It seems to me… there is nothing more corrosive of societal cohesion than arbitrary rule. When a double standard exists, no one will follow the law, mores or regulations without the immediate threat of violence. Why follow a rule that only applies to you? Anyone who does would be damaging their self interest so someone else can advance their self interest. Only a fool would do that. Yet when no one follows the laws, we are not safe in our own homes, we cannot conduct business, we cannot safely walk in public, and this necessarily leads to poverty, crime and famine. Obviously, those who favor arbitrary rule expect to be the ones given a free pass, while everyone else is to be punished to the full extent of the law, and more, if they are a member of an unfavored group. Under arbitrary rule, those who make the laws are not subject to them, while those that are subject to the laws have no input in their creation. This is the case around the world today.
People, all people, are self interested. We will go to great lengths to protect our self interest. Moreover, there is not one among us who is not self interested. It is human nature. If we are not self interested we quickly lose everything we have worked for and die of starvation. Nature will not brooch any animal not to be self interested. The lion that refuses to kill starves, the beaver that allows another to take it’s dam becomes homeless, and the ant that wanders into a spider web becomes food. Nature has taught every animal that walks, crawls or flies to be self interested. Arbitrary rule allows some to make laws that others are subject to, which always results in damage to the interests of the subjects, to promote the interests of the elite. It is both a perversion of nature and of morality. Yet the incentive to arbitrary rule is strong. That incentive to arbitrary rule is based on egoistic self interest, while the wise ruler uses self interest rightly understood, as defined by Tocqueville.
The ancient Greeks under the laws of Solon held out the ostracism as the punishment for anyone who merely believed in arbitrary rule. They recognized the corrosive effect of arbitrary rule and would force anyone out of the city state who favored it… especially the rich and powerful. Solon himself, after legislating the ostracism, demanded he be ostracized for a period of time, because he believed himself to have become too powerful to be tolerated in a free society. This arrangement worked for awhile until Pericles exploited the ostracism as a tool to enforce his own arbitrary rule. The lesson here, is that no matter how strongly a people try to protect themselves from arbitrary rule, there will always be some conniver who will think of a way to make him or herself the arbitrary ruler. Once that happens, that civilization will collapse. History is unambiguous about this.
Those who seek arbitrary rule always claim to want equality, and in order to create “equality” they need arbitrary rule. Marxists, socialists and progressives claim to want to force equality of outcomes on society and to do that they need absolute power over the rest of us. Our property, lives and children become subject to the arbitrary whims of the villain who claims to seek equality of outcomes. Even as they write laws they themselves are not subject to, they use state violence to enforce arbitrary rule. When Mao sent the Red Guard house to house taking the food from the people, starving to death tens of millions of human beings, he ate like a king. Which is highlighted by the fact Mao was fat during the famine he created. Even as people who had grown that food from the sweat of their brow had it taken, the elite who did nothing, ate well. The rules are for the little people, not the elite.
Today in the US, congressmen and women are not subject to the laws they force on the rest of us, in Europe the unelected elite live in gated communities protected with armed guards, as they demand the people accept rape, terrorism and murder as the price of tolerance, and in China the cryptomarxists have installed a dictator for life, Xi. Africa has wallowed in abject poverty due to their long term embrace of arbitrary rule, and South America will never be anything but poverty ridden, until they shun arbitrary rule. There is not one continent on the planet where arbitrary rule is not the norm. The West is still riding the momentum of the industrial revolution and the Enlightenment, even as we reject them both for the fantasy of equality of outcomes, enforced by arbitrary rule. Unless we reject arbitrary rule, the world over, our prosperity will be at great risk, and our self interest will be undermined. Like the lion that refuses to kill, the beaver that gives up it’s dam and the ant that steps into the spider’s web, we will have destroyed our self interest for the egoistic interest of the elite.