Power relationship between the ruler and the being ruled
In a totalitarian, authoritarian or dictatorial system, the power relationship is very simple. The ruler has absolute power and owns everything, including power of course. And they act in such a way that power will be theirs forever. This in many instances lead to the wielding of power without any restraint, and abuses are unavoidable. But the rulers have no fear as the ruled are unlikely to do anything, nor can they do anything to the rulers. Unfortunately, history has proven that this is not true as in the case of Saddam Hussein and his family. Also happened in ASEAN countries. But during the reign of these rulers, the ruled will accept whatever that they have to take. It was a defeatist attitude, a hopeless situation. The sheep and the shepherd. The people were owned by the rulers and their lives were meaningless except just to exist, but at the mercy of the rulers. In the western democracy model, the US and Europe, the rulers understand that their power is temporal, transcient. They are elected only for a number of terms. And it is only a matter of time before they become common folks, walking side by side with the people in the market or laughing together in the football stadium. Such rulers tend to be less dismissive and arrogant. For they will fall flat on their face when power is not there. And the people knew the formula. So the people are freer in their thoughts. They speak up when they need to. They need not fear that the rulers will fix them up nicely. And if the rulers do that, they have ways to answer back. Perhaps this is the strength of the western model, when power is not perpetuated as if it will always be there and those who assumed power can do what they want. The probability of abuses is that much lower as all good things will come to an end very rapidly. Where are we? Why did so many people that I talked to, even my friends, all have this undisclosed fear? Didn't they know that the bugger could be his kampong kid or the boy in the next HDB flat, but once in power, he becomes something different, someone to fear? Would they feel the same if they know that the bugger will in a matter of time become being ruled rather than the ruler?