Difference between Republic and Democracy


by ayatoilet1

As Iranians debate their future after the IRI, it is important that they understand some key concepts about government – so they don’t get hoodwinked again due to their ignorance. In 2009, at the height of the so called ‘Green Movement’ – Iranians professed publicly for protection of their right to vote, and for democracy. Even today, we see interviews with opponents of the regime, and one by one they all profess to want “Democracy” in Iran. Even idiots like the MEK/Rajavists say they want “Democracy in Iran”. But the strange thing about all this is that most people when asked do not know the difference between A Democracy and A Republic. And in fact, I dare say, after a little education, most people will actually prefer a Republic to a Democracy – provided of course, that the Republic has some key safeguards against “power grabs” by some elite (which the IRI does not have). The single biggest failing of the current Iranian constitution is that it not only did not stop, but actually enabled the despotism of the theocrats (or religious jurists).

Unfortunately Iran did not have a Thomas Jefferson present, with any power or stature to inspire Iran’s constitutional writers. There are all kinds of speculation about this with statements made as follows: much like Iraq or Afghanistan, after the Revolution ‘foreign hands’ may have interfered in the writing of the constitution to ensure the rise of the theocrats. Regardless of the truth, Iranians will once again have an opportunity to correct this soon enough and it is vital that they understand some key concepts.

Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but antithetical, reflecting the sharp contrast between (a) The Majority Unlimited, in a Democracy, lacking any legal safeguard of the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and (b) The Majority Limited, in a Republic under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority.

In a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority. As Thomas Jefferson wrote so eloquently (he was by the way a very well read individual with a decent knowledge of history):

“All the powers of government, legislative, executive, judiciary, result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one. 173 despots would surely be as oppressive as one. Let those who doubt it turn their eyes on the republic of Venice."

A Republic, on the other hand, has a very different purpose and an entirely different form, or system, of government. Its purpose is to control The Majority strictly, as well as all others among the people, primarily to protect The Individual. In the American context, the writers believed that every Individual had God-given, unalienable rights and therefore for the protection of the rights of The Minority, of all minorities, and the liberties of people in general. Thus the definition of a Republic  in the American sense is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution--adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment--with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Here the term "the people" means, of course, the electorate. NOTE: NONE OF THE BRANCHES REIGNS SUPREME; AND CAN NOT TYRANIZE THE NATION. THIS IS A KEY CONCEPT!

In the case of the Islamic Republic, the “Supreme Leader” is indeed Supreme, and controls key levers of government that have defacto given him power to determine who can stand for elective office, and even who goes to prison or is freed from prison by his directly serving military and guards  – unilaterally. The Supreme Leader is indeed Supreme – and that is the flaw in IRI’s constitution. Iranians are suffering for it.


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FG so please allow me to give you the source of my information

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on


If you feel I am a liar and are only after my character as opposed my points of view then no need to look at any of the links I provide.  Not sure what I am supposed to say, gee thanks, you are so honest and polite you must be a real fan of mine for receiving the true facts I shared in the above source as well as my 2 relevant comments to ali mostofi on this subject & the role of monarch's under different circumstances. //iranian.com/main/comment/reply/190352/52137...




To Ayatoilet, It's not exactly so. Meanwhile Amir lies as usual

by FG on

Pure democracy is impossible except in small communities.  In a pure democracy people would make their own laws and not require representatives to do so.

In countries or even cities where populations number in the millions, you obviously cannot do that for a number of reasons.

A "republic" is nothing more than an indirect democracy but a democracy nevertheless.   In that sense the terms "democracy" and "republic" are used synonymously and rightly so.

As you note, many muslims--having lived without democracies--have the mistake idea that under a democratic goverment, the majority is always supposed to get its way in which case minorities would have no rights.   Thus, democratic constitutions usually include a bill of rights to protect them.  Its spells out basic and "inalienable" freedoms.

The approach of the so-called Founding Fathers who wrote the US Constitution in 1787 after an earlier failure (the Articles of Confederation) was unsual in that they studied and applied major Enlightenment ideas in devising a Constitution.   Particularly important as deterrents to tyranny were separation of powers (borrowed from Montesquie) and checks and balances.   More safeguards would be added later (term limits, 14th amendment, etc.).

One peculiarity of American democracy compared to all others lies in its unique plurality electoral system which creates major stability in a crisis by handicapping extremist and sectarian tendencies and usally favoring moderate center-right and center left parties.   Coalition governments have been non-existent in consequence while the main effect of third parties is to handicap the moderate centrist party that is ideologically closest to them.


"Constitutional Monarchies in contrast to Constitutional Republics, have a higher income for ther middle classes, the majority of the population and are by far, far more democratic in practice than Republican counterparts."

No rebuttal needed either on the economic or political points.  By "Constitutional monarch" what he desires isnt a ceremonial monarch in the sense of England, Holland or Sweden but a monarch with real governing powers.  To the extend he possesses such, those powers come at the expense of the people who would otherwise enjoy them.  Hence it's logically impossiale that such a system would be "more democratic."

To the extent Amir constantly relies on stoking up xenophobia to justify such powers, what he advocates is a secular equivaent to the IRI. 


And then You have a Constititional Monarchy, The Most Important

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

For Iranians To Be Understading about as, since Iran has upheld and secured  the longest and most successful & inspirational tradition of Monarchy on planet earth.  Constitutional Monarchies in contrast to Constitutional Republics, have a higher income for ther middle classes, the majority of the population and are by far, far more democratic in practice than Republican counterparts. 

My personal experience of living in each type of society for 16 years each, the one with greater democracy, constitutional monarchies compared with republics like the UK/Holland are more harmonious and sweeter to live in and be a part of than Germany/USA/France/Italy.  Of the people, By the people and For The People is in practice more the case in Monarchies.