Many want to change the world, but few care to do the work of understanding it. If one wants to change the current paradigm, one first must come to an understanding of how it operates. One of the most crucial things to understand is the manner in which republican forms of government and capitalist varieties of economy are mutually-reinforcing. Without such an understanding, one is tempted to reform various aspects of the system, never realizing the futility of such an approach. It is not possible to challenge capitalism with the present electoral system, without shifting it instead toward state socialism, which is no more—perhaps less—desirable. Nor is it possible to change the present system of representative government while using a currency that is supplied by its chartered banks. The two arose together, and must fall together. As I have written much on the topic of what is to replace capitalism, republics, and the state, as well as on the nature and origin of the state itself, this piece will instead focus on the origins and nature of representative government and capitalist economy. This is in hopes that a) government will not be seen as an alternative to capitalism, b) capitalism will not be seen as an alternative to government, and therefor c) a revolutionary approach will be adopted by the reader, which strays from both capitalism and state-socialism, and which better approximates geo-mutualism.
A republic refers to a system of governance in which citizens—enfranchised members of the state— elect public officials, who act according to the rule of law, often founded on a constitution.
Is a republic a democracy? Yes and no. In the loosest sense of the term, a republic is a democracy, because citizens do vote. In a pure, or direct, democracy, however, citizens do not vote for a legislative branch of government, but vote on all major issues that affect them. In this sense, a republic is distinct from a democracy. A republic is not a pure, or direct democracy, but a republic is a representative democracy. That is, a republic is a democracy when generally speaking, but is not a democracy when being more specific.
In a direct-democracy, citizens legislate law themselves by voting on it. In a republic, they vote for representatives to legislate law on their behalf. Republics are often supported over democracies based on the premise that representation is more expedient, allows for more specialization, and for better judgment.
In a representative democracy, or republic, there are typically three branches: executive, judicial, and legislative. The legislative branch passes laws, the executive branch puts them into practice, and the judicial branch enforces them. There are various “checks and balances” built into the system.