Democracy and human rights have historically been regarded as distinct phenomena, occupying different areas of the political sphere: the one a matter of the organization of government, the other a question of individual rights and their defence. The relation between democracy and economic, social and cultural rights is considerably more complex than the relation between democracy and political rights. The significance of the protection of economic and social rights for democracy is only one side of the relationship. The economic arguments that have been advanced in favour of right-wing or capitalist forms of authoritarianism have typically been arguments about economic growth or economic development, and only secondarily about economic and social rights. Economic and social rights can best be described as standing in a relation of mutual dependency with democracy. The widespread absence of such rights compromises civil and political equality, the quality of public life and the long-term viability of democratic institutions themselves.