No, this is not intended as an April Fool's post, although it very well may indict me as one. A brief rant on how I see it as of April 1, 2010:
The "science" of human politics (and economics for that matter) is a great temptation, since the idea that organizing people in a certain way can make life easier, more secure, more fair, or more personally satisfying is enticing. But while they can be an interesting and even useful topic of discussion, political theories (especially those that claim to be consistent or universal) lead to false visions of society. Actually, I like the analogy of a mirage, a vision supported by little other than hot air.
Human government takes this one step further by exercising its authority on the basis of those flawed political/economic theories. Particularly, the role of government has shifted quite a bit along the spectrum from an authority which governs the actions of the governed to an authority which acts on behalf of the governed. Collective government action is enticing for the same reasons that politics in general are, but it is another mirage, and a dangerous one. I hold that the increased collective action of government into society can negatively impact individual identity and action, both practically and spiritually.
Beyond the debate over public versus private action, and their relative efficiencies and strengths, consideration of the impact of policy on the individual, their purpose, responsibility, and even freedom, is to a regrettable degree neglected.
The right question to ask is not always what can government do, but what should government do?