Kings have stable power. Their power is recognized and does not need to be demonstrated. Dictators and democratic leaders on the other hand have unstable power, meaning that if they do not exercise it, they will be replaced by others in the “crab bucket” scrabbling for power.
This sadistic circumstance arises from the nature of equality itself. Without an inherent position in the hierarchy, people are equal blobs of flesh run through the factory assembly-line of meritocracy and then popularity. Nothing is guaranteed, so one must always fight to keep whatever place one has.
That creates a psychology of harming others through the exercise of power. If you have climbed to the top of the mountain, you do not get to rest, but instead must keep beating down those who would rise to take your place.
At the same time, everyone else on the mountain climbs one step higher, then turns and bashes whoever is behind them. Since everyone is equal, all must climb, and this means exercising whatever power they have in order to subvert, mangle, fold, spindle, and mutilate those beneath them.
Power in egalitarian societies takes on a “slaves and masters” feel, per Nietzsche. The slave needs the master, but not as much as the master needs the slave, because a master without slaves is no longer a master. Unless you are whipping your slaves, you do not look like a master and can be replaced.
Unstable power requires constant demonstration and by its nature, this occurs on those beneath oneself, because although hierarchy is officially abolished, rank must occur in order to have bureaucratic management structures and military command structures.
Since people have nothing but their jobs, their homes, possessions, credentials, and bank accounts to speak toward their value, people hoard those. The good jobs are maintained by those who can hold onto them by constantly sacrificing others.
Education teaches this early on. No matter how mediocre the class, only a certain number get the top grades, so students are competing against others more than against themselves. The most obedient win; if the class is full of geniuses, many get slighted, and if it is full of morons, the curve promotes some.
Democracy makes cruelty in its leaders. In order to show they are in power, they must be seen beating someone else down. Infighting provides the only way to keep the power structure functional. They must delight in shattering the dreams of others and stealing whatever they can.
Similarly, the people in a democracy become cruel. They fear losing what they have, so they smite anyone else they can, while slavishly worshiping credentials, money, and power because they want more. Only at the top of the heap, they reason, will they be safe.
Almost everyone working for government is involved in this practice. With unstable power, control is required; “control” refers to limiting the methods that people can use in order to induce a state of compliance. Control requires cruelty to maintain control, which requires sacrificial victims.
Ironically, the more humans “progress” the more they revert to their ancestral roots. We have a few alpha apes who have made it to the top of the hierarchy, and they keep this position by beating down contenders to their desks, all while insisting that they do this in our best interests for the security.