Institutional failure of objectivity
The existence of public opinion, freely known, creates an environment of information conducive to policy change without violence. In its absence, the public is left with rumour and this is unsettling. If government does not gauge public opinion via some credible source, the vacuum of information is generally filled by intelligence agencies, political elites, the Army, or ministries with hidden agendas. Characterizations of what is happening "out there" by such tendentious sources leads to decision-making which can be self-destructive, and is generally reactive in fact, if not by intent.