What is Libertarianism? – Part l

Dave Killion — August 21, 2010

Ask four libertarians to tell you what libertarianism is, and you’ll get five definitions. I imagine it’s the same for conservatism, leftism, and all other ‘isms’. My personal definition is this;

Libertarianism is the recognition that individuals own themselves, and as such, have the right to live their lives in any manner they see fit, provided they don’t encroach on the equal and identical rights of any other individual.

You’ll see that I used the word ‘recognition’ rather than ‘belief’ or ‘philosophy’, and that’s deliberate. I wouldn’t say “I believe 2 + 2 = 4” nor would I say “It’s my philosophy that the earth is round rather than flat”. Those are neither beliefs nor philosophies, but rather they are truths at which we arrive through observation, experimentation, and reason. So are the principles which underlie libertarianism. Please keep visiting our blog, and in the coming weeks I will explain my thoughts on self-ownership, rights, and why libertarianism is the way we should live.


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