Selected Works on Tyranny

To understand the principles of constitutional republican government, one must understand the principles of its opposite. The Founders of the United States generally called it tyranny, but the 19th and 20th centuries have developed supporting doctrines or ideologies of tyranny. Such doctrines go by various names, reflecting subtleties of exposition and ostensible purpose: fascism, national socialism, totalitarianism, authoritarianism, collectivism, communism, or statism. For the tyranny of the majority we have majoritarianism, which has often appeared under the labels of "socialism", "progressivism" or "liberalism", the last originally referring to its opposite. That opposite today is usually referred to as "libertarianism" or "constitutionalism". The following are some works that examine the principles of tyrannical government.

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  1. HTML Version Text Version Principles of Tyranny, Jon Roland (2000) — Introduction and analysis.
  2. HTML Version Text Version Quotes on Tyranny — Brief statements that make important points.
  3. Of Tyranny (Della tirannide), Vittorio Alfieri, (1777) tr. Julius Molinaro & Beatrice Corrigan — Work of an Italian dramatist which led to the establishment of an Italian republic.
  4. HTML Version Text Version Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1848) — Statement of their objectives.
  5. HTML Version Text Version The Man versus the State, Herbert Spencer (1884) — How the servants try to become the masters and majorities become oppressive.
  6. HTML Version Text Version The Doctrine of Fascism, Benito Mussolini (1932) — Provided tyranny a formal doctrine.
  7. Remote Link - HTML Hitler Site — Collection of works, useful for scholars.
  8. Zipped WordPerfect Mein Kampf, Adolph Hitler (1939) — The doctrine of national socialism.
  9. Remote Link - HTML Animal Farm, George Orwell [Eric Blair] (1946) — Cautionary tale of how revolutions are betrayed.
  10. Remote Link - HTML Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell [Eric Blair] (1949) — Dystopian tale of endless totalitarian nightmare and the logic and methods of tyranny.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may 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
Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters. — Daniel Webster
I am sure there was no man born marked of God above another for none comes into the world with a saddle upon his back, neither any booted and spurred to ride him. — Last words of Richard Rumbold before being hanged for planning an insurrection against the tyrant Charles II, 1679
Of course the people don't want war... That is understood. But... it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. — Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg trials, 1946 from Nuremberg Diary, by G. M. Gilbert.

Home  Legal Reform | Constitutional Defense
Original URL: http://www.constitution.org/tyranny.htm
Maintained:
Jon Roland of the Constitution Society
Original date: 2000/12/24 — 


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