the difference between a democracy and a republic

DEMOCRACY from δῆμος (dêmos), "people" and κράτος (krátos), "rule, strength"  / Greek

Invloves the government ruling and making laws for the "greater good" of all people, they may abolish personal rights in doing so.

Democracy is government by and for the people. They may or may not be republics–that is, government limited by constitution or charter.

The tricky part of "democracy" is defining "the people" and then deciding what counts as "by the people" and what counts as "for the people." In a sense, that could be considered the content of democratic practice.

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.

"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)



  • 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.



REPUBLIC derived from the Latin phrase res publica which can be translated as "public thing".

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).


  • 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.



United States: The Constitution directly states that the citizens ("We the people") are the foundation of government, and that the government is chosen though democratic elections. Thus, it is a democratic republic.

United Kingdom: is a democracy but not a republic; the government is chosen democratically, but ultimate authority comes from the monarch, not the people.

Canada is not a republic and is a democracy.

China: is a republic but not a democracy. Government authority is stated to be based on the will of the people, but there are no democratic elections.

North Korea is a republic but not a democracy.

Saudi Arabia is neither a republic nor a democracy


Posted in Uncategorized on June 19th, 2009 by na | | 0 Comments

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