Potemkin wrote:And if we're taking Rome as an example, then I think it's worth pointing out that Rome was a (limited) democracy for almost half a millennium, about as long as it was an autocratic Empire. And, furthermore, there was more regulation of the economy and of Roman civil society under the Caesars than there had ever been under the senators. Domitian even ordered that every citizen must enter the trade or profession of his father. That sort of puts 'onerous' regulations about window sills into perspective, don't it? Lol.
I would not make a 1-to-1 correlation between caesars and monarchy. There was a Roman Monarchy prior to the rise of a representative government in Rome. The end of the Roman Monarchy was revolutionary and resulted in the Senate which lasted until it collapsed under its own weight resulting in the rise of the Caesars.
So the whole "sils" conversation would more apply to the regulatory practices of the Roman monarchy at the time King Superbus and preceding when it comes to modern-to-ancient times comparisons. The Caesars, as a species, are closer to that of modern dictators that arise out of representative governments rather than the monarchs that tend to precede them.
The rise of monarchs is natural and tends to arise out of primitive states (usually tribal confederations). Representative governments arise out of monarchies, usually by the demands of a landed gentry or an angry general populace, and dictators/caesars arise out of representative governments in light of their inefficiency in times of crisis. Dictators, as was argued over-and-over again in this thread, take the reigns of the bureaucratic networks and regulatory systems established originally by the representative governments and then usually expand upon them.
This is why, as was argued, monarchies are not as intrusive as dictators, because monarchs precede democracies, democracies expand bureaucracy and regulation, and dictators take over these established systems and laws and further expand upon them.
Hence, on a spectrum, the most totalitarian is the dictator and the least is the king, the representative government is a transitional in this; however, monarchies and dictatorships, though being opposite in their totalitarian
character are typically the same in their authoritarian
character, with such being diffused in representative systems.
Thus, the Roman example serves to prove my point, not contradict it.
“The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice.”
“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”
- G. K. Chesterton