Drawing support from the great masses of the people, a popular politician needs to be continually in the public eye. One of the ways that he does this is by passing legislation, implementing projects, and making speeches about this thing and that thing.
Under monarchy and other forms of private government, the sovereign and his agents are also omnipresent — but there is no illusion that he’s a public servant. The people serve the sovereign rather than the other way around.
In practice, people even under popular government do serve elected officials. The projects that politicians work on tend to be either wasteful or re-distributive. But the spectacle that they need to maintain their support requires that they be always introducing something new and creating a mythology around the policy. For example, the governor of New York — the latest member of the Cuomo clan — is trying to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15/hour.
The minimum wage is an interesting case of a policy that has relatively little support among economists, but near universal support among non-economist textbook writers. The logical argument against the minimum wage is airtight, but the sophistic argument for the minimum wage is very persuasive. Under democracy, sophistic arguments for projects will almost always defeat logical arguments against those projects.
When the better course of action is to do nothing, people reigning over a popular government will almost never take that option. Inactivity would take them out of the public eye, and give an opportunity to other ambitious people within the political system to displace them. Bad law piles upon bad law while useless public projects pile up to flatter the reputations of demagogues and faceless state bureaucracies.
Reversals of failed policies also provide some essential push and pull within the system. It’s often possible to win popularity with the mob by reversing policies that never should have been implemented int he first place. This makes it much more difficult for the civilization to accumulate the trappings of a long-lived culture — popular government tends to construct ramshackle buildings which look impressive in the first years, but then rapidly decays afterward.
As the Revolution ages, many of its old policies, much like its physical representations on Earth, need new coats of paint and renovations to maintain the pretense that this time, they’ll get it right. The failures of public education transform into new redemptive pushes through new slogans and testing regimes along with new infusions of treasure. The opposition gins up enthusiasm by resisting the new push while rarely questioning the larger systemic failure. The Revolution finds nothing to revolt against except itself, and in the process, it lays waste to everything around it.
While older forms of government have their faults, what they don’t entirely rest on is ginning up popular enthusiasm in perpetuity. The public venerates the king for being more than they venerate him for doing. He can also expect to suffer from mistakes — namely, that he’ll be deposed by a foreign potentate, his own aristocracy, or a member of his own family. He carries downside risk, which makes him relatively less cautious and ambitious to change the fundamental nature of mankind. Kings never believed that they could end war or poverty in the way that presidents have. Their concerns were, at once, more worldly and more spiritual at the same time.