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[ Also see Conquest Cruelty Democracy Despotism Despots Dictatorship Empire Injustice Intolerance Masters Minority Oppression Politics Rebellion Revolution Royalty Slavery Treachery Treason Tyrants War ]

Under conditions of tyranny it is far easier to act than to think.
      - Hannah Arendt

Every wanton and causeless restraint of the will of the subject, whether practiced by a monarch, a nobility, or a popular assembly, is a degree of tyranny.
      - Sir William Blackstone

Th' oppressive, sturdy, man-destroying villains,
  Who ravag'd kingdoms, and laid empires waste,
    And in a cruel wantonness of power,
      Thinn'd states of half their people, and gave up
        To want the rest.
      - Robert Blair, The Grave (l. 9)

  Absolves all faith; and who invades our rights,
    Howe'er his own commence, can never be
      But an usurper.
      - Henry Brooke, Gustavus Vasa
         (act IV, sc. 1)

A great deal of the furniture of ancient tyranny is torn to rags; the rest is entirely out of fashion.
      - Edmund Burke

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.
      - Edmund Burke

It is the nature of tyranny and rapacity never to learn moderation from the ill-success of first oppressions; on the contrary, all oppressors, all men thinking highly of the methods dictated by their nature, attribute the frustration of their desires to the want of sufficient rigor.
      - Edmund Burke

Think'st thou there is no tyranny but that
  Of blood and chains? The despotism of vice--
    The weakness and the wickedness of luxury--
      The negligence--the apathy--the evils
        Of sensual sloth--produces ten thousand tyrants,
          Whose delegated cruelty surpasses
            The worst acts of one energetic master,
              However harsh and hard in his own bearing.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Sardanapalus (act I, sc. 2)

  Is far the worst of treasons. Dost thou deem
    None rebels except subjects? The prince who
      Neglects or violates his trust is more
        A brigand than the robber-chief.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        The Two Foscari (act II, sc. 1)

Unlimited power corrupts the possessor; and this I know, that, where law ends, there tyranny begins.
      - 1st Earl of Chatham, William Pitt

He who strikes terror into others is himself in continual fear.
      - Claudian (Claudianus)

Oppressive government is more cruel than a tiger.
      - Confucius

I begin by taking. I shall find scholars later to demonstrate my perfect right.
      - Frederick, the Great (Frederick II)

The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it.
      - John Hay

There is a remedy in human nature against tyranny, that will keep us safe under every form of government.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.
      - Niccolo Machiavelli (Macchiavelli),
        The Prince

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.
      - James Madison

Hateful is the power, and pitiable is the life, of those who wish to be feared rather than loved.
      - Cornelius Nepos

It is not the rigor, but the inexpediency, of laws and acts of authority, which makes them tyrannical.
      - William Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

Tyranny is always better organized than freedom.
      - Charles Peguy

A man's tyranny is measured only by his power to abuse.
      - Donn Piatt

There is no tyranny so despotic as that of public opinion among a free people.
      - Donn Piatt

Where law ends, there tyranny begins.
      - William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham,
        Case of Wilkes--Speech (last line)

Where the hand of tyranny is long we do not see the lips of men open with laughter.
      - Moslih Eddin (Muslih-un-Din) Saadi (Sadi)

The most imperious masters over their own servants are at the same time the most abject slaves to the servants of others.
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

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