Exploring Liberty: An Introduction to Libertarian Thought

In the first lecture in the “Exploring Liberty” series, David Boaz, the author of Libertarianism: A Primer, gives an introduction to the theory and politics of liberty. Libertarianism is the belief that each person has the right to live his life as he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians […]

‘Libertarian’ Is Not a Four-Letter Word

John Zogby and Zeljka Buturovic raise some doubts about the significance of libertarian voters in the American electorate. They respond in particular to the paper David Kirby and I just published. (See more background analysis in this original 2006 paper.) They make two major points: first, that only 2 percent of poll respondents call themselves libertarian; and second, that those […]

The Return of Big Government

by DAVID BOAZ JANUARY 1, 2009 It’s been a long time since a U.S. election generated feelings of actual joy beyond the ranks of partisan activists. If Barack Obama hasn’t yet ushered in a new “era of good feelings,” all Americans can take pride in the demise of yet another glass ceiling in a nation conceived […]

Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Libertarian?

by DAVID BOAZ JANUARY 1, 2008 We’ve grown accustomed to the cartoonish misrepresentation of the idea of individual liberty. E. J. Dionne Jr. of theWashington Post, for instance, has written that modern libertarians believe that “individuals come into the world as fully formed adults who should be held responsible for their actions from the moment of […]

Are Libertarians Anti-Government?

by DAVID BOAZ JULY 1, 1998 For the past several years, especially since the Oklahoma City bombing, the national media have focused a lot of attention on “antigovernment” extremists. Libertarians, who are critical of a great deal that government does, have unfortunately but perhaps understandably been tossed into the “anti-government” camp by many journalists. There are […]


by DAVID BOAZ JULY 1, 1997 The long struggle against communism kept libertarians and traditionalist conservatives allied despite their often significant philosophical differences. Since the demise of the Soviet Union, many commentators have speculated on the likelihood of growing strains in the libertarian-conservative relationship. Usually the speculation has centered on splits between libertarians and the religious […]

Rights and Responsibilities

by DAVID BOAZ JANUARY 1, 1994 A journalist asked me recently what I thought of a proposal of self-styled communitarians to “suspend for a while the minting of new rights.” How many ways, I thought, does that get it wrong? Communitarians seem to see rights as little boxes; when you have too many, the room gets […]

Top 10 Ways to Talk about Libertarianism

By David Boaz I give a lot of speeches and interviews about libertarianism. Often I have to begin simply by explaining what libertarianism is. Always I’m looking for effective ways to convey the essential libertarian ideas. So today I’m just setting out very briefly my Top 10 Ways to Talk about Libertarianism. 10. When I talk in […]

Where to Cut Spending? Start Here

By David Boaz This article appeared in Orange County Register on February 1, 2013.   President Barack Obama and Congress bravely led the country back from the fiscal cliff — by putting the government squarely on a path toward another series of fiscal stare-downs beginning in March. Oddly absent from this continual game of kick-the-can are concrete ideas […]