- John Locke defined tyranny as:
"199. As usurpation is the exercise of power which another hath a right to, so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which nobody can have a right to; and this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private, separate advantage. When the governor, however entitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule, and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion."
I use this definition so often I wanted to place it somewhere I could footnote in other places.
An excellent source for the e-book is here:http://www.efm.bris.ac.uk/het/locke/government.pdf
http://www.constitution.org/jl/2ndtr18.htm This page goes right to the right page. (Taken 7/1/2014... If links fail in future I have a copy on my website).