It is believed that by prioritising an individual’s interest, libertarians are selfish. People tend to accuse us of egoism and claim that we neither contribute to the society nor do we help fellow citizens. So there is something that needs a little clarification – the libertarian ideology is not based on selfishness nor does it encourage egoistic behaviour.
The liberty of an every individual has always been the most important element of the libertarian ideology. However, it has always been about the possibility of choice, rather than a ruthless pursuit of one’s goals at the expense of other people. It is a basic truth that people are supposed to help one another. Helping makes us feel better, some even say it makes us humans. Libertarians have never denied that. Although we espouse every individual be responsible for their lives, we do not claim that people should be left on their own when in need. What we oppose is forcing law-obeying citizens to participate in the redistribution of goods by the State. What is supposed to help people who do not do well, in fact deprives productive citizens of the fruits of their work and fail to deliver these fruits to people who actually need them. The Government is very rarely right and never more efficient than an individual. It could be illustrated by all the privatised companies working better than the Government-owned corporations. The situation looks the same when it comes to helping people.
Help itself must be based on the voluntarism otherwise it is not help anymore. An individual should feel morally obligated to help other human being but as soon as it starts to be a legal obligation forced upon the citizens in a form of taxes, it stops to be any aid and becomes a theft. If that was not true, one could say that the rich who were robbed by Robin Hood helped the poor who received their money. Obviously it is a ridiculous statement. If the helping is not voluntary, it is not help anymore. The State that forces the citizens to pay taxes which are later redistributed and wasted on inefficient social benefits prevents these individuals from delivering an actual help to people who need it. Therefore, instead of helpless redistributing the goods by the State, this matter should be handled by the charity. Individuals who feel morally obligated to help others will be free to do so (which I believe should be a commonplace situation) without any needless assistance from the Government.
People are responsible for their lives which inevitably leads to some individuals doing better than others. Since we are all humans we should help one another but it is not the matter the State should be concerned about as the redistribution of goods does not make things any better. All it does is making the lives of citizens doing well harder. As soon as this Government policy disappears, the charity and voluntary help will become more common and therefore do more good than any social benefits ever would.