The libertarian or “classical liberal” perspective is that individual well-being, prosperity, and social harmony are fostered by “as much liberty as possible” and “as little government as necessary.”
These ideas lead to new questions: What’s possible? What’s necessary? What are the practical implications and the unsolved problems?
Below are a number of different takes on the libertarian political perspective from which you can deepen your understanding;also be sure to check out the videos in the sidebar.
According to The Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Open Court Publishing Company,1973.
The central idea of libertarianism is that people should be permitted to run their own lives as they wish.
According toLibertarianism: A Primerby David Boaz,Free Press, 1997.
Libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person’s right to life, liberty, and property-rights that people have naturally, before governments are created. In the libertarian view, all human relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves used force-actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud.
According to Funk and Wagnall’s Dictionary
lib-er-tar-i-an, n. 1. a person who advocates liberty, esp. with regard to thought or conduct…. advocating liberty or conforming to principles of liberty.
According to American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition, 2000.
What is Libertarian? | The Institute for Humane Studies