Aquinas Ideas Of Tyranny

Decent Essays
The nature of tyranny is perceived to be a state of coercion and the obliteration of free will. But even with its unfavorable connotation, tyranny’s state has survived in different periods of history. Tyranny is a dichotomic pendulum that swings back and forth the ideas of the common people. Some think it to be a cruel authoritarian regime, but others think tyranny to be a natural granted regime. One similarity in the two ideas of tyranny is the idea that tyranny is not a perfect regime and does not have a firm structure of legislation. Because of its structureless nature, tyranny is always unstable and carries the fear of losing its power any moment. That is why there are two sides of tyranny. The people who try to hold the power of tyranny…show more content…
A tyrannical government to Aquinas is when the private good of the ruler is more emphasized than the common good of the people. So Aquinas gives justifications for not obeying a tyrant and explains that God’s will always comes first. As Aquinas says, “there are two ways in which subjects many not be obliged to obey superiors in all things” , and those two ways are if God’s will is different from the tyrant’s will and also if the tyrant’s rule is not legitimate. (Aquinas 183).Thus , Aquinas advises the people to not hastily rebel. The reason is if one fails , the tyrant can be more furious, or the next ruler can be more harsh. If one endures tyranny, it shows faith to God. But Aquinas also illustrates the point that the people are allowed to rebel if the damage done by tyranny exceeds what may occur in a rebellion. Aquinas believed in that the ruler should be the shepherd who achieves for the common good. But if there is tyrannical order, the people usually endure or rebel. If the people endure, tyranny survives, if the people rebel, tyranny may fall apart or even be…show more content…
When in comparison of Aquinas’s ideas to that of Boetie and Machiavelli’s ideas, Aquinas seems to be the intermediary of the two. Boetie despises tyranny, Machiavelli treats tyranny as a natural regime, and in between Aquinas acknowledges tyranny in an unbiased way. Their different responses to tyranny may be due to their cultural and moral foundations that trained them. Machiavelli gives aid to the tyrants teaching them how to defend their power, Boetie discourages tyranny and encourages the people to fight for their natural rights, and in between
Get Access