A relatively frequent comment that one hears upon familiarizing others with the libertarian philosophy is the following: “This is all based on a psychologically mistaken assumption that people want to be free. Meanwhile, the truth is that the majority of people do not want freedom, but bread, circuses, the appearance of security, the feeling of tribal smugness, etc.”

This comment is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of libertarianism. Libertarianism does not claim that nobody is permitted to voluntarily assume the role of a slave, but that nobody is permitted to impose such a role on others; it does not claim that nobody is permitted to voluntarily join a slavish system, driven by bread, circuses, and tribal superstition, but that nobody is permitted to impose such a system on those who reject it or finance it out of their pockets, no matter how much of a minority group such rejecters constitute.

In other words, this kind of comment immediately betrays a collectivict slant, which libertarianism rejects from the outset. It is always worth bearing that in mind in order to maintain one’s awareness that libertarianism is a social philosophy, not a marketing proposal or a party platform.