In works of scientists of the past and the present here more than two millennia civil society is considered, analyzed and described more and more comprehensively, specifically and authentically. Respectively the concept "civil society", incorporating various universal values, gains the increasing semantic diversity.
Thomas Hobbes (1588-167 already uses the concept "civil society" of direct statement, though it is inconsistent: in one cases he as if identifies civil society with the state, in others — separates.
Civil society — the system self-organizing and itself developing. It functions and develops much more successfully and more effectively when certain favorable conditions are for this purpose created. These conditions are created considerably by society, through the state and contrary to it.
In domestic research literature the problem of civil society a long time was "persona non grata": the total mode did not suffer neither theorizing, nor practical activities concerning civil society.
Civil societies Marx considered as the principle of the future a collectivism, in collective he saw that association which gives to the person the chance of all-round development of the inclinations, provides a personal liberty. And work in this society will be not only means for life, but also way of self-affirmation of the personality, manifestation of abilities and talents, a pressing need.
Considerably Emmanuil Kant deepened idea of civil society (1724 - 18 of his approach to treatment of essence of civil society is more dialectic. Considering inconsistent qualities of human nature: unsociability, vanity, I am eager associations and the same time aspiration to a consent. Kant comes to a conclusion that the main way of a combination of freedom of everyone to freedom of others — formation of civil society.
Civil society exists and functions in dialectic, inconsistent unity with the state. At democratic regime it closely adjoins and interacts with the state, at the authoritative and totalitarian modes stays in passive or active opposition to the mode. The state can limit considerably activity of civil society, - but is not capable to destroy, "cancel" it: it is primary in relation to the state, the base of the state. In turn civil society can also significantly limit functions of the state, but change and the more so it is not capable to abolish the state at the present stage of development of society.
Civil society — the system self-organizing and itself developing. At the same time experience of the advanced countries testifies that it functions and develops much more successfully and more effectively when certain favorable conditions are for this purpose created.
John Locke (1632-170, actively using the concept "civil society", the primacy of civil society before the state proclaims in a certain measure. A basis of society, including civil, he considers property.
Important condition of successful functioning of civil society is existence in society of the developed, diverse social structure reflecting all wealth and variety of interests of representatives of various groups and layers. This variety cannot be stiffened, become numb in the quantitative and qualitative relations. The variety of social structure has to have well developed vertical and especially — horizontal; communications. At indistinct social structure the individual is connected with the state directly, and it significantly limits possibilities of realization of its personal rights and freedoms.
Hegel's judgment about that is actual, as civil society and the state in the inconsistent unity can exist only on the basis of a set of estates, that is the developed social structure of society. Life confirmed that poverty, backwardness of social structure and speeding up of merge of social groups of society were a nutrient medium for dictatorships.