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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.


Socialist Calculation Debate

by Israel Kirzner

The socialist calculation debate asks whether central planners can efficiently distribute resources. Evidence proves that socialism will always fail.


Sociology and Libertarianism

by Christie Davies

Sociology began as a comparative study of societies that often found libertarian conclusions not egalitarianism.


Sowell, Thomas (1930-)

by Jo Kwong

Thomas Sowell is an economist and social theorist who has written and taught on the topics of human achievement, free markets, race, and culture.


Spencer, Herbert (1820-1903)

by George H. Smith

Spencer was a major influence on 19th century liberalism. His work on evolutionary theory and social order made him one of the first sociologists.


Spontaneous Order

by Norman Barry

Spontaneous order theory suggests that society is the aggregate of individual action, and that institutions of society form without government planning.


Spooner, Lysander (1808-1881)

by Randy E. Barnett

Lysander Spooner was a legal and political theorist favoring individualist anarchy. He is best known for his activism as an abolitionist.



by Paul Dragos Aligica

What the state should look like varies even among libertarians.


Stigler, George J. (1911-1991)

by Aaron Steelman

George J. Stigler was a Nobel Prize winning economist who wrote on a number of topics, including prices, regulation, and information theory.


Stirner, Max (1806-1856)

by Will Wilkinson

Max Stirner was a German writer who presented a case for egoism and freedom that influenced many individualist anarchists after him.



by Roderick T. Long

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.



by Nigel Ashford

Subsidiarity is decentralized, bottom-up decision-making. Libertarians support decentralization that places the individual in charge of their own decisions.


Sumner, William Graham (1840-1910)

by Robert Bannister

William Graham Sumner was an economist and sociologist. He is known for his staunch opposition to American imperialism and dedication to individualism.


Szasz, Thomas (1920-2012)

by Rod L. Evans

Thomas Szasz was an influential writer who opposed involuntary or coercive hospitalization for those deemed “mentally ill,” a label he challenged.


Taft, Robert A. (1889-1953)

by Leonard Liggio

Taft was a prominent US Senator who started and passed legislation restricting government and union control and advocating for international diplomacy.


Tax Competition

by Daniel J. Mitchell

Tax competition occurs when governments adopt more attractive tax policies to attract people to live and do business within their borders.



by Richard E. Wagner

Taxation is when government claims the resources of its citizens to fund its projects. Even if argued as necessary, it is a coercive process.


Term Limits

by Eric O'Keefe

Term limits played a crucial role in early US state governments. While a standard for executives, term limits are still debated for members of Congress.