Iran Politics Club        
Website For Thinking Iranians
Back to index   Democracy vs. Mobocracy  

Democracy vs. Mobocracy
Dr. Ali Sina
February 22, 2009

In my article Obama and the Birth of Mobocracy in America I argued that this illegitimate president is trying to use the mob, the mobile vulgus, that brought him to power to undo the democracy and through them reduce  America into ochlocracy. And since he can sway and easily manipulate his emotionally charged and intellectually disengaged devotees who have mistaken this ‘pied piper’ as their messiah, he would eventually be able to control all three branches of the government and establish himself as the de facto dictator of the United States of America.

Obama and the Birth of Mobocracy in America

Sadly, these are not hypothesis and assumptions but facts that can be observed by watching Obama’s moves, even so early in the game. Obama is a narcissist and as such hungry for power. He would commit perjury, felony and even crime and will surround himself with likeminded crooks to maintain his grip on power. Once a narcissist has the power, he finds it difficult to let go. Hitler, Mussolini, Nicolea Ceausescu and Saddam had to be separated from power in coffins at incalculable cost to millions of innocent people. 

One friend argued that Democracy and mobocracy are one and the same. “The accurate definition of democracy” She wrote, “as stated by our founding father, James Madison is:  ‘A pure democracy, by which I mean a Society, consisting of a small number of citizens who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischief’s of factions (special interests).’ ~James Madison, Fed.  #10.”

She insisted that America is not a ‘democracy,’ but a ‘republic’ - “a Government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking.” ~James Madison, Fed. #10.

The Founding Fathers of the United States were critical of democracy. However, what they intended by democracy, as can be seen from Madison’s definition of it was ochlocracy. Ochlocracy is the direct form of democracy, where the citizens participate in the decision-making personally. This form of democracy is practical in small communities, such as in city-state.

However, direct form of government generally leads to chaos. That is because the masses of people are unaware of the intricacies of politics and economics and they tend to vote for their own special interest.  As the result the government is monopolized by the mob who regardless of their number and claims to speak for ‘the people’, often do not represent the (silent) majority. The silent majority by definition is silent and its participation in the government is indirect.

James Madison argued that what distinguished a democracy from a republic was that the former became weaker as it got larger and suffered more violently from the effects of faction, whereas a republic could get stronger as it got larger and combats faction by its very structure. (The Federalist #. 10)

What was critical to American values, John Adams insisted, [Novanglus, no. 7, 6 Mar. 1775] was that the government be “bound by fixed laws, which the people have a voice in making, and a right to defend.” 
 As Benjamin Franklin was exiting after writing the U.S. constitution, a woman asked him “Sir, what have you given us? “He replied, “A republic ma’am, if you can keep it.”

Republican Government

Because of these, many Americans, erroneously believe that America is not a democracy, but a republic and that these two are mutually exclusive. 

Nothing is further from the truth.

America is a democracy first and foremost; whose polity is constitutional republic.  The Islamic Republic of Iran is also a constitutional republic, where the Shari’a is its constitution.  However, the IRI is not a democracy, and there lies the difference.  

The origin of the word ‘republic’ is res publica, a Latin phrase, literally meaning “public thing” or “public matter”. defines the word republic as:

1. a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.

3. a state in which the head of government is not a monarch or other hereditary head of state.

Several banana republics, fall into this definition. By this definition the government of Venezuela, headed by Hugo Chavez is a republic. What sets America apart is not the fact that it is a republic but the fact that it is a constitutional democracy.

There are many forms of democracies, each with their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.  American democracy is a constitutional democracy (a.k.a. liberal democracy). A constitutional democracy is a representative democracy in which the ability of the elected representatives to exercise decision-making power is subject to the rule of law, and usually moderated by a constitution that emphasizes the protection of the rights and freedoms of individuals, and which places constraints on the leaders and on the extent to which the will of the majority can be exercised against the rights of minorities. (Wikipedia)

Note on Democracy (Wikipedia)

The term “liberal” in “liberal democracy” does not imply that the government of such a democracy must follow the political ideology of liberalism. It is merely a reference to the fact that liberal democracies feature constitutional protections of individual rights from government power, which were first proposed during the Age of Enlightenment by social contract theorists such a Rousseau and later Hobbs. (Ibid)

Liberal Democracy

Constitutional democracy is very different from direct democracy or participatory democracy.  Direct democracy is ochlocracy and when the masses are under the sway of a charismatic leader, it leads to dictatorship. It’s this direct democracy that the Founding Fathers criticized, while what they wrote was not just a republic but a constitutional democracy.

Words can assume various meanings in different times.  It seems that when the constitution was being written, what people understood by democracy was participatory democracy or mobocracy.  We should not blame them. The whole concept was a novel idea and they were the pioneers in the field.  However, in this day and age when we have a full understanding of the concept we should not confuse constitutional democracy with direct democracy. Direct democracy is mobocracy. It is the mobocracy that the Framers of Constitution criticized and what they called ‘republic’ is now properly called ‘constitutional democracy.’ To say America is not a democracy, but a republic is wrong and misleading.  While this definition is true about Iran, Venezuela and other banana republics, it is not true about America, or better said, it has not been so up until Obama’s election. 

By saying America is not democracy but a republic, we would be putting America in the same league of Iran, Libya, Sudan,  Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Venezuela, and a host of other banana republics. These countries are republics. All of them have their own constitution. But they are not democracies. Democracy does not mean the tyranny of the majority. It means protection of the rights and freedoms of all individuals, and particularly the minorities who are given ample chance to not only criticize the government of the majority but even to topple it in another election.

Constitutional democracies may take various forms: they may be republic, as the United States or France, or monarchy, as the United Kingdom or Spain.  They may have a presidential system, like in United States, a parliamentary system, like in Canada and Commonwealth countries, or a mixed form as in France.

Canada and UK are not republics. Iran and Venezuela are. To which countries America resembles more? What distinguishes civilized countries form uncivilized countries, is the fact that they are constitutional democracies, not because they are republics. 

This friend also added “Our responsibilities DO NOT stop at the ballot box.  Our laziness and passivity forces us to stop at the ballot box.”

I am afraid that I have to disagree with her again.  In fact here she is even contradicting James Madison, Fed. #10, whom she quoted earlier - “a Government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking.”

Either the government is run by the people’s elected representatives or it is run directly by the people themselves. We cannot have it both ways. In the first case we have constitutional democracy and representative government. In the second case we have ochlocracy, turbulence, violence and mob rule. How can we be for the rule of law and representative government on one hand and advocate continuous participation of the mob in the decision making of the government?  I repeat again what I said in my previous article. In a constitutional democracy, the kind envisioned by the Framers of the US Constitution, the responsibility and participation of the people ‘begins and ends’ at the ballot box. Anything else is mobocracy. It is not laziness but respect for the democratic process that should keep people away from meddling in the government. Once they elect their representatives, they should not micro-manage them. This is what Obama intends to do and he must be stopped.

In every election there is one group that wins and others that lose. Where there is a constitution, the losers let the winners run the government, because everyone has agreed on doing so. The constitution makes this binding. In civilized societies we do not rush to the streets rioting and burning cars and houses and killing people as Odinga, Obama’s cousin did in Kenya when he lost the elections. If our side is the winner we don’t have to do anything because our candidates have won and we trust them.  So what kind of direct participation can people have in a representative government?

People’s participation becomes necessary ONLY when the constitution is disregarded. This is what is happening today in America. A usurper is sitting in the White House, who may be an alien with questionable loyalties.  He refuses to abide by the law and prove his eligibility. He mocks the constitution and the entire democratic process. The media, the politicians, the lawmakers and the judges are all in cahoots. Either through ignorance or fear, or because of personal interest they are silent. This is the time that people must take the matters in their hands and force their elected representatives to abide by and respect the Constitution.

The Constitution is a social contract that is binding on everyone. Whether you are the electee or the elector you must abide by the Constitution. If one side breaches this contract, as it is happening now in America, the other side must stand up and defend its rights.

I am not advocating outright violence and revolution. The resistance must be gradual and incremental.  People tried to go through legal venues, but no judge heard their case. All the cases were dismissed on the ground of ‘lack of standing,’ as if Americans have no standing to know whether their president is legitimate or an impostor.  Now is the time for the military to step in. They must know whether they are taking orders from a legitimate commander-in-chief or from a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If they fail, the next step is civil disobedience. I believe if this is supported by a large number of people it will succeed. But if everything fails then armed uprising becomes, not only necessary, but also inevitable.

Why it is important to make sure the Constitution is not violated? It is because the danger of losing the freedom in America will become a real possibility. A man who lies to you and fools you to become president will not stop at that, he is an evil man capable of destroying the country from within and causing deaths to many innocent people. 

Support IPC
































































































































IPC operating since March 30, 2000
eXTReMe Tracker
Duplication of contents are allowed, only by naming the source & link to IPC
All rights are protected & reserved by Iran Politics Club © 2000 IPC