Liberal Critique of Libertarianism

by Colin Bird on Aug 15, 2008

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


Leggett, William (1801-1839)

by Lawrence H. White on Aug 15, 2008

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


Lao Tzu (c. 600 BC)

by James A. Dorn on Aug 15, 2008

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.


Lane, Rose Wilder (1886-1968)

by Amy Sturgis on Aug 15, 2008

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


La Boétie, Étienne de (1530-1563)

by Sharon Presley on Aug 15, 2008

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


Montaigne, Michel de (1533-1592)

by Jason Kuznicki on Aug 15, 2008

Michel de Montaigne was a French writer who popularized the reflective essay and contributed several essays on individualism and humanistic thought.


Knight, Frank H. (1885-1972)

by Richard Boyd on Aug 15, 2008

Frank H. Knight was an economist whose skeptical writings on economic planning and limited government informed the work of the Chicago School.



by Richard A. Epstein on Aug 15, 2008

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


Law Merchant

by Bruce Benson on Aug 15, 2008

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


Jouvenel, Bertrand de (1903-1987)

by Daniel J. Mahoney on Aug 15, 2008

A respected French political philosopher, Bertrand de Jouvenel examined a number of topics to do with power and the role of the state.


Natural Harmony of Interests

by Ralf Bader on Aug 15, 2008

The natural harmony of interests is the concept that when people act in their own self-interest, it contributes to the overall social interest.


Italian Fiscal Theorists

by James M. Buchanan on Aug 15, 2008

Italian scholars’ contributions to politics and economics include critical theoretical work on tax analysis, state authority, and public spending.



by Imad-ad-Dean Ahmed on Aug 15, 2008

Islamic teachings contribute to or are consistent with many libertarian principles, such as tolerance, property rights, and the strength of individuals.



by Jim Harper on Aug 15, 2008

The widespread use of the Internet has created new models of business and ways to collect and spread information to both positive and negative effects.


Intellectual Property

by Aaron Steelman on Aug 15, 2008

Debate continues as to whether or not intellectual property – or property of ideas – should be protected as physical property is.


Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph (1809-1865)

by Aaron Steelman on Aug 15, 2008

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, self-described both as an anarchist and as a socialist, contributed several rebukes of government and defenses of individualism.



by Stephen Davies on Aug 15, 2008

Many nations have built themselves into empires. American imperalism has often been presented as a debate between values and territorial expansion.


Hutcheson, Francis

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Francis Hutcheson’s philosophy addressed moral obligations as they related to personal liberties, virtue, and rights.