Other libertarians may have encountered or experienced someone saying the following.

Statist: “Libertarian ideas sound good in practice, but they don’t line up with reality.”

There are two obvious problems with this statement.

First, where can you find a country that is ruled or predominantly abides by libertarian principles?

Switzerland or Hong Kong are probably as close as you’ll get and those certainly are not countries with a large central government. However, in the United States almost every state and every area of the country is dominated by either pro-statist Republicans or Democrats, so policies that result from pro-liberty legislation are less frequent.

Second, how do the ideas and policies of the two-party duopoly align with the outcomes of their intended goals? The evidence is clearly in favor in of liberty, not state control.

The War on Drugs has failed to keep people from abusing drugs. Drugs can be found everywhere including the prisons themselves. Gun control has only led to higher rates of gun violence, especially in gun-free zones where it is less risky for mass shooters to commit murders. Government schools also known as public education have kids graduating with high school diplomas that are functionally illiterate. The wars in the Middle East have not diminished terrorism or liberated any of those countries from tyrannical rule. Financial regulations did not prevent the last economic recession and will not prevent future monetary crises from occurring.

On the other hand, areas of our lives and industries that are largely or completely untouched by government intervention thrive. At the click of a button anyone can search the internet on any subject fathomable and acquire vast amounts of information while paying a fraction of the cost the government spends on education. It has also allowed entrepreneurs in the alternative media the opportunity to pursue truth and push back against politically-controlled media lies. Technology in general has improved remarkably over the past few decades. Thanks to the profit and loss mechanisms of free trade, products in this industry widely available and relatively cheap. Supermarket grocery stores provide an abundant variety of healthy and affordable food that cannot be found in many parts of the world. The end of alcohol prohibition marked the end of gang violence in the black market that prohibition created. This resulted in a return to protection of property rights for buyers and sellers of alcohol. This list could go on much longer…

The reality is none of the benefits of the free market happen without a libertarian approach to the role of government, which is the right of people whether individually or collectively to exercise freedom so long as it doesn’t violate the rights of others.