Introduction to Philosophy


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Nowadays democracy is considered to be one of the best solutions of the problem of inequality, oppression, deprivation and many others. However, it is an idealized view on democracy as it also has certain disadvantages. Many specialist and non-specialists as well realize that democracy is not perfect and it is necessary to look for the ways to improve it. Some experts name the existence of interest groups as one of the demerits of democracy and they do not appreciate the desirability of certain forces both political and economic to develop such an institute within a democratic state.

Obviously, it is quite a reasonable position but it seems not less idealistic as belief in an ideal democracy and equality for all members of the society. As long as human society endures there exist inequality and as long as inequality exist there remains and will remain the conflict of interests that stimulates the creation of interest groups which are now amply criticized. In order to understand whether interest groups are a positive or negative phenomenon it is necessary to analyze them from both controversial positions.

First of all, speaking about positive aspects of interest groups, the most important thing they provide is the effectiveness of their work. It is quite natural that a group of people of organizations united by one common idea or interest will work much more effectively then if they attempted to achieve certain results separately. It also contributes to better presentation of different interests in public, for instance in the parliament, or mass media. Interest groups may also unite its members making each of them stronger due to the mutual help. Thus, being a member of a certain interest group seems to be not a bad deal.

However, it is not exactly so. Firstly, it is necessary to underline that even though interest groups may protect interests of its members, provide the mutual help they still do not produce a positive impact on the society at large. It can hardly be argued that the whole society, being divided by the conflict of interests, becomes more and more shady structure the stronger groups interests are within this society because each of this group protects its own interests even though it may contradict to the interests of the whole society. This statement practically doesn’t need any evidences because it is enough to have a look at any rogue, undemocratic regime where a group, elite controls all aspects of life. At this respect, democratic countries do not have any guarantee that the same situation is impossible for them. It is obvious that the competition between interest groups in politic or economy, for instance, creates a political and financial instability and its level depends to what extent competitive interest groups are strong.

Thus, it is obvious that interest groups even in the most democratic countries in the world are not desirable. Despite their ability to unite certain parts of the society they destroy its solid structure and engender instability. At the same time, human society cannot exist without interest groups and that is why it is necessary to work on the creation of a form of popular government, as suggested Madison, that could smooth relations and conflicts between different interest groups within the society.

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