What is a stage play in actuality? Glad you asked.
It begins with a script that tells a story. The script also assigns roles to be filled by selected people we most often refer to as "actors" who fill those roles by learning their lines, the mood for any given interaction, and so forth. The actors then come together at the assigned place, the theater, at the assigned time, and perform their roles before an audience in accord with the specifications of the script.
When I describe a play in this way to people, most often they will nod their agreement. On occasion, someone of a theatrical bent may correct my description in some trivial way, but even they agree that for all practical purposes I have described the thing we call a "play" correctly.
The play has no reality of its own, another point to which people universally have agreed with me. Without the actors, there is no play. There may be a script, but the only reality it has is its own pages and the ink that represents the elements of the story, roles, and so on. The script is not the play itself.
And yet, when we speak of "government", when one asserts that it possesses no material reality of its own, a vast plurality of people will look at you funnily, sometimes wondering what is wrong with you. But if you ask them to demonstrate "government" - to produce an example of it upon which one may lay hands - they invariably point out material entities such as courthouses, congressmen, etc. A courthouse is nothing more or less than a building. We could conduct the business of courts in my bathroom, were we able to fit all the personnel inside. There is nothing special about a court building that makes it materially "government", vis-à-vis a privately held parking garage, for example. We could repurpose a courthouse, or a capitol building, to house people, perhaps converting them into condominiums.
A congressman, a cop, the city dog catcher - none of these are "government", but only people very much the same as you and I. The differentiating factor between them and everyone else is that they are analogs to the actors in a play. "Government" and the "state" are, in fact, very strong analogs to the venerable stage play.
Government is a notion - a story of sorts, the only material reality that it possesses being the written specifications that define the story, roles, and other elements that we might find in a typical script for stage. Paper and ink is it. Government is nothing more than a script for a nation that tells everyone their respective roles and holds them to playing it in accord with the written requirements thereof. This may seem foreign to you at first, but if you take the time to shear away the extraneous elements and assumptions, you will see that it is indeed and in fact the case.
As such, government does not exist. Government is a ghost. More properly, government is a lie; it is in fact the biggest lie that has ever been told. I would wager that it is also the lie that has remained in continuous effective use longer than any other and whose effect no other lie can come close to matching.
The notion of government has been peddled in one form or another for a human eon. Since the days of Sumer we humans have been peddling the lie of government to each other, and ourselves. And what is that lie, exactly? The greatest lie ever told is that government actually exists as a thing. The lie is largely tacit and is the assumption that serves as the armature upon which the vast and attendant tyrannies and other nonsense of so-called "government" hang. It is the largest, oldest, and most wildly successful smoke and mirrors act of all time.
We refer to "the government" as if it were an actual thing, rather than a collection of ordinary people comporting themselves in accord with their respective roles. Think about it carefully and you will come to see how true it is. The congressman's, or other legislator's primary role is to put forth and vote upon legislation. The role of the cop is to enforce bills that have been enacted by legislators and signed into effect by presidents and governors. The role of the DMV employee is to drive you to drink in agonized frustration at the stupidity and inefficiency of the "state".
The rest of us are supposed to play the roles of obediently unquestioning serfs. And when one of us fails to play our role according to specification, the "government's" role is to correct us, fine us, and punish us in accord with the requirements of the applicable statutes.
You may be wondering what is the big deal in all of this. After all, we cannot have people running about murdering and robbing and beating one another and expect life to be good. People must be governed. Nobody in a rational and well-reasoned state of mind will deny that this is so in some manner and degree, and it is not the notion of governance that is harmful, but rather that of government when taken as an entity unto itself, which it almost always is. When we regard government as something real, something material, we pitch ourselves into a rabbit hole that leads to one place, and one place only: hell on earth.
It is when we accept "government" as a thing, rather than as an idea and an arrangement between individuals, that those in positions to discharge the various duties of governance are enabled to work this cognitive misstep into something evil that disparages the sovereignty of those whose interests are supposed to be served by the very nothing that we have been convinced to accept as a standalone reality, replete with material existence, will of its own, rights, and authority above and beyond that of the individual. It is the issue of our credence of the material existence of this non-thing and its blindly asserted characteristics that leads us onto the path of tyranny. Because we think that government is actually government, rather than nothing more than a collection of individuals with no greater authority or rights than any other randomly chosen individual, and who are playing their respective roles pursuant to governANCE, we many of us become convinced to be obedient to it. THERE IS NO "IT". What you think is large and mighty and real is naught more than vapors and shadow.
How inclined would you be to comply with the demand for blind obedience, were mere individuals with no authority greater than your own barking the orders? The inclination would likely be very much less than when it is "government" almighty that is issuing the commands. "But wait!", you might say, "That's exactly why "government" must be given this mythical stature, so that people will obey!" And what do you say when the colossus decides it's time for all Jews to get on the cattle cars, or that all capitalists must go for "reeducation"?
There are precious few human beings walking this earth who would object to murder laws, or those proscribing rape, robbery, theft, battery, destruction of property, etc. These prohibitions constitute actual Law because they address actual crimes, whereas statutes banning prostitution, smoking a spliff on the courthouse steps, injecting heroin into your veins, flying an aircraft without a license, and so on do not have the vast support and respect of the people precisely because they ban non-criminal behaviors, an authority that no man or group thereof holds, regardless of purport to the contrary.
"Government", we have been taught, holds an authority that must be obeyed without question, no matter how absurd and criminal a given fiat may prove. Pay those taxes. Don't manufacture, use, possess, or distribute drugs. Don't secure the services of prostitutes. Don't be homosexual (OK, that one's no longer applicable, but it used to be the commandment in America and remains so in many nations). Do this, don't do that, and woe be unto those who transgress!
All this obsequious compliance in kowtow to an entity that doesn't even exist in itself! How could it be? Because we are convinced that it actually does exist and that it holds magical authority to which you must subject yourself with a smile.
If we are to salvage liberty, the very notion of "government" must be stripped naked for all to see it truthfully, so we may consequently toss it into the dustbin, never again to lend it the least shred of consideration as anything other than the lie that it is; the filthiest, most dangerous lie of all human history.
But would we not have chaos without government, you ask? Certainly no shred more than what we currently enjoy under the tyrannical tutelage of "the state", and most likely a whole world less. Disposing of the Great Lie that is governMENT does not mean that we toss our governANCE. All we will have done is removed the cognitive flaw that established our impediment to being able to properly regard and assess the actions of other human beings in whom we have entrusted some of the roles and responsibilities of governance. Such roles should not be meant as those of dictators imposing their wills upon the rest, but rather those of guardians of that which is right and proper between men.
The vast bulk of the duties of governance falls to the individual, that he would regulate himself in the presence of his fellows. Being humans, we do at times fail to properly govern ourselves, whether inadvertently or through choice. Those who fail to self-govern open themselves up to being governed by others. For example, when the mugger goes out to rob someone on the street, his claim to sovereignty are forfeited such that his intended victim may bang him over the head with an iron bar in self-defense, or perhaps even draw a sidearm and shoot the ghost from his carcass. When one fails to self-govern, bad things often result.
What will have been removed is the false notion of the "state" or "government" as a thing in itself that holds all this power and authority to command you as it pleases. Revealing governors such as police, mayors, and so on, for what they truly are: fellow human beings with no authority above yours, with dedicated roles to which duties attach that they have agreed to discharge in good faith and service to their fellows.
But it is not only those sorts of behaviors that become abruptly yanked into sharp focus for all to see in terms of their proper truths, but also that of legislators, for example. When the American Congress is seen as a group of individuals with no status, power, or authority whatsoever to violate the rights of their fellow Americans, rather than some mythical mono-bloc of legislative authority whose will is to be obeyed without question or hesitation, all of a sudden their ability to engage in corruption and other chicaneries, such as assuming mind-crushing debt in your name, is curtailed most tersely.
Retain governance. Reject government. Always bear in mind what "government" actually is: a script and nothing more. Neither building, nor vehicle, nor fancy robes or uniforms or titles constitute "government", for it is but a notion, and a very dangerous one because it falsely connotes a thing that is in point of fact, nothing at all in sé.
The task of stripping away delusion begins with the first step of removing the lie from your life. Do that one thing, and the rest becomes not only possible, but nearly easy. Free yourself from the prison-construct that is "government" and free your mind by choosing truth over the lie, and take your rightful place among your fellows. You are no less than anyone else walking this beautiful earth.
Be well, good luck, and until next time please accept my best wishes.