As for political systems, democracy is surely the healthiest for our time. No one, except those who stand to gain when democratic values are ridiculed, would disagree with that. But democracy is a little bit like an empty house. You need to know what the people who live in the house are going to do with it. Are they going to maintain the house properly, make it even more beautiful, or gradually let it collapse?
What's neglected in the idea of human rights is the individual's responsibility to society. The Dalai Lama often points out how particularly necessary universal responsibility is in our world, which has shrunk to the point that one can easily be on the other side of the world in a day. It's obvious that unless a sense of responsibility develops in all individuals sharing this planet, it'll be very difficult to apply any democratic ideals.
-Matthieu Ricard, as excerpted from here