quote by George Mason

Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of heaven on a Country. As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes & effects providence punishes national sins, by national calamities.

— George Mason

Charming Petty Tyrants quotations

In a republic, that paradise of debility, the politician is a petty tyrant who obeys the laws.

The nation is in a death-struggle. It must either become one vast slaveocracy of petty tyrants, or wholly the land of the free.

Slavery discourages arts and manufacturing ...[and] every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant.

[Slave] trade ... is the most shocking violation of the law of nature, has a direct tendency to diminish ... liberty, and makes every dealer in it a tyrant, from the director of an African company to the petty chapman [peddler].... It is a clear truth, that those who every day barter away other men's liberty will soon care little for their own.


As for the petty little world of journalism, the media demonstrates how it, more than anyone, is careful to traffic only in authorized ideas and wares; while at the same time it fosters, through its antics, the illusion of a free circulation of ideas and opinions - not unlike jesters in a tyrant's court.

I do not see why I should be polite to tyrants, who slobber of humanitarianism and think only of their own petty interests.

Under the present dispensation, the great majority of factories are little despotisms, benevolent in some cases, malevolent in others. Even where benevolence prevails, passive obedience is demanded by the workers, who are ruled by overseers, not of their own election, but appointed from above. In theory they may be the subjects of a democratic state; but in practice they spend the whole of their working lives as the subjects of a petty tyrant.

The end of despots is always odd?exhilarating to those who suffered their tyrannies, and to those who hold despotism in contempt, and anti-climatic at the same time, the discovery that these tyrants were petty, frightened men after all.

That slow poison [slavery] is daily contaminating the minds and morals of our people. Every gentlemen here is born a petty tyrant, practiced in acts of despotism and cruelty.


Shakespeare wrote great poetry and preposterous plays.

Who really cares, for example, which petty tyrant rules Milan? Or who succeeds to the throne of Denmark? Or why the barons ganged up on Richard II?