Ancient peoples often perceived their rulers as living deities, with tremendous unseen powers. Modern rulers often have far greater material might than those rulers of old, but they also often have significant constraints put upon them by written constitutions, unwritten constitutions, tradition, a system of checks and balances, an understanding of their own limitations, by market forces, by the press, by the vote, or by new forms of warfare.
In your vision of a better civilization, what would an enlightened government do? What would it refrain from doing? How do we distinguish between a government that is coercive and one that is helpful? Are there certain methods of operation a wise government must always use? Are there certain liberties it should never restrict?