I am often amused when self-described libertarians engage in argument that really boils down to an abrogation of any sense of a social compact, particularly where they are the affluent progeny of affluent parents.
Because the rich can take care of themselves, the argument goes, the poor should be left to care for themselves. The externalities are ignored. Usually when you get a larger perspective on the speaker, you find an associated set of beliefs and values which speak not of libertarianism, but the notion that they and their wealthy peers should not have to pay taxes which inure to the benefit of people they deem beneath them. They can afford association fees which pay for the private roads of their gated communities. They assume the middle classes can form private associations to assume ownership of their own streets (and any gates they wish to install). And if they can't (or if they're poor), too bad, so sad. That's why God created dirt roads and tar paper shacks.
So when I read something like this,
Many commenters seem astonished by the idea of private streets. My parents have a house in a private, gated community, where the streets are indeed privately owned. Access to the community is for owners and their guests. The community functions quite well, as far as I can tell, and, among other potential advantages, there is virtually no crime. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there is nothing either radical or impractical about streets being privately owned.I am left wondering if the speaker is truly expressing opinions which arise from libertarian notions of private contractual obligations taking the place of government ownership and maintenance of roadways, or if they have chosen libertarianism as the philosophy most consistent with their desire to avoid taxes, social responsibility, and exposure to people with different ideas or (gasp) who are poor.