The Many Faces Of Tyranny

Across the world, we witness both the struggle for democracy and the strength of tyrannical regimes. Whether it is in Syria, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, or the threat from ISIS in Iraq, it seems democracy and tyranny are in a dead heat.

So how should the United States and its allies respond? And, what lessons from history should we learn from?

Waller Newell is the Black Mountain Institute fellow in Humanistic Studies. He is also author of the book “Tyranny: a New Interpretation.”

Newell told KNPR's State of Nevada the idea for his book "came out of our experience in 1989 when we were told we had reached the end of history  ... that the conflict between the super powers, American and the USSR, and that we are now entering a period of the unstoppable spread of liberal democracies around the world."

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But, Newell said since the "so-called end of history" the world has become even more divided, even more driven by sectarian violence and "tyranny has made a roaring comeback."

"Both in the form of (President Vladamir) Putin in Russia, of course jihadist terrorism, and the Arab Spring," Newell said. "So all in all, it seems to me that the promise of the end of history was vastly premature."

Heller will deliver his lecture Thursday night titled "The Three Faces of Tyranny: Why Democracy Isn’t Always Possible" at UNLV’s Barrick Museum.


Waller R Newell, fellow, Black Mountain Institute

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