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This is the problem with unregulated power. If you do stuff like this judge does and have good judgement the outcome can be very positive. But it can also go horribly wrong if done by the wrong person with the wrong motivation. Same could be said for dictators. A well run dictatorship can probably be managed better than a democracy but it can also go very wrong if power gets into the wrong hands.

That’s why in the end we are in the long run probably better off with a set of rules that make sure that things are predictable and the same for all people.




> A well run dictatorship can probably be managed better than a democracy

See the Five Good Emperors for examples of this[1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerva%E2%80%93Antonine_dynasty...


Autocratic apologists? In my hacker news?

From the article you linked:

> The rulers commonly known as the "Five Good Emperors" were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius.[4] The term was coined based on what the political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli wrote in his book, The Discourses on Livy

Machiavelli isn't really a great foundational source for modern government.

Further:

> The concept of "The Five Good Emperors" reflects the internal Roman point of view. [...] It is, however, not necessarily the point of view of provincials and of Rome's neighbors – particularly, of those targeted by one or more of these emperors in a war of conquest or in the suppression of a revolt."

It very much depends on one's point of view, and if you happen to be the right type of citizen to fall on the right sight of autocratic rule.

Don't defend tyranny.


On the flip side, try being a minority in, say, the USA in 1950.

The opposite of tyranny is not democracy. That's why the US Constitution has a Bill of Rights (which, despite its efforts, was still a massive failure for millions of Americans for over century).

It very much depends on one's point of view, if you happen to be the right type of citizen to fall on the right sight of democratic rule.


All governments are oppressive to _someone_. Israel looks oppressive to the Palestinians, and yet it's democratic. I don't see how the Roman Empire under Marcus Aurelius was any more tyrannical.

Autocracy != tyranny.

Anyway, I merely linked examples of good leaders. It's weird to view a historical factual observation as a kind of defence of/desire for that political structure. The context in the Roman Empire was totally different from the world as it is today, of course I'd prefer democracy.


His rulings are not unregulated and nor even remotely dictatorial! Read the article please, he gives them the choice between the "regular" days in jail and the other stuff.

Apart from that: one size fits all rules are exactly the problem. You can NEVER define a set of rules that are even close to being a good model for justice.

People should focus on people instead of code and aim to only put people like the judge in the article in positions of power and decision. An twisted person can twist any law into doing evil.


>This is the problem with unregulated power.

He's a judge. He gets elected. His power is regulated by his constituents. According to the article, this judge has continually been elected since 1996.


I am not saying he is a bad guy. But I can easily see a judge handing out inhumane treatment and get re-elected repeatedly.


> He's a judge. He gets elected.

I kinda find that more horrifying, really. It introduces a whole bunch of perverse incentives to the system. (Doubly so in the localities that don't require any legal experience, degree, or certification to be elected as a judge.)




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