Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Principles of Tyranny
Principles of Tyranny ^ | 2000 | Jon Roland

Posted on 11/07/2001 5:59:34 AM PST by fod

Principles of Tyranny

by Jon Roland

Definition of tyranny

Tyranny is usually thought of as cruel and oppressive, and it often is, but the original definition of the term was rule by persons who lack legitimacy, whether they be malign or benevolent. Historically, benign tyrannies have tended to be insecure, and to try to maintain their power by becoming increasingly oppressive. Therefore, rule that initially seems benign is inherently dangerous, and the only security is to maintain legitimacy — an unbroken accountability to the people through the framework of a written constitution that provides for election of key officials and the division of powers among branches and officials in a way that avoids concentration of powers in the hands of a few persons who might then abuse those powers.

Tyranny is an important phenomenon that operates by principles by which it can be recognized in its early emerging stages, and, if the people are vigilant, prepared, and committed to liberty, countered before it becomes entrenched.

The psychology of tyranny

Perhaps one of the things that most distinguishes those with a fascist mentality from most other persons is how they react in situations that engender feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. Both kinds of people will tend to seek to increase their power, that is, their control over the outcome of events, but those with a fascist mindset tend to overestimate the amount of influence over outcomes that it is possible to attain. This leads to behavior that often brings them to positions of leadership or authority, especially if most other persons in their society tend to underestimate the influence over outcomes they can attain, and are inclined to yield to those who project confidence in what they can do and promise more than anyone can deliver.

This process is aided by a common susceptibility which might be called the rooster syndrome, from the old saying, "They give credit to the rooster crowing for the rising of the sun." It arises from the tendency of people guided more by hope or fear than intelligence to overestimate the power of their leaders and attribute to them outcomes, either good or bad, to which the leaders contributed little if anything, and perhaps even acted to prevent or reduce. This comes from the inability of most persons to understand complex dynamic systems and their long-term behavior, which leads people to attribute effects to proximate preceding events instead of actual long-term causes.

The emergence of tyranny therefore begins with challenges to a group, develops into general feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, and falls into a pattern in which some individuals assume the role of "father" to the others, who willingly submit to becoming dependent "children" on such persons if only they are reassured that a more favorable outcome will be realized. This pattern of co-dependency is pathological, and generally results in decisionmaking of poor quality that makes the situation even worse, but, because the pattern is pathological, instead of abandoning it, the co-dependents repeat their inappropriate behavior to produce a vicious spiral that, if not interrupted, can lead to total breakdown of the group and the worst of the available outcomes.

In psychiatry, this syndrome is often discussed as an "authoritarian personality disorder". In common parlance, as being a "control freak".

The logic of tyranny

In Orwell's classic fable, Nineteen Eighty-Four, the protagonist Winston Smith makes a key statement:

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

Following the trial of the surviving Branch Davidians in San Antonio, Texas, in March, 1994, in which a misinstructed jury acquitted all the defendants of the main crimes with which they were charged, but convicted them of the enhancements of using firearms in the commission of a crime, the federal judge, Walter F. Smith, first dismissed the charges, correctly, on the grounds that it is logically impossible to be guilty of an enhancement if one is innocent of the crime. However, under apparent political pressure, he subsequently reversed his own ruling and sentenced the defendants to maximum terms as though they had been convicted of the main crimes, offering the comment, "The law doesn't have to be logical."

No. The law does have to be logical. Otherwise it is not law. It is arbitrary rule by force.

Now by "logical" what is meant is two-valued logic, which is sometimes also called Boolean, Aristotelian or Euclidean logic. In other words, a system of propositions within which a statement and its negation cannot both be true or valid. One of the two must be false or invalid. The two possible values are true and false, and every meaningful proposition can be assigned one or the other value.

A system of law is a body of prescriptive, as opposed to descriptive, propositions, that support the making of decisions, and therefore its logic must be two-valued. It is a fundamental principle of law that like cases must be decided alike, and this means according to propositions that exclude their contradictions.

It is also a fundamental principle of logic that any system of propositions that accepts both a statement and its negation as valid, that is, which accepts a contradiction, accepts all contradictions, and provides no basis for deciding among them. If decisions are made, they are not made on the basis of the propositions, but are arbitrary, and that is the definition of the rule of men, as opposed to the rule of law.

So what Winston Smith is saying is that freedom means being able to distinguish between a true proposition and a false one, and what his nemesis O'Brien therefore does to crush him is make him accept that "2 + 2 = 5", which cannot be true if the logic is Aristotelian. O'Brien represents the logic of arbitrary power, a "logic" we might call Orwellian, although Orwell, whose real name was Eric Blair, was strongly opposed to it.

The methodology of tyranny

The methods used to overthrow a constitutional order and establish a tyranny are well-known. However, despite this awareness, it is surprising how those who have no intention of perpetrating a tyranny can slip into these methods and bring about a tyranny despite their best intentions. Tyranny does not have to be deliberate. Tyrants can fool themselves as thoroughly as they fool everyone else.

Control of public information and opinion
It begins with withholding information, and leads to putting out false or misleading information. A government can develop ministries of propaganda under many guises. They typically call it "public information" or "marketing".
Vote fraud used to prevent the election of reformers
It doesn't matter which of the two major party candidates are elected if no real reformer can get nominated, and when news services start knowing the outcomes of elections before it is possible for them to know, then the votes are not being honestly counted.
Undue official influence on trials and juries
Nonrandom selection of jury panels, exclusion of those opposed to the law, exclusion of the jury from hearing argument on the law, exclusion of private prosecutors from access to the grand jury, and prevention of parties and their counsels from making effective arguments or challenging the government.
Usurpation of undelegated powers
This is usually done with popular support for solving some problem, or to redistribute wealth to the advantage of the supporters of the dominant faction, but it soon leads to the deprivation of rights of minorities and individuals.
Seeking a government monopoly on the capability and use of armed force
The first signs are efforts to register or restrict the possession and use of firearms, initially under the guise of "protecting" the public, which, when it actually results in increased crime, provides a basis for further disarmament efforts affecting more people and more weapons.
Militarization of law enforcement
Declaring a "war on crime" that becomes a war on civil liberties. Preparation of military forces for internal policing duties.
Infiltration and subversion of citizen groups that could be forces for reform
Internal spying and surveillance is the beginning. A sign is false prosecutions of their leaders.
Suppression of investigators and whistleblowers
When people who try to uncover high level wrongdoing are threatened, that is a sign the system is not only riddled with corruption, but that the corruption has passed the threshold into active tyranny.
Use of the law for competition suppression
It begins with the dominant faction winning support by paying off their supporters and suppressing their supporters' competitors, but leads to public officials themselves engaging in illegal activities and using the law to suppress independent competitors. A good example of this is narcotics trafficking.
Subversion of internal checks and balances
This involves the appointment to key positions of persons who can be controlled by their sponsors, and who are then induced to do illegal things. The worst way in which this occurs is in the appointment of judges that will go along with unconstitutional acts by the other branches.
Creation of a class of officials who are above the law
This is indicated by dismissal of charges for wrongdoing against persons who are "following orders".
Increasing dependency of the people on government
The classic approach to domination of the people is to first take everything they have away from them, then make them compliant with the demands of the rulers to get anything back again.
Increasing public ignorance of their civic duties and reluctance to perform them
When the people avoid doing things like voting and serving in militias and juries, tyranny is not far behind.
Use of staged events to produce popular support
Acts of terrorism, blamed on political opponents, followed immediately with well-prepared proposals for increased powers and budgets for suppressive agencies. Sometimes called a Reichstag plot.
Conversion of rights into privileges
Requiring licenses and permits for doing things that the government does not have the delegated power to restrict, except by due process in which the burden of proof is on the petitioner.
Political correctness
Many if not most people are susceptible to being recruited to engage in repressive actions against disfavored views or behaviors, and led to pave the way for the dominance of tyrannical government.

Avoiding tyranny

The key is always to detect tendencies toward tyranny and suppress them before they go too far or become too firmly established. The people must never acquiesce in any violation of the Constitution. Failure to take corrective action early will only mean that more severe measures will have to be taken later, perhaps with the loss of life and the disruption of the society in ways from which recovery may take centuries.




TOPICS: Government; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS:
Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of "emergency". It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And "emergency" became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains.
— Herbert Hoover.

1 posted on 11/07/2001 5:59:35 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: fod
Nothing Hitler did was against German law.
2 posted on 11/07/2001 6:03:25 AM PST by PatrioticAmerican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PatrioticAmerican
Nothing our government did at Mount Carmel was against American law.
3 posted on 11/07/2001 6:07:45 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Tyranny exists because people believe that the conscious individual can and should be forcibly sacrificed to some "higher authority" or "greater cause" ie. the state, government, religion, etc...

Even those people who are severely oppressed believe that on some level they are supposed to be ruled and controlled...

This is a catastophic error...

When conscious humans on planet earth learn that the highest power in the UNIVERSE is consciousness, which needs no external authority control, and that humans possess that very same consciousness, at that moment all false rulers, controllers, demigods, and tyrannical governments will cease to exist...

Fully recognized as evil, incompentent, and useless, those former external authorities will be thrown into the trash can of history, and conscious man will then be able to rise up to his full potential as a sovereign, self ruling, conscious being...

4 posted on 11/07/2001 6:11:17 AM PST by Ferris
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: fod
Excellent Article!!!

And I might add.....nothing that the Federals are doing in Klamath Falls (against 1400 American Families) is against the law.

But it is still wrong.

redrock

5 posted on 11/07/2001 6:16:58 AM PST by redrock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: redrock
indeed

and thanks

6 posted on 11/07/2001 6:30:55 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Ferris
Freedom has it's roots in the self reliance of the hunter. From there it moves to the self-sufficient farmer, but once they go down to the city, self-sufficiency ceases to be a reality. From that point on, Freedom becomes a more hypothetical, yet even more valuable and precious notion that is harder to see and comprehend. The root of all evil is the notion that one man has a clearer vision above all others. This is a false assumption, since no one can tell the future. Whenever society as a whole does one thing, it becomes a mistake. Diversity is our strength, but we do need to be able to speak the same language.
7 posted on 11/07/2001 6:31:52 AM PST by Elihu Burritt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: PatrioticAmerican
And we merrily follow the 'yellow brick road' ourselves.

Keep yer powder dry!

8 posted on 11/07/2001 6:33:48 AM PST by dixierat22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: fod
Who was it who said "when the government fears the people you have freedom, when the people fear the government you have tyranny"?
9 posted on 11/07/2001 6:34:26 AM PST by steve50
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: fod
Tyranny is a good subject to discuss these days.
10 posted on 11/07/2001 6:36:06 AM PST by CJ Wolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Ferris
Ditto to your response!!
11 posted on 11/07/2001 6:41:06 AM PST by horsewhispersc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: fod
Interesting.

The link took me to a blank screen: it doesn't work for me.

12 posted on 11/07/2001 6:53:42 AM PST by geologist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: steve50; Illbay
I do not recall

Ilbay, can you answer Steve50's question in post #9?

13 posted on 11/07/2001 6:55:42 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: fod
Use of the law for competition suppression

It begins with the dominant faction winning support by paying off their supporters and suppressing their supporters' competitors, but leads to public officials themselves engaging in illegal activities and using the law to suppress independent competitors. A good example of this is narcotics trafficking.

Great post, fod. Another example here is when local governments use zoning codes to stop competition with City owned resources such as parks, golf courses etc...

14 posted on 11/07/2001 7:02:28 AM PST by FreeTally
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: geologist
I mucked up the URL, my bad,

Try this

15 posted on 11/07/2001 7:03:57 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: fod
Remember what has been said about the road to hell.
17 posted on 11/07/2001 7:22:35 AM PST by Valin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: steve50
Who was it who said "when the government fears the people you have freedom, when the people fear the government you have tyranny"?

Here's a couple of quotations from Thomas Jefferson:

"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

"Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!"

18 posted on 11/07/2001 7:23:48 AM PST by ThreeOfSeven
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: fod
For the last few weeks or so, I've been seeing the phrase, "my bad."

What is the origin of it? I assume it means, sorry, my mistake.

20 posted on 11/07/2001 7:27:14 AM PST by Jason_b
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Valin
I mucked up the URL, see my post #15 to geologist for the correct one
21 posted on 11/07/2001 7:30:59 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Jason_b
durned if I know the origin

yes, it means "my mistake"

22 posted on 11/07/2001 7:32:23 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: steve50
"When the government fears the People, that is Liberty. When the People fear the Government, that is tyranny."
--Thomas Jefferson
23 posted on 11/07/2001 7:33:41 AM PST by OWK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: alien2
yup and a bump...
24 posted on 11/07/2001 8:05:52 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: fod; steve50
The consensus seems to be Thomas Jefferson, but I cannot ascertain the source. I am a stickler for the fact that a quote taken out of context is always suspect, unless the original source can be determined.
25 posted on 11/07/2001 8:08:28 AM PST by Illbay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Illbay
thanks, and I hope you do not mind me asking
26 posted on 11/07/2001 8:14:30 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: fod
Excellent post; --puts very concisely EXACTLY what I have been trying to articulate to many of my yuppy neighbors for some years now.

Thanks!

27 posted on 11/07/2001 8:58:41 AM PST by LadyJD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LadyJD
a pleasure to be of service, you are welcome
28 posted on 11/07/2001 9:05:13 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: dixierat22
JUSTA BUMP
29 posted on 11/07/2001 10:35:39 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Elihu Burritt
Whenever society as a whole does one thing, it becomes a mistake.

The referenced statement represents an interesting observation.

We became a nation of sheep by supporting agendas far less noble than our own good intentions and now we suffer the tyranny of those good intentions as a consequence of those agendas. Perhaps we actually do we sow the seeds of our own destruction.

30 posted on 11/07/2001 10:36:27 AM PST by MosesKnows
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: fod
Another good post.
If you have lots of these kind of posts create a list of freepers like me and flag us.
Thanks
31 posted on 11/07/2001 10:52:16 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libertarianize the GOP
thanks, but I don't do ping lists
32 posted on 11/07/2001 11:15:29 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: fod
The original Greek definition I learned in history class of a tyrant was a leader who came to power by making promises to his supporters. Didn't matter if he fulfulled them or not, or if he was a just ruler - he was still a tyrant. By that standard just about every politician in the country could be considered tyrannical.
33 posted on 11/07/2001 11:15:45 AM PST by NovemberCharlie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ThreeOfSeven
justa bump...
34 posted on 11/07/2001 11:42:59 AM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Ferris
bump!
35 posted on 11/07/2001 3:56:54 PM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: NovemberCharlie
ping...
36 posted on 11/07/2001 4:30:09 PM PST by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: fod
bumpity
37 posted on 11/07/2001 4:39:48 PM PST by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: fod
bump
38 posted on 11/07/2001 6:04:25 PM PST by Free the USA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: fod
A lesson for all Americans BUMP.
41 posted on 04/19/2002 12:27:13 AM PDT by fella
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: fod
A lesson for all Americans BUMP.
42 posted on 04/19/2002 12:30:32 AM PDT by fella
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: fod
This is a 'must read'.
43 posted on 04/19/2002 12:31:12 AM PDT by Eagle Eye
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Eagle Eye
the disruption of the society in ways from which recovery may take centuries.

Best case I can see would be decades.

44 posted on 04/19/2002 12:51:03 AM PDT by StriperSniper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: Eagle Eye
Indeed it is, glad to see it resurface
46 posted on 04/22/2002 7:02:27 AM PDT by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Eagle Eye
ding from the depths...
47 posted on 04/16/2003 8:03:17 AM PDT by fod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: fod
Happy anniversary bumps!

And still a 'must read'!

48 posted on 04/17/2003 5:57:09 AM PDT by Eagle Eye (There ought to be a law against excessive legislation.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Eagle Eye
BTTT from the archives. Needs a bump as we ponder once again where this nation is headed.
49 posted on 02/03/2004 10:43:02 AM PST by yatros from flatwater (For the True King!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson