The participants of discussion review the thesis that economic development explains the rise and persistence of democracy, often referred to as the “Lipset thesis” after Seymour Lipset’s 1959 article. Most of the authors suggest that modernization theory in its most “simple version” rests on shaky empirical foundations. That is, at best there seems to be limited evidence in favor of the hypothesis that a change in income in a given year produces an unconditional, instantaneous change in the likelihood of democracy. Several of the contributions point to substantial evidence in favor of a more refined version of modernization theory, suggesting that increasing income promotes democracy i) in the medium or long-term and ii) conditional on certain “triggers” of authoritarian regime breakdown. It should be noted that there seems to be more evidence in favor of a link between income and democratic sustainability (“Przeworski thesis”). When considering democratic survival, income may even have an unconditional effect and an instantaneous effect. C. Welzel sketches how increases in material resources (such as money) and cognitive resources (such as education) shifts people’s preferences from existential concerns to freedom and self-realization – as part of “emancipative values”. D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson claim that there is no tendency for countries to become more democratic as they become more ‘modernized’ whether in terms of higher levels of income per-capita or education. The initial conditions created inclusive or extractive institutions which then put the societies onto very different long run paths of modernization and development. G. Munk declares that the majority of studies go against the expectations of modernization theory, suggesting that there is no positive or a negative income-democracy link. He concludes that modernization theory is a failed theory. We need to set it aside and move on to more promising avenues of research.
The article considers the view of the great Austrian economist and philosopher Ludwig von Mises on history. The author especially emphasizes that Mises was the first who drew attention to the crucial role of ideas as the driving force of the historical process. Such vision of the role of ideas led to the proclaiming public opinion as the determining factor of social changes. By the example of the old liberals’ mistake, Mises showed that public opinion is not formed automatically. What seems obvious to intellectuals can be perceived by masses quite differently. Socialists, as emphasized by Mises and his follower Hayek, took full advantage of this mistake and managed to captivate the masses by their ideas. Mises’ views on social development are summarized in the form of so-called "Mises triad". The role of a primary impulse is given to the ideas, values, mindsets. Public institutions are derived from them. And only at the end of this chain there are technologies determined by institutions. On this basis, Mises builds his "economics of development": contrary to the dominant view of our time, he believes that the development is not possible without adoption of the western ideas and beliefs, which are not neutral to the material achievements of the West.
One of the functions of the institution of a special subject of crime is the function of differentiation of criminal responsibility, which allows at the legislative level to reflect, as a rule, an increased degree of social danger of crimes with a special subject and persons who committed them. Considering the special features of the subject as its status-role characteristics, the author turns to the analysis of the domestic legislation of the Moscow period to identify the features of their consideration in determining the measures of responsibility. Taking into account that most of the crimes with a special subject were official crimes, the author gives the ratio of the established types of punishments for them and concludes that the prevalence of property punishments in the law Courts of 1497 and 1550, corporal punishment and the death penalty - in the Council code of 1649, which is consistent with the continuing trend of centralization of the state and strengthening the power of the monarch.