… is from page 3 of Tom Palmer’s 2013 essay “Why Be Libertarian?”, which is chapter 1 of Why Liberty, an excellent 2013 collection edited by Tom:
As you go through life, chances are almost 100 percent that you act like a libertarian. You might ask what it means to “act like a libertarian.” It’s not that complicated. You don’t hit other people when their behavior displeases you. You don’t take their stuff. You don’t lie to them to trick them into letting you take their stuff, or defraud them, or knowingly give them directions that cause them to drive off of a bridge. You’re just not that kind of a person.
You respect other people. You respect their rights. You might sometimes feel like smacking someone in the face for saying something really offensive, but your better judgment prevails and you walk away, or answer words with words. You’re a civilized person.
Congratulations. You’ve internalized the basic principles of libertarianism. You live your life and exercise your own freedom with respect for the freedom and rights of others. You behave like a libertarian.
DBx: Indeed so. And the libertarian correctly understands that an act that is morally unacceptable when performed by an individual doesn’t become morally acceptable merely because individuals as a group possess the physical power to perform that act without their suffering much risk of resistance or retaliation. The burden of proof of justifying coercive actions against peaceful others is on those people who propose such coercive actions, and this burden is a heavy one. The burden is not met simply by counting heads or hands and discovering that a majority endorses the coercive actions.