"The State" or "The Government" is the worst idea the human race has ever come up with.
Actually, it's the second-worst idea. The worst idea was that of Adam and Eve in the Garden: autonomy from God. The quest to "be as gods" (Genesis 3:5).
The idea of "the government" is a logical corollary of autonomy from God.
Defining "The State"
"The State" is the only human institution that claims a monopoly over violence. The Family, churches, corporations, schools, never make this claim. Usually this government monopoly is claimed only in certain areas of society: the military, prisons, etc. "The Government" may choose to compete against other institutions (like the Church) in other areas (like welfare) without claiming a monopoly (prohibiting other people from being charitable), but still maintaining an essential monopoly: the right to steal ("taxation"), thus permitting it to "stay in business" even though it could not successfully compete without forcibly confiscating the wealth of competitors, whereas the competition can only hope to persuade people to donate money freely and voluntarily.
"The Government" is a bad idea because it is an immoral idea. It is wrong to kill. It is wrong to steal. It is wrong to steal in order to fund acts of killing. No corporation or private citizen would ever behave like a State without becoming a "criminal." Corporations and neighbors don't want to be known as "criminals." But "the State" convinces us it is not a "criminal" even though it behaves like one. The State convinces us that its crimes are "necessary."
"The Government" is a bad idea because it is a wasteful idea. It is not able to compete against non-criminal alternatives without resorting to force and threats of violence. The inability to compete in a free market arises when others are able to use resources more efficiently to accomplish the same goal, thus reducing costs, and lowering prices for consumers. If the only way you can compete is to threaten your customers with violence (prison, fines, asset forfeiture, death) to "do business" with you, then you have become like a "government."
"The Government" is a bad idea because it is a corrupting idea. Although the idea of "the government" is evil, it parades as the most noble among us. It debases the ideas of work, charity, and service as much as it debases the currency. Just as bad money chases out good, so bad government chases out the good.
"Limited Government" is an impossibility. This is why Tea Party advocates who vote Republican are betraying the original Tea Party participants, who believed what would soon be written in the Declaration of Independence: that we have a duty to abolish tyrannical governments. We will always have tyrannical governments -- or sentence our children to tyranny -- as long as we continue to put our imprimatur on the institution of "government" and the hope of "limited government."
Hans-Hermann Hoppe explains all this:
The goal of “limited”—or “constitutional”—government, which Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, James Buchanan and other Mont Pelerin Society grandees had tried to promote and that every “free-market” think-tank today proclaims as its goal, is an impossible goal, much as it is an impossible goal to try squaring the circle. You cannot first establish a territorial monopoly of law and order and then expect that this monopolist will not make use of this awesome privilege of legislating in its own favor. Likewise: You cannot establish a territorial monopoly of paper money production and expect the monopolist not to use its power of printing up ever more money.
Limiting the power of the state, once it has been granted a territorial monopoly of legislation, is impossible, a self-contradictory goal. To believe that it is possible to limit government power—other than by subjecting it to competition, i.e., by not allowing monopoly privileges of any kind to arise in the first place—is to assume that the nature of Man changes as the result of the establishment of government (very much like the miraculous transformation of Man that socialists believe to happen with the onset of socialism).
That is the whole thing: limited government, is an illusory goal. To believe it to be possible is to believe in miracles.
As a territorial monopolist of legislation and the money-printing press, the State has a natural tendency to grow: to use its “fiat” laws and “fiat” money to gain increasing control of society and social institutions. With “fiat laws”, the State has the unique power of threatening and punishing or incentivizing and rewarding whatever it pleases. And with its “fiat money”, it can buy-up support, bribe, and corrupt more easily than anyone else.
Certainly, an extraordinary institution such as this will have the means at its disposal, legal and financial, to deal with the challenge posed by [think-tanks and political parties that promote] limited government.
The Property And Freedom Society — Reflections After Five Years The Libertarian Standard
"Limited autonomy" is an impossibility. Either Jesus is Lord, or you are your own lord, even if you choose to agree with Jesus 99.9% of the time. Eventually you will want the rival Archist out of your world entirely.
"Limited government" -- "limited archism" -- is, like "limited autonomy," a logical impossibility. It will never exist. It is never permanent, but is always a cover-up of a transition from freedom to tyranny.
"The Government" is fallen man's idea. It is not God's idea.
Government spending, government debt, and government violence will continue to expand until voters are willing to become "government" teetotalers and swear off the sauce. Completely.