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).
Lawmaking is a slow, deliberate process in our Constitutional Republic requiring approval from the three banches of government, the Supreme Court and individual jurors (jury-nullification). Lawmaking in our unlawful democracy occurs rapidly requiring approval from the whim of the majority as determined by polls and/or voter referendums.
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...",
"We may define a republic to be ... a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. It is essential to such a government that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans and claim for their government the honorable title of republic." James Madison, Federalist No. 10, (1787)
"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)
John Witherspoon, signer - “Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”
Zephaniah Swift, author of America’s first legal text - “It may generally be remarked that the more a government resembles a pure democracy the more they abound with disorder and confusion.”
Benjamin Rush, signer - “ a simple democracy … is one of the greatest of evils.”
John Quincy Adams - “The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”
Noah Webster - “In democracy … there are commonly tumults and disorders … Therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.”
James Madison - “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.”
John Adams - “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
Fisher Ames, author of the House language for the First Amendment - “A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way. The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and the ignorant believe to be liberty !!
Gouverneur Morris, signer and penman of the Constitution - “We have seen the tumult of democracy terminate … as [it has] everywhere terminated, in despotism … Democracy! savage and wild. Thou who wouldst bring down the virtuous and wise to the level of folly and guilt.”
Samuel Adams – “… it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds …”
Communist revolutionary Karl Marx understood this principle all too well. Which is why, in "The Communist Manifesto" this enemy of individual freedoms stated:
"[T]he first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle of Democracy." For what purpose? To "abolish private property"; to "wrest, by degrees, capital from the bourgeoisie"; to "centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State."
Another proclaimed champion of Democracy was Communist Mao Tse-tung who proclaimed in 1939 [a decade before consolidating control on the Chinese mainland]:
"Taken as a whole, the Chinese revolutionary movement led by the Communist Party embraces the two stages, i.e., the democratic and the socialist revolutions, which are essentially different revolutionary processes, and the second process can be carried through only after the first has been completed. The democratic revolution is the necessary preparation for the socialist revolution, and the socialist revolution is the inevitable sequel to the democratic revolution. The ultimate aim for which all communists strive is to bring about a socialist and communist society."
Still another well-known champion of Democracy is Mikhail Gorbachev, who stated in his 1987 book Perestroika:
"[A]ccording to Lenin, Socialism and Democracy are indivisible.... The essence of perestroika lies in the fact that it unites Socialism with Democracy [emphasis in the original] and revives the Leninist concept.... We want more Socialism and, therefore, more Democracy."
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 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.
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.
By 1952 the U.S. Army via the new War Department Field Manual 21-13, sub-section entitled "The Soldier's Guide" was singing the praises of Democracy instead of warning against it. This new manual incorrectly stated: "Because the United States is a Democracy, the majority of the people decide how our Government will be organized and run...."
follows is excerpt from article by Ron Paul
December 11, 2000
A Republic, Not a Democracy
by Rep. Ron Paul
Throughout the presidential election controversy, we have been bombarded with references to our sacred "democracy." Television and radio shows have been inundated with politicians worried about the "will of the people" being thwarted by the courts. Solemn warnings have been issued concerning the legitimacy of the presidency and the effects on our "democratic system" if the eventual winner did not receive the most popular votes. "I'm really in love with our democracy," one presidential candidate gushed to a reporter. Apparently, the United States at some point become a stealth democracy at the behest of news directors and politicians.
The problem, of course, is that our country is not a democracy. Our nation was founded as a constitutionally limited republic, as any grammar school child knew just a few decades ago (remember the Pledge of Allegiance: "and to the Republic for which it stands"...?). The Founding Fathers were concerned with liberty, not democracy. In fact, the word democracy does not appear in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. On the contrary, Article IV, section 4 of the Constitution is quite clear: "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a Republican Form of Government (emphasis added). The emphasis on democracy in our modern political discourse has no historical or constitutional basis.
In fact, the Constitution is replete with undemocratic mechanisms. The electoral college is an obvious example. Small states are represented in national elections with greater electoral power than their populations would warrant in a purely democratic system. Similarly, sparsely populated Wyoming has the same number of senators as heavily populated New York. The result is not democratic, but the Founders knew that smaller states had to be protected against overreaching federal power. The Bill of Rights provides individuals with similar protections against the majority. The First Amendment, for example, is utterly undemocratic. It was designed to protect unpopular speech against democratic fervor. Would the same politicians so enamored with democracy be willing to give up freedom of speech if the majority chose to do so?
Our Founders instituted a republican system to protect individual rights and property rights from tyranny, regardless of whether the tyrant was a king, a monarchy, a congress, or an unelected mob. They believed that a representative government, restrained by the Bill of Rights and divided into three power sharing branches, would balance the competing interests of the population. They also knew that unbridled democracy would lead to the same kind of tyranny suffered by the colonies under King George. In other words, the Founders had no illusions about democracy. Democracy represented unlimited rule by an omnipotent majority, while a constitutionally limited republic was seen as the best system to preserve liberty. Inalienable individual liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights would be threatened by the "excesses of democracy."