Tyrant Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 208 quotes )
...Man has a tyrant, ignorance. I voted for the demise of that particular tyrant. That particular tyrant has engendered royalty, which is authority based on falsehood, whereas science is authority based on truth. Man should be governed by science alone."And conscience," added the bishop."It's the same thing. Conscience is the quota of innate science we each have inside us.
You cannot mend the chromosome, quell the earthquake, or stanch the flood. You cannot atone for the dead tyrants’ murders and you alone cannot stop living tyrants. As Martin Buber saw it, the world of ordinary days “affords” us that precise association with god that redeems both us and our speck of world. God entrusts and allots to everyone an area to redeem: this creased and feeble life, “the world in which you live, just as it is, and not otherwise.” “Insofar as he cultivates and enjoys them in holiness, he frees their souls…he who prays and sings in holiness, eats and speaks in holiness…through him the sparks which have fallen will be uplifted, and the worlds which have fallen will be delivered and renewed.
A God who kept tinkering with the universe was absurd; a God who interfered with human freedom and creativity was tyrant. If God is seen as a self in a world of his own, an ego thatrelates to a thought, a cause separate from its effect. he becomes a being, not Being itself. An omnipotent, allknowing tyrant is not so different from earthly dictators who make everything andeverybody mere cogs in the machine which they controlled. An atheism that rejects such a God is amply justified.
When I was in power, I found that experts can’t be trusted. For this simple reason: unlike tyrants, they are under no delusion that a country, a people is their body. Under this delusion a tyrant takes everything personally. An expert takes nothing personally. Nothing is ever precisely his fault. If a bridge collapses, or a war miscarries, he has already walked away. He still has his expertise. Also,---people imagine that because a thing is big, it has had a great deal of intelligent thought given to it. This is not true. A big idea is even more apt to be wrong than a small one, because the scale is inorganic. The Great Wall, for instance, is extremely stupid. The two biggest phenomena in the world right now are Maoism and American television, and both are extremely stupid.
The Ephebians believed that every man should have the vote (provided that he wasn't poor, foreign, nor disqualified by reason of being mad, frivolous, or a woman). Every five years someone was elected to be Tyrant, provided he could prove that he was honest, intelligent, sensible, and trustworthy. Immediately after he was elected, of course, it was obvious to everyone that he was a criminal madman and totally out of touch with the view of the ordinary philosopher in the street looking for a towel. And then five years later they elected another one just like him, and really it was amazing how intelligent people kept on making the same mistakes.
They've got something they do it with, I think it's called a mocracy, and it means everyone in the whole country can say who the new Tyrant is. One man ... one vet. ... Everyone has ... the vet. Except for women, of course. And children. And criminals. And slaves. And stupid people. And people of foreign extraction. And people disapproved of for, er, various reasons. And lots of other people. But everyone apart from them. It's a very enlightened civilization.
An artist is the magician put among men to gratify--capriciously--their urge for immortality. The temples are built and brought down around him, continuously and contiguously, from Troy to the fields of Flanders. If there is any meaning in any of it, it is in what survives as art, yes even in the celebration of tyrants, yes even in the celebration of nonentities. What now of the Trojan War if it had been passed over by the artist's touch? Dust. A forgotten expedition prompted by Greek merchants looking for new markets. A minor redistribution of broken pots. But it is we who stand enriched, by a tale of heroes, of a golden apple, a wooden horse, a face that launched a thousand ships--and above all, of Ulysses, the wanderer, the most human, the most complete of all heroes--husband, father, son, lover, farmer, soldier, pacifist, politician, inventor and adventurer...
He was one of that countless and multifarious legion of vulgar persons, sickly abortions and half-educated petty tyrants who like a flash attach themselves to the current ideas that are most fashionable in order, again like a flash, to vulgarize them, caricaturing the very cause they seek to serve, sometimes with great genuineness.
Strange that men, from age to age, should consent to hold their lives at the breath of another, merely that each in his turn may have a power of acting the tyrant according to the law! Oh, God! give me poverty! Shower upon me all the imaginary hardships of human life! I will receive them with all thankfulness. Turn me a prey to the wild beasts of the desert, so I be never again the victim of man, dressed in the gore-dripping robes of authority! Suffer me at least to call life, the pursuits of life, my own! Let me hold it at the mercy of the elements, of the hunger of the beasts, or the revenge of barbarians, but not of the cold-blooded prudence of monopolists and kings!