What is civil society: characteristics and history
What is civil society? Very often we come across this concept, plunging into public and political discussions, so popular in our country. After all, you will agree, the question of whether there is a civil society in Russia, sounds quite often these days, especially from the lips of all the same politicians or public figures. Of course, we all intuitively understand in the most general terms what civil society is. However, we do not always fully understand the intricacies of this sociological category. Let's try to fill in these gaps and put everything in order in this article.
This concept arose in Europe eraformed capitalist relations. Actually, what is civil society, as not the result of the development of capitalism and social transformations of the New Times? Important milestones in its formation were the bourgeois revolutions in Europe, especially the British in 1640 and the French of 1789. The first laid the foundations of civil liberties in world history, limiting the royal autocracy, and also opened the way of the country to capitalist development. The second and altogether marked the triumph of ideas about national equality, when the lower classes achieved legislative consolidation of their influence on the state's policy, even though not all were implemented in practice.Speaking about the fact that capitalist relationsbecame an important prerequisite for the emergence of civil society, we mean that they contributed to social transformation, destroying feudal relations and creating new categories of the population: the bourgeoisie and the working class in the first place, who soon realized their common interests and weight in society (which they could not to make scattered peasants of the times of feudalism, whose world, by and large, did not go beyond the boundaries of the native village), began to demand more and more rights and freedoms. These requirements were directed, first of all, to the current political system, in fact, to the state itself. This is a fundamental characteristic, thanks to which we today intuitively distinguish between civil society and the state. The philosophy of this idea was basically formed by the prominent thinkers of the New and Newest Times. Among them is to highlight the authors of the idea of a "social contract" by John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, French enlighteners Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Charles Montesquieu, the German founders of dialectical materialism of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.