"Government is just the name we give to the things we do together."
Well, no. This is a truly deceptive statement.
Because look here, there are many, many human institutions where people get together to do things.
And these all have their own unique characteristics.
If government was simply a variety of these, or vice-versa, why would we bother to have a unique word for it?
If government were *merely* a charity, wouldn't we just call it a charity?
What is it about government then that makes it unique?
I'll tell you. It's the use of force. Government is the sole human institution that legitimately exercises physical force against others.
Churches don't commit violence. Corporations don't use physical coercion to get you to buy their products or to work for them. Families don't (shouldn't) do that.
BECAUSE government's essence is the use of force, government simply should not do many things, even if those things would be right and proper for individuals to do.
Take your church. It's morally fine for your church to persuade you to donate, and for you to donate.
But now add the element of force. It would be morally wrong and abhorrent for government to FORCE you to give money to a church, whether through taxes, or a more direct approach of coming and taking your property under threat, for instance.
You see? Many actions that are acceptable and moral when done voluntarily, become immoral when you force people to do them.
So people who say "government is just the things we do together" are actually trying to obliterate that very, very important distinction. They are trying to get you to accept the routine, everyday use of force and violence. They are trying to obliterate the difference between persuasion and coercion.
They are trying to get you to accept that government ought to be able to do anything, to anyone, and use force to do it. Yet that way lies tragedy.
Don't fall for it.