Top 112 Tyranny Quotes of 2020

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“For somehow this disease inheres in tyranny, never to trust one’s friends.”

― Aeschylus

“Death is softer by far than tyranny.”

― Aeschylus

“I just became what I call an ‘anti-fascist novelist.’ There is no word that covers both the fascists and the Communists, which mean different things to people, but of course they’re the same: they’re tyranny states.”

― Alan Furst

“A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.”

― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“It’s not tyranny we desire; it’s a just, limited, federal government.”

― Alexander Hamilton

“When more Americans prefer freebies to freedom, these great United States will become a fertile ground for tyranny.”

― Allen West

“We might not object to the statement that Lear deserved to suffer for his folly, selfishness and tyranny; but to assert that he deserved to suffer what he did suffer is to do violence not merely to language but to any healthy moral sense.”

― Andrew Coyle Bradley

“Beware the tyranny of the weak. They just suck you dry.”

― Anthony Hopkins

“To circumscribe our freedom of thought because of the delicate sensibilities of suburban paper pushers is the most despicable type of totalitarian tyranny imaginable.”

― Augustus Sol Invictus

“According to Netanyahu, he should rule like a Caesar, and the Knesset should be run by the tyranny of the majority.”

― Ayman Odeh

“A lot of people tend to glorify the role of satire and comedians. They put them up as role models, as fighters for the truth and against tyranny, and I think that’s overrated.”

― Bassem Youssef

“The checks and balances is a way to prevent government from either devolving into an autocratic tyranny or an autocratic mob mentality.”

― Beau Willimon

“Show Republicans a shiny pro-life or pro-marriage issue and they’d much rather address that controversial topic than keep pressing on the tyranny that Obamacare represents.”

― Ben Shapiro

“Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.”

― Bertrand Russell

“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.”

― Bertrand Russell

“I often wish… that I could rid the world of the tyranny of facts. What are facts but compromises? A fact merely marks the point where we have agreed to let investigation cease.”

― Bliss Carman

“Half a world away nations that once lived under oppression and tyranny are now budding democracies due in large part to America ‘s leadership and the sacrifices of our military.”

― Bob Riley

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”

― C. S. Lewis

“A dogmatic belief in objective value is necessary to the very idea of a rule which is not tyranny or an obedience which is not slavery.”

― C. S. Lewis

“If there were an exact and universal scale of punishments and crimes, we would have a fairly reliable and shared instrument to measure the degree of tyranny and liberty, of the basic humanity or malice of the different nations.”

― Cesare Beccaria

“Tyranny is always better organized than freedom.”

― Charles Peguy

“For reforms ameliorate the situation of the working class, they lighten the weight of the chains labour is burdened with by capitalism, but they are not sufficient to crush capitalism and to emancipate the workers from their tyranny.”

― Clara Zetkin

“What the United States has done is to be open to people who are fleeing tyranny, who are fleeing danger, but we have done it in a very careful way that has worked for us.”

― Condoleezza Rice

“A good deal of tyranny goes by the name of protection.”

― Crystal Eastman

“We must heed the call of action and, with courageous steps and humble hearts, work against tyranny.”

― Dana Loesch

“What Churchill described as the twin marauders of war and tyranny have been almost entirely banished from our continent. Today, hundreds of millions dwell in freedom, from the Baltic to the Adriatic, from the Western Approaches to the Aegean.”

― David Cameron

“The heights of popularity and patriotism are still the beaten road to power and tyranny.”

― David Hume

“The framers hated the tyranny of King George, but they were also afraid of the mob. That’s why they put so many checks and balances into our system, to guard against the excesses of a government that might be inflamed by public passion or perverted by a dictator’s whim.”

― David Ignatius

“From behind the Iron Curtain, there are signs that tyranny is in trouble and reminders that its structure is as brittle as its surface is hard.”

― Dwight D. Eisenhower

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

― Edmund Burke

“Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.”

― Edmund Burke

“The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.”

― Edmund Burke

“The desire for liberty has also made itself felt as struggle against domestic tyranny or arbitrary rule.”

― Emily Greene Balch

“In the laws of the land, she has no rights; in government she has no voice. And in spite of another principle recognized in this Republic, namely, that ‘taxation without representation is tyranny,’ she is taxed without being represented.”

― Ernestine Rose

“Tyranny is increasingly unsustainable in this post-cold-war era. It is doomed to failure. But it must be prodded to exit the stage with a whimper – not the bang that extremists long for.”

― Eskinder Nega

“While we are under the tyranny of Priests, it will ever be their interest, to invalidate the law of nature and reason, in order to establish systems incompatible therewith.”

― Ethan Allen

“Well, the tyranny of masculinity and the tyranny of patriarchy I think has been much more deadly to men than it has to women. It hasn’t killed our hearts. It’s killed men’s hearts. It’s silenced them; it’s cut them off.”

― Eve Ensler

“Tyranny or slavery, born of selfishness, are the two educational methods of parents; all gradations of tyranny or slavery.”

― Franz Kafka

“The revolutionary government is the despotism of liberty against tyranny.”

― Georg Buchner

“Traditionally, Africans hate governments. They hate tyranny.”

― George Ayittey

“Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.”

― George Bernard Shaw

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

― George Santayana

“Let us rise to the call of freedom-loving blood that is in us, and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South.”

― George Wallace

“I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

― George Wallace

“I beg you be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”

― George Washington

“We have the universe to roam in in imagination. It is our virtue to be infinitely varied. The worst tyranny is uniformity.”

― George William Russell

“Under conditions of tyranny it is far easier to act than to think.”

― Hannah Arendt

“Tyranny Absolves all faith; and who invades our rights, However his own commence, can never be But an usurper.”

― Henry Brooke

“Where the law ends tyranny begins.”

― Henry Fielding

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

― Henry Miller

“The right to bear arms is because it’s the last form of defense against tyranny.”

― Ice T

“It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny.”

― James Fenimore Cooper

“It is the besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which the masses of men exhibit their tyranny.”

― James Fenimore Cooper

“We all want peace. Unfortunately, there are times when peace must be defended by fighting terror and tyranny.”

― James H. Douglas, Jr.

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

― James Madison

“The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.”

― James Madison

“Every man may reign secure in his petty tyranny, and spread terror and desolation around him, until the trump of the Archangel shall excite different emotions in his soul.”

― James Otis

“Taxation without representation is tyranny.”

― James Otis

“Tyranny and anarchy are never far apart.”

― Jeremy Bentham

“Corruption is just another form of tyranny.”

― Joe Biden

“The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it.”

― John Hay

“We will oppose and resist tyranny as we will defeat evil.”

― John R. Allen

“Sometimes labeling is only useful, like with OCD. Once you’re labeled you can be treated. On other occasions labeling leads to tyranny, like with childhood bipolar disorder in the U.S.”

― Jon Ronson

“Our culture is just a series of checks and balances. The whole idea that we’re in a battle between tyranny and freedom – it’s a series of pendulum swings.”

― Jon Stewart

“Freedom is not won by merely overthrowing a tyrannical ruler or an oppressive regime. That is usually only the prelude to a new tyranny, a new oppression.”

― Jonathan Sacks

“I happen to be a big fan of Western civilization; I think it beats the hell out of tyranny and starvation.”

― Jordan Peterson

“Tyranny will make an entire population into readers of poetry.”

― Joseph Brodsky

“Both climate change and extinction are results of our tyranny over the nonhuman world and our domination of, and exploitation of, whole categories of each other – and those, in turn, are clearly linked to agriculture, the cattle-industrial complex, capitalism.”

― Lydia Millet

“Democratic forms of government are vulnerable to mass prejudice, the so-called tyranny of the majority.”

― Maggie Gallagher

“In fact, our monthly trade deficit figure is so huge it equals the entire annual budget of our Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans fought to make us free from foreign tyranny, but the new tyranny is taking a different form.”

― Marcy Kaptur

“The pro-gun advocates point to the 2nd amendment of America’s Constitution, citing Americans’ right to bear arms as a protection against tyrants. Pro-Bitcoin advocates want protection against tyrants, too. The difference is how these two groups define tyranny.”

― Max Keiser

“The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.”

― Maximilien Robespierre

“The detention of Japanese Americans during World War II would qualify as an example of majoritarian tyranny and misuse of executive prerogative, driven by fear and racial bias.”

― Michael Ignatieff

“Both Iraq and Syria are a fissile mixture of ethnicities and religions thrown together after Versailles by departing French and British imperialists and only kept together by Baathist tyranny and violence.”

― Michael Ignatieff

“Seventy years ago this November, Vladimir Lenin created the modern totalitarian state, transforming simpler forms of tyranny into history’s most sophisticated apparatus of rule by terror.”

― Michael Johns

“Democracy just isn’t working any more; without sanity at its heart, it is becoming a most unique and fiendish tyranny.”

― Michael Leunig

“In most of history, societies have not been free. It’s a very rare society that is free. The default condition of human societies is tyranny.”

― Michael Novak

“Throwing off despotism and tyranny is our history and part of our national identity – something in which we can take incredible pride.”

― Mike Crapo

“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

― Montesquieu

“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.”

― Montesquieu

“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.”

― Montesquieu

“A modern democracy is a tyranny whose borders are undefined; one discovers how far one can go only by traveling in a straight line until one is stopped.”

― Norman Mailer

“Religion is a tool to stamp out oppression, repression, and tyranny. It’s to save the oppressed. That’s what religion is for.”

― Orlando Jones

“It’s the tyranny of an oligarchy that I’m concerned about.”

― Pat Robertson

“Whether one has a favorable or unfavorable opinion of unions, their demise is also the demise of countervailing power. A system in which there is no countervailing power is a tyranny in which power is unconstrained and unaccountable.”

― Paul Craig Roberts

“Your empire is now like a tyranny: it may have been wrong to take it; it is certainly dangerous to let it go.”

― Pericles

“In the first 50 years of the filibuster, it was used only 35 times. But the last Congress alone had 112 cloture motions filed, plus threats of more. This is the tyranny of the minority.”

― Peter Fenn

“Treachery is noble when aimed at tyranny.”

― Pierre Corneille

“Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy.”

― Plato

“There are historic situations in which refusal to defend the inheritance of a civilization, however imperfect, against tyranny and aggression may result in consequences even worse than war.”

― Reinhold Niebuhr

“The tyranny of Communism is as old as the Pharaohs and the Pyramids – that the State stands above all men and their individual aspirations.”

― Robert Kennedy

“In summary, the Romans were opposed to tyranny in any form; and the feature of government to which they gave the most thought was an elaborate system of checks and balances.”

― Robert W. Welch, Jr.

“Without Ukraine, Dugin’s fascist Eurasian Union project is impossible, and sooner or later, Russia itself will have to join the West and become free, leaving only a few despised and doomed islands of tyranny around the globe.”

― Robert Zubrin

“The twentieth century may tell us that we have nothing to be complacent about in the recent history of humankind; but it also tells us that there is nothing inevitable about tyranny.”

― Rowan Williams

“The original settlers in Iceland were the nobles of Norway who left their native land to avoid the tyranny of Harold Fairhair, who tried to crush their power so as to make himself a despotic king in the land.”

― Sabine Baring-Gould

“A democracy thrives on diversity. Tyranny oppresses it.”

― Sam Brownback

“When an American government takes on characteristics that elevate the state above the individual, it must be vigorously opposed as a form of, or step toward, tyranny.”

― Scott Pruitt

“Colonel Qaddafi’s tyranny was absolutist, monarchical, and personal. The problem with such dictatorships is that as long as the tyrant lives, he reigns and terrorizes.”

― Simon Sebag Montefiore

“To set up as a standard of public morality a notion which can neither be defined nor conceived is to open the door to every kind of tyranny.”

― Simone Weil

“Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.”

― Socrates

“Let us not be defeated by the tyranny of the world financial markets that threaten peace and democracy everywhere.”

― Stephane Hessel

“I’ve always considered the government taking one out of every two dollars I earn absolute tyranny.”

― Steven Van Zandt

“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

― Thomas Jefferson

“Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.”

― Thomas Paine

“Freedom is never easily won, but once established, freedom lasts, spreads and chokes out tyranny.”

― Trent Lott

“The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.”

― Voltaire

“The fear that individuality will be crushed out by the growing ‘tyranny’ of standardization is the sort of myth which cannot withstand the briefest examination.”

― Walter Gropius

“Peace without justice is tyranny.”

― William Allen White

“Great minds are to make others great. Their superiority is to be used, not to break the multitude to intellectual vassalage, not to establish over them a spiritual tyranny, but to rouse them from lethargy, and to aid them to judge for themselves.”

― William Ellery Channing

“Revolution is engendered by an indignation with tyranny, yet is itself pregnant with tyranny.”

― William Godwin

“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who posses it; and this I know, my lords: that where law ends, tyranny begins.”

― William Pitt

“The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.”

― Wole Soyinka
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