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Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

Fishman Leonid

The article argues that the productive discussion of the nature of democracy is impossible without defining the concept of power. The author states that the power is a set of possibilities, which allows to determine its own destiny. All types of power elites are primarily the power over their own destiny, which includes the power over the destiny of others. The power of elite in the sense of “power over their own destiny” always includes power over other social groups and individuals, and finally over the “people”. Therefore, the power of elites, especially in traditional societies includes a clear element of what is called the “dominance”, i.e. the relationship, in which the power of one affect the interests of others, limiting the ability of the latter to conduct a truly human life. In addition, “people’s power” – is not the people’s power over there selves, but is a power over their own destiny, which implies constant challenging the right of the elites to determine the destiny “of the masses”. “Demos” has to fight for power over its destiny with those who believe by default that they should have power over the destiny of the people with lower origin or social status. This struggle takes place in a broad scale – from the constant resistance towards “cultural hegemony” of the elites (the struggle for the mental independence) up to open ideological and armed confrontation. Therefore, the struggle for democracy is always a struggle for the recognition of one more group for not formal but real equality, i.e. for possessing the complex of possibilities, which provide power in a broadest sense. This is a fight for the denial of the power in one’s favor by those who include the right over one’s destiny in their understanding of power. Thus, democracy is created not by the elite (for which such result is unexpected and unintentional), or, at least, not only by the elite, but by the elite together with the citizens when all parties pursue different goals.
Keywords: democracy, elite, mass, dominance, common destiny.

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