In this entry, Jason Sorens considers the potential costs, benefits, and moral implications of secessionism and constitutionally allowing secession.
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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.
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 proves that socialism will always fail.
Sociology began as a comparative study of societies that often found libertarian conclusions not egalitarianism.
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.
Tax competition occurs when governments adopt more attractive tax policies to attract people to live and do business within their borders.
Utilitarianism equates morality to acts that maximize overall human happiness. Different theories find it both compatible and incompatible with libertarianism.
Libertarians support the concept that virtue, or a sense of moral good present in acts or character, is born from liberty.
Voluntarism argues that individuals should not be coerced into “socially beneficial” projects, but should act voluntarily to assist others.
With many private contract enforcement options in existence, libertarians now question whether government is needed to guarantee contracts are upheld.
Wealth is born from production and meeting the demands of the market. As such, liberty encourages wealth, while government over-regulation may destroy it.