The most frightening aspect of tyranny is how easily and quickly it can be established. Consider a small-scale tyranny, a hostage situation. Two or three guys with guns can easily hold hundred people hostage. In a similar way, most dictatorships only need to imprison or execute a small percentage of the population in order to wipe out all opposition. North Korea has about 200,000 political prisoners, which works out to less than 1% of the population. That figure is similar for the USSR under Stalin and Germany under Hitler. Most people who live in dictatorships face little hardship as long as they obey.
“The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it”