Utilitarianism equates morality to acts that maximize overall human happiness. Different theories find it both compatible and incompatible with libertarianism.
Antoine-Louis-Claude Destutt de Tracy was a social and political theorist known for coining the term “ideology,” though he used it to explain liberal philosophy.
Alexis de Tocqueville was a scholar and statesman known for his analysis of the French Revolution’s failures and the problems of government intervention.
Term limits were an important part of early American state governments. While a standard for executives, term limits are still debated for members of Congress.
Thomas Szasz was an influential writer who opposed involuntary or coercive hospitalization for those deemed “mentally ill,” a label he challenged.
William Graham Sumner was an economist and sociologist. He is known for his staunch opposition to American imperialism and dedication to individualism.
Max Stirner was a German writer who presented a case for egoism and freedom that influenced many individualist anarchists after him.
George J. Stigler was a Nobel Prize winning economist who wrote on a number of topics, including prices, regulation, and information theory.
Thomas Sowell is an economist and social theorist who has written and taught on the topics of human achievement, free markets, race, and culture.
Nassau William Senior was an important British economist who contributed to theories of utility, political economy, and value.
Most libertarians view self-interest as crucial to individual behavior. In this entry, Lester Hunt outlines differing philosophies of self-interest.
Wilhelm Röpke was a German economist who wrote in favor of a decentralized economy and held a strong anti-Keynesian and conservative position.
The right to bear arms, though vaguely written and often debated, is a Constitutional guarantee that protects the right for self-protection.
Personal freedom and personal responsibility go hand-in-hand. An over-reliance on the government due to the welfare state corrodes both.
Richard Price was a British philosopher who supported American Independence and the French Revolution and whose work focused on reason in ethics.
Roscoe Pound was an influential legal scholar whose “sociological jurisprudence” approach tried to adjust the law to better match social realities.
Political parties can help to inform voters and overcome collective action problems, but also institutionalize government vote-seeking and rent-seeking.
The Philosophic Radicals, including Jeremy Bentham, were British reformers generally supporting Benthian utilitarianism and democratic change.