Republic vs. Democracy
Rule by Law vs. Rule by Majority
Just after the completion and signing of the Constitution, in reply to a woman's inquiry as to the type of government the Founders had created, Benjamin Franklin said, "A Republic, if you can keep it."
A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the Constitution). A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority (mob rule). A Republic recognizes the inalienable rights of individuals while democracies are only concerned with group wants or needs (the public good).
Democracies always self-destruct when the non-productive majority realizes that it can vote itself handouts from the productive minority by electing the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury. To maintain their power, these candidates must adopt an ever-increasing tax and spend policy to satisfy the ever-increasing desires of the majority. As taxes increase, incentive to produce decreases, causing many of the once productive to drop out and join the non-productive. When there are no longer enough producers to fund the legitimate functions of government and the socialist programs, the democracy will collapse, always to be followed by a Dictatorship.
Even though nearly every politician, teacher, journalist and citizen believes that our Founders created a democracy, it is absolutely not true. The Founders knew full well the differences between a Republic and a Democracy and they repeatedly and emphatically said that they had founded a republic.
Article IV Section 4, of the Constitution "guarantees to every state in this union a Republican form of government".... Conversely, the word Democracy is not mentioned even once in the Constitution. Madison warned us of the dangers of democracies with these words,
"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...",
"A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men." Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Our military training manuals used to contain the correct definitions of Democracy and Republic. The following comes from Training Manual No. 2000-25 published by the War Department, November 30, 1928.
A government of the masses.
Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.
"Tax and Tax, Spend and Spend, Elect and Elect, because the people are too damn dumb to know the difference".
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