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Re: Tyranny of the Immediate

Posted by Henry on April 05, 2004

In Reply to: Tyranny of the Immediate posted by Amy on April 05, 2004

: Does anyone know where the phrase, "tyranny of the immediate" originated? I've searched through Google and found it used countless times in different writings, but I'd like to know who originally said it.

I suspect it is derived from an earlier phrase. The tyranny of whatever has become a popular structure. The tyranny of the majority is a possible origin, used in Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, who toured America in 1831.

It was used again in the renowned essay On Liberty written by the English philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) and published in 1859, the year in which Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was published. In this essay Mill also warns of a second danger to liberty, which democracies are prone to, namely, the tyranny of the majority.

It is still remembered today; The Tyranny of the Super-Majority: How Majority Rule Protects Minorities by Anthony J. McGann, University of California, Irvine October 1, 2002

The tyranny of the clock is another common phrase. This was the title of an essay by
George Woodcock published in War Commentary - For Anarchism mid-march 1944.