Libertarianism and Humility

   On August 14, 1990, at the International Society for Individual Liberty’s 5th World Libertarian Conference, Milton Friedman took a step back from the details of public policy issues and discussed basic libertarian beliefs and values. “I have no right to coerce someone else,” he said, “because I cannot be sure that I’m right and […]

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 […]

What Libertarianism Is

by John Hospers Hospers offer three versions of the central thesis: No one is anyone else’s master, and no one is anyone else’s slave. Other people’s lives are not yours to dispose of. No human being should be a nonvoluntary mortgage on the life of another. Hospers sees these as three versions of the same […]

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 […]