Democracy is a good thing, both intrinsically and instrumentally. Intrinsically, it is a necessary component of the ability of individuals to live freely and autonomously. Instrumentally, it is an institutional guarantee that the policies and laws created by a government will have a reasonable fit with the fundamental interests of the people. Thus democracy is a central determinant of the quality of life, and a central element in the ability of men and women to live freely and autonomously as human beings. This is no less so in poor and developing countries than it is in the North and the West.