Tyranny Quotes

Quotes tagged as "tyranny" Showing 1-30 of 403
Robert A. Heinlein
“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”
Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Criss Jami
“Man is not, by nature, deserving of all that he wants. When we think that we are automatically entitled to something, that is when we start walking all over others to get it.”
Criss Jami, Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality

Euripides
“When one with honeyed words but evil mind
Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.”
Euripides, Orestes

George Orwell
“This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.”
George Orwell, Animal Farm

James Madison
“The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”
James Madison

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“You only have power over people as long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power—he's free again.”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Двести лет вместе

W.H. Auden
“SEPTEMBER 1, 1939

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
'I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,'
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the dead,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.”
W.H. Auden, Another Time

Jeff Cooper
“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”
Jeff Cooper, Art of the Rifle

Samuel Adams
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
Samuel Adams

Bruce Coville
“Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship.”
Bruce Coville

Abraham Lincoln
“As a nation, we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it 'all men are created equal, except negroes.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.' When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”
Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Letters

John Stuart Mill
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice, — is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.”
John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy

Niccolò Machiavelli
“He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command”
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

“I am a strong believer in the tyranny, the dictatorship, the absolute authority of the writer.”
Philip Pullman

Adolf Hitler
“To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.”
Adolf Hitler

Ayn Rand
“Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind. ”
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Lysander Spooner
“Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it.”
Lysander Spooner

Jim Butcher
“No one is an unjust villain in his own mind. Even - perhaps even especially - those who are the worst of us. Some of the cruelest tyrants in history were motivated by noble ideals, or made choices that they would call 'hard but necessary steps' for the good of their nation. We're all the hero of our own story.”
Jim Butcher, Turn Coat

Thomas Pynchon
“All the animals, the plants, the minerals, even other kinds of men, are being broken and reassembled every day, to preserve an elite few, who are the loudest to theorize on freedom, but the least free of all.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

Timothy Snyder
“The president is a nationalist, which is not at all the same thing as a patriot. A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, 'although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,' wrote Orwell, tends to be 'uninterested in what happens in the real world.' Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism 'has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.' A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.”
Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

G.K. Chesterton
“The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. it is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists.”
G.K. Chesterton, Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State

C.J. Redwine
“Silent acquiescence in the face of tyranny is no better than outright agreement.”
C.J. Redwine, Defiance

Tiffany Madison
“Most gun control arguments miss the point. If all control boils fundamentally to force, how can one resist aggression without equal force? How can a truly “free” state exist if the individual citizen is enslaved to the forceful will of individual or organized aggressors? It cannot.”
Tiffany Madison

Aldous Huxley
“A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.”
Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means

Aeschylus
“For somehow this is tyranny's disease, to trust no friends.”
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

Sophocles
“The tyrant is a child of Pride
Who drinks from his sickening cup
Recklessness and vanity,
Until from his high crest headlong
He plummets to the dust of hope.”
Sophocles, Oedipus Rex

Billie-Jo Williams
“Hurricanes couldn’t remove you from my mind. You’re my world and I’m incapable of not loving you.”
Billie-Jo Williams

Thomas Jefferson
“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and opressions of the body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”
Thomas Jefferson

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“...you are strong only as long as you don't deprive people of everything. For a person you've taken everything from is no longer in your power. He's free all over again.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle

David Eddings
“It's all very well to put the government in the hands of the perfect man, but what do you do when the perfect man gets a bellyache?”
David Eddings, Belgarath the Sorcerer

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