Skip to comments.Democracy vs Republic
Posted on 10/27/2004 8:42:53 PM PDT by jedi150
"Indisputably, this nation was founded as a republic and its leaders were justifiably afraid of a democracy, lest it destroy the nation they had risked their lives to establish"
The author is secretary of Sons of Liberty (P.O. Box 44673, Boise, ID 83711-0673; phone 208-322-7863), a network of activist patriots whose goals is "the full and permanent restoration of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as their authors intended them" The editors.
It was long ago speculated that the reason why so many Americans especially new (naturalized) and working class Americans register and vote as Democrats instead of Republicans is that they think this nation is a democracy. After all, that's what they've been told all their lives, and, wanting to be "good Americans," they opt to call themselves Democrats.
As a person who has never been able to understand how so many people with, supposedly, common sense would identify with and slavishly support the very party that bleeds their pocketbooks dry while enacting interminable tax loopholes for their very rich campaign contributors, that theory makes better sense than anything I have been able to come up with. Alexander Hamilton said: "Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate government."
The redefining of "democracy" is one of the most disastrous and potentially fatal blows America has ever suffered, and the most frustrating thing about it is that it is such a blatant lie. The simple truth is that America is not now, never was, and was never intended to be a "democracy."
The political systems known as "democracy" and "republic" were created and named concurrently about 3,000 years ago in ancient Greece in what are known as "city-states": cities that were in bare-knuckle competition with each other even though their citizens were all the same nationality, Greek.
The one thing both systems had in common was the idea of self rule; that is, the absence of a "king" by any name. The distinction between them was that, in democracies, the qualified voters (which included every "free" citizen yes, the ancient Greeks had their helots; lower, "serf" class people) met together and enacted all laws and made all decisions directly for the state. In the republics, the qualified voters elected representatives who, in turn, met together and enacted all laws and made all decisions for the state. Obviously, any political unit that got too large for all its qualified voters to meet together at one time in one place could not be a democracy, even if it wanted to be.
Also, keep in mind the fact that, contrary to what every 20th Century "liberal" (closet communist) propagandist tells you, "democracies" have never been classless societies, and have never been governments "of all the people."
Furthermore, even then, even 2,500 to 3,000 years ago, the dangers and failures of a democracy had revealed themselves, as shown by writers of the times.
About 370 BC, Plato wrote: "A democracy is a state in which the poor, gaining the upper hand, kill some and banish others, and then divide the offices among the remaining citizens equally."
About 126 BC, Polybius wrote: "The common people feel themselves oppressed by the grasping of some, and their vanity is flattered by others. Fired with evil passions, they are no longer willing to submit to control, but demand that everything be subject to their authority. The invariable result is that government assumes the noble names of free and popular, but becomes in fact the most execrable thing, mob rule."
And about 63 BC, Seneca, a Roman wrote: "Democracy is more cruel than wars or tyrants."
More than 2,000 years before this nation was founded, democracy had been recognized by its creators for the political and economic failure it is.
Colonial American Experience Subsequent to declaring their independence from Britain, the colonies established their own, individual governments and, apparently in the enthusiasm of independence, most of them incorporated "democratic" standards for qualifying voters in their systems. According to some of the framers of the Constitution and to many 20th Century historians, this act very nearly caused the political death of the infant nation.
Specifically, most of the colonies voted themselves all manner of benefits without any apparent reflection on the ramifications of their acts. As a result, the individual colonies as well as the Confederation were confronted with massive debts and zero funds with which to pay them off. They had no credit either financial or psychological anywhere in the world. They were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and facing the very real threat of being taken over by some European nation.
This crisis, created by the financial and social irresponsibility of "democracy," compelled the convening in 1787 barely four years after wining their war for independence of the convention that led to the writing of our Constitution. During those debates, the danger and failure of democracy as a political system was known and pointed out.
Edmund Jennings Randolph, in debate, stated: "Our chief danger arises from the democratic parts of our constitutions."
Alexander Hamilton, in debate, said: "Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate government."
Elbridge Gerry, in debate, said: "The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots."
And after the Constitution had been adopted: Alexander Hamilton, in Senate: "It has been observed that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one feature of good government. Their very character was tyranny: their figure deformity." James Madison said: "...democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."
John Adams, in a letter to John Taylor, wrote: "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
James Madison said: "...democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."
Thomas Jefferson, in the drafts of the Kentucky Resolutions, wrote: "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
(Yes, Democratic Party propagandists and their dupes insist that Thomas Jefferson was a Democrat. And he did, in a response to a European correspondent, say, "...we are all democrats; we are democratic Republicans and democratic Federalist..." and explained that, to him, "democratic" was not a political system but a political condition; specifically, a system in which the government recognizes no social classes and creates no social classes. Where, as far as law go, "all men are created equal." Jefferson, of course, acknowledged that all humans are not equal, in hardly any way he was just adamant that the laws should make no acknowledgment of these differences, should bestow no benefit or civil advantage to a part of the citizenry because of differences. That was as far as his "democratism" went, which, obviously, is the exact opposite of what "Democrats" today believe.)
John Adams, in a letter to William Cunningham in March 1804, wrote: "Democracy is Lovelace and the people is Clarissa" (an allegoric reference to popular literature of the time, in which Lovelace "did Clarissa wrong").
Not only were our Founding Fathers adamantly opposed to creating a "democratic" system, they were unanimous in giving this nation a republic as its political system.
Alexander Hamilton, June 26, 1788, stated: "There are few positions more demonstrable than that there should be in every republic some permanent body to correct the prejudices, check the intemperate passions, and regulate the fluctuations of a popular assembly."
Alexander Hamilton, also in 1788: "It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of society against the injustice of the other part."
George Washington, April 30, 1789: "The...destiny of the republican model of government (is) justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally stacked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people."
Thomas Jefferson, March 11, 1790: "The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind."
Thomas Jefferson, 1791: "Government in a well constituted republic requires no belief from man beyond what his reason authorizes."
Thomas Jefferson, July 30, 1795: "The revolution forced them (the "people of America" author) to consider the subject for themselves, and the result was an universal conversion to republicanism."
Thomas Jefferson, March 12, 1799: "The body of the American people is substantially republican. But their virtuous feelings have been played upon by some fact with more fiction, they have been the dupes of artful manoeuvres, & made for a moment to be willing instruments in forging chains for themselves."
Thomas Jefferson, March 4, 1801: "If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form..."
Thomas Jefferson, Jan. 18, 1802: "The body of our people ... have ever had the same object in view, to wit, the, maintenance of a federal, republican government..."
Thomas Jefferson, Jan. 13, 1813: "This is my belief of it; it is that on which I have acted...to administer the government according to its genuine republican principles..."
Thomas Jefferson, in the Anas: "He (John Adams author) has since thoroughly seen that his constituents were devoted to republican government..."
Thomas Jefferson, in the Anas: "...and I fondly hope ... that the motto of the standard to which our country will forever rally, will be federal union, and republican government..."
As historians Charles Austin Beard and Mary Ritter Beard wrote (1939): "At no time, at no place, in solemn convention assembled, through no chosen agents, had the American people officially proclaimed the United States to be a democracy. The Constitution did not contain the word or any word lending countenance to it, except possibly the mention of We the people,' in the preamble ... When the Constitution was framed, no respectable person called himself a democrat."
Justifiably Afraid Of Democracy' Indisputably, this nation was founded as a republic and its leaders were justifiably afraid of "democracy," lest it destroy the nation they had risked their lives to establish.
And thus it officially was for a century and a half. As recently as in a 1928 U.S. Army training manual it was described thusly:
"Democracy: A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any form of direct' expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude towards laws is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice or impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy."
It is stated (I have been unable to verify it author) that Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic president who gave control of this nation's money to the Federal Reserve Bank and thus put America's economic destiny in the hands of foreign bankers, was the first public figure to proclaim this nation a "democracy."
One of the 1993 Merriam-Webster's definitions of "democracy" is: "the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges." Yet today, "democratic" America is riven by class distinction, class envy, and class warfare, and all of it has been deliberately created and fomented by "liberal" (closet communist) Democrats in order to facilitate their personal possession of political power! Not a single day passes today but some Democrat politician somewhere deliberately agitates the masses in class envy, ethnic envy, economic envy, etc. all in the name of "democracy" which, by their modern definition, forbids the very sociopolitical condition they advocate."
While our "democracy" and its accompanying social self destruction are the planned and deliberate handiwork of the "liberal" enemies of free people, so successful has their redefinition of "democracy" been that the leaders of the opposition, i.e., "conservatism," aid and abet the liberals by their constant reinforcement of the idea that this nation is a democracy and that there is nothing wrong with that.
All of the "conservative" and Republican icons of the past 50 years William Buckley, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Robert Dole, Newt Gingrich, Phil Gramm, Dick Armey, Rush Limbuagh, and Gordon Liddy, to name just a few invariably refer to this nation as a "democracy" without hesitation.
Today, America is 220 years old, and to call Congress' fiscal policy "loose" is an understatement of monumental proportions. Today, America's debt is several times as large as its total worth (in fact, America's total debt today over $13 trillion is, according to Ibbotson Associates, equal to 30 to 35 percent of the entire world's total worth) while chaos prevails in her streets and, like the cancer it is, is spreading to he countryside.
And all because of the successful definition and sanitization of the word "democracy."
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" George Santayana.
It may be too late to save America from its historically mandated fate, but that doesn't mean we can't try. And one thing we can all do is to quit propagating the "democracy" lie. We who know better can quit calling America a democracy and we can try to educate those who don't know any better. Oh, yes. We can also call on those public leaders who keep repeating the lie to cease to do so. When the very people who invented "democracy" learn the error of their ways, what excuse can a modern educated person have for not knowing?
Democracy vs Republic ... The Road to Tyranny vs. Liberty.
Good post, I'm saving this one for future reference. I've been railing about the mischaracterization of our country as "democracy" for years. Democracy in its "purest" form tends to amount to mob rule.
Could that be the very point (mob rule) behind which the democrats work?
It's a distinction that very much needs to be made.
good point. unfortunately, history is not on our side. no "democracy" has lasted for more than 200 years. rome in its golden years (before the empire) and greece in her golden years (before alexander) lasted about 200 years until there was a power grab at the top by someone. in our country the power grab is, as you put it, mob rule, and this mob chose the name "democrat"
This would be a good class project. Essentially, re-enact the constitutional convention and let kids think and talk about the same issues the founders confronted. Give them the problems and let them come up with the solutions, then compare those solutions with actual history. I'm sure it's already been done, but its needs to be done more often.
Thanks, we all need to be reminded once in awhile about the differences between these two forms of governess. And also to see just how far down the slippery slope we have allowed this situation to manifest itself into what we are dealing with today. I don't know if there is any chance of saving what little is left of the Constitution and the intent of the Good people who wrote it.
You took the words right of my mouth. I too have seen going on and I fear for this nation if it ever does turn into a true "democracy" instead of a "representative republic" as it was originally planned to be.
The guy actually replaced republic with democracy in both instances. I was so unbelievably incensed, but my reply was never printed.
We have lots of educating to do. I have tried to do so with my book series and most of the activities I have been involved in...but we have to keep pluggin.
BTW, very good to hear from you my friend, hope all is well with you and yours.
I have, rather, seen that year as a moment when America might have gone astray of its Founding, abandoning it for a pure and dangerous democracy, and lost itself entirely in it. While adopting some of the extremes of majority rule, more importantly, America rejected its worst extremes. For my take on it, see this .pdf file (warning: 300kb, 60 pages):
Constitution's BodyguardTruly, things might have been far worse than they are today.
Still a good read.
A need to be reminded ever so often.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.