An old friend called me out of the blue to announce that he's running for office, in association with a group/site/platform called BeYourGovenment.org (identity of friend and office is secret for awhile, since he hasn't officially announced anything yet). I liked the name of this group, because one thing I keep hammering on here (partly to convince myself I suppose) is that there always is going to be some kind of government, that is, there will always be some institutional mechanisms by which societies regulate themselves. This doesn't mean they have to be the size of states or have the structure of states, but there's always something. And if you, the individual, are not part of that government, then you are merely subject to it. Since we live in a society in which everyone ostensibly can be part of the government, then if you aren't you deserve what you get.
That's me in idealist mode. I still have a large cynical streak where my the attitude is more that government is an unpleasant fact of life; that one should avoid it when possible; tolerate when necessary; not be in the least surprised to find it doing damaging, stupid, or evil things. And one should busy oneself with living one's life despite all these things, rather than obsessing over them. That is a a form of disgust with government that at least seems honorable, and has a long tradition in this country.
But what absolutely infuriates me is the hypocritical institutionalized cynicism and moral preening of libertarianism. I've gone over the reasons why often enough, I guess I won't repeat myself here. The essence of libertarianism is the denial of the social sphere and the consequent repudiation of democracy. Government to the anarchists of the right is some kind of alien destructive force that has imposed itself on society, rather than a key functional part of society. Libertarianism smugly complains about the failings of government while taking for granted the benefits it brings.
This critique applies to a good chunk of the left as well, of course.
Let me try another wording: the problem is both the perceived and real alienation of government from the governed. So the slogan of BeYourGovernment is a nice, accurate, and concise blow against this attitude.