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I think it depends on whose point of view you have. For example, if you were the Chief Elder, restricting the people is a good thing because they cannot rebel against you and you have complete control over everyone and everything. However, as a member of the community, these people are restricted so much it's almost as if they can't develop their own personalities and preferences because everything is decided for them. Using the Giver as an example, I think it is quite clear that having too many rules be a bad thing.