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charismatic leaders

In my opinion, there are good leaders that stand for good causes and do everything in their power to have a movement that involves the greater good. Good leaders are the ones who ask the public for their opinions and does their absolute best to satisfy their needs/wants. A bad leader is someone who does things for their own satisfactory needs. They are usually people who, during the election, would lie to the public and tell them what they want to hear and what would get them into office. There are a lot of good and bad of things that all presidents obtain but the best leader are the ones who the overall good feels good about getting behind their movement. 

In the article, the idea that leaders who are intimidating and have a scary appearance are not extremely liked. This is the case because, as we discussed in the last class, a charismatic leader who is attractive are liked more and have a higher chance of people getting behind their movement. Most likely, if a leader is a charismatic caring individual, more likely than not, the leader will do more for the greater good. 

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Richard III

Richard III is a perfect person to tie together what we have been talking about in class which is leadership and tyranny. He made his way to the throne by using toxic charisma and this shows the bad type of charisma. Bezio compares Donald Trump to Richard III. Trump is a modern day Richard III. He is in the way of how he used toxic charisma to get the the “throne”, or presidency, minus the murders of course. Richard III was an actual tyrant while Trump only shows characteristics of one and can’t be truly named one.

Personally I could always see how Trump used Toxic charisma to gain supporters even before he was elected. However, it was interesting to see how Richard III could gain supporters while being such an evil tyrant. As humans in the past and in the present day you would think we would see the signs of a sort of tyrannic leader and wouldn’t let the gain power, but as we can see one case from the past (Richard III), and one case from the present (Trump), we continue to let these people who use toxic charisma to gain power.

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Richard III

I think that what we have been discussing recently in class involving tyrannicide and toxic charismatic leadership correlates well with Richard III. In the film, we can see how an individual can go to extremes to arrive at power. In this case, Richard goes to the extent of many murders in order to gain the power he desires. Throughout the movie, we see a display of toxic charisma by Richard as he manipulates those around him in order to justify the killings of his own family members, members of Queen Elizabeth’s family, and Queen Margaret’s family. With these unethical actions, I can conclude that Richard could be considered a tyrant due to the fact that he is doing all of this for his own personal gain.

Something that was really interesting to me were the parallels drawn in Dr. Bezio’s “Crooked Politics” between Richard and President Trump. In each scene, Dr.Bezio is able to connect a part of the film with an involvement with Trump. For example, a community of women band together to try to prevent Richard from reaching the thrown. Similarly, women began to come forward and blame Trump of sexual assault. Furthermore, it is also astonishing how the events in the movie line up with the events in Trump’s path to presidency chronologically. Overall, the connections between “Crooked Politics” and Richard III were very fascinating and they furthered my understanding of what a tyrant can be considered.

 

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Richard III–Donald Trump

Throughout the entirety of Bezio’s piece she demonstrates the historical value within “cultural media artifacts” as she makes parallels to both the political and socio economic behaviors in Shakespeare’s play and present day America. One of the most interesting parallels made in the article is about the presence of feminism as a political factor, usually being combated by a toxic charismatic male leader. In the piece she compares the 2016 election of Trump v Clinton and the relationship between Elizabeth and Richard III, which I thought was a very interesting connection considering the differences in time periods and settings. The best way to understand the comparison, for me at least, was with the analyzation of the quote she included by Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt. He described Richard as someone who thinks he can

“…grab from any woman anything he wants, however much she might resist… ‘Relenting fool. And shallow changing woman!’”

Instantly my mind was taken back to the extremely problematic interview of Trump where he says the infamous quote “Grab her by the pussy”. With the inclusion of the quote by Greenblatt the comparison between the two men become even more clear–two toxic charismatic male leaders that encourage the disavowment of female agency. Later in the article Bezio draws comparisons between Elizabeth and Hillary Clinton as both women that compete with the men despite their vicious attacks, Richard claiming Elizabeth a witch and Trump claiming Clinton a liar/fraud. The demonstration of both women as powerful and fearless leaders in a system renowned for patriarchal behavior, especially in the midst of such behavior, is a significant parallel made and allows me to question what it suggests for women politicians in the future.

 

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Richard III response

I thought that the interaction between Richard III and what we have been learning in class was really interesting. It’s fascinating that what Shakespeare wrote about so long is still valid. The idea of charismatic leadership and toxic charisma is something that impacted life to the extent that there were plays about it and it is still relevant today. Throughout the different class periods, we have learned about the impacts of toxic charisma and tyranny. I would classify Richard III as having toxic charisma and being a tyrant. He was able to fool people into following him with promises of a better life and land. Basically he was manipulating his right-hand man by telling him that he was gonna get land if he helped Richard. His right hand man never ended up getting the land he was promised.

I believe that he is a tyrant because he used his toxic charisma to gain a place of power. He is also willing to do anything in his power to get that crown. He killed so many people both directly and by influencing other people to do it. He only has regard for himself and his goals which is one of the clear requirements for being a tyrant. He is a clear narcissist who only cares about reaching his goals and doesnt care who he hurts to get there.

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Richard III & Bezio

Within the first 15 minutes of the movie Richard III, I was already interested and confused. I thought it was interesting, just as Bezio said, that Shakespeare chose to focus on Richard and how clear he portrayed his evil tendencies. I also found how heartless and Richard’s inconsideration for others bazar. I could not believe that he would visit the wife of the man he just murdered and ask for her heart so soon. We talked about charisma in class and it was interesting to see how Richard used his charisma to try to win over this woman even while she was in grief.

Bezio compares Richard III to Donald Trump by explaining how toxic charisma affected us 400 years ago and continues to affect us today. Bezio provides numerous examples to show how these two people correlate. I remember talking about this in class as well and someone asked if we could consider Donald Trump a Tyrant but we came to the conclusion that he had tendencies but was not an actual tyrant. However, we also said a tyrant is a toxic charismatic and Bezio argues that Trump is one too, so can we consider him a Tyrant under those terms?

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Crooked Hillary … or Crooked Politics??

I definitely agree with everything stated in the “Crooked Politics” by Bezio. It proves the theory that there is truly “nothing new under the sun”. The amount of parallels between Shakespear’s storyline and Trump’s behavior since the 2016 election is astonishing. Not only did he use the exact same tactics as Richard III but it links very closely to our idea of Tyranny. Richard the III became a medieval tyrant of sorts degrading other people as his tactic to get into office and through his reign. It is sad to me that we are not past the point of accepting this sort of behavior from our leader in the era of innovation or cultivation that we are currently in.

In the article, Bezio highlighted how both Richard III and Trump played on the fears of others to make their way into office. This links strongly to the idea of Charisma, importantly, the way that we discussed it in class. Charisma has nothing to do with qualification, care, or authenticity. Instead, it has everything to do with what a person can say and who they can convince. Nothing is rooted in truth or transparency. This is what allowed both Trump and Richard III to refuse to answer to those who are in office as a form of Checks and Balances (Congress).

I appreciate the tone of optimism used at the end of the article. However, if we as a culture keep allowing charisma to overshadow quality and honesty, then we will remain in the cycle of leaders who do in fact abuse their power. We will be stuck with leaders who are held accountable to no one and who feel free to say anything to anyone no matter how degrading. The main difference between the Richard III era and the one that we are currently living in is that back then there were enough people who saw Richard’s actions and were repulsed.

I fear that now the country is too immune to the actions of Trump to be as repulsed as it would take to replace him. In other words, no one supports his actions, however, they may vote for him again due to party affiliation despite everything that Trump has done that people may personally disagree with.

However, since apparently we are currently living in a play- I do hope that Bezio is right and that our story will end similarly to what Shakespeare intended.

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Richard vs Donald Debacle

Much of what occurred in the 16th century London strangely mirrors what occurs in the 21st century U.S., particularly in terms of politics, government, and its stability.

In the essay, Bezio specifies Richard’s role as the “Scourge of God” to “cleanse England of corruption through his own villainy in order to prepare the nation for the rise of the Tudors”. After reading this statement, I immediately thought of the elaborate discussion from today’s class on how to distinguish tyranny from terrorism. Defining terrorism is a way less complex process than defining tyranny. The concept of tyranny that the class collectively understood and agreed upon involves abuse of [total] power for personal gain without any regard to the common good. According to this understanding, Richard’s role as the “Scourge of God” would be considered dictatorial rather than tyrannical due to him being of service to the public. Yet, here lies the question of divine right under tyranny: is it a contradiction? If a ruler claims power to serve God and not himself while being cruel, is he a tyrant?

I understand where Bezio was coming from when she wrote that we fell victim to Trump’s toxic charisma like the people of medieval times fell to Richard. However, Richard’s toxic charisma was not used on as broad of a scale as Trump’s was (and still is). Trump’s toxicity had been spread virtually all over the world because surely news and disapproval of his presidency did spread beyond U.S. borders. I feel that some Americans applauded him willingly for his toxicity because they agreed with it on the basis of historically-ingrained hate. It would not be fair to say that all of America fell victim to Trump’s toxic charisma because some Americans were fans of his it, and all of America had been fairly warned of it during the time of his campaign in 2016.

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Crooked Politics

After reading Dr. Bezio’s paper about the similarities between Shakespeare’s Richard III and Donald Trump’s presidency, I was left with a feeling of discomfort. How could two time periods over 400 years apart be so analogous? It was almost scary how Shakespeare’s play, based off of real events, and Trump’s actions lined up so well in terms of a chronological order. It was also really interesting to see how long toxic leadership has been around, and recognized for what it is. Bezio refers to the cliché that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” My first time reading that cliché, I only thought of Trump not learning from the failed history of toxic charismatics. However, second time around I realized that the United States also did not learn from history, as Donald Trump was elected by the people. Did the people not recognize that he was a toxic charismatic due to his manipulative tactics, or did they just not care?

In Bezio’s paper and during our class discussion, we talked about why charismatic leaders can be so supported. Charismatics act as “emotional actors,” meaning that they read their audiences to decide how they should lead. In Bezio’s words, charismatics “confirm what their followers ‘know’ to be true.” In class we talked about how everyone thinks that what they think is right, and if their opinions change, their new opinions are right. Trump was able to gain so much popularity because he figured out what people believed, and fed those thoughts back. I knew that Trump was a toxic charismatic, but I didn’t even realize how many actions he had used to gain support until comparing him to Richard III.

 

 

 

 

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Richard III Blog Post

As I was watching the movie, I was kept wondering whether Richard III qualifies as a tyrant by the definition we’ve been using. The first part of our definition involves his rise to power. Technically he was legally appointed to the position of Lord Protector, but there was only a need for that role after Richard killed his brother and his son was too young to rule independently. Richard then place his nephews in a prison-like tower to allow for his own rise to kingship. While others may support the action of locking away the nephews, Richard disrupts the proper line of succession an increase in his own power.

Last class we discussed that England defines a tyrant by a leader who infringes on the rights of the English People. We know very little about Richard’s interactions with the common people because we see none of those reactions. This is because he is so consumed with his own affairs and increasing his own personal power that we never see him think about his subjects. Richard III is obsessed with personal interest and personal gain throughout the entire movie, seen throughout his numerous murderous actions. Particularly, murdering Buckingham shows his dedication to accumulating personal power. Buckingham was a loyal follower, supporter, and ally for the first half of the movie, but the moment he showed doubts about Richard and his intentions, he is offed. The only time we see anything besides power-hunger from Richard is when he is haunted by the memories of his victims, yet that does not stop him from venturing into battle.

We can discuss whether we believe Richard is a tyrant by perfect definition, but I think we can all agree that he is a negative leader. He never performs the murders himself, but there is no doubt that he ordered them to be conducted. What disturbed me the most was when he had a man hanged and appeared to be admiring the images of his dead body afterwards. It made him appear remarkably unhinged (which he is to be fair).

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Richard “Dick” III

Richard III by Shakespeare as directed Richard Loncraine is highly intriguing. Richard is most definitely a narcissist and tyrant by all the definitions we talked about in class. It was weirdly impressive how his toxic charisma was able to convince so many people to follow him. When Richard’s III mother went off on Richard she seemed to be one of the only ones who noticed he was being so tyrannical. It makes you wonder what the mothers of people like Hitler felt when their children became what they were.

Then in the discussion and deconstruction by Professor Bezio of the characters within in Richard III. The idea that Richard III can equate to Trump was kinda funny to me especially in regards to the Toxic Charisma and Crooked politics. The connection is fairly obvious Trump especially when it regards to how the two conduct themselves in public. They are both charismatic but when you look closer both seem highly narcissistic. And their toxic charisma messes with the natural flow of the countries they govern

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Richard III

I think it’s very easy to see from the outside how Richard was being manipulative, especially because he talked to the camera. Seeing how easy it was for him to trick people into thinking and agreeing with him on whatever he said is scary. (Also how in the world did he convince that girl to marry him in the beginning right next to her dead husband?? I am still shook about that). Including Dr. Bezio’s article, I really liked the point about how women were Richard’s overall downfall because I had not thought of it in that way. The quote from Richard when he talked about being able to murder while smiling and how he smiled as he fell to his death was actually terrifying.

I’d like to say it is easy to prevent bad leaders from gaining power but both Richard and Trump had a way of making enough people believe them and the fact that they were able to do it, and that this tactic stems from such a long time ago makes me more concerned for America than I was already. As I was watching the movie, all I could think about was how these people let him get this far and how disgusting Richard was. Then I read Dr. Bezio’s article and I was appalled by how I had not seen just how manipulative Trump had been to the American people. I knew he had lied and done bad things but seeing how Richard didn’t even care about his actions and then the connection to Richard and Trump, it’s sad to know that someone like those two men had any power given to them at all.

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Richard III

It was very interesting and disturbing to have the comparisons of Donald Trump and the play Richard III by Shakespeare be so real. Throughout reading “Crooked Politics: Shakespeare’s Richard III and Leadership in 21st Century America” by Dr. Bezio I kept thinking back to the day in class when we talked about toxic charismatics. During class Trump did come to mind when thinking of examples of a toxic charismatic, but having all of Trump’s actions spelled out in front of me made me realize how he is not only is a toxic charismatic but that he also has characteristics of a tyrant. It amazes me how Trump can truly manipulate his audience to get people to like him and agree with what he is saying. I found it especially disturbing the comparison to Richard III’s cronies supporting him and praising him to Trumps staff and family, and how some of the public take the support as a cue to support him as well.

It is scary how many comparisons there are between Shakespeare’s play and what is currently occurring in US politics. Yet, I did find that there was a glimmer of hope when discussing how the way to bring Richard III down was through words, and there are opportunities to bring Trump down; weather it be in the 2020 election or through impeachment, people today have a lot more voice in politics, especially with social media. I also have hope for the women of this nation because so many women are getting more involved and have a real opportunity to enact change.

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Richard III

This movie was very interesting to watch after talking about tyrants and personal gain in class. In the movie we see how someones desire for power will propel them to do many unethical things. The movie shows how someone can come into power in a legitimate way, conquest of the throne. After the civil war a new line takes the throne. After the legitimate gain of power Richard III starts showing tyrannical behavior as he becomes greedy for more power and self gain. He becomes a very strong tyrant.

I like how in Dr. Bezio’s paper there is a comparrison of 16th century England to Americas current political climate. It is important to look at these comparisons to see how even centuries later toxic charismatic leaders prevail. It was very interesting me that the patterns shown by toxic charismatic leaders can be compared to past unethical leaders in history to see the potentially bad things a leader can amount to.

This paper taught me to look at history and examine the behavior of leaders before and after they gained power. These studies of historical leaders can be used to compare with present leaders. If behaviors are similar we can use the case studies to project a potential path and course of action the present leader may take.

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Richard 3 Blog Post

This was a very stimulating article that reveals the political patterns of society and human nature. Populism, nativism, and xenophobia are nothing new; toxic charismatics have been using these ideas to fuel political campaigns and their legitimacy to rule since the rise of ancient city-states. I think this will open a very interesting class discussion in regards to the idea of women uniting themselves to bring down the President. Unlike the women who joined forces to plot the demise of Richard III, many women and Democrats in Congress have very different ideas of how to defeat Donald Trump. The famous “AOC + 3” coalition has a very different and more confrontational political approach than older, more experienced and centrist women in government such as Hilary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi (even despite Pelosi and Clinton coming to the defense of AOC +3 on twitter). Trump’s own rise to power has caused a deep schism in both Democrat and Republican parties,  as groups of diverse political ideologies, conservative and liberal, have tried to unite under a common cause of defeating Trump, but have been unable to garner popular support and have even found it difficult to work with each other (great variation of domestic and foreign policies between Clinton, AOC, Pelosi, Sanders, Gillibrand, Harris). I think this has to do with the ways in which women’s roles in government and politics have changed from King Richard’s time and our modern era. Margaret and Elizabeth advocated for a change of the throne and were united behind a one, new, male figurehead. In a new era of politics where women have increasingly larger and more participatory roles in government, we have learned that it can be quite difficult to rally people around an ideology, especially if that ideology is “defeat Donald Trump” but the many different groups supporting that cause have such a wide array of beliefs about policy and social rights.

The article is also relative to the political opinions of readers. While there is no denying the toxic charisma of Trump, there is much to be said about the congresswomen mentioned in the paper, such as whether one believes the attacks in Benghazi were caused by the diffusion of the “Innocence of Muslims” riots or whether the attack was a pre-planned act of terrorism that the State Department was not prepared to handle. Readers’ varying opinions of the Israeli- Palestine conflict will also shape the way they view representatives such as Tlaib and Omar, and whether they believe these characters are similar to the women who brought down Richard III and ushered in the rule of the Tudors. As previously discussed in class, it is frustrating to realize that many concepts are not as concrete as we believe them to be since everything is relative and subject to an individual’s own mind, culture, and upbringing, but these are the realities of the world that must be confronted to facilitate civil discussions about a shift from populism back to democratic leadership.

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Richard III

It was very disturbing to read Crooked Politics and see how many parallels there were between a Shakespearean play written in the 16th century and 21st century American politics. Richard stated that he could “frame [his] face to all occasions,” similar to the way that Donald Trump is “willing to manipulate the needs and desires” of the audience (Bezio, 4-6). Both Richard and Trump used dynamic rhetoric, when they were striving for power, to play off the emotions of the various audiences to manipulate themselves into power. It was very helpful to contextualize Trump’s toxic charisma through Richard III, because regardless of a person’s political affiliation, it’s hard to argue that Richard III was not a toxic charismatic, and therefore Donald Trump as well because of the numerous parallels in their actions.

Another parallel was the disenfranchisement of and mudslinging towards women that took place both in Richard III and from Donald Trump. Despite that, in Richard III, women were still ultimately responsible for the downfall of Richard; potentially, they will be the downfall of Trump as well (Bezio, 15, 17). Regardless of if it is from women, men, minority groups, majority groups, etc, we will hopefully be able to disrupt the toxic charisma of Donald Trump. This can be done by “rejecting anxiety, shoring up democratic processes, selecting new leaders… and embracing diversity” (Bezio, 18). These strategies will be especially important in the upcoming year because there is the chance to elect a better leader.

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Richard III

“Crooked Politics: Shakespeare’s Richard III and Leadership in 21st Century America” by Dr. Bezio is a great way to compare two leaders, Richard III and Trump, from different centuries and show that politics have not changed as much as we thought they have. Although we now have a multitude of technology, from smartphones to smart cars, we are still very much human and can be fooled by the image politicians show us. “Toxic leaders are attractive precisely because they promise those things that followers feel (or fear) are under threat…” (Bezio 5). This is one of the tactics used by Trump in order to gain the alt-right wing Republican votes. With the strong xenophobia surrounding our country, especially after the 9/11 attack and all of the mass shootings occurring, it was easy to tap into that fear of terrorism and use that to his advantage by creating slogans like “Build the wall”.

 

Both Trump and Richard understand that they need to persuade their audience into believing that they are the most reasonable choice for office/throne and are willing to use manipulation in order to get what they want. In an interview before the 2016 elections, Trump stated that “if [he] were to run, [he’d] run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country… [he] could lie and they’d still eat it up”. Trump is very much aware of the ideals of the party he represents thus, is able to manipulate them and use them for his personal gain. Our democracy is an imperfect process and is unable to reflect the true popular vote of our country. According to a couple articles, in 2016 voter turnout was around 60%, which is a little over a half. There are many factors contributing to this like unreasonably long poll lines, with the polls only being open during working hours. Many people are not able to take a break/off day from work to be able to wait in those long lines in order to vote, eliminating a big percent of the population. Until reading this article I was never aware as to how many similarities Trump and Richard shared with one another and it is interesting and a bit scary to think that history could be repeating itself.

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Blog Post 3: Richard III

Dr. Bezio’s paper, “Crooked Politics: Shakespeare’s Richard III and Leadership in 21st Century America,” is one of many examples of toxic leadership traits pervading both medieval and modern leadership. We discuss in class many medieval examples of leadership– whether it be charismatic, toxic charismatic, tyrannical, or any possibility– because there are so many modern-day connections we can make to leaders such as Donald Trump. Although technology and political ideas may have shifted, “We are as likely to fall victim to toxic charisma as were medieval nobles or early modern playgoers,” (Bezio 5) because followers will inherently fall for the same tricks toxic charismatics play to gain acclaim. The comparisons are endless: promising economic stability, division of partisan lines, the objectification of female leaders, lack of political experience, convincing higher-power representatives of candidacy, bigotry, and many more. Although we had discussed medieval leadership as a precursor for modern leadership, I did not realize how blatant the parallel was.

I was also intrigued by Bezio’s speculation that women entering the political sphere today can “save” us. We often hear the quote from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, “Well-behaved women seldom make history,” (Lavoie, The Harvard Gazette); Bezio discusses the “unruly” women present in Richard III use powerful words against Richard to knock him down. Despite his misogyny and accusations of the women’s witchcraft, these women are part of what gets Henry to power. Comparing this medieval literary account to modern-day political implications is important in studying patterns of leadership methods. Women in politics such as Rashida Tlaib and AOC make their cases against Trump through their oratory to be “unruly” against Trump’s main ideologies. It is these women in power– particularly women of color, LGBTQ+ folks, and individuals with intersecting identities– who will help shift the public opinion against a toxic charismatic such as Donald Trump.

 

Anna Marston

Ulrich explains that well-behaved women should make history

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Tyrannicide

Tyrannicide is an interesting topic that I have not thought about too much, solely because we have never seen this in our country’s recent history. The thought of killing an oppressive leader initially strikes me positively but there is one problem: how do we determine who is and who is not a tyrant? Andrade stated in his article, “the moral defense of tyrannicide has the difficulty of specifying who is a tyrant.” However I would think about tyrannicide in a utilitarian way; if the tyrant is nationally disliked I would not see a problem with their assassination.

Andrade later says, “If somehow the tyrant could be removed from power without the shedding of blood, then that option is preferable.” I clearly agree with this statement from a moral stance, but like I said before, the concept of tyrannicide is a slippery slope. The assassination of a tyrant is always questionable, but furthermore, even if a tyrant is killed, there is still no guarantee that a nation will benefit. Overall, I believe that if there is no other way to force an oppressive leader, tyrannicide is justified morally.

 

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Tyrannicide

Reading both articles it dawned on me that the word tyrannicide is rarely used in literature outside of the historical context. From my understanding, this is partly because of the extremely negative connotation it carries, but also because our modern definition of tyrannicide is the same as terror assassination, which somehow has a good connotation. I’m not too sure as to when this change occurred but more importantly, why the change in the time period has led to us viewing murder as a positive thing. In George’s text, he claimed that the individuals who killed tyrants were sacrificing themselves for what they believed was a greater common good. Yet, in the same time period, assassinations were seen as a private good- not for the good of the community. This again begs me to question the usage of the word assassination in contrast to tyrannicide. One is said to be good for everyone while the other is only beneficial for one individual- despite the fact that they are the same thing.

Another interesting part of the reading was Andrade’s point that the idea of killing the tyrant or the person rebelling against the status quo is ingrained into American society. Thinking further about this idea led me to realize that it has a direct correlation to our idea of the hero’s journey and leaders. In order to become a “hero”, it is necessary for one to go out on a journey, pass obstacles and kill those who are in their way (tyrants) in order to be considered heroes. Combatting and killing the enemy is a necessary step to becoming a true hero. It is part of our American ethos and even patriotic to kill those who rebel against what we believe and our government. This political murder is considered a positive thing even though tyrannicide is not.

Lastly, Andrade writes that these choices to kill tyrants for the public good are driven by moral integrity and pure motives (George) yet, it often doesn’t take into consideration the backlash. Tyrannicide leaves room for instability in governments and revenge within the population. This lack of thought about consequences makes it evident that although tyrannicide may be intended for the public good the results, at times, may simply be a private benefit.

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