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This is why the US isn't a democracy, and shouldn't be. It's a republic. Democracy is one check in a system of checks and balances.

The USSR was a republic. North Korea is a republic. Cuba is a republic. Russia is a republic.

Australia is not a republic. Canada is not a republic. France is a republic.

A republic is a country that does not have a monarch as a head of state. It has no bearing on how free, or democratic, or representative a country is.

The United States is an (arguably weak) representative democracy, that happens to be a republic.

That isn't at all what the parent comment meant. Significant writings from the American founding fathers of the United States warn about the perils of democracy.

Of course wealthy landed founded fathers were concerned about non-wealthy, non-landed non-persons having political influence. There are a lot more of the latter, and they have little use for the former.

Realizing that the peasantry needed to be kept away from power was not some enlightened revelation. It's the divine right of kings by another name.

Maybe you should read Federalist Paper #10, #14, and some of Jefferson's letters before resorting to snide cynicism.

If we were to take a more charitable interpretation of them then mine, then I would say that the American experiment failed utterly.

"A number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community" is a picture-perfect description of the American political landscape, despite all the hubbub about states rights, direct democracy, and how your representatives know best.

Yep. They wanted to keep the lie of democracy alive because it makes the proles feel empowered.

You wouldn't say the Kim dynasty are de facto monarchs? Here's a fuller definition of "republic": a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

Who exactly nominated and elected Kim Jong-Un? "Eternal President of the Republic" doesn't sound much like a representative of the people to me. It sounds like an emperor who's dishonest about his role.

> You wouldn't say the Kim dynasty are de facto monarchs?

As in all communist states, Kim Jong-Un was nominated and elected by representatives of the Worker's Party of Korea. Even by Soviet politburo standards, that wasn't a fair election, but formally, the power of the Party Secretary/Grand Poobah/Whatever, is derived from the party.

Unlike most communist states, though, his position is de-facto hereditary. Either way, a strong argument could be made that while the DPRK is a monarchy, the USSR clearly was not one.

I don't know why you are being down voted. It is true that America is a republic and not a pure democracy. A republic doesn't just mean no monarch. A republic is different from a pure democracy because it explicitly protects the rights of minorities through a constitution. That is why the Supreme Court can rule that state laws banning gay marriage are unconstitutional, and therefore cannot exist.

He's being down-voted because he's wrong; the US is a democracy, and a republic, and it has a constitution. Each of these things means something different but they are all true.

> A republic doesn't just mean no monarch.

Yes it does.

> A republic is different from a pure democracy because it explicitly protects the rights of minorities through a constitution.

Not true; a constitutional system does that, but that has nothing to do with being a republic. Many republics have no such protections. You're conflating a constitutional government with a republic. Republic means nothing more than no monarchy. There are lots of republics in the world, they don't all protect minorities through a constitution or even have a constitution because that's not what the word republic means.

"res publica".

A republic is a society in which the interests of the people are represented by elected or appointed officials who do not inherit their positions.

Yes, that's what it means to say "no monarchy". When positions are inherited that's a royal class.

A republic is really whatever someone feels like it means.

Madison really liked the term as a way of distinguishing Roman democracy from Athenian, but there's no hard definition, or in practice there hasn't been.

Ancient Rome, the UK, Venice, North Korea, the US are all "republics".

Free speech has less to do with it being a republic and more to do with it being a constitutional democracy. The constitution itself was an elitist project conceived by a few rich landowners. Luckily the elites in question mostly had an enlightened liberal ideology, with the big exception that "All men are created equal" applied only to white men.

All men are created equal lay the groundwork for what would come later.

The ideology came from not founding a single country but from negotiating the formation of a federal government around multiple independent states with varying populations. This negotiation forced people to think well beyond simply "majority rules".

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