This article is from the Libertarian FAQ, by Joe Dehn email@example.com, Robert Bickford rab.AT.daft.com, Mike Huben firstname.lastname@example.org and Advocates for Self-Government http://www.self-gov.org/ with numerous contributions by others.
Libertarians are working to reduce the role of government in society.
A government that was concerned only with protecting individual rights
would no longer be initiating force to achieve the political or
social goals of politicians and special interest groups.
That's why we ask new Libertarian Party members to sign the statement
(on the membership form) -- to remind us of the need to reduce the
power of government, and to dedicate our political efforts towards
achieving that goal.
One other question commonly asked is: Does this mean that
Libertarians don't believe in the right of self-defense? No. The
key word is that we don't advocate the _initiation_ of force. We
believe all individuals have the right to use appropriate force
to defend themselves, their families, and their country.