Despotism


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Related to Despotism: Oriental despotism

Despotism

1. A theory that the best form of government is rule by one person (or group) who knows best how people ought to live. Most governments now are democracies (at least officially) and so despotism has been more or less discredited as a theory.

2. A despotic state or government.
References in classic literature ?
It has been said that a benevolent despotism is the best possible form of government.
Despotism is unjust to everybody, including the despot, who was probably made for better things.
Moreover, though he was neither like Crimsworth nor Lord Tynedale, yet he was acrid, and, I suspected, overbearing in his way: there was a tone of despotism in the urgency of the very reproaches by which, he aimed at goading the oppressed into rebellion against the oppressor.
Lambert and Monk -- everything was summed up in these two men; the first representing military despotism, the second pure republicanism.
The thing ended, however, in the consolidation of the thirteen states, with some fifteen or twenty others, in the most odious and insupportable despotism that was ever heard of upon the face of the Earth.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
The government which had stood so long that men were used to it, as they are used to a hereditary despotism, had begun to be accused Of blunders and even of financial abuses.
For it was the conviction of both ladies that, under the iron despotism of his senior partners, the young man's life was spent in the most exhausting professional labours--and he had never thought it necessary to undeceive them.
Many revolutions also have been brought about in oligarchies by those who could not brook the despotism which those persons assumed who were in power, as at Cnidus and Chios.
It is said that in our license of construing the Constitution, and in the despotism of public opinion, we have no anchor; and one foreign observer thinks he has found the safeguard in the sanctity of Marriage among us; and another thinks he has found it in our Calvinism.
The tribes living near to the equator seem to be a little more civilized, and are governed by absolute monarchs, whose control is an unlimited despotism.
Philip writhed under that despotism which never vouchsafed a reason for the most tyrannous act.