Strawdog - I really appreciate this answer for its broad scope but concise wording. I would also highly suggest that Le Guin's Disposessed is a good fictional exploration of an anarchist critique of the state for folks who might find Bakunin, Berkman, etc. either too dry or too out of date (I personally like both, but I know folks who really struggle with some of the dated language of the canon,)
i too think this is a solid answer.
however, i do take issue with this (just the bold, which i added):
"Third parties and intermediaries interfere with the free exchange of ideas, peoples, and commerce,..."
commerce, to me, implies forms of large-scale economic systems (eg, capitalism), which both depend upon and are dependents of - and strengthen and perpetuate - the state. i would think the anti-civ perspective articulated in the answer would see commerce as another institution of mediated existence that gets in the way of free individuals relating as they choose. but maybe i have misunderstood strawdog's use of the word "commerce".
there may be different definitions, but here is one (from merriam-webster) that corresponds with my own understanding:
the exchange or buying and selling of commodities on a large scale involving transportation from place to place
since the question posits a democratic government as different in kind somehow from other kinds of governments, and since straw dog's answer caps "the People" in a shorthand that makes sense to me but perhaps not to other people, i will add that some anarchists (i, for example) believe that there is no such thing as "the People." that there are always specific people who have institutional/governmental power, even when they hold it in the name of all-things-excellent (freedom, The People, etc), even when they are changed out over periods of time, and so on.
"The People" is an excuse, a rationalization, not an actual body that can have power, or can be liberated, or that even exists.
if that's how you want to interpret my words, dot, have at it. i wasn't putting words in your mouth, i was agreeing with what you said, and then adding my own 2c.
of course people that group themselves together have experiences in common. just as people that others group together often have experiences in common. does that mean "the people" is a useful term? not to me.
" identity is more complicated than you're allowing for in your brief comment"
do you really think my comment required a full-on analysis and critique of identity, including the myriad of complexities it entails, in order to say what i said? and anything else is an over-simplification?
to be clear: my previous comment was not referring to "identity politics" per se (which i do have issues with), but the issues i have with massification, and the underlying assumption of unity, single-mindedness, and singular experiences.