Tyranny, Tyrants and Tyrannical Systems (5)

“No one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result.” Ludwig von Mises
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“The power of the state is measured by the power that men surrender to it.” Felix Morley
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“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), author
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“Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.” Adolf Hitler, German Chancellor, leader of the Nazi party
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“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.” George W. Bush, 43rd US President
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“The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same.” Stendhal [Marie-Henri Beyle] (1783-1842), French writer
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“The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.” George Washington (1732-1799), Founding Father, 1st US President, ‘Father of the Country’ - Source: Farewell Address, September 17, 1796, Ref: George Washington: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. (521)
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“The state has, in order to control us, introduced division into our thinking, so that we come to distrust others and look to the state for protection! But the roots of our individualism remind us that what we are is inseparable from the source from which all others derive; that coercive practices that threaten our neighbor also threaten us.” Butler Shaffer
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“The statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.” Mark Twain, “The Mysterious Stranger” (1910)
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“The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.” James Madison
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“The truth is that men are tired of liberty.” Mussolini
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“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.” Baron De Montesquieu
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“Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” Frederick Douglass
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“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.” Albert Camus (1913-1960)
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“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate
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“The worst forms of tyranny, or certainly the most successful ones, are not those we rail against but those that so insinuate themselves into the imagery of our consciousness, and the fabric of our lives, as not to be perceived as tyranny.” Michael Parenti
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“There is little to be feared from the standard picture of a totalitarian society in which ‘cogs,’ who are watched by Big Brother or his equivalent, carry out orders emanating from the top. Such a society would collapse in inefficiency. What is infinitely more fearsome is the capacity of a dictatorship to use the principle of competition to organize terror and murder.” Ronald Wintrobe, source: The Political Economy of Dictatorship (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 328
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“There is no telling to what extremes of cruelty and ruthlessness a man will go when he is freed from the fears, hesitations, doubts and the vague stirrings of decency that go with individual judgement. When we lose our individual independence in the corporateness of a mass movement, we find a new freedom- freedom to hate, bully, lie, torture, murder and betray without shame and remorse. Herein undoubtedly lies part of the attractiveness of a mass movement.” Eric Hoffer
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“There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country - if the people lose their confidence in themselves - and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.” Walt Whitman
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“They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today—my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”
Rev. Martin Luther King, 4 April 1967, speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City
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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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“Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true.” Eric Hoffer
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“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” Haile Selassie
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“Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience ... Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.” The Nuremberg Tribunal, 1945-1946
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“To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” Thomas Jefferson
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“Under conditions of tyranny it is far easer to act than to think.” Hannah Arendt
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“Most people would rather opine a lie and “fit in” than profess the truth and be excluded. Just as the majority would rather be lied to and made comfortable than be told the truth and made uncomfortable. Liars have held humanity in the throes of illusion for countless centuries. Governmental, religious, and academic officialdom can and do transform basically decent human beings into unconscious automatons bereft of free will. They do this successfully because a majority of humans are terrified to assume personal responsibility.” Michael Godspeed
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“Under the influence of politicians, masses of people tend to ascribe the responsibility for wars to those who wield power at any given time. In World War I it was the munitions industrialists; in World War II it was the psychopathic generals who were said to be guilty. This is passing the buck. The responsibility for wars falls solely upon the shoulders of these same masses of people, for they have all the necessary means to avert war in their own hands. In part by their apathy, in part by their passivity, and in part actively, these same masses of people make possible the catastrophes under which they themselves suffer more than anyone else. To stress this guilt on the part of the masses of people, to hold them solely responsible, means to take them seriously. On the other hand, to commiserate masses of people as victims means to treat them as small, helpless children. The former is the attitude held by genuine freedom fighters; the latter that attitude held by power-thirsty politicians.” Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism
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“It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear.” General Douglas MacArthur, speech, May 15, 1951
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“Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of a private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, message to Congress proposing the monopoly investigation, 1938
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“We first fought the heathens in the name of religion, then Communism, and now in the name of drugs and terrorism. Our excuses for global domination always change.” Serj Tankian
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“We have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them; destroyed their fields; burned their villages, and turned their widows and orphans out-of-doors; furnished heartbreak by exile to some dozens of disagreeable patriots; subjugated the remaining ten millions by Benevolent Assimilation, which is the pious new name of the musket; we have acquired property in the three hundred concubines and other slaves of our business partner Sultan of Sulu, and hoisted our protecting flag over that swag. And so, by the Providences of God – and the phrase is the government’s, not mine – we are a World Power.” Mark Twain
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“We have stricken the shackles from 4,000,000 human beings and brought all labourers to a common level, but not so much by the elevation of former slaves as by reducing the whole working population, white and black, to a condition of serfdom. While boasting of our noble deeds, we are careful to conceal the ugly fact that by our iniquitous money system we have manipulated a system of oppression which, though more refined, is no less cruel than the old system of chattel slavery.” Horace Greeley (1811-1872), editor of the New York Tribune, ran against Ulysses Grant for presidency
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“We stand for the maintenance of private property... We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible economic order.” Adolf Hitler
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“Only the worst crimes of the Indian, and his own best deeds, does the white man tell.” Chief Yellow Wolf, whose people, the Nez Perce, were driven from their homelands across nearly a thousand miles of Pacific Northwest wilderness by the U.S. Army in 1877
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“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty and democracy?” Mohandas Gandhi.
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“Not as tyrants have we come, but as liberators.” Adolf Hitler, 1938
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“An evil exists that threatens every man, woman, and child of this great nation. We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our homeland.” Adolf Hitler, In 1933, Hitler used the burning of the Reichstag as a pretext to push through emergency decrees suspending the basic civil liberties of German citizens. The “emergency” decrees remained in effect until the fall of the Third Reich in 1945.
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“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?” - Gandhi
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“From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.” Denis Diderot (1713-1784)
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“What is hateful is not rebellion but the despotism which induces the rebellion; what is hateful are not rebels but the men, who, having the enjoyment of power, do not discharge the duties of power; they are the men who, having the power to redress wrongs, refuse to listen to the petitioners that are sent to them; they are the men who, when they are asked for a loaf, give a stone.” Sir Wilfrid Laurier
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“What want these outlaws conquerors should have but history’s purchased page to call them great?” Lord Byron
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“Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of plutocracy.” John Pierpont Morgan
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“When a long train of abuses and usurpations evinces a design to reduce them [the people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government.” Thomas Jefferson, US Declaration of Independence
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“When the President starts lying he begins to need evidence to back up his lies because in this democracy he is questioned on his statements. It then percolates down through the bureaucracy that you are helping the Boss if you come up with evidence that is supportive of our public position and you are distinctly unhelpful if you commit to paper statements that might leak to the wrong people. The effect of that is to poison the flow of information to the President himself and to create a situation where a President can be almost, to use a metaphor, psychotically divorced from the realities in which he is acting…” Daniel Ellsburg, to the US Senate on Foreign Relations, May 13, 1970
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“Where is the justice of political power if it executes the murderer and jails the plunderer, and then itself marches upon neighboring lands, killing thousands and pillaging the very hills?” Kahlil Gibran
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“Without some form of censorship, propaganda in the strict sense of the word is impossible. In order to conduct propaganda there must be some barrier between the public and the event.” Walter Lippmann
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“All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those toward whom it is directed will understand it… Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.” Adolf Hitler
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“It’s important to realize that whenever you give power to politicians or bureaucrats, it will be used for what they want, not for what you want.” Harry Browne
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Alliance: In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted into each others’ pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third: Ambrose Bierce: The Devil’s Dictionary
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“The moment a man claims a right to control the will of a fellow being by physical force, he is at heart a slaveholder.” Henry C. Wright, The Liberator, 7 April 1837



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