That you see the nature of the beast, and are then so skeptical of something that stands an excellent chance of diminishing that beast... that just always amazes me.
Chalk it up to more direct personal
experience on my part - and the fact I lack the romantic perspective on all this that you seem to have.
You see colossal forces of good and evil playing out some cosmic struggle.
I see a species whose tribal survival instincts have not transitioned effectively or efficiently into the artificial world it's created for itself.
I don't see cosmic "good vs evil" at play here. I see stupidity, and ignorance, and wilful disregard of hard data and logic, and above all: FEAR! Fear of getting hurt. Fear of change. Fear of living in want. Fear of the unknown. Which sometimes leads to a will to power. Circular logic. Magical thinking. Pointless greed and avarice. A fascination with cruelty and suffering - often disguised as "humor" and "entertainment. Childish fascination with spectacle. And...the list goes on...
There's no BEAST.
There's no EVIL MASTER PLAN.
There's really nothing but us
behaving badly towards each other. More often than not for no
reason other than habit - and because "We can!"
Government isn't this big wicked extra dimensional creature that we're fighting a religious war of survival against. It's just a bunch of us moving as a group, and sometimes behaving cruelly and stupidly.
So yes, I agree that governments aren't all powerful. However, I'd also add that the sooner we strip the mythic persona and "purple prose" away from all this and deal with government in terms of what it really is (i.e. just another bunch of people), the better.
To the point of "diminishing that beast" all I can say is most people are doing it wrong. Governments are designed to slow or eliminate sudden societal change. And they're engineered
to deal with direct frontal assault and confrontation. The only time a direct confrontation will work is if 90% (or better) of the general population is 100% behind the move. If not, it peters out and fails. And usually makes it much harder for the next group that attempts it. Because, while many government are adept at not
learning from experience, the one type of experience they do
learn from is a direct attack made against it.
Unfortunately, most "revolutionary" thinking and movements are elitist in nature. Agree with those who lead them - or be considered stupid and assigned to the "sheeple" category for all eternity. Most of the "calls for change" I hear are extremely dismissive of the general public. Most of the people I hear discussing "new economics" or other contrarian ideas seem far more intent on proving (to themselves) that they're smarter than most other people than gaining support. Which is a far cry from proving their thesis - or getting large numbers of people to buy into their position.
Not a good way to build that 90% backing I mentioned earlier.
But...I've seen this before. Maybe this time around it'll be different. But I seriously doubt it.