This isn't a criticism of Firefly or Mal in particular, since this happens in real life as well. Malcom Reynolds makes not bones about his hating all the rules and regulations of the Alliance and civilized society. He's quite clear in "Shindig" that it was society's rules and regulations that got him in the mess.
Now, here's the irony of Mal's point of view. He enforces the rules on his ship and gets quite intolerant of Jane and Jane's bucking of Mal's rules.
This is indicative of life in general. Everyone wants to make their own rules and they thend to chafe under the "oppression" of whatever superior authority they are bucking. Yet rules and regulations are a necessary part of society, and even these "rebels" want to impose some form of rules and regulations over others.
All good points, and I'm thinking there aren't too many examples of a healthy democracy in Mal's life to look for other ways of doing things.