This study begins by introducing the concept of political culture and the circumstances in which it came about, in preparation for a discussion of several related issues: first, that there is no necessary relationship between a given country's system of governance and political culture; second, that political culture cannot be derived from culture at large; third, that it is dubious to infer political praxis directly from political culture; and fourth, that the political culture of influential elites is not to be overlooked during the democratic transition phase. The study addresses civic culture, emphasizing that it emerges under democracies with the purpose of maintaining the democratic system's stability from a functional and structural perspective. The author draws a relative distinction between civic culture as a set of attitudes and attachment to liberal democratic values, then discusses the conflict over public ethics: an issue with as important an impact on politics as (if not more important than) political culture. The study argues that Western democracies forming alliances with dictatorships during the Cold War is related to the emergence of theories that associate a country's system of governance with its mainstream culture, to such an extent that ahistorical approaches that imply that the culture of a people has a fixed essence began to appear. Because democratic political culture can only develop under democracies, there is no truth to the claim that democracies must be established on the basis of such a culture; indeed, the notion of democratic culture taking hold prior to the establishment of the democratic system is no more than a historically inconsistent illusion. Still, none of this detracts from the importance of the basic precondition that elites agree to commit to the democratic option during transition.