The longer I live the more I feel in accord with the philosophy of libertarianism- live and let live. This philosophy is based on the golden rule- to do unto others as you would have them do unto you- as very few people want other people to interfere in their affairs and this philosophy of liberty reflects this. The basic premise of this belief is to let others live as they choose, as long as it doesn't impact on my own ability to live as I choose.
In recent times libertarianism has been turned into a political philosophy- the idea being to limit the power of governments to intervene in the affairs of the individual. I applaud this effort but personally do not view libertarianism as a political philosophy. After all, you cannot impose freedom on other people or demand that they respect the free will of others. Instead, a government that respects individual freedom will only evolve as the individuals within a society begin to respect the free will of their neighbors. Until this occurs a freedom-respecting government cannot evolve.
To restate, libertarianism is the personal philosophy held by those who believe in respecting the free will of others to life life as they choose as long it is not interfering with my free will to choose my lifestyle.
Governments, as they stand, are based on a very different philosophy- that of mutual interference. The government allows its agents to intervene in the affairs of private citizens even when their behaviors are not impacting on other citizens freedom to choose. This behavior is based on an authoritarian philosophy which says that those who rule society have the right to interfere in the lives of its citizens if it suits the objectives of the ruling elite. This is a philosophy that is unquestioned by many, but is being increasingly scrutinized, particularly by younger members of society.