The shriveling of policy-backed bureaucratic pretenses, perhaps? Revealing power's tendency toward private nodes?
I'd say it would be a sort of extremity of the nation-to-corporation transition. Pockets of private, military-grade power, without any omnipresent policy framework to hold them accountable. Unless, perhaps, it would be in their private interest to revitalize or sustain such policy frameworks.
It would be interesting to see what ideological residues persists, clinging to what bodies of power, after any such systemic collapse.
Am I correct in assuming that a post-government world is necessarily either post-collapse, or communism?
Yeah I'd say if there is some kind of collapse of governmental agency, and its effectively a free for all, then corporations will become the explicit agenda-setters, rather than just the implicit agenda-setters they are now.
But considering how corporate rule, either explicit or implicit, can transition into communism, is interesting. I'd imagine we could see some wild permutations of communism under these circumstances. Could be a communism for the genetically engineered, bending human nature to conform with utopia.
Communism here means an operational society despite the lack of a governmental body. Would-be governmental power being diffused among the would-be governed. And as @thirdform has pointed out, free time. Free time, to pursue this or that crusade, vocation, etc.
If you could genetically engineer humans to be self-governing, perhaps. Short of actual genetic reengineering, it would take staggering thorough levels of psychic engineering, essentially religious I gather.
Not sure what the neuroscience is on how social structures and hierarchies are established, but I'd imagine its only a matter of time before we have insight there. Not that we're nearly to the point where we can reengineer ourselves to that extent, but again thats just a matter of time.
Got carried away there. Anyway, I suppose one way to think about this transition is this: If we are currently at the stage where corporations are de facto agenda setters, and politics is increasingly reduced to a formal interfacing with whatever portion of the population thinks they're paying attention, at what point does this insulating/interfacing mechanism break?
That said, I still tend to believe there are pockets of policymakers here and there that are sincerely working to better society, but I also tend to believe that such sincerity does not extend through the policy-making apparatus. Could just be naive there, on either account.