The modern term used by political scientists that by metaphor suggests that government is inevitable is 'power vacuum':
In political science and political history, the term power vacuum, also known as a power void, is an analogy between a physical vacuum to the political condition "when someone in a place of power, has lost control of something and no one has replaced them." The situation can occur when a government has no identifiable central power or authority. The physical analogy suggests that in a power vacuum, other forces will tend to "rush in" to fill the vacuum as soon as it is created, perhaps in the form of an armed militia or insurgents, military coup, warlord or dictator. The term is also often used in organized crime when a crime family becomes vulnerable to competition.
Political scientists have observed a number of power vacuums in contemporary times including after the US invaded Iraq a second time. Unlike after WWII where the US government successfully de-Nazified but allowed German elements to maintain control, De-Ba'athification was largely considered a policy that further destabilized Iraq leading to further complications including the rise of ISIS.
According to the SEP's "Hobbes's Moral and Political Philosophy", the argument you are asking about can be attributed to Hobbes:
Hobbes’s near descendant, John Locke, insisted in his Second Treatise of Government that the state of nature was indeed to be preferred to subjection to the arbitrary power of an absolute sovereign. Hobbes famously argued that such a “dissolute condition of masterlesse men, without subjection to Lawes, and a coercive Power to tye their hands from rapine, and revenge” would make impossible all of the basic security upon which comfortable, sociable, civilized life depends. There would be “no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.” If this is the state of nature, people have strong reasons to avoid it, which can be done only by submitting to some mutually recognized public authority, for “so long a man is in the condition of mere nature, (which is a condition of war,) as private appetite is the measure of good and evill.”
The first line from the very next paragraph addresses the tone of your question:
Although many readers have criticized Hobbes’s state of nature as unduly pessimistic, he constructs it from a number of individually plausible empirical and normative assumptions.
The article as a whole goes into more detail about his view on The Leviathan and the State of Nature. The latter article presents a number of other philosophers who address the topic including Mozi, Locke, Rousseau, and Rawls. While political philosophy isn't my cup of tea, if you're looking for earlier versions of Hobbes's bleak assessment of human nature without government, I would look to the Republicans of the Renaissance who found inspiration in the the political philosophy of Ancient Greece and the politics of Rome.
Among them is Niccolo Machiavelli, whose treatise The Prince is recognized as an early formulation of realpolitik. From the IEP's article "Hobbes, Thomas: Moral and Politial Philosophy":
A century before, Nicolo Machiavelli had emphasized the harsh realities of power, as well as recalling ancient Roman experiences of political freedom. Machiavelli appears as the first modern political thinker, because like Hobbes he was no longer prepared to talk about politics in terms set by religious faith (indeed, he was still more offensive than Hobbes to many orthodox believers), instead, he looked upon politics as a secular discipline divorced from theology. But unlike Hobbes, Machiavelli offers us no comprehensive philosophy: we have to reconstruct his views on the importance and nature of freedom;