The Scholastics, writing during the late Middle Ages, contributed notions of individual rights and trade that would influence many classical liberals.
In this entry, Jason Sorens considers the potential costs, benefits, and moral implications of secessionism and constitutionally allowing secession.
Most libertarians view self-interest as crucial to individual behavior. In this entry, Lester Hunt outlines differing philosophies of self-interest.
Slavery was once a ruthless and static institution in America. Abolishing the institution of slavery in the US was thus a crucial milestone of liberty.
In this entry, Stephen Davies traces the history of slavery, from common ancient practices to today’s world, where slavery is legally abolished everywhere.
Social Darwinism applied the idea of “survival of the fittest” to society to poor ends. However, its intellectual founders did not share those views.
Socialism calls for the social ownership, planning, and redistribution of wealth and goods. It undermines freedom and ultimately fails to meet its ends.
The socialist calculation debate asks whether central planners can efficiently distribute resources. Evidence largely proves that no, socialism will always fail.
Though today, many sociologists argue in favor of egalitarianism, the field began as a comparative study of societies that often found libertarian conclusions.
Spontaneous order theory suggests that society is the aggregate of individual action, and that institutions of society form without government planning.
What the state should look like varies even among libertarians.
Stoicism was a philosophical movement in Ancient Greece and Rome based on rational self-discipline, virtue, and natural law as the basis for state authority.
Subsidiarity is decentralized, bottom-up decision-making. Libertarians support decentralization that places the individual in charge of their own decisions.