Every student of history knows that this phenomenon is a common one; rulers who destroy men's freedom commonly begin by trying to retain its forms - and so it has been from the reign of Augustus to the present day. They cherish absolute power withthe moral authority that comes from popular assent. Almost all have failed in this endeavor and learned to their cost that it is impossible to keep up such appearances for long when there is no reality behind them.
Alexis De Tocqueville, 1856
And then there's this tidbit about French history.
Nice picture of anti-stadium celebrants.