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Customer Review

9 September 2010
This is a very useful 310 page study by political commentator Maurice Latey for those interested in the factors that breed tyranny. He is particularly concerned with the psychological factors, what motivates these men to behave in the way they do. Although of necessity taking a broad historical approach, he concentrates on the twentieth century after World War One, arguably an `age of tyranny', with Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse Tung foremost amongst others.
Maurice Latey examines the tyrants of Greece and Rome, and the authors of that era. Aristotle said that tyranny aims at three things- firstly to keep the subjects in humility, secondly to have them distrust each other, and thirdly to render them powerless for opposition. These principle features of a tyrant can be discerned in the many historical examples, but also, underscoring their validity, in the leadership struggles of today, in settings as diverse as party politics, the church, the office and the company boardroom.
We often minimize the role of those behind the tyrant's rise to power, sometimes well-meaning perhaps, but blind to what their ideas would produce. We know, however, human nature as it always has been, the rulers of this world will pick up the philosophy of this world if it consolidates their power. In turn, the philosophers will tell them what they want to hear, and consolidate their own power, or prestige. This ultimately is what conflicts with truth, freedom, and personal happiness.
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