USA: from Republic to Democracy

Hugo Salinas Price

In 1750, the population of the thirteen colonies of England in North America was 2,148,000.

By the 1670’s, collection of taxes owed to the British Crown by settlers in North America had become problematic, as registered in his “Diary” by John Evelyn.

By 1775, the collection of taxes to be paid by the Americans involved resistance by gunfire on their part.

In January 1776, Thomas Paine published a piece with the title “Common Sense“. Paine was a brilliant writer and a firebrand for Revolution with the same objectives and the same mentality as the French revolutionaries of 1789.

Among his revolutionary proposals, his call for Independence from Great Britain was massively successful, and gained the support of practically everyone in the 13 colonies; Paine’s idea of Independence was the great motivator of the men who carried out the separation of the Colonies from Great Britain.

The formal creation of the United States of America, dates from the 8th of September of 1787, on which date the Constitution of the U.S. of A. was formally signed by its creators. The final signing was carried out behind closed doors; when that had been done, and Benjamin Franklin had left the chamber, he was asked by a woman: “Dr. Franklin, what sort of government have we got?” To whom wise Ben Franklin replied, “A Republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

The group of men who elaborated the Constitution of the United States of America, were highly educated and responsible individuals. All of them mastered the Latin language and had absorbed the wisdom of the classics of Ancient Greek and Latin literature. They brought all their knowledge of Ancient History and of the History of their times to bear in their elaboration of the Constitution. Ben Franklin is recorded as having doubts regarding the Constitution as finally adopted, but his practical wisdom led him to give it his support, as the best political effort that could be expected to win general approval.

The United States was born in 1787, as a Republic with perhaps 2.5 million inhabitants, but it’s many years now, since it ceased to be a Republic. The US has more than 300 million inhabitants today, and it is no longer possible to state correctly that the US is a Republic. Those who run the government of the US cannot, in truth, refer to the US as a Republic, nor do they wish to do so, because they are, with very few exceptions, democratic demagogues, whether in the Democratic or Republican political parties.

The USA, as a Republic, vanished many years ago. It is now a Democracy – and therefore, according to the thinkers of Classical Greece and Rome, it suffers the worst possible form of government.

* * *

A Republic, madam, if you can keep it.” Wise and practical, though perhaps not the kindest of men, Ben Franklin perceived, from the very birth of the US of A, the problems that would beset a Republic.

What constituted a Republic, in the minds of the Founders of the US of A?

The term “Republic” comes from the Latin “Res Publica“, meaning “The Public Thing”.

For the Romans, the Republic had the following constitutive elements:

1. It was made up exclusively of men.

2. The men were exclusively free men.

3. The free men had to be of adult age.

4. Slaves and women had no participation in the affairs of the Republic.

5. The free men who made up the Republic had to be owners of land within the extension of the Republic, and therefore taxpayers.

6. The free men had the right to bear arms, and the obligation to use them in defense of their lives, property, and Republic.

7. An assembly of men who filled these requirements, or of their elected representatives, carried forward the affairs of the Republic, which included making war in its defense.

* * *

In this day and age, there exists not one single authentic Republic in this world.

The growth of population has overwhelmed the capacity of one generation, to educate properly the succeeding generation. In the US, for instance, as late as the period prior to the war between the North and South, when Abraham Lincoln and his political rival – I forget who it was [Stephen A. Douglas ~ Ed.] – took turns addressing a country town-meeting, Lincoln would hold the attention of the public for a couple of hours, and then his rival would speak for another couple of hours, contradicting Lincoln’s position and presenting his own. The town meeting then took a break for lunch, and then resumed listening to the debate between Lincoln and his rival for another four hours. Today, there exists no group of individuals in the US capable of digesting a reasoned argument that requires more than fifteen minutes of attention.

Oil came upon the scene at the turn of the century in 1900; the British Navy, perhaps at the time the most conservative institution in the world, refused to acknowledge the arrival of petroleum on the world’s stage, until a diesel-powered launch ran circles around the ships of the British Navy, at a grand reunion at Portsmouth.

Our world has become mentally deranged – i.e. “gone crazy” – on petroleum. Such would be the reasonable opinion of a stranger from another planet, comparing the political condition of the US at its foundation, with its present condition: total and absolute public lunacy.

I believe that India may be the world’s happiest country. This is in spite of the best efforts of their President Mr. Modi, to turn them into another miserable Socialist materialistic State. There are some 1.3 billion Hindus, and that is just too damn many to educate into a proper state of democratic misery. The Hindus are very happy mingling with their mischievous monkeys and sacred cows.

Still, I am optimistic. These tribulations of our times, will not endure. General madness has been the result of the insertion of massive amounts of energy into human affairs, and mankind will necessarily come to its senses when the oil runs out, as it must, since it is a finite resource. Some share the opinion of Mr. Steve St. Angelo ( that the last truly profitable oil production will cease within the next five years or so. At any rate, the fact is that the end of oil as the motor for this civilization (if we can call it that) is now clearly on the horizon.

So there is reason to be hopeful, though the peaceful oil-free times will only arrive after enormous suffering and the inevitable disappearance, through starvation, disease and war, of several billions of human beings.

“The World’s great age begins anew,
The golden years return,
And faiths and empires gleam
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream…”

A simpler life for humanity will make it possible to rediscover the benefits to mankind, of an authentically Republican constitution of society.

Written by Hugo Salinas Price and published by Plata ~ September 27, 2018.

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