From what I read in the more left wing publications, libertarianism is often dismissed as selfish, self-concerned, lacking in the milk of human kindness, harsh, and a lackey philosophy of the uncaring exploitative business class. A Tory plot to dispossess and destroy the cooperative harmony of the people, perhaps?
However it seems to me that such thinking is part of a greater desire to conceal the circumstances that constitute true freedom and cooperation. What might be considered the true collective.
Trying to define reality in human relationships, with both our own capacity for self deception, especially when our egos are at stake, and the subtle but powerful deceptions being promoted by those who have vast interests involved, is difficult and is possibly set to become much harder as those interests promote more obscure and untrue divisions, straw man arguments and illusory comforts of the mind. Facts are massaged until they are able to support attitudes, actions and conclusions that bear little resemblance to reality.
In fact it seems, now, that the attacks on truth/reality are taking us back to a wasteland of mind and spirit that has not been around as the dominant political and philosophical landscape since the mid 1970s (even though the number of street cameras has been steadily growing all the while, in anticipation perhaps, of this fresh awakening of death?).
To perceive the truth and resist the intellectual temptations of deception on offer will become ever more difficult. Liberty is being made unfashionable.
In any situation the basic truth is simple.
What we spend our time, energy and effort trying to find out, to "discover" is literally, doing just that - "dis-cover". To remove the cover. To penetrate obfuscations, lies and deceptions that surround simple truth. Whether we told them to ourselves or someone else did it for us.
The truest and most honest collectivism (collective action) is the free interaction of individuals. The evil, coercive collectivism as perceived by those who cherish liberty is actually the coercion exercised by individuals promoting their interests by dominating and manipulating the collective. It is a deception. The true, benevolent, collective is the spontaneous co-operation of individuals working according to their own natural requirements and desires and in response to the requirements and desires of those around them, and thus the truest collective is the free market. The spontaneous interaction of value judgements. It becomes corrupt when one particular interest group achieves an unnatural dominance and thus promotion of its interests through trickery. Be it corporate or communist in name it is the force of an individual or some individuals, not the collective.
It would thus seem the accusation that libertarians and those who cherish the value of the individual are selfish, and only concerned with their own interests and thus lacking in that kindness that flows more naturally through the veins of coerced but caring socialists, is actually based on a string of false assumptions initiated by someone's concealed agenda to control.
Perhaps even one's own.