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Libertarianism is a political theory that advocates the maximization of individual liberty in thought and action[1][2][3] and the minimization or even abolition of the state.[4][5] Libertarians embrace viewpoints across a political spectrum, ranging from pro-property to anti-property and from minimal state (or minarchist) to openly anarchist.[6][2][7][8]

Libertarians have been described as "left" or "right" depending on their views of property rights over natural resources. And both assert their views are predominant worldwide. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, right libertarians hold that the resources "may be appropriated by the first person who discovers them, mixes labor with them, or merely claims them—without the consent of others, and with little or no payment to them." Left-libertarians hold "that unappropriated natural resources belong to everyone in some egalitarian manner."[9] However, some libertarians reject being described as "left" or "right." Leonard Read rejected them as "authoritarian."[10] Libertarian author and politician Harry Browne wrote: "We should never define Libertarian positions in terms coined by liberals or conservatives – nor as some variant of their positions."[11] The term "libertarianism" may to refer to either socialist anarchism or a newer laissez-faire capitalist political movement, both have little to do with each other.



The term libertarian in a metaphysical or philosophical sense was first used by late-Enlightenment free-thinkers to refer to those who believed in free will, as opposed to determinism.[12] The first recorded use was in 1789 by William Belsham in a discussion of free will and in opposition to "necessitarian" (or determinist) views.[13][14]

The French anarchist communist Joseph Déjacque employed the term libertarian in a political sense in a 1857 open letter criticizing Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.[15][16] Déjacque said Proudhon was "libéral et non LIBERTAIRE" (liberal but not libertarian), that is, the neologism was coined specifically as a distinction from the classical liberalism that Proudhon advocated in relation to economic exchange, in contrast to the more communist approach advocated by Déjacque.[15][17] From 1858 until 1861 Déjacque published in New York a journal called Le Libertaire: Journal du Mouvement Social.[18][19] Since the 1890s the term "libertarianism" has often been used as a synonym for left wing anarchism or libertarian socialism,[20] and exclusively so until the 1950s in the United States.[21][22][23]

Enlightenment ideas of individual liberty, limited government, peace and a free market were part of 19th century liberalism. While liberalism kept that meaning in most of the world, modern liberalism in the United States began to take a more statist approach to economic regulation.[24][25] While conservatism in Europe continued to mean conserving hierarchical class structures through state control of society and the economy, some conservatives in the United States began to refer to conserving traditions of liberty. This was especially true of the Old Right, who opposed the New Deal and U.S. military interventions in World War I and World War II.[26][27]

Those who held to the earlier liberal views began to call themselves market liberals, classical liberals or libertarians to distinguish themselves.[25] (Some limited government advocates still use the term "libertarianism" almost interchangeably with the term classical liberalism.)[28][29] Libertarian parties of the English speaking world describe libertarianism in this way.[citation needed]

The Austrian School of economics, influenced by Frédéric Bastiat and later by Ludwig von Mises,[30] also had a powerful impact on both economic teaching and libertarian principles.[31][32] It influenced economists and political philosophers and theorists including Henry Hazlitt, Israel Kirzner, Murray Rothbard, Walter Block and Richard M. Ebeling.

Ayn Rand's international best sellers The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) and her books about her philosophy of Objectivism influenced modern libertarianism.[33] Two other women also published influential pro-freedom books in 1943, Rose Wilder Lane's The Discovery of Freedom and Isabel Paterson's The God of the Machine.[34]

Arizona United States Senator Barry Goldwater's libertarian-oriented challenge to authority had a major impact on the libertarian movement,[35] through his book The Conscience of a Conservative and his run for president in 1964.[36] Goldwater's speech writer, Karl Hess, became a leading libertarian writer and activist.[37]

The Vietnam War split the uneasy alliance between growing numbers of self-identified libertarians, anarchist libertarians, and more traditional conservatives who believed in limiting liberty to uphold moral virtues. Libertarians opposed to the war joined the draft resistance and peace movements and organisations such as Students for a Democratic Society. They began founding their own publications, like Murray Rothbard's The Libertarian Forum[38][39] and organizations like the Radical Libertarian Alliance.[40]

The split was aggravated at the 1969 Young Americans for Freedom convention, when more than 300 libertarians organized to take control of the organization from conservatives. The burning of a draft card in protest to a conservative proposal against draft resistance sparked physical confrontations among convention attendees, a walkout by a large number of libertarians, the creation of libertarian organizations like the Society for Individual Liberty, and efforts to recruit potential libertarians from conservative organizations.[41] The split was finalized in 1971 when conservative leader William F. Buckley, in a 1971 New York Times article, attempted to divorce libertarianism from the freedom movement. He wrote: "The ideological licentiousness that rages through America today makes anarchy attractive to the simple-minded. Even to the ingeniously simple-minded."[34]

In 1971, David Nolan and a few friends formed the Libertarian Party.[42] Attracting former Democrats, Republicans and independents, it has run a presidential candidate every election year since 1972. By 2006, polls showed that 15 percent of American voters identified themselves as libertarian.[43] Over the years, dozens of libertarian political parties have been formed worldwide. Educational organizations like the Center for Libertarian Studies and the Cato Institute were formed in the 1970s, and others have been created since then.[44]

Philosophical libertarianism gained a significant measure of recognition in academia with the publication of Harvard University professor Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974. The book won a National Book Award in 1975.[45] According to libertarian essayist Roy Childs, "Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia single-handedly established the legitimacy of libertarianism as a political theory in the world of academia."[46]

Libertarian socialists such as Noam Chomsky and Colin Ward have stated that the term libertarianism is considered throughout the world a synonym for anarchism, despite the fact that within the United States in recent decades it has become more usually associated with free market positions.[47][48][49] Academics as well as proponents of the latter note that free market libertarianism has been successfully propagated beyond the US since the 1970s via think tanks and political parties [50][51] to the extent that libertarianism is increasingly employed elsewhere to identify a free market pro-property stance.[52][53]

Libertarian principles


Freedom · Liberty
Negative liberty
Positive liberty

Freedom by area

Civil · Economic
Intellectual · Political



According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Libertarians are committed to the belief that individuals, and not states or groups of any other kind, are both ontologically and normatively primary; that individuals have rights against certain kinds of forcible interference on the part of others; that liberty, understood as non-interference, is the only thing that can be legitimately demanded of others as a matter of legal or political right; that robust property rights and the economic liberty that follows from their consistent recognition are of central importance in respecting individual liberty; that social order is not at odds with but develops out of individual liberty; that the only proper use of coercion is defensive or to rectify an error; that governments are bound by essentially the same moral principles as individuals; and that most existing and historical governments have acted improperly insofar as they have utilized coercion for plunder, aggression, redistribution, and other purposes beyond the protection of individual liberty.[54]

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states "libertarianism holds that agents initially fully own themselves and have moral powers to acquire property rights in external things under certain conditions." It notes that libertarianism is not a "right-wing" doctrine because of its opposition to laws restricting adult consensual sexual relationships and drug use, and its opposition to imposing religious views or practices and compulsory military service. However, it notes that there is a version known as "left-libertarianism" which also endorses full self-ownership, but "differs on unappropriated natural resources (land, air, water, etc.)." "Right-libertarianism" holds that such resources may be appropriated by individuals. "Left-libertarianism" holds that they belong to everyone and must be distributed in some egalitarian manner.[9]

"Left" anti-property libertarians are opposed to state power and various forms of private property. They also oppose patriarchy and racism.[55][56][57] These libertarians often believe in the abolition of private property and may be called non-propertarian or anti-propertarian.[58][59] They do not seek state solutions, instead looking to voluntary and popularly controlled associations.[60][61][62]

The Nolan chart, used by some pro-property libertarians, expands upon the traditional "right-left" spectrum.

Isaiah Berlin's 1958 essay "Two Concepts of Liberty" described a difference between negative liberty which limits the power of the state to interfere and positive liberty in which a paternalistic state helps individuals achieve self-realization and self-determination. He believed these were rival and incompatible interpretations of liberty and held that demands for positive liberty lead to authoritarianism.[63]

Libertarians contrast two ethical views: consequentialist libertarianism, which is the support for liberty because it leads to favorable consequences, such as prosperity or efficiency and deontological libertarianism (also known as "rights-theorist libertarianism," "natural rights libertarianism," or "libertarian moralism") which consider moral tenets to be the basis of libertarian philosophy. Others combine a hybrid of consequentialist and deontologist thinking.[64] Another view, contractarian libertarianism, holds that any legitimate authority of government derives not from the consent of the governed, but from contract or mutual agreement.[65][66][67]

Libertarians maintain that what is immoral for the individual must necessarily be immoral for all state agents and that the state should not be above the law.[68][69]

Forms of libertarianism

Libertarian views vary in respect to how much state will survive in a libertarian society and how much private property should be held by individuals and groups.


Anarcho-capitalism is an individualist anarchist[70] political philosophy that advocates the elimination of the state and the elevation of the sovereign individual in a free market. In an anarcho-capitalist society, law enforcement, courts, and all other security services are provided by voluntarily-funded competitors such as private defense agencies rather than through compulsory taxation. Because personal and economic activities are regulated by the natural laws of the market through private law rather than through politics, victimless crimes and crimes against the state would be rendered moot.

Anarcho-capitalists argue for a society based in voluntary trade of private property (including money, consumer goods, land, and capital goods) and services in order to maximize individual liberty and prosperity, but also recognize charity and communal arrangements as part of the same voluntary ethic.[71] Though anarcho-capitalists are known for asserting a right to private (individualized or joint non-public) property, some propose that non-state public/community property can also exist in an anarcho-capitalist society.[72] For them, what is important is that it is acquired and transferred without help or hindrance from the compulsory state. Market anarchists believe that the only just, and/or most economically-beneficial, way to acquire property is through voluntary trade, gift, or labor-based original appropriation, rather than through aggression or fraud.[73]

Beyond their agreeing that security should be privately provided by market-based entities, proponents of free-market anarchism differ in other details and aspects of their philosophies, particularly justification, tactics and property rights.

Murray Rothbard and other natural rights theorists hold strongly to the central non-aggression axiom, while other free-market anarchists such as David D. Friedman utilize consequentialist theories such as utilitarianism.[74] Agorists, anarcho-capitalists of the Rothbardian tradition, and voluntaryists are propertarian market anarchists who consider property rights to be natural rights deriving from the primary right of self-ownership.

Anarcho-capitalists have varying views on how to go about eliminating the state. Rothbard advocates the use of any non-immoral tactic available to bring about liberty.[75] Agorists – followers of the philosophy of Samuel Edward Konkin III[76] – propose to eliminate the state by practising tax resistance and by the use of illegal black market strategies called counter-economics until the security functions of the state can be replaced by free market competitors.


Geolibertarianism is a political movement that strives to reconcile libertarianism and Georgism (or "geoism").[77][78] The term was coined by Fred Foldvary. Geolibertarians are advocates of geoism, which is the position that all land is a common asset to which all individuals have an equal right to access, and therefore if individuals claim the land as their property they must pay rent to the community for doing so. Rent need not be paid for the mere use of land, but only for the right to exclude others from that land, and for the protection of one's title by government. They simultaneously agree with the libertarian position that each individual has an exclusive right to the fruits of his or her labor as their private property, as opposed to this product being owned collectively by society or the community, and that "one's labor, wages, and the products of labor" should not be taxed. In agreement with traditional libertarians they advocate "full civil liberties, with no crimes unless there are victims who have been invaded." In the voluntary geolibertarianism described by Foldvary, rent would be collected by private associations with the opportunity to secede from a geocommunity if desired.[79]


Left-libertarianism is usually regarded as doctrine that has an egalitarian view concerning natural resources, believing that it is not legitimate for someone to claim private ownership of such resources to the detriment of others.[9][80][81] Most left libertarians support some form of income redistribution on the grounds of a claim by each individual to be entitled to an equal share of natural resources.[81] Left libertarianism is defended by contemporary theorists such as Peter Vallentyne, Hillel Steiner and Michael Otsuka.[82] The term is also sometimes used as a synonym for libertarian socialism[83].

Left libertarians believe that corporations, capitalism and private ownership are as oppressive as the state. Therefore, the left-libertarians believe resources should be controlled by the public in as democratic a manner as possible.[citation needed]

Some members of the U.S. libertarian movement, including the late Samuel Edward Konkin III,[84] and such members of the Alliance of the Libertarian Left[85] as Roderick T. Long,[86] and Gary Chartier support property rights and identify themselves with the political Left for a variety of reasons. They tend to oppose intellectual property,[87] war and state policies that make and keep people poor,[88] and to support labor unions and non-violent challenges to exclusion, subordination, impoverishment, and workplace oppression. They support voluntary cooperation.

Libertarian conservatism

Libertarian conservatism, also known as conservative libertarianism (and sometimes called right-libertarianism), describes certain political ideologies which attempt to meld libertarian and conservative ideas, often called "fusionism".[89][90] Anthony Gregory writes that right, or conservative, "libertarianism can refer to any number of varying and at times mutually exclusive political orientations" such as being "interested mainly in 'economic freedoms'"; following the "conservative lifestyle of right-libertarians"; seeking "others to embrace their own conservative lifestyle"; considering big business "as a great victim of the state"; favoring a "strong national defense"; and having "an Old Right opposition to empire."[91]

Conservatives hold that shared values, morals, standards, and traditions are necessary for social order while libertarians consider individual liberty as the highest value.[92] Laurence M. Vance writes: "Some libertarians consider libertarianism to be a lifestyle rather than a political philosophy... They apparently don't know the difference between libertarianism and libertinism."[93] However, Edward Feser emphasizes that libertarianism does not require individuals to reject traditional conservative values.[89]

"Paleolibertarianism" is a school of thought devised by Lew Rockwell and the late Murray Rothbard. Rockwell no longer favours the use of the term "paleolibertarian".[94] Closely associated with the Austrian School of economics, most paleolibertarians identify as anarcho-capitalist. Though they advocate the elimination of the state, paleolibertarians disagree with other libertarians on reforming the state, such as illegal immigration and the legitimacy of state property.[95]

According to Jonathan Henke "neolibertarianism" is the philosophy of being a "pragmatic libertarian; Hawk or strong on defense; Hobbesian (or Lockean according to some)[96] libertarian; Big-Tent libertarian". Domestically, neolibertarians embrace incrementalism to achieve libertarian small government goals.[97] On foreign policy, neolibertarians usually have combined a generally neoconservative outlook with a more pragmatic method.[98][99] Anthony Gregory criticizes neolibertarianism as "libertine conservatism" and "pro-war" libertarianism, noting neolibertarians "believe that the government, which supposedly can't do anything right, can still wage war correctly."[100]

Some "libertarian constitutionalists" like U.S. Representative Ron Paul believe liberty can be obtained through proper interpretation of the United States Constitution, something which would not allow federal incursions on the economy and civil liberties.[101][102] Other libertarians critique constitutionalism for failure of its proponents to check the growth of government power.[103][104][105]

Libertarian socialism

Libertarian socialism aims to create a society in which all violent or coercive institutions would be dissolved, and in their place every person would have free, equal access to tools of information and production, or a society in which such coercive institutions and hierarchies were drastically reduced in scope.[106]

This equality and freedom would be achieved through the abolition of authoritarian institutions that monopolize the means of production,[107] in order that direct control of the means of production and resources will be gained by the working class and society as a whole.

Political philosophies commonly described as libertarian socialist include: most varieties of anarchism (especially anarchist communism, anarchist collectivism, anarcho-syndicalism[108]), social ecology, libertarian municipalism,[109] and council communism.[110]

Libertarian transhumanism

Libertarian transhumanism asserts that the principle of self-ownership is fundamental to both libertarianism and transhumanism. The philosophy advocates free market individualism as the best vehicle for technological progress and the "right to human enhancement."[111][112] Some criticize it as utopian, overly reliant as technology or biological fetishism.[113][114][115]


Minarchism refers to the belief in a state limited to police forces, courts, and a military. In minarchism, the state neither regulates nor intervenes in personal choices and business practices, except to protect against aggression, breach of contract, and fraud.[116][117] Both market anarchists and minarchists oppose victimless crimes, the Drug War, compulsory education, and conscription at all levels of government.[117]

However, minarchists often disagree on the level of government centralization. This ranges from the centralist minarchists who support the enforcement of laws at the global or national governments, to the middle-ground minarchists who advocate states' rights or increased autonomy at the state level, and to the decentralist minarchists who think that every city or town should have its own government. Such proponents of extreme decentralization include Albert Jay Nock and Jeffersonian republicans.[118]


Mutualism, as a libertarian socialist[119][120][121] free-market anarchist school of thought, can be traced to the writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon that envisioned a society where each person might possess a means of production either individually or collectively, with trade representing equivalent amounts of labor. Integral to the scheme was the establishment of a mutual credit bank which would lend to producers at a minimal interest rate only high enough to cover the costs of administration.[122] Mutualism is based on a labor theory of value which holds that when labor or its product is sold, it ought to receive in exchange, goods or services embodying "the amount of labor necessary to produce an article of exactly similar and equal utility"[123] (receiving anything less is considered exploitation, theft of labor, or "usury").

Some mutualists believe that if the state did not intervene, economic law would ensure that individuals receive no more income than that in proportion to the amount of labor they exert.[124] Mutualists oppose the idea of individuals receiving an income through loans, investments, and rent, as they believe these individuals are not laboring. Some of them hold that if state intervention ceased, these types of incomes would disappear.[125] Though Proudhon opposed this type of income, he expressed: "... I never meant to ... forbid or suppress, by sovereign decree, ground rent and interest on capital. I believe that all these forms of human activity should remain free and optional for all."[126]


See also



  1. ^ Definition of libertarianism in Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  2. ^ a b Peter Vallentyne, Libertarianism, in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, July 24, 2006 version.
  3. ^ Zwolinski, Matt. "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  4. ^ Professor Brian Martin, Eliminating state crime by abolishing the state; Murray Rothbard, Do You Hate the State?, The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 10, No. 7, July 1977; What Libertarianism Isn't; A Libertarian Cheat Sheet by Wilton D. Alston; Murrary Rothbard, Myth and Truth About Libertarianism.
  5. ^ Sciabarra, Chris Mathew. Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism, Penn State Press, 2000, p. 193.
  6. ^ Woodcock, George,Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements, Broadview Press, 2004.
  7. ^ David Gordon, Delete the State: A challenge to minarchists, book review on Ludwig von Mises Institute web site, April 21, 2009.
  8. ^ Hans-Hermann Hoppe's Anarcho-Capitalism: An Annotated Bibliography presents a long list of individuals who use both terms.
  9. ^ a b c Vallentyne, Peter (September 5, 2002). "Libertarianism". in Edward N. Zalta. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2009 ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University. ISSN 1095-5054. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  10. ^ Leonard E. Read, Neither Left Nor Right, The Freeman, February 1998, Vol. 48 No. 2.
  11. ^ Harry Browne, The Libertarian stand on abortion, Harry Browne web site, December 21, 1998.
  12. ^ David Boaz, Libertarianism: A Primer, Free Press, 1998, 22-25.
  13. ^ William Belsham, "Essays", printed for C. Dilly, 1789; original from the University of Michigan, p. 11, digitized May 21, 2007.
  14. ^ Oxford English Dictionary definition of libertarianism
  15. ^ a b Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas - Volume One: From Anarchy to Anarchism (300CE-1939)], ed. Robert Graham; includes English translations of Joseph Dejacque’s 1857 letter to Proudhon.
  16. ^ “De l'être-humain mâle et femelle–Lettre à P.J. Proudhon par Joseph Déjacque” (in French)
  17. ^ Pelosse, Valentin (1972). Joseph Déjacque and the Neologism Libertarian
  18. ^ Le Libertaire—all editions online
  19. ^ Nettlau, Max (1996). A Short History of Anarchism. Freedom Press. p. 75-6. ISBN 0900384891. 
  20. ^ Nettlau, Max (1996). A Short History of Anarchism. Freedom Press. p. 162. ISBN 0900384891. 
  21. ^ Russell, Dean (May 1955). "Who Is A Libertarian?". The Freeman (The Foundation for Economic Education) 5 (5). Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  22. ^ Colin Ward, Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 62. "For a century, anarchists have used the word 'libertarian' as a synonym for 'anarchist', both as a noun and an adjective. The celebrated anarchist journal Le Libertaire was founded in 1896. However, much more recently the word has been appropriated by various American free-market philosophers..."
  23. ^
    • Goodway, David. Anarchists Seed Beneath the Snow. Liverpool Press. 2006, p. 4
    • MacDonald, Dwight & Wreszin, Michael. Interviews with Dwight Macdonald. University Press of Mississippi, 2003. p. 82
    • Gay, Kathlyn. Encyclopedia of Political Anarchy. ABC-CLIO / University of Michigan, 2006, p. 126
    • Woodcock, George. Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements. Broadview Press, 2004. (Uses the terms interchangeably, such as on page 10)
  24. ^ Godfrey Hodgson, The United States, Volume 2, p. 622, Facts on File, 1992, ISBN0816018308, 9780816018307 Hodgson describes this new liberalism as a “pro-state or statist ideology.”
  25. ^ a b "The Achievements of Nineteenth-Century Classical Liberalism". Cato University Home Study Course. Cato Institute. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  26. ^ Murray Rothbard, The Libertarian Heritage: The American Revolution and Classical Liberalism, excerpted from the first chapter of For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, at
  27. ^ Murray Rothbard, The Life and Death of the Old Right, first published in the September 1990 issue of The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, at
  28. ^ Raimondo Cubeddu, preface to "Perspectives of Libertarianism", Etica e Politica (Università di Trieste) V, no. 2 (2003). "It is often difficult to distinguish between 'Libertarianism' and 'Classical Liberalism.' Those two labels are used almost interchangeably by those whom we may call libertarians of a minarchist persuasion: scholars who, following Locke and Nozick, believe a state is needed in order to achieve effective protection of property rights."
  29. ^ Steffen W. Schmidt, American Government and Politics Today (Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2004), 17.
  30. ^ DiLorenzo, Thomas, "Frederic Bastiat (1801–1850): Between the French and Marginalist Revolutions, Ludwig von Mises Institute.
  31. ^ What is Austrian Economics?, Ludwig Von Mises Institute.
  32. ^ Richard M. Ebeling, Austrian Economics and the Political Economy of Freedom, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2003, 163–179 ISBN 1840649402, 9781840649406.
  33. ^ Brian Doherty, Ayn Rand at 100: "Yours Is the Glory", Cato Institute Policy Report Vol. XXVII No. 2 (March/April 2005).
  34. ^ a b Jude Blanchette, What Libertarians and Conservatives Say About Each Other: An Annotated Bibliography,, October 27, 2004.
  35. ^ Henry J. Silverman, American radical thought: the libertarian tradition, p. 279, 1970, Heath publishing.
  36. ^ Robert Poole, In memoriam: Barry Goldwater – Obituary, Reason Magazine, August–Sept, 1998.
  37. ^ Hess, Karl. The Death of Politics, Interview in Playboy, July 1976.
  38. ^ Murray Rothbard, The Early 1960s: From Right to Left, excerpt from chapter 13 of Murray Rothbard The Betrayal of the American Right, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2007.
  39. ^ Ronald Lora, William Henry Longton, Conservative press in 20th-century America, p. 367-374, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999, ISBN 0313213909, 9780313213908
  40. ^ Marc Jason Gilbert, The Vietnam War on campus: other voices, more distant drums, p. 35, 2001, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN0275969096, 9780275969097
  41. ^ Rebecca E. Klatch, A Generation Divided: The New Left, the New Right, and the 1960s, University of California Press, 1999 ISBN 0520217144, 215–237.
  42. ^ Bill Winter, "1971–2001: The Libertarian Party's 30th Anniversary Year: Remembering the first three decades of America's 'Party of Principle'" LP News
  43. ^ The Libertarian Vote, by David Boaz and David Kirby. Cato Institute policy analysis paper 580, October 18, 2006. The Libertarian Vote
  44. ^ International Society for Individual Liberty Freedom Network list.
  45. ^ David Lewis Schaefer, Robert Nozick and the Coast of Utopia, The New York Sun, April 30, 2008.
  46. ^ The Advocates Robert Nozick page.
  47. ^ Chomsky, Noam. Interview with The Week Online. The Week Online Interviews Noam Chomsky (Transcript). ZSpace. February 23, 2002. Retrieved on March 10, 2010. Chomsky: "The term libertarian as used in the US means something quite different from what it meant historically and still means in the rest of the world. Historically, the libertarian movement has been the anti-statist wing of the socialist movement. Socialist anarchism was libertarian socialism. In the US, which is a society much more dominated by business, the term has a different meaning. It means eliminating or reducing state controls, mainly controls over private tyrannies. Libertarians in the US don't say let's get rid of corporations. It is a sort of ultra-rightism."
  48. ^ Colin Ward, Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 62. "For a century, anarchists have used the word 'libertarian' as a synonym for 'anarchist', both as a noun and an adjective. The celebrated anarchist journal Le Libertaire was founded in 1896. However, much more recently the word has been appropriated by various American free-market philosophers..."
  49. ^ Fernandez, Frank. Cuban Anarchism. The History of a Movement, Sharp Press, 2001, p. 9. "Thus, in the United States, the once exceedingly useful term "libertarian" has been hijacked by egotists who are in fact enemies of liberty in the full sense of the word."
  50. ^ Steven Teles and Daniel A. Kenney, chapter "Spreading the Word: The diffusion of American Conservativsm in Europe and beyond," (p. 136-169) in Growing apart?: America and Europe in the twenty-first century by Sven Steinmo, Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN 0521879310, 9780521879316 The chapter discusses how libertarian ideas have been more successful at spreading worldwide than social conservative ideas.
  51. ^ Anthony Gregory, Real World Politics and Radical Libertarianism,, April 24, 2007.
  52. ^ David Boaz, Preface for the Japanese Edition of Libertarianism: A Primer, reprinted at, November 21, 1998.
  53. ^ Radicals for Capitalism (Book Review), New York Post, February 4, 2007.
  54. ^ Zwolinski, Matt (March 26, 2008). "Libertarianism". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved March 5 2010. 
  55. ^ Chomsky,Noam Perspectives on Power: Reflections on Human Nature and the Social Order, Black Rose Books, 1997, p.73..."They were also taken up, adapted, and developed within libertarian left currents. According to this anarchist vision, any structure of hierarchy and authority carries a heavy burden of justification, whether it involves personal relations or a larger social order...State power and private tyranny are prime examples at the outer limits, but the issues arise pretty much across the board: in relations among parents and children, teachers and students, men and women."
  56. ^ Ehrlich, Howard J Reinventing Anarchy, Again AK Press, 1996, p.153..."Not only is anarchism inherently feminist. It also goes beyond feminism in its fundamental opposition to all forms of power, hierarchy, and domination."
  57. ^ Mendes, Silva. ‘Socialismo Libertário ou Anarchismo’ Vol. 1 (1896): “Society should be free through mankind's spontaneous federative affiliation to life, based on the community of land and tools of the trade; meaning: Anarchy will be equality by abolition of private property and liberty by abolition of authority”
  58. ^ John P. Reeder, Source, sanction, and salvation: religion and morality in Judaic and Christian traditions, p. 113, 1988. Reeder uses phrase "nonpropertarian" to describe Le Guin's views.
  59. ^ Ellie Clement and Charles Oppenheim, Department of Information Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leics Great Britain, Anarchism, Alternative Publishers and Copyright, Journal of Anarchist Studies, undated.
  60. ^ Paul, Ellen Frankel et al. Problems of Market LiberalismCambridge University Press (1998) 305
  61. ^ Ward, Colin. Anarchism: A Very Short Introductrion, Oxford University Press2004. Chaper 9: The Federalist Agenda, p.78- "A frequent criticism of anarchism is that it is a world of isolated villages, small enough to be self-governing entities...But in fact the major anarchist thinkers of the past: Proudhon, Bakunin and Kropotkin, had a federalist agenda that was a foretaste of modern debates on European unity."
  62. ^ Bookchin, Murray. Anarchism, Marxism, and the Future of the Left. AK Press.1999. p.326 -"Social anarchism I believe, offers a plausible alternative to the claims made by the state- namely confederation, whereby interdependencies can be fostered in a libertarian manner. Libertarian municipalities would send deputies, mandated and recallable, to confederal council to execute the policies established by local assemblies. The decisions these councils make would be purely administrative ; indeed, they would be expressly prohibited from policy decisions, which would remain the exclusive province of the popular assemblies...Confederation is system not of representation but of coordination.
  63. ^ Positive and Negative Liberty, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Oct 8, 2007.
  64. ^ Wolff, Jonathan (PDF). Libertarianism, Utility, and Economic Competition. 
  65. ^ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on "Contractarianism", revised April 4, 2007.
  66. ^ Anthony de Jasay, Hayek: Some Missing Pieces, The Review of Austrian Economics Vol. 9,NO.1 (1996): 107–18, ISSN0889-3047
  67. ^ Hardy Bouillon, Hartmut Kliemt, Ordered AnarchyAshgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007, foreward, ISBN 075466113X, 9780754661139
  68. ^ Murray N. Rothbard. Myth and Truth About Libertarianism from a conference paper presented at Philadelphia Society in Chicago April 1979.
  69. ^ Kenny Johnsson interviews Lew Rockwell for The Liberal Post Do You Consider Yourself a Libertarian? 2007.
  70. ^ Adams, Ian. 2002. Political Ideology Today. p. 135. Manchester University Press; Ostergaard, Geoffrey. 2003. Anarchism. In W. Outwaite (Ed.), The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought. p. 14. Blackwell Publishing
  71. ^ Hess, Karl. The Death of Politics. Interview in Playboy Magazine, March 1969
  72. ^ Holcombe, Randall G., Common Property in Anarcho-Capitalism, Journal of Libertarian Studies, Volume 19, No. 2 (Spring 2005):3–29.
  73. ^ Avrich, Paul. Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America, Abridged Paperback Edition (1996), p. 282
  74. ^ Danley, John R. (November 1991). "Polestar refined: Business ethics and political economy". Journal of Business Ethics (Springer Netherlands) 10 (12): 915–933. doi:10.1007/BF00383797. 
  75. ^ Lora, Ronald & Longton, Henry. 1999. The Conservative Press in Twentieth-Century America. Greenwood Press. p. 369
  76. ^ Black, Bob. Beneath the Underground. Feral House, 1994. p. 4
  77. ^ Foldvary, Fred E., Geoism and Libertarianism. The Progress Report.
  78. ^ Karen DeCoster, Henry George and the Tariff Question,, April 19, 2006.
  79. ^ Fred E. Foldvary, "In the case of geoanarchism," "Land and Liberty," May/June 1981, pp. 53–55.
  80. ^ Prof. Will Kymlicka "libertarianism, left-" in Honderich, Ted (2005). The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. City: Oxford U Pr, N Y. ISBN 9780199264797.  See also Steiner, Hillel & Vallentyne. 2000. Left-Libertarianism and Its Critics: The Contemporary Debate. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 1
  81. ^ a b Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran. 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. Sage Publications Inc. p. 128
  82. ^ Vallentyne, Peter; Steiner, Hillel (2000). Left-Libertarianism and Its Critics Left-Libertarianism and Its Critics: The Contemporary Debate. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 1. ISBN 9780312236991. 
  83. ^ e.g. Faatz, Chris, "Toward[s] a Libertarian Socialism."
  84. ^ Konkin was the founder of agorism, author of the New Libertarian Manifesto, and founder of the Movement of the Libertarian Left
  85. ^ The Alliance of the Libertarian Left "is a multi-tendency coalition of mutualists, agorists, voluntaryists, geolibertarians, left-Rothbardians, green libertarians, dialectical anarchists, radical minarchists, and others on the libertarian left, united by an opposition to statism and militarism, to cultural intolerance (including sexism, racism, and homophobia), and to the prevailing corporatist capitalism falsely called a free market; as well as by an emphasis on education, direct action, and building alternative institutions, rather than on electoral politics, as our chief strategy for achieving liberation."
  86. ^ Long is a well-known writer on left-libertarian zines and blogs. One of his descriptions of the political spectrum is in his article for the Ludwig von Mises Institute entitled Rothbard's "Left and Right": Forty Years Later
  87. ^ Long, Roderick. "url-". Molinari Institute. 
  88. ^ See Charles Johnson, "Scratching By: How Government Creates Poverty As We Know It"
  89. ^ a b Edward Feser, What Libertarianism Isn't, Lew, December 22, 2001.
  90. ^ Ralph Raico, Is Libertarianism Amoral?, New Individualist Review, Volume 3, Number 3, Fall 1964, 29–36; republished by Ludwig von Mises Institute, April 4, 2005.
  91. ^ Anthony Gregory, Left, Right, Moderate and Radical,, December 21, 2006.
  92. ^ Cathy Young, Enforcing Virtue: Is social stigma a threat to liberty, or is it liberty in action?, review of "Freedom & Virtue: The Conservative Libertarian Debate", Reason, March 2007.
  93. ^ Vance, Laurence (January 29, 2008). "Is Ron Paul Wrong on Abortion?". Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  94. ^ Do You Consider Yourself a Libertarian?, Kenny Johnsson interviews Lew Rockwell for The Liberal Post, as posted on LewRockwell.Com, May 25, 2007.
  95. ^ For further elaboration see "Wrong, Pat, wrong" by Karen De Coster, and "The Trouble With 'Cracking Down on Immigration'" by Anthony Gregory
  96. ^
  97. ^ Jon Henke, Qando.Net description of neolibertarianism, December 17, 2004.
  98. ^, [1], unknown date.
  99. ^, 2006
  100. ^ Anthony Gregory,Only War Will Prevent War, August 3, 2004 and Aassessing Political Correctness, May 8, 2007, both at
  101. ^ Anthony Gregory. What's left of the old right.
  102. ^ Anthony Gregory, A Revolutionary Manifesto
  103. ^ Jørn K. Baltzersen. For Ceremonies and Emergencies. 2006-06-22.
  104. ^ Butler Shaffer. The Death of the American State.
  105. ^ DiLorenzo, Thomas. "Constitutional Futility". Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  106. ^ Baake, David. "Prospects for Libertarian Socialism", Zmag (June 2005)
  107. ^ Mendes, Silva. 'Socialismo Libertdrio ou Anarchismo' Vol. 1 (1896): "Society should be free through mankind's spontaneous federative affiliation to life, based on the community of land and tools of the trade; meaning: Anarchy will be equality by abolition of private property and liberty by abolition of authority"
  108. ^ Sims, Franwa (2006). The Anacostia Diaries As It Is. Lulu Press. p. 160. 
  109. ^ Bookchin, Murray. 'Post-Scarcity Anarchism' AK Press (2004) p.xl
  110. ^ Chomsky, Noam. 'Chomsky on Democracy and Education' Routledge (2002) p.133
  111. ^ Hughes, James (2001). Politics of Transhumanism. Retrieved 2007-01-26. 
  112. ^ Bailey, Ronald (2005). Liberation Biology: The Scientific And Moral Case For The Biotech Revolution. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1591022274. 
  113. ^ Barbrook, Richard; Cameron, Andy. The California Ideology. Retrieved 2007-02-06. 
  114. ^ Borsook, Paulina (2000). Cyberselfish: A Critical Romp Through the Terribly Libertarian Culture of High-Tech. PublicAffairs. ISBN 1-891620-78-9. 
  115. ^ Giesen, Klaus-Gerd (2004). Transhumanisme et génétique humaine. Retrieved 2006-04-26. 
  116. ^ Marcus, B.K. Dictionary: Definition of "minarchism"
  117. ^ a b Gregory, Anthory.The Minarchist's Dilemma. Strike The Root. 10 May 2004.
  118. ^ Albert Jay Nock. Jefferson. Brace and Company, 1926. p. 199. "Thus [Jefferson] was quite regularly for State rights against the Union, for county rights against the State, for township rights or village rights against the county, and for private rights against all."
  119. ^ Swartz, Clarence Lee. What is Mutualism?. Modern Publishers. 
  120. ^ Fisher, Vardis. Libertarian and Mutualist Essays on Free Banking, Free Land and Individualism. Revisionist Press. 
  121. ^ Edwards, Paul. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. p. 113. 
  122. ^ Miller, David. 1987. "Mutualism." The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought. Blackwell Publishing. p. 11
  123. ^ Tandy, Francis D., 1896, Voluntary Socialism, chapter 6, paragraph 15.
  124. ^ Tandy, Francis D., 1896, Voluntary Socialism, chapter 6, paragraphs 9, 10 & 22.
    Carson, Kevin, 2004, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, chapter 2 (after Meek & Oppenheimer).
  125. ^ Tandy, Francis D., 1896, Voluntary Socialism, chapter 6, paragraph 19.
    Carson, Kevin, 2004, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, chapter 2 (after Ricardo, Dobb & Oppenheimer).
  126. ^ Solution of the Social Problem, 1848–49.

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From Wikiquote

Quotes regarding Libertarianism.

  • A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim. ~ L. Neil Smith
  • Electing even a few Libertarians to a governing board, is akin to having a designated driver in a roomful of drunks. ~ Doug Klippel, LP County Chair, Jacksonville, FL
  • For libertarians, freedom entails the right of people to live their lives any way they choose, so long as their conduct is peaceful. For conservatives, freedom entails the right of government to do just about anything it wants, even if its conduct is violent. ~ Jacob G. Hornberger
  • Legalize Freedom: Vote Libertarian. ~ Anonymous
  • Liberals want the government to be your Mommy. Conservatives want government to be your Daddy. Libertarians want it to treat you like an adult. ~ Andre Marrou
  • Libertarians believe the answer to America's political problems is the same commitment to freedom that earned America its greatness: a free-market economy and the abundance and prosperity it brings; a dedication to civil liberties and personal freedom that marks this country above all others; and a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade as prescribed by America's founders. ~ The Libertarian Party: A Short History, 2000
  • Libertarians have quietly become America's best organized and most significant third party. Unlike flash-in-the-pan parties organized around cults of personality like Ross Perot's and Ralph Nader's, Libertarians have organized at the grass roots for the long haul. They are fast approaching the point where they may force the major parties to reckon with Libertarian ideas. ~ Bob Ewegen, The Denver Post, 11/24/01
  • Libertarianism is the philosophy which says that you can run your life better than the government can, and you have the right to be left alone in order to do it. ~ Anonymous
  • Republicans campaign like Libertarians and govern like Democrats. ~ Harry Browne
  • Republicans don't want anyone having more fun than they do, and the Democrats don't want anyone making more money than they do. Libertarians want you to make money and have fun. ~ Andre Marrou, LP Presidential candidate
  • The difference between libertarianism and socialism is that libertarians will tolerate the existence of a socialist community, but socialists can't tolerate a libertarian community. ~ David D. Boaz
  • The legacy of Democrats and Republicans approaches: Libertarianism by bankruptcy. ~ Nick Nuessle
  • The World's Smallest Political Quiz is the single best outreach tool we libertarians have. ~ George Getz
  • There are many paths to libertarianism. Many reasons for becoming a libertarian. Ethical: Embracing the "Non-Aggression Principle". Opposition to the use of force. Pragmatic: Freedom works. Freedom is practical and effective and efficient. Utilitarian: Freedom provides the greatest good for the greatest number. Egoistic: Freedom benefits you. Freedom is in your self-interest. Altruistic: Freedom benefits others. Freedom is in their interest. Outcome: Freedom produces results that you want. It maximizes individual choice. Freedom promotes and rewards personal responsibility. Freedom creates prosperity. ~ Michael Cloud
  • There may be two libertarians in the world who agree on absolutely everything, but I am not one of them. ~ Anonymous
  • There once was a man from Nantucket,
    Who wanted to sell me a bucket,
    But he could not, because.
    There were too many laws,
    So he threw up his hands and said, "Vote Libertarian!" ~ Anonymous
  • This country is a one-party country. Half of it is called Republican and half is called Democrat. It doesn't make any difference. All the really good ideas belong to the Libertarians. ~ Hugh Downs
  • Were it necessary to bring a majority into a comprehension of the libertarian philosophy, the cause of liberty would be utterly hopeless. Every significant movement in history has been led by one or just a few individuals with a small minority of energetic supporters. ~ Leonard E. Read


  • He always pictured himself a libertarian, which to my way of thinking means "I want the liberty to grow rich and you can have the liberty to starve". It's easy to believe that no one should depend on society for help when you yourself happen not to need such help. ~ Isaac Asimov
  • That's libertarians for you - anarchists who want police protection from their slaves. ~ Kim Stanley Robinson
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This page is intended as a portal to learning and education in Libertarianism. Currently, the Free Market Economics course is being developed. The Free Market Economics course should be completed before Libertarianism course can be completed. Free Market Economics is a integral part of Libertarianism.




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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LIBERTARIANISM (from Lat. libertas, freedom), in ethics, the doctrine which maintains the freedom of the will, as opposed to necessitarianism or determinism. It has been held in various forms. In its extreme form it maintains that the individual is absolutely free to chose this or that action indifferently (the liberum arbitrium indifferentiae), but most libertarians admit that acquired tendencies, environment and the like, exercise control in a greater or less degree.

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