RULE FROM ABOVE - PART ONE
The only competent "rule from above" is the rule of God. This is made abundantly clear by the hash we make of it whenever we try to set ourselves up in His place.
The most recent example of this is the European Union. The days of the EU appear to be numbered, if only because public statements that "everything is fine" are becoming more numerous. Greece is seriously considering dropping out, because relinquishing sovereignty over their economy to strangers has bankrupted them. Rumblings are also heard in Ireland, whose "Celtic Tiger" economy was virtually destroyed overnight by ceding hegemony over their money to the EU. France, who have been prosperous because of the careful preservation of their culture, is on the ropes. The example of the British Commonwealth, whose members rejected the Euro in favor of the preservation of their own currencies, and who have simply rejected many of the decisions of the European Parliament, is stark on the ground. These nations are prosperous, interfered-with only by the invasion of murderous barbarians forced on them by the EU's open-borders policy. Once Greece leaves (which they will, if they know what's good for them), the cork will hopefully have popped out of the bottle and the whole ill-conceived business will fall apart. The only casualties of this will be the bureaucrats, who have begun to fight like mad to insist that continuing to support them, and whatever folly they wish to impose on people, is best for everyone. One suspects they, too, will come to their senses as they personally benefit from prosperity born of local government.
Empires don't work. Empires must necessarily expand, and sooner or later their capacityy to expand will become outpaced by their need to expand and the whole thing will fall apart. I would venture to define an empire as a form of government whose central plan prevents its components from properly functioning. The planet, which has been toying with the things of empire for many years, now, appears to be coming to its senses. We can only pray that it isn't too late.