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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.
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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RfC: Should this article minimize, but not remove, libertarian socialism?[edit]

No consensus for this proposal, nor for removing it completely. Number 57 16:52, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should this article minimize, but not remove, libertarian socialism? — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:18, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Relevant policies:

  • "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources. Giving due weight and avoiding giving undue weight mean that articles should not give minority views or aspects as much of, or as detailed, a description as more widely held views or widely supported aspects." (WP:DUE)
  • "The presence of articles written from a United States or European Anglophone perspective is simply a reflection of the fact that there are many U.S. and European Anglophone people working on the project. This is an ongoing problem that should be corrected by active collaboration between Anglo-Americans and people from other countries. But rather than introducing their own cultural bias, they should seek to improve articles by removing any examples of cultural bias that they encounter, or making readers aware of them." (WP:NPOVFAQ#Anglo-American focus)
  • "Where an article is long, and has lots of subtopics with their own articles, try to balance parts of the main page. Do not put undue weight into one part of an article at the cost of other parts." (WP:SUMMARY#Avoidance of POV forks)
  • "The idea is to summarize and distribute information across related articles in a way that can serve readers who want varying amounts of details, thus giving readers the ability to zoom to the level of details they need and not exhausting those who need a primer on a whole topic. Breakout methods should anticipate the various details levels that typical readers will look for." (WP:SUMMARY#Rationale)
  • "The parent article should have general summary information and the more detailed summaries of each subtopic should be in child articles and in articles on specific subjects." (WP:DETAIL)
  • "Sometimes, English usage is divided. For example, US newspapers generally referred to the Olympics in Torino, following official handouts. However, newspapers in other parts of the English speaking world referred to it taking place in Turin. In this case we cannot determine which is "most common". Use what would be the least surprising to a user finding the article. Whichever is chosen, one should place a redirect at the other title and mention both forms in the lead." (WP:DIVIDEDUSE)
  • "Search-engine hits are generally considered unreliable for testing whether one term is more common than another..." (WP:DIVIDEDUSE)
  • "Reliable tertiary sources can be helpful in providing broad summaries of topics that involve many primary and secondary sources, and may be helpful in evaluating due weight, especially when primary or secondary sources contradict each other." (WP:TERTIARY)

Yes. Given that a Google search for libertarianism or libertarian produces nothing but results about modern American libertarianism, that should receive the most attention and detail in this top-level article. I understand that WP:DIVIDEDUSE states that search engines are "generally considered unreliable," but I'm at a loss as to how else one would establish this. My understanding is that, because libertarian socialism and anarchism have articles under their common names, intricate details about these subjects belong in those articles, and only summary-level detail is justified in this parent article. WP:DUE WEIGHT then—assuming that the vast majority of English-speaking sources refer to libertarianism as a modern capitalist development in the tradition of classical liberalism—compels us to minimize libertarian socialism without removing it entirely. — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 17:34, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Update: the subject of reliable secondary and tertiary sources on libertarianism should direct us. These include David Boaz's Libertarianism: A Primer (1998) and The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman (2010), Jason Brennan's Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know (2012), Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement (2009), John Hospers's Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow (1971), Charles Murray's What It Means to Be a Libertarian (2010), Murray Rothbard's For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto (1973), and Jacob Huebert's Libertarianism Today (2010). Tertiary sources include David Boaz's entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Daniel Attas's entry in the Encyclopedia of Political Theory (2010), Peter Vallentyne and Bas van der Vossen's entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, David Gordon's entry in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought (1991), Matt Zwolinski's entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Daniel B. Klein's entry in the, and the Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia. All of the previously mentioned sources discuss libertarianism as a political philosophy that began in the 20th century in the United States and which values laissez-faire capitalism. Only one tertiary source of which I know—Jennifer D. Carlson's "Libertarianism" entry in The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America (2012)—identifies libertarianism as a broader political philosophy that includes both modern American libertarianism and anarchism. The following sources all describe libertarian socialism under its common name, anarchism: David Goodway's Anarchist Seeds Beneath the Snow: Left-libertarian thought and British writers from William Morris to Colin Ward (2006), Daniel Guerin's Anarchism: From Theory to Practice (1970), Peter Marshall's Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism (2010), Colin Ward's Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction (2004), and George Woodcock's Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements (1962). — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 19:54, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Should be removed leaving a "for other uses see" section, since we are talking about an alternate definition of the term itself, not merely a subset, and that's what disambiguation pages are for. "Libertarian Socialism" should be discussed thoroughly and separately since it's a different philosophy rather than "minimized" within this article like it's some less important subset of the same philosophy. Blue Eyes Cryin (talk) 22:09, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

No. the current version is balanced This is english language wikipedia. As such we have to deal here with real world uses of something and phenomena which is dealt with in academic sources and we should not cover only uses which appear in the US. "Libertarian" has been used by libertarian socialists since the mid 19th century (see Joseph Dejacque who even published a newspaper called "Le libertaire" in New York City in the mid 19th century) while the US centered meaning of pro capitalist economics only exists from the mid 20th century. There are and there have been many libertarian socialist organizations which name themselves libertarian even today and some have existed even in the US (ex: Argentine Libertarian Federation, Libertarian Labor Review, Libertarian League, Radio Libertaire, Alternative libertaire, Common Struggle – Libertarian Communist Federation) and a long history of the use of that word in libertarian socialist history and within academic publications. As far as google searches if we search for words such as "libertario" or "libertaire" one will get as many right wing pro capitalist articles as libertarian socialist ones. Erasing libertarian socialism from this article will make this article deserve attention for lack of neutrality and systemic bias. Even in the suggestion by user MisterDub before me we don´t see him calling for the deletion of all mentions of libertarian socialism in this article. This means he is recognizing this reality which i have just described. And just as there is a "libertarian socialism" and a "left libertarianism", there is a "right libertarianism" (a synonym of economic liberalism) so saying here that "libertarianism" is synonymous with saying "right libertarianism" will be falsifying reality. It will be almost like saying Catholicism is synonymous with christianity--Eduen (talk) 00:17, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

No per WP:WORLDVIEW; a Google search for troll produces nothing but internet memes, which tells us absolutely nothing interesting, except that maybe a tiny, generally affluent subset of the world's English-speaking population is more focused on image macros than Scandinavian folklore. fi (talk) 01:22, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

  • No by which I mean leave as is. In order to understand libertarianism it is important to examine all its influences and varieties. The reality is that Rothbard, Hess and Nolan, the founders of modern U.S. libertarianism, adopted the name and symbols of earlier libertarian writers, as well as their basic assumptions. But they took their movement in a different direction. That is not unusual in political philosophies. TFD (talk) 20:09, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
  • leave as is ' - Wikipedia is not US Wikipedia. This is a global project. - Cwobeel (talk) 16:37, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
  • No. Libertarian socialism is on-topic for this article. Google is a terrible judge of popularity, as it indexes forum posts, blogs, and other unreliable sources. Even Google News indexes many unreliable blogs. If you're going to use search results, it should be from Google Scholar, Google News Archive, Highbeam Research, or JSTOR. Beyond that, the fact that the Libertarian Party in the U.S. has usurped the term to mean "libertarian right" does not mean that it has the same meaning in a global context. Or in an academic context, for that matter. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 01:06, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
NinjaRobotPirate, how about the preponderance of reliable sources in English then? — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:24, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

No - Leave it alone as is. Libertarianism is a term used in many countries and has meanings in each. As there is a Wiki article on Libertarianism in the United States and one for U.K., one for socialism, etc, this article can stand as the varied global emanations of the term and movement elsewhere and all over. Juda S. Engelmayer (talk) 14:40, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Comment Called by a bot to comment. WP:WEIGHT is the primary policy involved, part of the NPOV page. Viewpoints should be represented in proportion to the reliable sources on the subject. If sources are available to represent this viewpoint, and it appears there are for the size of the section on Libertarian socialism, it should remain as it is. AlbinoFerret 01:38, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes The reliable sources seem to talk about the Right-libertarianism/Anarcho-capitalism far more then Left-libertarianism. That should be reflected in our article. --Obsidi (talk) 19:45, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Too long?[edit]

User Bill Hicks Jr. has added a "very long" template to the article. I decided to run Dr_pda's prosesize utility to determine exactly how long the article is:

Document statistics:

  • File size: 572 kB
  • Prose size (including all HTML code): 138 kB
  • References (including all HTML code): 26 kB
  • Wiki text: 197 kB
  • Prose size (text only): 74 kB (11341 words) "readable prose size"
  • References (text only): 1935 B

The readable prose size (emboldened above) is 74kB, which according to the size guideline means the article "[p]robably should be divided (although the scope of a topic can sometimes justify the added reading material)". Given that this is a top-level article for an extensive topic, I don't see this as too much of a problem. That said, I think we could make some improvements that would reduce the readable prose to a more appropriate size. I would suggest that we condense the "Prominent currents" section into a few paragraphs explaining the difference between 1) libertarian socialists and modern American libertarians, and 2) the difference among the latter group between minarchists (Objectivists and minimal-state liberals) and anarcho-capitalists. I also suggest that we reduce the "Philosophy" subsections to those which most characterize libertarianism, i.e., personal autonomy, voluntary association, and skepticism/rejection of state authority. Other, more detailed accounts of libertarian values (e.g. economics, property, and wage labor) ought to be moved to relevant content forks. — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 18:42, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't think this is any more relevant than the "quantity of LibSoc coverage" issue. This article is a basket case because of biased, misleading, and self-contradictory material, not merely too much material. Of course, Eduen has apparently decided that the elephant in the room doesn't need a sign to point it out. Blue Eyes Cryin (talk) 17:20, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I propose deleting the section "libertarian theorists". Most of the people mentioned there are already mentioned within the article and so this section is redundant.--Eduen (talk) 02:55, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd support that, though I'd still like to see improvements akin to those I described above. — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:26, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

minority viewpoint, obscure sources[edit]

Although some present-day libertarians advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights is the text supported by the source? The passage given does not mention such. the use of weasel word "some" incorrectly imply a minority viewpoint. Darkstar1st (talk) 17:01, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

It seems that the whole point of that phrase is to provide a misleading contrast, in order to avoid properly contrasting "cooperative management" (democratic political control) of all means of production with "individual autonomy, freedom of association, and the primacy of individual judgement." It's also misleading in the sense that it implies that economic liberals oppose worker owned means of production, instead of just opposing prohibitions on alternatives. It implicitly uses the socialist assumption that "the means of production" is somehow bizarrely singular, ie that socialist production and private production cannot exist simultaneously, so a choice must be made between them. The article falsely projects that assumption onto economic liberals, as if the difference between them and socialists consists of making that choice differently, instead of whether such a choice is made at all.
This whole article seems to be based on a fundamental miscomprehension of economic liberalism throughout, as if the two things it's describing are socialism and "economic liberalism as misunderstood by socialists". And it does so by synthesizing bits and pieces from sources that don't themselves describe economic liberalism the same way as a whole.
This has all been discussed repeatedly in the archives, but it's clear that this article (and related ones) will never be reformed as long as the current group of editors controlling it are doing so. The only results are off-point lecturing and "what elephant?" I predict just more of the same here. Blue Eyes Cryin (talk) 21:30, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Blue Eyes Cryin, I'd like to know what parts of the article give you the impression that economic liberals oppose workers' cooperatives, or that the means of production is, and can only be, singular; I don't see that as the case. — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:22, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I was obviously referring to the same sentence as Darkstar1st, but I didn't say that it gave me that impression, I said that it implied that (not the same thing), as has been discussed in the archives already. But if I could ask you for a straight answer to a couple of questions: Is the word "the" in front of "means of production" in that sentence intended to mean "all"? And if so, why is the word "the" used instead of "all" in light of the fact that the sentence is in WP's voice (not in quotes)? Blue Eyes Cryin (talk) 18:15, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think "the means of production" means "all means of production", unless I'm misunderstanding the context. An usufructuary who prefers individualist modes of production can have access to the means of production in a manner similar to that of private property (except for ground rent charged by absentee owners and the capture of surplus value by capitalists). One can also have access to the means of production through social modes of production, and these two modes of production can coexist, at least according to some (e.g. anarchists without adjectives). — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 18:51, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
The context of my question was obviously "seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production..." in which it's implicit by the term "abolish" that "all" are being referred to. So my first question isn't really a question, only my second one is: Why not say "all"? Blue Eyes Cryin (talk) 00:27, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
It would be quite reasonable, based on the facts presented, to assume that US-style libertarianism is a minority viewpoint, with the US accounting for 5% of world population. As it stands, the article makes no claim one way or the other because "some" is true for both "few" and "most." So far as sources, there's plenty. About a dozen was pulled from the lead just to make it manageable, and there's more down below explaining how US laissez faire types basically inverted the word. fi (talk) 11:56, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Darkstar1st, the quoted text states that "[t]hose who maintain that capitalism is a excellent economic system, unfairly maligned, with little or no need for corrective government policy, are generally known as libertarians." Granted, this source doesn't explicitly mention private property, but it does associate libertarians with laissez-faire capitalism. I'm not sure how strong the source is, but honestly, I don't think this claim even needs one; the fact that modern American libertarians support laissez-faire capitalism and private property should be obvious from the rest of the article, and I doubt anyone would challenge such common knowledge. — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:22, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
i agree, perhaps we could simply remove the weaselly Although some present-day and simply add the quoted text above? Darkstar1st (talk) 17:47, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I think the edit is an improvement. — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 18:51, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Grammatical errors aside, in what sense is making a completely unsubstantiated claim an improvement? I can easily find a reference for another part of the world that says something to the tune of "non-Marxist communists are generally known as libertarians." More importantly, the claim doesn't even follow from the reference. Just because members of group A are generally known as B doesn't mean that most B are A. Assuming most jugglers are circus workers, it doesn't naturally follow that most circus workers are jugglers. I'm reverting this as OR, until someone can source that "generally" the libsoc/libcom (as in the French cognate libertaire) numbers are fewer than the other. Presently, there is not one reference suggesting so. fi (talk) 22:09, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
If "some" is the issue, by the way, there's plenty of ways to rephrase that without making assumptions one way or the other. There's a dozen ways to just say: "[indeterminate amount of libertarians] are [libsoc] while [indeterminate amount of libertarians] are [laissez faire capitalist]." As I see it, this is a non-issue. fi (talk) 22:21, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I think this speaks to the heart of the issue on this page: the preponderance of English sources speak of libertarianism as a resurgence of classical liberalism. Peter Marshall, for example, writes that these libertarians only oppose the state because they are "capitalists first and foremost." (Marshall p. 564) The recent work of Brian Doherty entitled Radicals for Capitalism also speaks of "modern American libertarianism" in the sense of individualism and capitalism. One could look at almost any other modern, English-language source on libertarianism or political theory to confirm that it is largely seen as a philosophy of extreme laissez-faire capitalism. I agree that the word generally could be removed or improved, but yes, I still think the edit was an improvement over the editorialized "Although some present-day libertarians...". — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 22:25, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The word some isn't the only issue, as "Although..." is rather editorialized. I'm open to alternate suggestions for improvement, but I do agree that this needs work. — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 22:25, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Again, I'm not seeing a demographic study; I'm not seeing a comparison of rank-and-file participation in communist/socialist organizations against laissez capitalist ones; I'm not seeing "libertaire" (or any other cognate) used in the way described here; I'm not even seeing a global Tea Party movement described in any section. So, I'll ask again: in what way are editors' unsourced hunches and assumptions an improvement to a neutral statement? We're all well aware that "libertarian" in the parlance of the American news cycle doesn't mean CNT and that says absolutely nothing for the assumption that most libertarians are supporters of capitalist labor relations. In fact, it would make more sense to assume the converse, as 5% of the world's population appears to use the word to mean basically the opposite of what it means to the other 95%. The reason that hasn't been done, to my knowledge, is it would still be OR, at best.
I don't have any suggestions, because I don't see what the problem is in the first place; but assuming that there's a problem, my only suggestion would be not to make stuff up. It doesn't take an expert logician to spot the error in saying that just because most dogs growl, most things that growl are dogs. fi (talk) 22:42, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Of course you don't see any demographic study discussing how many libertarians are socialists or capitalists; most English-language sources on libertarianism never mention socialism except to dismiss it. — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 00:54, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
And the relevance of that is what, exactly? Like I said already: by your "Google-it" approach to research, the troll article should just be a blurry image macro in impact font and a link to 4chan. Why do you think marketing and blogspam are any different? The point is to extract pertinent information from useful sources, not just to tally up the spammiest. The serious references on this page are surprisingly sparse for an article of this size, and the most authoritative texts are still books by actual honest-to-god historians like Graham and Woodcock. Surprisingly, they make no mention of what's now called libertarian on American television. So, on one hand, we have several decades of a vigorous PR campaign that changed the meaning for a country with 1/20th of the world's population and, on the other, we have nearing two centuries of historical record and the remaining vast majority of the world. Do a Google image search real quick for libertaire, libertario, либертарный, etc... what do you see? Pictures of Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard? There's no studies or serious academic sources? Well, too bad. Guess we'll just have to do what everyone else does and post our dubious claims with zero supporting evidence to facebook, twitter and tumblr instead. fi (talk) 01:56, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
First off, this is the English-language Wikipedia. Secondly, I posted a whole slew of reliable secondary and tertiary sources in the "Update" of my RfC post, and you'll notice that there was only one English-language (tertiary) source that even mentions libertarian socialism; all the rest, again (and again and again and again), speak of libertarianism only in the context of radical capitalism. But don't let sources guide your conduct here... it's not like they have anything to do with Wikipedia policy. — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 02:19, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
If sources guided policy, we wouldn't be having this conversation. This is the English language Wikipedia, describing a global political philosophy, with European roots, and a worldwide popular movement with over 160 years of history. If French, Italian, Russian, Greek, Mexican, South American, etc, libertarians don't interest you (to say nothing of American reds who don't have a network of billionaire-bankrolled PR offices), this may be the article you were looking for. If you have no sources to offer that support the "libertarians generally support capitalism" claim made above I do not wish to continue this childishness any further. fi (talk) 02:34, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, I can agree that this conversation is pointless. — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:42, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
fi, the source cited uses those exact terms
Hussain, Syed B. (2004). Encyclopedia of Capitalism. Vol. II : H-R. New York: Facts on File Inc. p. 492. ISBN 0816052247. In the modern world, political ideologies are largely defined by their attitude towards capitalism. Marxists want to overthrow it, liberals to curtail it extensively, conservatives to curtail it moderately. Those who maintain that capitalism is a excellent economic system, unfairly maligned, with little or no need for corrective government policy, are generally known as libertarians.  Darkstar1st (talk) 00:49, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Please read the comments above yours and try to understand what they mean. I have already tried explaining this with analogies little children should be able to understand and I do not want to have to act out what a propositional fallacy is with hand puppets. fi (talk) 13:11, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Although some present-day libertarians advocate laissez-faire capitalism is not supported by the source which reads, capitalism is a excellent...generally known as libertarians. no explanation required, rather we need a RS to support the passage, or it should be improved to match the source currently cited. Darkstar1st (talk) 15:05, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
It is very much supported by all the sources in the article that certain people identifying as "libertarians" want to abolish capitalism while certain other people identifying as "libertarians" revere and exalt capitalism as the highest form of liberty. Your earlier edit, however (stating that most belong to the latter category), was not supported by any sources in the article, least of all the one you chose. I do not know how I can explain any clearer why this is so.
If, on the other hand, as your latest edit implies, you are skeptical that there are advocates for laissez faire capitalism calling themselves libertarians, here is a more complete list of references confirming that they do, indeed, exist:
So, now that we've established that there are pro and anti capitalist libertarians, the matter is why it wouldn't be appropriate to just say that. If you would like to declare that either the former group (which we have clearly established does exist) or the latter group (which we have also established exists) is more numerous than the other, please provide an appropriate reference comparing their ranks. fi (talk) 22:41, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Even a prominent US "libertarian" academic such as Roderick T. Long recognizes the following tendencies within "libertarianism". He says: "Currently there are three disparate movements that qualify as libertarian by my definition. Two of them i have already mentioned: Libertarian Capitalism and Libertarian Socialism. A third I shall call Libertarian Populism" (pg. 304)[1] Long also mentions how to US right libertarians "comes as as learn that socialist critics of centralized power have been using the term "libertarian" for at least as long as their capitalist counterparts have"...Libertarian socialists often repay the favour as though "libertarian" has always designated a purely socialist movement" (pg. 305) So Long reports on the controversy and how there are two positions who can be said to be part of libertarianism and who use the label for themselves. It also reports how to many libertarian socialists calling themselves just "libertarian" is taken as something banal and without the need for too much explanation. But what Roderick Long does not report is how Joseph Déjacque even published a newspaper called Le Libertaire already in New York in the mid 19th century. So the uses of libertarian as a socialist view in the US itself go as far back as then.--Eduen (talk) 23:12, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I just honestly cannot believe how much time, over and over, has been sunk into justifying that:
  • some self-described libertarians advocate extreme capitalism
  • some self-described libertarians advocate abolition of capitalism
  • therefore: some "libertarians" belong to the former group, while some "libertarians" belong to the latter
I'm at a loss. It just seems like these debates ought to be put to rest after two minutes skimming the article's footnotes and references, but yet here we are, once again, arguing about whether there's enough citations to verify that the sky is blue and water is wet, while wildly speculative claims about demographics apparently don't merit the same kind of skepticism. fi (talk) 23:26, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Your being "at a loss" might be explained by noting that your conclusion above doesn't logically follow from the premises you stated. You dropped the "self-described" part, invalidating your conclusion. The logical conclusion is that some "advocates of extreme capitalism" describe themselves as libertarians and some "advocates of abolishing capitalism" describe themselves as libertarians. And you seem to be forgetting that neither minority group gets to define the term (society as a whole does), and that peoples' description of themselves is often mistaken and dishonest. The idea that Wikipedia should adopt the "self-descriptions" of political advocates as definitions for terms (in WP's voice) is absurd. That absurdity hasn't been justified, it's been ignored by those seeking to retain it. May peace be with you. Blue Eyes Cryin (talk) 21:33, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me the reason for this is the fact that the US happens to be a very self centered unit in its discussions because most of the countries in the American continent are non english speaking and also because of the US being a country of 300 million persons which will make it appear that it is having the main discussions on a topic due to the volume that they can acquire because of this national population i just mentioned. In Europe, where small countries with small populations is the rule, for example academics are more accustomed to dealing with literature in other languages besides their own one as well as english language literature. In Latin america academics will deal with literature in spanish and english equally and in the southern cone they will also deal with portuguese literature. In Asia, besides reading in one´s own language, they will also read english language literature but sometimes also french, chinese, arabic and japanese. So even the US academic Roderick T. Long accounts for the fact of the surprise and shock of his co-nationals in finding about that it is different in the rest of the world and that they are posessing an exceptional view on things on this matter. Anyway, there is a whole big discussion on american exceptionalism in politology and sociology and so this article in particular has to be constantly watched in order that it will not fall on Wikipedia:Systemic bias.--Eduen (talk) 23:55, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Clarification needed about 'some present-day libertarians'?[edit]

Although some present-day libertarians advocate [2] cited source confirms exactly what is stated and no intelligible reason was giving on the talk page for doubting the existence of pro-capitalist libertarians.

  • The citation was NOT doubting the existence, quite the opposite. from the source: ...Those who maintain that capitalism is a excellent economic system, unfairly maligned, with little or no need for corrective government policy, are generally known as libertarians.
  • The same editor also reverted an edit closer to the sourced verbiage: Modern Libertarians generally support capitalism and strong private property rights [3] unsourced / OR.
  • The entirety of this editors contributions are to this article and talk. i would ask the editor to work on other articles a bit and see if the others here can find a solution. Darkstar1st (talk) 16:55, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

There is a dispute over a section. The disputed bit reads as follows:
Although some present-day libertarians[not in citation given] advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights,[1] such as in land, infrastructure and natural resources, others, notably libertarian socialists,[2] seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production in favor of their common or cooperative ownership and management.[3][4]
    • ^ Hussain, Syed B. (2004). Encyclopedia of Capitalism. Vol. II : H-R. New York: Facts on File Inc. p. 492. ISBN 0816052247. In the modern world, political ideologies are largely defined by their attitude towards capitalism. Marxists want to overthrow it, liberals to curtail it extensively, conservatives to curtail it moderately. Those who maintain that capitalism is a excellent economic system, unfairly maligned, with little or no need for corrective government policy, are generally known as libertarians. 
    • ^ Long, Roderick T. (1998). "Toward a Libertarian Theory of Class." Social Philosophy and Policy. 15:2 p. 310. "When I speak of 'libertarianism'... I mean all three of these very different movements. It might be protested that LibCap, LibSoc and LibPop are too different from one another to be treated as aspects of a single point of view. But they do share a common—or at least an overlapping—intellectual ancestry."
    • ^ Carlson, Jennifer D. (2012). "Libertarianism". In Miller, Wilburn R., ed. The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America. London: Sage Publications. p. 1007. ISBN 1412988764. "There exist three major camps in libertarian thought: right-libertarianism, socialist libertarianism, and left-libertarianism"
    • ^ Vallentyne, Peter (March 2009). "Libertarianism". In Edward N. Zalta. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2009 ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 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 
    This appears to be twisting the citations. The citation to Hussain supports the statement "Libertarians advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights". It is twisting it to say "Although some present-day libertarians advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights". Some of the groups people that Long is talking about do not appear to be libertarian, even though someone uses "-libertarian" as part of their description. It reminds me of the way that "democratic republics" are/were murderous dictatorships like the German Democratic Republic or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. -- Toddy1 (talk) 14:12, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
    Toddy1, please read the thread above this one. You have added nothing new to the discussion and I've read all of these citations because I personally added them all when someone was insisting USLP-style libertarianism was ambivalent toward free market capitalism. I've already explained the logical error and I'm not going to repeat myself again. TL;DR: 5% of the world's population has an esoteric definition for the world "libertarian" which is basically the opposite of what it means to the other 95%. It would make the most sense to say that a diminutive minority of "libertarians" advocate capitalism while the vast majority of "libertarians" want to abolish it, however there is insufficient direct evidence to make that assessment conclusively without a reliable source. For lack of any way to compare rank and file, it makes sense to say "[indeterminate number] are A while [indeterminate number] are opposite of A." How that's said or what words are used doesn't matter to me at all so long as POV warriors don't go making stuff up. Here's a quick example of making stuff up: "citation says most foos are bars, therefore bars are generally foos." Obvious nonsense after thinking about it for two seconds. Time to move on. fi (talk) 15:09, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
    Why not replace it with the text from the FAQ, like:

    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.[1] 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).[2] Left-libertarianism includes libertarian socialism,[3] left-wing market anarchism,[4] and geolibertarianism.[5]

    BTW the lead should ideally be free of citations, as mentioned in the manual of style at Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Lead_section#Citations --Mrjulesd (talk) 18:30, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
    Sounds more or less alright to me, for a quick and dirty summary, and I agree about citations in the lead. The problem is, everything -- no matter how mundane and indisputable -- tends to be met with objection and demands of word-for-word citations, even when the article is already saturated with them. If it says that Kropotkin had a beard, someone will shout it down as vile propaganda. Meanwhile, if a convenient POV can be crammed into the narrative, then a source saying "balloons are generally round" can be taken as incontrovertible verification that round things are generally balloons. At this point, I am 100% in favor of any narrative that just doesn't make arbitrary stuff up... Some people want a night watchman state; some people want no state. Some people want capitalism; some people want no capitalism. Seems pretty straightforward, whichever way one decides to say it. fi (talk) 19:01, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
    So the term "right-libertarian" should be used to describe people who don't self-identify as such, but the term "libertarian" should be used to describe outspoken opponents of individual liberty, autonomy, freedom of association, and the primacy of individual judgement on the basis that they call themselves libertarians in their political propaganda? And adopt the absurd socialist narrative describing the difference between socialists and non-socialists? And if anyone disagrees, they should just read that political propaganda (or the biased sources based on it) over and over again to inform themselves? Nice try. May peace be with you. Blue Eyes Cryin (talk) 19:41, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
    Please read WP:FORUM and WP:SOAP. This is a place to discuss the article, not a place for editors to debate their personal political opinions on socialism or the USLP. fi (talk) 19:54, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
    Your bullying tactics and false accusations are irrelevant. May peace be with you. Blue Eyes Cryin (talk) 19:59, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
    My "bullying tactics" begin and end with pointing out that articles shouldn't be started with trivially obvious propositional fallacies. If I wholly and passionately agreed with your personal political views, whatever they are, that still wouldn't make what's being argued here any less ridiculous. Take any arbitrary premise (e.g. "my big toe itches") and take any arbitrary conclusions (e.g. "therefore it's going to rain"). That's roughly what you, Darkstar1st and Toddy1 are arguing above. That doesn't even get to be called unsound. It's just invalid. It may rain or it may not, but it certainly doesn't follow from the premises. So, I don't have to make any value judgments on your politics to conclude that your statements are objectively, provably wrong. fi (talk) 20:16, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
    Finx. Please stop posting straw man arguments.-- Toddy1 (talk) 20:38, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
    Have you read anything above? This is literally the only argument offered so far: people who like devolution and laissez faire capitalism are generally called libertarians, therefore libertarians generally like devolution and laissez faire capitalism. Where is the straw? I mean, to be fair, I left out some off-topic soapboxing about how much you all hate socialists. If that's a critical part of the argument, please continue... fi (talk) 20:41, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
    If my statements were provably wrong, you would prove them wrong instead of using bullying tactics and making false accusations. May peace be with you. Blue Eyes Cryin (talk) 21:07, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
    there is an ongoing dispute about the citation, the tag must be restored until the dispute is settled. fi plz self revert your removal of the tag Darkstar1st (talk) 14:45, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
    There is already a tag, which I had not removed, if you'd bothered to look; I see nothing even remotely resembling "an ongoing dispute" -- just a halfhearted attempt at a laughably fallacious argument that no one wants to elaborate on; also, there's an ongoing ANI topic to have have you banned from the site (in case you haven't noticed) to which you may want to direct your attention. So far as this here, I have nothing to more to say. The objection is just literally incoherent and it's not getting any clearer, so I am removing myself from the issue... assuming that there is one which someone can maybe, eventually explain intelligibly. fi (talk) 14:59, 15 February 2015 (UTC)


    1. ^ 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."
    2. ^ Hamowy, Ronald. "Left Libertarianism." The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. p. 288
    3. ^ Cite error: The named reference bookchinreader was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    4. ^ Cite error: The named reference marketsnotcapitalism was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    5. ^ Foldvary, Fred E. "Geoism and Libertarianism". The Progress Report. Retrieved 2013-03-26.