Libertarianism is an Ideal
Libertarianism as a theory of justice states that people have a right to property and a right to noninjury, and these two rights override all other morally relevant values. The result is supposed to be that we should have a free market (laissez-faire capitalism). The only legitimate government interference (if any) is to enforce our property rights and rights to non-injury. Those who violate our rights must pay us compensation.
I am not a libertarian advocate, and I don’t think it’s a realistic goal to expect anytime soon. At the same time I have no problem with a libertarian free market utopia. Perhaps we will one day live in an ideal libertarian free market society where people have property rights, people don’t hurt each other, and people freely give charity to those who need it most — orphans, the elderly, etc. Nothing wrong with that.
Why am I not a libertarian advocate?
One, I don’t think a “free market” will exist anytime soon.
Two, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a communist utopia either. (It’s quite possible for people to freely share all their wealth and so on.)
Three, I don’t agree that libertarianism is a comprehensive theory of ethics. There’s more to right and wrong/good and bad other than what is described by the libertarian theory of justice.
Four, being a libertarian has been completely twisted by the Republican party and right-wing media. Libertarian values have been used to support the idea that the poor shouldn’t get any welfare (such as public education) and that corporations shouldn’t be regulated. At the same time libertarian values in the media and politics isn’t used to oppose corporate welfare. In other words libertarian values are being used as propaganda to empower the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.
Five, ideals are dangerous insofar as they are used to motivate “sweeping changes” with unpredictable effects. Let’s say a bunch of libertarians get into politics and want to slash all welfare — both for the poor and the rich. The result is likely that the welfare for the poor will be cut, but not the welfare for the rich because the rich won’t let it happen. Such idealistic actions can ignore the reality we are in right now and lead to terrible results in the process.