Classical arguments for libertarianism do not assume that adults never make mistakes, always know their interests, or even are able always to act on their interests when they know them. Rather, it assumes that adults very typically know their own interests better than government officials, professors, or anyone else [...]. In addition, the classical libertarian case partly rests on a presumption that being able to make mistakes through having the right to make one's own choices leads in the long run to more self-reliant, competent, and independent individuals.
[...] libertarianism relies not on the assumption that individuals always make the right decisions, but rather that in the vast majority of situations they do better for themselves than government officials could do for them. One does not have to be a classical libertarian [...] to recognize that the case for classical libertarianism is not weakened by the literature motivating libertarian paternalism. Indeed, when similar considerations are applied to government officials and intellectuals as well as to the rest of us, the case for classical libertarianism may even be strengthened!