Libertarianism

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Description:
Libertarianism is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the organizing principle of society. Libertarianism includes diverse beliefs, all advocating minimization of the state and sharing the goal of maximizing individual liberty and political freedom.

Overview

Libertarian schools of thought differ over the degree to which the state should be reduced. Anarchists advocate complete elimination of the state. Minarchists advocate a state which is limited to protecting its citizens from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud. Some libertarians go further, such as by supporting minimal public assistance for the poor. Another distinction can be made among libertarians who support private ownership and co-operative ownership of the means of production; the former generally supporting a capitalist economy, the latter a libertarian socialist economic system.

Descriptions by prominent libertarians

Philosopher Roderick T. Long defines...
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