In fictional or real worlds, anytime a governing body has absolute rule, innocents suffer and die. The more innocents suffering and dying, the worse a civilization you have.
In fact, that is the true measure of a moral government and/or civilization. Do they see the deaths of innocents as a “necessary evil” to bring about change? Do they kill others in order to bring about some “higher purpose?” Heck, are they allowing people to die/killing them for no higher reason at all?
I just read “Trial of Intentions” where a governing group, in its efforts to increase intelligence, morality, etc. in people, tries to drive out old superstitious traditions, even to the point of bloodshed. They claim to be going for the greater good, but are willing to target a group of sorcerers because they think the sorcerers’ version of helping the people is outdated. They ignore the fact that the sorcerers have good intentions and do a lot of good, such as healing the sick.
In a world full of contention about the proper method of government, I think the finest test is to ask “How much are innocent or well-meaning people suffering in this culture?” When you look at the state of the poor, the weak, and the selfless, how are they treated? Are they helped? Protected? Ignored? Abused? Mistreated? Left to die? Killed?
Whatever highbrow philosophy the leaders spew, if they are murdering or abusing innocent or well-meaning men, women, children, then they fail the test.
Words alone won’t show you the heart’s intent. Actions will.
Use this as a little north-star when trying to ponder the proper kind of government or the value of a society, in real life or in fiction.
The less the governing body fears or has to answer to the common people, the more they are likely to abuse the innocent. The more they are likely to be a bad government. The voice of the people must be heard, and followed. Sometimes, the common people want what’s wrong. If that’s the case, then that civilization is doomed to self-destruction.