The democratic character of a system can be judged only by looking at it from all aspects, of which the following four are the most important ones:

1). Political democracy in the Western sense: a multiparty system and free elections (provided they are real, and not sham).

2). An atmosphere of personal freedom. By this I mean a situation in which the individual can feel free to voice any opinion (including one critical of the government), without fear of any reprisals. (…)

3). If one wants to judge the role of the individual in any given country, one can not do so without examining for whose benefit the economic system works. (…) Democracy is only possible in an economic system that works for the vast majority of the population. (…)

4). Eventually there is a social criterion of democracy, namely the role of the individual in his work situation, and in the concrete decisions of his daily life. (…) It is particularly important to examine not only the social role of the individual at a given moment, but the general trend within the system. Is it furthering or hindering individual development, responsibility, and decentralization? ― (1961a: May Man Prevail? An Inquiry into the Facts and Fictions of Foreign Policy, New York (Doubleday) 1961, pp. 234-236)