We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.
The fuller quotation of Paine for context so one can understand what government is and is not:
"Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher.
Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least. WHEREFORE, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows, that whatever FORM thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others."
This is the very basis of modern economic conservatism: to have the least possible government able to do the few things assigned to it and keep it answerable to the people. When we mistake that the good is vested in society and the necessary evils of our negative liberties are vested in government for us to keep in check, the function of keeping those negative liberties in check is necessary. By doing so society flourishes. Government is not an unrestrained good, but a place to restrain our negative liberties and freedoms so as to protect society.
These negative liberties of restraining our fellow man, waging war for society, and giving other means to enforce limits to our behavior in society is an evil: unrestrained by oversight those governments become tyrannical and despotic. That could not happen if government were a place where we vested positive liberties, but that is not the purpose nor function of government to have those. Each positive liberty handed to government goes along with those necessary evils and comes under the lash of those negative liberties.
That is how we get the ironic phrase: "The beatins will continue until morale improves."
Yet that is what happens when you give a positive liberty to government, the place we vest our negative liberties: it only understand distinctions and coercion, and any 'good' from that is a horrific evil as you cannot compel the good, only restrict the evil. Because of the necessary vestments we entrust to government, we are required to keep it in check lest we become subjects to it and no longer the holders of our own liberty and freedom. When government is restrained to equal enforcement of the laws, equal protection to all citizens and restrained from bias, then it has a good function. But we must never forget the basis of government is not good... necessary, yes, but only good in the restraint of those negative liberties. The source of good is within us and the society we create.