The Political Ethos of the Civil Society

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The Political Ethos of the Civil Society ABSTRACT: Totalitarian political systems in the socialist countries of Eastern Europe destroyed and repressed the civil society that used to exist in them. The authoritarian and totalitarian ethos was formed under a powerful influence of ideologies of the communist parties and politocracy in these countries so that the political ethos of politicians dominated the political ethos of the citizen. The breakdown of the real socialism and its unsuccessful attempts to complete accelerated liberal modernization of these societies caused turbulence of social values in addition to the general moral chaos. The moral crisis has deepened; anomie increased as well as the society’s inclination to commit crime. This makes difficult the creation of the cultural matrix of the civil society and its moral values. The liberation and development of the political ethos of the civil society as an element of the democratic political culture require structural and mental changes in these societies. They imply abandoning the value matrices of the traditional and political societies based upon collectivism, tribalism, authoritarianism, egalitarianism, ethnocentrism, etatisme and mythologization of the past. They require the use of the citizens’ active potential as well as that of their associations, their readiness for political commitment, self-initiative, respect of the general interest and a courageous defense of freedom and social justice. The term "civil society" is used to denote a central category of the European political philosophy. It is derived from Aristotle’s term politice koinonia and its Latin version societas civilis, societe civile, meaning civil society or that of private proprietors. The n... ... middle of paper ... ...) Sociological research in Yugoslavia confirms it since it has been found out that 89% of interviewed citizens are oriented toward democracy, Centar za politikolo{ka istra`ivanja i javno mnjenje Instituta dru{tvenih nauka Univerziteta u Beogradu, Legitimitet politi~kog sistema i vrednosni profil gra|ana Jugoslavije, Belgrade, 1996, p. 9 (9) Research of authoritarianism in Yugoslavia carried out in the nineties shows a very high degree of authoritarianism of examines (2/3 of examines show it toward leaders), Z. Golubovi}, B. Kuzmanovi}, M. Vasovi}, Dru{tveni karakter i dru{tvene promene u svetlu nacionalnih sukoba, Institut za filozofiju i dru{tvenu teoriju "Filip Vi{nji}", Belgrade, 1995, p. 338. The research in 1996 show a decline of authoritarianism toward leaders among 55% of examines, Legitimnost politi~kog sistema i vrednosni profil gra|ana Jugoslavije, p. 9
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