Libertarianism

Source: Britannica.

The first paragraph of this article is almost perfect:

libertarianism, political philosophy that takes individual liberty to be the primary political value. It may be understood as a form of liberalism, the political philosophy associated with the English philosophers John Locke and John Stuart Mill, the Scottish economist Adam Smith, and the American statesman Thomas Jefferson. Liberalism seeks to define and justify the legitimate powers of government in terms of certain natural or God-given individual rights. These rights include the rights to life, liberty, private property, freedom of speech and association, freedom of worship, government by consent, equality under the law, and moral autonomy (the ability to pursue one’s own conception of happiness, or the “good life”). The purpose of government, according to liberals, is to protect these and other individual rights, and in general liberals have contended that government power should be limited to that which is necessary to accomplish this task. Libertarians are classical liberals who strongly emphasize the individual right to liberty. They contend that the scope and powers of government should be constrained so as to allow each individual as much freedom of action as is consistent with a like freedom for everyone else. Thus, they believe that individuals should be free to behave and to dispose of their property as they see fit, provided that their actions do not infringe on the equal freedom of others.

The remainder of the essay is pretty good, too, in that it traces the concept of self-ownership through history in a way that gives libertarian principles a venerable pedigree.

The concept of liberty strikes me as one of the great innovations of the human race. Human or natural rights aside, the opposite concept is the concept of tyranny. If I had to choose one or the other based on foreseeable benefits, I’d choose liberty.

11 thoughts on “Libertarianism

  1. “The first well-developed statement of libertarianism, An Agreement of the People (1647), was produced by the radical republican Leveler movement during the English Civil Wars (1642–51).”

    The Levelers were proto-communists. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “The Levelers were proto-communists.”

      Are you sure? Looking into it I find that the Levelers were opposed to communal ownership, but that a rival movement which called itself The True Levelers both advocated and practiced communal ownership. The latter group might qualify as proto-communist, but not the former.

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      1. “Proto” in the sense that they were advocating literal communes. Not necessarily a restructuring of the entire society, but of isolated pockets with their own communal living arrangements. There are various strains of modern communism/anarchism that are similar.

        But, yes the “True Levelers” very closely resembled modern communism.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. In other words, The Levelers were not proto-communists, as you claimed?

          It doesn’t make a lot of sense to assert that early libertarians were comunalists.

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          1. Sure, John, the Levelers were not doing doctrinaire Communism 200 years before Marx and the industrial revolution. You got me there.

            “It doesn’t make a lot of sense to assert that early libertarians were comunalists [sic].”

            It does, if your ideology doesn’t reduce complex and idiosyncratic concepts to, “libertarian = good, communal = bad.” To my original point, “libertarian” has a very specific and unique meaning in an American political context, which is very different than its historical origins.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “To my original point, “libertarian” has a very specific and unique meaning in an American political context, which is very different than its historical origins.”

            No doubt, but libertarianism has not transmogrified. It has not become its own opposite as liberalism has.

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  2. Seems to be as precise as any definition. Brittanica doesnt muddle up definitions of concepts with bias but explains them matter of factly, that is why I use it as the source for definition of CRT trash that others on here claim is false.

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    1. CRT is NOT false. It was started as an academic study @ Harvard.

      You may claim the concepts are false, But, as usual you would be wrong. This history of this country has been written and viewed from the white property owner perspective since its founding. That history is INCOMPLETE. A true history of this country would include the perspectives of those who weren’t mentioned in the Constitution.

      And before you say I am playing the race card, consider this. People of different races have populated this country for a few hundred years. If they are NOT included in the history, they are being ignored and then the history is NOT complete.

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      1. The concept is racist trash. It states that whites exploit blacks for personal gain and that all federal and state judicial systems and LE are inherently racist. If you believe that, you are racist trash…

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        1. Wow. You sure do get things backwards as well as wrong. If you truly believe that this country does not have ANY racism in its past, then you are so delusional that I would have to wonder if you have started partaking of that which became legal in VA today.

          Exploit blacks is exactly what slavery was. You know the slaves who built things like the Capitol Building in Washington and the university of Virginia original buildings.

          Judicial systems and law enforcement agencies have been harder on people of color when deciding who should be arrested, who should be charged and who should do time in prison. A Black man selling weed on the street corner has a better chance of doing hard time for it than his white counterpart. If you do not believe me, then that is your problem because, as much as you will not admit it, it is true,

          A Black woman is trying to refinance her home and gets an appraisal completed. Feels that it is too low based on comparable homes in the same neighborhood. She removes ANY and ALL signs that the home is Black owned, has a friend pose as her brother and amazingly the appraisal comes in $100K higher than the first. Pretty clear how that system is racist, or at least tinged with racism.

          You spend so much time calling people who demand equality for all homo-lovers and people of different races that are citizens of this country, you do not see your own hatred. I would feel sorry for you, but you don’t deserve the pity. Just the disgust deserved for hateful people.

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  3. Adam, history is history, over, done and in the past. CRT attempts to cast the same concepts and blame on the here and now to foster white guilt on people that have nothing to do with 150 years ago. I have said over and over and over that yes there is some racism today but it is in an extreme minority and that, it is prevalent in ALL races, including yours. You liberals sure have short memory. Must be the pot.

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