Without falling into the definitions debate, here is what I found on dictionary.msn.com:
- politics tyrant: a leader who rules a country with absolute power, usually by force
Look at this one (same site):
- history temporary Roman ruler: in ancient Rome, a temporary appointed leader with absolute power to deal with a crisis or an emergency
Things sure change with time.
As for politics, democracy (USA) is the closest thing to freedom of choice for now. The ultimate (for me) would be democracy + free entreprise + no government interfering in economics (no subsidies and laws that keep out real-market competition). A geniocracy (ruled by science) or meritocracy would be excellent too.
Don’t worry about alternatives (socialist, communist,etc.) though. Human nature and history guarantees that you’ll always have groups who can’t hack it getting together (misery loves company) and (worse even), like battered women, WANT to be lead and/or dictated. You take what you want.