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by 5d

I've noticed that many Imgurians are pulling the old "We are a Republic not a Democracy" argument. First and foremost, this argument makes the assumption that they are mutually exclusive. They are not. A democracy is any form of government that has power vested in the people. This can come in the form of a direct democracy, in which everyone is directly involved in the political process, or an indirect democracy, in which some form of intermediary measures are used. One form of indirect democracy elects representatives, also known as a representative democracy. Republics are more complex and have a unique history. First and foremost, Republics are NOT representative democracies. The term "Republic" stems from the Latin phrase "res publica", meaning "to make public". A Republic is simply a government in which the matters of the state are considered a public matter, as opposed to the private concerns of rulers. A Republic may also be a form of democracy to ensure this, and many Republics across the world are also Representative democracies. However, such is not necessary, and legitimacy may instead be rooted in other principles, such as: rule of law, due process, equality under the law, etc. Most importantly, what is considered necessary for a Republic to be legitimate and have the public interests in mind shift depending upon time and place. Political cultures evolve and thus the demands of the public do not remain constant. Such is the reason why we have so many different forms of Republics (Classical Republics, Feudal Republics, Merchant Republics, Democratic Republics, etc.).

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