On Assumptions about Libertarians

There are two assumptions made by non-libertarians about libertarians that bother me: 1) Bastiat nailed this one when he wrote that non-libertarians assume libertarians don’t want things like universal “education,” welfare for the poor, business regulation, and other such things just because they don’t want them provided by the state. And 2) libertarians are okay with the state providing services that prevent or respond to aggression, such as the military, police, and courts. Both assumptions are wrong, and both ignore the fact that libertarians are a diverse group. On 1) some libertarians might not like those things either privately or publicly provided, while others do. I, for one, don’t care for public or private universal “education,” or in other words, schooling. On 2) some libertarians recognize that the ends can’t justify the means; meaning a group of individuals who claim and maintain a monopoly on the legal use of force cannot prevent or respond to aggression without first committing aggression in the maintenance of their monopoly. In other words, those libertarians do not support either state-provided welfare or law and order. And that’s today’s two cents.