Portal:Libertarianism

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Portal:Libertarianism

Introduction

Libertarianism (from French: libertaire, "libertarian"; from Latin: libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core value. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, and minimize the state's violation of individual liberties; emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association. Libertarians often share a skepticism of authority and state power, but some libertarians diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing economic and political systems. Various schools of Libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power, often calling for the restriction or dissolution of coercive social institutions. Different categorizations have been used to distinguish various forms of Libertarianism. Scholars distinguish libertarian views on the nature of property and capital, usually along left–right or socialistcapitalist lines. Libertarians of various schools were influenced by liberal ideas.

Libertarianism originated as a form of left-wing politics such as anti-authoritarian and anti-state socialists like anarchists, especially social anarchists, but more generally libertarian communists/Marxists and libertarian socialists. These libertarians seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, or else to restrict their purview or effects to usufruct property norms, in favor of common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty. Left-libertarian ideologies include anarchist schools of thought, alongside many other anti-paternalist and New Left schools of thought centered around economic egalitarianism as well as geolibertarianism, green politics, market-oriented left-libertarianism and the Steiner–Vallentyne school. (Full article...)

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The Austrian School is a heterodox school of economic thought that emphasizes the spontaneous organizing power of the price mechanism. Its name derives from the identity of its founders and early supporters, who were citizens of the old Austrian Habsburg Empire, including Carl Menger, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises and Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek. Currently, adherents of the Austrian School can come from any part of the world, but they are often referred to simply as Austrian economists and their work as Austrian economics.

The Austrian School was influential in the late 19th and early 20th century. Austrian contributions to mainstream economic thought include involvement in the development of the neoclassical theory of value and the subjective theory of value on which it is based as well as contributions to the "economic calculation debate" which concerns the allocative properties of a centrally planned economy versus a decentralized free market economy. From the middle of the 20th century onwards, it has been considered outside the mainstream, with notable criticisms related to the Austrian School leveled by economists such as Bryan Caplan, Jeffrey Sachs and Nobel laureates Paul Samuelson, Milton Friedman and Paul Krugman. Followers of the Austrian School are now most frequently associated with American libertarian political perspectives that emanate from such bodies as the Ludwig von Mises Institute and George Mason University in the United States.

Austrian School principles advocate strict adherence to methodological individualism—analyzing human action exclusively from the perspective of an individual agent. Austrian economists also argue that mathematical models and statistics are an unreliable means of analyzing and testing economic theory and advocate deriving economic theory logically from basic principles of human action, a method they term "praxeology". Additionally, whereas experimental research and natural experiments are often used in mainstream economics, Austrian economists contend that testability in economics is virtually impossible since it relies on human actors who cannot be placed in a lab setting without altering their would-be actions. Mainstream economists are generally critical of methodologies used by modern Austrian economists—in particular, a primary Austrian School method of deriving theories has been criticized by mainstream economists as a priori "non-empirical" analysis and differing from the practices of scientific theorizing as widely conducted in economics.

Austrian School economists generally hold that the complexity of human behavior makes mathematical modeling of an evolving market extremely difficult (or undecidable) and advocate a laissez faire approach to the economy. They advocate the strict enforcement of voluntary contractual agreements between economic agents and hold that commercial transactions should be subject to the smallest possible imposition of coercive forces. In particular, they argue for an extremely limited role for government and the smallest possible amount of government intervention in the economy.

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Even more remarkably, the Libertarian party achieved this growth while consistently adhering to a new ideological creed—"libertarianism"—thus bringing to the American political scene for the first time in a century a party interested in principle rather than in merely gaining jobs and money at the public trough. We have been told countless times by pundits and political scientists that the genius of America and of our party system is its lack of ideology and its "pragmatism" (a kind word for focusing solely on grabbing money and jobs from the hapless taxpayers). How, then, explain the amazing growth of a new party which is frankly and eagerly devoted to ideology?

One explanation is that Americans were not always pragmatic and nonideological. On the contrary, historians now realize that the American Revolution itself was not only ideological but also the result of devotion to the creed and the institutions of libertarianism. The American revolutionaries were steeped in the creed of libertarianism, an ideology which led them to resist with their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor the invasions of their rights and liberties committed by the imperial British government. Historians have long debated the precise causes of the American Revolution: Were they constitutional, economic, political, or ideological? We now realize that, being libertarians, the revolutionaries saw no conflict between moral and political rights on the one hand and economic freedom on the other. On the contrary, they perceived civil and moral liberty, political independence, and the freedom to trade and produce as all part of one unblemished system, what Adam Smith was to call, in the same year that the Declaration of Independence was written, the "obvious and simple system of natural liberty."

— Murray Rothbard (1926–1995)
For a New Liberty (1973)

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The Gadsden flag, named after American general and politician Christopher Gadsden who designed it in 1775 during the American Revolution, is today used by American libertarians
Credit: Lexicon, Vikrum

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Jorgensen in 2020
Jo Jorgensen (born May 1, 1957) is an American libertarian political activist and academic. Jorgensen was the Libertarian Party's nominee for president of the United States in the 2020 election, in which she finished third in the popular vote with about 1.9 million votes, 1.2% of the national total. She was previously the party's nominee for vice president in the 1996 election, as Harry Browne's running mate. She is a full-time lecturer of psychology at Clemson University. (Full article...)

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