Portal:Libertarianism


Introduction

Libertarianism (from French: libertaire, itself from the Latin: libertas, lit.'freedom') is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core value. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing equality before the law and civil rights to freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of thought and freedom of choice. Libertarians are often skeptical of or opposed to authority, state power, warfare, militarism and nationalism, but some libertarians diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing economic and political systems. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power. Different categorizations have been used to distinguish various forms of Libertarianism. Scholars distinguish libertarian views on the nature of property and capital, usually along left–right or socialistcapitalist lines. Libertarians of various schools were influenced by liberal ideas.

In the mid-19th century, libertarianism originated as a form of left-wing politics such as anti-authoritarian and anti-state socialists like anarchists, especially social anarchists, but more generally libertarian communists/Marxists and libertarian socialists. These libertarians sought to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, or else to restrict their purview or effects to usufruct property norms, in favor of common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property in the means of production as a barrier to freedom and liberty. While all libertarians support some level of individual rights, left-libertarians differ by supporting an egalitarian redistribution of natural resources. Left-libertarian ideologies include anarchist schools of thought, alongside many other anti-paternalist and New Left schools of thought centered around economic egalitarianism as well as geolibertarianism, green politics, market-oriented left-libertarianism and the Steiner–Vallentyne school. After the fall of the Soviet Union, libertarian socialism grew in popularity and influence as part of anti-war, anti-capitalist and anti- and alter-globalisation movements. (Full article...)

Selected article

Libertarian Marxism refers to a broad scope of economic and political philosophies that emphasize the anti-authoritarian aspects of Marxism. Early currents of libertarian Marxism, known as left communism, emerged in opposition to Marxism–Leninism and its derivatives, such as Stalinism and Maoism.

Libertarian Marxism is also often critical of reformist positions, such as those held by social democrats. Libertarian Marxist currents often draw from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' later works, specifically the Grundrisse and The Civil War in France, emphasizing the Marxist belief in the ability of the working class to forge its own destiny without the need for a revolutionary party or state to mediate or aid its liberation. Along with anarchism, libertarian Marxism is one of the main currents of libertarian socialism.

Libertarian Marxism includes such currents as council communism, De Leonism, Socialisme ou Barbarie, Lettrism/Situationism and workerism/autonomism and parts of the New Left. Libertarian Marxism has often had a strong influence on both post-left and social anarchists. Notable theorists of libertarian Marxism have included Anton Pannekoek, Raya Dunayevskaya, CLR James, E. P. Thompson, Rosa Luxemburg, Antonio Negri, Cornelius Castoriadis, Maurice Brinton, Guy Debord, Daniel Guérin, Fredy Perlman, Ernesto Screpanti and Raoul Vaneigem.

Selected quote

Though he expresses a classical liberal doctrine, Humbdolt is no primitive individualist, in the style of, for example, Rousseau. Rousseau extols the savage who "lives within himself," but Humboldt's vision is entirely different. He sums up his remarks, saying that

the whole tenor of the ideas and arguments unfolded in this essay might fairly be reduced to this, that while they would break all fetters in human society, they would attempt to find as many new social bonds as possible. The isolated man is no more able to develop than the one who is fettered.

And he in fact looks forward to a community of free association without coercion by the state or other authoritarian institutions, in which free men can create, inquire, and achieve the highest development of their powers. In fact, far ahead of his time, he presents an anarchist vision that is appropriate perhaps to the next stage of industrial society. We can perhaps look forward to a day when these various strands will be brought together within the framework of libertarian socialism, a social form that barely exists today, though its elements can perhaps be perceived, for example, in the guarantee of individual rights that has achieved so far its fullest realization—though still tragically flawed—in the Western democracies; in the Israeli kibbutzim; in the experiments of workers' councils in Yugoslavia; in the effort to awaken popular consciousness and create a new involvement in the social process, which is a fundamental element in the Third World revolutions that coexists uneasily with indefensible authoritarian practices.

To summarize, the first concept of the state that I want to establish as a point of reference is classical liberalism. Its doctrine is that state functions should be drastically limited. But this familiar characterization is a very superficial one. More deeply, the classical liberal view develops from a certain concept of human nature one that stresses the importance of diversity and free creation, and therefore this view is in fundamental opposition to industrial capitalism with its wage slavery, its alienated labor, and its hierarchic and authoritarian principles of social and economic organization. At least in its ideal form, classical liberal thought is opposed to the concepts of possessive individualism, that are intrinsic to capitalist ideology. For this reason, classical liberal thought seeks to eliminate social fetters and to replace them with social bonds, and not with competitive greed, predatory individualism, and not, of course, with corporate empires-state or private. Classical libertarian thought seems to me, therefore, to lead directly to libertarian socialism, or anarchism if you like, when combined with an understanding of industrial capitalism.

— Noam Chomsky (1928)
Government in the Future at the Poetry Center (1970)

Selected picture

The Libertatis Æquilibritas is a symbol of anarcho-capitalism
Credit:

General images

The following are images from various libertarianism-related articles on Wikipedia.
Chomsky in 2017

Avram Noam Chomsky (/nm ˈɒmski/ nohm CHOM-skee; born December 7, 1928) is an American professor and public intellectual known for his work in linguistics, political activism, and social criticism. Sometimes called "the father of modern linguistics", Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He is a laureate professor of linguistics at the University of Arizona and an institute professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Among the most cited living authors, Chomsky has written more than 150 books on topics such as linguistics, war, and politics. In addition to his work in linguistics, since the 1960s Chomsky has been an influential voice on the American left as a consistent critic of U.S. foreign policy, contemporary capitalism, and corporate influence on political institutions and the media.


Born to Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants in Philadelphia, Chomsky developed an early interest in anarchism from alternative bookstores in New York City. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania. During his postgraduate work in the Harvard Society of Fellows, Chomsky developed the theory of transformational grammar for which he earned his doctorate in 1955. That year he began teaching at MIT, and in 1957 emerged as a significant figure in linguistics with his landmark work Syntactic Structures, which played a major role in remodeling the study of language. From 1958 to 1959 Chomsky was a National Science Foundation fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study. He created or co-created the universal grammar theory, the generative grammar theory, the Chomsky hierarchy, and the minimalist program. Chomsky also played a pivotal role in the decline of linguistic behaviorism, and was particularly critical of the work of B. F. Skinner. (Full article...)

Parent portals

Socio-political portals

Topics

Categories

Category puzzle
Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories

Points of interest

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Discover Wikipedia using portals