All philosophy is class philosophy. Libertarianism is a class philosophy. All philosophies give precedence to one class or another.
Just as socialism suggests that all are better off if we give primacy to the objective of equality, and political power to the lower classes; just as postmodernism suggests that we will all be better off if we give primacy to equality and political power to the academic and public intellectual classes; just as clssical liberalism suggests that we will be better off if we give primacy to the institution of the family to conduct the family as a business without the interference of the state, and give power to family property owners; libertarianism suggests that we will be better off if we give primacy to individuals who pursue commercial innovation, and political power to the rule of law (contracts) that allow this innovation to persist unfettered.
Libertarianism is an economic philosophy that states that (a) we all demonstrate a preference for having our own choices (b) that wealth makes possible our choices (c) that wealth is the product of innovation (creating inequalities which we then pay to equilibrate.)
Libertarianism as a political philosophy that states that (a) all monopolies are bad because people cannot use competition to constrain the bad behavior of people in monopolies (b) all bureaucracies are bad because people in bureaucracies pursue the interest of the bureaucracy at the expense of those it purports to serve (c) government is a monopoly and a bureaucracy that pursues its interests at the expense of those who do ‘real work’ of innovating, producing, risking.
Libertarianism is not against ‘government’. It is against monopoly and bureaucracy which hinder individual innovation and competition, and the creating of ‘differences’ (inequalities) which we then seek to eliminate.
Libertarianism allows us to form our own communities with our own rules and norms, in a balance of power between communities with similar interests. These communities will then compete with one another for population, talent, and services. And people can choose which community to belong to. In this model there is no ‘state’. There are just collections of people who form contractual alliances. Just as we make voluntary commercial organizations, we can make voluntary civic organizations.
Libertarianism is not a prohibition on government. IT IS A PROHIBITION ON A MONOPOLY BUREAUCRACY that we call the STATE, that is able to issue COMMANDS under the guise of LAWS, because it maintains a monopoly on th euse of violence to enforce those commands, because that state is isolated from competition, and as such, can pursue the interests of the bureaucracy, or become a tool of special interests that likewise desire monopoly privileges, at the expense of the citizenry.
Consumers arre very important. Without consumers and credit it is impossible for commercial organizations to make money, and without the ability to make money there is no ability for people to organize into groups. The lower classes are consumers, and quite honestly, produce very little of value other than their consumption. Lower classes in the libertarian model will either exchange adoption to norms for redistributions in wealthy communities, or organize into their own organizations and charge fees for access to their consumers, which can then be redistributed, thereby minimizing profit.
The market for competition lets us compete toward different ends and preferences, even if we cooperate on means of achieving them. Monopoly government forces us to compete in government in a win-lose battle for control of the monopoly bureaucracy. Humans have been cooperating in the market on means, despite having disparate ends, for millennia There is no reason that we cannot take this insight as far as possible.
That is, unless your desire is to STEAL rather than EXCHANGE. And you are most likely to want to STEAL rather than exchange if governmetn provides a systematic means of stealing from others. And that’s what government does. It provides a systematic means of stealing. THe common law and property rights provide a systematic means of exchanging instead of stealing.
ANARCHISM, or anarcho capitalism (a branch of libertarianism) is a RESEARCH PROGRAM that seeks to find solutions to political problems without the use of the monopolistic bureaucratic state. Libertarian writers have done a thorough job of solving all but one or two very large problems (I think I may have solved those remaning issues in my work but I am not yet certain.)
ROTHBARDIAN Libertarianism, which is prominent on the web, was designed to be an ideological religion based upon rigorously defended philosophy combining jewish ethics of resistance (the ghetto) with christian legal and moral arguments (natural law) as a means of resisting both socialism and postmodernism. As and ideology he reduced that philosophy to very simple moral principles that can function as an ideology (generating emotion) rather than as an institutional prescription (generating arguments.) This is because Rothbard and his generation understood that the communists had produced a significant literature but could not win the hearts and minds of ordinary voters unless this philosophy was reduced to policy (the ten planks) and ideology (simple, repeatable, emotionally moralistic statements that would incite people to talk and act in support of those ideas. So Rothbardian libertarianism is an ideological philosophy not a prescription for institutional solutions to the problems of politics.