Tyranny

Whatever is found what is called a paternal government was found a State education. It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience [is] to commence tyranny in the nursery.

The value of philosophy is to be sought largely in its very uncertainty. He who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the cooperation or consent of his deliberate reason. As soon as we begin to philosophize, on the contrary, we find that even the most everyday things lead to problems to which only very incomplete answers can be given. Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thought and free them from the tyranny of custom.

One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.

Custom should be followed only because it is custom, and not because it is reasonable or just. But people follow it for this sole reason, that they think it just. Otherwise they would follow it no longer, although it were the custom; for they will only submit to reason or justice. Custom without this would pass for tyranny; but the sovereignty of reason and justice is no more tyrannical than that of desire. They are principles natural to man.

The multitude which is not brought to act as unity, is confusion. That unity which has not its origin in the multitude is tyranny.

Plurality which is not reduced to unity is confusion. Unity which does not depend on plurality is tyranny.

The pressure that has been brought to bear upon the native people, since the cessation of armed conflict, in the attempt to force conformity of custom and habit has caused a reaction more destructive than war, and the injury has not only affected the Indian, but has extended to the white population as well. Tyranny, stupidity, and lack of vision have brought about the situation now alluded to as the “Indian Problem.”

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.

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward women, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.

Suspicions amongst thoughts are like the bats amongst the birds, they ever fly by twilight: certainly they are to be repressed, or at least well guarded, for they cloud the mind, lose friends, check business, dispose kings to tyranny, husbands to jealousy, and wise men to irresolution and melancholy; they are defects, not in the heart, but in the brain.

Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny: they have only shifted it to another shoulder.

Tyrants are seldom free; the cares and the instruments of their tyranny enslave them.

It is far easier to act under conditions of tyranny than to think.

All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.

It is the American vice, the democratic disease which expresses its tyranny by reducing everything unique to the level of the herd.

Because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. that so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.

Protection against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them.

Why were we able to put hundreds of thousands of troops and support personnel in Saudi Arabia within a few months to fight Saddam Hussein when we are unable to mobilize hundreds of teachers or doctors and nurses and social workers for desperately underserved inner cities and rural areas to fight the tyranny of poverty and ignorance and child neglect and abuse?

When the will of man is raised above law it is always tyranny and despotism, whether it is the will of a bashaw or of bastard patriots.