Civil society: examples of countries. Examples of the emergence, manifestation of civil society in Russia
Civil society is the basis of moderncivilization, without which it is impossible to imagine a democratic state. Initially, it was positioned in opposition to military, command and administrative systems, where all citizens submitted to the instructions of the authorities and could not influence them in any way. But the civil society looks different. An example of developed citizens' self-awareness is easy to find in Western Europe. Without the existence of a developed civil society, it is impossible to build a truly legal state where all citizens, regardless of their status and status, from the simple worker to the president of the country, are subject to the law.
What is civil society?
In order to start thinking about the principlesfunctioning and history of the origin of civil society in its modern understanding, it is necessary to clarify what is meant by this term. So, civil society is a manifestation of the active actions of free citizens of the country who have independently organized themselves into non-profit associations and operate independently of the state, and are also not exposed to any kind of external influence.
What is the essence of such a society?
There are some examples of the manifestation of civil society that characterize the relationship between the individual and the state:
- the interests of society and the state can not stand above the interests of the individual;
- the highest value is the freedom of the citizen;
- there is an inalienable right of a citizen to private property;
- no one has the right to interfere in the personal affairs of a citizen, if he does not violate the law;
- citizens conclude an informal agreement on the creation of a civil society, which is a protective layer between them and the state.
The main difference between civil societyis that people can freely be organized into professional groups or interest groups, and their activities are protected from state interference.
History of the emergence of civil society
Many thinkers back in the days of ancient Greecewondered what was the reason for the creation of the state and its integral part - society. What motives moved the ancient people when they merged into such complex and multifunctional public entities that occupied large areas. And how they influenced those who were in power in a certain period of time.
Despite the fact that domestic science onlyrecently paid close attention to the formation of civil society, its formation and development, for hundreds of years this burning discussion has continued in world political science and philosophy, the significance of which can not be overemphasized. Within the framework of scientific works, such great minds as Aristotle, Cicero, Machiavelli, Hegel, Marx and many others tried to identify the main features within which civil society could function. Examples they found in those states and within the framework of those political systems under which they lived. One of the most important and urgent was always the question of the nature of the relationship between the state and civil society. On what principles are these relations built and are they always equally beneficial to both sides?
What examples existed in world history?
History knows many examples of civilsociety. For example, during the Middle Ages, the Italian city of Venice became a model of the democratic principle of checks and balances within the framework of political power. Many social signs, which are for us something ordinary, were first realized there. The foundations of the value of the individual and her freedoms, awareness of the need for equal rights - these and many other ideas of democracy were born just then.
Another city-state in Italy is Florence,made his invaluable contribution to the development of this historic phenomenon called civil society. The example of Venice, of course, has had its significant impact.
It is also worth mentioning the German cities of Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck, they also developed the foundations of civic self-awareness and observed the influence of the population on the style and methods of management of these cities.
Was there something like this in Russia?
Despite the territorial remoteness andcultural differences, one can find examples of civil society in Russia both on its modern territory and on the territory of neighboring states close to it in spirit. First of all, we are talking about Novgorod and Pskov, in which, with the development of trade, a unique political and economic system has developed. Thanks to the access to the sea, and, accordingly, an excellent opportunity to trade with neighboring cities and principalities, crafts and trading houses developed actively in these cities. For their full-fledged and successful activities, the classical approach at that time was not suitable, therefore, a form of government with a democratic bias developed here.
Features of Novgorod and Pskov
The basis of the life of Novgorod and Pskovwas the developed middle class, which was engaged in trade and production of goods, provided various services. Management of cities was carried out by means of convocation of a people's veche. All free people had the right to participate in these meetings. The citizens who laid down and worked for a part of the product received on the land of the owner, or who got into bondage for debts, also belonged to the unfree ones, also they were considered slaves.
What is characteristic is that the prince waselective office. If the townspeople did not like the way the prince performs his functions, they could displace him from this post and choose another candidate. The city concluded a treaty with the prince, in which quite a few restrictions were imposed on his authority. For example, he could not acquire land in ownership, he was not allowed to enter into contracts with foreign states without the mediation of the Novgorodians themselves and much more. These relationships can not fully describe the concept of civil society, an example of which demonstrate the established in Novgorod and Pskov governance institutions.
Interest in the principles of civil society development in post-Soviet Russia
In the late 80's, and especially after the collapseSoviet Union, conversations and discussions about the rule of law, its foundations, as well as the principles of the formation of civil society in the new country sounded with triple power. Interest in this topic was and remains very high, since after decades of complete merger of the state and society it was necessary to understand how to create quickly, but painlessly, what in the Western democratic countries took more than one century.
Young historians and political scientists have studiedexamples of the formation of civil society, numerous experts from abroad were invited to directly adopt the successful experience of other states.
Problems in contemporary manifestations of civic position in Russia
Economic failures and problems arose onevery step. It was not easy to convey to citizens that now their lives, welfare, future depend largely on their personal choice, and that they must do it consciously. Generations of people did not have full rights and freedoms. It was necessary to teach this. Any civil society, an example of which is studied by modern scientists, suggests that first of all the initiative should come from the citizens themselves, who are aware of themselves as the main driving force of the state. In addition to rights, this is also the responsibility.
Challenges for the future
According to experts and political scientists, one of thethe tasks of a postcommunist society is the need to give new meaning and meaning, within the framework of which civil society will develop. Examples of countries of developed democracies will help to avoid many mistakes, will give the possibility of forming a new society.
Now there is an active process of becomingperson, middle class and non-profit organizations. The era of rapid, almost uncontrolled development has come to an end. The stage of becoming begins. Time will tell whether the inhabitants of our country will ever realize themselves as full-fledged members of civil society.