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Is Liberal Democracy The Best Form Politics Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Politics
Wordcount: 1699 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The state is a formal group that is sovereign over its members and occupies a well-defined territory (Rummel, n.d.).People as members of certain state are significantly depended on numerous factors, which establish clear rules (norms) of behavior, operation, interaction between state and individuals etc. Largely, they are determined by state’s political organization. Political organization, as the symbiosis of fundamental principles, can be defined in next way – the set of formal legal institutions that constitute a “government” or a “state.” (Heslop, n.d.).The broad meaning of this legal and political institution is manifested throughout its primary nature for legislation and power authorities’ organization. In fact, the world experiences several political systems. However, there is special look at liberal democracy, which became traditional for Western world. It worth being mentioning that scholars give different classifications of political organizations due to basic features of provided analysis. Being motivated to get study of liberal democracy as the best type of political system, the general classification to democracy, authoritarianism, totalitarianism will be followed in this essay (Flat world knowledge 2006). In addition, it is considered that democracy is also classified into different types. It is stated that liberal democracy is the best type of political organization. To prove this fact, its fundamental analysis and comparison with other political systems will be provided.

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To begin with, let’s get clear with main characteristics of liberal democracy as independent type of political organization. Speaking Frankly, sources give us different definitions. For example, “US legal definitions” claims that liberal democracy is a form of representative democracy with free and fair form of elections procedure and competitive political process (US legal 2008). On the other hand, “MSN dictionary” states that modern Western political system: a political system that has free elections, a multiplicity of political parties, political decisions made through an independent legislature, and an independent judiciary, with a state monopoly on law enforcement (MSN 2009). There are some other varieties, but no need put them due to similar meanings. Every definition is based on certain specifics and features. Thus, the primary task is appropriate outline making. First of all, four grounding principles of this political organization type worth to be noted. Briefly, they can be determined in next way – belief in both rational and moral individual; belief in natural progress of humankind; consensual theory of society – co-operation and order are the primary basics; concentrated power suspicion (Modern political ideas, n.d.). Due to previous statement, liberal democracy is the kind of democratic and liberal values combination. As the result, this political system featured by next specifics: constitutional protections of individual rights; free and fair elections; an independent judiciary; active civil society; ensured rule of majority; respect to minority freedoms and rights; free press; pluralistic parties and institutions; transparent legislatures; market economy (Liberal Democracy: Accountability, Political Rights and Duties 2010). So, these are the key features, which recognized to be legally, politically and socially protected values in every Liberally-democratic state. Talking about Liberal-democracy as the best type of political organization, it should be reminded that its appearance became the result of Revolutions of oppressed. This type of political organization takes its roots from Great French Revolution, which became the start point of modern human’s freedoms and rights establishment. In this order, Liberal-democracy can be associated to eventual product of society’s evolution, which is adopted in all civilized countries today. The history teaches that humankind is featured by constant progress, it always moves from worse to better. At this moment, liberal-democracy is the top idea about state’s organization and human’s rights, but what about other kinds of political organizations?

It was stated before, that this work keeps next classification of political systems: democracy, authoritarianism, totalitarianism. To support the claim that liberal-democracy is the best type political organization, brief analysis of contrary different political systems has to provided.

Totalitarianism. To take the general view on this type, the definition given by Gilbert Pleuger is the most suitable: “Totalitarianism is ‘a system of rule, driven by an ideology, that seeks direction of all aspects of public activity, political, economic and social, and uses to that end, at least to a degree, propaganda and terror” (Pleuger, n.d.). According to this comprehensive and reasonable thought, this type of political organization has next key characteristics: forcing to official ideology keep; hierarchically organized single party; monopoly on MMC (means of mass communication); oligopolistic control under armed forces; large repressive aparatus; centralized and directed control on economy system (Totalitarianism 2005). Italy (1922-43/45), Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and North Korea are perfect examples of Totalitarianism (Buzzle.com 2009). In this respect, appropriate type of political organization deprives such democratic and liberal values, as pluralism, checks and balances system, civilized society. In addition plenty of human’s rights and freedoms are significantly restricted or absent at all. In this respect, there is plenty of supports to claim that this type of political organization cannot be competitive to liberal-democracy.

Authoritarianism. According to widely adopted formulation, this type of political organization is characterized by favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom (Web Bing 2009). As for examples of Authoritarianism, China, Burma, Zimbabwe and the list of other Latin American and East Asian countries can be noted (Light of peace 2011). In fact, this system derivative to totalitarianism. However, it is not so strong with some disastrous inherent features. Drawing analogues between Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism, the last is different with absence of mandatory and compulsory ideology; little tolerance to pluralism in social organizations; power exercising within relatively predictable limits; restricted, but permitted social political participation. Speaking Frankly, authoritarianism is “the light version” of totalitarianism. Authoritarianism is intolerant to such democratic values as free and fair elections, full pluralism, freedom of press, control of power authorities, civilized society, integrity of human’s rights and freedoms etc. In this order, liberal-democracy is still much more beneficial in comparison to Authoritarianism, as last one is the perfect environment restrictive manifestations and power monopolization.

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Being clear that democratic and liberal values won the race with Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism, it is just time to go to direct analysis of other democratic political systems. In fact, there are still variety of possible classifications. For example, it can be Direct Democracy, Presidential Democracy and Parliamentary democracy (Democracy building 2004). However, aiming for Liber-democracy evaluation, it reasonable to take other classification presented by Sammy Smooha: liberal democracy, ethnic democracy and consociational democracy (Smooha 2002). Being consistent, it has to be said that ethnic democracy is the kind political system that combined of both democratic values and ethnic ascendancy. This political organization is often called second-rate democracy. Ethnic democracy is inherent for former Soviet Union countries, where democratic and liberal values are declared, but not followed at all. In this order, the lack of control under states’ authorities and consequent human’s freedoms violations are inherent for this political system. From this point of view, argument that ethnic can be competitive to liberal democracy is not supported. On the other hand, consociational democracy is the type of political organization grounded on the groups difference recognition and collective rights extension. This political system can be found in Switzerland, Belgium and Canada. It worth being mentioned that consociational democracy can hardly be evaluated as decent alternative to liberal one. Speaking Frankly, it can be recognized as the intention to liberal-democracy establishment inside potentially conflict state. This claim is supported by George Wills: “Consociationalism is used empirically to explain stable democracy in deeply divided societies, and normatively to prescribe a solution to societies where democracy is at risk because of social segmentation” (Info 2007). In this order, consociational democracy is the kind of solution to protect democratic values. It is still focused on general principles of state’s authorities operating, free and fair elections providing, inherent human’s rights and freedoms keeping. So, there it is reasonably argued that consociational democracy is more the kind of reaction to conflict manifestations than independent, contrary different to liberal democracy type of political organization.

To conclude, the simple evaluation, comparison and analysis encourage us to make the conclusion that Liberal-democracy is the best type of political system (organization). No other regime is competitive to it, in respect to mandatory protection of freedoms and rights. It ought to be noticed that the concept of Liberal-democracy is the greatest product of humankind’s philosophical and legal thought. The principles founded by thinkers of Enlightenment era were approved for wide implementation today. However, there is one curious question – is it the top of evolution and progress? Seemingly, yes.


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