Published on Aug 6, 2016
WHY BLACKS ARE FORCED AWAY FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Libertarians” redirects here. For political parties that may go by this name, see Libertarian Party.
For other uses, see Libertarianism (disambiguation).
Libertarianism (Latin: liber, “free”) is a collection of political philosophies that uphold liberty as their principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association, and the primacy of individual judgment. Libertarianism has been applied as an umbrella term to a wide range of political ideas through modern history.
Libertarians generally share a skepticism of authority; however, they diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing political and economic systems. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power, often calling to restrict or to dissolve coercive social institutions.
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. An additional line of division is between minarchists and anarchists. While minarchists think that a minimal centralized government is necessary, anarchists propose to completely eliminate the state.
The term libertarian originally referred to a philosophical belief in free will. The term libertarianism became associated with anti-state socialism and Enlightenment-influenced political movements critical of institutional authority believed to serve forms of social domination and injustice. The term has generally retained its political usage as a synonym for either social or individualist anarchism through much of the world. However, in the United States it has since come to describe pro-capitalist economic liberalism more so than anti-capitalist egalitarianism. In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, libertarianism is defined as the moral view that agents initially fully own themselves and have certain moral powers to acquire property rights in external things.
The 17 August 1860 edition of Le Libertaire: Journal du Mouvement Social, a libertarian communist publication in New York City.
The first recorded use of the term libertarian was in 1789, when William Belsham wrote about libertarianism in the context of metaphysics. 
Libertarian came to mean an advocate or defender of liberty, especially in the political and social spheres, as early as 1796, when the London Packet printed on 12 February: “Lately marched out of the Prison at Bristol, 450 of the French Libertarians.” The word was again used in a political sense in 1802, in a short piece critiquing a poem by “the author of Gebir”, and has since been used with this meaning.
The use of the word libertarian to describe a new set of political positions has been traced to the French cognate, libertaire, coined in a letter French libertarian communist Joseph Déjacque wrote to mutualist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1857. Déjacque also used the term for his anarchist publication Le Libertaire: Journal du Mouvement Social, which was printed from 9 June 1858 to 4 February 1861 in New York City. In the mid-1890s, Sébastien Faure began publishing a new Le Libertaire while France’s Third Republic enacted the lois scélérates (“villainous laws”), which banned anarchist publications in France. Libertarianism has frequently been used as a synonym for anarchism since this time.
Although the word libertarian continues to be widely used to refer to socialists internationally, its meaning in the United States has deviated from its political origins. Libertarianism in the United States has been described as conservative on economic issues and liberal on personal freedom (for common meanings of conservative and liberal in the United States); it is also often associated with a foreign policy of non-interventionism.
There is contention about whether right, left, and socialist libertarianism “represent distinct ideologies as opposed to variations on a theme.” All libertarians begin with a conception of personal autonomy from which they argue in favor of civil liberties and a reduction or elimination of the state.
Right-libertarianism developed in the United States in the mid-20th century and is the most popular conception of libertarianism in that region. It is commonly referred to as a continuation or radicalization of classical liberalism. Right-libertarians value self-ownership and the non-aggression principle, as well as support of private property and free-market capitalism, while rejecting most or all state functions. Anarcho-capitalists believe the state inherently violates the non-aggression principle, while minarchists defend night-watchman states on the grounds that certain government functions are required to protect individual rights. They defend wage labor and concentrations of wealth so long as they are voluntary.
Left-libertarianism encompasses those libertarian beliefs that claim the Earth’s natural resources belong to everyone in an egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively. Contemporary left-libertarians such as Hillel Steiner, Peter Vallentyne, Philippe Van Parijs, Michael Otsuka, and David Ellerman believe the appropriation of land must leave “enough and as good” for others or be taxed by society to compensate for the exclusionary effects of private property. Libertarian socialists (social and individualist anarchists, libertarian Marxists, council communists, Luxemburgists, and DeLeonists) promote usufruct and socialist economic theories, including communism, collectivism, syndicalism, and mutualism. They criticize the state for being the defender of private property and believe capitalism entails wage slavery.
Anarchism envisages freedom as a form of autonomy, which Paul Goodman describes as “the ability to initiate a task and do it one’s own way, without orders from authorities who do not know the actual problem and the available means.” All anarchists oppose political and legal authority, but collectivist strains also oppose the economic authority of private property. These social anarchists emphasize mutual aid, whereas individualist anarchists extoll individual sovereignty.
Some right-libertarians consider the Non-aggression Principle (NAP) to be a core part of their beliefs, and it is sometimes considered the foundation of most present-day right-libertarian philosophies.
ibertarian socialists have been advocates and activists of civil liberties, including free love and free thought. Advocates of free love viewed sexual freedom as a clear, direct expression of individual sovereignty. They particularly stressed women’s rights, as most sexual laws discriminated against women: for example, marriage laws and anti-birth control measures.
Free love appeared alongside anarcha-feminism and advocacy of LGBT rights. Anarcha-feminism developed as a synthesis of radical feminism and anarchism, and views patriarchy as a fundamental manifestation of compulsory government. It was inspired by the late 19th century writings of early feminist anarchists such as Lucy Parsons, Emma Goldman, Voltairine de Cleyre and Virginia Bolten. Anarcha-feminists, like other radical feminists, criticise and advocate the abolition of traditional conceptions of family, education and gender roles. Free Society (1895–1897 as The Firebrand, 1897–1904 as Free Society) was an anarchist newspaper in the United States that staunchly advocated free love and women’s rights, while criticizing “comstockery”, the censorship of sexual information. In recent times, anarchism has also voiced opinions and taken action around certain sex related subjects such as pornography, BDSM, and the sex industry.
Free thought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, in contrast with authority, tradition, or other dogmas. In the United States, “free thought was an anti-Christian, anti-clerical movement, whose purpose was to make the individual politically and spiritually free to decide on religious matters. A number of contributors to Liberty were prominent figures in both free thought and anarchism. In 1901, Catalan anarchist and free-thinker Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia established “modern” or progressive schools in Barcelona in defiance of an educational system controlled by the Catholic Church. Fiercely anti-clerical, Ferrer believed in “freedom in education,” i.e., education free from the authority of the church and state. The schools’ stated goal was to “educate the working class in a rational, secular and non-coercive setting”. Later in the 20th century Austrian freudo-marxist Wilhelm Reich became a consistent propagandist for sexual freedom going as far as opening free sex-counselling clinics in Vienna for working-class patients as well as coining the phrase “sexual revolution” in one of his books from the 1940s. During the early 1970s the English anarchist and pacifist Alex Comfort achieved international celebrity for writing the sex manuals The Joy of Sex and More Joy of Sex.
Most left-libertarians are anarchists and believe the state inherently violates personal autonomy: “As Robert Paul Wolff has argued, since ‘the state is authority, the right to rule’, anarchism which rejects the State is the only political doctrine consistent with autonomy in which the individual alone is the judge of his moral constraints.” Social anarchists believe the state defends private property, which they view as intrinsically harmful, while market-oriented left-libertarians argue that so-called free markets actually consist of economic privileges granted by the state. These latter libertarians advocate instead for freed markets, which are freed from these privileges.
There is a debate amongst right-libertarians as to whether or not the state is legitimate: while anarcho-capitalists advocate its abolition, minarchists support minimal states, often referred to as night-watchman states. Libertarians take a skeptical view of government authority.[unreliable source?] Minarchists maintain that the state is necessary for the protection of individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud. They believe the only legitimate governmental institutions are the military, police, and courts, though some expand this list to include fire departments, prisons, and the executive and legislative branches. They justify the state on the grounds that it is the logical consequence of adhering to the non-aggression principle and argue that anarchism is immoral because it implies that the non-aggression principle is optional, that the enforcement of laws under anarchism is open to competition. Another common justification is that private defense agencies and court firms would tend to represent the interests of those who pay them enough.
Anarcho-capitalists argue that the state violates the non-aggression principle by its nature because governments use force against those who have not stolen or vandalized private property, assaulted anyone, or committed fraud. Linda & Morris Tannehill argue that no coercive monopoly of force can arise on a truly free market and that a government’s citizenry can’t desert them in favor of a competent protection and defense agency.
Right-libertarians maintain that unowned natural resources “may be appropriated by the first person who discovers them, mixes his labor with them, or merely claims them—without the consent of others, and with little or no payment to them.” They believe that natural resources are originally unowned, and therefore, private parties may appropriate them at will without the consent of, or owing to, others.
Left-libertarians believe that neither claiming nor mixing one’s labor with natural resources is enough to generate full private property rights, and maintain that natural resources ought to be held in some egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively.
Right-libertarians are economic liberals of either the Austrian School or Chicago school and support laissez-faire capitalism,
Left-libertarians (social and individualist anarchists, libertarian Marxists, and left-wing market anarchists) argue in favor of socialist theories such as communism, syndicalism, and mutualism (see Anarchist economics). Daniel Guérin writes that “anarchism is really a synonym for socialism. The anarchist is primarily a socialist whose aim is to abolish the exploitation of man by man. Anarchism is only one of the streams of socialist thought, that stream whose main components are concern for liberty and haste to abolish the State.”
Wage labour has long been compared by socialists and anarcho-syndicalists to slavery. As a result, the term wage slavery is often utilised as a pejorative for wage labor. Advocates of slavery looked upon the “comparative evils of Slave Society and of Free Society, of slavery to human Masters and slavery to Capital,” and proceeded to argue persuasively that wage slavery was actually worse than chattel slavery. Slavery apologists like George Fitzhugh contended that workers only accepted wage labour with the passage of time, as they became “familiarized and inattentive to the infected social atmosphere they continually inhale[d].”
According to Noam Chomsky, analysis of the psychological implications of wage slavery goes back to the Enlightenment era. In his 1791 book On the Limits of State Action, classical liberal thinker Wilhelm von Humboldt explained how “whatever does not spring from a man’s free choice, or is only the result of instruction and guidance, does not enter into his very nature; he does not perform it with truly human energies, but merely with mechanical exactness” and so when the labourer works under external control, “we may admire what he does, but we despise what he is.” For Marxists, labour-as-commodity, which is how they regard wage labour, provides an absolutely fundamental point of attack against capitalism. “It can be persuasively argued,” noted philosopher John Nelson, “that the conception of the worker’s labour as a commodity confirms Marx’s stigmatization of the wage system of private capitalism as ‘wage-slavery;’ that is, as an instrument of the capitalist’s for reducing the worker’s condition to that of a slave, if not below it.” That this objection is fundamental follows immediately from Marx’s conclusion that wage labour is the very foundation of capitalism: “Without a class dependent on wages, the moment individuals confront each other as free persons, there can be no production of surplus value; without the production of surplus-value there can be no capitalist production, and hence no capital and no capitalist!”
Main article: Left-libertarianism
The Steiner–Vallentyne school
Contemporary left-libertarian scholars such as Hillel Steiner, Peter Vallentyne, Philippe Van Parijs, Michael Otsuka, and David Ellerman root an economic egalitarianism in the classical liberal concepts of self-ownership and land appropriation, combined with geoist or physiocratic views regarding the ownership of land and natural resources (e.g. those of John Locke and Henry George).[note 1] They hold that it is illegitimate for anyone to claim private ownership of natural resources to the detriment of others.[note 2][note 3] Instead, unappropriated natural resources are either unowned or owned in common, and private appropriation is only legitimate if everyone can appropriate an equal amount or if private appropriation is taxed to compensate those who are excluded from natural resources. Most left-libertarians support some form of income redistribution on the grounds of a claim by each individual to be entitled to an equal share of natural resources. A number of left-libertarians of this school argue for the desirability of some state social welfare programs.
See also: Geolibertarianism and Georgism
Geolibertarianism is a political movement and ideology that synthesizes libertarianism and geoist theory, traditionally known as Georgism.
Geolibertarians are advocates of geoism, which is the position that all natural resources, including land, are common assets which all individuals have an equal right to access; therefore, individuals must pay rent to the community if they claim land as their private property. Rent need not be paid for the mere use of land, but only for the right to exclude others from that land, and for the protection of one’s title by government. They simultaneously agree with the right-libertarian position that each individual has an exclusive right to the fruits of his or her labor as their private property, as opposed to this product being owned collectively by society or the community, and that “one’s labor, wages, and the products of labor” should not be taxed. As with traditional libertarians, they advocate “full civil liberties, with no crimes unless there are victims who have been invaded.” Geolibertarians generally advocate distributing the land rent to the community via a land value tax, as proposed by Henry George and others before him. For this reason, they are often called “single taxers”. Fred E. Foldvary coined the word “geo-libertarianism” in an article so titled in Land and Liberty. In the case of geoanarchism, a proposed voluntaryist form of geolibertarianism as described by Foldvary, rent would be collected by private associations with the opportunity to secede from a geocommunity (and not receive the geocommunity’s services) if desired.
Part of a series on
v t e
Libertarian socialism (sometimes called social anarchism, left-libertarianism and socialist libertarianism) is a group of anti-authoritarian political philosophies inside the socialist movement that rejects socialism as centralized state ownership and control of the economy including criticism of wage labour relationships within the workplace, as well as the state itself. It emphasizes workers’ self-management of the workplace and decentralized structures of political organization, asserting that a society based on freedom and equality can be achieved through abolishing authoritarian institutions that control certain means of production and subordinate the majority to an owning class or political and economic elite. Libertarian socialists generally place their hopes in decentralized means of direct democracy and federal or confederal associations such as libertarian municipalism, citizens’ assemblies, trade unions, and workers’ councils. All of this is generally done within a general call for libertarian and voluntary human relationships through the identification, criticism, and practical dismantling of illegitimate authority in all aspects of human life.
Past and present political philosophies and movements commonly described as libertarian socialist include anarchism (especially anarchist communism, anarchist collectivism, anarcho-syndicalism, and mutualism) as well as autonomism, communalism, participism, revolutionary syndicalism, and libertarian Marxist philosophies such as council communism and Luxemburgism, as well as some versions of utopian socialism and individualist anarchism.
Main article: Right-libertarianism
Traditional classical liberalism is a political philosophy and ideology belonging to liberalism in which primary emphasis is placed on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government and maximizing the power of capitalist market forces. The philosophy emerged as a response to the Industrial Revolution and urbanization in the 19th century in Europe and the United States. It advocates civil liberties with a limited government under the rule of law, and belief in laissez-faire economic policy. Classical liberalism is built on ideas that had already arisen by the end of the 18th century, such as selected ideas of Adam Smith, John Locke, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo, stressing the belief in free market and natural law, utilitarianism, and progress. Classical liberals were more suspicious than conservatives of all but the most minimal government and, adopting Thomas Hobbes’s theory of government, they believed government had been created by individuals to protect themselves from one another.
Neoliberalism (neo-liberalism) emerged in the era following World War II during which social liberalism and Keynesianism were the dominant ideologies in the Western world. It was led by economists such as Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, who advocated the reduction of the state and a return to classical liberalism. It did however accept some aspects of social liberalism, such as some degree of welfare provision by the state, but on a greatly reduced scale. Hayek and Friedman used the term classical liberalism to refer to their ideas; however, others use the term to refer to all liberalism before the 20th century, not to designate any particular set of political views, and therefore see all modern developments as being, by definition, not classical. As a result, the term neoliberalism has often been used as an alternative, however this term has developed negative connotations and is now usually only used as a pejorative.
Anarcho-capitalism (also referred to as free-market anarchism, market anarchism, and private-property anarchism) is a political philosophy which advocates the elimination of the state in favor of individual sovereignty in a free market. In an anarcho-capitalist society, law enforcement, courts, and all other security services would be provided by privately funded competitors rather than through taxation, and money would be privately and competitively provided in an open market. Therefore, personal and economic activities under anarcho-capitalism would be regulated by privately run law rather than through politics.
The most well-known version of anarcho-capitalism was formulated in the mid-20th century by Austrian School economist and libertarian Murray Rothbard. Murray coined the term and is widely regarded as its founder. He combined the free-market approach from the Austrian School of economics (classical liberalism) with the human rights views and a rejection of the state he learned from 19th-century American individualist anarchists such as Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker (though he rejected the anarchists’ anti-capitalism, along with the labor theory of value and the normative implications they derived from it).[note 4] In Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism, there would first be the implementation of a mutually agreed-upon libertarian “legal code which would be generally accepted, and which the courts would pledge themselves to follow.” This legal code would recognize sovereignty of the individual and the principle of non-aggression.
Atlas lifting the world, Objectivist imagery made famous by the novel Atlas Shrugged
Objectivism is a philosophy created by Russian-American novelist Ayn Rand, who condemned libertarianism as being a greater threat to freedom and capitalism than both modern liberalism and conservatism, due to what she saw as its lack of philosophic and moral foundation. She regarded Objectivism as an integrated philosophical system, whereas libertarianism is a political philosophy which confines its attention to matters of public policy. Objectivism’s central tenets are that reality exists independent of consciousness; that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception; that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic; that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (or rational self-interest); that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism; and that the role of art in human life is to transform humans’ metaphysical ideas by selective reproduction of reality into a physical form—a work of art—that one can comprehend and to which one can respond emotionally. Rand believed that political advocacy could not succeed without addressing what she saw as its methodological prerequisites. Rand rejected any affiliation with the libertarian movement and many other Objectivists have done so as well.
Age of Enlightenment
See also: Age of Enlightenment, History of liberalism, and French Revolution
John Locke, the “Father of classical liberalism”
Elements of libertarianism can be traced as far back as the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu and the higher-law concepts of the Greeks and the Israelites. In 17th-century England, libertarian ideas began to take modern form in the writings of the Levellers and John Locke. In the middle of that century, opponents of royal power began to be called Whigs, or sometimes simply “opposition” or “country” (as opposed to Court) writers.
During the 18th century, classical liberal ideas flourished in Europe and North America. Libertarians of various schools were influenced by classical liberal ideas. For libertarian philosopher Roderick T. Long, both libertarian socialists and libertarian capitalists “share a common—or at least an overlapping intellectual ancestry—… both claim the seventeenth century English Levellers and the eighteenth century French encyclopedists among their ideological forbears; and (also)… usually share an admiration for Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine”.
John Locke greatly influenced both libertarianism and the modern world in his writings published before and after the English Revolution of 1688, especially A Letter Concerning Toleration (1667), Two Treatises of Government (1689) and An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). In the latter he established the basis of liberal political theory: that people’s rights existed before government; that the purpose of government is to protect personal and property rights; that people may dissolve governments that do not do so; and that representative government is the best form to protect rights. The United States Declaration of Independence was inspired by Locke in its statement: “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…” Nevertheless scholar Ellen Meiksins Wood says that “there are doctrines of individualism that are opposed to Lockean individualism… and non-Lockean individualism may encompass socialism”.
According to Murray Rothbard, the libertarian creed emerged from the classical liberal challenges to an “absolute central State and a king ruling by divine right on top of an older, restrictive web of feudal land monopolies and urban guild controls and restrictions”, the mercantilism of a bureaucratic warfaring state allied with privileged merchants. The object of classical liberals was individual liberty in the economy, in personal freedoms and civil liberty, separation of state and religion, and peace as an alternative to imperial aggrandizement. He cites Locke’s contemporaries, the Levellers, who held similar views. Also influential were the English “Cato’s Letters” during the early 1700s, reprinted eagerly by American colonists who already were free of European aristocracy and feudal land monopolies.
In January of 1776, only two years after coming to America from England, Thomas Paine published his pamphlet “Common Sense” calling for independence for the colonies. Paine promoted classical liberal ideas in clear, concise language that allowed the general public to understand the debates among the political elites. Common Sense was immensely popular in disseminating these ideas, selling hundreds of thousands of copies. Paine later would write the Rights of Man and The Age of Reason and participate in the French Revolution. Paine’s theory of property showed a “libertarian concern” with the redistribution of resources.
In 1793, William Godwin wrote a libertarian philosophical treatise, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Morals and Happiness, which criticized ideas of human rights and of society by contract based on vague promises. He took classical liberalism to its logical anarchic conclusion by rejecting all political institutions, law, government, and apparatus of coercion, as well as all political protest and insurrection. Instead of institutionalized justice he proposed that people influence one and other to moral goodness through informal reasoned persuasion, including in the associations they joined, and that this would facilitate human happiness.