November, 2000

Dear Friend of Radio Liberty,

"Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him?. . ." Thomas Jefferson [1]

"In questions of power, let no more be heard of Confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." Thomas Jefferson [2]

"Democracy passes into despotism." Plato [3]

"Over the past several centuries, people have mistakenly linked democracy and political freedom to Christianity." Dr. John MacArthur, Jr. [4]

Last month I addressed Dr. John MacArthur's contention that:

". . . people have mistakenly linked democracy and political freedom to Christianity."

This month I will deal with the commonly held belief that our nation is a "democracy."

Men have always accepted some form of control over their lives because they wanted to avoid anarchy. Thus governments have been established to enact rules to protect the lives, the liberty, and the property of citizens, but once those basic rights were secured, additional laws have always restricted men's freedom. Our Founding Fathers knew that liberty and limited government were synonymous, and that tyranny and total government were synonymous, so they set out to limit our government. They knew there was no effective way to limit the misuse of power in a democracy, so they established a republic where men would be ruled by law rather than by the will of the majority. Most people have heard the story of the woman who approached Benjamin Franklin on September 18, 1787, after he had signed the Constitution. We are told that Mrs. Powel asked him:

"Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"

"A republic," replied the Doctor, "if you can keep it." [5]

To grasp the significance of Benjamin Franklin's reply you must understand the events that led up to the destruction of ancient Athens and ancient Rome. Athens was a prosperous city-state until it became a democracy in 508 B.C. Then the will of the majority became the law of the land, and the minority had no rights. The ruling oligarchy manipulated the populace and plunged Athens into a series of disastrous wars. First they fought Persia, then the Peloponnesian Wars. Class warfare broke out when the poor sought to steal the wealth of the rich. We still marvel at the architecture of the Parthenon, and the enlightened culture of Greece, but the magnificent city and its glorious civilization were destroyed when the citizens of Athens lost confidence in their form of government. [6] Modern pundits claim that Athenian democracy was different from the democracy being imposed on us today, but that isn't true. Plato lived in Athens during the tumultuous years that preceded the end of that society, and he wrote about what he witnessed in Chapter VIII of his book, The Republic. He noted:

". . . democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike. We know her well. . . . In what manner does tyranny arise? - that it has a democratic origin is evident. . . . And does not tyranny spring from democracy in the same manner as democracy from oligarchy? . . . And democracy has her own good, of which the insatiable desire brings her to dissolution? . . . the insatiable desire of this and the neglect of other things introduces the change in democracy, which occasions a demand for tyranny. . . . The excess of liberty, whether in States or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery. . . . And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme form of liberty?" [7]

Alexander the Great defeated Athens in 338 B.C. and ended their democracy. [8]

Rome established a republic in 509 B.C. The Senators who ruled the city were elected by popular vote, but Roman law restricted what they could do. As a result, the people were free, and most of them prospered. With the passage of time, however, a ruling class evolved and began using the Senate to pursue their expansionist agenda. A series of foreign wars ensued which enriched the oligarchy and impoverished the people. Those who acquired wealth purchased vast tracts of land and farmed them with slaves captured in battle. Small farmers couldn't compete with them, and they were forced to sell their land. Class warfare broke out, and the power of the State was expanded to control the populace. The right to vote was extended to promote democracy and quiet dissent. The oligarchy began fighting among themselves for positions of power, which led to ever increasing chaos. Eventually Augustus Caesar intervened and replaced the Roman Republic with the Roman Empire. That authoritarian society lasted until 476 A.D. [9]

The article on "democracy" in the Encyclopedia Americana states:

"Democracy is one of the most controversial of concepts. Not only does it have powerful enemies, but even its friends do not always agree about what they are defending. Beyond the common idea that democracy is the popular control of government there is no univers- ally accepted definition, and the concept is complicated by various secondary meanings, common after the Industrial Revolution, such as "social and economic democracy" and democracy as an ideology or total 'way of life.'" [10]

If you read our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, The Federalist Papers, and the Constitutions of any State up to 1950 you will never find the word "democracy" used other than to decry that form of government and declare that our nation is a "republic." [11] In their book, America in Midpassage, historians Charles Austin Beard and his wife, Mary, wrote:

"At no time, at no place, in solemn convention assembled, through no chosen agents, had the American people officially proclaimed the United States to be a democracy. The Constitution did not contain the word or any word lending countenance to it, except possibly the mention of 'We, the People,' in the preamble. . . . When the Constitution was framed no respectable person called himself or herself a democrat." [12]

If that is true, why do so many people believe we are a democracy? Because there has been a well- financed, orchestrated effort to convince them that our elected officials can do anything they wish as long as a majority of them agree on a course of action. That is just the opposite of the intent of our Founding Fathers. They believed in the rule of law and hoped to prevent future generations from voting themselves into slavery. That is why they created a republic and made it difficult to amend the Constitution. [13]

In a democracy, the majority rules, and the minority has no unalienable rights. In a democracy, the government can take wealth from one group and give it to others as long as the majority agrees. If that were done by individuals it would be considered stealing, but when it is done with the authority of the State, it is considered lawful. In a democracy, everyone tries to avoid confiscation of their wealth and hopes to obtain the wealth of others. The situation leads to dishonesty, cheating, immorality, licentiousness, a desire for power, disillusionment, a breakdown in law, and eventually chaos. [14]

John Bartlett's Book of Familiar Quotations quoted Plato as saying:

"Democracy passes into despotism." [15]

Over two hundred years ago Professor Alexander Tyler explained why democracies fail:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until [a majority of] the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse [gifts] from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy [taxing and spending], always followed by a dictatorship." [16]

Through the ages democracies have always become dictatorships. Let me cite several recent examples:

(1) Germany established a democracy after World War I. Shortly thereafter chaos broke out; there was looting, rioting in the streets, and widespread unemployment. A sense of hopelessness gripped the nation, and the German people began looking for someone who could restore law and order. Adolph Hitler was elected to office in 1932, and in January 1933, von Hindenberg appointed him Chancellor of Germany. The rest is history. [17]
(2) Most people have forgotten that the Italian people elected Benito Mussolini to office in 1922. He was the founder of modern-day fascism. [18]
(3) Following World War II Czechoslovakia elected members of both the socialist and communist parties to their Legislature. When the socialists walked out of Parliament to force new elections, the communists established a democratic dictatorship. [19]
(4) The American State Department often intervenes in democratic elections held in other countries. If the candidate we favor isn't elected, we apply economic pressure until the populace agrees to elect him. That happened in Rhodesia 20 years ago. We forced the electorate to elect President Mugabe. A decade later we orchestrated Nelson Mandella's election in South Africa, and recently we spent $70 million to ensure the election of our candidate in Yugoslavia. That's how modern- day democracy works.
(5) $2 billion was spent during the recent election cycle. Do we really have a representative government, or are we ruled by those who can afford to finance our politicians? [20]

The 1928 American Army Training Manual defined "democracy" as:

"A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any form of 'direct' expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic - negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy." [21]

James Madison, our fourth President, wrote:

". . . democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths." [22]

On June 21, 1788, Alexander Hamilton proclaimed:

"It had been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity." [23]

John Adams, the second President of the United States, warned:

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." [24]

Later he noted:

"Democracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subord- ination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit, and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable [abominable] cruelty of one or a very few." [25]

In 1790 Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to William Hunter in which he stated:

"The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind." [26]

In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson proclaimed:

"Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question." [27]

Sometime later Thomas Jefferson described the type of government we should have:

". . . a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. . . ." [28]

Fisher Ames helped write our Constitution. He warned:

"A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way. The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness . . . which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty." [29]

Gouverneur Morris, signer and penman of our Constitution, wrote:

"We have seen the tumult of democracy terminate . . . as [it has] everywhere terminated, in despotism. . . ." [30]

John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, proclaimed:

"The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived." [31]

Benjamin Rush signed the Declaration of Independence. He wrote:

"A simple democracy . . . is one of the greatest of evils." [32]

John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, noted:

"Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state -- it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage." [33]

Noah Webster compiled Webster's Dictionary. He warned:

"In democracy . . . there are commonly tumults and disorders. . . . Therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth." [34]

Oscar Wilde wrote:

"Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people." [35]

Lord Acton noted:

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." [36]

What is the difference between a republic and a democracy? In a democracy elected officials can pass any sort of legislation they desire as long as the majority agrees. In a republic elected officials are restricted in what they can do by law. A democracy is rule by man; a republic is rule by law. The opening phrase of the First Amendment to our Constitution proclaims:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . ."

The Bill of Rights was designed to limit the authority of the Federal government. The first eight Amendments limited acts of Congress in respect to our personal freedom. Amendments 9 and 10 limited acts of Congress to the issues cited in Article One, Section 8 of the Constitution. Thus most of what Congress has done in recent years has been both illegal and unconstitutional. Thomas Jefferson addressed that subject when he wrote:

"The several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government; . . . delegating to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force. . . . The Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations, and no other crimes whatsoever; and it being true as a general principle, and one of the amendments of the Constitution having so declared, "that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," therefore . . . the power to create, define, and punish such other crimes, is reserved, and of right, appertains solely and exclusively to the respective states, each within its own territory. . . . Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism -- free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence: it is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power; that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which . . . our confidence may go, let the honest advocate of confidence read the alien and sedition acts, and say if the Constitution has not been wise in fixing limits to the Government it created. . . . In questions of power, let no more be heard of Confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." [37]

Next month I will reveal who is behind the effort to convince the American people that we live in a democracy.

Recently I gave a speech in southern California on The Coming Conflict: The Millennium Summit and its Aftermath. It is available on either video or audio tape. In addition, we offer the Millennium Summit syllabus which contains several important UN documents, and other documents that will help you convince your family and friends about what is happening. If you purchase the syllabus, you will receive an audio cassette of my talk. Requests for our audiotapes, tape sets, and videos are increasing, and the response to our Internet programs has been gratifying. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to listen to our programs on, and our early morning program on Our afternoon program can be heard on as well.

The elections are over, and we must begin planning for the future. What can you do? You can organize the precinct where you live. The names and addresses of the residents of your precinct are available from the County Election Department. Get to know your neighbors, lend them copies of our tapes, and encourage them to listen to our programs on radio, shortwave, the Internet, or satellite. Offer copies of the Radio Liberty newsletters, especially this one, and check to see if they read it. Not everyone will heed your words, but some will, and every person you convince will begin reaching others. Once your precinct is organized, do the same thing with the members of your church or other organizations to which you belong.

If we contemplate the power aligned against us, it's easy to become discouraged. On the other hand we are on the side of the God who made the universe, and He is watching over us. Let me close with these words of encouragement from Psalm 91: [38]

2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress:
my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings
shall thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow
that flieth by day;
6 nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the
destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand;
but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the
9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the
Most High, thy habitation;
10 there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh
thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in
all thy ways.

Thank you for your continued support, and for caring about the future of our nation.

Yours in Christ,

Stanley Monteith, M.D.


1. John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, Little, Brown and Co., Boston, Toronto, 1980, p. 388.
2. Benjamin S. Catchings, Master Thoughts of Thomas Jefferson, The Bar of New York City, 1907, pp 131-132.
3. John Bartlett, op cit., p. 85.
4. Dr. John MacArthur, Jr., Why Government Can't Save You, Word Publishing, Nashville, 2000, p. 6.
5. John Bartlett, op cit., p. 348.
6. Encyclopedia Americana, 1965, Volume 8, pp. 640-1.
7. Benjamin Jowett, The Dialogues of Plato, Great Books Of The Western World, Encyclopaedia Britannica, pp. 409-413.
8. Athens, Encyclopedia Americana, op cit., Volume 2, pp. 496-98.
9. Encyclopedia Americana, op cit., Volume 23, pp. 665-69.
10. Democracy, Encyclopedia Americana, op cit., Volume 8, p. 639.
11. John McManus, The New American, Nov.6, 2000, p. 45.
12. John Bartlett, op cit., p. 741.
13. Benjamin S. Catchings, op cit., pp. 129-32.
14. John McManus, op cit., p. 44.
15. John Bartlett, op cit., p. 85.
16. W. Cleon Skousen, The Making of America, The National Center for Constitutional Studies, Washington, D.C., 1985, pp. 264-5.
17. Encyclopedia Americana, op cit., Volume 14, pp. 298-298a.
18. Encyclopedia Americana, op cit., Volume 18, pp. 656a.
19. And Not A Shot Was Fired, published by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
20. Personal communication with John Vorster, Prime Minister of South Africa: Recent TV commentary.
21. Robert Welch, "Republics and Democracies," The New American, June 30, 1986, p. 6.
22. David Barton, Original Intent, WallBuilder Press, P.O. Box 397, Aledo, TX, 76008, p. 335.
23. Dee Zahner, The Secret Side of History, LTAA Communications, Hesperia, Ca., 1944, p. 66.
24. David Barton, op cit., p. 335.
25. David Barton, on John Adams, op cit., pp. 337-38.
26. John Bartlett, op cit., on Jefferson, p. 388.
27. John Bartlett, ibid.
28. Benjamin Catchings, op cit., p. 171.
29. David Barton, op cit., p. 335.
30. Ibid.
31. Ibid.
32. Ibid.
33. Ibid., p. 336.
34. Ibid., p. 335.
35. John Bartlett, op cit., p. 675.
36. Ibid., p. 616.
37. Benjamin S. Catchings, op cit., pp. 129-32.
38. The Bible, King James Version, Psalm 91.

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