Portal:Libertarianism

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Portal:Libertarianism

Introduction

Libertarianism (from French: libertaire, "libertarian"; from Latin: libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy and movement that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association. Libertarians share a skepticism of authority and state power, but some Libertarians diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing economic and political systems. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power, often calling for the restriction or dissolution of coercive social institutions. Different categorizations have been used to distinguish various forms of libertarianism. Scholars distinguish libertarian views on the nature of property and capital, usually along left–right or socialist–capitalist lines.

Libertarianism originated as a form of left-wing politics such as anti-authoritarian and anti-state socialists like anarchists, especially social anarchists, but more generally libertarian communists/ Marxists and libertarian socialists. These libertarians seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, or else to restrict their purview or effects to usufruct property norms, in favor of common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty. Left-libertarian ideologies include anarchist schools of thought, alongside many other anti- paternalist and New Left schools of thought centered around economic egalitarianism as well as geolibertarianism, green politics, market-oriented left-libertarianism and the Steiner–Vallentyne school. ( Full article...)

Selected article

Libertarian socialism (or socialist libertarianism) is a group of anti-authoritarian political philosophies inside the socialist movement that rejects socialism as centralized state ownership and control of the economy.

Libertarian socialism also rejects the state itself, is close to and overlaps with left-libertarianism and criticizes wage labour relationships within the workplace, instead emphasizing workers' self-management of the workplace and decentralized structures of political organization. It asserts that a society based on freedom and justice can be achieved through abolishing authoritarian institutions that control certain means of production and subordinate the majority to an owning class or political and economic elite. Libertarian socialists advocate for decentralized structures based on direct democracy and federal or confederal associations such as libertarian municipalism, citizens' assemblies, trade unions and workers' councils.

All of this is generally done within a general call for libertarian and voluntary human relationships through the identification, criticism and practical dismantling of illegitimate authority in all aspects of human life. As such, libertarian socialism within the larger socialist movement seeks to distinguish itself both from Leninism/ Bolshevism and from social democracy.

Past and present political philosophies and movements commonly described as libertarian socialist include anarchism as well as autonomism, communalism, participism, guild socialism, revolutionary syndicalism and libertarian Marxist philosophies such as council communism and Luxemburgism as well as some versions of utopian socialism and individualist anarchism.

Selected quote

Though he expresses a classical liberal doctrine, Humbdolt is no primitive individualist, in the style of, for example, Rousseau. Rousseau extols the savage who "lives within himself," but Humboldt's vision is entirely different. He sums up his remarks, saying that

the whole tenor of the ideas and arguments unfolded in this essay might fairly be reduced to this, that while they would break all fetters in human society, they would attempt to find as many new social bonds as possible. The isolated man is no more able to develop than the one who is fettered.

And he in fact looks forward to a community of free association without coercion by the state or other authoritarian institutions, in which free men can create, inquire, and achieve the highest development of their powers. In fact, far ahead of his time, he presents an anarchist vision that is appropriate perhaps to the next stage of industrial society. We can perhaps look forward to a day when these various strands will be brought together within the framework of libertarian socialism, a social form that barely exists today, though its elements can perhaps be perceived, for example, in the guarantee of individual rights that has achieved so far its fullest realization—though still tragically flawed—in the Western democracies; in the Israeli kibbutzim; in the experiments of workers' councils in Yugoslavia; in the effort to awaken popular consciousness and create a new involvement in the social process, which is a fundamental element in the Third World revolutions that coexists uneasily with indefensible authoritarian practices.

To summarize, the first concept of the state that I want to establish as a point of reference is classical liberalism. Its doctrine is that state functions should be drastically limited. But this familiar characterization is a very superficial one. More deeply, the classical liberal view develops from a certain concept of human nature one that stresses the importance of diversity and free creation, and therefore this view is in fundamental opposition to industrial capitalism with its wage slavery, its alienated labor, and its hierarchic and authoritarian principles of social and economic organization. At least in its ideal form, classical liberal thought is opposed to the concepts of possessive individualism, that are intrinsic to capitalist ideology. For this reason, classical liberal thought seeks to eliminate social fetters and to replace them with social bonds, and not with competitive greed, predatory individualism, and not, of course, with corporate empires-state or private. Classical libertarian thought seems to me, therefore, to lead directly to libertarian socialism, or anarchism if you like, when combined with an understanding of industrial capitalism.

—  Noam Chomsky (1928)
Government in the Future at the Poetry Center (1970)

Selected picture

The black rays symbolize the rejection of illegitimate authority and hierarchy while the red rays symbolize socialism ( workers' control of production) and democratic governance within workplaces and communities
Credit: Philip Kanellopoulos

General images

The following are images from various libertarianism-related articles on Wikipedia.

Selected biography - show another

Paul in 2011

Ronald Ernest Paul (born August 20, 1935) is an American author, physician, and retired politician who served as the U.S. Representative for Texas's 22nd congressional district from 1976 to 1977 and again from 1979 to 1985, and then for Texas's 14th congressional district from 1997 to 2013. On three occasions, he sought the presidency of the United States: as the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988 and as a candidate for the Republican Party in 2008 and 2012. A self-described constitutionalist, Paul is a critic of the federal government's fiscal policies, especially the existence of the Federal Reserve and the tax policy, as well as the military–industrial complex, the war on drugs, and the war on terror. He has also been a vocal critic of mass surveillance policies such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the NSA surveillance programs. He was the first chairman of the conservative PAC Citizens for a Sound Economy, a free-market group focused on limited government, and has been characterized as the "intellectual godfather" of the Tea Party movement, a fiscally conservative political movement that is largely against most matters of interventionism.

Paul served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1968, and worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist from the 1960s to the 1980s. He became the first Representative in history to serve concurrently with a child in the Senate when his son, Rand Paul, was elected to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky in 2010. Paul is a Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute, and has published a number of books and promoted the ideas of economists of the Austrian School such as Murray Rothbard, Friedrich Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises during his political campaigns. ( Full article...)

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