Portal:Libertarianism

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Portal:Libertarianism

Introduction

Libertarianism (from Latin: libertas, meaning "freedom") is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association, and individual judgment. Libertarians share a skepticism of authority and state power, but they diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing political and economic 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.

Traditionally, libertarianism was a term for a form of left-wing politics; such left-libertarian ideologies seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, or else to restrict their purview or effects, in favor of common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty. In the United States, modern right-libertarian ideologies, such as minarchism and anarcho-capitalism, co-opted the term in the mid-20th century to instead advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights, such as in land, infrastructure, and natural resources.

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Social anarchism, sometimes referred to as socialist anarchism, is a non-state form of socialism and is considered to be the branch of anarchism that sees individual freedom as being dependent upon mutual aid.

Social anarchist thought emphasizes community and social equality as complementary to autonomy and personal freedom. They also advocate the conversion of present-day private property into social property or the commons while retaining respect for personal property. The term is used to describe those who—contra anarchist individualism—place an emphasis on the communitarian and cooperative aspects of anarchist theory while also opposing authoritarian forms of communitarianism associated with groupthink and collective conformity, instead favouring a reconciliation between individuality and sociality.

Emerged in the late 19th century as a distinction from individualist anarchism, social anarchism is considered an umbrella term that includes (but is not limited to) the post-capitalist economic models of anarchist communism, collectivist anarchism and (sometimes) mutualism as well as the trade union approach of anarcho-syndicalism, the social struggle strategies of platformism and specifism and the environmental philosophy of social ecology.

The term "libertarianism" was coined and used as synonymous for anarchism and socialism, hence the terms "social anarchism" and "socialist anarchism" are often used interchangeably with libertarian socialism, left-libertarianism or left anarchism.

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I see America with half the number of prisons, half the number of prisoners, ten thousand fewer homicides a year, inner cities in which there's a chance for these poor people to live without being afraid for their lives, citizens who might be respectable who are now addicts not being subject to becoming criminals in order to get their drug, being able to get drugs for which they're sure of the quality. You know, the same thing happened under prohibition of alcohol as is happening now.

Under prohibition of alcohol, deaths from alcohol poisoning, from poisoning by things that were mixed in with the bootleg alcohol, went up sharply. Similarly, under drug prohibition, deaths from overdose, from adulterations, from adulterated substances have gone up.

— Milton Friedman (1912–2006)
America's Drug Forum (1991)

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Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy.

One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. It earned him an enormous reputation and would become one of the most influential works on economics ever published. Smith is widely cited as the father of modern economics and capitalism.

Smith studied social philosophy at the University of Glasgow and the University of Oxford. After graduating, he delivered a successful series of public lectures at Edinburgh, leading him to collaborate with David Hume during the Scottish Enlightenment. Smith obtained a professorship at Glasgow teaching moral philosophy and during this time he wrote and published The Theory of Moral Sentiments. In his later life, he took a tutoring position that allowed him to travel throughout Europe, where he met other intellectual leaders of his day. Smith returned home and spent the next ten years writing The Wealth of Nations, publishing it in 1776. He died in 1790.

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