If we woke up tomorrow without government, my ethical behavior would not change. I would still adhere to a set of principles, morals, virtues and ethics.
If there were total anarchy tomorrow, there would be criminals and villains who certainly would take advantage of the lawlessness. During riots or social uprisings, where the law is forgotten, some individuals choose to loot, attack, kill, rob or rape.
However, most people's behaviors and actions would not change that much if the government completely vanished tomorrow.
Crime is in the heart of bad actors, and the law is seldom a deterrent to a dedicated criminal. The law inspires within them the creativity to circumvent and evade punishment from the government, but it does not always prevent them from carrying out their despicable deeds.
Libertarians--and most people, for that matter--live by self-governance and self-discipline. They choose to abide by their morality, principles and ethics.
If there was an announcement on the radio in the morning that every government on the planet had collapsed and we were in a state of utter lawlessness, my principles wouldn't change.
Respecting private property, I would not steal from stores or businesses. Appreciating people's hard work to earn money and possessions, I would not steal or take things from someone.
Advocating for the social contract of consent and observing a moral allegiance to my wife, I would not desire to transgress upon a woman's sovereignty, autonomy and agency by sexually assaulting her.
Observing an individual's natural right to live, I would invoke and maintain my commitment to peace and non-aggression by not attacking or murdering innocent people. Unless acting in self-defense, I would not wage an assault on an enemy. I would continue to respect the inalienable rights of friends and enemies alike.
Though in libertarian philosophy, I have total bodily autonomy; I would continue to abstain from drugs, drunkenness, or any form of hedonism or activity that would cause grievous harm to my body.
I have no desire to inflict violence, rape, kill, steal or in any way cause harm to myself or others. Even if I had the impulse or interest to do so, I would not act upon them, abiding by my staunchly held libertarian principles. I refuse to violate a person's natural rights under any condition.
My codes, virtues and ethics transcend exterior governance. I do not need the government or an established authority to issue laws or decrees to make me behave ethically and responsibly. I believe in self-ownership and self-discipline, which are the principles I live by.
If you're reading this and nodding in agreement, you're like many people who share these libertarian values. Most people can govern themselves and run their lives better than the government.
If you enjoyed reading this, you may also like 'Why Self-Discipline is a Libertarian Virtue.'