If you have heard of the Libertarian Party but are new to what it really means, this is for you. I have written down a few introductory concepts behind it so you can get a feel for what the party is all about. In a government with a two-party system, it is nice to have a third option, and you may be surprised by how many alternative political parties actually exist.
Libertarians are the skeptics of the political system. Generally speaking, the Libertarian Party promotes as little government inference with capitalism and a skepticism of the political system itself. They believe a minimalist government is ideal. They believe in the free market economy and a “night-watchman” state, meaning the government will only intervene when necessary, but otherwise stay out of it.
Right-libertarianism came about in the 1950s in the United States and is the usual concept of Libertarian that people associate with the party. They believe strongly in self-ownership as well as the non-aggression principle, meaning that free market capitalism and private property is the way to go. The government will say out of private matters. The idea is the state violates the concept behind the non-aggression principle. The principle itself is an ethical stance that sees property as personal and not something that the government should have any say in what anyone does with it.
Left-libertarianism is less common than right. They believe that the Earth’s natural resources belong to everyone and no one person or group can claim an exclusive right to them. Land must not be overly taken or the owners should be taxed for it. They are almost the antithesis of the right side of things, thinking that capitalism is “wage slavery” and that the state should not allow as much private property as they do.
While libertarians may disagree that they do represent a form of anarchy, the truth of the matter is that there is an element of anarchy involved with libertarianism. Since anarchy believes strictly in autonomy, and they oppose any economic authority or government involvement of private property, an anarchist’s values do somewhat align with libertarians. The difference is that libertarians do not want to totally eradicate the government, but do support the government having less to do with private citizens. Anarchy follows the thought that a central government on the whole should be eradicated and instead have groups of citizens monitor for the rights of others.
The Libertarian ideals encompasses the promotion of free thought and civil liberties. They were huge proponents of women’s suffrage since before the women’s rights movement there were many laws that specifically discriminated against women, something that libertarians are completely against.
They are also big promoters of the freedom of religion, almost verging on being anti-Christian and anti-clerical seeing that religions do run the risk of harming people’s civil liberties. But mostly in modern times, the thought is that people are free to follow whatever religion they want so long as the churches are not obligating their patrons to do certain actions or limiting their ability to do things.
Thoughts on Property
The right-libertarians think of natural resources as first come, first serve. They do not need anyone’s permission to take the property and have the freedom to do with the land what they choose. Meanwhile, the left-libertarians say that you cannot claim natural resources for your own, but need to share them with others and the community.
They do seem like opposing viewpoints, but regardless, the government does not have control over the property itself and it is left to the people themselves.