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Rand, Ayn (1905-1982)

by Chris Sciabarra

Ayn Rand remains one of the best-known and most influential individualist writers, credited with developing the philosophy of Objectivism.


Rawls, John (1921-2002)

by Will Wilkinson

John Rawls was a political theorist who revived interest in the field. Though not libertarian, his work can be interpreted in support of some free-market ideas.


Read, Leonard E. (1898-1983)

by Donald J. Boudreaux and Nick Slepko

Read was an activist who founded the Foundation for Economic Education, a free-market and anti-socialist nonprofit and educational organization.



by Michael C. Munger

Government regulation of the market is often argued to be a response to market failures. However, often these regulations make society worse off.


Religion and Liberty

by George H. Smith

Freedom of worship is an individual right and natural right that many people and groups have fought for throughout history.


Rent Seeking

by Sanford Ikeda

Rent-seeking occurs when actors lobby the government for regulatory legislation that assures the actor an advantage in the market.


Republicanism, Classical

by Jason Kuznicki

Classical Republicans were early advocates of constitutionalism and the rule of law. Their work is foundational to political theory today.



by Rod L. Evans

Personal freedom and personal responsibility go hand-in-hand. An over-reliance on the government due to the welfare state corrodes both.


Restitution for Crime

by Bruce Benson

A restitution-based system, which requires the guilty to pay recompense to who they wrong, may be more just than our retribution or crime-based systems.


Retribution for Crime

by Eric Mack

Retributive justice holds that punishment is the only way to achieve justice and properly disincentivize criminal behavior, but to explain why, opinions differ.


Revolution, Right of

by Robert M. S. McDonald

Many classical liberal writers believed in the right of revolution as a natural right that could be utilized when government failed to serve its purpose.


Ricardo, David (1772-1823)

by Mark Skousen

David Ricardo was an influential economist whose contributed both important free-market theories and dismal predictions about the value of labor.


Right to Bear Arms

by Nelson Lund

The right to bear arms, though vaguely written and often debated, is a Constitutional guarantee that protects the right for self-protection.


Rights, Natural

by Fred Miller

Natural rights are the basic rights held by all individuals by merits of being human; i.e., those rights that exist pre-government and may not be violated.


Rights, Theories of

by Douglas Rasmussen

In this entry, Douglas Rasmussen offers justification for protecting individual rights from the perspectives of several schools of thought.


Rothbard, Murray (1926-1995)

by Brian Doherty

Murray Rothbard’s writings provided a detailed and systematic explanation of politics, society, and economics consistent with libertarian ideas.


Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1712-1778)

by Jason Kuznicki

Rousseau is regarded as a great political philosopher and contractarian, though his ideas for society often rely on a basis of coercive liberty.


Rule of Law

by Norman Barry

The rule of law keeps society protected and in order by holding everyone – including government – accountable to objective standards of behavior.