Democracy vs. Republic--Again

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Adam's Apple, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    How to Create Conflict
    By Walter E. Williams, Human Events
    March 1, 2006

    High up on my list of annoyances are references to the United States as a democracy, and the suggestion that Iraq should become a democracy. The word "democracy" appears in neither of our founding documents--the Declaration of Independence nor the U.S. Constitution.

    Our nation's founders had disdain for democracy and majority rule. James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10, said in a pure democracy, "there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual." During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph said that "in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy."

    John Adams said, "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." Chief Justice John Marshall added, "Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos." The founders knew that a democracy would lead to the same kind of tyranny suffered under King George III. Their vision for us was a republic.

    But let's cut to Iraq and President Bush's call for it to become a democracy. I can't think of a worse place to have a democracy -- majority rule. Iraq needs a republic like that envisioned by our founders -- decentralized and limited government power. In a republican form of government, there is rule of law. All citizens, including government officials, are accountable to the same laws. Government intervenes in civil society to protect its citizens against force and fraud but does not intervene in the cases of peaceable, voluntary exchange.

    Democracy, what the Bush administration calls for, is different. In a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. The law is whatever the government determines it to be. Laws aren't necessarily based upon reason but power. In other words, democracy is just another form of tyranny -- tyranny of the majority.

    For full article:
    http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=12764
     
  2. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    What we have in Iraq is a misuse of terminology. If you examine the government they have, it is a constitutional democratic republic. The people have power, but most of that power is given to the elected officials, and nobody can override the constitution. Basically, it's like ours. Another bit of foresight they had is that they knew there were 3 distinct groups in Iraq, the Shiites, the Sunnis, and the Kurds. They didn't want any one group crapped upon, so the way their government's designed, the has to be some agreement among all three groups to really do anything. It's going to be interesting in their senate, but it will ensure that nobody gets crapped upon.

    I think the idea of calling any representative government a democracy is pretty much just the buzzword effect. Democracy has many positive connotations in may peoples' minds. The word 'republic' is more likely to be associated with Star Wars or possibly ancient Rome than with America. When it comes to publicity, the actual definition of words doesn't really matter. What matters is what ideas and emotions are stirred by those words. It's also pretty much why you can't use the word 'niggardly' in public.
     

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