We probably have no duty to like Beethoven or hate Coca-Cola, but it is at least conceivable that we have a duty to distrust the state. Thoreau wrote of the duty of civil disobedience ; Whitman said, “Resist much, obey little.” With those liberals, and with many others, disobedience is a good thing in itself. In small social entities — English parishes, Swiss cantons — the machine that governs can sometimes be identified with the community that is governed. But when the social entity grows large, becomes a megalopolis, a state, a federation, the governing machine becomes remote, impersonal, even inhuman. It takes money from us for purposes we do not seem to sanction ; it treats us as abstract statistics ; it controls an army ; it supports a police force whose function does not always appear to be protective.
– From The New Yorker, June 2012