On Tyrants

Again, I put this up on Facebook, but for convenient linking and reposting I’ll duplicate it here, too.

Regarding the famous quote by C.S. Lewis:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

I would always add:

A greedy tyrant will rest – he’s doing it for his own benefit, after all, and rest is pleasant. He wants to enjoy the spoils of his evil.

A crusading tyrant will never rest – his conscience prevents it, and if he does, his guilt will push him to even greater tyranny to make up for what he sees as his failure.


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