It’s Not What They Claim It Is
Libertarianism is not about what many of its enemies pretend it is about. It is not about being “anti-government”. What it is about is the recognition that no one has the right to initiate force or violate private property. In other words, no one has the right to archate. That’s it, period.
If it isn’t about not having the right to archate, it might still be compatible with libertarianism, but it isn’t central to libertarianism. A statist or other archator might hold the same position.
If it tries to excuse or justify archation in any way, it is not compatible with libertarianism, no matter who is advocating it.
Many “libertarian, but” folk make this mistake.
What is unfortunate for the government extremists is the fact that this totally discredits government*. Government does everything it does by initiating force and by violating private property rights. If it didn’t do those things it would cease to exist as government. It might be something else– an organization perhaps– but it wouldn’t be what most people have come to define as “government”.
Being anti-government is a result of consistent libertarianism, not a cause.
Government isn’t the only excuse bullies use to archate. Not by a long shot. But it is the main excuse accepted as justification by most of your family, friends, and neighbors. And that’s why it tends to be a focus.
You don’t have to spend your time pointing out that rape is wrong, and that there can’t be a “right to commit rape”, because just about everyone is aware of the fact– they’ll agree with you.
But, since almost everyone around you believes governing is OK, when in truth it is an act identical in its evil to rape, this is where you’ll end up disagreeing with the statists, and this disagreement is what they’ll remember longest. They’ll come away believing you are only “anti-government“, not against all archation. It won’t even matter how many times you point out the truth.
It’s sad, but I am not really sure how to avoid it as long as most people suffer from the mental illness of embracing government.
*Yes, yes, I know. Government is imaginary. People commit evil, not the imaginary club known as “government”. Yet, that is how those who are out there committing evil think of themselves, and it is this thought pattern which makes them see their evil acts as somehow “OK”. I think it’s useful to approach their delusion from all directions.