The tyrannical mindset is not exclusive to the Stalins, Maos and Hitlers of history, it is a deep rooted shadow that lurks in the majority of us at times. It is this condition that political tyrants try to exploit to their advantage, because no authoritarian government can ever be successful without the help of millions of little tyrants supporting them. They find a way to feed our desire for control and predictability while simultaneously enslaving us.
The point is, tyrants need us. We all have a little dash of tyranny in our souls; we are linked, but we are different.This is not to say that order in itself is evil or that social structures are inherently oppressive. People need boundaries because not all people are good or sane; some are vicious, some are lazy, some are crazy, some are incompetent and some are dishonest and they drag the rest of us down. Anarchy is not the solution, but neither is totalitarianism. It’s all about who sets the boundaries and how.
This is where we uncover a specific human element that is obsessively attracted to control, not because they are afraid, and not because they want comfort, but because they enjoy the feeling of power.
They are addicted to it. I’m speaking specifically about narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths; they are members of our species but they are lacking the key psychological traits that make us human, such as empathy, conscience, imagination, love and shame. In almost every case of government gone wrong it is because these types of people were able to slither into positions of authority and take advantage.
Despite the exaggerated depictions in movies and TV, your average psychopath is not all that complex or interesting – The fact of their existence is interesting, but as people they tend to be boring. The idea of them is fascinating because they are a biological anomaly, an evolutionary mistake or maybe a spiritual deformity. Around 1% of any given population is prone to psychopathy and an even smaller percentage are high functioning psychopaths that are adept at hiding their monstrous natures.
Most average psychopaths eventually end up in prison or involved in an endless succession of life failures. They can’t get it together and maintain relationships and build a normal life because they are too self obsessed and dangerous and eventually the people around them notice. These types of people are what I would call the “little tyrants.” They seem to rise to the surface of society when times are desperate; when people are distracted by crisis is when psychopaths feel it’s safe to show their true natures.
For example, during the covid pandemic lockdowns and the government attempts to introduce draconian vax mandates the little tyrants were everywhere. They just appeared out of the ether and swirled around the authoritarian vortex like it was a feeding frenzy. They took pleasure in the opportunity to order others around about masks and vaccines and “social distancing,” even though none of these measures made ANY difference whatsoever to the spread of covid or the rather minor median Infection Fatality Rate of 0.23%.
They were being tossed scraps from the table of power and they savored every minute of it. The real science wasn’t on their side, but they didn’t care; the media and the government were on their side and that’s all that mattered. They were happy to be used as weapons against other citizens that just wanted to be free.
Beyond the symbiotic (or maybe parasitic) relationship between big tyrants and little tyrants, there are a set of standards that have to be met for tyranny to be successful:
Destruction Of Choice
At the core of tyranny is the removal of choice. Centralization is all about eliminating options for the public while telling them their lives will be streamlined, easier and safer. If people have options outside the establishment system or ideology then they might question the validity of the power structure. They might ask themselves “What if there is a better way than this?”
And, since there is always a better way than fear and slavery, tyrants have to engage in a constant war with all alternative ideas and principles. The only way they can be sure that people won’t rebel someday is to erase the existence of choice. Not only that, but they have to convince the masses that to even suggest another choice is sacrilegious and dangerous. The system must become absolute in all things and in every area of daily life.
Create A False Moral Paradox
Freedom is slavery – Ignorance is strength. It’s the old Orwellian paradox that perverts the meaning of words and deeds to justify tyranny. An extension of this twisted way of thinking is the religion of the “greater good”; the idea that all evils are justified as long as the “greater good” is accomplished. But what is the greater good? It’s anything the tyrants say it is; usually anything that helps them to gain more power. One would think that a “good” that is “greater” would entail more freedom and less fear, not less freedom and more fear.