I have a debate which is about this: "When a man turns tyrant it is his own freedom he destroys." I am against this.
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I don't agree with the first post. Stalin died of natural causes while in power. Saddam Hussein would have been fine had it not been for the United States. Mao Zedong died in power. So did Kim Il Sung. Ferdinand Marcos was run out of the Philippines but lived in luxury in Hawaii.
I agree that dictators are typically hated and need to have a lot of security and all of that which limits their freedom. But so do elected American presidents. Dictators surely have more freedom of action -- the ability to do essentially whatever they want -- than powerful people in democracies do.
I think that this quote is wishful thinking. It appeals to our sense of justice because it makes us think that dictators have terrible lives. But I would argue that this is not necessarily the case.
This is a bit hard to defend because history shows that not a single tyrant that has ever lived has been able to enjoy a life of freedom. Think about Napoleon, Hitler, Arafat, Pinochet, Hussein, Stalin, Nero, Caligula, and many other tyrants. Then, think how they ended their lives: Committing suicide, escaping, getting killed, or being ridiculed and condemned by the same society that they tried to control.
However, if you still want to counter-argue that, you may want to focus on the lives of tyrants while they are at the height of their popularity, without including how their power ended.
You could argue that all leaders come to power because people want them in power. This is also because they tell the people exactly what they need to hear. Therefore, they give the masses a much needed sense of power and pride. That is what Hitler did with the Germans, what Napoleon did with the French, what Castro did with the Cubans, and so forth.
Hence, it is arguable that these leaders do appeal to the needs and senses of the people during the time that they are trying to get to power.
In turn, people develop a sense of love and commitment toward their leaders because they feel that they have finally been heard. Moreover, these same followers could actually be willing to support their leaders to the point of sacrificing their own lives--all because these leaders gave them a sense of importance for the first time in their lives.
Yet, to be honest, this is still a weak argument. It can help you defend the fact that the love of the people is indicative of an achievement in personal freedom, but that is still debatable.
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