......yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if government had not sometimes got in its way.
Henry David Thoreau in Civil Disobedience
That is a far cry from the conventional wisdom of today. Paraphrase what David Thoreau said today and you'd be looked at like you are from another world. Then again, the "American People" that Thoreau knew might as well have been, they wouldn't recognize the country they built. I can see them looking around and asking, "What is this 18th century Europe?"
Then again, I have paraphrased about the same thing, the response is "That would never work." Funny, it already had.