Right, so I was reading about the French and Russian revolutions, and thinking about how glad I am that my country had George Washington instead of Stalin, and feeling bad for Marie Antoinette.
George Washington I regard as basically a good person in a good system. He's underrated these days, but the US did well under his leadership, and he established norms (like peacefully leaving office) which have served us well.
Marie Antoinette and even Louie XVI do not seem, from the accounts I've read, to have been bad people on a personal level. They didn't kick puppies or leave offensive comments on Youtube. But they were definitely part of a bad, oppressive system. Even after they were deposed, they could always call upon the armies of Austria and other allies to attack France and put them back in power (which they actually did try to do.) It did not matter that they may have been nice folks--their continued existence posed a threat to the revolution; their deaths were deemed necessary to end the system.
Russia before 1917 was an abysmal place. People were starving, and the gov't, needless to say, was terrible. It is almost unimaginable that so many starving people wouldn't rise up against a system that was killing them. They established what they hoped would be a utopia, a workers' paradise. Unfortunately, they ended up with Lenin, then Stalin, at the helm, and the tragic deaths of a million beautiful dreams.
You know the history. America remains one of the nicer spots in the world. The French eventually got Napoleon and then kings again and finally democracy, but France is also a fairly nice place. The poor Russians got the Soviet Union.
Of course it is best to have a good system with good people.
A bad system with good people can, I think, eventually work itself out, if everyone involved is devoted to fixing things.
But a good system with bad people will simply turn rotten.