One of a lot of possibilities to discern different basic assumptions/premises about ‚government‘ and ’state‘ (the abstract ideas associated with, and concrete materialisations of, them):
For example one can distinguish between (an abstract construction of) these two big trees (or also possible to [re]construct: branches of the same tree) in the history of political (or generally social) ideas:
1) ‘Manifest government’, as a kind of human development destiny
Assumption: “Government is something rather good.” To be the fundament of (every? or every ‘positive’?) law. To constitute and execute the rights of every single person subjected to it [the ambivalence of being a subject to/in law].
Idea: You got to have government to be secure (enough) to be (able to be) “free”. Freedom (or legal liberty) only to come with a state and a strong government to execute law (and more or less tightly: order). (Felt) “Freedom” and (felt) “security” seen as rather ‘requirement and result’ than opposites or concurring.
2) ‘Manifest anarchy’, as a human potential to overcome hierarchical social organization etc. Either as a theoretical ideal—with the state still to be there [classical liberalism -> a)] or seen concretely (not only in the clouds of the “ideal world”) as a realizable possibility [different forms of anarchism -> b)]
Assumption: “Government is rather something dangerous.”
a) State/Government power has to be limited and the powers should be divided. But a state has to exist to secure the individual rights and with that [there are no collective rights] the constitutional state as such.
b) There should be as much limitation of state and government as possible. Ideally there will be no state cause society and/or social communities can organize themselves and people can actually live without a (fixed, established or any) form of government.
Idea: (Felt) “Freedom” and (felt) “security” seen as rather competing and “real” security either only achievable with “real” freedom (not the other way round) or seen as (“absolute security” etc.) not achievable (or desirable) at all.
In my structuralist view, I see the “choosing” of (every) one’s basic assumptions (about life etc.) conditioned by his and her social situation [composed of one’s biography and one’s current status (rather abstract) and one’s roles within society and (rather concrete) social environment.
Or as, for example, Johann Gottlieb Fichte said (interpreted in a certain way): “What sort of philosophy one chooses depends on what sort of person one is.”*