Tyranny, Tyrants and Tyrannical Systems (3)


“The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.” James Madison (1751-1836), US fourth president
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“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.” Plato, ancient Greek philosopher (428/427-348/347 B.C.)
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“If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln (1809 -1865), 16th US President
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“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), Goebbels was Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda
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“If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.” Frank Herbert
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“It is also in the interests of a tyrant to keep his people poor, so that they may not be able to afford the cost of protecting themselves by arms and be so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for rebellion.” Aristotle in Politics, J. Sinclair translation, pg. 226
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“It is in the nature of imperialism that citizens of the imperial power are always among the last to know—or care—about circumstances in the colonies.” Bertrand Russell
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“The president has adopted a policy of ‘anticipatory self-defense’ that is alarmingly similar to the policy that imperial Japan employed at Pearl Harbor, on a date which, as an earlier American president said it would, lives in infamy. Franklin D. Roosevelt was right, but today it is we Americans who live in infamy.” Arthur Schlesinger.
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“It is in the nature of imperialism that citizens of the imperial power are always among the last to know—or care—about circumstances in the colonies.” Bertrand Russell
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“It is indeed probable that more harm and misery have been caused by men determined to use coercion to stamp out a moral evil than by men intent on doing evil.” Fredrich August von Hayek (1899-1992), Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences 1974, The Constitution of Liberty (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), p. 146
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“It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long survive when men have seen the Earth in its true perspective as a single small globe against the stars.” Arthur C. Clarke
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“Law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
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“Laws just or unjust may govern men’s actions. Tyrannies may restrain or regulate their words. The machinery of propaganda may pack their minds with falsehood and deny them truth for many generations of time. But the soul of man thus held in trance or frozen in a long night can be awakened by a spark coming from God knows where and in a moment the whole structure of lies and oppression is on trial for its life.:” Sir Winston Churchill
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“Like the effect of advertising upon the customer, the methods of political propaganda tend to increase the feeling of insignificance of the individual voter.” Erich Fromm, psychoanalyst and social philosopher, 1900-1980
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“Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.” Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998), historian and author
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“Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose.” Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist
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“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), American Baptist minister and Civil Rights leader
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“Never in these long years have we offered any other prayer but this: Lord, grant to our people peace at home, and grant and preserve to them peace from the foreign foe!” Hitler, Nuremberg, Sept. 13, 1936
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“No truly sophisticated proponent of repression would be stupid enough to shatter the façade of democratic institutions.” Murray B. Levin, source: Political Hysteria in America, 1971
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“Now those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth, and let me remind you they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyranny.” Barry Goldwater
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“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” C. S. Lewis
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“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge—even to ourselves—that we’ve been so credulous.” Carl Sagan
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“Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference.” US Congressman Ron Paul, in his “Texas Straight Talk” column, August 2004
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“Part of the main plan of imperialism… is that we will give you your history, we will write it for you, we will re-order the past…What’s more truly frightening is the defacement, the mutilation, and ultimately the eradication of history in order to create… an order that is favorable to the United States.” Edward Said Biography, Palestinian activist, literary critic, writer, musician, 1935-2003
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“Perhaps the most obvious political effect of controlled news is the advantage it gives powerful people in getting their issues on the political agenda and defining those issues in ways likely to influence their resolution.” W. Lance Bennett, author, professor at University of Washington, News: The Politics of Illusion, 1983
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“Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.” Thomas Paine, Common Sense, January 1776
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“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” George Orwell
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“They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening.” George Orwell
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“Propaganda is persuading people to make up their minds while withholding some of the facts from them.” Harold Evans
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“Propaganda replaces moral philosophy.” Hans J. Morgenthau
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“Some of mankind’s most terrible misdeeds have been committed under the spell of certain magic words or phrases.” James Bryant Conant
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“There was promulgation of false propaganda by the administration about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There was promulgation of false propaganda about Iraq as a base for Al Qaeda.” Jimmy Carter
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“We have made the Reich by propaganda.” Joseph Paul Goebbels
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“Protection, therefore, 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.” John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), English philosopher and economist, source: On Liberty, 1859
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“Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.” Benjamin Franklin
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“And though tyranny, because it needs no consent, may successfully rule over foreign peoples, it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national institutions of its own people.” Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism p.128
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“Scientific societies are as yet in their infancy. It is to be expected that advances in physiology and psychology will give governments much more control over individual mentality than they now have even in totalitarian countries. Fitche laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished.” Bertrand Russell, “The Impact of Science on Society”, 1953, pg 49-50
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“So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.” Aldous Huxley
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“So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.” Voltaire (1694-1778)
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“Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance (1841)


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