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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.

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