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What does "libertarian" mean?

by whakahekeheke

Simple.

It refers to someone who advocates:

  1. Human freedom.
  2. Voluntary interaction.
  3. Anti-statism.

Obviously, there's more to it.

What is freedom? It is living unconstrained by other people's impositions, it is an absence of constraints proactively imposed personally on you by others. Perhaps the best way to see freedom is to remember its symmetric opposite: Being proactively imprisoned in a cage against your will. A libertarian wants to maximise human freedom.

What is voluntary human interaction? It is all our interaction with other people that we voluntarily choose to engage in. It includes cooperation, competition, community, conversation, sport, organisation, relationship, trade, and so on. The opposite of voluntary human interaction is aggression. A libertarian wants to maximise voluntary interaction and minimise aggression.

What is anti-statism? It is being opposed to the State, what most today call "the government." The social science definition of the State is a territorial monopoly on mass ideologically legitimised, mass coercion. For example, if Jane chooses not to pay taxes for a war, she will eventually have men come to her door and force her into a cage at gunpoint. However most people assume this coercion is "legitimate." Thus, the State violates human freedom and every act of State is an act of interpersonal aggression. A libertarian wants to minimise the State, ideally abolishing it altogether.

Why are libertarians libertarians? Many diverse reasons. We argue that human freedom is precious in itself. We argue voluntary interaction has virtue on its own. We argue more libertarian, non-state societies empirically do and logically will result in the elimination of poverty, greater effective equality, more real community, the end of starvation, faster technological innovation, widespread prosperity, economic growth, more optimal environmental outcomes, more efficient and equitable law, greater human creativity, happiness, and well-being.

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Resources

You can make use of the following text and video to expand your knowledge and understanding of the topic covered in this unit.

A Review Of “The State”

About Authority: The Evolution Of The State

Abstain From Beans

Anatomy Of The State

But That Would Be Anarchy

Democracy Is Impossible

Democracy Is Slavery

Disproving The State

Freedom, Reason, and Cults

Government As Rape

Government Bullshit

How The State Destroys Social Cooperation

How To Establish A Government

If You Were King

Ignorance Of The Law Is An Excuse

In Search Of The Super Villain

Interdependence

Is Voting An Act Of Violence?

On The Meaning Of Voting

On Voting

On The 'Rule Of Law’

Only Cowards Vote

Politics Is The Opiate Of The Masses

Statist Reasoning: Non-Freedom For Non-Voters

Statist Reasoning: Not Me, But Everybody Else

Tangled As Political Allegory

The Immorality Of The State

The Irrationality Of Politics

The Myth Of The Social Contract

The Origin Of Government Authority

The Social Contract: Defined And Destroyed

The State Is Not Great: How Government Poisons Everything

The State: Human Parasite

The Tragedy Of Political Government

The Truth About Voting

Unintended Consequences

What Are The Myths Of Statism?

What Does “Libertarian” Mean?

What Is A Government Or State?

What Is Authority?

When Is Government A Legitimate Authority?

Why Don’t You Just Leave?

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