Tyranny: "cruel and oppressive government or rule."


"cruel and oppressive government or rule."

The opposite of a "Live and Let Live" philosophy is one of tyranny. Tyrants rarely include "tyrant" in their self-conception. They think they are doing good by changing the world according to some ideal. But neither "the greater good" nor some idea of "the will of God" transforms tyranny into liberty. Oppression can never be individual freedom.

When we consider the maxim that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions", we should remember that both of the justifications itemized above are often used to force others to behave in certain ways. Entire countries have become enslaved by regimes expounding these exact justifications.

Organized religion tends toward tyranny unless specific effort is made to banish it. (Incidentally, this is true of organized government). You can see the difference between the ones that make the effort and the ones that do not. Consider the stark difference of modern day Buddhism as compared to the Roman Catholic Church of the middle ages.

Political Islam, also known as Islamism, makes no effort to banish tyranny. Neither does certain variants of American Christianity. They are the forward deployments of the forces of tyranny.

They deserve our rebuke and our material opposition. These are the enemies of liberty until they work to banish every vestige of Tyranny from their ethos.

Ayn Rand - from Letter to DeWitt Emery dated Sep 10, 1941

As to my working for P & E–I’d be delighted, if I can really go ahead with the cause. No, I’m not going to get “damned mad” about being offered a salary. I told you that I had to have a salary if I were to give the work my full time, and I won’t be any good unless I give it my full time. The job I have now takes more than eight hours a day–sometimes it’s twelve and more–so I couldn’t do any real work until I quit this. If I were a capitalist, I’d much rather work for the cause as a volunteer–but, unfortunately, I am only a proletarian defender of Capitalism, than which there is no worse thing to be. If I were a defender of Communism, I’d be a Hollywood millionaire-writer by now, with a swimming pool and a private orchestra to play the Internationale. As it is, I have to work for my living. So I’m quite definitely for sale–all of me above the next–to anyone on our side who really intends to work for our side.
— Ayn Rand - from Letter to DeWitt Emery dated Sep 10, 1941