50 Tyranny Quotes For Freedom Seekers

Learn something new today with our tyranny quotes.

The word tyranny gets thrown around a lot, but what does it actually mean?

Find out with our tyranny quotes. 

What is tyranny?

Tyranny can come in many forms. 

However, generally speaking, tyranny is when a government gives all of its power to a single ruler.

Tyranny also manifests as harsh, cruel, and severe government conduct. 

Below are three of the world’s most infamous tyrants from recent history:

Who are modern examples of tyrants?

The abovementioned figures are some of modern history’s most well-known, publicly documented tyrants. 

Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime reigned in Germany from 1933 to 1945. 

During that time, strict rules and violent punishments resulted in the deaths of millions of people. 

Joseph Stalin is remembered for participating in the Great Purge in Europe during the 1930s. 

Stalin used the murder of Sergey Kirov as a catalyst to murder a million people. 

Mussolini was a journalist who rose to become a violent dictator in Italy. 

Why do tyrants exist?

The world is full of resources. 

Rarely have humans been able to share and divide these resources equally. 

The world is also full of motivated people. 

That does not mean all people are motivated to accomplish good. 

Some people are driven to accomplish certain things and stop at nothing to do so. 

Tyrants exist because no government or set of rules has ever pleased everyone. 

Tyrants also exist as a symptom of our inability to share resources and opportunities. 

There have always been people who disagree with whoever the ruling party is. 

Tyrants are people who obtain power by seizing it, usually in the name of security. 

Do people overuse the word tyranny?

Tyranny resulted in the deaths of millions of people across the globe.

Yet, some people bring up tyranny while in line waiting for fast food.

It is human nature to exaggerate.

When we use words like tyranny to describe mundane inconveniences, we lower empathy and awareness levels for some of the worst parts of human history. 

To learn more, check out our tyranny quotes below. 

Short tyranny quotes about claiming power

These tyrannical quotes get straight to the point. 

1. “Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.” — Socrates 

2. “Peace without justice is tyranny.” — William Allen 

3. “Tyranny and anarchy are never far apart.” — Jeremy Bentham 

4. “White Death is softer by far than tyranny.” — Aeschylus 

5. “Treachery is noble when aimed at tyranny.” — Pierre Corneille 

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6. “Tyranny is always better organized than freedom.” — Charles Peguy 

7. “A good deal of tyranny goes by the name of protection.” — Crystal Eastman 

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

9. “My hope for you is that you will ever avoid tyranny and oppression.” — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 17

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

The best tyranny quotes about democracy 

Proponents of democracy say that it is what stands in the way of tyranny. 

11. “Corruption is just another form of tyranny.” — Joe Biden 

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

13. “The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.” — Wole Soyinka 

14. “A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.” — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 

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

16. “There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy, hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.” — Frederick William Robertson 

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

18. “There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.” — Walt Whitman 

19. “Communism is the death of the soul. It is the organization of total conformity – in short, of tyranny – and it is committed to making tyranny universal.” — Adlai Stevenson 

20. “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 

The top tyranny quotes for fighting against corruption

Check out these inspirational tyranny quotes. 

21. “The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes.” —  Thomas Paine

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

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

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

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

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

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

28. “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 

29. “Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.” — Plato 

30. “Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility.” — Robin Morgan 

Famous tyranny quotes from freedom fighters and conscientious objectors

These quotes break down the essence of tyranny. 

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

32. “Revolution is engendered by an indignation with tyranny, yet is itself pregnant with tyranny.” — William Godwin

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

34. “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 

35. “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

36. “Thou hast clung to tyranny, and cast away justice; whereupon all created things have lamented, and still thou art among the wayward.” — Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 102

37. “The Holy Book calls upon Muslims to resist tyranny. Dictatorships in Pakistan, however long, have, therefore, always collapsed in the face of this spirit.” — Benazir Bhutto 

38. “Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” — Thomas Jefferson 

39. “I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old Revolutionary maxim. Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.” Susan B. Anthony 

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40. “Above all, if he believes that the consequences of his actions will follow him beyond his earthly life, and that ‘as he sows so must he reap,’ such a man will surely avoid injustice and tyranny.” — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 158

Tyranny quotes and sayings about life

In life, we can learn from our experiences. 

Tyranny has much to teach us. 

41. “I defy the tyranny of precedent. I go for anything new that might improve the past” —  Clara Barton 

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

43. “Somehow they have acquired the false notion that tyranny or dictatorship or cruelty are the outcomes of a powerful personality.” — Vernon Howard 

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

45. “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 

46. “The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.” — Mikhail Bakunin 

47. “The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.” — John Dalberg-Acton 

48. “Do you remember any instance where tyranny was destroyed and freedom established on its ruins, among a people possessing so small a share of virtue and public spirit?” Patrick Henry 

49. “I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation, and oppression of my people by the whites.” Nelson Mandela 

50. “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 

Tryanny still exists

Tyrants still rule some countries, corporations, and other powerful positions. 

Tyranny will exist as long as we allow it.

What do you think is the best way to end tyranny?

Be sure to let us know in the comments below. 

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