I don't believe that's an accurate description of an authoritarian point of view. Most authoritarians believe that submission to authority is the key point, not what you claim.
Maybe Authoritarianism was a bad term; I wasn't quite sure what term to use. Anyway that is the viewpoint I most commonly see in opposition to Libertarianism: that the government is justified in forcing people to do things as long as it deems it to be for the "greater good".
The former part may be closer to accurate, but I think it's incomplete, it would benefit from an explanation of the coercion part.
Well, start with the basics: I own my body and my mind. It would be coercion for someone to try to control my body (for example by making me a slave, or murdering me), or for someone to try to control my mind (for example by threatening to kill me if I did not stop practicing my religion). To prevent this, we need police and military.
By extension, it is coercion for someone to take to products of your body and mind without your consent. So, if I make a chair, that chair is mine. If I compose a piece of music, that music is also mine. If someone were to use my chair or my music without my agreement (which I would only grant if offered something good enough in return), then that would be like coercing me to use my resources to benefit them. To prevent this, we need criminal law and copyright/patent law.
Now for society to function, it must be possible for people to exchange benefits with each other with confidence of receiving something in return. To allow this, we need contract law and civil law, which will ensure that people deliver on promises they make.
Thus, from the concept of preventing coercion comes all government, from a libertarian point of view.
edited 29th May '11 7:03:01 PM by EdwardsGrizzly