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Say, Jean-Baptiste (1767-1832)

by David Hart

Say was a French political economist whose work anticipated and popularized theories of wealth creation, entrepreneurship, and a free society.


Scholastics/School of Salamanca

by Alejandro A. Chafuen

The Scholastics, writing during the late Middle Ages, contributed notions of individual rights and trade that would influence many classical liberals.


Schumpeter, Joseph (1883-1950)

by Thomas M. Humphrey

Joseph Schumpeter was an influential 20th century economist who staunchly defended capitalism and the cycle of innovation and growth it creates.



by Jason Sorens

In this entry, Jason Sorens considers the potential costs, benefits, and moral implications of secessionism and constitutionally allowing secession.



by Lester Hunt

Most libertarians view self-interest as crucial to individual behavior. In this entry, Lester Hunt outlines differing philosophies of self-interest.


Senior, Nassau William (1790-1864)

by George H. Smith

Nassau William Senior was an important British economist who contributed to theories of utility, political economy, and value.


Separation of Church and State

by Jason Kuznicki

Throughout history, church and state have become increasingly separate as institutions. Most Libertarians favor this shift as it weakens state authority.



by Wayne Dynes

Libertarians believe in sexual freedom, where consensual sex acts that pose no harm should not be prohibited by society or legislation.


Shaftesbury, Third Earl of (1671-1713)

by George H. Smith

The Third Earl of Shaftesbury, Cooper was a statesman and philosopher with an interest in individualism and the natural harmony of interests.


Sidney, Algernon (1623-1683)

by Aaron Steelman

Sidney was a fervent republican whose philosophy and politics, as well as his eventual martyrdom, influenced democratic revolutionaries who followed him.


Simon, Julian (1932-1998)

by Donald J. Boudreaux

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 in America

by David Trenchard

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.


Slavery, World

by Stephen Davies

Stephen Davies traces the history of slavery, from common ancient practices to today’s world, where slavery is legally abolished everywhere.


Smart Contracts

by Kate Sills

Smart contracts are a digital innovation that could fuel transactions without the need for State enforcement mechanisms.


Smith, Adam (1723-1790)

by Ronald Hamowy

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

by George H. Smith

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

by Brink Lindsey

Social security redistributes income to those people unable to work. Libertarians object to social security for its coercive and impractical results.



by David Prychitko

Socialism calls for the social ownership, planning, and redistribution of wealth and goods. It undermines freedom and ultimately fails to meet its ends.