Difference between revisions of "Libertarian Party"

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*Securing Liberty: "The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. Government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself. The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments."
*Securing Liberty: "The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. Government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself. The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments."
==Libertarian politics==
Libertarianism is often viewed as right-wing by non-libertarians in the United States.  Under the concept of fusionism, American libertarians tend to have more in common with traditional conservatives than American liberals, especially with regard to economic and gun control policies.  In recent years however, fusionists have begun to call for an alliance between libertarians and liberals in the Democratic party. However, many describe libertarians as being "conservative" on economic issues and "liberal" on social issues. (For example, most libertarians view Texas congressman and former Libertarian U.S. Presidential candidate [[Ron Paul]] (R-14) to be a philosophical libertarian, even though he is technically affiliated with the Republican Party.) 
A historical example of libertarian politics would be discrimination in the workplace. Libertarians could be expected to oppose any laws on this matter because these would infringe on the property rights or freedoms of either the business owner or the just-hired employee. In other words, one should be free to discriminate against others in their personal or business dealings (within the constraints of principal/agency agreements); one should be free to choose where they accept work, or to start one's own business in accordance with their personal beliefs and prejudices; and one should be free to lead a boycott or publicity campaign against businesses with whose policies they disagree.
While the traditional political spectrum is a line, the Nolan chart turns it to a plane to situate libertarianism in a wider gamut of political thought. In a more current example, conservatives are likely to support a ban on [[same-sex marriage]] in the interests of preserving traditional order, while liberals are likely to favor allowing same-sex marriage in the interest of guaranteeing equality under the law. Libertarians are likely to disagree with the notion of government-sanctioned marriage itself. Specifically, they would deny that the government deserves any role in marriage other than enforcing whatever legal contract people choose to enter, and to oppose the various additional rights currently granted to married people.
Instead of a "left-right" spectrum, some libertarians use a two-dimensional space, with "personal freedom" on one axis and "economic freedom" on the other, which is called the Nolan chart. Named after David Nolan, who designed the chart and also founded the United States Libertarian Party, the chart is similar to a socio-political test used to place individuals by the Advocates for Self Government. A first approximation of libertarian politics (derived from these charts) is that they agree with liberals on social issues and with conservatives on economic issues. Thus, the traditional linear scale of governmental philosophy could be represented inside the chart stretching from the upper left corner to the lower right, while the degree of state control is represented linearly from the lower left to the upper right.
== Criticism of libertarianism ==
== Criticism of libertarianism ==

Revision as of 14:20, 9 December 2013

Libertarian Party
Libertarian Party logo.PNG
Chairman:Geoffrey Neale
Year created:1971
The Libertarian Party is a national political party. They are the third largest political party in America, following the Republican and Democratic parties. Their slogan says they are the "Party of Principle" and "Minimum Government, Maximum Freedom." They focus on a commitment to free-market principles, civil rights, personal freedom, non-intervention foreign policy, peace and free trade.[1]

According to the party, "Our vision is for a world in which all individuals can freely exercise the natural right of sole dominion over their own lives, liberty and property by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office, and moving public policy in a libertarian direction."[1]


The Libertarian Party was formed in 1971 in Colorado by David Nolan. They held their first national convention in 1972. Since its inception, the party has been growing and fielding Libertarian candidates in races across the country. In 2010, 800 Libertarian candidates ran for office. A total of 38 candidates were elected or re-elected and 154 offices were held by Libertarians by the end of 2010. The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in America.[1]


The Libertarian Party lists their platform on their website. The following is an abbreviated list:[2]

  • "We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose."
  • "...hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life -- accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action -- accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property -- accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation."
  • "...we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market."
  • Personal Liberty: "Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. Our support of an individual's right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices."
  • Economic Liberty: "Libertarians want all members of society to have abundant opportunities to achieve economic success. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society."
  • Securing Liberty: "The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. Government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself. The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments."

Criticism of libertarianism

Critics from the left tend to focus on the economic consequences, claiming that perfectly free markets, or laissez-faire capitalism, undermines individual freedom for many people by creating social inequality, poverty, and lack of accountability on the part of the most powerful.

Criticism of libertarianism from the right tends to focus on issues of tradition and personal morality, claiming that the extensive personal freedoms promoted by libertarians encourage unhealthy and immoral behavior and undermine religion. Libertarians mindful of such criticisms claim that personal responsibility, private charity, and the voluntary exchange of goods and ideas are all consistent manifestations of an individualistic approach to liberty, and provide both a more effective and more ethical way to prosperity and peaceful coexistence. They often argue that in a truly capitalistic society, even the poorest would end up better off as a result of faster overall economic growth - which they believe likely to occur with lower taxes and less regulation. Critics from the right tend to focus on the social consequences, claiming that near unlimited personal freedom in a modern society is too harmful to allow. Libertarians mindful of such criticism claim that personal responsibility is the best defense from harmful activities.

2010 elections

State legislatures

See also: Political parties with candidates in state house elections in 2010, Political parties with candidates in state senate elections in 2010

In the 2010 election cycle, the Libertarian Party is fielding 269 candidates for State House across the nation. Libertarians have State House Candidates qualified on the ballot in 31 states. For State Senates, the Libertarian Party is fielding 42 candidates nationwide. Libertarians have State Senate candidates qualified on the ballot in 17 states. Libertarians remain the third largest political party in the nation accounting for 2.4% of State House candidates and 1.5% of State Senate candidates.


See also: Gubernatorial elections, 2010

The Libertarian Party is fielding four candidates for gubernatorial elections in 2010 out of the 37 that are contested nationwide.

External links

Political parties and organizations
Critical appraisals and opposition


Portions of this article have been adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Copyright Notice can be found here.