The Libertarian Movement

What is Libertarianism?

Libertarianism is a political movement that promotes limited government and individual liberties. Libertarianism does not belong to the Right or Left political spectrum. Libertarians use the Nolan Chart[1]

What does a libertarian believe in?

Libertarian believes is based on the idea that the private sector tends to be more efficient anything  This includes health care, pensions and education. Libertarians also believe that the market is stricter in regulating itself.  Libertarians also believe if Government interferes directly in the market, it leads to cronyism and corruption. There are also some libertarians who believe that there is no need of a Government, and the free market can replace everything. Known anarcho-capitalist include Murray Rothbard[2] and David Friedman[3].

Libertarianism and Liberalism

Libertarians base their ideas on classical liberals such as British philosopher John Locke British economist Adam Smith[4], French economist Frederic Bastiat[5] and the founding fathers of the USA In reality libertarians are true liberals but during the 20th century the liberal movement changed its policy and implemented reforms in restricting economic freedom in order to help the poor and the needy. Libertarians believe that government harms the poor rather than helping them. Libertarians also believe that private charities such as Self-help and Mutual aid societies can help the poor more efficiently. These organizations give the money to the ones who really need it, whilst the welfare state has cultivated a society of entitlements and dependency. Liberals such as British economist John Maynard Keynes[6] believe that because of the unreliability of free market capitalism, the state has to oversight and play a productive role in the market. This includes the use of public works programs, and deficit spending. Libertarian economists such as F.A Hayek[7] oppose these measures and believe that such measures will do more harm than good.

 

Libertarians and Conservatism

Libertarians and Conservatives have many views in common. While the current conservatives parties in Europe are becoming less interested in economic freedom, their counterparts in America have many views regarding the role of the Government that are similar to libertarians. They both support economic freedom. The common difference between conservatism and libertarianism is that libertarians are for the legalization of drugs, gambling and prostitution, and believe that Marriage should be a voluntary contract between two consenting Adults.

Libertarianism in the world

The biggest libertarian think-tank is the CATO institute with over 100 staff members. The oldest libertarian think tank is the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) established in 1947. The aim of the FEE is to educate the youth in free market-Capitalism.  Lecturers included F.A Hayek, Ludwig Von Mises[8] and many more. According to David Boaz[9] over 15% of the US Population have libertarian beliefs. The Libertarian movement has gained momentum with the Ron Paul Presidential campaign.  US Congressman Ron Paul is a libertarian who has cultivated a new audience with libertarian ideas. In a 2002 speech to the House of Representatives Congressman Paul predicted the Housing bubble would burst, creating a Global Housing crisis. Ron Paul has never changed his views and is known to have videos from the 1980s where he is still saying the same thing he is saying now. His consistent and uncompromising attitude has made many young Americans interested in free market economists, such as F.A Hayek and Frederic Bastiat.. The effect has been the rise of libertarianism in the US; a grassroots plan has been initiated in order to bring all libertarians to the State of New Hampshire. This plan is called the Free State Project, and the reason New Hampshire was chosen because of having no state income tax and very loose regulation, such as no requirement for car owners to buy insurance or no seat belt law.  The aim of the Free State project is to implement change by having a majority of libertarians in this state. In other countries libertarian ideas are integrated with several Classical liberal parties including some leftist parties such as the Greens who have taken libertarian ideas such as Drug legalization or civil rights into their agenda. There are many libertarian factions in classical liberal parties such as the “Libertäre Platform” (Libertarian platform) in the German liberal FDP (Free Democratic Party).

Conclusion

The libertarian movement is becoming more and more popular in the World. With many years in which Society lived under Statism, Socialism and Fascism, the 21st Century can be an opportunity for a new movement to rise. The libertarian movement has learned from the errors of classical liberalism, and new libertarian leaders are trying to distance themselves from the errors of classical liberals who gave up too much of their principles to gain power. The libertarian unlike the Socialist does not want to tell you how to live. The libertarian believes that the individual can make his own decision in life.  With the Presidential campaign of Ron Paul in the USA, the International press was forced to write about the libertarian movement. Hopefully this will lead to more people interested to libertarian thoughts.

Bibliography:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3FMGNIs3U0

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/339321/libertarianism

http://libertaere-plattform.de/



[1] The Nolan Chart is a political diagram, created by American libertarian David Nolan. He developed the chart to illustrate to claim that libertarianism represents both economics freedom and personal freedom.

[2] Economics Professor of  the  Austrian School of Economics

[3]  Economist and writer of Machinery of Freedom

[4] British Economist known for his work Wealth of Nations

[5] French Economist  and former member of the French assembly

[6] British liberal economist and founder of Keynesian economics

[7] Austrian economist, and Nobel Prize Laureate

[8] Austrian economist and Author of Human Action

[9] Senior Vice President of the CATO institute