How To Spot A Tyrant

Take a brief moment to think of the worst three dictators in history – the first three that pop into your head.

Have three? Great. I’d be willing to bet that none of them supported a limited national government.

Do a quick Google search of history’s most notorious tyrants. You will find that nearly all of them were communists, fascists, socialists, national socialists, take your pick. They were all different versions of the same thing – tyrants. Tyrants can only exist with a powerful state that has control over its people. A tyrant without power is just a jerk – maybe even a bully. If you give that bully the power to tax you, to arrest you without due process, or to legislate without your consent, you’ve created a tyrant.

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Politicians are notoriously talented for concealing their truest intentions and bending truths when it best serves their interests. Whoever first said so was correct when they stated ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” To spot a tyrant, you have to know what to listen for. If you’re prepared, you’ll be able to spot a tyrant in even the most cunning of politicians.


A large and powerful government has a lot of moving parts, and it costs a lot of money. Tyrants obtain the people’s money in different ways, and there is no such thing as enough. Tyrants always want to raise taxes as high as possible, and they always tell you it will be someone else’s money – not yours – that they will take. They may claim they need it to build infrastructure or to end poverty, and yet the roads are always terrible and poverty is never eliminated. The bottom line is they don’t think your money is yours.

When you hear politicians saying they need to raise taxes to solve your problems, run away. These are the actions of tyrants.


Tyrants use government to insert themselves as gatekeepers to people’s prosperity. They typically win the support of the people by arguing one extreme to achieve another. They’ll argue that without any regulation at all, businesses would take advantage of its consumers. With the authority gained as a result, a tyrant pursues unchecked power to regulate tax, seize, and obstruct any area of the economy they want.

The idea that people need government to excessively regulate markets to protect consumers is insulting to consumers. Did you have to be told by the Better Business Bureau to use Uber or buy an iPhone, or were you smart enough to determine their value on your own? Free market capitalism is best for consumers, and this can only be achieved with less government – not more.


Tyrants always seek a tight grip over the content and distribution of media. This includes news and entertainment. It’s easier to keep control over people if they’re constantly fed an endless stream of lies. While people suffer in the world created by their rulers, they are inundated with propaganda that depicts the constant achievements and advancement of the society. None of it is true, of course, but the ability to question it is non-existent once the tyrant has total control.

Beware the politician who attempts to control media and information – like owning a private server and deleting thousands of emails before anyone can read them, for example.


Tyrants have more power over defenseless people. This creates a dependence on the state that won’t be challenged for the sake of your safety and that of your family.

Tyrants eliminate citizen’s ability to defend themselves by disarming them. It would have been much more difficult to round up the Jews in Nazi Germany if every one of them were armed. In America, we have declared the right to self-defense to be a natural right that cannot be taken away by government.

The most empowering thing anyone can do is have the means to defend themselves, their family, and their property. If you must rely on someone else to do it, you’re at their mercy. When you hear a politician saying that we need to regulate firearms for your own safety, you have found a tyrant.


Tyrants always want to control what you and your children are taught. Tyrants believe that only government – not parents or private institutions – can be trusted to educate children. Of course having public schools is not inherently tyrannical. With that said, when politicians oppose private schools or allowing parents to choose where to send their kids to be educated (school choice), they’re assuming a higher authority over children than the children’s actual parents. Welcome to tyranny.


Tyrannical government always pursues control of the healthcare industry. Having the final say over who lives and dies, who is treated and who isn’t, and the permissible methods of treatment are the ultimate tools of control. When you see government intervening in the healthcare industry – as opposed to allowing citizens to make their own choices – you have tyranny. Healthcare decisions should be left to consumers, not a government bureaucrat.

Moral Authority

There is such a thing as right and wrong. Much as our rights don’t come from government, neither do absolute truths. Tyrants assume the authority of a God who – rather than representing and serving free citizens – has the final say over what is right and wrong. This leads to social and cultural engineering of a society enforced by the proclamations of a few elites regardless of the opinions of citizens.

Most people are good people and make the right decisions when left to their own devices. Tyrants have an inherent distrust in the judgement of society and believe they should have a final say over moral issues. When you entrust the few in government to impose the moral standards on the whole of society, you have tyranny.


All of these items – and there are others – ultimately boil down to control. Tyranny is about controlling people. It’s about controlling your mind, your actions, your potential, and every other aspect of your life. Tyranny demands conformity, except of course from the tyrants who never adhere to the same standards they impose on everyone else. In other words, tyranny is a state in which a select few make decisions for everyone else.

Liberty is derived from the principle that every individual is born with certain unalienable rights that cannot be taken away. In order to protect your individual liberty, it’s important that you retain control over your own life.  Spotting a tyrant is crucial.

Can you think of anything left off this list? Get in on the conversation and spread the word.

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