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Libertarianism (Latin: liber, "free") is a set of related political philosophies that uphold liberty as the highest political end. This includes emphasis on the primacy of individual liberty, political freedom, and voluntary association. It is the antonym to authoritarianism. Different schools of libertarianism disagree over whether the state should exist and, if so, to what extent. While minarchists propose a state limited in scope to preventing aggression, theft, breach of contract and fraud, anarchists advocate its complete elimination as a political system. While certain libertarian currents are supportive of laissez-faire capitalism and private property rights, such as in land and natural resources, others reject capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, instead advocating their common or cooperative ownership and management (see libertarian socialism).
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. Libertarian philosopher Roderick Long defines libertarianism as "any political position that advocates a radical redistribution of power from the coercive state to voluntary associations of free individuals", whether "voluntary association" takes the form of the free market or of communal co-operatives. In the United States, the term libertarianism is often used as a synonym for economic liberalism.
Many countries throughout the world have libertarian parties (see list of libertarian political parties).
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Philosophy
- 3 History
- 4 Contemporary libertarianism
- 5 Contemporary libertarian organizations
- 6 Libertarian theorists
- 7 Criticisms
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 External links
The term libertarian in a metaphysical or philosophical sense was first used by late-Enlightenment free-thinkers to refer to those who believed in free will, as opposed to determinism. The first recorded use was in 1789 by William Belsham in a discussion of free will and in opposition to "necessitarian" (or determinist) views.
Libertarian as an advocate or defender of liberty especially in the political and social spheres was used in 1796 in London Packet on the 12th of February:
Lately marched out of the Prison at Bristol, 450 of the French Libertarians.
The word libertarian was used also in a political sense in 1802, in a short piece critiquing a poem by "the author of Gebir":
The author's Latin verses, which are rather more intelligible than his English, mark him for a furious Libertarian (if we may coin such a term) and a zealous admirer of France, and her liberty, under Bonaparte; such liberty!
The use of the word "libertarian" to describe a new set of political positions has been tracked to the French cognate, libertaire, which was coined in 1857 by French anarchist Joseph Déjacque who used the term to distinguish his libertarian communist approach from the mutualism advocated by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. By 1878, Sir John Seeley could characterize a person "who can properly be said to defend liberty" (by opposing tyranny or "resist[ing] the established government") as a "libertarian." Libertarian has been used by some as a synonym for anarchism since the 1890s. By 1901, Frederic William Maitland could use the term to capture a cultural attitude of support for freedom. Observing that "the picture of an editor defending his proof sheets [...] before an official board of critics is not to our liking," Maitland emphasized that "[i]n such matters Englishmen are individualists and libertarians." As early as 1923, H. L. Mencken could write: "My literary theory, like my politics, is based chiefly upon one idea, to wit, the idea of freedom. I am, in belief, a libertarian of the most extreme variety." Albert Jay Nock and Mencken were the first prominent figures in the US to call themselves "libertarians," which they used to signify their allegiance to individualism and limited government, feeling that Franklin D. Roosevelt had co-opted the word "liberal" for his New Deal policies, which they opposed.
In the United States, where the meaning of liberalism has parted significantly from classical liberalism, classical liberalism has largely been renamed libertarianism and is associated with "economically conservative" and "socially liberal" political views (going by the common meanings of "conservative" and "liberal" in the United States), along with a foreign policy of non-interventionism.
Colin Ward writes that anarchists used the term before it was appropriated by American free-market philosophers and Noam Chomsky asserts that, outside the United States, the terms "libertarian" and "libertarianism" are synonymous with anarchism. Frank Fernandez asserts that in the United States, the term "has been hijacked by egotists who are in fact enemies of liberty." Conversely, other academics as well as proponents of the free market perspectives argue that capitalist libertarianism has successfully spread beyond the U.S. since the 1970s via think tanks and political parties and that libertarianism is increasingly viewed worldwide as a free market position. Likewise, many libertarian capitalists disapprove of socialists identifying as libertarians.
Libertarian philosophies are generally divided on three principal questions: (1) Whether what is ethically permissible is determined consequentially or in terms of natural rights (deontologically); (2) on the legitimacy of private property; (3) on the legitimacy of the state.
Consequentialist – natural rights distinction
Broadly, there are two ethically justified variants of libertarianism: "consequentialist libertarianism" and "natural rights libertarianism" (or "deontological libertarianism"). Natural-rights libertarians maintain that natural rights exist, and from there argue that certain actions of the state violate these rights. It may include both right-libertarianism and left-libertarianism. Consequentialist libertarians argue that a free market and strong private property rights bring about beneficial consequences, such as wealth creation and efficiency, rather than subscribing to a theory of rights or justice. There are hybrid forms of libertarianism that combine deontological and consequentialist reasoning.
Contractarian libertarianism holds that any legitimate authority of government derives not from the consent of the governed, but from contract or mutual agreement, though this can be seen as reducible to consequentialism or deontologism depending on what grounds contracts are justified. Some libertarian socialists reject deontological and consequential approaches and use historical materialism to justify their political beliefs.
Propertarian – non-propertarian distinction
Propertarian libertarian philosophies define liberty as non-aggression (an arrangement in which no person or group "aggresses" against any other party), where aggression is defined as the violation of private property. This philosophy implicitly recognizes private property as the sole source of legitimate authority. Propertarian libertarians hold that societies in which private property rights are enforced are the only ones that are both ethical and lead to the best possible outcomes. They generally support the free market, and are not opposed to any concentrations of economic power, provided it occurs through non-coercive means.
Non-propertarian libertarian philosophies hold that liberty is the absence of capitalist authority and argue 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. Implicitly, it rejects any authority of private property and thus holds that it is not legitimate for someone to claim private ownership of any resources to the detriment of others. Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production. The term libertarian socialism is also used to differentiate this philosophy from state socialism. Libertarian socialists generally place their hopes in decentralized means of direct democracy such as libertarian municipalism, citizens' assemblies, trade unions and workers' councils.
Anarchist – minarchist distinction
Libertarians differ on whether government is desirable. Some, such as minarchists and classical liberals, favor the existence of minimal states and see them as necessary or inevitable. On the other hand, anarchists favor stateless societies and view the state as being undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful.
Minarchists argue that having defense and the courts controlled by the market is an inherent miscarriage of justice because it transforms justice into a commodity, thereby conflating justice with economic power. Anarchists argue that having defense and courts controlled by the state is both immoral and an inefficient means of achieving both justice and security. Libertarian socialists hold that liberty is incompatible with state action based on a class struggle analysis of the state.
Age of Enlightenment
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.
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…"
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.
During the 19th century a tradition of individualist anarchism developed that continued into and influenced 20th century libertarianism and these included Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, Ezra Heywood, William B. Greene, J.K. Ingalls, and Stephen Pearl Andrews. They were influenced by individualist German philosophers like Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Max Stirner, and Friedrich Nietzsche. They also were influenced by Britain's Herbert Spencer and France's Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.
Josiah Warren's individualistic philosophy arose from rejection of Robert Owen's failed cooperative movement in the 1820s, of which he was a participant. Of it, he wrote: "It seemed that the difference of opinion, tastes, and purposes increased just in proportion to the demand for conformity […] It appeared that it was nature's own inherent law of diversity that had conquered us […] our 'united interests' were directly at war with the individualities of persons and circumstances and the instinct of self-preservation". Warren even rejected community of property which he considered "doomed to failure because of the individuality of the persons involved in such an experiment."
For American anarchist historian Eunice Minette Schuster, American individualist anarchism "stresses the isolation of the individual – his right to his own tools, his mind, his body, and to the products of his labor. To the artist who embraces this philosophy it is 'aesthetic' anarchism, to the reformer, ethical anarchism, to the independent mechanic, economic anarchism."
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an important early influence in individualist anarchist thought in the United States and Europe. Thoreau was an American author, poet, naturalist, tax resister, surveyor, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist best known for his book Walden and his essay Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance and moral opposition to an unjust state. He originated the phrase "that government is best which governs less" and wrote "this government of itself never furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way."
In the late nineteenth century individualist anarchism was expressed through Benjamin R. Tucker's periodical Liberty (1881–1908), which Wendy McElroy calls a “textbook of libertarian culture of the late nineteenth century.” It debated issues among the various strains of individualist anarchism in the Americas and Europe. Tucker himself had a "passionate belief in the moral illegitimacy of the state", which premise he often followed to its uncomfortable conclusions. "When was widely criticized, Tucker enthusiastically endorsed the poem, urging all of his subscribers to read it. Tucker, in fact, published an American edition. From its early championing of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, to it's printing of Oscar Wilde's plea for penal reform called "The Ballad of Reading Gaol", to a series of short stories by Francis du Bosque in its last issues, Liberty was a vehicle of controversial, avant-garde literature." Tucker referred to himself many times as a socialist and considered his philosophy to be "Anarchistic socialism." He also thought that the economics of Josiah Warren constituted the earliest version of socialism, which he saw as the extension of Adam Smith's labour theory of value.
An important concern for American individualist anarchism was free love. Free love particularly stressed women's rights since most sexual laws discriminated against women: for example, marriage laws and anti-birth control measures. It produced a number of important publications like Lucifer the Lightbearer (1883–1907), The Word (1872–1890, 1892–1893) and Free Society.
"Freethought" was an anti-Christian, anti-clerical movement whose purpose was to make the individual politically and spiritually free to decide on religious matters. The church was seen as a repressive ally of the state. A number of contributors to Liberty were prominent figures in both freethought and individualist anarchism. Freethought was important in European individualist anarchism and it emphasized criticism of religious dogmas and of the church.
Charles-Auguste Bontemps and others were active in French individualist anarchism. Their theoretical positions and practices were iconoclastic and scandalous, even within libertarian circles, including nudist anarcho-naturism, defense of birth control and the idea of 'unions of egoists' solely for sexual purposes. Spanish individualist anarchists were influenced by American and French theorists, and practiced by individuals like Dorado Montero, Ricardo Mella, Federico Urales and J. Elizalde.
Mutualism is a libertarian socialist school of thought originating from the mid-19th century writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. While Proudhon argued against private ownership of the means of production and advocated a stateless socialist society based on democratic worker self-management, he denounced the state socialist tendency toward advancing communism through central planning. He acknowledged that principles of competition and solidarity were in conflict but stated that society would find the “most libertarian means possible” to deal with the tension between freedom and order. Proudhon proposed spontaneous order, whereby organization emerges without central authority, a "positive anarchy" where order arises when everybody does "what he wishes and only what he wishes." He saw that every society has libertarian and authoritarian tendencies and that conflicts could be resolved by independent arbitrators or federations. Mutualism has been retrospectively characterized as ideologically situated between individualist and collectivist forms of anarchism.
- Avrich, Paul. Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America, Princeton University Press 1996 ISBN 0-691-04494-5, p. 6
- Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought, Blackwell Publishing 1991 ISBN 0-631-17944-5, p. 11.
- George Woodcock in Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements also emphasized mutualism and individualist anarchism, according to John Curl, Ishmael Reed, For All the People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America, PM Press, 2012, ISBN 1604867329, ISBN 9781604867329, pp. 20, 478
Kevin Carson is a contemporary mutualist and author of Studies in Mutualist Political Economy. In the preface of this work Carson describes this work as "an attempt to revive individualist anarchist political economy, to incorporate the useful developments of the last hundred years, and to make it relevant to the problems of the twenty-first century."
In the late nineteenth century, the libertarian philosophy of Georgism became influential among many libertarians, particularly among American libertarians. The Georgist philosophy is based on the writings of the free market political economist Henry George (1839–1897), and is usually associated with the idea of a single tax on the value of land, a collection of its commonly owned economic rent. Geolibertarians argue that a tax on land value is economically efficient, non-coercive given a proper philosophy of property in land, just and equitable; and that it can generate sufficient revenue so that other taxes, which are less fair and efficient (such as taxes on production, sales and income), can and ought to be reduced or eliminated.
Left-libertarianism, libertarian Marxism, libertarian socialism and libertarian communism are all phrases which activists with a variety of perspectives have applied to their views.[unreliable source?] Anarchist communist philosopher Joseph Déjacque was the first person to describe himself as "libertarian". Unlike mutualist anarchist philosopher Pierre Joseph Proudhon, he argued that, "it is not the product of his or her labor that the worker has a right to, but to the satisfaction of his or her needs, whatever may be their nature." According to anarchist historian Max Nettlau, the first use of the term "libertarian communism" was in November 1880, when a French anarchist congress employed it to more clearly identify its doctrines. The French anarchist journalist Sébastien Faure started the weekly paper Le Libertaire (The Libertarian) in 1895.
The revolutionary wave of 1917–23 saw the active participation of anarchists in Russia and Europe. Russian anarchists participated alongside the Bolsheviks in both the February and October 1917 revolutions. However, Bolsheviks in central Russia quickly began to imprison or drive underground the libertarian anarchists. Many fled to the Ukraine. There, in the Ukrainian Free Territory, they fought in the Russian Civil War against the White movement, monarchists and other opponents of revolution, and then against Bolsheviks as part of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine led by Nestor Makhno, who established an anarchist society in the region for a number of months. Expelled American anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman protested Bolshevik policy before they left Russia.
The victory of the Bolsheviks damaged anarchist movements internationally as workers and activists joined Communist parties. In France and the United States, for example, members of the major syndicalist movements of the CGT and IWW joined the Communist International. In Paris, the Dielo Truda group of Russian anarchist exiles, which included Nestor Makhno, issued a 1926 manifesto, the Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft), calling for new anarchist organizing structures.
The "Bavarian Soviet Republic" of 1918-1919 had libertarian socialist characteristics. In Italy from 1918-1921 the anarcho-syndicalist trade union Unione Sindacale Italiana grew to 800,000 members
In the 1920s and 1930s, with the rise of fascism in Europe, anarchists began to fight fascists in Italy in France during the February 1934 riots, and in Spain where the CNT boycott of elections led to a right-wing victory and its later participation in voting in 1936 helped bring the popular front back to power. This led to a ruling class attempted coup and the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). Gruppo Comunista Anarchico di Firenze held that the during early twentieth century, the terms libertarian communism and anarchist communism became synonymous within the international anarchist movement as a result of the close connection they had in Spain (see Anarchism in Spain) (with libertarian communism becoming the prevalent term).
Murray Bookchin wrote that the Spanish libertarian movement of the mid-1930s was unique because its workers’ control and collectives – which came out of a three generation “massive libertarian movement” – divided the “republican” camp and challenged the Marxists. Urban anarchists’ created libertarian communist forms of organization which evolved into the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (“CNT”), a syndicalist union providing the infrastructure for a libertarian society. Also formed were local bodies to administer of social and economic life on a decentralized libertarian basis. Much of the infrastructure was destroyed during the 1930s Spanish Civil War against authoritarian and fascist forces.
The Manifesto of Libertarian Communism was written in 1953 by Georges Fontenis for the Federation Communiste Libertaire of France. It is one of the key texts of the anarchist-communist current known as platformism. In 1968 in Carrara, Italy, the International of Anarchist Federations was founded during an international anarchist conference to advance libertarian solidarity.It wanted to form "a strong and organised workers movement, agreeing with the libertarian ideas". In the United States the Libertarian League was founded in New York City in 1954 as a left-libertarian political organisation building on the Libertarian Book Club. Members included Sam Dolgoff, Russell Blackwell, Dave Van Ronk, Enrico Arrigoni and Murray Bookchin.
In Australia the Sydney Push was a predominantly left-wing intellectual subculture in Sydney from the late 1940s to the early 1970s which became associated with the label "Sydney libertarianism". Well known associates of the Push include Jim Baker, John Flaus, Harry Hooton, Margaret Fink, Sasha Soldatow, Lex Banning, Eva Cox, Richard Appleton, Paddy McGuinness, David Makinson, Germaine Greer, Clive James, Robert Hughes, Frank Moorhouse and Lillian Roxon. Amongst the key intellectual figures in Push debates were philosophers David J. Ivison, George Molnar, Roelof Smilde, Darcy Waters and Jim Baker, as recorded in Baker's memoir Sydney Libertarians and the Push, published in the libertarian Broadsheet in 1975. An understanding of libertarian values and social theory can be obtained from their publications, a few of which are available online.
In 1969 French platformist anarcho-communist Daniel Guérin published an essay in 1969 called "Libertarian Marxism?" in which he dealt with the debate between Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin at the First International and afterwards he suggested that "Libertarian marxism rejects determinism and fatalism, giving the greater place to individual will, intuition, imagination, reflex speeds, and to the deep instincts of the masses, which are more far-seeing in hours of crisis than the reasonings of the ‘elites’; libertarian marxism thinks of the effects of surprise, provocation and boldness, refuses to be cluttered and paralysed by a heavy ‘scientific’ apparatus, doesn’t equivocate or bluff, and guards itself from adventurism as much as from fear of the unknown." Libertarian Marxist currents often draw from Marx and Engels' later works, specifically the Grundrisse and The Civil War in France. They emphasize the Marxist belief in the ability of the working class to forge its own destiny without the need for a revolutionary party or state. Libertarian Marxism includes such currents as council communism, left communism, Socialisme ou Barbarie Lettrism/Situationism and operaismo/autonomism, and New Left.[unreliable source?]
The early liberals believed that the state should confine its role to protecting individual liberty and property, and opposed all but the most minimal economic regulations. The "normative core" of classical liberalism is the idea that in an environment of laissez-faire, a spontaneous order of cooperation in exchanging goods and services emerges that satisfies human wants. Some individualists came to realize that the liberal state itself takes property forcefully through taxation in order to fund its protection services, and therefore it seemed logically inconsistent to oppose theft while also supporting a tax-funded protector. They advocated what may be seen as classical liberalism taken to the extreme by only supporting voluntarily funded defense by competing private providers. One of the first liberals to discuss the possibility of privatizing protection of individual liberty and property was France's Jakob Mauvillon in the 18th century. Later, in the 1840s, Julius Faucher and Gustave de Molinari advocated the same.
Murray Rothbard was influenced by the work of the 19th-century American individualist anarchists, themselves influenced by classical liberalism. However, he thought they had a faulty understanding of economics. The 19th-century individualists had a labor theory of value, as influenced by the classical economists, but Rothbard was a student of neoclassical economics which does not agree with the labor theory of value. Rothbard sought to meld 19th-century American individualists' advocacy of free markets and private defense with the principles of Austrian economics: "There is, in the body of thought known as 'Austrian economics,' a scientific explanation of the workings of the free market (and of the consequences of government intervention in that market) which individualist anarchists could easily incorporate into their political and social Weltanschauung".
Modern anarcho-capitalism (also referred to as free-market anarchism, market anarchism, private-property anarchism) rejects collectivism and statutory law while embracing free and competitive markets in all services, including law and civil defense. This political philosophy 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 operated by privately funded competitors rather than centrally through compulsory taxation. Money, along with all other goods and services, would be privately and competitively provided in an open market. Personal and economic activities under anarcho-capitalism would be regulated by victim-based dispute resolution organizations under tort and contract law, rather than by statute through punishment and torture under political monopolies.
This "modern libertarianism" strongly supports minimal government, ending military alliances, free trade, and a return to civil society where individuals retain their rights and are responsible for their actions. Austrian School economist Murray Rothbard is said to have founded modern libertarianism when he merged the laissez-faire economics of Ludwig von Mises with the individualist anarchist views of Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker. A 1971 New York Times article noted that 17th-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza was a forerunner of modern libertarianism, writing "He who tries to determine everything by law will foment crime rather than lessen it." Its authors stated that modern libertarianism, in part a continuation of 18th-century and 19th-century liberalism, is on a “much more solid intellectual footing than old-style liberalism” because rather than taking their views from religious mysticism, they based it on “a scientific appraisal of the nature of man and his needs.” 
Libertarianism in the United States developed in the 1950s as many with "Old Right" or classical liberal beliefs in the United States began to describe themselves as libertarians. Arizona United States Senator Barry Goldwater's challenge to authority also influenced the U.S. libertarian movement. In the 1950s, Russian-American novelist Ayn Rand developed a philosophical system called Objectivism, expressed in her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, as well as other works, which influenced many libertarians. However, she rejected the label "libertarian" and denounced non-Objectivist libertarians. Philosopher John Hospers, a one-time member of Rand's inner circle, proposed a non-initiation of force principle to unite both groups; this statement later became a required "pledge" for candidates of the Libertarian Party, and Hospers himself became its first presidential candidate in 1972.
During the 1960s, the Vietnam War divided American libertarians, anarchists, and conservatives. Libertarians opposed to the war joined the draft resistance and peace movements and began founding their own publications, like Rothbard's The Libertarian Forum and Reason magazine. The 1960s also saw the formation of organizations like the Radical Libertarian Alliance and the Society for Individual Liberty. In 1971, a small group of Americans led by David Nolan formed the U.S. Libertarian Party. The party has run a presidential candidate every election year since 1972. Over the years, dozens of capitalism-supporting libertarian political parties have been formed worldwide. Educational organizations like the Center for Libertarian Studies and the Cato Institute were formed in the 1970s, and others have been created since then.
Modern libertarianism gained significant recognition in academia with the publication of Harvard University professor Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974, a response to John Rawls' A Theory of Justice. The book proposed a minimal state on the grounds that it was an inevitable phenomenon. Anarchy, State, and Utopia won a National Book Award in 1975.
In the United States, polls (circa 2006) find that the views and voting habits of between 10 and 20 percent (and increasing) of voting age Americans may be classified as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal, or libertarian." This is based on pollsters and researchers defining libertarian views as fiscally conservative and socially liberal (based on the common US meanings of the terms) and against government intervention in economic affairs, and for expansion of personal freedoms. Through 20 polls on this topic spanning 13 years, Gallup found that voters who are libertarian on the political spectrum ranged from 17–23% of the US electorate. A 2011 Reason-Rupe poll found that among those who self-identified as Tea Party supporters, 41 percent leaned libertarian and 59 percent socially conservative. In 2012 anti-war presidential candidates – Libertarian Republican Ron Paul and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson – raised millions of dollars and garnered millions of votes despite opposition to their obtaining ballot access by Democrats and Republicans. In 2013, The Economist opinion piece held that British youth supported a "minimal 'nightwatchman' state", disliked taxation, and were "deficit-reduction hawks" who wanted government out of their personal lives, and accepted homosexuality. It stated, "Today’s distracted libertarians are tomorrow’s dependable voter block."
A surge of popular interest in libertarian socialism occurred in western nations during the 1960s and 1970s. Anarchism was influential in the Counterculture of the 1960s and anarchists actively participated in the late sixties students and workers revolts. In 1968 in Carrara, Italy the International of Anarchist Federations was founded during an international anarchist conference held there in 1968 by the three existing European federations of France, the Italian and the Iberian Anarchist Federation as well as the Bulgarian federation in French exile. The uprisings of May 1968 also led to a small resurgence of interest in left communist ideas. Various small left communist groups emerged around the world, predominantly in the leading capitalist countries. A series of conferences of the communist left began in 1976, with the aim of promoting international and cross-tendency discussion, but these petered out in the 1980s without having increased the profile of the movement or its unity of ideas. Prominent left communist groups existing today include the International Communist Party, International Communist Current and the Internationalist Communist Tendency.
The housing and employment crisis in most of Western Europe led to the formation of communes and squatter movements like that of Barcelona, Spain. In Denmark, squatters occupied a disused military base and declared the Freetown Christiania, an autonomous haven in central Copenhagen.
Around the turn of the 21st century, libertarian socialism grew in popularity and influence as part of the anti-war, anti-capitalist, and anti-globalisation movements. Anarchists became known for their involvement in protests against the meetings of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Group of Eight, and the World Economic Forum. Some anarchist factions at these protests engaged in rioting, property destruction, and violent confrontations with police. These actions were precipitated by ad hoc, leaderless, anonymous cadres known as black blocs; other organisational tactics pioneered in this time include security culture, affinity groups and the use of decentralised technologies such as the internet. A significant event of this period was the confrontations at WTO conference in Seattle in 1999. For English anarchist scholar Simon Critchley "contemporary anarchism can be seen as a powerful critique of the pseudo-libertarianism of contemporary neo-liberalism...One might say that contemporary anarchism is about responsibility, whether sexual, ecological or socio-economic; it flows from an experience of conscience about the manifold ways in which the West ravages the rest; it is an ethical outrage at the yawning inequality, impoverishment and disenfranchisment that is so palpable locally and globally."
International anarchist federations in existence include the International of Anarchist Federations, the International Workers' Association, and International Libertarian Solidarity. The largest organised anarchist movement today is in Spain, in the form of the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) and the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT). CGT membership was estimated to be around 100,000 for 2003. Other active syndicalist movements include in Sweden the Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden and the Swedish Anarcho-syndicalist Youth Federation; the CNT-AIT in France; the Union Sindicale Italiana in Italy; in the US Workers Solidarity Alliance and the UK Solidarity Federation. The revolutionary industrial unionist Industrial Workers of the World, claiming 2,000 paying members, and the International Workers Association, an anarcho-syndicalist successor to the First International, also remain active.
Libertarian socialists in the early 21st century have been involved in the alter-globalization movement, squatter movement; social centers; infoshops; anti-poverty groups such as Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and Food Not Bombs; tenants' unions; housing cooperatives; intentional communities generally and egalitarian communities; anti-sexist organizing; grassroots media initiatives; digital media and computer activism; experiments in participatory economics; anti-racist and anti-fascist groups like Anti-Racist Action and Anti-Fascist Action; activist groups protecting the rights of immigrants and promoting the free movement of people, such as the No Border network; worker co-operatives, countercultural and artist groups; and the peace movement etc.
Contemporary libertarian organizations
Since the 1950s, many American libertarian organizations have adopted a free market stance, as well as supporting civil liberties and non-interventionist foreign policies. These include the Ludwig von Mises Institute, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), Center for Libertarian Studies, the Cato Institute, and the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL). The activist Free State Project, formed in 2001, works to bring 20,000 libertarians to New Hampshire to influence state policy. Active student organizations include Students for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty.
A number of countries have libertarian parties that run candidates for political office. In the United States, the Libertarian Party of the United States was formed in 1972. The Libertarian Party is the third largest American political party, with over 370,000 registered voters in the 35 states that allow registration as a Libertarian and has hundreds of party candidates elected or appointed to public office.
Current international anarchist federations which sometimes identify themselves as libertarian include the International of Anarchist Federations, the International Workers' Association, and International Libertarian Solidarity. The largest organised anarchist movement today is in Spain, in the form of the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) and the CNT. CGT membership was estimated to be around 100,000 for 2003. Other active syndicalist movements include, in Sweden, the Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden and the Swedish Anarcho-syndicalist Youth Federation; the CNT-AIT in France;[not in citation given] the Union Sindicale Italiana in Italy; in the US, Workers Solidarity Alliance; and in the UK, Solidarity Federation. The revolutionary industrial unionist Industrial Workers of the World, claiming 2,000 paying members, and the International Workers Association, an anarcho-syndicalist successor to the First International, also remain active. In the United States there exists the Common Struggle – Libertarian Communist Federation or Lucha Común – Federación Comunista Libertaria (formerly the North Eastern Federation of Anarchist Communists (NEFAC) or the Fédération des Communistes Libertaires du Nord-Est)[not in citation given] an is a platformist anarchist communist organization based in the northeast region of the United States.[not in citation given]
- Émile Armand – early 20th century individualist anarchist
- Mikhail Bakunin – theorist of collectivist anarchism and influence on the development of Left-libertarianism
- Walter Block – author of Defending the Undefendable and Yes to Ron Paul and Liberty, Austrian economist
- Murray Bookchin – the founder of libertarian municipalism and theorist of the social ecology movement
- Noam Chomsky – doctor of linguistics, MIT professor, author of political science books, and proponent of libertarian socialism
- Joseph Déjacque – the first recorded person to call himself "libertarian" and the founder of the first publication with the name "Libertarian" in its title
- Milton Friedman – Nobel Prize-winning monetarist economist associated with the Chicago School of Economics, advocated economic deregulation and privatization
- William Godwin – the first modern proponent of anarchism, whose political views are outlined in his book Political Justice
- Emma Goldman – proponent of anarcha-feminism
- Friedrich Hayek – Nobel Prize-winning Austrian School economist, notable for his political work The Road to Serfdom
- Hans-Hermann Hoppe – developed argumentation ethics
- Peter Kropotkin – theorist of libertarian communism
- Ludwig von Mises – figure in the Austrian School of economic thought who established praxeology
- Stefan Molyneux – creator of Freedomain Radio, a philosophy discussion on the internet
- Robert Nozick – political philosopher and author of Anarchy, State, and Utopia
- Pierre-Joseph Proudhon – the first self-described anarchist and founder of mutualism
- Ayn Rand – founder of Objectivism
- Murray Rothbard – the founder of anarcho-capitalism and an Austrian school economist
- Richard Epstein – legal scholar, specializing in the field of law and economics
- David D. Friedman – anarcho-capitalist theorist, author of Machinery of Freedom, and son of Milton Friedman
- Jan Narveson – political philosopher and professor emeritus, member of the Order of Canada
- Max Stirner – founder of egoist anarchism
- Henry David Thoreau – one of the early philosophers of American Transcendentalism and anarcho-pacifism
- Benjamin Tucker – theorist of individualist anarchism in the 19th century
- Josiah Warren – the first known American anarchist and author of the first anarchist periodical The Peaceful Revolutionist
Criticism of libertarianism includes ethical, economic, environmental, and pragmatic concerns. Critics have claimed the political philosophy does not satisfy collectivist values, and that private property does not create an egalitarian distribution. It has also been argued that laissez-faire capitalism does not necessarily produce the best or most efficient outcome, nor does its policy of deregulation prevent the abuse of natural resources. And the lack of contemporary examples of fully actualized libertarian societies has been criticized on the premise that, if libertarianism were viable and beneficial, it would have been tried.
- Christian libertarianism
- Debates within libertarianism
- Green libertarianism
- Libertarianism in South Africa
- Libertarianism in the United Kingdom
- Libertarianism in the United States
- Libertarian feminism
- List of basic libertarianism topics
- List of libertarian organizations
- Libertarianism.org. "A Note on Labels: Why 'Libertarian'?", Cato Institute, accessed July 4, 2013.
- Rothbard, Murray N. (1979). "Myth and Truth About Libertarianism," LewRockwell.com, 
- Rothbard, Murray N. (1982). The Ethics of Liberty, Mises.org 
- Encyclopædia Britannica. "Libertarianism," 
- The Journal of Libertarian Studies, 11:2 (Summer 1995): 132–181 
- J. J. Ray (1980). "Libertarians and the Authoritarian Personality," The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IV, No. 1 
- Friedman, David D. (2008). "libertarianism," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition, Abstract; Quote: "Libertarians differ among themselves in the degree to which they rely on rights-based or consequentialist arguments and on how far they take their conclusions, ranging from classical liberals, who wish only to drastically reduce government, to anarcho-capitalists who would replace all useful government functions with private alternatives."
- Woodcock, George (2004). Anarchism: A History Of Libertarian Ideas And Movements. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press. p. 24. ISBN 9781551116297. "all these attract the anarchist theoretician as examples of what can be done without the apparatus of the state"
- Kropotkin, Peter. "Anarchism" from the Encyclopædia Britannica. "In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions"
- Kropotkin, Petr (1927). Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings. Courier Dover Publications. p. 150. ISBN 9780486119861. "It attacks not only capital, but also the main sources of the power of capitalism: law, authority, and the State"
- Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed (45): 38. "They are therefore opposed to what the Mexican anarchist Flores Magon called the ‘sombre trinity’ — state, capital and the church. Anarchists are thus opposed to both capitalism and to the state""
- Ronald Hamowy (editor). The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, Chapter: "Anarchism", pp. 10–13; Quote: "Libertarianism puts severe limits on morally permissible government action. If one takes its strictures seriously, does libertarianism require the abolition of government, logically reducing the position to anarchism? Robert Nozick effectively captures this dilemma: “Individucals have rights, and there are things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights). So strong and far-reaching are these rights that they raise the question of what, if anything, the state and its official may do.” Libertarian political philsophers have extensively debated this question, and many concude that the answer is ‘Nothing’.”
- Paul F. Downton, Ecopolis: Architecture and Cities for a Changing Climate, Volume 1 of Future City, Springer, 2008, p. 157 , ISBN 1402084951 Quote: “Taking this idea forward to look at how governance would work without the apparatus of the central state, Bookchin proposed a 'libertarian municipalism' in opposition to statism.”
- Ronald Hamowy, ed. (2008). "Sociology and Libertarianism". The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. pp. 480–482. ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4.[need quotation to verify]
- Vallentyne, Peter (September 5, 2002). "Libertarianism". In Edward N. Zalta. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2009 ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University. Retrieved March 5, 2010. "Both endorse full self-ownership, but they differ with respect to the powers agents have to appropriate unappropriated natural resources (land, air, water, etc.). Right-libertarianism holds that typically such resources may be appropriated by the first person who discovers them, mixes her labor with them, or merely claims them – without the consent of others, and with little or no payment to them. Left-libertarianism, by contrast, holds that unappropriated natural resources belong to everyone in some egalitarian manner. It can, for example, require those who claim rights over natural resources to make a payment to others for the value of those rights. This can provide the basis for a kind of egalitarian redistribution"
- Otero, Carlos Peregrin (2003). "Introduction to Chomsky's Social Theory". In Carlos Peregrin Otero. Radical priorities. Noam Chomsky (book author) (3rd ed.). Oakland, CA: AK Press. p. 26. ISBN 1-902593-69-3.; Chomsky, Noam (2003). Carlos Peregrin Otero, ed. Radical priorities (3rd ed.). Oakland, CA: AK Press. pp. 227–228. ISBN 1-902593-69-3.
- Vallentyne, Peter (September 5, 2002). "Libertarianism". In Edward N. Zalta. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2009 ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University. Retrieved March 5, 2010. "Libertarianism is committed to full self-ownership. A distinction can be made, however, between right-libertarianism and left-libertarianism, depending on the stance taken on how natural resources can be owned"
- Vallentyne, Peter. "Libertarianism". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, CSLI, Stanford University. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- Roderick T. Long (1998). "Towards a Libertarian Theory of Class" (PDF). Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (2): 303–349: at p. 304. doi:10.1017/S0265052500002028.
- David Boaz (1998). Libertarianism A Primer. London: The Free Press. pp. 22–25. ISBN 0-684-84768-X.
- "Libertarianism". Oxford English Dictionary (3 ed.). 2010. libertarian A.1.(subscription required)
- William Belsham (1789). Essays. C. Dilly. p. 11Original from the University of Michigan, digitized May 21, 2007
- OED November 2010 edition
- The British Critic, p. 432 http://archive.mises.org/18385/the-origin-of-libertarianism/
- Valentin Pelosse (2011 ?). "Joseph Déjacque et la création du néologisme "libertaire" (1857)" [Joseph Déjacque and the Neologism Libertarian (1857)]. Joseph Dejacque, Le Libertaire (in french). ¶1; derived from the work published as Valentin Pelosse (1972). "Joseph Déjacque et la création du néologisme "libertaire"" [Joseph Déjacque and the creation of the neologism "libertarian"]. Economies et Sociétés (Cahiers de l'institut de science économique appliquée). [Series:] S "Etudes de marxologie" [Studies in Marxism] (in French) (15 "Socialisme : Science et Ethique" [Socialism: Science and Ethics]).
- The primary source is available both in the Joseph Déjacque archive as: Joseph Déjacque (May 1857) Letter to PJ Proudhon held in Valentin Pelosse editor Joseph Dejacque, Le Libertaire [archive], ¶18; and also in Robert Graham, ed. (2005). Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas. Volume One: From Anarchy to Anarchism (300 CE–1939). Montreal: Black Rose Books. §17.
- John Robert Seeley, Life and Times of Stein: Or Germany and Prussia in the Napoleonic Age, 3 vols. (Cambridge: CUP 1878) 3: 355. Thanks to the Oxford English Dictionary for the original reference.
- Nettlau, Max (1996). A Short History of Anarchism (in English, translated). London: Freedom Press. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-900384-89-9. OCLC 37529250.
- Frederick William Maitland, "William Stubbs, Bishop of Oxford," English Historical Review 16[.3] (July 1901): 419.
- H. L. Mencken, letter to George Müller, 1923, "Autobiographical Notes, 1941," qtd. Rodgers 105.
- Burns, Jennifer (2009). Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 309. ISBN 978-0-19-532487-7.
- Moseley, Daniel (June 25, 2011). "What is Libertarianism?". Basic Income Studies 6 (2): 2. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- The Libertarian Vote by David Boaz and David Kirby, Cato Institute, October 18, 2006
- Ronald Hamowy (editor), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, Chapter: "Foreign policy", pp. 177–180.
- Edward A. Olsen, US National Defense for the Twenty-First Century: The Grand Exit Strategy, Taylor & Francis, 2002, p. 182, ISBN 0714681407, 9780714681405.
- Colin Ward (2004), Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 62. "For a century, anarchists have used the word 'libertarian' as a synonym for 'anarchist', both as a noun and an adjective. The celebrated anarchist journal Le Libertaire was founded in 1896. However, much more recently the word has been appropriated by various American free-market philosophers..."
- Chomsky, Noam (February 23, 2002). "The Week Online Interviews Chomsky". Z Magazine. Z Communications. Retrieved 21 November 2011. "The term libertarian as used in the US means something quite different from what it meant historically and still means in the rest of the world. Historically, the libertarian movement has been the anti-statist wing of the socialist movement. Socialist anarchism was libertarian socialism."
- Fernandez, Frank (2001), Cuban Anarchism. The History of a Movement, Charles Bufe translator, Tucson, Arizona: See Sharp Press, p. 9. "Thus, in the United States, the once exceedingly useful term "libertarian" has been hijacked by egotists who are in fact enemies of liberty in the full sense of the word."
- Steven Teles and Daniel A. Kenney, chapter "Spreading the Word: The diffusion of American Conservativsm in Europe and beyond," (pp. 136–169) in Growing apart?: America and Europe in the twenty-first century by Sven Steinmo, Cambridge University Press, 2008, The chapter discusses how libertarian ideas have been more successful at spreading worldwide than social conservative ideas.
- Anthony Gregory, Real World Politics and Radical Libertarianism, LewRockwell.com, April 24, 2007.
- David Boaz, Preface for the Japanese Edition of Libertarianism: A Primer, reprinted at Cato.org, November 21, 1998.
- Radicals for Capitalism (Book Review), New York Post, February 4, 2007.
- Rothbard, Murray N. (1989). For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto. New York: Collier Books. ISBN 0-02-074690-3.
- Bevir, Mark. Encyclopedia of Political Theory. SAGE, 2010. p. 811
- Wolff, Jonathan. Libertarianism, Utility, and Economic Competition. Virginia Law Review.
- "Contractarianism". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford, CA. 2007-04-04.
- Anthony de Jasay (1996). "Hayek: Some Missing Pieces" (PDF). The Review of Austrian Economics 9 (1): 107–18. ISSN 0889-3047.
- Hardy Bouillon, Harmut Kliemt (2007). "Foreword". In Hardy Bouillon, Hartmut Kliemt. Ordered Anarchy: Jasay and his surroundings. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing. p. xiii. ISBN 0-7546-6113-X.
- B. Franks (2003). "Direct action ethic" (PDF). Anarchist Studies 11 (1): 13–41, 24–25.
- Rothbard, Murray (1998). The Ethics of Liberty. New York: NYU Press. ISBN 978-0814775066.
- von Mises, Ludwig (2007). Human Action: A Treatise on Economics. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund. ISBN 978-0865976313.
- Mendes, Manuel da Silva (2011). Socialismo libertario ou Anarchismo. Historia e doutrina (in Portuguese). Adegi Graphics LLC. ISBN 978-9899511408. OCLC 553986112.[page needed]
- Vallentyne, Peter (September 5, 2002). "Libertarianism". In Edward N. Zalta. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2009 ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
- Will Kymlicka (1995). "libertarianism, left-". In Ted Honderich. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866132-0.[page needed]
- Peter Vallentyne, Hillel Steiner, ed. (2000). Left-libertarianism and its critics: the contemporary debate. New York: Palgrave (St. Martin's Press). p. 393. ISBN 0-312-23699-9.
- Eric Mack and Gerald F Gauss (2004). "Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism: The Liberty Tradition". In Gerald F. Gaus, Chandran Kukathas. Handbook of Political Theory. Sage Publications. pp. 115–131, found at 128. ISBN 978-0-7619-6787-3.
- Paul Zarembka. Transitions in Latin America and in Poland and Syria. Emerald Group Publishing, 2007. p. 25
- Guérin, Daniel (2011)  Anarchism: from theory to practice [originally published as French: Anarchisme, de la doctrine à l'action] reprinted online: libcom.org [first published in English: New York: Monthly Review Press], §1 sub-§ "A Matter of Words." "At the end of the century in France, Sebastien Faure took up a word originated in 1858 by one Joseph Dejacque to make it the title of a journal, Le Libertaire. Today the terms "anarchist" and "libertarian" have become interchangeable. Some contemporary anarchists have tried to clear up the misunderstanding by adopting a more explicit term: they align themselves with libertarian socialism or communism or as a synonym for anarchism.
- Ostergaard, Geoffrey. "Anarchism". Limited A Dictionary of Marxist Thought. Blackwell Publishing, 1991. p. 21.
- Chomsky, Noam and Carlos Peregrín Otero. Language and Politics. AK Press, 2004, p. 739
- Rocker, Rudolf (2004). Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice. Oakland, CA: AK Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-902593-92-0.
- Malatesta, Errico. "Towards Anarchism". MAN! (Los Angeles: International Group of San Francisco). OCLC 3930443."Anarchism". The Shorter Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2005. p. 14. "Anarchism is the view that a society without the state, or government, is both possible and desirable." The following sources cite anarchism as a political philosophy: Mclaughlin, Paul (2007). Anarchism and Authority. Aldershot: Ashgate. p. 59. ISBN 0-7546-6196-2. Johnston, R. (2000). The Dictionary of Human Geography. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers. p. 24. ISBN 0-631-20561-6.
- Slevin, Carl. "Anarchism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. Ed. Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan. Oxford University Press, 2003.
- Holcombe, Randall G. "Government: Unnecessary but Inevitable". The Independent Review 8 (3): 325–342 at pages 326–328 (armed forces); 330–331 (market failure in protective services); 332–333 (police).
- Friedman, David (1989). The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism. La Salle: Open Court Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0812690699.
- Lewis Call (2002), Postmodern anarchism, Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, p. 66–68.
- Adrina Michelle Garbooshian, The Concept of Human Dignity in the French and American Enlightenments: Religion, Virtue, Liberty, ProQuest, 2006, p. 472, ISBN 0542851601, ISBN 9780542851605; quote: "Influenced by Locke and Smith, certain segments of society affirmed classical liberalism, with a libertarian bent."
- Paul A. Cantor, The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty Vs. Authority in American Film and TV, University Press of Kentucky, 2012, p. xiii, ISBN 081314082X, ISBN 9780813140827 ; Quote: "[T]he roots of libertarianism lie in...the classical liberal tradition."
- Carlos Peregrin Otero, editor, Noam Chomsky: critical assessments, Volumes 2–3, Taylor & Francis US, 1994, p. 617, ISBN 0-415-10694-X, ISBN 9780415106948.
- David Boaz, The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao Tzu to Milton Friedman, Simon and Schuster, 2010, p. 123, ISBN 1439118337, ISBN 9781439118337
- Murray Rothbard, The Libertarian Heritage: The American Revolution and Classical Liberalism, excerpted from Rothbard's For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, 1973; published at LewRockwell.com, 2006.
- Charles T.Sprading, Liberty and the Great Libertarians, 1913; republished 1995 by Ludwig von Mises Institute, p. 74, ISBN 1610161076, ISBN 9781610161077
- David C. Hoffman, "Paine and Prejudice: Rhetorical Leadership through Perceptual Framing in Common Sense," Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Fall 2006, Vol. 9 Issue 3, pp 373–410
- Pauline Maier, American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (New York: Knopf, 1997), 90–91.
- Hitchens, Christopher (2006). Thomas Paine's Rights of Man. Grove Press. p. 37. ISBN 0-8021-4383-0.
- Robert Lamb, "Liberty, Equality, and the Boundaries of Ownership: Thomas Paine's Theory of Property Rights," Review of Politics (2010) 72#3 pp. 483–511.
- Ian Ousby, The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English, Cambridge University Press, 1993, p. 305, ISBN 0521440866, 9780521440868
- Godwin, William (1793). Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Modern Morals and Happiness. G.G. and J. Robinson. OCLC 2340417.
- Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism, Penn State Press, 2000, p. 196, ISBN 0271020490, ISBN 9780271020495
- Wendy McElroy, "The culture of individualist anarchist in Late-nineteenth century America", Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 5, No. 3, (Summer 1981), Ludwig von Mises Institute
- Butler, Ann Caldwell. "Josiah Warren and the Sovereignty of the Individual". Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IV, No. 4 (Fall 1980)
- Eunice Minette Schuster, Native American Anarchism: A Study of Left-Wing American Individualism', Da Capo Press, 1932, p. __[verification needed].
- Charles T. Sprading, Liberty and the Great Libertarians, Golden Press, Los Angeles, 1912; reprinted by Ludwig von Mises Institute, p. 191, ISBN 1610161076, ISBN 9781610161077
- Brian Doherty, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, PublicAffairs, 2009, p 37, ISBN 0786731885, ISBN 9780786731886
- Wendy McElroy, "Benjamin Tucker, Individualism, & Liberty: Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order", from the Online Library of Liberty.
- An Anarchist FAQby Various Authors
- Benjamin Ricketson Tucker (1969). Instead of a book. Ardent Media. p. 404. Retrieved 21 May 2013.Quote: "What Anarchistic-Socialism aims to abolish is usury. It does not want to deprive Labor of its reward; it wants to deprive capital of its reward. It does not hold that labor should not be sold; it holds that capital should not be sold at usury."
- "The economic principles of Modern Socialism are a logical deduction from the principle laid down by Adam Smith in the early chapters of his “Wealth of Nations,” – namely, that labor is the true measure of price...Half a century or more after Smith enunciated the principle above stated, Socialism picked it up where he had dropped it, and in following it to its logical conclusions, made it the basis of a new economic philosophy...This seems to have been done independently by three different men, of three different nationalities, in three different languages: Josiah Warren, an American; Pierre J. Proudhon, a Frenchman; Karl Marx, a German Jew...That the work of this interesting trio should have been done so nearly simultaneously would seem to indicate that Socialism was in the air, and that the time was ripe and the conditions favorable for the appearance of this new school of thought...So far as priority of time is concerned, the credit seems to belong to Warren, the American, – a fact which should be noted by the stump orators who are so fond of declaiming against Socialism as an imported article." Benjamin Tucker. Individual Liberty
- Wendy McElroy, The Free Love Movement and Radical Individualism, The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 19, December 1, 1996.
- Joanne E. Passet, "Power through Print: Lois Waisbrooker and Grassroots Feminism," in: Women in Print: Essays on the Print Culture of American Women from the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, James Philip Danky and Wayne A. Wiegand, eds., Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin Press, 2006; pp. 229–250.
- Xavier Diez. El anarquismo individualista en España (1923–1939) Virus Editorial. 2007. p. 143, translated quote: "Anticlericalism, just as in the rest of the libertarian movement, in another of the frequent elements which will gain relevance related to the measure in which the (French) Republic begins to have conflicts with the church..."
- "La insumisión voluntaria. El anarquismo individualista español durante la dictadura y la Segunda República" by Xavier Díez.[verification needed]
- "A libertarian socialist response to the 'big society'" in The Third Sector, Volume 1 of Dialogues in Critical Management Studies, Editors Richard Hull, Jane Gibbon, Oana Branzei, Emerald Group Publishing, 2011, p. 125, ISBN 1780522800, ISBN 9781780522807
- Fisher, Vardis. Libertarian and Mutualist Essays on Free Banking, Free Land and Individualism. Revisionist Press.
- Edwards, Paul. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. p. 113.
- Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph. 'Oeuvres Complètes' (Lacroix edition), volume 17, pp. 188–9
- Darrow Schecter, Radical Theories: Paths Beyond Marxism and Social Democracy, Volume 38 of Colloquia mathematica Societatis Janos Bolyai, Manchester University Press, 1994, P 53, ISBN 0719043859, ISBN 9780719043857
- Proudhon, Solution to the Social Problem, ed. H. Cohen (New York: Vanguard Press, 1927), p. 45.
- Rothbard, Murray. Concepts of the Role of Intellectuals in Social Change Toward Laissez Faire, The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol IX No. 2 (Fall 1990)
- David Goodway, For Anarchism: History, Theory and Practice, Taylor & Francis, 1989, p. 155, ISBN 0415029554, ISBN 9780415029551.
- Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph (1979). The Principle of Federation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-5458-7. "The notion of 'anarchy' in politics is just as rational and positive as any other. It means that once industrial functions have taken over from political functions, then business transactions alone produce the social order."
- Kevin Carson. Studies in Mutualist Political Economy.
- Land Value Taxation: An Applied Analysis, William J. McCluskey, Riël C. D. Franzsen
- "What is Communist Anarchism?" Alexander Berkman, in Now and After
- "Anarchist communism is also known as anarcho-communism, communist anarchism, or, sometimes, libertarian communism." from "Anarchist communism – an introduction" by Libcom.org
- Joseph Déjacque, De l'être-humain mâle et femelle – Lettre à P.J. Proudhon par Joseph Déjacque (in French)
- Robert Graham, Anarchism – A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas – Volume One: From Anarchy to Anarchism (300 CE to 1939), Black Rose Books, 2005
- "l'Echange", article in Le Libertaire no 6, September 21, 1858, New York. 
- Nettlau, Max (1996). A Short History of Anarchism. Freedom Press. p. 145. ISBN 0-900384-89-1.
- Nettlau, Max (1996). A Short History of Anarchism. Freedom Press. p. 162. ISBN 0-900384-89-1.
- Avrich, Paul (2006). The Russian Anarchists. Stirling: AK Press. pp. 195, 204. ISBN 1-904859-48-8.
- "There Is No Communism in Russia" by Emma Goldman. Quote: "Soviet Russia, it must now be obvious, is an absolute despotism politically and the crassest form of state capitalism economically."
- Nomad, Max (1966). "The Anarchist Tradition". In Drachkovitch, Milorad M. Revolutionary Internationals 1864 1943. Stanford University Press. p. 88. ISBN 0-8047-0293-4.[verification needed]
- Dielo Trouda (2006) . Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft). Italy: FdCA. Retrieved 2006-10-24.
- "The Organizational Platform of the Libertarian Communists" by Delo Truda
- Hakim Bey. "T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism"
- "Die bayerische Revolution 1918/19. Die erste Räterepublik der Literaten"[dead link]
- "1918–1921: The Italian factory occupations – Biennio Rosso" on Libcom.org
- Holbrow, Marnie, "Daring but Divided" (Socialist Review November 2002).
- Berry, David. "Fascism or Revolution." Le Libertaire. August 1936.
- Antony Beevor, The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006, p. 46, ISBN 978-0-297-84832-5
- "Anarchist Communism & Libertarian Communism" by Gruppo Comunista Anarchico di Firenze. from "L'informatore di parte", No. 4, October 1979, quarterly journal of the Gruppo Comunista Anarchico di Firenze, on Libcom.org
- Murray Bookchin, To Remember Spain: The Anarchist and Syndicalist Revolution of 1936, AK Press, 1994, pp. 2–39, ISBN 1873176872, ISBN 9781873176870
- "Manifesto of Libertarian Communism" by Georges Fontenis, on Libcom.org
- London Federation of Anarchists involvement in Carrara conference, 1968 International Institute of Social History. Retrieved 19 January 2010
- [ Short history of the IAF-IFA] A-infos news project. Retrieved 19 January 2010
- "The Left-Libertarians – the last of an ancient breed" by BILL WEINBERG
- Anarchist Voices: An Oral History Of Anarchism In America by Paul Avrich. AK Press. 2005. pp. 471–472
- Avrich, Paul. Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America, AK Press, p. 419
- Anarchist Voices: An Oral History Of Anarchism In America by Paul Avrich. AK Press. 2005
- A 1970s associate, subject of David Marr's A spirit gone to another place The Sydney Morning Herald obituary, 9 September 2006
- See Baker A J "Sydney Libertarianism and the Push" or at "Sydney Libertarians and the Push" on Prof. W L Morison memorial site
- Articles and Essays of and by Sydney Libertarians
- Sydney Libertarianism at the Marxists Internet Archive
- [http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Daniel_Guerin__Libertarian_Marxism_.html Libertarian Marxism? by Daniel Guérin
- Ernesto Screpanti, Libertarian communism: Marx Engels and the Political Economy of Freedom, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2007.
- Draper, Hal. "The Principle of Self-Emancipation in Marx and Engels" "The Socialist Register." Vol 4.
- Razeen, Sally. Classical Liberalism and International Economic Order: Studies in Theory and Intellectual History, Routledge (UK) ISBN 978-0-415-16493-1, 1998, p. 17
- "...only a few individuals like Murray Rothbard, in Power and Market, and some article writers were influenced by these men. Most had not evolved consciously from this tradition; they had been a rather automatic product of the American environment." DeLeon, David. The American as Anarchist: Reflections on Indigenous Radicalism. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978, p. 127
- "The Spooner-Tucker Doctrine: An Economist's View, Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. 20, no. 1, p. 7 (1965, 2000)
- Edward Stringham, Anarchy and the law: the political economy of choice, p. 504
- Roderick T. Long, Tibor R. Machan, Anarchism/minarchism: is a government part of a free country?, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008, Preface, ISBN 978-0-7546-6066-8, ISBN 978-0-7546-6066-8
- Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice, by Edward Stringham. Transaction Publishers, 2007
- Ronald Hamowy (editor). The encyclopedia of libertarianism, SAGE, 2008, p 10-12, p 195, ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4, ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4
- Edward Stringham, Anarchy and the law: the political economy of choice, p 51
- Ronald Hamowy, Editor, The encyclopedia of libertarianism, SAGE, 2008, p 10-12, p 195, ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4, ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4
- "Review of Kosanke's Instead of Politics - Don Stacy" Libertarian Papers VOL. 3,ART.NO. 3 (2011)
- Thomas C. Hunt; Thomas J. Lasley, II (12 January 2010). Encyclopedia of Educational Reform and Dissent. SAGE Publications. pp. 520–. ISBN 978-1-4129-5664-2. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- Miller, David, ed. (1991). Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-17944-5. p. 290.
- Stan Lehr and Louis Rossetto Jr., PAY WALL ARTICLE The New Right Credo – Libertarianism, The New York Times Magazine, January 10, 1971. Quotes: “Baruch Spinoza, the 17th-century philosopher, was a forerunner of modern libertarians.; “Modern libertarianism is thus in some respects a continuation of 18th-century and 19th-century liberalism. On the other hand, modern libertarianism is on a much more solid intellectual footing than old-style liberalism ever was. While many early liberals tried to argue that 'all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,' this was merely reversal of the old divine-right theory of kings, albeit with happier results. Both theories were based on equally spurious premises. In contrast, modern libertarianism argues not from unprovable mysticism, but rather from a scientific appraisal of the nature of man and his needs.”
- Henry J. Silverman, ed. (1970). American radical thought: the libertarian tradition. Lexington, MA: Heath and Company. p. 279. LCC JA84.U5 S55
- Rubin, Harriet (September 15, 2007). "Ayn Rand's Literature of Capitalism". The New York Times. Retrieved September 18, 2007.
- Ronald Lora, William Henry Longton, (1999) Conservative press in 20th-century America, pp. 367–374, Westport CT: Greenwood Publishing Group
- Marc Jason Gilbert, The Vietnam War on campus: other voices, more distant drums, p. 35, 2001, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 0-275-96909-6
- Rebecca E. Klatch, A Generation Divided: The New Left, the New Right, and the 1960s, University of California Press, 1999 pp. 215–237.
- National Book Award: 1975 – Philosophy and Religion
- David Lewis Schaefer, Robert Nozick and the Coast of Utopia, The New York Sun, April 30, 2008.
- The ANES Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior, 1948–2004 American National Election Studies
- Gallup Poll news release, September 7–10, 2006.
- Emily Ekins, Is Half the Tea Party Libertarian?, Reason, September 26, 2011
- Justin Raimondo, Election 2012: Ron Paul’s Revenge!, Antiwar.com, November 7, 2012.
- The strange rebirth of liberal England, The Economist opinion piece, June 1, 2013.
- Thomas 1985, p. 4
- John Patten (1968-10-28). ""These groups had their roots in the anarchist resurgence of the nineteen sixties. Young militants finding their way to anarchism, often from the anti-bomb and anti-Vietnam war movements, linked up with an earlier generation of activists, largely outside the ossified structures of ‘official’ anarchism. Anarchist tactics embraced demonstrations, direct action such as industrial militancy and squatting, protest bombings like those of the First of May Group and Angry Brigade – and a spree of publishing activity." "Islands of Anarchy: Simian, Cienfuegos, Refract and their support network" by John Patten". Katesharpleylibrary.net. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
- "Farrell provides a detailed history of the Catholic Workers and their founders Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. He explains that their pacifism, anarchism, and commitment to the downtrodden were one of the important models and inspirations for the 60s. As Farrell puts it, "Catholic Workers identified the issues of the sixties before the Sixties began, and they offered models of protest long before the protest decade.""The Spirit of the Sixties: The Making of Postwar Radicalism" by James J. Farrell
- "While not always formally recognized, much of the protest of the sixties was anarchist. Within the nascent women's movement, anarchist principles became so widespread that a political science professor denounced what she saw as "The Tyranny of Structurelessness." Several groups have called themselves "Amazon Anarchists." After the Stonewall Rebellion, the New York Gay Liberation Front based their organization in part on a reading of Murray Bookchin's anarchist writings." "Anarchism" by Charley Shively in Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. pg. 52
- "Within the movements of the sixties there was much more receptivity to anarchism-in-fact than had existed in the movements of the thirties...But the movements of the sixties were driven by concerns that were more compatible with an expressive style of politics, with hostility to authority in general and state power in particular...By the late sixties, political protest was intertwined with cultural radicalism based on a critique of all authority and all hierarchies of power. Anarchism circulated within the movement along with other radical ideologies. The influence of anarchism was strongest among radical feminists, in the commune movement, and probably in the Weather Underground and elsewhere in the violent fringe of the anti-war movement." "Anarchism and the Anti-Globalization Movement" by Barbara Epstein
- London Federation of Anarchists involvement in Carrara conference, 1968 International Institute of Social History, Accessed 19 January 2010
- Short history of the IAF-IFA A-infos news project, Accessed 19 January 2010
- "The International Conferences of the Communist Left (1976-80) | International Communist Current". En.internationalism.org. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- Rupert, Mark (2006). Globalization and International Political Economy. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 66. ISBN 0-7425-2943-6.
- Infinitely Demanding by Simon Critchley. Verso. 2007. pg. 125
- Carley, Mark "Trade union membership 1993–2003" (International:SPIRE Associates 2004).
- http://www.cnt-ait-fr.org/CNT-AIT/ACCUEIL.html Website of the Confédération Nationale du Travail – Association Internationale des Travailleurs
- "If any radical left tendency has been responsible for inspiring action, the palm should go to Marxism’s historic antagonist on the Left—anarchism. Wherever movements have been provoked against neoliberalism, black flags have tended to outnumber red. Autonomista and other kinds of left-libertarian thought were major currents running through movements in Greece and Spain. The cornerstone for the occupation of Zuccotti Park was laid by anarchists, who also developed the consensus procedures by which the movement participants made (or occasionally failed to make) decisions." "Cheerleaders for Anarchism" by Nikil Saval in Dissent magazine
- In November 2011, Rolling Stone magazine credited American anarchist David Graeber with giving the Occupy Wall Street movement its theme: "We are the 99 percent". Rolling Stone says Graeber helped create the first New York City General Assembly, with only 60 participants, on August 2.Sharlet, Jeff (10 November 2011). "Inside Occupy Wall Street: How a bunch of anarchists and radicals with nothing but sleeping bags launched a nationwide movement". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- Belluck, Pam (October 27, 2003). "Libertarians Pursue New Political Goal: State of Their Own". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
- Elizabeth Hovde (2009-05-11). "Americans mixed on Obama's big government gamble". The Oregonian.
- Gairdner, William D. (2007) . The Trouble with Canada: A Citizen Speaks Out. Toronto: BPS Books. pp. 101–102. ISBN 978-0-9784402-2-0. "The first, we would call "libertarianism" today. Libertarians wanted to get all government out of people's lives. This movement is still very much alive today. In fact, in the United States, it is the third largest political party, and ran 125 candidates during the U.S. election of 1988."
- Richard Winger (March 1, 2008). "Early 2008 Registration Totals". Ballot Access News (San Francisco, CA: Richard Winger) 23 (11). Retrieved 2010-07-19.[self-published source?]
- "Our History". Our Party. Washington, DC: Libertarian National Committee. Retrieved 2011-01-18.
- Carley, Mark "Trade union membership 1993–2003" (International: SPIRE Associates 2004).
- http://www.cnt-ait-fr.org/CNT-AIT/ACCUEIL.html Website of the Confédération Nationale du Travail – Association Internationale des Travailleurs
- Partridge, Ernest. (2004). "With Liberty and Justice for Some." In Michael Zimmerman, Baird Callicott, Karen Warren, Irene Klaver, and John Clark. Environmental Philosophy: From Animal Rights to Radical Ecology (4th Edition). ISBN 978-0131126954
- Sterba, James P. (October 1994). "From Liberty to Welfare." Ethics. (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell) 105 (1): p. 237-241
- Friedman, Jeffrey. (1993). "What's Wrong with Libertarianism." Critical Review. 11 (3): p. 427.
- Chait, Jonathan. (21 March 2005). "Blocking Move." The New Republic.
- Lind, Michael. (4 June 2013.). "The Question Libertarians Just Can't Answer." Salon.
- Bevir, Mark (2010). "Libertarianism". Encyclopedia of Political Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN 978-1-4129-5865-3.
- Block, Walter (2010) . "The Non-Aggression Axiom of Libertarianism". In Iulian Tãnase, Bogdan Glãvan. Building Blocks for Liberty: Critical Essays by Walter Block. Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute. pp. 217–220. ISBN 978-1-933550-91-6.
- Cohen, G.A. (1995). Self-ownership, Freedom and Equality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Doherty, Brian (2007). Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. PublicAffairs.
- Goldberg, Jonah (December 12, 2001). "Freedom Kills: John Walker, Andrew Sullivan, and the libertarian threat. [Opinion.]". National Review Online.
- Graham, Robert (ed) . Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas.
- Hospers, John (1971). Libertarianism. Santa Barbara, CA: Reason Press.
- Hospers, John (1995). "Arguments for Libertarianism". In Harwood, Sterling. Business as Ethical and Business as Usual. Jones and Bartlett Series in Philosophy. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
- Lester, J.C. (2000). Escape from Leviathan: Liberty, Welfare and Anarchy Reconciled. Basingstoke, UK/New York, USA: Macmillan/St Martin's Press.
- Nozick, Robert (1974). Anarchy, state, and utopia. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-09720-3.
- Otsuka, Michael (2005). Libertarianism Without Inequality. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-928018-6.
- Palda, Filip (2011) Pareto's Republic and the New Science of Peace 2011  chapters online. Published by Cooper-Wolfling. ISBN 978-0-9877880-0-9
- Vallentyne, Peter; Steiner, Hillel (2000a). The origins of left-libertarianism: an anthology of historical writings. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-23591-8.
- Vallentyne, Peter; Steiner, Hillel (2000b). Left-libertarianism and its critics: the contemporary debate. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-23699-1.
- Vrousalis, Nicholas (2011). "Libertarian Socialism". Social Theory and Practice 37. pp. 211–26.
- Woodcock, George (1962). Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements, Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-022697-4. OCLC 221147531.
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