Libertarian or Anarchist? from Chaospark with an editorial change.
Libertarians are often accused of being anarchists or asked what the difference is between a libertarian and an anarchist. The popular image of anarchy is unrestrained violence and looting. Libertarians take a stronger stand against violence and looting than any other political group including republicans and democrats. The early history of the United States with its severely limited government was strongly libertarian and completely different from this image of anarchy.
The misunderstanding on this issue comes from the ideal state of peace and productivity with no government interference imagined by many libertarians who forget that we are the only ones who can imagine it . In a libertarian society the evolution of voluntary institutions providing the few remaining government services might lead to the gradual elimination of government but this scenario is completely beyond the imagination of the general public and it harms our cause to confront them with such a startling vision. (ed.: probably the reason only libertarians can imagine this is because the libertarian ideal is as unrealistic as the anarchist one)
Here is a menu of answers to the question: What’s the difference between libertarians and anarchists?
The traditional answer
Libertarians want severely limited government and anarchists want none.
The humanist answer
Libertarians are nonviolent; some anarchists are violent.
The funny answer
Libertarians are to anarchists as nudists are to naked people.They’re just middle class & organized so they appear less crazy.
The Party answer (from Andre Marrou)
An anarchist is an extreme libertarian, like a socialist is an extreme democrat, and a fascist is an extreme republican.
The graphic answer (editorially changed)
It’s like the difference between a seducer and a rapist. They’re both in the same place but one uses violence to fuck you.
The straight answer
Libertarians believe in free markets, private property, and capitalism. Anarchists who believe in these things usually call themselves libertarians.
Libertarianism is Anarchy with a smiley face mask to make it palatable to the ignorant.
In reality, Libertarians, for all their talk support corporatocracy which is far more tyrannical than the governments they despise. Libertarianism opposes government authority in all forms and seems to believe we can live happily and in complete freedom without government interference. If government is involved, it protects the rights of the wealthy and corporations–not individuals.
The slogan “individual responsibility” is popular among libertarians, but it is not individuals or individual liberties that they are concerned. It is the “rights” of businesses, large and small (but especially large) to make a substantial profit without government strictures, oversight, or intervention. In their view, corporations should be able to pollute the air, water, and soil, sell shoddy or dangerous goods, and violate the rights of their workers. The faith of these ideologues in the free market is as fervent, inflexible, and insusceptible of proof as John Calvin’s belief in predestination. According to anarcho-capitalists, a restaurant that gives its customers food poisoning will just go out of business; an automobile company that installs faulty brakes will lose its customer base. Because the market, like a mysterious Providence, eventually intervenes, neither regulation nor compensation is required. Similarly, certain prominent anarchists declared that “anarchy is order!”—meaning that if authorities did not interfere, things would naturally sort themselves out.