Methodological individualism is the methodological framework wherein individuals are seen as the agents of actions and values that form social phenomena.
Instead of focusing on groups and society, individualism places the individual as the focus of ethical discussion and political agency.
Liberty has been a value to many civilizations. In this entry, Roderick Long highlights a few instances of liberal ideas in pre-modern societies.
Individuals should be able to act in whatever way they want until sufficient reason that they be stopped, instead of needing permission to act.
The idea that government should be subject to the law and possess only those powers granted by law is fundamental to libertarianism.
The advancement of material progress, or quality of life, has increased dramatically within the past few hundred years and continues increasing today.
The minimal state solution is one wherein the state provides protection for the people in its domain but does nothing else.
The natural harmony of interests is the concept that when people act in their own self-interest, it contributes to the overall social interest.
The nonaggression axiom or principle mandates that individuals do not use physical force against others or their property, except for retaliation.
Objectivism, the moral philosophy expressed by Ayn Rand, celebrates individualism and argues that humans morally should work towards their own happiness.
Positive liberty presents liberty as the ability to succeed. Often, though, positive liberty can only be achieved by violating negative liberty.
Libertarians celebrate increasing individual liberties as the main fuel for human progress - material, moral, and intellectual.
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.
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.
In this entry, Douglas Rasmussen offers justification for protecting individual rights from the perspectives of several schools of thought.
Libertarians support the concept that virtue, or a sense of moral good present in acts or character, is born from liberty.
Voluntarism argues that individuals should not be coerced into “socially beneficial” projects, but should act voluntarily to assist others.
With many private contract enforcement options in existence, libertarians now question whether government is needed to guarantee contracts are upheld.