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La Boétie, Étienne de (1530-1563)

by Sharon Presley

Étienne de La Boétie’s essay, the Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, called for widespread civil disobedience and remains an influence on anarchism.


Labor Unions

by Charles Baird

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) force workers into being represented by unions, regardless of their own preferences, and thus lack legitimacy.


Laissez-Faire Policy

by Bryan Caplan

Libertarians believe that laissez-faire policy, or the freest form of economy, provides the greatest net benefit to individuals and to society.


Lane, Rose Wilder (1886-1968)

by Amy Sturgis

Rose Wilder Lane was an author and reporter who became one of the most prominent libertarian women writing in the 20th century.


Lao Tzu (c. 600 BC)

by James A. Dorn

Lao Tzu’s anticipatory work argued that a harmonious and prosperous society was one in which people could make their own economic and personal decisions.


Las Casas, Bartolomé de (1474-1566)

by Alejandro A. Chafuen

Bartolome de Las Casas wrote detailed accounts of Spanish colonization of the Americas and fought for the rights of American Indians.


Law and Economics

by Andrew Morriss

The “law and economics” approach, used by Coase, Posner, and others, combines the methods and principles of both law and economics scholarship.


Law Merchant

by Bruce Benson

The Law Merchant was the common law of merchants in the 11th and 12th century, an example of law not imposed by a state.


LeFevre, Robert (1911-1986)

by Brian Doherty

Robert LeFevre established educational programs and supported publications that aimed to spread and popularize libertarian ideas.


Left Libertarianism

by Jan Narveson and David Trenchard

Left libertarians, while supporters of some personal freedoms, are often proponents of a socialist or communal view on natural resources and property.


Leggett, William (1801-1839)

by Lawrence H. White

In his writings, William Leggett attacked government regulation of commerce and the rent-seeking behaviors of business.



by Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard

The Levellers was a group of radicals who fought both the rule of the English monarchy and Cromwell’s commonwealth during the English Civil War.



by Richard A. Epstein

Strict liability rules require people to take responsibility for damages done to others’ property and are therefore favored by libertarianism.


Liberal Critique of Libertarianism

by Colin Bird

In this entry, Colin Bird explains and responds to the major critiques of libertarianism offered by progressive/left-wing liberals.


Liberalism, Classical

by David Conway

Classical liberalism typically refers to liberal philosophers in the 17th and 18th centuries, but whose ideas are carried on by libertarians today.


Liberalism, German

by Detmar Doering

Liberalism in Germany reacted to the conservative and progressive political changes of the time with a strong anti-government stance.


Liberty in the Ancient World

by Roderick T. Long

Liberty has been a value to many civilizations. In this entry, Roderick Long highlights a few instances of liberal ideas in pre-modern societies.


Liberty, Presumption of

by Anthony de Jasay

Individuals should be able to act in whatever way they want until sufficient reason that they be stopped, instead of needing permission to act.