dr. Bojan Žalec
The author deals with the significance of self-government and active citizens for the functioning of democracy and creating of a free and just society. At the beginning of the article he considers the relations between democracy, politics, media and elites. He establishes some differences between the democratic and nondemocratic societies. One of the burning problems that burdens non-democratic societies is the absence of influential and truthful elites which care for the common good. In the non-democratic societies the media are mastered by elites that care only for their own, particular interests. These elites appropriate the media and use them to influence the social body. The effect of this is the vicious circle of the media, which are the instruments of corrupted elites and which do not perform their proper function, and a non-free and non-democratic society in which not the positive, but rather the negative selection and unjust increase of the wealth and power of the minority – at the expense of ignoring of the common good – takes place. The author outlines some steps to change the worrying situation of such non-democratic societies. The basis of the solution lies in active and virtuous citizens, namely in the realization of the self-government. Afterwards – in the main part of the article – the significance and the (potential) contribution of religious communities (especially Christian) to the formation of such citizens and cultivation of self-government are considered. The author points out that their potential and their contribution in this respect is (or can be) substantial and
important. He concludes that, a society which wants to cultivate the democracy, care for freedom, for the common good and the virtues needed for them, must in no way ignored them. This is also true for Slovenia where the elements of non-democratic societies (including the influential forces which tend to suppress
true pluralism and subsidiarity) are alas still very present. They represent a serious threat to the democratization of Slovenia and its prosperity in general.
democracy, politics, media, elites, self-government, civil society, active citizenship, religious communities, Christianity.