I've always loved this quotation from Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. I found it at Wikipedia. Has anyone ever summed things up better?
To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place[d] under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.(P.-J. Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, translated by John Beverly Robinson [London: Freedom Press, 1923], pp. 293-294.)
Proudhon is best known among libertarians for his statement "Property is theft" (What Is Property?). But this is usually misconstrued, for he also wrote, "Where shall we find a power capable of counterbalancing this formidable might of the State? There is no other except property.... The absolute right of the State is in conflict with the absolute right of the property owner. Property is the greatest revolutionary force which exists" (Theory of Property). So how can property be theft? As stated in Wikipedia, "The apparent contradiction is resolved when it is realized that, in What is Property?, he was using 'property' to mean idle natural resources that, through coercion and conquest, individuals were being prevented from using by the force of the state."
Okay, I can't resist adding this dialog from What Is Property? (also at Wikipedia):
"Why, how can you ask such a question? You are a republican."
"A republican! Yes; but that word specifies nothing. Res publica; that is, the public thing. Now, whoever is interested in public affairs -- no matter under what form of government -- may call himself a republican. Even kings are republicans."
"Well! You are a democrat?"
"What! "you would have a monarchy?"
" A Constitutionalist?"
"Then you are an aristocrat?"
"Not at all!"
"You want a mixed form of government?"
"Then what are you?"
"I am an anarchist."
"Oh! I understand you; you speak satirically. This is a hit at the government."
"By no means. I have just given you my serious and well-considered profession of faith. Although a firm friend of order, I am (in the full force of the term) an anarchist. Listen to me."