Filed under: Libertarianism
A Libertarian believes that individuals should be as free as is reasonably possible, but should be held responsible for their actions.
From this shared foundation, there spring many different sub-philosophies, divided into those that are “propertarian” (support the idea of private property) and those that are “non-propertarian”:
Anarcho-capitalists favour a complete abolition of the state. Law enforcement, courts, and defence are provided by private contractors through a market-based system rather than through compulsory taxation. Some anarcho-capitalists are opposed to Intellectual Property. If you’d like to know more about market anarchism, David Friedman’s Machinery of Freedom is excellent and informative.
Minarchism favours a dramatic reduction in the scope of the state — that it be limited to the police, the courts and the military. The state only ever intervenes to protect individuals from aggression, breach-of-contract, and fraud. The UK Libertarian Party are minarchist in their policies.
Objectivism is a political and social philosophy developed by Ayn Rand, and expounded through the character John Galt in the book “Atlas Shrugged”. Libertarians view Objectivists as “extreme libertarians” because they hold adherence to market principles to be a moral act. Objectivists view Libertarianism as “a rebel step-child”.
Libertarian Socialism opposes both coercive and violent institutions of the state, and private property. In a libertarian-socialist utopia, all would have free and equal access to the tools of information and production.
Left Libertarianism supports private property to an extent, but object to private ownership of natural resources, or of intellectual property.
Geolibertarianism supports private ownership of “ones labour, wages, and the products of ones labour”, but object to private ownership of land. Individuals in a geolibertarian society would pay a rent to society to exclude others from using a particular area of land, and to have their claim to that land protected by government.
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