Our political culture has a conception of democracy that differs from that of the Brazilian bishops. For them, democracy means that citizens should have the opportunity to inform themselves, to take part in inquiry and discussion and policy formation, and to advance their programs through political action. For us, democracy is more narrowly conceived: the citizen is a consumer, an observer but not a participant. The public has the right to ratify policies that originate elsewhere, but if these limits are exceeded, we have not democracy, but a "crisis of democracy," which must somehow be resolved. - Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions, ch. 1
Search The Library's Lexicon
The violation of those laws which regulate the division and the exercises of the sovereign power of the state. It is a violation of its Constitution.
The chief magistrate of the state, whether legitimate or otherwise, who violates the Constitution to act arbitrarily contrary to justice.
The term tyrant and usurper, are sometimes used as synonymous, because usurpers are almost always tyrants; usurpation is itself a tyrannical act, but properly speaking, the words usurper and tyrant convey different ideas. A king may become a tyrant, although legitimate, when he acts despotically; while a usurper may cease to be a tyrant by governing according to the dictates of justice.
This term is sometimes applied to persons in authority who violate the laws and act arbitrarily towards others.