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Democratic Society: Basic Values and Priorities Essay

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Democracy and its principles

Though many different factors characterize democracy and this political power, such concepts as property vs. political rights, political equality, judicial review, deliberation, and legitimacy can be considered the basic ones because a society that does not have political equal rights and accounts guarantee those to its members cannot be treated as democratic. In this respect, the abovementioned concepts should be analyzed in terms of their appropriateness for democracy and its principles.

Property and political rights are integral components of democracy as people are supposed to enjoy equal rights and act by certain laws and have a property that can be owned, sold, or purchased. In other words, every person that denies the concept of property and political rights is not a democrat. Political equality is another concept that exists within the domain of democracy about the political rights that should be given to all members of a democratic society.

In this respect, the concept of political equality includes equal rights to enjoy political rights given to all members. Judicial review is one of the components of democracy that demonstrated its effectiveness in practice because some laws passed by federal and state courts that contradict the articles of the Constitution of the country where democracy has been established. Deliberation and legitimacy should be analyzed in terms of democratic principles because every member of the democratic society has a right to be treated by these concepts.

Bell’s and Hayek’s proposals can be compared in terms of the abovementioned values and priorities. Thus, both authors treat democracy as a regime that can be changed into something different in the future. As every regime is characterized by certain values, democracy has those as well. However, the situation can shift some priorities in the future. For instance, the concept of the property may be changed so that it does not contradict the concept of political rights.

Difference between cultures of West and East Asia

Bell speaks of differences in Western and East Asian cultural contexts. The author tries to take into account all differences and similarities of cultures and the applicability of democratic liberties and freedoms to countries with different traditions. In this respect, it is necessary to mention that Bell does not agree that democracy can be applied to every country in the world because all regions have a unique history and should be approached differently.

So, I fully agree with the observations by Bell who managed to justify the inappropriateness of democracy to the countries with long Confucian traditions that influence all sectors of society and human activity including the lives of ordinary people, social, political, and economic relations, and other important areas. As traditions mean a lot for people in East Asian regions, it is necessary to take into account the interrelation of traditions and political powers for people.

Variations in culture are closely related to issues of political legitimacy in terms of the traditions important for Eastern people that can be ruined by a democratic regime about political legitimacy whereas the main concepts applicable to Eastern culture include rule, respect, and traditions. As reported by Bell, the principles of selectivity differ greatly from those typical of Western culture.

For instance, the Western culture in the conditions of a democratic political regime assumes that every member of a society has a political right to become a member of the authoritative body. In contrast, the Eastern culture is based more on the moral rights of members of a society to become members of authoritative bodies.

Works Cited

Bell, Daniel A. “Taking Elitism Seriously: Democracy with Confucian Characteristics.” Beyond Liberal Democracy: Political Thinking for an East Asian Context. (152-179). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006. Print.

Bell, Daniel A. “The Old War.” The New Republic. 1993. Print.

Waldron, Jeremy. “Freeman’s Defense of Judicial Review.” Law and Philosophy 13: 27-41. 1994. Print.

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IvyPanda. "Democratic Society: Basic Values and Priorities." February 19, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/democratic-society-basic-values-and-priorities/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Democratic Society: Basic Values and Priorities." February 19, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/democratic-society-basic-values-and-priorities/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Democratic Society: Basic Values and Priorities'. 19 February.

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