Democracy and the foreigner

The Social Contract Or Principles of Political Right (1762) is one of the most influential works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in which the philosopher brilliantly theorised about social contracts and political order. Similarly to John Locke, Rousseau believed that a government could be legitimate only in case if it had been sanctioned by the people acting as the sovereign. The ‘general will’ concept and other novel ideas expressed by Rousseau in the Social Contract probably played a pivotal role in setting the stage for deep political reforms and revolutions which occurred in France and other European countries in the subsequent decades. The concept of ‘general will’ introduced by Rousseau in this work immediately generated intensive debate in Europe. The scientist suggested that without personal input from the people in determining ‘general will’ there can be no legitimate government. This concept involved criticism of the traditional notion that the King was appointed by God to legislate. Instead, Rousseau proposed his own vision of the legislative process and the legislator.
Democracy is commonly considered as the best form of government these days. Contemporary scholars such as Robert Dahl, Anthony Arblaster, Benjamin Barber, Andrew Heywood and many others express various views on the nature of modern democracy. Consequently, there are several models of democracy described in works of these authors. According to Professor Robert Dahl, one of the most prominent political theorists of nowadays, modern democracy has four historical sources: the direct democracy in ancient Greece, the republicanism of Roman and Italian city-states in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the theory and practice of representative government, and the idea of political equality (Dahl 1989).
Political ideals and aims of the classical Athenian democracy were expressed by the outstanding Greek philosopher Aristotle in The Politics between 335 and 323 BC. Aristotle identifies liberty as one of the founding principles of the classical democratic constitution. The philosopher argues that liberty has two major aspects, namely:
1. Ruling and being ruled in turn.
2. Living as one chooses (Aristotle 1984)
According to Professor David Held (1996), the Athenian democracy had the following institutional features. Firstly, assembly of citizens had sovereign power, that is, supreme authority, to engage in legislative and judicial functions. The citizenry as a whole formed the Assembly, which consists of each and every citizen of Athens. The Assembly met more than 40 times a year, and it had a quorum of 6,000 citizens. The Athenian concept of ‘citizenship’ entailed taking a share in legislative and judicial functions, participating directly in the affairs of the state. That is why the classical Greek democracy is called ‘direct democracy’ (DeTorre 1997).
Modern democracy differs significantly from the initial forms of this political order. Experience accumulated over centuries of political history made many understand that democracy must be constantly watched and defended. Since the growth of population made it impossible to apply the same set of