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The main conflict Brutus undergoes in Julius Caesar is the one between his personal belief in the Republic, a form of government in which the people elect their leaders and have a say in government, and his love and admiration for Julius Caesar as an individual, who is on the path to becoming a dictator. For Brutus, there are two objections to a dictatorial or monarchial form of government. The first is that while a good autocrat can do much good, a bad autocrat can do great harm and can only be removed by violent revolution. The second problem with autocracy is that it reduces the free will of the people, limiting their abilities to act as moral agents, and thus weakening their characters.
Two states in which young activists today have the same dilemma are Singapore and Hong Kong. Both are well governed, prosperous, and peaceful. The governments are not corrupt, and daily life for citizens is enviable in terms of income, lifestyle, and freedom from crime. The down side in both countries is that they are subject to one-party rule, with strong limitations on freedom of speech. The Economist has recently run several articles on the politics of these two countries, raising these specific issues.
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