[T]the legal hallmark of a dictatorship [is] preventive law—the concept that a man is guilty until he is proved innocent by the permissive rubber stamp of a commissar or a Gauleiter [a Nazi official].
What protects us from any private citizen who may choose to turn criminal and injure or defraud us? That, precisely, is the proper duty of a government. But if the government assumes a totalitarian power and its officials are not subject to any law, then who will protect us from our protectors? What will be our recourse against the dishonesty, vindictiveness, cupidity or stupidity of a bureaucrat?
If matters such as science are to be placed into the unanswerable power of a single bureau, what will guarantee the superior wisdom, justice and integrity of the bureaucrats? Why, the vote of the people, a statist would answer—of the people who choose the ruler who then appoints the bureaucrats—of the same people whom [political leaders do] not consider competent to choose electric toasters, credit contracts, face lotions, laxative tablets or canned vegetables.
“Who Will Protect Us from Our Protectors?”
The Objectivist Newsletter