Over at TCS, Pejman Yousefzadeh has a bone to pick with libertarian foreign-policy "minimalists," namely that minimalism is more about how the world should work than how it does work.
Yousefzadeh identifies himself as a foreign-policy "realist," a position he describes this way: " [T]he world is fundamentally anarchic, nation-states are the prime actors in this anarchic world and nation-states seek to maximize power, either for power's own sake or for the preservation of security." He notes that "while realists may not like the way the world works, they argue that realist theory is the best way to understand how it does work."
By contrast, "libertarian minimalists appear to lack . . . an alternative explanatory theory of how the international system works, one that would perhaps serve as the intellectual foundation for the idealist foreign policy platform of the libertarian minimalist school." Rather, "the libertarian minimalist school purports to explain how the world should work and how foreign policy should be conducted."
Yousefzadeh writes that "it is not enough to fashion an idealistic foreign policy. Libertarian minimalists must take the extra step to fashion a doctrine that debunks realism and supports their own foreign policy outlook. They must seek to explain how the international system is not a Hobbesian stage where the maximization of power is the central foreign policy goal, or that if it is, libertarian minimalism can somehow be consistent with the Hobbesian realist outlook."
There was a related exchange last year between Ryan Sager and Radley Balko. Ron Bailey on Libertarianism in One State? is here. Nick Gillespie's thoughts on defining foreign-policy success in the Middle East are here. The appearance of a Hobbesian "neolibertarianism" was noted here.