This is probably a little out of place, but I noticed that it seems to come up and tickle me every time I read some political article about the place of governance so I thought I could discuss it. Before I go on, I'd like to note that I am trying to be as politically neutral as possible, and I am speaking from the perspective of the U.S. government but am of course open to input about any state.
So then, within these articles the government is always depicted as some artificial third party, an entity that becomes increasingly independent of the community as it expands and makes decisions for its own benefit. My own definition however appears to be completely different and irreconcilable with this. For I believe that at least in an ideal U.S., the government is elected by the people to serve as an extension of their will and tend to the tasks that keeps society running. So when I think of our government, I picture a collective force of the public for the public that inherently seeks to improve things rather than a solitary institution that pursues goals for its own benefit. State secrets, corruption and private agendas all significantly hamper this idealistic view, but seem to be the exceptions rather than the rule that it was founded on (a voice for everyone, equality, etc.).
So, how do you think of a government?
(Crap, I hope this doesn't turn into another one of those threads, I felt really bad about the last one that was too serious)