Viche 2007 12

12, 2007

Liberalism and democracy: peripeteias of coexistence

The choice of model of political development is very actual question for former-soviet Ukraine. The model of liberal democracy which became a standard for many post-socialist countries comes forward an original reference point.

Liberalism is basis of modern western democracies. Of course, there are substantial differences between democracy and liberalism: these are two different answers for two cardinally distinctive state and legal questions [10, p. 9]. The question: Who has to carry out political power? is answered by democracy: Civil society. The question is not about the bounds of this power, but about the choice of those, who has to govern. Democracy suggests each of us to govern. And the question: What bounds does the political power have to have? is answered by liberalism: Political power, either autocratic or nation-wide, has not to be unlimited, and any government intervention has to be limited by the rights with which the individual is provided. Consequently, it is possible to be a great liberal and at the same tine not to be a democrat, and, vice verse a real democrat is not always a liberal. Moreover, differences between democracy and liberalism (the most researchers pay attention to it) consist of differences between key categories which correlate with them. The concept freedom is a crucial category for liberalism, and the concept equality - for democracy.