We live in the 21st century, in the civilized world. Each of us is a citizen of a particular country, no matter which one exactly. Probably it is Ukraine, Germany, Canada or Norway. Most of us live in a Democracy and we are proud of it, because it's cool. But indeed, it is. “I live in a democratic state!” — sounds proudly, isn’t it? But what do we mean by the word "democracy"? And is it important to live in a democracy?
Let's start with the concept of "democracy". What is it and how does it look like? The concept of democracy has gone a long way (from ancient Greece to the present days) to appear before us in the image we are got used to and which we know. The word “democracy” comes from two Greek words: δῆμος — “people” and κράτος — “power”, the combination of these two words is literally translated as “authority by the people”. Thus, it turns out that democracy is a form of the state-political structure of society, based on the recognition of people as the source and carrier of power, the desire to ensure justice, equality, and the well-being of all people inhabiting a certain state. In other words, democracy is an equal government based on the power of the people, in which every person on Earth has truly equal rights, regardless of which level of human society he is rich or poor, single or married, small or old.
Today there are so many different forms of democracy. But there are no two identical systems and none of the systems can be accepted as a “model”. There are presidential and parliamentary democracies, federal or unitary democracies; democracies that use a proportional voting system, and those that use the majority system; democracies that are monarchies at the same time, and so on. But there is one common thing that unites all modern systems of democracy - the participation in the politics of representatives of the people.
The next question after the concept of democracy is its role in our society and why it is so important. Let's start with the main goal of democracy. According to George Walker Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, who made an annual speech in the White House in 2003, the goal of democracy is to eradicate all the diseases of the world. According to him, democratic governments respect both their citizens and their neighbors, freedom will finally bring peace. Democracy carries many different benefits: economic prosperity, security, the eradication of inter-religious violence.
Undoubtedly, democracy plays an important role both in the political and in the economic and social life of the population. The main goal of democratization in the political sphere is to carry out deep and fundamental reforms in the political system, increase the role of elected bodies, and turn the political system into a self-renewing effective mechanism. This, in turn, means an even greater development of political freedoms. Democratization of political relations gradually accelerates the process of formation of a legal state and civil society in the country. This has a positive effect on the development of the concept of freedom and leads to the organization of the protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens, concern for their constant expansion.
A democratic state of law provides for the principle of the free choice of its social organization by the people. In such a society, the free will of the people plays the role of the main legal source. One of the main possibilities of a legal state is the implementation of the principle of freedom for all, provided that each individual is free.
What about the point of view of economics, the democratization of economics presupposes the fulfillment of tasks that are the foundation for the implementation of economic freedoms:
- elimination of the state monopoly on property;
- increasing the role of private property;
- creation of conditions for free enterprise and free competition;
- elimination of the domination of mechanical, administrative methods in economic management;
- formation of supply and demand in the economy based on the principle of free relations;
- prevention of groundless government intervention in the economy, and, if necessary, increasing its regulatory role;
- the formation of a regulated market economy, etc.
The democratization of the economy, which is gaining momentum at the present stage, plays the role of an important factor of development affecting the economic freedoms of members of society.
Democratization in social life finds its main expression in the consistent implementation of the course aimed at coordinating the interests of each individual or individual groups of the population; elimination of negative social results of market relations (unemployment, stratification of the population by social status, the relegation of basic social values to the background, etc.), as well as strengthening social protection for the poor; pursuing a balanced national policy that takes into account the interests of various nationalities and ethnic groups living in the country. All this has a significant stimulating effect on the development of freedoms in the social sphere.
Ensuring individual freedom is considered the highest social value of society. The freedoms granted by a democratic state can be divided into three groups:
1) socio-economic rights and freedoms that determine the relations of individuals within civil society (collective bargaining, participation in the management of enterprises, free enterprise, inviolability of personal property, etc.);
2) political rights and freedoms of individuals belonging to political associations (the right to elect and be elected, the right to express one’s opinion, the right to form political parties and other socio-political organizations, the right to assemble and demonstrate, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and press);
3) personal rights and freedoms of a person as an individual person (state guarantee of personal security of citizens and their life, voluntary choice of residence, etc.)
Is it important to live in a democratic society? Definitely - yes! After all, in contrast to the same authoritarianism or totalitarianism, we can choose representatives in the bodies of our country by ourself, and we can be a direct participant in the elections themselves. We choose where to study and work. We can freely defend our point of view in any areas. Democracy is first of all a choice of the people, we are representatives of the people. According to the Article 3 (21) of the Declaration of Human Rights states: “The will of the people must be the basis of the authority of government; this will must be expressed in periodic and un falsified elections, which must be held with universal and equal suffrage by secret ballot or by other equivalent forms ensuring freedom of voting. ” Thus, democracy and its values should be present in all states of the world and should be one of the leading forms of political organization of society.
I will quote the words of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko: “The values of democracy are no less important than the values of sovereignty, and we must fight for them.” Democracy is important not only by its consequences and results, or in an effective, prosperous rule of law, a guarantee of peace inside and outside the country. The value of democracy is in its inner essence. Democracy is important because it embodies the idea of equality and freedom, reflects the idea of dignity, the idea that everyone has an equal right to choose, the right to vote in the creation of his government.
Summing up, I want to say the following: we live in a historical era. The global expansion of democracy promises far-reaching consequences in terms of improving well-being and security around the world. However, this result depends on how successfully democratization countries implement the principles of separation of power, openness and self-regulation. It is respect for the inviolability of the space of private interests in a democracy that develops into a powerful support for property rights and protection against expropriation. It is the principle of equal responsibility before the law of all citizens, up to the head of state, that creates a stable foundation of legality in a democracy. It is the openness of democracy that guarantees the possibility of political debates, forces political leaders to annul ineffective decisions, discloses violations of the law and makes corruption cases public. And although democracy does not guarantee economic success, it contains all the rights and tools to remedy the situation when a country moves in the wrong direction.