Jean-Baptiste Say was a French political economist whose work anticipated and popularized theories of wealth creation, entrepreneurship, and a free society.
The Scholastics, writing during the late Middle Ages, contributed notions of individual rights and trade that would influence many classical liberals.
Joseph Schumpeter was an influential 20th century economist who staunchly defended capitalism and the cycle of innovation and growth it creates.
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.
Nassau William Senior was an important British economist who contributed to theories of utility, political economy, and value.
Throughout history, church and state have become increasingly separate as institutions. Libertarians tend to favor this shift, as it discourages state authority.
Libertarians believe in sexual freedom, where consensual sex acts that pose no harm should not be prohibited by society or legislation.
The Third Earl of Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper was a statesman and philosopher with an interest in individualism and the natural harmony of interests.
Algernon Sidney was a fervent republican whose philosophy and politics, as well as his eventual martyrdom, influenced democratic revolutionaries who followed him.
Julian Simon was an American economist who wrote on the ways in which human innovation and efficiency makes population growth a net benefit for production.
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.
Adam Smith is credited as one of the most important theorists of laissez-faire economics. His work is often seen as foundational to capitalism.
Social Darwinism applied the idea of “survival of the fittest” to society to poor ends. However, its intellectual founders did not share those views.
Social security redistributes income to those people unable to work. Libertarians object to social security for its coercive and impractical results.
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.