🏅What is Libertarianism in Politics, Philosophy, Ethics Explain

What is Libertarianism in Politics, Philosophy, Ethics Explain

In the US, we seem to only talk about two political parties.

Don’t like taxes?

Republican. 🙂

Want more social programs?

Democrat. 🙂

But the fact is, there are more political philosophies and affiliations than you might think.

One of these is “libertarianism”, and it has grown increasingly popular over the past few elections.

Ever heard of it?

That’s fine, a recent poll found that even amongst self-described libertarians, nearly a quarter had no idea what the word meant.

So

What is Libertarianism in Politics, Philosophy, Ethics Explain

Well, the most well-known version is the one that grew out of the 1960s counterculture movement in the US.

In short, libertarian philosophy says that everybody should have absolute freedom to live their lives how they see fit, as long as they respect everybody else’s right to do the same.

This generally means that most libertarians advocate for the minimalist government on the basis that it should have no say whatsoever in the decisions a person makes about his or her life.

This is a pretty Republican-leaning ideal.

What is Libertarianism in Politics, Philosophy, Ethics Explain

At the same time, libertarians stress social freedoms, like the right to gay marriage and abortion.

In a nutshell, Libertarianism appeals to people because it combines both political worlds.

That may be why the Libertarian party has been called the third-largest party by both membership and the popular vote in the US.

But Libertarianism is unique in its own way.

What is Libertarianism in Politics, Philosophy, Ethics Explain

It tends to support what is called a “night-watchman state”, where the only function of a government is to protect its citizens from being injured or defrauded.

Thus, the government should only consist of a military, a police force, and a court system.

Additionally, some libertarians think agencies like the FDA are intrusive because they try to regulate what you can and can’t ingest.

What is Libertarianism in Politics, Philosophy, Ethics Explain

Safety laws, like seatbelt or helmet requirements, are also considered to be violations of freedom.

Libertarians also tend to lean towards drug legalization, getting rid of welfare, and supporting gun rights.

However, some tenets of libertarianism have glaring problems in the real world.

One real-world example of limited government and a free market occurred in post-Communist Russia.

Without government support, Russia’s roads and banks collapsed, inflation skyrocketed, and many old and jobless people were left helpless.

What is Libertarianism in Politics, Philosophy, Ethics Explain

Libertarianism sounds like a good idea, but like several other political philosophies, it may be a bit too idealistic to actually work.

Still, if lower taxes, legalized marijuana, and the freedom to do whatever you reasonably want sound good, in theory, it just might be the party for you.

There’s a fine line between libertarianism and anarchy in the world of political philosophy.

To learn more about what anarchy is all about, take a look at our article blog.

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