Unlimited power corrupts the possessor; and this I know, that, where law ends, there tyranny begins.
Tyranny is the other of foul wrong.
The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists them.
The greatest of all injustice is that which goes under the name of law; and of all sorts of tyranny, the forcing the letter of the law against the equity is the most insupportable.
Freedom is placed in jeopardy more by those who will not exercise it than by those who will not permit it. Indifference opens more gates to the enemy than does tyranny.
"Free thought" means thinking freely... To be worthy of the name [freethinker] he must be free of two things: the force of tradition and the tyranny of his own passions. No one is completely free from either, and in the measure of a man's emancipation he deserves to be called a free thinker.
The desire to serve others is the highest impulse of the human heart and the rewards of such service are beyond measure. If you wish to taste this, then just do it. Just take one step... You will see that the tyranny of self-concern, worry, and trivial pursuits can be released from your life with that single step. It doesn't really matter what you do, it only matters that you do it.
Doubt is the accomplice of tyranny.
What people will say - in these words there lies the tyranny of the world, the whole destruction of our natural disposition, the oblique vision of our minds. These four words bear sway everywhere.
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 - produce then thousand tyrants, whose delegated cruelty surpasses the worst acts of one energetic master, however harsh and hard in his own bearing.
Those who are versed in the history of their country, in the history of the human race, must know that rigorous state prosecutions have always preceded the era of convulsion; and this era, I fear, will be accelerated by the folly and madness of our rulers. If the people are discontented, the proper mode of quieting their discontent is, not by instituting rigorous and sanguinary prosecutions, but by redressing their wrongs and conciliating their affections. Courts of justice, indeed, may be called in to the aid of ministerial vengeance; but if once the purity of their proceedings is suspected, they will cease to be objects of reverence to the nation; they will degenerate into empty and expensive pageantry, and become the partial instruments of vexatious oppression. Whatever may become of me, my principles will last forever. Individuals may perish; but truth is eternal. The rude blasts of tyranny may blow from every quarter; but freedom is that hardy plant which will survive the tempest and strike an everlasting root into the most unfavorable soil.
The bravest and best men of all times have perished in the struggles against tyranny and despotism, and free government has never secured even a feeble existence save at a most fearful cost. The experiment of republican government in our own country is similar to that of all others. Here, however, liberty has won her grandest triumphs. Here freedom is enthroned securely and is the unchallenged boon of every inhabitant. But we contemplate the cost of victory with mournful and pitying hearts.
All good government must begin at home. It is useless to make good laws for bad people; what is wanted is this, to subdue the tyranny of the human heart.
All government, all exercise of power, no matter in what form, which is not based in love and directed by knowledge, is a tyranny.
There is a remedy in human nature against tyranny, that will keep us safe under every form of government.
I would recommend a free commerce both of matter and mind. I would let men enter their own churches with the same freedom as their own houses; and I would do it without a homily or graciousness or favor, for tyranny itself is to me a word less odious than toleration.
Democracy, which began by liberating man politically, has developed a dangerous tendency to enslave him through the tyranny of majorities and the deadly power of their opinion.
Wherever law ends, tyranny begins.
There is no more cruel tyranny than that which is exercised under cover of the law, and with the colors of justice.
Custom is the tyranny of the lower human faculties over the higher.