The Definition of tyranny in its classical interpretation is equivalent to despotism, but with the passage of time with its misapplication it has lost part of its meaning and with the appearance of the concept of “totalitarianism” it was applied equally to different types of government opposed or simply to the ideological enemy.
For a government to be tyrannical it has to have at least four fundamental features: arbitrariness (the exercise of power is not regulated, but obeys the will of the rulers, a situation of helplessness and uncertainty occurs), imposition (the rulers they are afraid of the governed and the governed of the rulers, there is no legitimation of power),
Etymologically the tyranny designates the command of a minority over a majority with the existence of an unlimited power not regulated by the laws, although not only that characterizes them, the dictatorships and autocracies also share this feature but with some nuance, in authoritarianism the ruler is subject to the laws until you decide to change them.
Tyranny is also characterized as the “antipolitical government”.
Tyranny is not a political regime but a political situation, it corrupts the political because it implies direct domination over the governed, it is a disorder where force dominates, it is also a government for the benefit of the tyrant and his environment.
The Right to Rebellion
“When the government violates the rights of the people the insurrection is for the people and for each portion of the people, the most sacred of their rights and the most indispensable of their duties” Declaration of the rights of man and citizen
The right of rebellion is a right recognized to the people against the illegitimate ruler, the Greeks and the Romans rejected the tyrannical government but limited themselves to avoid it through a mixed form of government, during the middle ages it is when the right to the resistance, under the name of tyrannicide, in that contractual society the legitimate thing was the legal thing, when it stops taking the Right as the just thing is when the separation between legality and legitimacy takes place, since the idea of justice that has the power.
The political can be very different from the one the people have, but it only acquires legal character when it is imposed. The process of resistance was arbitrated by the Pope or the Emperor.
The first authors who were charged with theorizing about tyrannicide were Juan de Salisbury and Santo Tomas de Aquino. It was distinguished between two types of tyranny: Ex defectu titutli (when the ruler was a usurper without a title for it) and A regime (unfair exercise of power, abuse of authority). In the first case it is a political tyranny and in the second it is a difference between legal and fair.
Juan de Mariana established the conditions for tyrannicide: first the tyrant was warned to change his behavior, then he was admonished, then the insubordination was legitimized, and finally, it is justified to kill the tyrant in self-defense.
In the modern age the State appeared with the pretension of being an impartial body that arbitrated the disputes of the society, this ended with the right to resistance and tyrannicide. The difficulty was that the resistance would have to be exercised against the same State that presented itself as impersonal.
In the contemporary era with the recognition of popular sovereignty and constitutionalism the problem of distinguishing tyrannical laws arose, since the constitution was a guarantee against absolutist governments, but it could still be the case that tyrannical laws were produced, according to Jaime Balmes were those that were contrary to the common good, were not for the common good, that grant privileges, that exceed the powers of the legislator and that do not conform to the established procedures according to the constitution.
During the contemporary age, the right to rebellion took on a social character and was developed above all by the labor movement and the theorists of socialism.