It's occurred to me on and off that one characteristic of what we might call millenarian political movements is the prediction/desire that the state will disappear. The more pragmatic among us recognize that there are always going to be differences between individuals, and someone needs to be an arbiter, besides providing some goods that are not easily apportioned among their users, like roads and schools.
But there's this longing for all of us to just get along and not have to worry about that superstructure and apparatus that is required to maintain order and keep the snow plowed. Someone sitting in an office? Never mind that they're coordinating the snow plows, that must be a sign of our tax dollars going to waste. And then we can complain that the streets weren't plowed.
One of the commenters at Balloon Juice touched on the subject again, this time with Sarah Palin as exemplar. Presumably this vision of a no-goverment world has clouds for footings, with harps and white robes assigned to all. (But who assigns them? Oh noes!)
I'm reading Bruce Lincoln's The Conquest of a Continent: Siberia and The Russians, and I've gotten to the part where the guys who believed that government would wither away are doing what they felt were the preliminaries to that withering. Of course, they were faced with the ugly practicalities and did their best. Marx had expected his preferred forms of government come to an industrially advanced country, like Germany. But the opportunities (and opportunists) arose in underdeveloped Russia, which had been badly governed for some long time. It turns out that even when you decapitate a state, as the Bolsheviks did in 1918, some of that state's bad characteristics remain. We can still see remnants of them today in Russia, one of the possible barriers to that withering away. So millions of uncooperative people who wouldn't wither away were sent to slave labor camps in Russia's taiga and Arctic to die miserable deaths. That's one way to do it.
So were the Bolsheviks mistaken about that withering away, or were they simply opportunists with a good line? How about Marx? And how about today's Libertarians, Tea Partiers, and others who would like to drown the state in a bathtub? Come to think of it, that's a more violent way of putting the Bolshevik vision.