An interesting article by Don Watson in today’s ‘Good Weekend’.
July 16, 2005
Good Weekend [The Age]
But then, as a belligerently pro-Bush talk-show host told me and his million other listeners: “America is not a democracy. America is a republic. It’s a republic with democratic institutions.” A lot of Democrats don’t get it, he said. And the people who carp on about the Patriot Act or Guantanamo Bay don’t get it. Only the republic is non-negotiable. It is the republic that shall not perish from the earth
I heard the theme music from ‘The Twilight Zone’ strangely mixed with the theme from ‘Deliverance’ when I read that paragraph.
But let us investigate this a little further;
de·moc·ra·cy n. pl. de·moc·ra·cies
1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4. Majority rule.
5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.
1a. A political order whose head of state is not a monarch and in modern times is usually a president.
1b. A nation that has such a political order.
2a. A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.
2b. A nation that has such a political order.
3. often Republic A specific republican government of a nation: the Fourth Republic of France.
4. An autonomous or partially autonomous political and territorial unit belonging to a sovereign federation.
5. A group of people working as equals in the same sphere or field: the republic of letters.
So let’s put this in the American context given by the oath of alliegance; “I pledge alliegance, to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands …. “
… Republic is one dedicated to “liberty and justice for all.” Minority individual rights are the priority. The people have natural rights instead of civil rights. …
In a pure democracy 51 beats 49[%]. In a democracy there is no such thing as a significant minority: there are no minority rights except civil rights (privileges) granted by a condescending majority. …
… in a Democracy, the sovereignty is in the whole body of the free citizens. The sovereignty is not divided to smaller units such as individual citizens. To solve a problem, only the whole body politic is authorized to act. Also, being citizens, individuals have duties and obligations to the government. The government’s only obligations to the citizens are those legislatively pre-defined for it by the whole body politic.
In a Republic, the sovereignty resides in the people themselves, whether one or many. In a Republic, one may act on his own or through his representatives as he chooses to solve a problem. Further, the people have no obligation to the government; instead, the government being hired by the people, is obliged to its owner, the people.
The people own the government agencies. The government agencies own the citizens. In the United States we have a three-tiered cast system consisting of people —> government agencies —> and citizens. … 
This would suggest that in a Republic, there is no room for ‘the common good’, or ‘for the people as a whole’, I am glad I live in a Democracy
 REPUBLIC vs. DEMOCRACY [LawNotes]
 An Important Distinction: Democracy versus Republic
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