Democracy and the World Order: Dilemmas and Conflicts
The prospects for democracy at the close of the 20th century are perilous. In an increasingly unified world system, it is no longer possible to write about the prospects for democracy except on a world scale. It cannot be a precious entity reserved for the rich First World ghetto of Western Europe and North America. Genuine political democracy requires at least minimal commitment to social justice and egalitarianism. Effective political equality is not consistent with great differences in wealth. Wealth all too easily translates into political power. More to the point, the social solidarity required to make the sacrifices necessary to modernize the economies of the South and former Communist countries without authoritarianism cannot be generated with an untrammeled “pure” market economy. That requires that the social order be considered minimally just by the large majority of the people and committed to the general good, not just the maximization of production and profit.
democracy, capitalism, socialism, social democracy, nationalism, justice, political analysis, ethnic group relations
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 23, Nos. 1-2 (1996): 21-38