What kind of nonsense is this? There are many empires and kingdoms that were far richer than Republics.
Yeah, yeah, and Saudi Arabia is richer than South Korea on per capita basis, but only one of these countries is an industrial and technological power. But if we're talking industrially rich, rather than exporting lots of expensive resources, you won't find any.
I was actually thinking of China in the middle ages which was an absolute monarchy where "rights" did not exist. Or ancient Persia, or Rome. Not a parliamentary monarchy.
Also in what way was the UK not big government? The American founding fathers had a problem with the British imposition of laws, the taxes, and regulations.
The big government of yesteryear are by hard figures smaller than the smaller governments of post-industrial era.
Back to today:
USA has a public sector of size similar to socialdemocracies like Portugal, Germany, Mexico, Turkey, South Africa or Denmark, while post communist and communist countries reach multiples of that.
To add to the irony, the culturally collectivist Asians who are big industrial powers, like Japan, South Korea and Singapore, even rapidly growing still semi-communist Vietnam? They in fact have considerably smaller public sectors than USA!
What exactly do you mean when you say "Big Government"? I'm thinking of it as a government that CAN do anything it wants but does not neccesarily do it, it's simply a tool they can use. For example with property rights. With a big government they can take a bussiness away but for most of the time they won't. Just like in the middle ages they only take away and kill the people who are disloyal to the leader. So society as a whole won't suffer from a loss of legitimacy like communism brings forth.
So you just want a totalitarian government that rules on a whim, got it. Why don't you move to a country that has one? There are many...
Machievaelli wrote about this and how a new prince needs to do all his wrong doings in one fell swoop. So execute all your enemies, and take their property and give it to loyal supporters but you only do it once at the beginning and for the rest of your life you respect property rights.
That's called a regime change, explicitly advising against rule by whim.