Thursday, 2 August 2012

What is Libertarianism?

In a few online group discussions today, it became clear that there are many misconceptions as to what a Libertarian is and what Libertarianism really means for people in Germany, the UK and Norway. It is hence very likely that people might struggle with what this political philosophy represents and stand for in other countries, especially in central and northern Europe, as well.

Therefore, here is an explanation of what it is, based on the material available on the Ludwig Von Mises Institute website (here is the article in pdf format: wiki.mises) which you can pass on to colleagues, friends etc that are not familiar with this political philosophy:

"is a political philosophy that views respect for individual choice and individual liberty as the
foundation of the ideal society, and therefore seeks to minimize or abolish the coercive actions of the State as that is the entity that is generally identified as the most powerful coercive force in society.
Broadly speaking, libertarianism focuses on the rights of the individual to act in complete accordance with his or her own subjective values, and argues that the coercive actions of the State are often (or even always) an impediment to the efficient realization of one's desires and values. Libertarians also maintain that what is immoral for the individual must necessarily be immoral for all state agents, and that the state should not be above the natural law. The extent to which government is necessary is evaluated by libertarian moral philosophers from a variety of perspectives".

Should you want to become more advanced on the subject, there is an excellent reading list posted on the Economic Policy Journal website.

Happy reading!

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