You do not get the point of liberty if you tell only half of the story.
Whatever the benefits derived from adhering to a dogmatic belief, the price for it is paid in units of dishonesty. Or shall we call it more charitably: inconsistency.
Much to the discreditation of liberty-leaning ideas, many libertarians are no less (scientifically underinformed) dogmatists than many of the left.
A case in point is Don Boudreaux, a master of tendential reporting.
His approach echoes the fundamental shortcoming to be found in Public Choice, a branch of the social sciences not inappropriately referred to as the theory of government failure, which analyses self-serving or anti-public behaviour by government agents.
Public choice is valuable to the extent that it helps identify and understand malfunction in government relative to its legitimate tasks; unfortunately, Public Choice is at the same time self-discrediting in that it answers the question "what do we know about an elephant" by listing elephant diseases, pretending thus to exhaust the full story.
Boudreaux's trick is to put the spotlight on the wonderful achievements brought about by voluntary transactions taking place in free markets, completely ignoring the vast areas where such behaviour cannot be practiced, especially in the realm of political competition which logically and technically precedes market transactions. Always. Naturally.
First we must compete politically and win that competition before we can hope to establish the legal framework without which fair market competition is impossible. Anyone who understands that, will reject anarchism (or anarcho-capitalism, or Boudreaux's crypto-anarcho-capitalism, for that matter) as incapable of understanding the fundamental social challenge that gives rise to the need of liberty: the ineradicable ambiguity of politics and its enforcer the state.
As much as we may succeed in pre-market political competition, we will never accomplish an all-out victory, but rather a fickle state of relative strength vis-à-vis (a) agents with creeds and intentions based on premises similar to ours but arriving at different conclusions or (b) agents starting from totally different premises and ending up with different conclusions. And one of the finest features of liberty is her unfaltering defense of an incessant supply of agents such as described in (a) and (b).
It is highly characteristic of Boudreaux's attitude that he holds back the fact (even from himself?) that the thinkers Alchian and North (see the below quote), frequently quoted by him (suggesting conversance with their work), do not support his crypto-anarchist economic imperialism, while he parades them as if they did.
In truth, Alchian and North offer sound explanations (see the below links) that help us understand the inevitability and need of politics and the state, the inescapable plying (the twisting-together) of freedom and unfreedom to form the main yarn in the texture of our political culture, and the resultant tension between the hopes and the reality of liberty.
We need to read, again, Armen Alchian (1950) to understand this. In a world of uncertainty, no one knows the correct answer to the problems we confront and no one therefore can, in effect, maximize profits. The society that permits the maximum generation of trials will be the most likely to solve problems through time (a familiar argument of Hayek, 1960). Adaptive efficiency, therefore, provides the incentives to encourage the development of decentralized decision-making processes that will allow societies to maximize the efforts required to explore alternative ways of solving problems.
In as much as adaptive efficiency is generated by the market, it requires political empowerment and protection. Moreover, adaptive efficiency is not confined to strictly market-based transactions, the entirety of civil society is involved. Civil society itself depends on political and legal institutions, not on markets alone.
It is a tragedy that people purporting to be in favour of freedom are not willing to defend liberty on the grounds that our society - like any other conceivable form of society - can only sustain liberty in highly imperfect form.
A few people can make a living from this kind of grumpy abstention (from fighting for a better quality of democracy, politics and politics-enforcing state institutions). Many libertarians unfortunately feel attracted and emotionally enhanced by a position of armchair heckling. It may help them in some ways, it certainly does not help liberty.
To put it differently, anarchists and crypto-anarchists - and hence many libertarians - simply do not understand freedom, and are a danger to the cause of liberty.