Portal:Libertarianism

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Portal:Libertarianism

The Libertarianism Portal

Libertarianism is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association, individual judgment, and self-ownership.

Some libertarians advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights, such as in land, infrastructure, and natural resources. Others, notably libertarian socialists, seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production in favor of their common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty. An additional line of division is between minarchists and anarchists. While minarchists think that a minimal centralized government is necessary, anarchists and anarcho-capitalists propose to completely eliminate the state.

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The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is one of the oldest free-market organizations established in the United States to study and advance the freedom philosophy. Murry Rothbard recognizes FEE for creating a "crucial open center" that he credits with launching the movement. FEE promotes, researches and promulgates free-market, classical liberal, and libertarian ideas through its monthly magazine, The Freeman, as well as through pamphlets, lectures, and academic sponsorship. It also publishes reprints of classic libertarian texts, and arranges seminars for American public figures.

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Though he expresses a classical liberal doctrine, Humbdolt is no primitive individualist, in the style of, for example, Rousseau. Rousseau extols the savage who "lives within himself," but Humboldt's vision is entirely different. He sums up his remarks, saying that

the whole tenor of the ideas and arguments unfolded in this essay might fairly be reduced to this, that while they would break all fetters in human society, they would attempt to find as many new social bonds as possible. The isolated man is no more able to develop than the one who is fettered.

And he in fact looks forward to a community of free association without coercion by the state or other authoritarian institutions, in which free men can create, inquire, and achieve the highest development of their powers. In fact, far ahead of his time, he presents an anarchist vision that is appropriate perhaps to the next stage of industrial society. We can perhaps look forward to a day when these various strands will be brought together within the framework of libertarian socialism, a social form that barely exists today, thought its elements can perhaps be perceived, for example, in the guarantee of individual rights that has achieved so far its fullest realization-though still tragically flawed-in the Western democracies; in the Israeli kibbutzim; in the experiments of workers' councils in Yugoslavia; in the effort to awaken popular consciousness and create a new involvement in the social process, which is a fundamental element in the Third World revolutions that coexists uneasily with indefensible authoritarian practices.

To summarize, the first concept of the state that I want to establish as a point of reference is classical liberalism. Its doctrine is that state functions should be drastically limited. But this familiar characterization is a very superficial one. More deeply, the classical liberal view develops from a certain concept of human nature one that stresses the importance of diversity and free creation, and therefore this view is in fundamental opposition to industrial capitalism with its wage slavery, its alienated labor, and its hierarchic and authoritarian principles of social and economic organization. At least in its ideal form, classical liberal thought is opposed to the concepts of possessive individualism, that are intrinsic to capitalist ideology. For this reason, classical liberal thought seeks to eliminate social fetters and to replace them with social bonds, and not with competitive greed, predatory individualism, and not, of course, with corporate empires-state or private. Classical libertarian thought seems to me, therefore, to lead directly to libertarian socialism, or anarchism if you like, when combined with an understanding of industrial capitalism.

— Noam Chomsky (1928)
Government in the Future Poetry Center, 1970

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Cannabis sativa. The Libertarian Platform states, "We favor the repeal of all laws creating "crimes" without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes."

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Lew Rockwell
Lew Rockwell is a prominent anarcho-capitalist who in 1982 founded the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. He continues to serve in a leadership capacity as its president. He also is Vice President of the Center for Libertarian Studies in Burlingame, California, and publisher of the political weblog LewRockwell.com. Rockwell was closely associated with his teacher and colleague Murray Rothbard until Rothbard's death in 1995. Rockwell's political ideology, like Rothbard's in his later years, combines a form of anarcho-capitalism with cultural conservatism and the Austrian School of economics. He also advocates federalist concepts as a means of promoting freedom from central government, and also advocates secession for the same political decentralist reasons. Rockwell has called environmentalism "[a]n ideology as pitiless and Messianic as Marxism."

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