This Telegraph article suggests that Libertarians undermine liberty:
Libertarian thinking is already a force in party politics, as one of the strands of thinking in both the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. The objective of libertarian campaigners ought to be to strengthen those strands. The lesson from American politics is that when libertarians create parties, they end up undermining liberty by diverting campaignersâ€™ efforts way from the mainstream. Perversely, the Libertarian Party in the United States has undermined liberty: if it becomes a noticeable minority party, the British equivalent will do the same.
Part of the problem, I think, is that we live in a world where you can get everything the way you want it, so I think there’s an expectation that the consumer culture has created that you can get your politics just the way you want it too, except it can’t really work that way.Â In politics, you have to build coalitions of interests, and being part of a coalition means you don’t get everything you want all of the time.Â If gun rights activists had their way, Fred Thompson would have been the Republican nominee, but as it was, it was an election for national security and national greatness factions of the Republican Party to assert themselves, and they wanted McCain.Â When you have to form coalitions with other interests, you can’t always get your way.
Perhaps one of the prices we pay in society for a decline in civic organizations, where politics happens on a smaller scale.Â Having to participate in a civic organization, where everyone is a volunteer, is a great lesson in the dysfunctions of people, and the limitations of the political process.Â With people more and more expecting politics to be like any other consumer product, the result could be a growing collection of small, ineffective parties that remove political capital from the main parties, leaving a lot of good ideas out in the political wilderness.