The (socialists) left regard us libertarians as rich narcissists closely linked to fascism and that we constantly look for new ways of making people homeless and that we laugh at the poor and starving on our way to our mansions and yachts.
The (conservative) right believe that libertarian is another word for “hippie”; that we want to destroy family values while puffing on a cannabis pipe. And the right seem to think that we´re part of the gay agenda and that we have neither morals nor reached religious enlightenment.
The general populace may think that libertarians are behind everything from the privatization of day-care to wars, everything from poverty in Africa to violence against women. This mainly due to mainstream media taking every possible moment to blame libertarianism for all the wrongs in our world.
Is there any other group so hated? So despised? So misunderstood? Not even Nazis, and certainly not communists, are so reviled throughout the world.
Personally I believe it is because we libertarians piss off everyone at the same time...
and their kids, main source of income is their large cannabis field in the backyard.
Did you notice it? In above sentences alone I managed to offend and piss off religious nuts, Nazis, communists, mainstream scholars, journalists and the politically correct.
Let’s try another one;
A libertarian is a person whom argues that all forms of corporate subsidies as well as all forms of government controlled social welfare should be abolished and he/she wants to end the wars and both stop the surveillance police state and the crony corporate hegemony at the same time.
Here I pissed of banks, big conglomerates, government officials, politicians, neo-cons, the intelligence community and everyone who wants to have a welfare state. All at the same time.
You cannot really put us in the right-left paradigm. Although we in many issues, especially comes to economics, belong to the right, we also promote and argue social freedoms and argue human rights both of the individual and of groups. If you with feminism mean equality before the law and that both genders should have the same rights and freedoms, all libertarians are also, automatically, feminists. We advocate sexual as well as economic freedom. We promote gay rights as well as gun rights.
We libertarians are pro-democracy, but not necessarily pro-voting. Democracy is much more than just casting a vote every 4 years or so, it is also about freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and so on. The voting process should never be allowed to become despotic or be allowed to infringe on our basic rights. The left in particular cannot understand this point of view since in their world, at least in theory, people should vote on everything that has an impact on their lives. In reality we know from a lot of socialist trial-and-errors that in a socialist country the (one) party controls everything and the party leader is, at best, a oligarchical figurehead, and at worst a 100% dictator.
Although most can understand that we should not allow the 51% to murder the minority 49% and consequently most also reject the notion of; voting decides all - people still have no problem to impose “minor” rules and infringements that are based on the very same premise.
A libertarian is a person that rejects the majority view/vote if this view/vote means forcible action taken against those that disagree. For example smoking; we know that smoking is bad for us, but it is my body, my life, my time and my money. If I want to smoke 57 packs a day it is my right to do so. No regulation, no tax, no law and no group, regardless if this group is the majority or the minority, has any right to tell me what I should or should not smoke. The same goes for sex and sexuality. If I want to sleep with a woman or with a man or with several at the same time, it is my choice. You may have your own moral objections if my girlfriend urinates on me while another man spanks my monkey, but that is your opinion and although you are entitled to it, you do not however have the right to tell me, by law and via threat of violence by the state, that such sexual activity is wrong.
And here we come to a final reason why people of all political views reject libertarianism; they see libertarianism lacking government rules and that the ideology is close to, if not purely, anarchism. Although there are anarchists within the libertarian movement, the so called anarcho-capitalists, the general consensus among libertarians is that there should be a government and that there should be a few central laws following the guide-lines of natural given rights. A government in a libertarian state would exist to uphold the law and provide military protection of the land. There might also be a little wiggle room for the government to have certain foreign and diplomatic tasks and perhaps even minor social ones. The key word here is however “voluntary”. A person should have the right to opt out of society in one form or the other and most (if not all) government actions should be founded via voluntary donations or via income derived from low/non-intrusive taxes such as voluntary VAT´s or lottery programs.
The rules/laws in a libertarian state are few and simple - easy to understand and easy to obey.
You, as an individual have, in a Libertarian society, an absolute right to do, think, act, say and work in whatever way you want until the moment you encounter another individual with the same right. In practice this means that you can own guns but not shoot anyone unless it is in self-defense; it means that declaring war will never happen, the government (and the people) will only act in self-defense; it also means that you can smoke weed but not force anyone else to do so; it means that you can hold hands with, have sex with and marry someone of the same gender but you cannot force a priest to wed you.
For conservatives and socialists these, what they refer to as “opposite duo-opinions”, are not compatible. How can you be for gay rights but not force a church/priest to marry them? How can you be for gun rights but against waging wars in foreign countries?
For a libertarian it is not only possible, it is required. You cannot claim to be libertarian and be for certain rights but not for others.
Liberals/socialists also have a problem with us libertarians refusing to rally together with them against NationalSocialists. Of course it is not only libertarians, also conservatives and pretty much anyone knowing anything about the red madness will refuse to go. But in the leftie mind-set not going in a demonstration against fascists and NationalSocialists is the same as being on the same side as such horrific ideologies. The left want us to ignore their blood-soaked red flags and the most evil symbols of all time; the hammer and sickle, and see it and them as something great and good just because they are against Nazis.
No, we libertarians are against totalitarian ideas and against any form of aggression against human rights no matter who utters them. We do not care if you are socialist, communist, social-democrat, neo-con or Nazis.
What we care about is basic human rights and civil liberties. Period.
Does that make us evil?