When we mentioned libertarianism in our discussion of ideology, Prof. Johnson stated that it is inconsistent to be economically conservative and socially liberal, at least in the widely accepted modern notions of liberalism and conservatism. In an attempt to receive more fresh criticism for a small portion of my rapidly-evolving political beliefs, I would like to expand on this point, and briefly state my position.
As stated in class, libertarianism might be better described in terms of a lack of government interference. In some individuals this ideology extends to a desire to abolish government entirely. There are many extremely different schools of libertarian thought ("liberalism" and many other ideologies cover quite a broad range as well), but I will be discussing the more anarcho-capitalistic (or minarcho-capitalistic) libertarianism common in the States, as the Libertarian Party is apparently the third largest political party in the US.
The laissez-faire capitalism advocated by these libertarians is incompatible with social liberalism in addition to economic. I will admit that I personally associate social liberalism first with issues like abortion and gay marriage, so it's understandable that the Libertarian Party, which is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage in general, could have this association, but libertarianism doesn't really fit on the left-right spectrum and cannot be considered socially liberal when it rejects affirmative action, anti-discrimination and hate crime laws, welfare, expanded or universal health-care, public education and income tax or any other attempt at wealth re-distribution.
I am of the opinion that granting complete and total individual liberty, at least according to this definition, means that minorities and the poor will remain poor and oppressed. If people are allowed to refuse to hire (or provide services to) racial minorities, women and homosexuals, many would. Many, many more would refuse to hire/serve transgendered people - admittedly this is already the case in much of America. I reject that notion that the "freedoms" to discriminate and to hoard resources that others need in order to remain alive and well are worth protecting.
Making no attempt to remedy the vast gulf between the rich and the poor that keeps many ignorant, without access to healthcare and lacking career opportunties will only perpetuate the racism, classism, sexism and homophobia of our largely "socially conservative" society.