What is civil society: characteristics and history

What is civil society?Very often we are faced with this concept, plunging into the public and political debate, so popular in our country.After all, you see, the question of whether there is a civil society in Russia, often heard in these days, especially out of the mouth of the same politicians and public figures.Of course, we all intuitively understand in general terms what the civil society.However, we do not always fully understand the intricacies of this sociological category.Let's try to fill these gaps and break it down in this article.

Historical roots

This concept originated in Europe, formed the era of capitalist relations.Actually, what civil society is not the result of the development of capitalism and the social transformations of modern times?Important milestones in its development became bourgeois revolutions in Europe, especially the British and the French 1640 1789.First laid the foundations of civil liberties in the history of the world, limiting royal autocracy, and paved t

he way for the country to capitalist development.The second and all marked the triumph of the ideas on universal equality, as the lower classes have made legislative consolidation of its influence on the policy of the state, though in practice it was realized not all.Speaking of that capitalist relations become an important precondition for the emergence of civil society, we mean that they have contributed to social transformation, destroying feudal relations and creating new categories of people: the bourgeoisie and the working class in the first place, soon realized their common interestsand weight in society (which could not make the scattered peasants times of feudalism, whose world, by and large, did not go beyond his native village), began to demand more rights and freedoms.These requirements have been directed primarily to the current political system, in fact, the state itself.It is this - the fundamental characteristics that we now instinctively distinguish civil society and the state.The philosophy of this idea has been basically formed by prominent thinkers of modern and contemporary.Among them is to provide authors of the idea of ​​"social contract" of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, the French Enlightenment, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Charles Montesquieu, the German founders of dialectical materialism of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

What is civil society today what signed his symptoms?

And it is characterized by the following features:

  • development of democratic principles;
  • really acting to protect citizens;
  • free activity within the legal framework of society owners of production facilities;
  • a sufficiently high level of civic and political culture;
  • fairly high level of education of the population;
  • applicability of self-government;
  • mixed economy;
  • a large number of middle class in the society;
  • high attention to the social policy of the state;
  • pluralism of opinions in society;
  • free competition.