Tristero at Hullabaloo:
. . . to the extent that libertarians hold up the individual as primary and fail to recognize that individuals simply cannot physically exist without a social/cultural/environmental context, libertarianism is worthless. To the extent that libertarianism does recognize the complex dialectic between the individual and her/his social and physical environment, libertarianism is indistinguishable from liberalism.
As a moral philosophy, by failing to recognize an indisputable physical and ethical reality - namely, that the conflict between the one and the many is primary - libertarianism is all but useless. As a political philosophy, especially when it comes to issues affecting the "rights of businesses", libertarianism is often deeply immoral, providing flimsy rationales for destructive acquisition, thievery, fraud, and greed - typically, and ironically, in the service of the largest corporations, not individuals. When political libertarianism does pursue goals worthwhile to the individual and to society - eg, in calling for the end of sodomy laws - they add no arguments to the debate that liberals and progressives haven't already expressed.
The whole piece is worth reading.
My sense of the kind of typical, often very intelligent person who is attracted to Randian Libertarianism or the candidacies of people like Ron Paul is that they are like fundamentalists or old-fashioned communist party members or anybody, really, that has a need to live within a closed ideas system. They embrace a rigid set of ideas, sometimes simplistic, sometimes complex, that has a certain interior logic or sense to it so long as you stay inside its bubble. Problems arise, though, when they try to make the complexity of the world fit into their bubble, because too much of it does not and cannot fit. It's a form of idolatry, if by idolatry we mean the absolutizing and worshipping of a partial truth.
Here's a post I wrote expanding on the second rate-ness of Libertarian thinking a couple of years ago.