Rules are necessary. Most rulers are bad at making them and just as bad at enforcing them. I will explain below.
The key about rules is this maxim: Rules that are not enforced do not exist. They have no substance of their own, unlike both the ruler and the subject. They are like the weapons seen in animated works where characters pull them from nowhere when the plot demands; they exist when useful, and do not when they don't.
This means that a rule's substance is dependent upon an enforcer. Predators instinctively understand this, which is why they give no fucks about rules unless and until there is someone or something right there to enforce the rules.
The problem is that most rulers issue rules without regard to their enforcement. They give no consideration as to how to guarantee compliance, but rather presuppose compliance and assume that it is an aberration to not comply. This is so whether the ruler presumes that Man is Perfectable or not, whether Man is inherently Good or Evil, etc. and betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of how the machinry of governance actually works.
Yes, governance is a machine and rulership is the operation of that machine. Understand this and everything else gets easier to comprehend this.
The ruler cannot enforce any rule on his own any further than his person can reach. He requires either loyal subordinates or reliable tools to extend his reach. The ruler cannot enforce any rule that he lacks the will to enforce. The ruler cannot enforce any rule that he lacks the means to enforce. Successful dissidents break either the will or the means of enforcement.
Enforcers require that the ruler perform acts from time to time to secure and maintain their loyalty. This means giving them preferential treatment vs. the subjects, creating a distinct class division; Ruler/Subject becomes Ruler/Enforcer/Subject. If this tension is not managed properly, including by suppressing enforcer class awareness vs. the ruler, then ambitious enforcers will set up a weak ruler and make a puppet of him. (This already happened in much of the West; we call them "The Professional Managerial Class".)
Tools require comprehension of the technology, maintenance, and refinment. They also must be outright replaced from time to time. This is because the subjects of the tools, being disinclined to acquiese, will find ways to subvert or circumvent the tools; this puts a lifetime limit on the tools' effectiveness, a limit that exists because continued exposure is continued opportunity to observe operation and deduce function, from which countermeasures can be developed. Too rapid a pace of change can overwhelm the ruler's logistical capacity, resulting in the tools' nullification and the loss of the ruler's power.
While the above two points are often discussed, too often another is shunted aside: knowing what rules to make, or how to make them.
The problem is that rulers seek to control what is impractical to control, and of what is practical to control they choose impractical methods or means to do so. When the failures are investigated, the failure always begins with a false presupposition of what a ruler's objective; a false paradigm of operation results in incompetent operation every single time.
Most idiot rulers see themselves as separate and apart from those they rule, to whom they owe nothing and from whom all is owed. They also see compliance as the presumed state of existence, and non-compliance as the aberrant state. Their rule-making and rule-enforcement stems from these false presuppositions.
One who is separate and apart from you is an outsider, and no man owes anything to outsiders just as nothing is owed to you by outsiders. A true ruler is an insider, one of your nation--ideally one of your family, of your very bloodline--and therefore is a relation to you. You owe, and are owed in turn, loyalty to your kin. Competent rulers always ensure that the subjects see the ruler as One Of Them, as one of the In-Group.
Compliance is not the normal state. Governance, being nothing more than the upscaling of the family dynamic, operates on the same dynamic as a father to his children; every father knows that his children are unruly and must gain compliance to effectively govern them. Competent rulers understand that non-compliance is the norm, and therefore craft their governance as one successfully raises children.
(Side note: This is why there was, for a long time, a taboo against putting childless men into leadership positions.)
As we see, most rulers fail to consider any of these. This is because most rulers are too stupid, too narcisstic, or too weak to comprehend how to rule properly and therefore to rule competently- and why we long celebrated the counterexamples that came to become bywords for competent governance.
You can see this in the rules they make, and the way they go about enforcing those rules. It is no surprise that contempt for the rules, and the order they bring when used properly, rises under such mismanagement- along with contempt for the ruler and his enforcers. It happened during Prohibition, and it will happen now. The present rulers, across the West, are incompetently trained and their indoctrination makes it nigh-impossible to course-correct when their incompetence inevitably bites them in the ass. Make of that what you will, and pray you don't get a bloody-minded usurper willing and able to do his own wet-work when these technocrats' failure is complete.