to live. From here there is the need for a peaceful and fair compromise between the conflicting claims for supremacy. Such compromise requires equal opportunities for all to influence the decision-making process. Democratic way of decision-making provides everyone different voice and thus shows respect for each point of view, even in conditions of controversy. Democracy must strive equally consider the interests of citizens. Citizens are also interested in the presence of democratic procedures, as otherwise they have an impression that the interests of other persons have greater weight in the decision-making.
It is possible to list several advantages of democracy:
- It helps to prevent despotism
- Modern representative democracies do not fight with each other
- The democratic countries tend to be richer than nondemocratic ones
- It helps people to protect their fundamental interests
- It guarantees citizens a number of rights which nondemocratic systems are not able to provide
- In democratic countries, the level of human development, including health, education, and personal income is higher
- It provides for its citizens a wider range of personal freedom
- It provides people with the maximum opportunity to live according to their own laws
- It gives citizens the moral responsibility for their choices and decisions in the field of public policy
- Only under democracy is possible a relatively high level of political equality.
Growing desire of the population of the modern world to democratic forms of government is no accident. Having certain social preconditions, democracy has several advantages over other forms of government. Common drawback of nondemocratic political systems is that they are not controlled by the people, and hence the nature of their relations with citizens depends primarily on the will of the rulers. Democracy can be a universal value only when it corresponds to political culture and mentality of the people, has the necessary economic and social preconditions. Otherwise it degenerates into mob rule - the power of the crowd, directed by demagogues, leads to chaos and anarchy, and ultimately to the dictatorial regimes.
Modern socio-economic progress largely stimulates the development of democracy, democratic mentality and valuable orientations of citizens. It requires social emancipation of personality, respect for his dignity and independence of thought, fundamental rights and freedoms. It needs the freedom of information and pluralism of public life in general. All this things we can get with help of democracy.
L. Ali Khan. (2003). A Theory of Universal Democracy: Beyond the End of History