• July 11, 2023

    Republic and Democracy are not synonyms

    July 11, 2023
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    Perhaps the most damaging abuse of the English language over the last century has been the erasure of the difference between a republic and a democracy. Both are built upon the notion of the people being the sovereign power, but the way that power is enabled and the results are not the same.

    In particular, as a matter of function,

    • a republic fosters collective wisdom. Republics address needs before wants and enable the pursuit of Aristotle’s “good life”.
    • a democracy fosters collective foolishness. Democracy only concern themselves with what the people want.

    What a republic and a democracy are is addressed in the chapter Republic vs. Democracy in The Road to Americanism. Both use the democratic principles of voting or drawing lots; however, that is where the similarity ends.

    Justice is not a democratic principle. It is a republican principle. Democracies only concern themselves with “majority rules”. They do not consider how just the majority is. This is why it is referred to as the “tyranny of the majority”. At the core of Aristotle’s theory of a republic is that the “middle class” promotes justice by keeping the rich and poor from each others’ throats.

    Prior to 1900, the American population understood the importance of the distinction of the US being a republic. Over the past century, the distinction has been erased within the educational system, and the media constantly talks about “our democracy”. The United States was founded to be the embodiment of a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.

    As with all words, their repeated use has a psychological impact. In this case, as generations have turned, the importance of republicanism has faded. Popular movements have already removed a number of republican safeguards put in place by the framers. The seventeenth amendment and the violation of Article IV, Section IV within Reynolds v. Simms are two examples. The movement will not rest until it either succeeds in totally dismantling the republic to create a democracy, or the importance of the distinction is restored by proper education.

    If the progressive movement succeeds in creating a democracy, Madison’s words  from Federalist #10 should be remembered

    Hence it is, that such 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.

    He was not talking about the United States. It is synonymous with a republic.

    Article by Dennis Haugh, Colorado Free Press Contributor

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