Showing off his well-known gift for understatement, Lawrence Auster demonstrates, to his own satisfaction, that "libertarianism...is a transparent fraud." And he does it in only 18 sentences, which I have numbered, below, for easy reference:
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" Here is the fatal self-contradiction in libertarianism and Randianism.  (There are of course differences between the two ideologies, but in terms of the issues being discussed here, we can treat them as the same.)  Libertarianism is a political philosophy which says that the state's only legitimate function is to protect the members of society from force or fraud, meaning from external enemies who attack or invade the country from without, and from internal criminals who harm others through force or fraud.  Since libertarians want the state to protect society from force and fraud, that means that they believe in the existence and preservation of society, which means, minimally, people residing together and sharing a common way of life in the same physical territory.  Further, they believe in the existence and preservation of political society, which means the organization of a society into a political form, a state, for its own preservation and protection.
" Libertarians also say that they want the federal government to be strictly limited in its powers and functions, so that the smaller units of society, the states and counties and municipalities, can run their own affairs.
" But...libertarians regard any local community that runs its own affairs--for example, maintaining decent community standards by outlawing prostitution and the sale of pornography--as tyrannical.  It is tyrannical because by outlawing prostitution and pornography the state is using its police power to stop people from engaging in activities which in themselves do not involve force or fraud.  Such a community is thus the initiator of force against its citizens, which makes it a tyranny.
" The assertion is problematic in the extreme.  Any actual community is held together by shared habits, beliefs, and values that will go well beyond the prohibition of force and fraud.  If a community cannot protect the beliefs and values that define it as a community, then it is not a community.  But libertarians would allow no community or society to have any laws beyond those that prohibit force and fraud.  A community or society that has no common standards other than, "You shall not commit force or fraud," is too minimalistic to be a society in any meaningful sense.  And since it is not society, it cannot be a political society either.
" Libertarianism claims to be a political philosophy--indeed, the only true political philosophy.  A political philosophy which precludes the existence of political society is a contradiction in terms.
" Libertarianism is, in short, a transparent fraud."
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Well. Were I to receive something like this from a first year philosophy student, I'd probably give it an A-. It's reasonably well and clearly written, interesting, provocative, and exhibits a basic understanding of some of the relevant texts.
But were I to receive it from a grad student, I'd have to ask him in for a serious discussion about his career plans. And I'd probably suggest law school. Definitely not philosophy.
[1-2] OK, more or less.
 Auster's phrase "members of society" is contentious. I take it that most libertarians would say "individuals."
 Again: it's not "society," but *individuals* that libertarians want to protect. And it's not at all clear that they want, or would ever trust, "the state" to do the job. And it's not at all clear that "a common way of life" is even a minimal precondition for "the existence and preservation of society." Depending on one's conceptions of "a common way of life" and of "the existence and preservation of society," this claim might be trivially true, trivially false, or anywhere in between.
 Anarcho-libertarians apart, this seems right.
 Libertarians, *qua* libertarians, are not committed to the existence of state, local, or municipal governments.They *are* committed to very strict limits on how such "smaller units of society...run their own affairs."
 This is absurd. Libertarians do not "regard any local community that runs its own affairs...as *tyrannical*." Only communities that overstep the "very strict limits" mentioned above.
[8-13] OK, more or less.
[14-5] This is much too strongly stated. Personally, I think that a group of people living together with the sole shared standard of rejecting all initiation of force and fraud might compare pretty favorably with lots of historical groups that we would ordinarily think of as "societies." To argue that such a group would not be a society "in any meaningful sense" would take a lot of hard philosophical work.
[16-7] OK, more or less.
 This just doesn't follow. From everything above, one cannot reasonably conclude that libertarianism is even *mistaken* - let alone a "fraud," to say nothing of a "transparent fraud."
The problem, here, which I would hope might be obvious to anybody with a philosophical turn of mind, and/or a bit of training in informal logic, is Auster's failure to distinguish between the "laws" of a society and that society's "common standards." He seems to assume that the only way for a community to "protect the beliefs and values that define it as a community" is to enforce its common standards by law. Without that assumption, his argument makes little or no sense.
But that assumption is, to put it mildly, very hard to defend. I can name any number of cases where there is no fit at all between the laws and the common standards in America today. And so can anybody who's paying even the slightest bit of attention. The law and common standards are, to borrow a phrase from Charles I, *clean different things* - and woe betide the society wherein they're not.