The main difference between anarchy and tyranny is that anarchy refers to a state of lawlessness, whereas tyranny refers to a state under cruel and oppressive government.
Anarchy and tyranny are two conditions that involve the absence of laws or unfair and unequal application of laws. Although both these situations involve violence and oppression, there is a subtle difference between anarchy and tyranny.
Key Areas Covered
Anarchy, Tyranny, Tyrant
What is Anarchy
Anarchy is a situation where a government does not exist in a state, or the existing government has no authority over the people. The latter occurs when the government is not officially recognized by the people. The term anarchy comes from the ancient Greek word anarchos, which means without authority; this denotes the absence of a settled government or the rule of law. We usually associate ideas like violence, restlessness, chaos, lawlessness, and social collapse with anarchy. Afghanistan’s current condition under the Taliban can be described as an anarchy.
In the present day, anarchy can also refer to any community temporarily or permanently not under the system of governmental control. For instance, President Donald Trump declared areas of Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington to be in a state of anarchy when Black Live movement protestors took control of the areas in the summer of 2020 and sent out federal law enforcement agents to restore order.
According to the philosophy of anarchism, societies can only survive and thrive when they are operating under alternatives to traditional government rule. Although most people currently view anarchy as a negative concept, the original concept of anarchy referred to a peaceful utopian society that combined the best facets of communism and classical liberalism. Furthermore, this society emphasizes individual freedom and equality.
What is Tyranny
Tyranny refers to a state under a cruel and oppressive government. It can also refer to a state under the rule of a tyrant. A tyrant is an absolute ruler who is unconstrained by law. We also use the word tyrant to describe someone who has usurped a legitimate ruler’s sovereignty. Tyrants are often cruel and always try to secure their position by resorting to repressive or brutal means. Moreover, according to the views of Plato and Aristotle, a tyrant is an individual who rules without law, using extreme and brutal methods against his own people and others. Furthermore, as these views indicate, tyranny involves 1) an autocratic form of rule, and 2) rulers have no legal restraint. In addition, we often describe rulers like Henry VIII, Ivan IV, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler as tyrants.
The word tyranny comes from the Greek word tyrannos, which was used to describe an individual who held absolute and personal power within a state, as distinct from a monarch. However, for ancient Greeks, tyrants were not necessarily bad or oppressive rulers.
Difference Between Anarchy and Tyranny
Anarchy is a situation where a government does not exist in a state, or the existing government has no authority over the people, while tyranny refers to a state under a cruel and oppressive government.
In anarchy, there is no officially recognized ruler, but in tyranny, there is an official ruler.
In anarchy, people are free to do whatever they want, whereas in people have very little freedom.
The main difference between anarchy and tyranny is that anarchy is a situation where a government does not exist in a state or the existing government has no authority over the people, while tyranny refers to a state under a cruel and oppressive government.