Outline of libertarianism

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to libertarianism:

Libertarianism – political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgment.

Nature of libertarianism[edit]



  • Economic freedom – the freedom to produce, trade and consume any goods and services acquired without the use of force, fraud or theft.
  • Egalitarianism under the law - the idea that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status.
  • Free society - a society in which one has the freedom to obtain the power and resources to fulfill their own potential.
  • Individual responsibility – the idea that a person has moral obligations in some situations.
  • Self-management – methods, skills, and strategies by which individuals can effectively direct their own activities toward the achievement of objectives, and includes goal setting, decision making, focusing, planning, scheduling, task tracking, self-evaluation, self-intervention, self-development, etc.
  • Self-governance - the idea that a people or group are able to exercise all of the necessary functions of power without intervention from any authority which they cannot themselves alter.
  • Self-ownership – the concept of property in one's own person, expressed as the moral or natural right of a person to be the exclusive controller of his own body and life.
  • Voluntary association – a group of individuals who enter into an agreement as volunteers to form a body (or organization) to accomplish a purpose.


  • Authoritarianism – a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority.
  • Coercion – the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force.
  • Discrimination by the state – a form of collectivism that involves treating people based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.
  • Imperialism – defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationship, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination."


Branches of libertarianism[edit]

Schools of libertarian thought[edit]

Libertarianism has many overlapping schools of thought, all focused on smaller government and greater individual responsibility. As interpretations of the guiding Non-Aggression Principle vary, some libertarian schools of thought promote the total abolition of government, while others promote a smaller government which does not initiate force. Some seek private ownership of all property and natural resources, others promote communal ownership of all natural resources and varying degrees of private property.

Origins of libertarianism[edit]

Libertarian theory and politics[edit]

Libertarian ideals[edit]

These are concepts which, although not necessarily exclusive to libertarianism, are significant in historical and modern libertarian circles.

Philosophers and economists who have influenced libertarianism[edit]





See also[edit]



External links[edit]