Aristotle perceptively noted something quite interesting about political science: he classified democracy as the deviant form of a polity (both grouped under "many rulers").
Tyranny is the deviant form of kingship (one ruler), and oligarchy is the deviant form of aristocracy (few rulers).
This country was founded as a mixture of all three of the good ones: the one, the few, the many. Now it's heading toward dictatorship (it's not going to be the current buffoon in office, by the way), we already have a oligarchy (State and Corporation, which is how Mussolini defined fascism), and we've been a democracy for quite a while. So, right now, we are in pretty sorry shape.
What all three of the bad forms have in common is the expansion of the State, and right now the State is huge. Bizarrely, many people think a big State is a good thing, sort of a combination of Mommy and Daddy.
The State may fool the many, but not the few. (I am reminded of an observation by Plato, Socrates and Jesus: all tyrants call themselves benefactors.)
One major difference between the good and the bad is the sense of noblesse oblige. Dictators, oligarchs don't have it. Neither does it exist in democracy.
Under the mature forms of political rule it does exist.
The State is a kind of horror. It's a parasite, a vampire: it sucks the lifeblood out of people, and ultimately kills them - along with itself. It fits the archetype of the horror story: evil attacking good, chaos attacking order.
I recently saw The Great Gatsby and Elysium, and was struck by the fact that in both of the rich and politically connected had no sense of noblesse oblige. None whatsoever.
The lack is worse in Elysium, in which the rich and powerful don't share anything (including cures for all diseases), or have any sense of fairness, or any compassion for those less fortunate than them. Of course, they get overthrown.
The rich and powerful had no sense of justice. Aristocrats do. Oligarchs do not.
What we are heading into right now is what is predicted by Elysium: a small minority of the super-rich living in gated, armed communities, a very small, virtually non-existent middle class and everyone else poverty-stricken.
That's one scenario. The other scenario is because of the leaps and bounds in science and technology everything gets better and better.
And what it truly bizarre is that both are happening at the same time. One the one hand we have aristocrats trying to make our lives better and the oligarchs trying to make them worse. It's the eternal fight between freedom and slavery, between the bug killers and the bugs.