In George Orwell's 1984, the primary justification for the Police State is a fabricated never-ending global conflict. War is the enemy of Freedom and Liberty. It was once said that Democracies don't start wars. I believe that the adage still holds true today. This leads me to conclude that we no longer live in a Representative Democracy.
Democracy literally means "rule of the people". Most people think of ancient Greece as the source of Democracy. In ancient Greece their was no National government, only local ones called "City-States". These city states formed a loose confederacy that would come together during times of National crisis. They also fought each other at times. The failure of this confederacy was one of the major arguments used in support of the US Constitution.
Athens was the bastion of ancient Democracy:
"All citizens were eligible to speak and vote in the Assembly, which set the laws of the city-state. However, the Athenian citizenship was only for males born from a father who was citizen and who had been doing their "military service" between 18 and 20 years old; this excluded women, slaves, foreigners (metoikos) and males under 20 years old. Of the 250,000 inhabitants only some 30,000 on average were citizens. Of those 30,000 perhaps 5,000 might regularly attend one or more meetings of the popular Assembly. Most of the officers and magistrates of Athenian government were allotted; only the generals (strategoi) and a few other officers were elected." (source)
Some would argue that Athens was not a pure democracy, because of the requirements to vote. I would argue that 30,000 citizens making decisions is far more Democratic than 1 Commander in Chief. Anyway, because of moral decay, Athens eventually crumbled. Next came the Romans:
"The Roman Republic was governed by a largely complex constitution, which centered on the principles of a separation of powers and comprised a host of checks and balances. The evolution of the constitution was heavily influenced by the struggle between the aristocracy and the other prominent Romans who were not from the nobility. Early in its history, the republic was controlled by an aristocracy, the patricians, who could trace their ancestry back to the early history of the kingdom. Over time, the laws that allowed these individuals to dominate the government were repealed, and the result was the emergence of a new aristocracy which depended on the structure of society, rather than the law, to maintain its dominance." (source)
The operative word is Checks and Balances. The aristocrats were sick and tired of the corruption within the monarchy. The Senate was their creation. Next came the Assemblies:
"It was the People of Rome - and thus the assemblies - who had the final say regarding the election of magistrates, the enactment of new laws, the carrying out of capital punishment, the declaration of war and peace, and the creation (or dissolution) of alliances. There were two types of legislative assemblies. The first was the comitia ("committees"), which were assemblies of all citizens. The second was the concilia ("councils"), which were assemblies of specific groups of citizens. (Ibid)
The Executive Branch of government was run by the highest ranking magistrate or Consul:
"The consul of the Roman Republic was the highest ranking ordinary magistrate. Consuls had supreme power in both civil and military matters. While in the city of Rome, the consuls were the head of the Roman government. They would preside over the senate and the assemblies. While abroad, each consul would command an army. His authority abroad would be nearly absolute."
Then, along came Sulla:
After victorious leadership in the Social War (90–88 bc), waged against the Romans by their northern Italian allies in an attempt to gain more Roman rights, Sulla was made consul. In this position, he had the authority to wage war against Mithradates VI, king of Pontus. Marius, then the leader of the Populares (commoners’ party) and Sulla’s bitter enemy, attempted to deprive him of his command, and civil war ensued. After the overthrow of the Marian party and the flight of Marius, Sulla departed for Asia Minor, where he defeated Mithradates by 83 bc. Returning to Rome, he attempted to crush the powerful Marian party. He had himself appointed dictator (82–79 bc), assuming the name Felix (“happy”), and condemned to death or exile most of those who had been Marian supporters. (source)
Note that Sulla used his dictatorial powers to murder all of his political opponents. This is what dictators do best. Dissent is an important ingredient in Democracy. The right to disagree is protected by our Constitution. The problem is, that it is not enforced by our politicians.
Dissent is important for all progress, economic, political and technological. Case in point: Russia turned out zero (nada) new inventions during its Soviet dictatorship era. Why? Because they were a threat to someone in the establishment. The same can be said for Communist China. At least the Chinese were smart enough to permit some freedom in Hong Kong and other economic districts.
People brag about NAZI ingenuity. I would argue that most of their technology was stolen from the West and modified for their own purposes. Remember, we were driving Fords and Oldsmobiles and they were driving "Beetles" (the people's car).
Of course, all of this has something to do with people being permitted to enjoy the rewards of their labor, the profit motive as it were. However, I believe that the true geniuses were more driven by their dreams of a better world. In America, they had the right to dream and create without the fear of oppression or retribution (with the exception of Tesla of course. His "free" energy was too big a threat to our establishment). Undoubtedly some technology has been suppressed in the West, but we are a whole lot better off than Communist Russia ever was.
You see, you cannot have a Dictatorship and a "Free Marketplace". Without the Constitutional protections afforded to our people, we would still be driving horses and burning coal. Take away our Liberty and you destroy any hope of progress. Dreams yet unborn will die in the Gulags and the forced labor camps.
I quote the following from Thomas Paine's' revolutionary pamphlet, "Common Sense":
"SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher." (source)
Society is created to help us meet our wants and needs Liberty to do so. Take away a society's freedom and you take away the ability of its members to meet its needs and wants. Dictatorships always cause scarcity, if for no other reason than their unsatiated greed and perpetual wars. We create them because all men are not honorable and we expect our governments to keep them so. The problem exists when dishonorable men take the reigns of government.
"Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others." (Ibid)
Paine points out that we are more miserable with an evil government than we would be without any government at all. He also explains that we rely on governments to provide security to us, and that we should seek the least expensive government to do the job. Our problem today is that we have a government that threatens our security through reckless financial policies, excessive taxation, wars of aggression and unpaid foreign debts.
Our government threatens our collective security by promoting the harassment, bankruptcy, intimidation imprisonment and even murder of political dissidents that challenge its policies with words and not force.