Metaphysical Foundations of Liberal Democracy
The study deals with the concept of liberal democracy with regard to its heterogeneous character and inner contradictoriness. Liberal democracy is analysed in its historical and cultural situatedness, its metaphysical, natural-law-based roots (human rights, the material core of the constitution) being taken into consideration, both at the supranational and Czech Republic´s levels. Following Kelsen and Zakaria, the article makes a fundamental distinction between liberalism and democracy as two separate historical phenomena whose connection is contingent. The concept of human rights is one of the basic pillars of the liberal democratic paradigm. However, these are constructed on the basis of liberal anthropology, whose supposed universality is utterly dubious. The values of liberal democracy derived from liberal anthropology and natural law are therefore primarily a matter of faith, not reason (Holländer). Liberal metaphysics has necessarily penetrated the Czech legal system, as well as legal and political practice, that have thus fallen into the impasse of Böckenförde dilemma, according to which the liberal state lives by prerequisites which it cannot guarantee itself. The analysis shows that the related crisis of the model can be solved either by strengthening metaphysical, orthodox liberal elements, which will deepen the inner contradictoriness and result in the emergence of a liberal authoritarian regime in the longer term, or by rejecting essentialism, accepting relativism, fallibility and moral pluralism, and reinterpreting liberal democracy as a political modus vivendi.
Democracy, Human rights, Liberal democracy, Liberalism, Material core of the constitution, Metaphysics, Natural law, Universalism