Michael van Landingham has praised libertarianism:
The libertarian ideal is fantastic, and I believe we should strive towards it. Yet in a pluralistic society composed of humans who are far from mental, financial, or racial peers, regulation is a necessity. Libertarianism may function in homogeneous societies where everyone has a similar background, education, and life experiences, but I cannot see a feasible method of implementation for a society as diverse as America.
Michael is right that libertarianism can’t work in America, but would libertarianism work better anywhere else? Homogeneous societies like, say, Sweden are able to guarantee “similar background, and life experiences” through expressly non-libertarian social welfare and educational guarantees. If they became libertarian, they would eventually lose the very characteristics that make them seem welcoming to libertarianism.
The larger reason that libertarianism can never work is that it is mistaken about the nature of human beings. We are not independent, rational actors but rather creatures living in various states of dependence on family, friends, and society at large. The insight expressed by Alasdair Macintyre in Dependent Rational Animals is the same that we see in Daniel Kahneman’s Nobel-winning psychology. Both point away from libertarianism’s anthropology.
As one would expect, the gap between libertarianism’s idea of the independent man and the reality of dependence bubbles up in all sorts of unpleasant ways. The existence of a human living in a state of dependence — like a fetus or a patient on a feeding tube–becomes a challenge to this ideology, which may be why, in many cases, it threatens their survival.