In popular discourse democracy often centres on concepts such as liberty, equality, consent, choice, rule of law, participation, accountability, and transparency, etc. This popular rendition, more often than not, excludes the notion of self-reliancism. I argue that the exclusion of this notion weakens the etymological foundation of democracy as government by the people and undermines the development of an authentic and sustainable democratic culture. Indeed, self-reliancism surmises the reality of the human condition and is fundamental since it complements the meaning of democracy in the discourse of governance. This study is based on the theoretical foundation of personalism, which affirms the unique dignity and interrelationality of the human person. The methodology adopted is dialectical realism, which proposes the need for societies to explore their historical and cultural experiences as the bases for a self-reliancist orientation in comprehending reality. The study seeks to establish the feasibility of self-reliancism as a foundation for democracy.
Keywords: Self-reliancism, Self-reliance, Democracy, Dilectical realism, Personalism.