Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"No Taxation Without Representation"

It was the rallying cry for a revolution – OUR revolution.
Our glorious Founding Fathers were fed up with fickle, oppressive England. They wanted control over how their money would be taken from them for the operation of government. Unfortunately for them, and us, the question for them was not “whether we should be taxed,” but instead “how we should be taxed.”
Taxation for them and a hundred generations before them was a given: death and taxes. Few, if any, people ever wondered at the actual legitimacy of taxation itself. How else, they would ask, must government be paid for? Their skepticism of human rationality and efficacy did not lead them toward autonomy and complete liberty. It led them to think that humans would not independently and voluntarily pay for their government, and it led them, more importantly, to think that humans did not have the right to be completely free of government coercion in any form, including taxation.
Ayn Rand, of course, hadn’t yet espoused her objective ideas, and no one before her or the founding fathers had done so either, so there could be no complete respect for the human mind and, therefore, complete respect for privacy and property.
The Founders were right that England was an insufferable tyrant, but they didn’t know the extent to which this was true, so they themselves enacted in our incredible-but-flawed Constitution the very same capacity for abridgement of individual rights that their arch-enemies had done: allowing government taxation and duties and excises, allowing the regulation of interstate and foreign commerce, insisting on the protection of the “general welfare” (a clause that has caused some of the most egregious lacerations of individual rights in the last century), allowing the coining and regulation of the value of money, allowing the adoption of a post office and post roads.
All of the above are obvious violations (to the modern-day Objectivist) of individual rights, but they seemed perfectly proper to our Founders, who still maintained the skeptical belief that humans were to some degree “fallen” and prone to corruption unless regulated by a government.
The chasm between an objective (reality-based) mind and those of even our greatest Founders is broad. Since most people even now are not objective, there can be little wonder that the little bit of rope those great men gave to government has extended a thousand-fold in the last 220 years – among lesser men and women consumed by the skeptical philosophies of the last 200 years.
If we Objectivists could go back in time, our rallying cry might be “No Taxation, No Tyrants, No Time To Lose.”
It’s not as poetic, but it’s on the money.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Who Is Eminent?

The notorious "eminent domain" portion of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution carried English common law in early America over into constitutional America, placing modest restrictions of "public use" and "just compensation" upon the law. Unfortunately for Americans, our constitution did not abolish this aborrent concept, and our courts have progressively given broader jurisdiction to "public use," allowing private companies to take over other private property for the "public benefit."
The most notorious recent atrocity of "public benefit" came in Kelo v. City of New London in New London, Conn., in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that New London could "condemn" private property for a redevelopment plan in which other private companies would rework the property. The case drew national attention and criticism, but it was not nearly the first of its kind. In 1829, private railroads were given virtual carte blanche in the condemnation of private property abutting and sitting in front of them in their government-backed reckless attempt to expand too quickly westward and to fall eventually into bankruptcy.
The "public use" clause was ominous in itself, but the "public benefit" interpretation must frighten any lover of liberty and private property. Just who (or what) is eminent? Who or what has eminence over private property: individuals or the government? Our Founding Fathers, brought up on English common law and lacking Objectivism as their virtuous gird, sided with the latter, much to the chagrin of thousands of property owners for the last 220 years and to those of us who must live with the understanding that we are, in reality, simply vassals with vassalages.
The altruist's philosophy (We must sacrifice for the many, the public?) set in motion this destruction of individual rights. The altruist decides what is for the "public benefit." The altruist decides what is alleged "just compensation" -- not the property owner.
Altruism's father is skepticism. Humans, over thousands of years, have believed (and been taught) that the human mind is not efficacious, is not rational, that humans cannot run their own lives and be happy in and unto themselves, living a life of virtue and autonomy. This irrational mindest by the skeptics causes them to hold humanity (individuals) in contempt. Can it be any surprise that these skeptics/altruists then hold the property of humanity in contempt? "What right does a contemptible human have to state that he has any more right to his property than his neighbors? They are worth more because there are more of them? He must sacrifice. If he doesn't sacrifice, by damn, then we'll make him sacrifice. We'll make him pay!"
This venom toward the grand individual will not end until people learn to respect the human mind, its efficacy, its eminence. Objectivism is the only means to that end.
And then we'll have the constitutional answer to who is eminent: individuals, not governments -- and we'll have a proper Fifth Amendment.

Manure From a Silver Spoon

I wrote the following letter to the editor to the Wall Street Journal concerning a sympathetic story in its 2-23-08 edition on a 28-year-old son of a wealthy retired exec from Johnson & Johnson. The son has produced two films blasting the rich for their "extravagant lifestyles" and the so-called wealth gap. The rich son has harassed his father and other wealthy people to go on camera about their lives and how much they haven't "given back." This letter was published by the WSJ on 2-28-08.

__________________________

Robert Frank’s piece on “The Rich Man’s Michael Moore” was appalling in its neutrality toward a Silver Spoon feeding us his socialist manure.
Jamie Johnson should not be an outcast only among his rich brethren; he should be an outcast at the WSJ and around the United States. He is of a breed of apologists for the abominable “give back” mentality in modern America – the ilk that does not understand that their rich mothers and fathers were visionaries whose businesses provided incomparable products and wealth to tens of millions of American like me. More important, these visionaries had a work ethic and inventiveness that should be an inspiration to tens of millions.
But no, Little Boy Blue Johnson sees only socialist red and notes work on apartheid as a major accomplishment of his father, elevating social awareness to a stature that was once held by hard work in 19th century America. He, like other “progressives,” think only of so-called gaps in wealth without attempting to understand that wealth is directly measured by productivity in a free country: the richer you are (in almost all cases), the more you’ve provided in investment, services or products to the most people, enhancing their lives. Jamie Johnson’s film sewage reeks of guilt from living la vida rica without having earned his own way.
Frank’s piece accomplished only one thing: It made me feel sorry for Silver Spoon’s father, who is being subjected to a scion gadfly in the twilight of his life, instead of being praised and honored for doing what he loved, doing it well, and exultantly living the life of luxury he so duly deserves – without even one thought for others’ self-imposed miseries, if he so decides.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

NOT Eating Our Young

I became an Objectivist in early 1992 after devouring virtually all of Ayn Rand’s works in 3 months after reading The Fountainhead, which changed my life.
The prospect of a society of rational people in the world who wished to be left alone (by government) and who understand the power of efficacy and the importance of happiness here and now was the most exhilarating moment in my life.
That prospect has been both enhanced and dimmed in the last 16 years by, respectively, the great works of the Ayn Rand Institute (and my friends) and by prickly, self-righteous Objectivists who seem to haunt virtually every corner of the Objectivist public world. These latter-day Objectivists have alacrity for starting up and operating Blogs, bulletin boards and web-discussion forums and running them like high-toned archbishops bent upon denunciation and excommunication.
Their self-righteous, prickly, guilty-until-proven-innocent pronouncements are an affront to seasoned Objectivists and intimidating to new Objectivists. The archbishops do as much to harm Objectivism in many cases as bad philosophy in our culture does. They eat their young as only irrational humans can, with a smile of self-satisfaction.
They believe they are culling the herd, but what they are NOT doing is cultivating the herd. Most people come into Objectivism as beat-up souls, me included. It takes years to “get it right,” to clean up one’s psychoepistemology, to establish new objective goals, to understand fully the virtues and integrate them into a mental system that establishes a rational, pollution-free means for achieving the new goals.
And sometimes, even veteran Objectivists can make a point badly or not gather the proper evidence for making a rational point, thereby making a mistake. Heaven forbid. If this sacrilege is noticed by any archbishop in the vicinity, the defendant must prepare himself for fire and brimstone and subsequent exposure (I mean this in the babies-cast-out-into-the-wilderness kind of way). Diplomacy and context are defenestrated.
One might be tempted at this point to say, “Well, why doesn’t the defendant have the self-esteem and first-handedness to simply weather the storm and say, ‘To hell with you.’?” The fact is that some people simply haven’t made it that far yet in objectivity. They are still somewhat second-handed and still working on their scarred psyches. This is not to excuse them, but how many of these people do we lose to irrationality because they are reminded harshly of their own current irrationality and because the prospect of nice people “on the other side of irrationality” looks dim. “Is this what it means to be ‘objective’?” they ask themselves.
I know a couple of people who took Objectivism very far and then backed off after a nasty, public squabble. I don’t have respect for these people for not realizing the grand benefit of being objective in one’s life and carrying on selfishly, as they should. But, goddamn, they shouldn’t be subjected to explicit, self-righteous, knee-jerk nastiness and categorical presumptions of generalized irrationality.
Having said all of the above, I want to make clear that I know many benevolent Objectivists, and I’m sure there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, more like them in the world. I just wish they had a greater propensity for starting their own blogs and forums – showing neophytes and veterans what it truly means to be an Objectivist.
My post here (above) was sparked by yet another run-in with the archbishops. A good friend had suggested a site for me to submit one of my recent blog postings so that I could get more traffic to my blog. I sent in my posting (The Mephisto Irony) and received a short email that said my posting had been rejected and that the site did not allow non-Objectivists, “advocates of faith, anarchy, subjectivism, altruism, and the like.” You can imagine my surprise, since my post was particularly anti-Christian – and my greater surprise at being lumped in with such detestable beings.
As it turns out, the archbishops hadn’t liked a post I made two years ago (I guess they found nothing to complain about in the many postings since then, including a poetic paean to Ayn Rand herself) on “The Free Road to Capitalism,” in which I state tongue-in-cheek that I’ve been converted to anarcho-capitalism. I state clearly that I’m not for anarchy in that post (specifically for those Objectivists who were born without a sense of humor), but evidently this (and my expounding in the article on the necessity of non-coercion in the forming of objective governments) was not enough to fend off the clergy. Moreover, I didn’t find out that the clergy had a problem with me personally until I emailed back a curt response, and they remarked about the “anarchy” post two years ago. They still didn’t bother to say what they found wrong with the post. They simply said that Ayn disagreed, as if this were an argument – and as if they actually understood my post.
My point in the above two paragraphs is both the clergy’s approach to “apostasy” and its discerning of it. When the clergy believe they see irrationality, they leap to psychological conclusions (as well as the jugular). They don’t bother to redress issues rationally and to diplomatically request further information to confirm a position or to perhaps enlighten someone who has virtuously attempted to understand Objectivism and study it and perhaps mis-explained something or actually been irrational on one point. They throw the baby out with the bathwater. Then they eat the baby. This all would be bad enough, but these clergy have proven (in my experiences with them) to be largely middling in mind; they seem incapable of thinking on their own feet and are often blinded by one comment or one hot-button word.
We have a revolution on our hands in America. And we will not win this revolution if many of the prominent among us continue to eat our young. It’s time to succor Objectivists, get clarity, assume innocence until proven clearly guilty, nurture intellectual growth, attempt at all costs to determine honesty, and foster a genuine camaraderie built on dispensing justice in due, rational measure. If someone shows clearly that they are wedded to irrationality, then, hell yes, the hammer comes down. But let’s try to make very sure that we keep our eyes on the facts and on the context, and then pronounce judgment (good or bad) only when we have done our due diligence with good intentions.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Flatliner Tax

Here's the newest proposal for all newly proposed taxes. They are dead on arrival. No new taxes. No old taxes. No taxes.
The new flatliner tax. No taxation without representation. No taxation with representation. No taxation of Americans. No government theft.
Flatlined.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Simplicity vs. Simplistic

One of the fascinating aspects about the theory of evolution is its simplicity – and its argument that complexity in organisms (e.g. humans) was arrived at via simplicity (lower organisms) evolving ever-greater complexity.
This, of course, flies in the face of the mystic “argument” for complexity (alleged gods) creating organisms of much greater simplicity. This simplistic statement reveals not only a knack for denial (or lack of an attempt at understanding) of the facts but also an anthropomorphic fait accompli: “I believe there must be a god, therefore it created all things.” This simplistic belief was perhaps somewhat understandable at the dawn of human rationality, but after 5 centuries of scientific discovery, it’s worse than childish; it’s a fraud. There are mystics who try to rationalize a marriage of the two – god and evolution – but their agonizing rationalizations are, well, agonizing.
I’ve found in my 47 years that there are those who seek simplicity and those who seek the simplistic, those who seek the gorgeous facts of life and those who seek cold comfort from not “having” to think. A better way to put it might be “those who are honest and those who are dishonest.”
The virtue of honesty plays out in this venue, as it does in all others, but the irrationalist’s trenchant doggedness to deny evolution is especially stark, considering the overwhelming amount of evidence that is readily available to anyone who makes even a brief attempt to understand the theory. One thing I’ve noticed about Objectivists is their desire for Occam’s razor: “the simple explanation is usually the best.” Simplicity is usually right. That can’t be confused with the simplistic, the arbitrary.The acknowledgement of the theory of evolution by those of us in honesty’s camp makes for a wonderful camaraderie of the mind. Simplicity makes for a rich, complex life of happiness. Cheers.

Guardians of the "Should"

Newspaper reporters and editors can be often heard to proudly tout their “objectivity.” (What they really mean is “neutrality,” but that’s a story for another day.) They claim to always offer both sides to a story, allowing both parties to state their case.
This is obviously untrue to any objective observer. Moreover, neutrality is immoral because it means nonjudgmentalism, allowing equal time to the wrong instead of condemning it. Newspapers should be the guardians of the “should.” They should be the frontline soldiers for individual rights and explicitly base all of their journalistic principles upon this one principle.
Here are some examples of neutrality gone woefully wrong.
“Public education.” Newspapers regularly print articles on how to improve this atrocity when, in fact, they should be denouncing the very idea.
Global Warming: Newspapers have actually agreed (without saying so outside of their opinion pages) that the Earth’s warming in recent years is predominantly man-made, and so their seemingly endless fabrications (excuse me, I mean “stories”) simply concern how to prevent global warming – from world summits to socialist marches to “everything green” to school classes on environmentalism, all of which are written in glowing terms about the fools who also have gobbled up this latest Chicken Little tale. There are great articles out there that denounce global warming, but few newspapers ever print these.
“Welfare.” This issue, of course, is a non-issue with newspapers, who have it as a cause-celeb for decades. It is never a matter of “why”; it is always a matter of “who” and “how much.”
National defense. Newspapers have never tried, to my knowledge, to even define what national defense is and, therefore, what it should entail. They are too preoccupied with “world opinion,” which belies their own skepticism about whether America (much less a single human being) can take moral stands unilaterally or even understand what is rational and right by itself. Stories on this subject, like all of the subjects above, tend to lean to the left by using stronger quotes from the left, as well as placing them more strategically in stories and using pejorative verbs for speakers of the right, like “claimed” and “stated” and “proclaimed” and “announced” and “contended” instead of the neutral “said.” And, as in all the subjects above, newspapers flatly refuse to do their own research on subjects or to report when facts favor the side they are opposed to (unannounced of course). It took virtually all American newspapers (except for the Wall Street Journal and a few others) more than four months to print even a token story on the success of the surge in Iraq.
There are dozens of other “shining” examples of bias and so-called neutrality (FDA, CDC, farm programs, regulation, taxation, eminent domain, “public utilities,” drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc), but the modus operandi remains the same: alleged neutrality.
It is ironic that newspapers scoff at the old Horace Greely days of “should” journalism, when newspapers 200 years ago explicitly stated what was right and wrong in front-page articles. The newspapers were often wrong, but their hearts and minds were in the right place: “What is good for individuals? What is good for Americans?”
If you add Objectivism (objectivity) to the intent of early-American journalism, then you have created the grand protector of individual rights in a medium that rightly endeavors for the “should.”

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Mephisto Irony

For 500 years, the Mephistopheles story has depicted a man (usually named Faust or some version of that name) who sells his soul to the devil (usually Mephistopheles as the devil or a representative of the devil) in exchange for riches and/or happiness. Of course it always has a bad ending because the soul is what they’re trying to make happy and yet they’re selling it off. Pretty nasty Catch-22
Christians can get into high unction in the telling of this parable (usually to those who live “too much” in this world) or in some modern or ancient statement that plays on the story: “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” “What profits a man to gain all the riches of the world if he loses his soul?” “It’s easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle, then for a rich man to go to heaven.” (Ouch!) “Money is the root of all evil.”
Blah-de-blah-de-blah. Do these people EVER tire of being dark and ominous? God, I’d hate to be in their heads!
The irony in all of the above is that religion itself is a metaphorical Mephisto. It is mystical people’s desire to sell their rational mind so they can allegedly get riches: eternal life and all its accoutrements: fireside chats with Jesus, yellow-brick roads, gilded lilies, galaxy-size flat-screen TVS, popcorn that’s out of this world, extra time with long-lost grandpa, etc. (Sounds pretty good actually, except for the monotonous chats with the tiresome ne’er-do-well from Nazareth.)
The religious are told they must adhere at all costs to the F-word: Faith. Say the faith-mongers: “Simply blow up your rational faculty and believe our nonsense and make a cud-chewing obsequious cow of yourself and we promise eternal life with the father, the son, the holy ghost, a planet of virgins, a billion infants who died at birth, et al – and don’t you DARE think that you should try to make any sense of this nonsense or you’ll GO STRAIGHT TO HELL.” I forget which early Christian “father” (Ambrose maybe) said Christianity is true BECAUSE it is ludicrous. (And I thought Jesus would be tiresome to talk with!) His point was that Christianity is so fricking crazy that nobody could’ve possibly made it up and so many people couldn’t possibly have believed it. So it must be true. You just gotta love the “logic” of Christians.
Here’s the bargain, in a nutshell, that Christians and their mystic friends have made with devil-religion. “Yes, we’ll give you our minds and we’ll look the other way when you make outlandish claims and we’ll even get on our knees and pretend that somewhere out there must be a god-man-woman-person-thing-whatever, even when we can’t hear or see or touch or smell or taste it, if you promise to give us all that we desire here and, especially, in the afterlife that you swear is real, even though you haven’t told us what that’s going to look or feel or sound or smell and taste like and even though I haven't yet had one certifiable contact aforesaid being.”
Talk about a Mephisto bargain: pawning your rational faculty – the one magnificent thing that separates us humans from the lower animals and gives us not only consciousness but also conscientiousness, which constitutes our soul – for a preposterous dupe. The mystics have bought into the mental method (faith) that is diametrically opposed to rationality, which is the only human means for survival, happiness and self-esteem.
They’ve bought into the method that implies: “You are not capable of judging properly, of living properly, of handling money properly, of finding out what you do well and doing it with moral force, of being honest all of the time, of determining for yourself what is right and wrong.” They have bought into the philosophy of skepticism, which is what religion is all about, after all, isn’t it? Its presumption is all of the above: humans aren’t CAPABLE by themselves of handling their own lives, discovering the proper ethics and being satisfied with this life – so they need religion to give them alleged comfort and guidance. Talk about another irony: the morality actually lies OUTSIDE of religion -- not in commandments, but in a rational method and construct. On another ironic note, those who are rational are actually the MOST spiritual since they understand what it is and cultivate it purposely and thoughtfully.
What this Mephisto bargain has created on Earth is hopelessly lost souls – literally. Billions of people have no idea WHO they are or of the potential power of their own mind and do not have the concomitant self-esteem to feel like they have the right to live for themselves, for their own happiness here and now. You see it in their eyes. You hear it in their frustration in not knowing what to do in many situations. You flinch at their self-satisfied forgiveness of wrong-doing instead of the proud man’s insistence on justice. You discover it in their repetitive “white” lies and frequent big lies that they justify by the fact that they are fallen and are simply expected to do such things and can’t help themselves. You notice it in their wish to have government become bigger and more ominous and allegedly do for them on Earth what they want done in their make-believe heaven: take care of them because they can’t do so themselves. Religion always equates to oppressive government. After all, the mind has already surrendered to a tyrant. “Please, sir, may I have another?”
But, indeed, humans are capable. We are efficacious. We can define and live by “honesty,” “justice,” “pride,” “integrity,” “productivity,” Those of us who are confident in our rationality and have worked out what is right are truly the ones who understand what it means to be human, to want to live a fulfilled life, to feel the self-esteem of living efficaciously and rightly. We have no use for Mephistos of either kind. We’ve already got what the Fausts and mystics don’t have: a love of THIS life and a knowledge that we’ve already got everything we need between our ears to live happily and richly, if we so desire. We need no desperate bargain to give us fulfillment.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Tribute to Her (poem)

Where and what would I be today,
Without her, her vision, her way?
She was the light for my inn’r cave.
I was a man, but high-browed knave.
For are we not all knaves in fact,
When as imbeciles, we do act
With no thought of thought in accord
With bare truth or Sir Occam’s sword?
She bravely did what I would not.
She, who untied Gordian’s knot,
Gave breadth to the eternal mind,
Breath and sight to formerly blind.
It was she who stared life in eye.
She, it was, who nodded with “aye.”
She birth’d human like no other,
Though never, herself, birth mother.
In her is found emotions’ flight
With brother brain as guiding sight.
What she did, I could ‘lone have done.
In youth, my tools already won,
I had ears, eyes and mind, for sure,
But ‘lacrity for conjurer.
I made sense of father’d nonsense.
Past evasion dogg’d future tense.
I proclaimed things where things were not.
Low injustice won silent lot.
I worked hard, yes, but not for me.
“I” lost wars to part-purchased “we.”
And so it went, days of turmoil,
My head in air, no feet on soil,
‘Til one morn, atop stack of books,
Lay friend’s gift, novel, not of crooks.
Dust stood thick on jacket cover,
He’d said, “Read it. You will love her.”
But he talked too much of ideas,
Not clich├ęs or panaceas –
Ideas of revolution
That would topple my “solution.”
One grows fond of the ways of wrong.
Changing paths is not to belong.
But honest souls, always crying,
Must get to living or dying.
I turned the page, then another.
Howard Roark, a long-lost brother,
Compatriot of once-I-was,
Stood erect, fierce and proud because
Life was his, and this he well knew,
The mind was king, and kings it grew.
Words can paint pale scene of wonder
Of soul putting past asunder,
Of flying beyond the blue sky
And steeped in a real-world dye.
Hard-fought days surely followed, too.
New sight blends with work for the true.
But these many happy years hence,
No longer perched upon a fence,
I thank friend and Howard and she
Who gave glad birth to new-formed me.
It is her, the first of a kind,
Who let me see the worth of mind,
To whom I now do proudly stand
And say, thank you, my dear Ayn Rand.

Morning's Yellow Monster - (poem)

Terror fills the morning driver.
To Moon, for now, the Sun avers.
Belt buckle snaps, the heart races.
To first light, chilled car takes paces.
Nervous ear nears open window.
All’s quiet, no eternal foe.
Somewhere – out there – the yellow sloth
Devours young children like moths.
The stoplight is long; the toes tap.
Sweat breaks out between foot and cap.
It is the longest light ever.
In truth, forever and ever.
“Damn infernal government’s hide,
This beast, again, I must abide.”
But wait! Oh no, no! ‘Tis the sound!
Agony and heartbreak all ‘round.
“Please, light, turn green now! Please, oh dear!
Allow flight, give flow, let me steer!”
But no, infamous wretch stays red.
Here comes beast with its walking dead.
Jaundiced, lurching, belching devil,
Advancing at pace medieval.
It, of course, catches the light green,
Driver’s smirking grin too oft seen.
It’ll turn left – in front of me.
Oh woe, oh woe, oh woe is me!
At last, but too late, I see green,
But, in truth, am crimson in spleen.
I’m trapped again behind specter,
Trapped again in b’nighted sector.
Venomous thing halts for cargo,
Flashing reds, all prisoners know.
Breaks squeal, sign opens and doors notch
For listless prey with jeans at crotch.
But today, alas, I’ll have mettle.
Its doors closed, I hit the pedal.
With gusto and grin that lingers,
I give monster middle fingers.
Its haughty horn blares – and blares more,
For it thinks it belongs afore.
But not today, and this it knows.
Yes, I am free, and so it goes.
T’morrow it will early return.
My heart will ache and stomach churn.
But brave we must be, all of us,
'Gainst those two hated words: SCHOOL BUS.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Human Rights Need Nomocracy

Much has been said, both good and bad, about democracy (the rule of the people – or the “mob,” depending on how one interprets the Greek root demo). A strict definition of “democracy” refers to direct rule of citizens who participate in every aspect of law-making. But the term has come to mean “representative” democracy, wherein citizens vote for officials to effect their intentions.
Those who disdain “democracy” usually prefer to call America a “republic” (a political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them). This is similar to, if not the same as, representative democracy.
But neither “democracy” nor “republic” best describes the appropriate governmental system for protecting human rights and promoting the proper focus of what a government should do and how limits must be placed upon majority decision-making via the ballot box.
The best term is “nomocracy,” or “rule of law.” This places the emphasis on the law, and not on the people or on the geographic separation of governmental power – neither of which can protect human rights if the rule of law can be abridged and diluted simply by popular vote or by one of a multiplicity of government entities imbued with the power to rewrite rational law.
Nomocracy would be of little worth to human rights, of course, without objective (reality-based) law to gird it. In fact, some Islamic “scholars” have recently co-opted the term to supplant “theocracy” and proclaimed that “divine law” IS nomocracy – to give alleged validation to their irrationality.
Objective nomocracy would need a system of principles and definitions to protect humans from legislative abrogation of their rights. I’m no law expert, but here is some of what’s needed.

Definitions:

“Right”: A moral principle defining and sanctioning a person’s freedom of action in a social context.
“Liberty”: The non-initiation of force or fraud.
“Government”: Official entity elected by citizens to create and uphold objective law, ensuring the liberty of its citizens by defending them from those who wish to initiate force or fraud, by prosecuting those accused of initiating force or fraud, and by sentencing those guilty of initiating force or fraud.

Principle:

Human beings have the capacity for rationality, and therefore have volition, making them capable of making choices in the running of their lives, thereby giving them a right to their own life and property, and allowing them complete hegemony over their mind, their thoughts, their actions and their property, as long as they, themselves, do not initiate (or attempt to initiate) the use of force or fraud while in action. Their right to the above cannot be abrogated by fellow citizens and, more important, by government itself, through regulation of lifestyle or business, through taxation, through licensing or fees or excises, or through any restrictions or takeover of private property. Eminent domain of property shall always reside in the private owner’s hands, barring objective judicial judgment of law-breaking on the owner’s part that requires monetary compensation to victims.

The above rights and principle are just a sampling of what will be needed for objective nomocracy, but they give an idea of the fundamental nature of what humans need from their government: a philosophically rational protection that clearly and objectively states what human rights are and how they are to be achieved – and the fact that government is about the rule of law and not the rule of people.