Tyranny disguised as freedom

Ma la causa vera di tutti i nostri mali, di questa tristezza nostra, sai qual è? La democrazia, mio caro, la democrazia, cioè il governo della maggioranza. Perché, quando il potere è in mano d’uno solo, quest’uno sa d’esser uno e di dover contentare molti; ma quando i molti governano, pensano soltanto a contentar se stessi, e si ha allora la tirannia più balorda e più odiosa; la tirannia mascherata da libertà.

The real cause of all our suffering, our sorrow, do you know what it is? Democracy, my dear, democracy, that is, the rule of the majority. Because when power is in the hands of one sole man, he knows he is one and has to satisfy many; but when many are in power, they only think of satisfying themselves; and the tyranny most foolish and hideous ensues: tyranny disguised as freedom.

—Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936)

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