Did Monarchy Cause Social Technologies?
I disagree with Nyan Sandwich's claim that Western Civilization is “running entirely on pre-democratic momentum.” It might look like that if we're only looking at the Anglosphere but Anglospheric democracy was preceded by Middle Francia. The most progressive parts of Europe in the Middle Ages and early modern times were in and near Middle Francia, where the central government disintegrated early. Even England's representative government needed a boost by the Netherlands takeover in 1688.
I must admit that there's one area that less democratic governments do better: accepting new citizens. In Athens in the age of Pericles, it was impossible to become an Athenian; you had to be born one. The Roman oligarchy was more accommodating. The U.S. was least inclined to admit immigrants when it was most democratic. (The easing of immigration laws in the past half century might have been due to the takeover by that aristocratic clique that neo-reactionaries call ‘The Cathedral.’)