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Recognizing Tyranny

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by Minuteman, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Nearly 2,400 years ago, Aristotle wrote one of the defining works of political philosophy in a book entitled Politics.

    It's still incredibly relevant today, particularly what he writes about tyranny.

    The ancient Greeks used the word 'turannos', which referred to an illegitimate ruler who governs without regard for the law or interests of the people, often through violent and coercive means.

    Aristotle attacks tyrants mercilessly in his book, and clearly spells out the criteria which make a leader tyrannical. You may recognize a few of them:

    1) Artistotle suggests that a tyrant rises to power by first demonstrating that he is a man of the people:

    "He ought to show himself to his subjects in the light, not of a tyrant, but of a steward and a king."


    "He should be moderate, not extravagant in his way of life; he should win the notables by companionship, and the multitude by flattery. "

    2) But once in power, a tyrant uses all available means to hold on to power, including spying on his people:

    "A tyrant should also endeavor to know what each of his subjects says or does, and should employ spies . . . and . . . eavesdroppers . . . The fear of informers prevents people from speaking their minds, and if they do, they are more easily found out."

    3) Furthermore, Aristotle tells us that a tyrant thrives by creating division and conflict-- "to sow quarrels among the citizens; friends should be embroiled with friends, the people with the notables [the rich]. . ."

    4) Controlling the economy and stealing the citizens' wealth is also another mark of a tyrant:

    "Another practice of tyrants is to multiply taxes. . . [and] impoverish his subjects; he thus provides against the maintenance of a guard by the citizen and the people, having to keep hard at work, are prevented from conspiring."

    5) And as Aristotle points out, a tyrant also attempts to disarm the people such that "his subjects shall be incapable of action" because "they will not attempt to overthrow a tyranny, if they are powerless."

    6) Naturally, a tyrant "is also fond of making war in order that his subjects may have something to do and be always in want of a leader."

    7) Aristotle also tells us that tyrants hunt down those who oppose their power:

    "It is characteristic of a tyrant to dislike everyone who has dignity or independence; he wants to be alone in his glory, but anyone who claims a like dignity or asserts his independence encroaches upon his perogative, and is hated by him as an enemy to his power."

    8) Ultimately, though, Aristotle concludes that "No freeman, if he can escape from tyranny, will endure such a government."

    He's right. And in the past, people had to rise up in armed revolution to defeat tyranny. Will we again?
    Yard Dart, Brokor and NotSoSneaky like this.
  2. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Time will tell.
    I doubt if all the folks who went out and bought guns bought them to hand them over.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    My best guess is that all those guns that were sold were bought by folks that always wanted one, but not badly enough to buy until the specter of unavailability raised its head. So, yes, they did not buy to turn over, but whether or not they will use them, either defensively against MZBs, home invaders, or jackboots (much less an offensive against dot gov) is a moot point. I'm sticking my neck out a bit, but I'm betting that the majority will simply sit on their hands until it's too late and a slew of us engage in a Pyrrhic victory.
  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    "Politics" was one of the first books I ever bought as a young man. I believe I gifted it to my father, too. There's a lot to learn in those pages. ;)
    Minuteman likes this.
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