By comparison to the utter ineptitude and willful stupidity of the Bush Regime, "libertarianism" sounds smart and sexy, ruggedly individualistic and hardboiled. Famous libertarians include such hardboiled legumes as Ayn Rand, Grover Norquist and Pat Buchanan. "Famous" and "libertarian" don't live in the same sentence for good reasons. It is a philosophy meant for a fantasy world, a world with, say, 300,000 people in it, tops.
As a libertarian-leaning liberal, I agree than an Ayn Rand absolute libertarianism is not realistic in a world where people actually have to deal with one another. It's a celebration of greed masquerading as freedom. However libertarian principles, such as the belief that government is accountable to people rather than the other way around, are very good ideas. Too many of us are starting to think of Uncle Sam as DADDY Sam, depending on government for the things that free people should do themselves, if it's in their power. Stuff like public roads and utilities are still a good idea -- handling them on an individual basis makes no economic sense, but when the central authority starts chipping away at your freedom out of fear or their own convenience -- such as the PATRIOT Act -- then we have a dangerous reversal of where power is truly supposed to be.
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