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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Q: Are libertarianism and socialism mutually exclusive?
A: No. Libertarians believe liberty consists of personal autonomy, and they justify a strong distrust of the state upon this foundation. Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy, as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system.[1] Although socialism is commonly associated with the planned economies proffered by Marxism-Leninism and other "authoritarian socialists," libertarian socialism rejects economic direction from a central authority such as the state.[2] Thus, libertarianism and anarchism have been synonyms since the 1890s,[3] and other equivalents include libertarian socialism,[4] socialist anarchism,[5] and left-libertarianism.[6] The libertarianism of the 19th century had two strong currents, social anarchism and individualist anarchism, both of which fall under the umbrella of libertarian socialism and were explicitly anti-capitalist.[7][8]
In the 20th century, members of the Old Right in the United States such as Albert Jay Nock and H. L. Mencken[9] began identifying as libertarians to declare their commitment to individualism and distance themselves from liberals who supported welfare capitalism. Some libertarians (e.g. Murray Rothbard, who popularized the libertarian philosophy anarcho-capitalism) were explicitly influenced by the American individualist anarchists, but most were "a rather automatic product of the American environment."[10] This modern American libertarianism is also referred to as right-libertarianism.[11]
Q: What is right-libertarianism? What is left-libertarianism?
A: Right-libertarianism refers to those libertarian ideologies that extoll private property without recompense paid by the owner to the local community, and includes anarcho-capitalism and laissez-faire, minarchist liberalism.[11] This is contrasted with left-libertarianism, which either rejects private property, or accepts it only under the condition that the local community is compensated for the exclusionary effects thereof (e.g. a land value tax).[12] Left-libertarianism includes libertarian socialism,[6] left-wing market anarchism,[8] and geolibertarianism.[13]
Q: How are all these political philosophies related? Which ones are closely related or inclusive?
A: Some labels and qualifiers are typically used to group together multiple political movements or ideologies or distance them from others. Below is a rough and simplified visual representation of how many of the political camps described in the article (i.e. groups that have either identified or been described as libertarian) relate to one another, without any regard to their affinity for one another, their prominence or their significance.
Libertarian classification diagram
Libertarianism diagram
  1. ^ Badie, Bertrand; Berg-Schlosser, Dirk; Morlino, Leonardo (2011). International Encyclopedia of Political Science. SAGE Publications, Inc. p. 2456. ISBN 978-1412959636. "Socialist systems are those regimes based on the economic and political theory of socialism, which advocates public ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources."
  2. ^ Sacco, Nicola and Vanzetti, Bartolomeo (1928). The Letters of Sacco and Vanzetti. New York: Octagon Books. p. 274. "After all we are socialists as the social-democrats, the socialists, the communists, and the I.W.W. are all Socialists. The difference—the fundamental one—between us and all the other is that they are authoritarian while we are libertarian; they believe in a State or Government of their own; we believe in no State or Government."
  3. ^ Nettlau, Max (1996). A Short History of Anarchism (in English, translated). London:Freedom Press. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-900384-89-9. OCLC 37529250.
  4. ^ Guérin, Daniel (1970). Anarchism: From Theory to Practice. New York:Monthly Review Press. ISBN 978-0853451754. "Some contemporary anarchists have tried to clear up the misunderstanding by adopting a more explicit term: they align themselves with libertarian socialism or communism."
  5. ^ Ostergaard, Geoffrey. "Anarchism". The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought. Blackwell Publishing. p. 14.
  6. ^ a b Bookchin, Murray and Biehl, Janet (1997). The Murray Bookchin Reader. New York:Cassell. p. 170.
  7. ^ Marshall, Peter (2009). Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism. Oakland:PM Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-60486-064-1. "[Anarchism] emerged at the end of the eighteenth century in its modern form as a response partly to the rise of centalized States and nationalism, and partly to industrialization and capital. Anarchism thus took up the dual challenge of overthrowing both Capital and the State."
  8. ^ a b Chartier, Gary. Johnson, Charles W. (2011). Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty. Minor Compositions. pp. 4-5. ISBN 978-1570272424. "The anticapitalism of the 'first wave' individualists [represented mainly by 'individualist anarchists' and 'mutualists' such as Benjamin Tucker, Voltairine de Cleyre, and Dyer Lum] was obvious to them and to many of their contemporaries."
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ DeLeon, David (1978). The American as Anarchist: Reflections on Indigenous Radicalism. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 127. "only a few individuals like Murray Rothbard, in Power and Market, and some article writers were influenced by [past anarchists like Spooner and Tucker]. Most had not evolved consciously from this tradition; they had been a rather automatic product of the American environment."
  11. ^ a b Goodway, David (2006). Anarchist Seeds Beneath the Snow: Left-Libertarian Thought and British Writers from William Morris to Colin Ward. Liverpool:Liverpool University Press. p. 4. "'Libertarian' and 'libertarianism' are frequently employed by anarchists as synonyms for 'anarchist' and 'anarchism', largely as an attempt to distance themselves from the negative connotations of 'anarchy' and its derivatives. The situation has been vastly complicated in recent decades with the rise of anarcho-capitalism, 'minimal statism' and an extreme right-wing laissez-faire philosophy advocated by such theorists as Murray Rothbard and Robert Nozick and their adoption of the words 'libertarian' and 'libertarianism'. It has therefore now become necessary to distinguish between their right libertarianism and the left libertarianism of the anarchist tradition."
  12. ^ Hamowy, Ronald. "Left Libertarianism." The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. p. 288
  13. ^ Foldvary, Fred E. "Geoism and Libertarianism". The Progress Report. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
Former featured article Libertarianism is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on June 25, 2005.
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Why do we have an article that focuses on taxonomy of Libertarianism variants?[edit]

I created my account just now so that I could weigh in with opinion of this article. Please forgive me if I'm breaking rules that I do not yet understand.

Libertarianism is essentially Classical Liberalism, and the word "Libertarian" is used to avoid confusion with modern American liberalism. If something rejects most of the principles of Classical Liberalism then is it really Libertarianism? Even if you can find something to site, is there value in mentioning obscure, contrived ideas that detract from the basic tenets of Libertarianism?

In a short video, Nigel Ashford of Institute for Humane Studies explains the tenets of classical liberalism on which most classical libertarians agree. Bob Weeks summarizes those basic tenets: Liberty, Individualism, Skepticism about power, Rule of law, Civil society, Spontaneous order, Free markets, Toleration, Peace, and Limited government. (IHS video included) [1]

Sources to consider:,,


  1. ^ Weeks, Bob. "Classical liberalism means liberty, individualism, and civil society". Voice for Liberty in Wichita. Retrieved 2016-12-22. 

— Preceding unsigned comment added by DTuhy (talkcontribs) 17:43, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

I think this may be what happens sometimes when you get a contentious topic. Labeling the variants provides a place for "advocates" to say their piece, leaving alone the question of who really "owns" the main topic word. A similar problem exists because of the tension among various styles of anarchism.
This is not ideal, but it may be easier to maintain than a completely neutral description that somehow tries to reconcile or paper over the disagreements between factions.
Look at the FAQ posted at the head of this talk page for some examples of how some people may disagree with your formulation. Is "extol" the right word?  —jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 00:20, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

I agree, that article seems to spend lots of time describing different branches of libertarianism, and not enough of the libertarian philosophy/ideology. When most people think libertarian, they think of right-libertarianism (which is similar to classical liberalism). But, a reader of the article would think that socialists ideologies are a bigger part of the movement than they actually are. The article only explains the non-aggression principle a few times, despite being the defining fundamental value of libertarianism (it should be explained more). Although it's not great, jmcgnh gives good reasons for why there's not much we can do about it. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 06:59, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

@Finx:, thanks for your edits. I am reverting some parts that were not explained in the edit summaries and that I believe require an explanation. Care to provide a rationale in terms of policy for these changes? I'm listing them in my edit summaries and will copy the diffs here once it's done. Hopefully we can agree on what should be incorporated or not. 1. Ref removal 2. Wikilink removal and reordering I also fixed a missing space between words and a wrong wikilink. Saturnalia0 (talk) 20:19, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Sure. As far as I can tell, the only reversion needing explanation is the change from "anarcho-capitalist" back to "anarchist" - right? I don't think I introduced the errors you corrected, but my apologies if I had. So, I tried to explain in the edit summaries but I can expand here. I think pretty much everything below is already cited in the article.
  • The historic anarchist movement, which is a branch of the socialist movement, has always called for abolition of state
  • On the other hand, "minarchists" (who are advocates for laissez-faire capitalism) wish to maintain it reduce it to a night-watchman state
  • The historic anarchist movement is the origin of "libertarian" as a political label; the anarchist communist Joseph Dejacque coined the term
  • The obscure, mostly American phenomenon born in the 1970s called "anarcho-capitalism" is a far-fringe outgrowth of laissez-faire/neoliberal politics – which also calls for abolition of state and considers itself a form of anarchism
  • Anarcho-capitalism, of course, is wholly rejected by the entire historic anarchist movement as a form of anarchism, since - again - anarchism has always been anti-capitalist
So, it really doesn't seem to make any sense to refer to something so irrelevant that it barely merited two sentences in the article on anarchism as if it were the most relevant form of anarchism, particularly for this article, if indeed you want to call it a form of anarchism at all. fi (talk) 20:55, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Looking back at the other changes, I may have inadvertently reverted more than I meant to do. I intended only to undo some changes to the lead: the exclusively propertarian additions, the ancap bits and the clunky wording. I'm not sure how the sections below got reordered back to the way they were before. Seems like a pretty trivial detail and I don't really care which comes first, personally. I hope I didn't mess up any other corrections in the process. Apologies on that. fi (talk) 21:17, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
You need to explain why you're removing sourced material from the lead. This is what all reliable sources say on libertarianism, and Wikipedia can only say what reliable sources say (WP:RS). What exclusively propertatian additions, anarcho-capitalist bits, and clunky wording are you referring to in the lead? If you let me know, I can try to fix those. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 11:54, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Reliable sources like Woodcock describe traditional anticapitalist anarchism, and reliable sources cited on the term's history point to a 19th century anarcho-communist coining the label in the sense that is the topic of this article. Is it you position that anarchists base their philosophy on "rule of law"? Or perhaps that communists start from a position of "self-ownership"? Could you please provide a reliable source for either of those claims? I rather doubt it, as those are liberal concepts. If you don't have reliable sources saying otherwise, they don't belong in the lead, and neither does anarcho-capitalism, specifically – or at least not any more than anarchist primitivism, for another fringe example that's barely relevant to the topic. The lead needs to address all major "libertarian" camps, instead of pretending like neoliberal ideologies own the label. fi (talk) 18:48, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
But, this isn't an article on anarchism, this is an article on libertarianism (I understand that the terms have some overlap). The first paragraph of the lead doesn't even mention anarchism, so I don't know why you're mentioning that. Citing the first usage of the term in political contexts is an etymological fallacy. Just because the first political ussage was by a communist, doesn't mean the contemporary meaning of the word has anything to do with communism (and this is supported by reliable sources). It is not my assumption that libertarians base their philosophy on the rule of law. It is what the reliable sources say on the matter. We have to say what the reliable sources say, and nothing more. I cannot provide a reliable source to the claim that communists start from a position of self-ownership, because I never stated it. Anarcho-capitalism wasn't mentioned in the first paragraph of the lead, so I don't know why you keep mentioning it. The lead just needs to make the main points that are affirmed by the reliable sources. You still haven't explained why you're removing reliably sourced material, and you haven't answered by question about the supposed clunky wording, ancap bits, and propertarian additions (or why that's even relevant to its removal). IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 18:41, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
It's very simple, if you elect to read the actual article, which I strongly suspect you have not done. "Anarchist," for over one and a half centuries, had meant the same thing as "libertarian" – referring to socialists, largely communists; "anarcho-capitalist" had not. "Anarcho-capitalism" is very marginally related to this topic. If you want to write an article exclusively dedicated to the last several decades of US neoliberalism and its fringiest outgrowths, there's plenty of articles for that. This is not one. fi (talk) 00:53, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't know what you're talking about, but you've made it clear that you're not talking about the first paragraph of the lead. Thus, I'm reverting it back to the version before the violations of WP:NPOV and rejections of WP:RS took place. If you have any further objections, please start a new discussion on the talk page. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 19:02, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
"I don't know what you're talking about" – yeah, this is a problem, per WP:COMPETENCE, which is actually the one policy I see applicable here, assuming good faith. You should familiarize yourself with the article until you know what I'm talking about. If, on the other hand, you do understand why communists and anarchists belong to the umbrella of libertarianism, let me know if I can help explain why communists and anarchists are not defined as exponents of liberal concepts, like self-ownership and rule of law. fi (talk) 05:25, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm familiar with the article, and I understand the terminology. I frankly don't care what communists and anarchists support. I care about what the reliable sources (WP:RS) say about the subject and nothing more. I said "I don't know what you're talking about" because I repeatedly asked you questions and (IMO) refuted your points, but you never addressed them. You responded with a long paragraph about anarcho-capitalism, and other things not mentioned in the lead. When I pointed out that you were missing the point, you only responded with another irrelevant long paragraph. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 03:56, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
Re: "I frankly don't care what communists and anarchists support." – Then this is not the article for you. I suggest you go edit articles where you care about the subject matter in the title. You didn't refute anything and if you think what I said was irrelevant, then you're still having trouble understanding the basic concepts – perhaps because you don't care about them. fi (talk) 12:11, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
You're taking what I said out of context. The point is that your personal opinions about political ideologies are irrelevant for encyclopedic content. Encyclopedias like Wikipedia should only include content backed up by reliable sources (preferably multiple reliable sources) in order to fulfill WP:V, WP:RS, and WP:OR. You're falsely generalizing what I said to make it seem like I don't care about libertarianism as a whole. I care about all political ideologies at least somewhat. I'm just acknowledging that personal opinions and views expressed in a Wikipedia talk page don't override multiple reliable sources. If I haven't refuted anything, you need to respond to my counterarguments to show why I haven't. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 23:42, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
I have never shared with you any of my own personal political views. This article is talking about anti-state socialists and communists and their political views. If you don't care about the political views of socialists and communists, then you should not be editorializing articles about the views of socialists and communists – with no sources to back up your claims to boot (as I've already explained repeatedly), other than some vague hunch that only "a few" libertarians are socialists. fi (talk) 05:33, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
Your arguments are unencyclopedic because they depond on WP:OR combined with WP:SYNTH. Your statement perfectly demonstrates your misunderstanding. Nobody should be editorializing Wikipedia (Wikipedia's policies explicitly say to not editorialize articles). You need to get a grasp on Wikipedia's policies before you make these long threads arguing for what belongs on a Wikipedia article. You still seem to not understand the sources that are being cited. Your assertions about the quality of the sources are factually false; they don't apply to any of the reliable sources cited in the lead. You are still falsely generalizing what I'm saying, as I mentioned in my previous comment in this thread; you still haven't explained why you seem to believe opinions or views expressed in a Wikipedia talk page override multiple reliable sources; and you still haven't given any counterarguments to support your claim that I haven't refuted anything. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 00:07, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
I suggest you read the policies that you've linked. It's not original research to contextualize what a source is referring to, like noting that Cato is explaining propertarian libertarianism rather than libertarian communism, nor is it synthesis to read the article you are editing and notice that the lead blatantly contradicts the article's contents. It is original research to extrapolate or base statements on claims that the source never made, as you are doing now. Either remove the what you've superimposed on libertarian socialists, for no reason whatsoever, or start an RfC to ask for consensus, which you presently do not have. fi (talk) 03:55, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
You admitted in your post above that you were attempting to editorialize this article, which is a patent violation of Wikipedia's policies. So, I don't know why you're trying to explain to me the very policies you are breaking. Cato is undeniably right-libertarian, but there are four other sources backing up the claims (some of those sources do acknowledge left-libertarianism such as the SEP). Plus, propertarianism isn't even described in the lead. Unless of course you see self-ownership as propertarian since it entails some form of ownership. But, that's a contrived explanation and is in opposition to what the reliable sources say. No extrapolation of the sources is made in the lead (although I challenge you to point one out). You're awfully confused; I haven't superimposed anything about libertarian socialists (again, I challenge you to point out examples of me doing this). A (possibly temporary) compromise was reached, so I have no need to start an RfC since I am satisfied with the compromise. If you are not satisfied it's entirely up to you to take action. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 06:21, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
A compromise involves two parties coming to a mutual understanding, which is difficult to do when someone with an ancap meme for a name willfully misunderstands everything they are told. I accused you of editorializing; or, to put that in WP policy terms, which you're so fond of throwing around like confetti, WP:OR. If your position has suddenly changed to "some libertarians base their politics on Lockean self-ownership while others reject it," then you should put that information in the relevant section of the article or in Libertarianism in the United States, not in the first paragraph of the lead here. It doesn't belong there for the same reason workplace democracy and mutual aid doesn't belong there. You have the whole article to explain what right wingers do and don't believe, complete with sources about them. fi (talk) 08:08, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, my name is an ancap meme and I am an anarcho-capitalist. I have never tried to deny that. How is it WP:OR? I cited three sources, and only one of them is the Cato Institute. My position is that based on the reliable sources, self-ownership is a significant enough of a tenet to warrant inclusion in the lead. That's because it's mentioned in multiple reliable sources as a key principle, it's mentioned 62 times in the SEP article (so there's evidence it's important), and the SEP dispells the idea that the other sources were just talking about right-libertarianism. Per the reliable sources, it should be included in the lead. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 15:30, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
I'll quote the most pertinent bit that you seem to have glanced over in WP:OR, which desperately needs your attention: "Take care not to go beyond what is expressed in the sources, or to use them in ways inconsistent with the intention of the source, such as using material out of context." fi (talk) 04:13, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
You need to point out where this section of WP:OR is being violated in the compromise lead you keep reverting. The fact is, you keep removing reliably sourced material, so you need to gain an understanding of the policies.
I have done so at least a dozen times by this point and I don't know how many more times I can repeat myself. The context of Cato's reference is not libertarian socialism. The context of the SEP reference is not libertarian socialism. Putting it in that context is clearly misleading, removed from what the source intended and in contradiction with the rest of the article. Is that clear enough? fi (talk) 08:18, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
I never claimed in the article or the talk page that Cato was talking about libertarian socialism (although it's not explicitly talking about right-libertarianism either). On the other hand, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy was explicitly talking about left- and right-libertarianism in the quotation (it also refers to self-ownership as a libertarian tenet in many other parts of the article too). You're wrong about the context; it's not misleading. No, it's not clear enough because you haven't showed why the SEP source is misleading and not what the source intended, and you still haven't explained what the contradiction with the rest of the article is. Even so, if other parts of the article contradict what's said in reliable sources, those parts need to be emended or removed. And if you do explain these things to me, cite multiple reliable sources like I have given you (I have given three reliable sources). I don't want original research or synthesis, which is all I've gotten so far from you. Remember, you have been the one removing reliably sourced material, not adding it. If you cannot show that the SEP is wrong and show that I'm extrapolating all of the other sources and show that I'm "superimposing" views about libertarian socialism then I will add the material back in. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 21:43, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
I have explained to you, repeatedly, what "left-libertarian" means in the context of the SEP page you are referring to, which you have ignored repeatedly. The only notable anarchist who was an exponent of natural rights (with caveats) was Lysander Spooner. Virtually everyone else either always considered natural rights nonsense to begin with, or rejected it eventually (e.g. Benjamin Tucker). Read about anarchism if you don't understand what it is; a good place to start on how anarchists reject self ownership is An Anarchist FAQ, B.4.2 (AK Press, ISBN 9781902593906 & ISBN 9781849351225). Anarchism is an anti-state movement (therefore no "rule of law") and anti-capitalist movement (therefore no Lockean self-ownership, except with a handful of oddball anti-capitalists like Spooner). If you want to make your changes to the lead, start an RfC and I will find all the needed references to refute the conclusions that you've concocted by removing references from context. Short of that, please stop adding nonsense to the lead. fi (talk) 00:06, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Just because the SEP (which is peer-reviewed and written by experts) describes libertarianism is a way you don't like, doesn't mean it's wrong or referring to some other type of left-libertarianism. So, you still haven't refuted the SEP. Your claim about Lysander Spooner is totally false and irrelevant the argument (without extrapolation or synthesis). I'm an anarchist, so I do know what anarchism is (now you're gonna say I'm not a "real anarchist"). Oh, "An Anarchist FAQ" is now a reliable source for statements of fact about libertarianism? That's drivel. Next you're gonna send me a picture of what some anarcho-communist wrote on the walls of a public restroom and say it's a reliable source about libertarianism. Per WP:ANCITE, "Sources that rely heavily on personal opinions are considered 'questionable sources,' and cannot be used as sources for anything other than to indicate the author's opinion"; and "Factual claims made largely by ideologists of a particular point of view have less authority than factual claims supported by independent scholars or other third party sources." Since you have been removing reliably sourced material, it's now your job to start an RfC, not mine. That's because a compromise was offered and I agreed to it. You still haven't explained how I'm extrapolating all the other sources or how I'm contradicting other parts of the article. Since you're giving me "An Anarchist FAQ" and claiming it's a reliable source for factualy claims, I'm changing the article back to the version with the removed material. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 02:46, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
The AFAQ, which you've apparently somehow never heard of, has been the definitive reference on social anarchism for over twenty years, published by AK Press (which is apparently new to you as well). It's a 550-page per volume academic project, and a much more rigorous one than anything you've leaned on, at that. You will find exactly the same treatment if you look at serious historians and leading academics like Woodcock or Graham, to so say nothing of present-day anarchists and social scientists like David Graeber, who have articles you can easily access deconstructing 'self-ownership' – again. You need to stop POV pushing in the lead, or we will eventually have to settle this on the noticeboards. fi (talk) 18:49, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Of course I've heard of "An Anarchist FAQ" (and I've read some of it too). AK Press is not peer reviewed (like the SEP); as long as the content is relevant, publication is not difficult. How is "AFAQ" more rigorous than the four reliable sources I've cited? It's not POV pushing to look at reliable sources and insist that their content not be removed. You're claim about "AFAQ" being a definitive source for the subject is nonsense. WP:ANCITE explicitly lists "An Anarchist FAQ" as a source which cannot be cited for factual statements about a subject matter. It can only be used for statements about the authors' opinions. And in the same section it states that the opinions expressed in "AFAQ" cannot be used to represent all anarchists (let alone all libertarians, which is what this article is about). Moreover, the book has been criticized for its reliability. David D. Friedman (who is undoubtedly biased, but still has makes criticisms) says he is irritated by "the irresponsibility of people who apparently do not care whether what they publish is true." He says that "Apparently the authors' approach is to make up their facts, then correct the more blatant errors after I point them out". source On the other hand, WP:ANCITE states that "scholarly, well-researched material" is the best type of source. This seems to strongly support the SEP, which you have let to refute. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 01:17, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm going to end this exchange instead of indulging every irrelevant red herring you throw out. What you said, again, is categorically false. The only thing WP:ANCITE says regarding the AFAQ (the one time it's mentioned, as a hypothetical example) is to treat it in the context of social anarchism, rather than taking social anarchist political positions (e.g. "consistent anti-authoritarianism demands abolition of capital") as encyclopedic fact, as those are conclusions based on social anarchist moral and political judgments. The SEP web-page you cited is neither peer-reviewed nor particularly authoritative, even on propertarianism, but none of that matters in the slightest, since I never challenged its veracity. What I challenged was your insistence on removing it completely from its clearly intended – propertarian – context, as the page does not address, relate to, discuss or even acknowledge libertarian socialism in any, shape or form. This should be obvious to anyone with even a cursory understanding of the subject. I have repeated this enough and I will not repeat myself again. To be clear, if you had used the reference after a statement attributing self-ownership to both the propertarian "left" and "right" (both of which are miles to the right of the socialist movement), I would have absolutely no objections and we would not be having this very tedious conversation. fi (talk) 02:56, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
I'll try to expand on this to hopefully make it clearer, as I'm now being accused of disruptive and unconstructive editing by the user above, despite doing my best to explain the edit – or rather the revert to the previous, long-standing wording of the lead. As explained by the FAQ above and the actual contents of the article, Wikipedia editors have decided to dedicate this article to libertarianism as an umbrella term, for all political philosophies going by that name. This includes both the right wing, neoliberal philosophies going by this name (mainly in the US) since the late 20th century and the socialists that have been going by this name since the mid 19th century. CATO's definition of libertarian is indeed true for CATO's brand of libertarianism; however, CATO does not represent traditional socialist anarchism or anarchist communism or libertarian Marxism. It represents the right-wing ideologies that call themselves libertarian. Attributing "rule of law" to anarchists or "self-ownership" to communists is akin to starting the lead with "libertarians advocate abolition of private property and capital." While this is very obviously well sourced and uncontroversially true for socialist libertarians, it clearly does not apply to the right-wing libertarians described below. Now that we've established that CATO, among other right wing advocacy groups, does not own the word libertarian, consider how self-ownership and rule of law applies to anarchists/communists. Might certain communists conceivably agree with some formulation of "self-ownership" that's sufficiently dissimilar from the way that it's used by right-wing libertarians? Sure, and I can think of a few examples. Do some anarchists act in defense of "rule of law" in the context of states and liberal capitalist society? Absolutely. Are these political camps defined as exponents of either one? Not at all. They want a radical transformation of society that's neither based on propertarian precepts nor governed by states or state laws. I would hope we have sufficient citations in the article already to establish that anarchists have a few teensy objections to states, um, existing. Let's try and read past the first two sentences of the article and take a short glance at the FAQ before making ambitious edits that don't make a lick of sense. fi (talk) 21:42, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
You did not do your absolute best to explain the edit. In addition to what I said in my post above about your discussion on the talk page, you also provided no edit summary for your reversions. When I reverted your reversion, I mentioned that there was no reason given for the reversion. Once again, you reverted it with no edit summary. You didn't even remotely try to explain the edit. That's not me assuming bad faith, that's just me pointing out that you did not give a reason for the reversion. This combined with the fact that the edit removes reliably sourced material is why I left a disruptive editing warning on your talk page. The CATO Institute is not the only citation given. There are four citations from reliable sources given about the definition and key ideas of libertarianism. They all point to what is discussed in the lead paragraph I have been advocating. If you need further proof, I'll give you a fifth source. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which is certainly a reliable source, says "Second, in addition to the better-known version of libertarianism—right-libertarianism—there is also a version known as 'left-libertarianism'. Both endorse full self-ownership, but they differ with respect to the powers agents have to appropriate unowned natural resources (land, air, water, minerals, etc.)." [emphasis added] They acknowledge left-libertarianism (which I have been trying to do aswell), and still mention that all libertarians still support self-ownership. I don't care one iota about your analyses about left-libertarian thought in these talk pages. Per Wikipedia's guidelines (WP:OR and WP:RS), I only care about what the reliable sources say on the matter. Even so, I have attempted to keep the lead paragraph compatible with left-libertarianism. For example, I removed "free markets" from the lead because it's a propertarian idea even though most reliable sources say it's a key aspect of libertarianism. So, all propertarian parts of the lead are removed, unless you consider self-ownership to be propertarian. But, even the SEP acknowledges that self-ownership is still a key aspect of left- and right-libertarianism. So, the argument is moot at this point. I concede that we could remove the rule of law. It's pretty important for libertarians IMO, but may not be necessary for the lead. You still need to explain why you're removing sourced material. Can you also explain what "anarcho-capitalist bits" and "clunky wording" are in the lead because I could try to fix them. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 04:01, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
Re: "you also provided no edit summary for your reversions" – This is false. I provided edit summaries. As far as the definition of libertarianism, I've explained all I can. It's not on you to keep the lead "compatible" with "left-libertarianism"; the lead should simply state the facts instead of making things up by selectively pointing to definitions of right-wing libertarianism. I hope this is clear enough. We have plenty of sources which say libertarians want to abolish private property – Woodcock made no mention of US neoliberalism, for example. And yet, all except you are capable of understanding why those sources don't describe the USLP. fi (talk) 12:11, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
Let's look at the facts (all verifiable on the history. On 20 February 2017 I changed the lead paragraph back to the one supported by reliable sources, and told you to see the talk page. At 5:18 21 February 2017 you made this edit with no edit summary and at this point no response to the talk page: There it is; there's no edit summary or response on the talk page as of this time. However, that's not all. I reverted your edit with the edit summary "No reason given". Minutes later you reverted my edit, completely ignoring my revert. Once again you reverted the same change without an edit summary: You just denied it, but as we've seen, your claim that you did have an edit summary is patently false. This signals to me that you are not acting in good faith. I'm not selectively choosing definitions of right-libertarianism, I'm just finding reliable sources for libertarianism in general. The lead I am advocating for is what reliable sources say. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 00:57, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't owe you an edit summary every single time I revert the same nonsense you keep spamming. You knew the reasons very well, because I provided them the first time I took it out, in the original edit summary, and elaborated more on this talk page. fi (talk) 05:33, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
The first time edit summaries no longer applied. A compromise had been reached on the talk page, and you wanted to change it back to your version. An edit summary is needed for explaining why you are disregaring the compromise that was reached. Also, I had already responded to the reasons given in your initial edit summary on the talk page. You could have at least responded to the talk page before you made the change, but you didn't. After I reverted your edit and said that it was because there was no edit summary given by you, you knew that an edit summary was needed, but you changed it back again with no edit summary. So you did not do your absolute best to explain your edits like you claimed. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 01:28, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
And regarding the SEP, which I never removed as a citation, the "left-libertarianism" it describes is obviously not the same libertarianism as, say, Joseph Dejacque's anarcho-communism. Notice, for example, how the SEP page makes zero mentions of socialism, even though anarchism is a branch of the socialist movement. This is similar to another source in the lead listing, "right-libertarianism," (relative) "left-libertarianism" and "libertarian socialism" as a separate category, in the author's context. That's because the topic of these pieces is Nozick and Locke, and the relative "left" and "right" in terms of the "libertarianism" introduced to the US in the late 20th century. To borrow a cited quote from the lead of the self-ownership article: "Anarchism shares with liberalism a radical commitment to individual freedom while rejecting liberalism's competitive property relations." In other words, if you want to charge anarchists with being committed to self ownership at all (which is a poorly sourced claim in the first place – probably because anarchists tend not to base autonomy on terms denoting property), or other liberal values, you'd have to qualify that their interpretation of those concepts will usually differ radically from the liberals'. The "left-libertarians" mentioned in the article on self-ownership (like Hillel Steiner, Peter Vallentyne, Philippe Van Parijs, Michael Otsuka, and David Ellerman) belong to the same relative left; they are neither traditional (socialist) anarchists, nor socialists broadly. They're not advocating for the abolition of wages, capital and private property. Instead, at their leftiest and most radical, they make essentially reformist arguments for (I quote) "income redistribution on the grounds of a claim by each individual to be entitled to an equal share of natural resources." fi (talk) 13:00, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
I have no objection to the current "anarchists and anarcho-capitalists" wording, even though one could argue that there's a problem with giving "anarcho-capitalists" that much weight. fi (talk) 01:00, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm going to try to redo my revert correctly without changing the parts I assume you wanted to discuss. fi (talk) 21:24, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Done. My apologies again for that whole mess. Here is the diff of what I actually meant to edit/revert, without messing with the other changes and corrections since the lead was altered. Please let me know if you still have concerns on the ancap-back-to-anarchist undo. I'll apply it again, if there's no objections. Thanks! fi (talk) 21:41, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
The SEP defines "self-ownership" as a position shared by both right and left-wing libertarians, and the debate is, if I understand it correctly, that some, but not all left-libertarians share that concept, thus it should be removed. Wouldn't such an attribution ("some left-libertarians") or similar be satisfactory? If not, I suggest either searching for sources that specify that it is not a concept shared by all left-libertarians (as far as I understand it there are some in the self-ownership article, I did not check) or starting an RfC for consensus. Until then, my suggestion is to leave the term in the lead (i.e. modify the current revision) and add the SEP as a source (it is, after all, what a reliable source says). As for "rule of law" only CATO seems to mention it. CATO is a right-wing libertarian website and is clearly describing that group (see "free markets", etc). The debate, as far as I understand it, is that this concept is not shared by left-libertarians. So if "rule of law" is to be kept it should be attributed to right-wing libertarians. Would that be a satisfactory compromise, @Finx: @IWillBuildTheRoads:? If not, then either a source should be found that says it's shared between everyone or it should not be added at all (i.e. the current revision should not be changed in this regard). That is my take on it in terms of policy, hopefully the proposed compromises will be satisfactory, though. Saturnalia0 (talk) 17:39, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
As I said in my reply to @IWillBuildTheRoads: above, the SEP is talking about the "relative left" of propertarian ideologies: the people essentially arguing that capitalists owe ameliorative concessions to the population at large, based on their interpretation of natural rights and private property. The radical left doesn't believe in those things in the first place. I have no objection to qualifying self-ownership and rule of law with "some" in principle. On the other hand, the lead is already long enough as it is and I don't see why we can't just leave it to the rest of the article to go into detail on the particulars of US libertarianism. "Left" and "right" are basically honorific labels. What's "left" or "right" in one context, is not in another. I would not use the wording of the SEP without explaining its context, as that would be misleading. fi (talk) 18:27, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree. Leaving it out of the lead is fine by me. I proposed a compromise since, as I understand it, IWillBuildTheRoads is arguing to keep it in the lead. Saturnalia0 (talk) 18:30, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
This is a good NPOV compromise that I agree with. I have made the changes to the article. Let's hope this lasts. I should note that the existence of a few left-libertarians who don't support self-ownership doesn't rule out self-ownership from being a key idea to the ideology as a whole. This is for the same reason that we wouldn't remove democracy from being a key idea of neoconservatism just because a few neocons may not support democracy. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 01:54, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
First of all, you completely disregarded what @Saturnalia0: proposed and then just edited your same thing in again. If you're going to completely ignore the reason you're abusing the sources to shove self-ownership in there, repeatedly and despite objections, we're gonna need an RfC and consensus – if only to decide whether ~160 years of socialists (most of whom couldn't possibly care less about Lockean interpretations of property as natural right) calling themselves "libertarians" constitutes "a few." fi (talk) 04:15, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
I did what Saturnalia suggested. He said "Until then, my suggestion is to leave the term in the lead (i.e. modify the current revision) and add the SEP as a source (it is, after all, what a reliable source says)." I indeed left the term in the lead and added the SEP as a source. He also said "if 'rule of law' is to be kept it should be attributed to right-wing libertarians." I decided to remove it entirely from the lead. Your point about ~160 years of libertarian socialists is only applicable if reliable sources claim that all of these libertarian socialists did not support self-ownership. As the SEP said, self-ownership is believed by both right- and left-libertarians, regardless of whether they support ordinary property rights. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 04:59, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
From above: "Wouldn't such an attribution ("some left-libertarians") or similar be satisfactory?" While plenty of references are available, I don't have to provide a source on socialists dismissing property as a divine right derived from natural law for much the same reason I don't have to prove that Santa Claus doesn't exist. You're the one making the outrageous claim by transposing propertarian articles on libertarian socialists. fi (talk) 05:16, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
I added the aforementioned attribution. If it is not satisfactory, then fix/undo my revision and I highly suggest starting an RfC. From my perspective this debate is going in circles. Saturnalia0 (talk) 09:48, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
Or, maybe, just don't mention it, the same way the lead doesn't mention, say, mutual aid being central to libsoc/libcom but not others, or the fact that some libertarians like broccoli, while others think it's "pretty gross." My only objection now is that it's silly, if (at least) technically correct. fi (talk) 15:41, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
And, for what it's worth, IWillBuildTheRoads does have somewhat of a point with the "citation needed" that they just added. It's pretty easy to surmise how anticapitalists feel about Lockean self-ownership, given its modern context, but putting that at the very top of the lead should probably have a source somewhere later in the article. The original problem with IWillBuildTheRoads's inclusion of self-ownership as universal libertarian principle was that there's one source attributing self-ownership to propertarians and no sources saying it's central to anticapitalists. So, per WP:VNT, while having the benefit of not being false, this just kind of shifted the unsourced claim to a less absurd one. fi (talk) 15:53, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I found this citation on the left-libertarian page (quote shortened):

Kymlicka, Will (2005). "libertarianism, left-". In Honderich, Ted. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. New York City: Oxford University Press. p. 516. ISBN 978-0199264797. "'Left-libertarianism' is a new term for an old conception of justice, dating back to Grotius. It combines the libertarian assumption that each person possesses a natural right of self-ownership over his person with the egalitarian premiss that natural resources should be shared equally. Right-wing libertarians argue that the right of self-ownership entails the right to appropriate unequal parts of the external world, such as unequal amounts of land. According to left-libertarians, however, the world's natural resources were initially unowned, or belonged equally to all, and it is illegitimate for anyone to claim exclusive private ownership of these resources to the detriment of others." IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 13:15, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

It's the exact same issue. This is talking about the relative left of propertarian libertarianism. A dead giveaway would be the very first sentence you quoted – calling it a "new term" that "combines" property-based precepts with egalitarianism. The next giveaway should be the list of influences/proponents immediately after the passage you quoted: Thomas Payne, Herbert Spencer, Phillippe Van Parijs, Hillel Steiner. Notice how that doesn't say Pierre Joseph Prodhoun, Peter Kroprotkin (practically Spencer's arch nemesis, on account of Kropotkin's communist conceptions of Mutual Aid vs Spencer's laissez-faire capitalist Social Darwinism) and Joseph Dejacque. Context matters. This is "left" in the same sense that Svalbard is relatively south of the North Pole. fi (talk) 14:25, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
@IWillBuildTheRoads:: Are you going to ignore these replies on re. how you're misunderstanding and misusing the sources and just keep making your edit over and over again? You do not have anything resembling consensus to change the lead. Could you please revert it to the way it was before? Thanks. fi (talk) 01:13, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Thoughts on restructuring currents as left, right and socialist?[edit]

A substantial number of sources (some already cited in the article, but here is another good example) tend to divide libertarianism into three – rather than two – distinct categories: left, right and socialist. This isn't to say that socialism doesn't belong on the left, but rather that a good number of academics seem to reserve the term "left-libertarian" for the "relative left" of the liberal/propertarian tendencies, which took on the "libertarian" label in the late 20th century (mostly in the US). This has led to a fair bit of misunderstanding (to be charitable) when attributing claims to sources in their actually-intended context. I would like to request editors' opinions on whether it would make sense to restructure the article so that socialism is its own category, apart from relative "left-libertarianism," in the convention of these many sources. The aim would be to cut down on further misunderstanding, equivocation and false attribution/contextualization of sourced statements. fi (talk) 05:55, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

The current article talks about many different concepts, all of which claim to be libertarian, or use "libertarian" in the name, rather like "democratic centralism" had the word "democratic" in it, even though it was the opposite of democracy. Restructuring so that each concept is described separately would be an improvement.-- Toddy1 (talk) 06:27, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
We could divide prominent currents into 3 sections rather than 2 which would require minimal change. Toddy1's comment that they arre different concepts however is false. The U.S. Libertarian Party built its ideology on 19th century libertarianism, even using its name, which is clear in the writings of Hess, Nolan and Rothbard. In fact their writings come even closer to some 19th century U.S. libertarians such as Spooner. There might be confusion however in that neoliberal policies are also sometimes described as libertarian in the U.S. While that is worth mentioning, it is not the topic of this article. TFD (talk) 07:03, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
Sure. To be clear, I am not proposing to remove the many verifiable connections linking private property libertarianism to social and individualist anarchist influences. My main concern is that the terminology used in lots of sources is very easy to take out of context if we use "left-libertarian" and "socialist libertarian" more or less interchangeably, when the sources use "left-libertarian" to describe some of the more nuanced proponents of night-watchman states, contracts and private property – particularly the sort starting from a natural law foundation, as very few anarchists tend to do (with the odd ones like Spooner being the rare exception to the rule). fi (talk) 07:23, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
It still seems like most reliable sources don't make this distinction (they usually treat libertarian socialism as a subset of left-libertarianism). I believe that using a terminology convention that only a minority of sources use will create confusion when citing material from the other majority of sources. Granted, the convention currently used in the article can create confusion when citing the few sources that do make this distinction. However, that's undoubtedly better than using a convention that will create confusion when citing the vast majority of sources. In the article, the terminology that's most widely used by reliable sources should be used, and sources that don't use the common terminology should be analyzed on an ad hoc basis in order to determine the most accurate way to translate their terms to be compatible with the article's terminology. Another thing to consider is that, as you point out, socialism is on the left of the political spectrum, so I think using left-libertarianism to mean something different than libertarian socialism will actually create more confusion. There's no reason to create a misnomer if we don't need to. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 06:20, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

The lede[edit]

Version A Version B
Libertarianism (Latin: liber, "free") is a collection of political philosophies that uphold liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association, and the importance of individual judgment.[1][2][3]
  1. ^ Woodcock, George (2004). Anarchism: A History Of Libertarian Ideas And Movements. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press. p. 16. ISBN 9781551116297. for the very nature of the libertarian attitude—its rejection of dogma, its deliberate avoidance of rigidly systematic theory, and, above all, its stress on extreme freedom of choice and on the primacy of the individual judgment 
  2. ^ Boaz, David (January 30, 2009). "Libertarianism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-02-21. ...libertarianism, political philosophy that takes individual liberty to be the primary political value. 
  3. ^ Boaz, David (1999). "Key Concepts of Libertarianism". Cato Institute. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
Libertarianism (Latin: liber, "free") is a collection of political philosophies that uphold liberty as a core principle.[1] Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association, and self-ownership.[2][3][4][5]
  1. ^ Boaz, David (January 30, 2009). "Libertarianism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-02-21. ...libertarianism, political philosophy that takes individual liberty to be the primary political value. 
  2. ^ Woodcock, George (2004). Anarchism: A History Of Libertarian Ideas And Movements. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press. p. 16. ISBN 9781551116297. for the very nature of the libertarian attitude—its rejection of dogma, its deliberate avoidance of rigidly systematic theory, and, above all, its stress on extreme freedom of choice and on the primacy of the individual judgment 
  3. ^ Boaz, David (1999). "Key Concepts of Libertarianism". Cato Institute. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "What Is Libertarian?". Institute for Humane Studies. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  5. ^ Vallentyne, Peter; van der Vossen, Bas (5 September 2002). "Libertarianism". In Zalta, Edward N. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University. Retrieved 22 February 2017. addition to the better-known version of libertarianism—right-libertarianism—there is also a version known as 'left-libertarianism'. Both endorse full self-ownership... 

Let us discuss the two rival versions of the lede that various people have been edit-warring over.

One clear difference is that Version B has a citation for the first sentence. @Finx: Do you object to there being a citation for the first sentence? Is so why? Is it an acceptable citation?

@IWillBuildTheRoads:, @Finx: There are subtle differences between the two versions of the second sentence. Please could you both explain how the sources support your preferred version, and why they do not support the other version.-- Toddy1 (talk) 08:41, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

  • B Self-ownership is one of the tenets that distinguishes the Libertarian Party of the U.S. from the rest of the libertarian tradition, which saw freedom as an inalienable right, rather than as property that could be bought or sold. The term "collection" should be changed as well. with Christianity. The article says it "is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ...." It does not say it is a "collection" of religions, even though some dogmatic Christians claim that their particular dogma is the only real Christian religion. TFD (talk) 14:04, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
So, my two cents... apologies on length.
On "self-ownership":
What TFD said is correct. My problem is that the "self-ownership" statement, repeatedly shoved into the lead by a single editor, is a gross distortion of what the sources say and inconsistent with the contents of the article. Let's just assume that the SEP page cited is a strong source (it's mediocre at best) and peer-reviewed (it isn't), as this editor argued above for reasons that elude me (the source itself was never actually challenged); that's all beside the point. The problem is simply that it doesn't say what he's claiming it says, if you look at the intended context. Like this source, and so many others like it, the SEP is describing the relative "left" and "right" of properarianism. Had libertarian socialism been addressed on that page (and it was not, even in passing), then the SEP, just like the others, would put it in a category all its own, separate from what it calls "left-libertarianism." That's because the "left-libertarianism" these sources refer to – in context – is clearly the pro-private-property libertarian tendencies that took on the name in the US, in the late 20th century.
Social anarchists, on the other hand, do not base their politics on natural law. They are not exponents of Lockean self-ownership, or any other kind. On the odd occasion that they have anything to say about it, it's typically to denounce "self-ownership" as an incoherent non-concept, as described in AFAQ B.4.2. Even if you include individualist anarchists, the only one mentioned in this article that argued from natural law is Lysander Spooner – the closest one to a liberal of the lot. Broadly, anarchists either explicitly reject self-ownership or give it about as much credence as, say, Plato's teleological arguments. Absolutely no source in the article gives any indication that it is a cornerstone of libertarian socialist thought – and for good reason: it ain't.
This didn't call for page after page of stonewalling from the editor insisting on the change, which is particularly frustrating when we have a dozen archives of editors with some kind of ancap reference for a username waging Rothbard's semantic crusade against recorded history:

One gratifying aspect of our rise to some prominence is that, for the first time in my memory, we, 'our side,' had captured a crucial word from the enemy... 'Libertarians'... had long been simply a polite word for left-wing anarchists, that is for anti-private property anarchists, either of the communist or syndicalist variety. But now we had taken it over...

— Murray Rothbard, The Betrayal Of The American Right
This article has a serious, chronic problem with reactionary POV-pushing.
On the word "collection":
I think I argued in favor of opening with "collection" (or whatever equivalent) at some point a long time ago, but eventually left it alone because others disagreed. I don't know who put it back in, but I don't have a strong opinion anymore. On one hand, TFD makes a reasonable point with the example of Christianity. On the other, this isn't a religion. The socialism article isn't describing "democratic socialism" and "national socialism" as a unified political movement. I don't think this is all together that different. My gut feeling is: when ideas so radically opposed to one another happen to use the same name, it's probably more intellectually honest to treat them as separate (even if tenuously related) political categories. And yes, I recognize that you can trace some lines from 19th century individualist anarchism to Hess, Nolan, Cato, the USLP, and so on. I think this is a bare minimum requirement, though, to have an article here instead of a disambiguation page. I hope that explains why I'm a little conflicted, but I don't strongly object to either wording.
On citation for the first sentence:
Ideally, the lead should have few or no citations, because it's summarizing sourced information in the body of the article. That said, I remember the obscructionism and incessant ancap bickering over every syllable that necessitated they be put there in the first place. I don't specifically object to using Cato Institute's David Boaz as a citation; citing him twice is in the first two (!) sentences of the article, however, takes redundancy to a new level. Folks, if libertarians holding liberty as a core principle is a controversial claim in danger of serious challenge, we need to seriously re-evaluate what it is we're doing here. fi (talk) 05:51, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
We don't put national socialism and socialism into the same article because the first is actually a type of fascism rather than socialism. The same is true with other mislabled parties such as Social Democrats in Portugal and Liberal Democrats in Russia. But the articles on liberalism and socialism show that there is a wide range of beliefs in both. The quote from Rothbard differs from what he and Hess write elsewhere. The adopted far more from 19th century libertarianism and wrote about it. I think for many people, especially in the U.S., their main values, such as freedom, individualism, anti-statism, are so uncontested that they miss their similarities. BTW, "Lockean self-ownership" is an obscure concept in liberalism. Locke did say "every man hath a property in his own person" but nothing else on the topic. TFD (talk) 06:35, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
Of course I understand why it's absurd to represent fascism as a form of socialism. My point is that there are obscure ideological strands connecting even Nazism to certain fringes of the socialist movement as well (e.g. Strasserism), just as there is a syndicalist connection between fascism and anarchism (i.e. Georges Sorel). I just don't think that establishing connections like that is a terribly convincing argument. My point is: yes, there's connections, but not necessarily a holistic ideology just because you can draw a wavy line from Rudolf Rocker to Benito Mussolini. On self-ownership, I was referring to your quote above, which is the one cited by neoliberal think tanks like Cato – whether it's a fair representation of Locke or not. fi (talk) 07:12, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
I support version B because the differences are supported by the reliable sources.
Collection: Like Finx, I'm fine with the word collection. Different denominations of Christianity are, on the whole, similar to each other. However, right-libertarianism and left-libertarianism are vastly different.
Self-ownership: Finx claims that the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is only a mediocre source. I disagree, because the material is written by experts on the subjects and is based on content from peer-reviewed publications. Finx also claims I'm misinterpreting the SEP because the context makes it clear they're talking about solely propertarian versions of left-libertarianism. Looking at the context doesn't actually make this clear at all. In fact, the article contradicts Finx's claim. The same source says: "Let us now consider left-libertarianism. It holds that natural resources initially belong to everyone in some egalitarian manner, or that legitimate holdings are subject to some equality-preserving constraint over time." That doesn't sound very propertarian to me. Moreover, they also acknowledge the very radical versions of left-libertarianism. Take this quote for example: "Simply stated, a libertarian theory moves from 'right' to 'left' the more it insists on constraints aimed at preserving some kind of equality. The maximally strong version of a constraint on original appropriation holds that initially no one has any liberty right to use, or any moral power to appropriate, natural resources." If that's propertarian, then I don't know what isn't. It seems to me that they are undoubtedly taking socialist (i.e. anti-private property) versions of left-libertarianism into account. I therefore would like to ask Finx for further clarification of what he's referring to when he says that the context shows that they are actually talking about pro private property versions of libertarianism.
As a side note, the SEP isn't the only reliable source supporting this position. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is certainly a reliable source. They claim on their about page that their "peer review process is rigorous and meets high academic standards." On the IEP entry for libertarianism, it says "Throughout this essay we will refer to this principle, which has been enormously influential on later libertarians, as the 'self-ownership principle.'" [emphasis added] Finx will point out that, unlike the SEP, this quote doesn't explicitly mention left-libertarianism. However, it doesn't explicitly say that self-ownership only applies to right-libertarianism. So, this source will additionally need to be refuted for Finx's claim to hold water.
I fail to see how Rothbard's quote it relevant. Yes, the common usage of the term libertarian has shifted over time. It doesn't give any insight as to whether self-ownership is a key concept of libertarianism. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 01:15, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
As for your citation to "AFAQ" B.4.2, the word libertarian is only mentioned four times, and in all four cases it's referring to right-libertarianism. I understand that "AFAQ uses the term libertarian socialism elsewhere, but it's not clear that this section of "AFAQ" should be used as a source of libertarian thought so much as a source for anarchist thought (even if the two ideologies are similar or have overlap). Moreover, the dictionary definition of libertarian given in "AFAQ" A.1.3 shows that "AFAQ" is using the term libertarian in the historical sense, meaning someone who believes in free will (see Libertarianism (metaphysics)). Thus, we cannot extrapolate their metaphysical usage of the term libertarian to the political definition of the term which this article is about.
I must note that my analysis has assumed​ that "AFAQ" is a reliable source, which it isn't. According to WP:ANCITE (specifically WP:AN OPINION), opinionated idelogical works are "questionable sources" and only reliable as statements of the authors' opinions, not factual statements. It even explicitly lists "An Anarchist FAQ" as an example of a source which cannot be used to indicate the opinions of all anarchists (or, for that matter, what libertarians believe), as that would be a factual statement. The only thing that "AFAQ" can be used for is stating the authors' opinions. "An Anarchist FAQ" has also been criticized for it's reliability according to the Wikipedia page. Furthermore, WP:ANCITE states that "Factual claims made largely by ideologists of a particular point of view have less authority than factual claims supported by independent scholars or other third party sources." This seems to support the SEP and IEP over "AFAQ". This is reenforced when it says "Scholarly and academic publications should be considered the best source of reliable information on anarchism." IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 02:23, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
I've responded to most of this already, but the biggest mischaracterization is that the central tenet of libsoc/libcom, which sets it apart from propertarians both "left" and "right," is actually worker control and cooperative management of the means of production, rather than how resources are "initially owned." Social anarchists don't just want "some equality-preserving constraint over time" – that's a social liberal position; they are radical anti-authoritarians who want the workers to run the mills and the factories unconditionally. They want to abolish wage labor, private property and capital because of moral views on productive relationships, not procedural ones about property law or due compensation after appropriating common goods/resources. fi (talk) 12:58, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
You can disagree with the accuracy of the content of the source, but based on the reliability of the SEP and the IEP, it's unlikely that your unsourced analysis of libertarianism will override them (per WP:RS). You would have to back up your claims using sources with a reliability comparable to the SEP and IEP. Putting that aside, it seems you're misunderstanding the quotation when you talk about equality perserving contraints. Some of these contraints are quite radical, like when it mentions that "The maximally strong version of a constraint on original appropriation holds that initially no one has any liberty right to use, or any moral power to appropriate, natural resources." Here's another quote from the notes page that makes it clear they are acknowledging the same forms of left-libertarianism you are referring to: "The term 'left-libertarianism' is also used to refer to political views, such as those of Noam Chomsky or Roderick Long, that are suspicious of concentrations of power in general (in government, in corporations, in social institutions, etc.)" [emphasis added] The source also mentions some of the most anti-propertarian forms of left-libertarianism there are: "A radical version of joint-ownership left-libertarianism, for example, holds that individuals may use natural resources only with the collective consent (e.g., majority or unanimous) of the members of society." And if that's not enough evidence for you, consider that the author of the SEP entry, Peter Vallentyne, is himself a left-libertarian who has written multiple books on the subject! So, I'm pretty sure he's not mischaracterizing left-libertarianism (nor would he have any biases against it). I'm also curious what problems you have with the IEP source. IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 06:08, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
@Finx: IWillBuildTheRoads (talk) 06:54, 25 March 2017 (UTC)