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< Back to question Is a Monarchy or Republic more beneficial? Show more Show less

A monarchy and a republic distribute the power and agency of the country’s leadership very differently. Which of the two is more beneficial?

Republic Show more Show less

As a state governed by the people whose president and officials are elected, a republic offers greater freedom and empowerment.
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A republic permits equitable distribution of power

The power is with the people here; they may elect the candidate they consider most capable to represent the population to serve as the head of the state. The voice of the people is integral to the success and growth of the nation, as the people may also make concrete changes. Power is also divided and balanced.
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Proponents


The Argument

A republic is a state without a sovereign. The foundational rule of a republic is that the people themselves choose the leaders who will represent them. The people govern their state through representatives, so republics are usually differentiated from direct democracy, but most modern representative democracies are republics.[1] Any form of government in which the head of state is not a monarch can be called a republic.[1] To be a citizen of a republic, one must accept certain rights, take on certain responsibilities, and be virtuous. The social philosophy of republicanism rests on the idea that the prosperity or ruination of a state depends on how morally upright or reprobate its people are.[2] For many reasons, many believe a republic is a more beneficial form of government than a monarchy. The central principle of a republic, which is "sovereignty is with the people," means that all power lies with the people. Being able to hold general elections and choose representatives allows the people to make sure, or at least expect that, their representatives will serve the common good.[3] If the citizenry is represented, laws are more efficient and the state runs smoothly.[3] This system of choosing representatives gives the people a sense of responsibility. Since representatives (rulers and office-bearers) are chosen through elections, the republican system is democratic, and representatives can be voted out.[3] In an ideal republic, economic and military power is distributed in the same way political power is distributed.[4] In this ideal state, even though citizens do not have entirely equal amounts of wealth like they have entirely equal votes, cases of extreme wealth and extreme poverty are absent.[4] Being equal in their votes, citizens should also be equal in bearing arms.[4] So too should those in the military vote.[4]

Counter arguments

A republic is not more beneficial than a monarchy because it has many downsides. Even though the general, underlying principle of a republic is that the people have sovereignty and are free to elect individuals who will represent them, different factors and conditions naturally affect a principle as basic as this and prevent it from guiding a state as well as it should. For example, the elections needed to be held for the selection of representatives are quite costly. In poorer countries, the high cost of an election can have unfavourable consequences for many communities.[3] Another downside to a republic is that ideally, a republic should be small and have little to no diversity amongst its citizens.[3] A large, diverse republic can easily fracture into different factions and special interest groups.[3] In such a case, instead of pursuing the common good, each faction or special interest group will seek the most political power in order to achieve its specific goals.[3] If the citizens do not cultivate virtuous character, if they become too diverse in their views and goals, or if the state becomes too large and its citizenry breaks into competing factions, then the republic will no longer be able to divide and balance power.

Premises

Rejecting the premises


Further Reading

James Madison's theory of the republic is very different from most others since he argues that a large republic is better than a small one. Read about it here: https://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/madison-s-theory-of-the-republic

References

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/republic-government
  2. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-ushistory1os2xmaster/chapter/common-sense-from-monarchy-to-an-american-republic/
  3. https://nigerianscholars.com/tutorials/structure-and-systems-of-government/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-a-republican-government/
  4. https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1969&context=fss_papers

This page was last edited on Sunday, 13 Sep 2020 at 19:29 UTC