Would you agree Hitler, Chairman Mao, and Stalin were tyrants? Moreover, would you be agreeable to calling any dislikable authority figure a tyrant.? To help answer the questions, the article will give you a better understanding of tyranny with 10 examples of tyrants.
Tyranny – What Is It?
Tyranny and tyrant are words that sometimes get overused. For example, anyone that is in a position of authority can be accused of tyranny. Indeed, why is that? I think it is because most definitions of tyranny include the word “unfair“. For instance, “life is unfair” is an example of where the term “unfair” has a wide context making it a very subjective term. To list, below are some very specific descriptions of the terms of “tyranny” and “tyrant” that get to the heart of their real meaning.
1. Tyranny Definition and Example.
I like Vocabulary’s definition and example of Tyranny where it emphasizes the words “repressive” and “cruel“. Additionally, this definition demonstrates the subjectivity of “unfair” when applied to words like tyranny.
“Tyranny is a noun that describes a repressive and arbitrarily cruel regime.”
For example, the following statement refutes a poor use of the word tyranny: “Don’t accuse your mother of tyranny just because she won’t let you play video games all weekend long.”
2. Tyranny Litmus Test.
A good Litmus Test to identify a tyranny is called the “town square test” as described by Natan Sharansky. Specifically, the measure of the Tyranny Litmus Test is as follows: if a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society.
3. Tyrant Definition.
“a ruler who has unlimited power over other people, and uses it unfairly and cruelly”.
This definition narrows the scope of a Tyrant emphasizing “unlimited power” and “cruelty”.
Examples of Tyrants.
Based on the tyranny and tyrant definition above, here are some examples of tyranny that has occurred through history and across the world.
1. Nazi Germany. Led by Adolf Hitler.
Hitler’s tyranny led to the persecution and extermination of Jews, Gypsies, communists, socialists, trade unionists, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, common criminals and others in concentration camps during World War II.
2. Caligula’s Reign of the Roman Empire.
Caligula led a campaign of sadism, extravagance and sexual perversity during his short reign as emperor of the Roman Empire.
3. Maximilien Robespierre’s French Revolution.
Robespierre was a highly principled leader, but his actions made him into a tyrant. For example, by his use of the guillotine led to the systematic killing of his enemies in order to realize his ideals.
4. Oliver Cromwell’s Military Dictatorship over England.
Cromwell led the Roundheads in making repressive religious rulings that led to deaths of anyone apposing his rule to include royalty and Catholics.
5. Idi Amin’s Tyranny in Uganda.
Idi Amin was responsible for the persecution and murder of intellectuals, officers and judges and the brutal destruction of entire villages.
6. The Reign of Ivan the Terrible in Russia.
Ivan VI carried out mass executions and murdered thousands of people. Namely, he was paranoid, a sadist, and had a violent temper.
7. The Reign of Kim Jong-il in North Korea.
The repressive regime of Kim Jong-il was characterized by torture, public executions, and a reign of terror.
8. The Reign of Belgium King Leopold II Over Congo.
This colonial reign of terror was responsible for brutal atrocities (the “Congo Horrors”) against the population of the Belgian Congo.
9. Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in China.
During the tyranny of the Culture Revolution, Chairman Mao led efforts to banish most of the intellectuals from universities to the countryside to be re-educated and perform manual labor.
10. Stalin’s Dictatorship in Russia.
Joseph Stalin’s tyranny was responsible for systematic executions and forced labor in Gulag labor camps.
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