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  • 2/13/2012

The Conflict among Different Methods of Approaching Democracy with the Principles of Democracy


Critics maintain that the “spirit" and “matter" of democracy are contradicting each other. The issue of legitimacy of means in order to achieve the ideal ends, which, as a matter of fact goes back to the issue of the concept of law, has long been the subject of debate and controversy. Hence, a serious question is raised: ‘Could we use non-democratic means or methods in order to approach supreme "democratic" goals?’

Saint-Just said: "Do not give liberty to the enemies of liberty."

The political propaganda in the Western societies today, follows the example of Saint-Just: “Many ‘Liberals’ believe that everyone should have freedom of speech and belief, only if there is no doubt about their accepted ideological principles.”‌

Today, in many liberal-democratic countries elites occasionally use non-democratic, anarchist, and even fascist and demagogical methods for governing the country with the use of modern elements of communication era. It should also be mentioned that the famous philosopher of liberal democracy, believes that one should save democracy even with the use of violent methods. This is a contradiction; and it proves that the concept of democracy contains a lot of contradictions and has been deviated from the main path.

Popper writes, Open Society (democracy) may be hurt not only by the tyrants and minorities, but also by the majority; therefore, one should defend the Open Society and the free democratic institutions against the majority too. It is possible that the demagogues and tyrants, with their special methods, gain the support of the majority of the masses and ruin the Open Society and democratic institutions under the name of public support. Of course the main condition for establishment of an Open Society is political tolerance; however, having tolerance towards groups that are against democratic tolerance hurt the foundations of an Open Society. Therefore, in case of serious threats, one suppresses the enemies of tolerance and advocates of violence".

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

Other links:

Contradiction between Liberty and Equality

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