The wife has a talent not only for coming at things from a perspective different from that of your humble Devil, but also for putting it in a rather succinct, clear way.
The truth is that advocates of freedom are found all over the political spectrum, but the only true libertarians are the ones who advocate it at all times in all circumstances, from the bedroom to the wallet—who believe that ‘freedom from’ is the only state of being consistent with the dignity and majesty of humankind.
‘Freedom from’ is the most important part of that ideology. Freedom from coercion. Freedom from interference. Freedom from oppression.
‘Freedom to’ is where the misunderstandings enter. People on the right think libertarians are advocating freedom to burgle, rob, rape, murder—because they read ‘freedom’ to mean ‘freedom to do whatever you please.’
People on the left think libertarians are advocating exploitation, pollution, callousness, and the primacy of making (and keeping) money above all else—because they read ‘freedom’ to mean ‘freedom to do whatever you please.’
And both sides think libertarians consider the laws we have prohibiting these activities to be a restriction on freedom.
When will they realise that they don’t understand?
Libertarians believe you should be free from coercion—and that you must not coerce anyone else. Libertarians believe you should be free from interference—and that you must not interfere with anyone else. Libertarians believe you should be free from oppression—and that you must not oppress anyone else. Because these are to be universal freedoms: what you do not wish done to you, you must not do to anyone else.
For the libertarian, there is no ‘freedom to.’ Freedom represents an absence, the absence of force and fraud. It does not represent a licence to do anything, or a right or entitlement, except the absolute human right not to be forced or defrauded.
As Bella points out, it is in the area of "freedom to" that conflicts happen.
But the whole point of libertarianism is this "do as you would be done by" attitude: a person who demands freedom from the state and then demands that this same state oppresses others is not a libertarian.
Anyway, do go and read the whole thing...