If those at the top of a countries political structure are ruthless and power hungry or weak and incompetent does it really matter whether you live in a democracy or a dictatorship? Of course it does as in a democracy if you perceive your elected leader to be ruthless and power hungry or incompetent and weak, if you don’t like what their policies or disagree with how they impact on you then you can legally express opposition to them, protest against them and also vote against them. Where as in a one party/person state to disagree with the leader or the state you very much risk your own liberty or life.
How do we measure a successful state? If by economic productivity alone then should we all be in factories controlled by the state mass producing products to sell to the rest of the world or rampant free market capitalism with no rules on how to make money or exploit people and places or even state controlled factories with no limits to damaging the natural environment or constraints on impacts to citizens health and wellbeing?
Are citizens merely guinea pigs caught and put into cages, running around on exercise wheels as pets to those in political and/or economic power for their service and amusement? Are young angry men sent to war to die to keep down the population of young angry men and give them something to do whilst giving the deaths meaning at the sacrificial alter of the righteous state at the expense of the right to life of said young men.
A strong and vibrant political ecosystem should be a balance of enabling the potential and practical achievement of the greatest good, determined by the greatest number and extended to the largest amount of people within the boundaries’ of what is fare and justified to do and how people are entitled to live according to what a citizens human rights are or should be aspired to be. A fare system is not one that spends beyond its means in order to provide everything to everyone, but one that legislates and governs within its means in order to ensure those that it serves are served as best as they can be. This might be on the local level of a town ensuring that we live in safe communities with a roof over our heads and an ability to earn to provide for ourselves. Or at a global level where we have sustainable seas and affordable drinking water, electricity and goods, where we are not at war or starving and can breathe clean air and live in places with healthy natural environments.
No person or state is an island and if you thing you can survive on your own without any state intervention or rules then sooner or later you will run into a brick wall of reality that will stop you from believing you can do everything for yourself or on your own. For example when you become ill how will you get well, who will look after you and pay your health costs? When there is a global pandemic who will help your society live with its impacts or enable you to go about your business again?
The people, places and political structures of the 21st century are diverse and complex but if you choose not to have a say or opinion or not to vote in the power structures that governs you, then all that that happen instead is that some one else takes your vote for you and they probably won’t have your best interest at heart.
Dictators do not merely give greater powers to themselves they steal it from their own citizens. Dictatorship is political theft! So what makes for good government and governance? Well in my eyes it’s a society in which you can and do participate in the political process with a free will and freedom of information and freedom of expresion where you do no harm to others and they do no harm to you.