What is any state characterized by?
Not every state is characterized by the rule of law, although modern international practice implies just that. The multi-thousand-year history of state-building gave rise to a huge number of forms of realization of sovereignty in a particular historical period in a certain territory.
State and society: limiting violence
From the most ancient forms of the city-states of the East to modern democratic republics, the institute of the state has come a long way of development. And although the signs of a state can change over time from one historical epoch to another, any state is characterized by an extensive bureaucratic apparatus, allowing control over the territory, which is also an integral feature of a sovereign country.
In modern conditions, when citizens seek to control their governments, a number of state functions cannot be implemented without public control.After all, any state is characterized, if not a complete monopoly on violence, then at least tends to it. At the same time, it is in the public interest to restrict and control this monopoly in every possible way in order to prevent a situation of unmotivated use of violence by state bodies.
Separation of powers: myths and reality
Any state is characterized by the separation of powers, albeit purely formal. In democracies, great attention is paid to the actual separation of powers. The independent fair court is especially highly regarded, whose decisions will be respected by all citizens and whose reputation is not questioned. Unfortunately, in some states this principle is regularly questioned, and judicial decisions are made not in accordance with law and law enforcement practice, but by the will of the executive branch.
As for the legislative power, the parliaments of most countries seek to gain independence from the executive branch, or even control this power, including through the appointment of government ministers or the prime minister.
It is assumed that any state is characterized by political pluralism, which, of course, does not correspond to the established practice. Unfortunately, many governments and heads of state, by all means available to them, seek to suppress domestic political debate in order to retain power for as long as possible.
It should be noted that the international community does not support the restrictions that undemocratic regimes are trying to impose on their own citizens.
The territory of a sovereign state
Any state is characterized by the presence of the territory over which it exercises control, as well as by the administrative apparatus and, more often, by the army and police, which have sanctions to use violence on behalf of the state.
It is also difficult to imagine a state without a population permanently residing in the territory under its control. It is the citizens who jointly maintain the state apparatus and the police with the army. To do this, the entire population and enterprises are taxed, which may differ significantly from country to country.
Unfortunately, many governments forget that they exist thanks to the citizens for whose benefit they must work.In such cases, we can talk about significant abuses on the part of the authorities.
Social control in democracies
The centuries-old history of the states of Europe knows many examples of abuses on the part of governments. However, it was this painful experience that allowed European societies to develop immunity to attempts by individuals to usurp power, putting parliament and the courts under control.
Thus, in democratic societies, political pluralism is ensured precisely by the control of society, one of whose important tools are independent media.
Demonstrations, rallies and strikes, through which citizens declare their disagreement with state policy, are considered another important tool of direct democracy. Thus, in the European tradition, the right to hold meetings is inalienable and unconditional.