The first census in 1790 asked just six questions: the name of the head of the household, the number of free white males older than 16, the number of free white males younger than 16, the number of free white females, the number of other free persons, and the number of slaves.
But there is no obvious reason for holding that some normal adults are entitled to make choices for other normal adults, as paternalists of both left and right believe.
If an individual is born with the obligation to obey, who is born with the right to command?
Abstraction is a mental process we use when trying to discern what is essential or relevant to a problem; it does not require a belief in abstract entities.
What libertarians assert is simply that differences among normal adults do not imply different fundamental rights.
Guardians are necessary for children and abnormal adults, because they cannot make responsible choices for themselves.
It is precisely because neither individuals nor small groups can be fully self-sufficient that cooperation is necessary to human survival and flourishing.
Equality of rights means that some people cannot simply impose obligations on others, for the moral agency and rights of those others would then be violated.
Libertarians recognize the difference between adults and children, as well as differences between normal adults and adults who are insane or mentally hindered or retarded.
Libertarians recognize the inevitable pluralism of the modern world and for that reason assert that individual liberty is at least part of the common good.