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29.9.12

two types of tyranny



We should distinguish between two types of tyranny: (i) the tyranny of those who abuse authority they legitimately acquired and hold; and (ii) the tyranny of those who obtained and hold power by usurpation.Usurping tyrants  (level two)—as, in effect, parties making war against the political community—may legitimately be resisted and even killed by anyone who has the effective power to do so.  By contrast, where legitimate rule has degenerated into tyranny, the tyrant  is entitled to something like what we might call “due process of law.” It is up to other public officials, operating as such, and not (ordinarily) to private citizens, to overthrow their regimes and, if necessary, bring them personally to trial and punishment.

In the present day this seems to apply to the government of the USA as a whole. You can't really point to any one person who has created the monstrosity the vast government of the USA. But it is clearly against the Constitution which calls for limited government