The Aboriginal Australians used to adopt dingo pups as pets. They’re cute when they’re little, but they inevitably mature into large and aggressive adult dingos. When this happened the Aboriginal Australians would quite wisely part ways with their former pets, sending them off into the outback to eat kangaroos and wombats and whatever else they could find.

The original Americans established a government based on freedom and liberty. At first, this government was small and non-threatening—incapable of preventing Canadians from burning down the White House, even. But over time the government grew into an “ungovernable” thing, which would put its citizens in cages for owning certain types of plants, failing to forfeit large parts of their incomes every year, and exposing any of the illegal things party members do on a daily basis.

The difference between Aboriginals and Americans is that Aboriginals had the good sense to send their dingos out into the outback, whereas Americans believe they can simply choose less vicious animals to bite them every year.

This is not to say that governmental tyranny hasn’t got plenty of fans. Advocates for collectivism are delighted by the notion of sending people to gulags for committing whichever acts the party does not like. They are mostly unconcerned that bureaucrats will begin losing their jobs in the event that gulags should begin to run below capacity. Constantly rising quotas invariably turn any country that contains a gulag into one giant gulag.

Most fans of the government aren’t so extreme. They see a little government control as a good thing. Sure, strangers can read your email, because you shouldn’t have anything to hide. Sure, the police can take your money through civil forfeiture.

“But who will build the roads?”

Statists consider this question the ultimate checkmate. If you’re one of them, do this: try building your own road, and then wait and see who comes to stop you.

Okay! Now that we have kindled a strong dislike of government in your heart, it’s on to the main attraction. We’ve put together a collection of our favorite quotes about government, which is to say they are all profoundly anti-government. It’s just the thing to start reading aloud during your next family Thanksgiving meal.


Quotes About Government Control and Totalitarian States

Isabel Paterson

“A tax-supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state.”

– Isabel PatersonGod of the Machine

Isabel Paterson on Government Tyranny Quotes

Isabel Paterson’s quote encapsulates the notion that a tax-supported, compulsory educational system represents the quintessential structure of a totalitarian state. It implies that when education is controlled and mandated by the government, it can be wielded as a tool for shaping beliefs, values, and behavior, mirroring the control exerted by totalitarian regimes over their populace. In essence, it suggests that such a system undermines individual freedom and autonomy, reflecting the centralized control characteristic of totalitarianism.


“Where you find the laws most numerous, there you will find also the greatest injustice.”

– Arcesilaus

Arcesilaus on Government Tyranny Quotes

Arcesilaus’s quote succinctly conveys the idea that excessive legislation often corresponds with heightened injustice within a society. It suggests that an abundance of laws may not necessarily lead to a more just and equitable system, but rather may complicate matters and create opportunities for unfairness or oppression. In essence, it underscores the importance of simplicity and clarity in legal frameworks to promote true justice and fairness.

Anne Applebaum

“Most of the people buying the Soviet paraphernalia were Americans and West Europeans. All would be sickened by the thought of wearing a swastika. None objected, however, to wearing the hammer and sickle on a T-shirt or a hat. It was a minor observation, but sometimes, it is through just such minor observations that a cultural mood is best observed. For here, the lesson could not have been clearer: while the symbol of one mass murder fills us with horror, the symbol of another mass murder makes us laugh.”

Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum on Government Tyranny Quotes

Anne Applebaum’s quote highlights a poignant observation about the contrasting reactions to symbols associated with different totalitarian regimes. She notes that while many individuals vehemently reject and are repulsed by the Nazi swastika, they seem indifferent or even jovial about displaying symbols like the Soviet hammer and sickle. This discrepancy in reactions serves as a profound reflection of societal attitudes and values. Despite both regimes being responsible for mass atrocities, the acceptance or trivialization of one symbol over the other underscores deeper cultural biases and historical perceptions. It prompts reflection on the complexities of memory, historical understanding, and the ways in which societies grapple with the legacies of past atrocities.

Jim Rohn

“Beware of those who seek to take care of you lest your caretakers become your jailers.”

– Jim RohnThe Treasury of Quotes

Jim Rohn on Government Tyranny Quotes

Jim Rohn’s quote serves as a cautionary reminder about the potential dangers of relinquishing personal responsibility to those who claim to have your best interests at heart. It warns against placing too much trust in individuals or institutions that offer to take care of you, as this dependency can lead to a loss of freedom and autonomy. By becoming overly reliant on caretakers, one risks surrendering control over their own life and decisions, potentially leading to a situation where these caretakers exert undue influence or control, effectively becoming jailers rather than guardians. In essence, it encourages individuals to maintain a healthy skepticism and to safeguard their independence and self-determination.

George Washington

“However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

– George Washington, speaking about the two-party political system in his Farewell Address, 1796

George Washington on Government Tyranny Quotes

In his Farewell Address, George Washington warns against the dangers of political factions and the emergence of a two-party system. He cautions that while such alliances may initially serve the interests of the people, over time, they can become tools for ambitious individuals to manipulate and seize power, ultimately undermining the democratic process. Washington foresaw how cunning and unprincipled individuals could exploit these factions to subvert the will of the people and establish unjust dominion, only to later dismantle the very systems that enabled their rise to power. His words resonate as a timeless reminder of the fragility of democratic institutions and the importance of vigilance in safeguarding against tyranny.

Anthony Gregory

“No self-respecting person who loves humanity or wishes for a world of greater equality and justice should have anything to do with whitewashing the slavery and extermination of Marxism-Leninism.”

– Anthony Gregory

Anthony Gregory on Government Tyranny Quotes

Anthony Gregory’s quote underscores a strong condemnation of attempts to downplay or excuse the atrocities committed under Marxist-Leninist regimes. It emphasizes that individuals who genuinely care about humanity, equality, and justice should not engage in any efforts to whitewash or sanitize the history of slavery and extermination associated with these ideologies. By refusing to gloss over the horrors perpetrated by Marxist-Leninist regimes, Gregory urges a commitment to truth-telling and accountability, recognizing that a genuine pursuit of justice requires acknowledging and confronting past injustices.

Friedrich Nietzsche

“As little State as possible!”

– Friedrich NietzscheThe Dawn of Day

Friedrich Nietzsche on Government Tyranny Quotes

Friedrich Nietzsche’s quote succinctly expresses a preference for minimal state intervention in societal affairs. It encapsulates the idea that governance should be limited to the smallest extent necessary for maintaining order and protecting individual freedoms. This notion aligns with principles of libertarianism and classical liberalism, advocating for a restrained role of government to prevent encroachment on personal liberties and to foster autonomy and self-determination among citizens.

Marie Beyle

“The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same.”

– Marie Beyle

Marie Beyle on Government Tyranny Quotes

Marie Beyle’s quote means that leaders often try to make people believe their goals are the same as theirs. It’s like when a shepherd convinces sheep that what’s good for him is also good for them. This quote warns us to be wary and not to easily trust leaders who might have their own agenda instead of ours.

Thomas Jefferson

to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical…”

– Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson on Government Tyranny Quotes

Thomas Jefferson’s quote expresses the belief that forcing someone to financially support ideas they oppose is both morally wrong and oppressive. It condemns the imposition of taxes or fees to fund the dissemination of beliefs or ideologies that an individual finds disagreeable or morally reprehensible. Jefferson argues that such coercion violates the principles of freedom of conscience and individual autonomy, portraying it as an act of both sinfulness and tyranny.

Ayn Rand

“There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism – by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.”

– Ayn Rand, L.A. Times, September 2, 1962

Ayn Rand on Government Tyranny Quotes

Ayn Rand is saying that communism and socialism both aim for the same thing: making everyone equal. The only difference is how they do it. Communism forces people into equality, while socialism does it through voting. But to her, both ways end up taking away people’s freedom. She compares it to the difference between being killed and killing yourself.

Ayn Rand

“Either we believe that the State exists to serve the individual or that the individual exists to serve the State.”

– Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand on Government Tyranny Quotes

Ayn Rand’s quote suggests that communism and socialism share the same goal of achieving equality but differ in their methods: communism imposes equality through force, while socialism does so through democratic processes. She compares communism to murder, as it uses coercion, and socialism to suicide, as it’s willingly chosen through voting. In her view, both ideologies lead to loss of individual freedom, with communism being more overtly oppressive and socialism being self-imposed.

Ayn Rand

“…we are fast approaching the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it please, while the citizens may act only by permission.”

– Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand on Government Tyranny Quotes

Ayn Rand’s quote warns that society is nearing a dangerous tipping point where the government gains unlimited power while citizens lose their freedoms, reduced to acting only with official approval. It highlights the growing imbalance between state authority and individual autonomy, suggesting a concerning shift towards authoritarianism where government control stifles personal liberty.

Andrew Klavan

“Free people can treat each other justly, but they can’t make life fair. To get rid of the unfairness among individuals, you have to exercise power over them. The more fairness you want, the more power you need. Thus, all dreams of fairness become dreams of tyranny in the end.”

– Andrew Klavan

Andrew Klavan on Government Tyranny Quotes

Andrew Klavan’s quote suggests that while free individuals can treat each other with justice, they cannot make life inherently fair. He argues that in attempting to eliminate unfairness among people, one must exert control and power over them. The pursuit of greater fairness inevitably requires increasing levels of authority. Consequently, Klavan warns that ideals of fairness, when pursued excessively, can lead to the imposition of tyranny.

Frederich A. Hayek

“The more the state plans, the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.”

– Frederich A. Hayek

Frederich A. Hayek on Government Tyranny Quotes

Frederich A. Hayek’s quote highlights the inverse relationship between state planning and individual autonomy. It suggests that as the government takes on more planning and control over society, it restricts the ability of individuals to plan and make decisions for themselves. In other words, excessive government intervention complicates and hinders personal planning and freedom.

Noam Chomsky

“Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”

– Noam ChomskyMedia Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda

Noam Chomsky on Government Tyranny Quotes

Noam Chomsky’s quote draws a parallel between the use of propaganda in a democracy and the use of force in a totalitarian regime. It suggests that while overt coercion is characteristic of totalitarian states, propaganda serves a similar function in democracies by manipulating public opinion and stifling dissent. In essence, it portrays propaganda as a tool of control that can undermine the principles of democracy just as effectively as brute force can in totalitarian systems.

Marquis de Sade

“Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain.”

– Marquis de Sade

Marquis de Sade on Government Tyranny Quotes

The quote by Marquis de Sade emphasizes that sacrificing liberty for the sake of social order is not a fair exchange. It suggests that while maintaining social stability is important, it should not come at the cost of individual freedoms. In essence, the quote underscores the idea that true liberty should not be compromised or traded away in the pursuit of orderliness within society.

Hannah Arendt

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

– Hannah ArendtThe Origins of Totalitarianism

Hannah Arendt on Government Tyranny Quotes

Hannah Arendt’s quote highlights the manipulative nature of propaganda employed by mass leaders. It suggests that before seizing power, these leaders show contempt for facts, believing that truth is subjective and can be manufactured to suit their agendas. This disregard for objective reality allows them to distort information and manipulate public opinion to further their own interests. Overall, the quote underscores the danger posed by leaders who seek to control reality through deceit and manipulation.

Edward R. Murrow

“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves!”

– Edward R. Murrow

Edward R. Murrow on Government Tyranny Quotes

Edward R. Murrow’s quote succinctly conveys the idea that a passive and complacent population will inevitably lead to the rise of oppressive and predatory government leaders. It suggests that when individuals fail to actively engage in safeguarding their rights and freedoms, they become vulnerable to exploitation by those in power. In essence, the quote serves as a warning against apathy and complacency, emphasizing the importance of an informed and vigilant citizenry in maintaining democracy and preventing the emergence of authoritarian rule.

Alexander de Tocqueville

“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

– Alexander de Tocqueville

Alexander de Tocqueville on Government Tyranny Quotes

Alexis de Tocqueville’s quote highlights the contrasting effects of democracy and socialism on individual freedom and equality. It suggests that democracy expands personal liberty, valuing each person as inherently valuable. In contrast, socialism curtails individual freedom, reducing people to mere instruments of the state. While both systems aim for equality, democracy pursues it through freedom, while socialism achieves it through control and subservience. Ultimately, the quote underscores the fundamental distinction between the two ideologies, emphasizing the importance of liberty within democracy and the potential for oppression within socialism.

Jordan Peterson

“We’ve got a hundred million corpses stacked up to demonstrate (the perils of statist ideology). Yet there are those who say that Stalin was a bad individual, a poor implementor. Same for Mao, Pol Pot, etc. The thing is, wherever it was tried the end consequence was always the same. I’ve heard this all many, many times: ‘That wasn’t real communism.’ You know what that means? That means that if I’d been the benevolent dictator in the place of a Stalin, a Mao or a Pol Pot, that it would’ve brought in utopia. There isn’t a more narcissistic and toxic and inexcusable statement that you can make.”

– Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson on Government Tyranny Quotes

Jordan Peterson’s quote critiques the argument that atrocities committed under communist regimes were due to flawed implementation rather than inherent flaws in the ideology itself. He points out the fallacy of attributing the failures of communism to individual leaders, suggesting that the outcome was consistently catastrophic regardless of who was in power. The dismissal of these atrocities as “not real communism” is criticized as a narcissistic and toxic excuse, implying that the speaker believes they could implement communism successfully where others failed. Overall, the quote condemns the denial of responsibility for the devastating consequences of communist ideology.

Adolf Hitler

“What luck for rulers, that men do not think.”

– Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler on Government Tyranny Quotes

Adolf Hitler’s quote highlights the advantage for leaders when people fail to critically think or question authority. It suggests that rulers benefit from a population that is passive and unquestioning, allowing those in power to exert control more easily. In essence, the quote underscores the importance of critical thinking and vigilance among the populace to safeguard against manipulation and abuse of power by authoritarian leaders.

H.L. Mencken

“The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.”

– H.L. MenckenMinority Report

H.L. Mencken on Government Tyranny Quotes

H.L. Mencken’s quote implies that individuals who advocate for government enforcement of their ideas typically possess flawed or impractical notions. It suggests that those who seek to impose their beliefs through state intervention often lack sound judgment or rationality. In essence, the quote critiques the authoritarian impulse of individuals who seek to enforce their own ideologies onto others, implying that such ideas are inherently flawed or foolish.