In this entry, Colin Bird explains and responds to the major critiques of libertarianism offered by progressive/left-wing liberals.
In his writings, William Leggett attacked government regulation of commerce and the rent-seeking behaviors of business.
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.
Rose Wilder Lane was an author and reporter who became one of the most prominent libertarian women writing in the 20th century.
Étienne de La Boétie’s essay, the Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, called for widespread civil disobedience and remains an influence on anarchism.
Michel de Montaigne was a French writer who popularized the reflective essay and contributed several essays on individualism and humanistic thought.
Frank H. Knight was an economist whose skeptical writings on economic planning and limited government informed the work of the Chicago School.
Strict liability rules require people to take responsibility for damages done to others’ property and are therefore favored by libertarianism.
The Law Merchant was the common law of merchants in the 11th and 12th century, a good example of laws not imposed by the state.
A respected French political philosopher, Bertrand de Jouvenel examined a number of topics to do with power and the role of the state.
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 scholars’ contributions to politics and economics include critical theoretical work on tax analysis, state authority, and public spending.
Islamic teachings contribute to or are consistent with many libertarian principles, such as tolerance, property rights, and the strength of individuals.
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.
Debate continues as to whether or not intellectual property – or property of ideas – should be protected as physical property is.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, self-described both as an anarchist and as a socialist, contributed several rebukes of government and defenses of individualism.
Many nations have built themselves into empires. American imperalism has often been presented as a debate between values and territorial expansion.
Francis Hutcheson’s philosophy addressed moral obligations as they related to personal liberties, virtue, and rights.