What is a tyranny? The government, or rule, of a tyrant or absolute ruler(dictionary.com). Many would recognize the word Tyrant in speech and literature. There are classic examples... Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao... The concept of a Benevolent Tyrant also exists, Garibaldi in the 19th century is one such. Little more than two thousand years ago, Tyrant itself was not an evil word; descriptive of a leader given sole power in the midst of an emergency. But like most of man's institutions, corruption gave history the Leaders who refused to let go of power. This Tyranny can take many shapes - co-opting, purging, benevolent. The key to this power has always rested in the hands of those who are subject to its horrific effects.
Through out the course of history, I doubt that anybody signed up for a tyranny, thinking, hmmm, outright oppression, dependency on the good will of questionable characters, well heck! Sign me right up!
So since a general ballot with clear desires of a tyrant is right out, How do they achieve power? One of my favorite to study tyrants is Hitler (and this is personal to me - I have germanic blood, I've studied the language and culture some, even spent a year there as an exchange student). How did Hitler dupe 43.9 percent of the voting population in 1933 to become Chancellor? How did Hitler institute a single party government over some of the most intelligent people in the world?
Well, let's take a quick look at life in Germany before the election in 1933.
- Unemployment in Germany was at 30 percent in 1932 - people were going hungry. Families were going hungry. Not having a job also presented a strong social stigma in that society, significantly worse than what we commonly see today.
- Hitler himself was a great orator - many people were simply won over by his speeches..
- Those speeches that declared enemies to progress - that painted targets on individuals or groups of individuals - Communists and Jews among them.
- The loss of the war and the warriors in the First World War - Germany has always had a strong Warrior Culture - it's foundation based in the unification of the Imperial Germany goes a long way to show this - and the penalties from the Treaty of Versailles stung this country to its core.
- There was also large amounts of funding from many sources interested in Hitler taking power.
Those people that enable the dictator, the key to his power, often had few choices, and only one of them was easy.
So enough history from a non qualified historian(please feel free to challenge if you desire)... what does that have to do with the Posterity of this country?
- Remember, the people who founded our country were used to a past of tyrants. They travelled to the new colonies for freedom from said tyrants.
- This freedom they sought was not here - only the possibility. Britain was not keen to lose its money invested here.
- Our forefathers, who risked everything they had in just boarding a vessel to travel here, to unknown lands, to find a place where they could live in peace, risked everything again to throw off the yoke of their tyranny.
They took the key to tyrannical power away from Britain. Without their consent, Britain was unable to maintain control of the colonies. Yes the colonist had help from others, but I believe they would find a way no matter what.
Also a point of interest, the colonies were not 100 percent behind the revolutionaries!! Trouble all around.
These revolutionaries sought to provide a government where the rule of law applied to all. Where equality of opportunity was key. These revolutionaries sought to limit the power of the government - in essence they had the keys to their own tyranny, and forsook it for Liberty!
So remember in every political discource, remember to keep the Tyrants Out!
Keep out the people trying to prohibit people from exercising the rights granted to them by the consitution.
Keep out the people trying to grab more power that was intentionaly limited by its founders.
Keep out the people who seek to stir the passions of the people instead of appealing to their logic.
And most importantly, free yourself from the concept of equality of outcomes.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. C. S. Lewis