Democracy Definition and Meaning

Democracy, as a modern political system, is a way of living in society, which is only viable if it is based on a set of values, such as freedom, equality, justice, respect, tolerance, pluralism and participation.

These values, which are fundamental to its operation, are the result of the evolution of our societies. Here are the 7 most important values ​​of democracy.


Freedom is fundamental to a democratic system, because it guarantees the individual the possibility of self-government. This means that a person is not obliged to assume or abide by those obligations or links that he does not accept as valid.

Freedom guarantees the individual to voluntarily participate in the actions and political decisions that concern him. However, freedom cannot be unlimited; It ends where the others begin.

In a democracy, freedom, as a form of political and social participation, translates into freedom of expression, of thought, of assembly, of association, of manifestation, of suffrage, etc.


Equality is a principle according to which the State must guarantee that all citizens have the same rights and obligations, without favoring or belittling one or another individual or group.

In the political and social life of a democracy, everyone’s right must be respected regardless of skin color, sex, religion, origin or purchasing power.

In equality there is not, for the State, rich or poor, better or worse, businessmen or workers, but only one kind of individual: the citizen.


Justice, the rule of law, legality and its institutionality, permanence and stability are fundamental to the existence of a democracy, since it cannot exist if there is no respect for the rights and freedoms of citizens.


Within a democracy, relations at the social and interpersonal level must be within a framework of mutual respect. Respect is not only essential for harmonious coexistence, but also for justice, freedom, equality, tolerance and pluralism.


Participation is a key element of the democratic system, because thanks to it the power resides in the vote, which is a manifestation of popular sovereignty.

In democracy, we all have the right to participate with proposals and ideas and submit them for consultation to choose, under the principle of the majority and respect for their will, what course to take as a collective.


Pluralism implies the recognition, respect and appreciation of the diversity and complexity of the individuals and groups that are part of society.

Certainly, before the law and before the State, we are all equal, however, in reality we all have different interests, needs, points of view, beliefs or ideologies.

Pluralism embraces that reality, since it understands that there cannot be a single conception of the world, and that the social reality is multiple, like the individuals that coexist there.


Tolerance is an essential value in a democratic society because it allows us to live and coexist with plurality in a respectful and harmonious way. In tolerance, the other is an equal whose peculiarities and differences we respect and value.

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