CS Lewis, Of All Tyrannies

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

–C.S. Lewis, “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment”, reprinted in “God in the Dock”, Part III, Chapter 4, where it is said to have appeared originally in “20th Century: An Australian Quarterly Review,” Vol. III, No. 3 (1949), pp. 5-12.

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