Tyranny is the cruel and oppressive government or rule.
According to Black's Law Dictionary it is the "Arbitrary or despotic government; the severe and autocratic exercise of sovereign power, either vested constitutionally in one ruler, or usurped by him by breaking down the division and distribution of governmental powers."
That is very similar to Webster's 1828 dictionary which defines tyranny as:
1. Arbitrary or despotic exercise of power; the exercise of power over subjects and others with a rigor not authorized by law or justice, or not requisite for the purposes of government. Hence tyranny is often synonymous with cruelty and oppression.
2. Cruel government or discipline; as the tyranny of a master.
3. Unresisted and cruel power.
4. Absolute monarchy cruelly administered.
5. Severity; rigor; inclemency.
While rulers may be cruel and oppressive and earn the name of tyrant we should ask ourselves who actually has been "breaking down the division and distribution of governmental powers."
In America at one time there was a government of the people, for the people and by the people in which the individual enjoyed liberty under God in what was called a Republic. In such a government the welfare of our neighbor's was dependent upon charity, not upon the power of Government. Today, the people are dependent almost entirely upon Legal charity and the welfare State while the Modern Church has become impotent in the exercise of pure Religion through the perfect law of liberty and The Way of Christ.
This was a long time coming and seldom begins with the rise of a single tyrant nor despot. Despotism begins in the hearts and minds of the people when they are slothful in the exercise of their responsibility imposed by God to love their neighbor at least as much as they love themselves. Without the exercise of responsibility the exercise of rights will soon be curtailed if not eliminated.
Foreboding of Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan wrote:
- “Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time—when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness."
Carl went onto write:
- "The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.”
That dumbing down did not begin with this generation. They are not following the science but the "pseudoscience and superstition" of celebrities and the media.
Once Americans became accustomed to taking from their neighbor through the force and exercising authority of government so they could have benefits at their neighbors' expense liberty in America was doomed. Until we repent of the idea that the government should be our benefactors and seek to provide our social welfare needs through charity there will be no hope for a return to true liberty and freedom. “The real destroyers of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations, and benefits.” Plutarch
JFK who basically said not to ask what your government can do for you but ask what you can do for your government. You should actually ask what you can do for one another. After JFK there was LBJ who wanted the government to do everything for you. His war on poverty was, in fact, a war on liberty. But LBJ was not the first. Just go back to the free bread of Rome and you will see history repeating itself as it did with FDR and the rise of the welfare state and "legal charity" in America.
"That the man who first ruined the Roman people twas he who first gave them treats and gratuities" Plutarch's Life of Coriolanus (c. 100 AD.)
You sold your birth right of liberty for a "bowl of porage" like Esau. Paul warned you in Romans 11:9 "And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:" but he was quoting David in Psalms 69:22 "Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap." But of course Peter also told you how you would become human resources belonging to the state where it would be no longer "your body" in 2 Peter 2:3, "And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." and again he repeats that warning in 2 Peter 2:14 "Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:"
But Jesus said it best in Luke 22:25 "And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye [shall] not [be] so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve." (See Benefactors essay.)
Numerous scientists have been telling and showing us a different science than the "pseudoscience and superstition" of celebrities and the media. Because we have been biting one another through government it was inevitable that same government would eventually devour us and our rights.
Even if we understood the science we need to repent of the covetous practices and the tyranny in our own hearts that says it is okay to take from our neighbor through the power of government which such welfare programs by the State require. We have neglected, through sloth and avarice, our responsibility to love one another and by doing so we have dissolved the bands of a free society that could have secured our rights from the tyranny of our present world.
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- ― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995).