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Author Topic: Democracy vs. Republic  (Read 2483 times)
Posts: 34

« on: May 15, 2007, 01:20:30 PM »

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

Winston Churchill

"Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried."

Winston Churchill

Prepared under the direction of the Chief of Staff.  Training Manual No. 2000-25 that was published by the then War Department, Washington, D.C., November 30, 1928.


This manual supersedes Manual of Citizenship Training The use of the publication "The Constitution of the United States," by Harry Atwood, is by permission and courtesy of the author.


A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of "direct" expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic--negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether is be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Results in demogogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy


Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them. Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences. A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass. Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy. Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress. Is the "standard form" of government throughout the world. A republic is a form of government under a constitution which provides for the election of

(1) an executive and (2) a legislative body, who working together in a representative capacity, have all the power of appointment, all power of legislation, all power to raise revenue and appropriate expenditures, and are required to create (3) a judiciary to pass upon the justice and legality of their government acts and to recognize (4) certain inherent individual rights.

Take away any one or more of those four elements and you are drifting into autocracy. Add one or more to those four elements and you are drifting into democracy.

Atwood. Superior to all others.--Autocracy declares the divine right of kings; its authority can not be questioned; its powers are arbitrarily or unjustly administered. Democracy is the "direct" rule of the people and has been repeatedly tried without success. Our Constitutional fathers, familiar with the strength and weakness of both autocracy and democracy, with fixed principles definitely in mind, defined a representative republican form of government. They "made a very marked distinction between a republic and a democracy * * * and said repeatedly and emphatically that they had founded a republic."

"By order of the Secretary of War: C.P. Summerall, Major General, Chief of Staff. Official: Lutz Wahl, Major General, The Adjutant General.


A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of Government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that Democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a Dictatorship.(Written by Professor Alexander Fraser Tytler, nearly two centuries ago while our thirteen original states were still colonies of Great Britain. At the time he was writing of the decline and fall of the Athenian Republic over two thousand years before.

"Did I say "republic?" By God, yes, I said "republic!" Long live the glorious republic of the United States of America. Damn democracy. It is a fraudulent term used, often by ignorant persons but no less often by intellectual fakers, to describe an infamous mixture of socialism, miscegenation, graft, confiscation of property and denial of personal rights to individuals whose virtuous principles make them offensive."

Westbrook Pegler: New York Journal American, January 25th and 26th, 1951, under the titles- Upholds Republic of U.S. Against Phony Democracy, Democracy in the U.S. Branded Meaningless

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
Thomas Jefferson, 1816.

Power User
Posts: 7831

« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2016, 10:06:17 AM »

It might be a good time to revive this thread.  Isn't a some of what we are seeing in politics today exactly this?

We see the election of "representatives" and others behind the scenes (delegates , super delegates) who have a lot of power to influence election outcomes. 
The good side is that maybe they know better then many in the masses (I would vote for Hillary because she has a vagina).  On the other hand it leads to mass corruption behind the scenes.

The representatives become corrupt.  They  don't alwasy do what is in the best interests of their electorate.  They have modern forms of bribery such as land deals while in office, golden parachute jobs after they leave office, their relatives get rich etc.  The incumbents rig the system to make it easy to get re elected.

OTOH say we have direct Democracy.  Then we get the tyranny of the majority.  The "people" start blaming classes or groups.  Get the "rich"!  Get even with "whitey"!  Get even with "men"!  Get even . 
Power User
Posts: 9471

« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2016, 10:30:13 AM »

Another point with delegates, super-delegates is that when facts change (like an indictment) there is some mechanism to change course even though the voters already made their preferences known in primaries.

Also with representative government, some get to see national security intelligence and some of us don't.  Not everyone should need to know all the inner workings of Medicare, T-bills or defense procurement.   The Iraq war may have gone badly, but there was a process of briefing congress with intelligence the rest of us don't see and having representatives who will be held accountable take that vote.

"The representatives become corrupt.  They don't always do what is in the best interests of their electorate.  They have modern forms of bribery such as land deals while in office, golden parachute jobs after they leave office, their relatives get rich etc.  The incumbents rig the system to make it easy to get re elected."

   - This is all true, but the people have had the power to fix this all along.  A simple, no deductions, tax all income the same tax code has failed (again) at the ballot box, and so has the idea of no-favoritism spending.  This is the fault of the people, not the system.  True majority rule is worse, IMHO.

A direct Presidential election for example would end the process of candidates having to go out to small towns and smaller states and compete for votes.  It would tilt the balance even further in the favor of Trump-like, media-based figures.  A unicameral, direct-elect congress would also be worse than having a Senate to slow down bad legislation - even though they never seem to do their job.
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