1. In a democracy, the people are sovereign and govern with the greater good as a goal
  2. The constitution of the 5th Republic (in France) and elsewhere transfers power from the people to elected representatives
  3. The greater good is not defended by the elected representatives (see the next chapter)
  4. The constitution plans no legal method for their people to challenge the actions of their elected representatives
  5. We must therefore logically give up using the word “democracy”to describe the French regime and other “democratic” regimes around the world. 


The words have meaning: the word democracy is not adapted to describing the current regimes around the world as they are practiced today when “democratic”. They are two different and distinct notions and even quite opposite.

Democracy is a set of precise institutions (used for over 200 years in Athens) that guaranties the people (“demos“) the following: they keep power in their own hands. The people are sovereign.

Democracy is, as Abraham Lincoln said: «The government of the people, by the people, for the people ».

Such a regime guaranties that the elected representatives are the servants of the people and that they use the power that was given to them for the greater good.

The founders of our so-called democratic regimes — their real name being « representative government »— did not wish for a democracy, quite the contrary. Sieyès in France and Madison in the United States, were queen on setting aside the people from political decisions and didn’t hide their intention.

It is by a curious twisting of vocabulary that the word democracy has started to qualify, at the beginning of the 19th century, a regime that explicitly despises it from the start.

Today, calling democracy its exact opposite cages us in an intellectual glue that stops us from formulating a serious alternative: we will not be able to point out the problem because the problem has taken the name of the solution, THE NAME of what would destroy it. By holding this strategic position, the problem stops us from taking care of it.

I repeat: we aren’t in a democracy, it is a simple observation. And only a true democracy can return the power in the hands of the people.

The 5th Republic and other “democratic” regimes around the world are not technically democracies, it is a fact: the people do not practice power nor have the means of using counter-powers. But the Republic leaves one large lever in the hands of the people: the election of its representatives.

Yet the election doesn’t change anything (see chapiter 1) and every citizen deeply feels his political impotency. Why this paradox? Isn’t election equal to democracy?

Next chapter: Election is not synonym of democracy


  1. Etienne Chouard – MeetingThe abuse of language and the Newspeak.

  2. Etienne Chouard – MeetingAre we in a democracy?




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