Peeling back a corner of the universe to glimpse the utter chaos that lies behind.
Sep 12, 2008
Democracy vs. Republic
Time for a civics refresher. I got into a little disagreement with the guy in the seat next to me on the flight back from PDX tonight on the topic of whether the U.S. was a Democracy or a Republic.
The chief characteristic and distinguishing feature of a Democracy is: Rule by Omnipotent Majority. In a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man.
A Republic, on the other hand, has a very different purpose and an entirely different form, or system, of government. Its purpose is to control The Majority strictly, as well as all others among the people, primarily to protect The Individual’s God-given, unalienable rights and therefore for the protection of the rights of The Minority, of all minorities, and the liberties of people in general. The definition of a Republic is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution--adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment--with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Here the term "the people" means, of course, the electorate.
I say we are a Republic - the guy in seat 3C says we are a Democracy.