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Libertarianism: An Introduction

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What is libertarianism? Stefan Molyneux provides a brief introduction and explains the principles behind the political philosophy. Freedomain Radio is 100% funded by viewers like you. Please support the show by signing up for a monthly subscription or making a one time donation at: http://www.fdrurl.com/donate Bitcoin Address: 1Fd8RuZqJNG4v56rPD1v6rgYptwnHeJRWs Litecoin Address: LL76SbNek3dT8bv2APZNhWgNv3nHEzAgKT Get more from Stefan Molyneux and Freedomain Radio including books, podcasts and other info at: http://www.freedomainradio.com Amazon US Affiliate Link: www.fdrurl.com/AmazonUS Amazon Canada Affiliate Link: www.fdrurl.com/AmazonCanada Amazon UK Affiliate Link: www.fdrurl.com/AmazonUK Freedomain Radio Facebook: http://www.fdrurl.com/fb Freedomain Radio Twitter: https://twitter.com/freedomainradio Freedomain Radio Google+: http://www.fdrurl.com/google Freedomain Radio LinkedIn: http://www.fdrurl.com/LinkedIn
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Text Comments (800)
Adrian (8 days ago)
I am a libertarian that belive in taxes being used for the greater good of the countries population through government services and financial and medical security
Adrian (8 days ago)
A libertarian up to the point of the no tax part he spoke of, as the taxes are working out great for the happiness and quality of living for everyone here in Norway
Jonathan Clark (2 months ago)
we should try this
Darron Lewis (2 months ago)
So, I don't think you understand how the scientific method works. Your claim (that I think you were making) was that science tests hypotheses on other similar models to see if they match up if they do, then the hypothesis becomes a universal theory. However, if they find a variable, or exception, the claim may still be true but now has sort of an asterisk, If the tests don't apply in ALL models universally then it can't be said the hypothesis is a universal, objective theory. What I mean is, if the Non-aggression Principle finds a variable (Government, Thieves, Murderers, etc) than the NAP, is not an objective truth or universal theory. It has no obligation to be one either, you alluded in the video to the point that "You can't just create such a large exception to the NAP, like government, because the NAP won't be a universal theory...well, sucks, that means its not a universal theory, full stop. You don't manipulate reality to make a theory fit. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit. So, the non-aggression principle isn't really a thing. Moral principles DO NOT have to apply to everyone, especially one kind of moral principle. We have to have some universal morals, but not all morals are universal, if they were, you wouldn't have needed to make this video. The Government's job isn't to legislate morality, that's asinine.
Darron Lewis (2 months ago)
I would like to debate you on this video. This is just nonsense.
Velator (3 months ago)
The Role of the government is to enforce these principles. You pay taxes so that foreign nations can't violate the NAP against you.
John Doe (2 months ago)
Velator I agree. However, explain how Social Security, Medicare, US military occupation in ANY one of the 100 countries across the globe, unemployment benefits, Civil Rights, roads, bridges, the US Post Office, the war on drugs, poverty, terror has any relevance to the enforcement of such principles? Do you think the Federal Budget of 4 TRILLION in cost associated with the enforcement of such principles is justified?
Dierdre Bron (4 months ago)
(Note: "Deirdre Bron" means "Lady of Sorrows" and is not my real name). My brother is very hostile towards Libertarians. I'm not sure if I am one; the political compass says that I am, but if my brother knew, he would put me down that I even got the label. I am the youngest and least academically intelligent in the family, but I have more common sense and a more open mind, I feel, than my older siblings (who are all more educated and more successful than I, but who get very emotional about women's rights/gay rights, etc). My brother speaks fluent Chinese and has basic reasoning/debate skills but he blankets Conservatives under one label and it drives me crazy .
Lucas Zago (5 months ago)
Americans with this sense of "Libertarianism" that accept government are pussies and can't be called Libertarians, all Libertarians are anarchists, you are missleading the real sense of Libertarianism, call yourselves "democrat socialists", "republicans", "minarchists" or whatever you want, but don't call yourselves "Libertarians", cause you're not.
Tanner Spellman (6 months ago)
Nerd stuff. Why doesnt he stop digressing and say whats moral and why making freedom is worth it instead of the history of irrelevant bullcrap.
Marcel Hamelin (6 months ago)
sounds like a perfect opposition party for the conservatives after the 2019 elections are done
Blue Ocean (7 months ago)
Damn are you talking about Astronomy or Libertarian?
Blue Ocean (7 months ago)
Left-libertarian ideologies seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, or else to restrict their purview or effects, in favor of common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty.[6][7][8][9] In contrast, modern right-libertarian ideologies, such as minarchism and anarcho-capitalism, instead advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights,[10] such as in land, infrastructure and natural resources.
Brad Johnson (8 months ago)
Conservatives, liberals, and libertarians are quacks trying to make decisions on so called "principles"! I believe we have all of those things built into us to one degree or another in order to make decisions. The real issue is what is the balance between your personal interest and your neighbors and how much power do you have. Oh, don't even try to push that scientific bullshit on this.
leslie sylvan (8 months ago)
Excellent, brief primer.
nosuchthing8 (8 months ago)
Challenge, Stephen starts out by assuming what he is trying to prove. Why assume that there are universal properties in the economic realm when he can't conjure up an example in the hard science realm? Sheesh. Try again dude.
nosuchthing8 (8 months ago)
nosuchthing8 (8 months ago)
To take Stephens example of gravity being universal, along with Einstein's laws. No, it isn't. Physics has not created a grand unified theory . To simplify, quantum mechanics works for very small things, gravity works on larger scales . Einstein spent his remaining years trying to tie the two together. String theory is an attempt but there is no evidence behind it only math. So on the small scale, like quantum mechanics, the nap and prop rights rule. On The larger scale these rules do not apply. Thanks for using physics to demolish your own argument
nosuchthing8 (8 months ago)
Had to stop listening 350 in. Physics works because the universe itself has rules built in. The non aggressive principle and property rights rules are not a property of the universe. The government is the ultimate enforcement mechanism. So if someone uses force to steal your car you call the police . The police must be paid. Hence we need to pay taxes for civilization.
nosuchthing8 (8 months ago)
Libertarians are akin to someone stuck in the middle of the ocean in a small rowboat. He wants to shoot a hole in the bottom of the boat to reduce drag, but in doing so he doesn't realize he is sinking his own boat.
j Money (8 months ago)
I like the ideas of libertarianism however I think it goes a little too far with the hands off approach. I worry if companies are truly free and unregulated they run amuck.
Damremont18 (9 months ago)
There is not one libertarian state on the globe. Haiti comes close since no one pays taxes there. Not a good model though. if I were an American and the US became a libertarian state, i would look forward to not providing healthcare welfare to my employees. They should pay these costs out of their wages. if they dont want the state to provide welfare, why do they expect me as an employer to provide them with welfare.
June Cuhns (9 months ago)
Mr. Molyneux, You are 100% spot on with your analysis. Unfortunately, I fear that most people in our society simply don't have the intelligence to embrace the principles you so eloquently advocate. Do continue to vociferate the tenets of freedom and libertarianism, my friend!
luckystrike (9 months ago)
Does the non aggression principle apply to animals? I hunt and eat a lot of meat. So would vegan libertarians consider my actions aggressive? And I should be punished? Serious question.
Joe Scotton (9 months ago)
we only want one thing *no step on snek* >:(
Vini SThrill (10 months ago)
Sadly libertarianism falls flat under the definition you have given. Under the NAP you are requesting for a social agreement, when you go hunting you don't make this request from the animal you kill. The country you exist within did not request this of those it came to meet who existed on the lands it wanted and this very "NAP" is what demonstrates the fraud of libertarianism Stefan talks about. Like you say we can expand this to private and public property. The difference between private and public property isn't based some external force but on a social construct. For example if you buy a land you might think it's a private property but if I don't accept that currency you used to purchase it with that land is just as public as anywhere else. You continue expanding this thought you begin to realise the libertarianism Stefan talks about is nothing other than a system which wants to reap the rewards of the society but have no responsibility to it. Like having sex, the woman getting pregnant and expects you to support her and you say she wants to steal from you. You know in a family you will have that child who sits at the table at dinner time, scoff his face mum or dad puts on the table and then takes only his plate to wash when he's done and when he's asked to help he says "but mum I only used my plate" totally ignoring the entire process...that's libertarianism. Libertarianism is not a new philosophy, you have that wolf which runs with the pack for safety but doesn't want to share his meal, hunter gatherers had those guys who wanted the comfort and safety of the community but when they hunted they felt they didn't have responsibility to their society. As a society we are either in it together or you are not in it, you can't talk about private properties at the same time say everyone for themselves because the only reason private properties exist is due to social contracts, that's why when you buy something you get a receipt to let everyone knows under contract it is yours.
aaronlwu257 (6 months ago)
Correct, NAP is a very weak argument/principle for libertarianism. If a party doesn't follow the laws by the state, whatever those laws may be (unjust or otherwise), the state can at the very least "evict" you for breaking the social contract (or evict on the basis of there never being a contract in the first place), making you country-less. Some say that eviction is aggression, but this leads many libertarians down the rabbit hole of advocating the world going border-less and very restricted property rights (ironically tearing apart another tenet of libertarianism)
Dr. William Pierce (10 months ago)
Why libertarianism is an evolutionary dead-end (video by a former libertarian): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spT00MHKalY
Corwin (11 months ago)
The war on drugs, as seen through the perspective of the government is probably violation of property: You’re destroying the state’s bodies and brain cells.
Zak Silva-Sampaio (11 months ago)
Taxes are not a violation of your principles; it pays for military, public schools, police enforcement, hospitals, fire departments, welfare, and, one day in the US, universal healthcare.
MrRasZe (11 months ago)
libertarians have no answers to anything, its a never ending debate, in a world where we just need an answer
Brandon Johnson (11 months ago)
Libertarianism an introduction plus Flat Earth debunked!
weallbfree (11 months ago)
Beautifully done! With the Democrats self-destructing and the Republicans "playing not to lose", the door is wide open for Libertarian Party to attract millennials, independents, moderates, and even some on the center-left... ... and then they put up a candidate like Gary Johnson and wonder why true libertarians like Austin Petersen, Justin Amash, and Rand Paul stick with the GOP.
MasiMojoda (1 year ago)
But what about preemptive aggression?
waterborne (1 year ago)
I believe libertarianism at its most fundamental level is naïve. A minimalist state where possible is necessary as it creates a more dynamic and innovative free market from which comes innovation and prosperity. However, children need to be supported by the whole of society to grow into well adjusted, educated adults that will help maintain that dynamic innovation and prosperity. As such a state is required to help education and support of families with a bent to promote stable marriages from which a child is most likely to receive the best upbringing (proven in countless studies). Those in society who are unable to support themselves due to disability, etc. need support and also some legislation is needed to ensure that the free market remains free, fair and safe for all of the stakeholders, etc. Libertarianism is too close to anarchy at a fundamental level which is dangerous because not all people are nice, law abiding, moral people and will take advantage of others and the system to ensure that they prosper at the expense of others.
Harshit Madan (1 month ago)
Currently, state incentivizes single motherhood.
James Philip (1 year ago)
Nowadays stef defends nationalism. World is fucked up. :'(
James Philip (1 year ago)
nowadays stef defend nationalism. world is fucked up :'(
Reality Check (1 year ago)
Lenny Bruce (1 year ago)
is it a possibility the libertarianism movement is using former disillusioned leftists (useful idiots) to expand their numbers, only to achieve the no taxation policy for the super rich? could anyone address this view?
Harshit Madan (1 month ago)
Why is it bad if rich people pay no taxes? Why single out the rich?
Iminur Computorz (1 year ago)
Libertarian huh? That's why you suddenly decided you'd vote for Trump? He's about as libertarian as Hillary. Ron Paul was our chance, Gary Johnson was a Libertarian Lite but still a better choice.
Riley LaForge (1 year ago)
In your example of someone buying drugs, how does the argument that giving money to people who somewhere down the chain likely exuded some initiation of force hold up? Or are the libertarian principles only applied at the individual and the immediate decision level?
i am deacon (1 year ago)
if you want to know how far you can go with it get it from the people who apply it to say polotics litenten to the second half of this interview use mouse to move the bar to 26 minutes and start there https://kpfa.org/?s=june%2022&program=behind-the-news
Jpeazify (1 year ago)
it's also about individualism
Mr Bunty Collocks (1 year ago)
It was Joseph Dejacque, a libertarian communist, who first used the term "libertarian" in a political sense back in the 19th century. It wasn't until around the 1950s in North America that the right-wing appropriated the word, with people like Murray Rothbard boasting about having "stolen the word from our enemies." The US "Libertarian" Party itself wasn't created until the 1970s.I'd highly recommend visiting the Anarchist FAQ, as they have entire sections on right-"libertarianism" and "An"Caps.
Harshit Madan (1 month ago)
Liberalism was also co-opted by progressives, so it's fair game
Giulia Moraes (1 year ago)
vc e lindo
Kyle Pounds (1 year ago)
5:17 You are obviously paid because of how you list Libertarian talking points and identify with this strictly American political tool by the billionaires the Cochs. If you really wanted to stretch concepts out you and your daughter would do Bike School together. The only problem is the need enough money in the STATE'S coffers to buy everybody a bike and some veggies for the ride. It would be much more fun to philosophize about a wider range of stuff than some rich guys agenda. It's what your daughter would want to do. 7:49 The government is not a small group of people forcing other people to do stuff. In a democracy what happens is, people vote for leaders and those leaders make decisions for the whole and if they are bad decisions they are voted out in four years. Not what you are talking about which are the Think Thanks, Lobbyists, and Billionaires telling everyone they are too lazy for health care and not having to work so much so they can do bike school. 8:23 Dude, the exceptions are the rich bankers who don't go to jail for breaking the law, and they come about by paid politicians who come from lobbyists who come from billionaires who come from no governmental oversight. 12:59 The government has a monopoly on money? that's what Libertarians like to do. Make a problem out of nothing. What is a monopoly of money? It's called wealth discrepancy. Not one government making the bills and some rich dude getting mad because he can't bust into that business. You didn't once say the word WEALTH DISTRIBUTION.
P Belgazo (1 year ago)
Too many words! This clip that is fairly short could be much shorter!!! And I find a lot of "straw man" arguments here. First, there are no "true principles without limits". Principles are not and can not be "true" or "false". They are either "good" of "bad". They are a general rules of conduct, based on "limited" experiences and consequently, all of them have limits, suffers from exceptions! Any principle that we push far enough will encounter limits...Of course if there are too many exceptions or limits, a principle will be consider to be "bad", to have no practical value to guide a conduct.
José (1 year ago)
Can we extend the Non-aggression principle and expand it to a Non-coercion or Non-manipulation to avoid non-physical violence such as financial, or fraud? Very good video, thanks!
Michael B (2 years ago)
Hey Stefan, I am years late to this video, but some of your later videos are what I started watching ~1yr ago and you're the one who put me onto libertarianism! Thanks man. I mean I voted for Trump...but Johnson has non-libertarian enough ideals that I don't feel bad.
Ričards Teilis (2 years ago)
Libertarians - people who don't understand the purpose of government and because of that think that the government is inherently evil.
Ričards Teilis (1 year ago)
Aaaaand straight to ad hominem, without presenting even one argument. You're the close minded one because you are so afraid of your ideas being challenged that you decided to cut the discussion right away, before it could even start. Crawl back into your safe space.
Ričards Teilis (1 year ago)
I never have my stuff taken away by the government. I don't know any people who got their stuff taken away by the government for no reason. One of the responsibilities of a government is to enforce the law, with violence if necessary. If there's an armed maniac on the loose, I'm glad that the government uses violence to stop him. Stop portraying the government as this evil medieval absolute monarchy which uses violence against its citizens for no god damn reason. Was your comment about taxes? I can go into detail about that if you wish and explain to you why voluntary taxes is a dumb idea and would not work.
Sean Feeney (2 years ago)
I think that libertarianism is founded on only the NAP and that respect for property extends naturally from that.
James Philip (2 years ago)
no. because without property right stealing don't hurt nap.
David Mitchell (2 years ago)
I'm sympathetic to the libertarian cause. I also have a tendency to reduce these principles to their everyday, real world applications. NAP for example... To initiate the use of force to prevent the imminent use of force against a third party, or to prevent fraud... There's a question in there somewhere...
Clem Cornpone (2 years ago)
A libertarian is a not-so-smart guy who has weedled out one answer and thinks it answers all questions. The answer is that government is inherently evil and and should be more restrained. Because libertarians exclude from that answer those policies that libertarians prefer, the effect is that they are just promoting their own personal preferences into supposed constitutional or philisophical doctrines-self will as constitutional foundation. The quickest way to recognize the transparent self-assertion of libertarians s to consider the present arrangments of society and government. The liberal values that western societies and governments are based on were first laid down by John Locke in in the wake of the failure of the English Revolution in the mid 18th Century. That revolution failed for lack of a principle that society could be organized aside from traditional monarchy. Armed with Locke's ideas, the American revolution succeeded in establishing a republic and the entire western world has since availed itself of that mode of social organization. The Locke's premise is that individual freedom is the default. From that premise limited government and free markets flow. However, human nature is willful and prone to cause one individual to oppress another and so we all contract togehter to form the state which restrains all of us alike from oppressing on another. We empower the state by mutual contract for the public and individuals good. in the words of the first sentence of the American Constitution, the state is also charged with providing for the general welfare. The way this works today is that any intrusion by the state--regulatory or legal, on individual freedom must be 1) rationally related 2) to a legitimate public interest. That is the basic substanative due process test that is applied to all laws. It is why Donald Trump can't order you to wear you underware on the outside. It is why the law cannot classify Americans into groups of heterosexuals and homosexuals and then assign different rights to the two groups. It is why the state was empowered to punish individual operators of public accomodatoins who discriminated by race. That test is applied to every law. If a law rationally serves a legitimate public interest, then the self-government is allowed to impose it. That's a pretty low standard. We license toe painters in some states based on public health as legitimate public interest. Within the confines of those limits there is also a need for a vigilent voting citizentry to make purdential discrimination--even though it CAN be constitutioinally done, SHOULD it be done. We can lock up two million convicted criminals, but is that what best serves the public? That isn't a constutional issue, but one of prudence. Because libertarians disagree with some of the prudential decisions made by our self-government, the assert there is a need for further constutional restain of government. That's just an argument of make their preferences constitutional doctrine that can't be argued with--to promote their preferences out of the consideration of purdential advisability. They dress up their desires as something else to place them outside the reach of our self-government. So what is that libertarians offer that is new to that arrangement? What are there proposed new limits on our self-government? I challenge the libertarians here to tell me how they would change and improve the constitutiional arrangements we now have. It is my contention that all they would do is constitutinalize their own personal preferences under the sheeps clothing of a better "philosophy" than the one John Locke laid down in 1689 and we have been funtioning under for the entire life of our nation...if you happen to be an American. What's wrong with the present arrangement, now that you understand it? We can be more prudent for sure, but we don't have to throw the baby out to freshen the water. I invite discussion.
Joshua Hamrick (2 years ago)
Jrh... No matter how great or true an idea seems the idea will break down at some point. When an idea breaks down you must create boundies or rules to contain it. You can apply a principle as far as everyone in willing to accept. When someone does not accept the principle then they will rebel...
Eins Zwei (2 years ago)
You cannot prove an ethical viewpoint to be "objectively true". There is no way to prove by experiment or logical deduction what is morally right or wrong. That is the reason why ethical questions don't have the character of physical laws. The validity of a theory does not depend on it always being aplicable e.g. quantum theory is not aplicable in the macro-world.
Clay Contra (9 months ago)
I dont think anyone replied with my explanation yet so here I go. The way to prove objective morality by logical deduction is UPB. Look at stefs upb videos because he explains it I believe better than I could and after considering and testing the idea out it works pretty rock solid and I havent seen any arguement against it that wasn’t logically flawed.
that respectablehuman (1 year ago)
yared kebrom should murder be legal on this premise? how are any rules justified? are you a full anarchist?
André R. de Castro (2 years ago)
No, I don't assume some absolute perfect position for rational perception. The mind (our thought) is limited, therefore it cannot contain the unlimited, or the perfect. The mind is, as you said, an "imperfect rational instrument", it is not the Logos -- what I called Logic before. The mind cannot achieve some perfect state; it is imperfect, limited and so on. However, it is *connected* to the Logos. So, I am not placing Reason in the mind, I'm only agreeing with Plato when he puts Reason in Nature. The thought can't achieve perfect truth, yes, I agree on that. But just because the mind is imperfect doesn't mean that relativism reigns. To achieve rational certainty is a impossible task, but we must seek truth nevertheless. Truth exists, as Logic is not an instrument of the mind; the mind is connected to the Logos and so pure knowledge in possible, in kantian terms. Materialists, empiricists, irrationalists etc. are utterly lost. As Plato says, to know is to remember. Therefore the insights, and the fact that knowledge and thought is the activity most devoid of witness of all. Knowledge begins in metaphysics, not in the empirical world. Also that's why it is necessary to, sometimes, create neologisms in order to describe things that we have no words to. Another thing about knowledge: mystery protects itself and can not be expressed in words, only in Gnosis.
Elder Millennial (2 years ago)
Of course, the most profound truth behind gravity is the most counter intuitive, namely that it is the weakest of the four fundamental forces, billions of times weaker then even the next weakest, the weak nuclear force. So aspects of truths we experience don't necessarily tell us everything about them.
klebson zaraki (2 years ago)
In portuguese we say about "property rights" as being an "natural right" or "negative right" as being the only rights which really exist. This history of "health right" or "education right" are positive rights and when exist concession of such "rights" actually these rights don't exist.
Clem Cornpone (2 years ago)
Classic liberalism: Humans are best served by liberty. We constitute a state to rationally serve legitimate public interests and allow it to intrude on individual liberty. It is an ongoing challenge to ensure the state does not irrationally or without a justifying and continuing public welfare purpose intrude on individual liberty. In economics as in all political matters, the state is necessary to prevent all of us from self-action on our willful, venal and self-interested motives. The state is not inherently evil and does not exist in some imaginary sphere outside the same reality as do individual rights. Again, John Locke's Second Treatise of Government (1689) is the foundation of our liberal modern world. It is worth reading or re-reading with interest.
André R. de Castro (2 years ago)
+Clem cornpone What economic philosophy do you espouse?
Clem Cornpone (2 years ago)
+jimmybean To which I again say Bullshit. Claiming a piece of land requires you have means to exclude the next guy from also claiming it as his and thereby displacing you. If that conflict is not to be resolved by mere personal force your claim must be recognized by and enforced by the state. There are no rights independent of the state. Only personal force and willfulness. There are no rights independent of the state. There is only the minute by minute assertion of individual force. John Locke begam by asserting that in a state of nature we are all free, but recognized that the willful and strong would immediately impose of the freedom of the less willful or weak unless the state was empowered to establish the parameters of rights and to enforce them through the law. Again, you str claiming a distinction between types of rights, when all rights are inherently a function of state creation of them and willingness to enforce them.
jimmybean (2 years ago)
+Clem Cornpone when the government isnt there can you still claim a piece of land to be yours? of course you can if nobody claimed it before you and if he is willing to sell it you can buy his land from him. the government cant give you negative/natural rights. it can acknowledge them or it can deny them. it can only give you positive rights by forcing other people to provide services for you
Clem Cornpone (2 years ago)
+jimmybean 1. "it is your property and the >> government << doesnt have to enforce that" Bullshit! Property rights are established in law, which is a state activity. Otherwise the exclusive holding of property is a function of lawless use of force. Then there would be no rights, just current domination by one individual or party. Somebody has to be willing to enforce the "right" of property ownership, either you or the state. If you have to do it, a state of lawlessness exists and there are no rights. 2. You entered the contract of American citizenship by your birth. You also have performed that contract every day of your life otherwise you would be in jail or dead, as we've all authorized the state to achieve in the face of violations of the contract. 3. The state cannot just exclude anyone from anything. As explained above, it is restrained by the requirement that any law or regulation be rationally related to a legitimate public interest. There are literally hundreds of thousand of zoning and land use attorneys in the US. making sure that any legal or regulatory effort that might affect property rights are rationally related to a legitimate public interest and are properly authorized. The system is working under the present paradym. Nor can it be said that the state has a monopoly of power. The law recognizes many self-help privileges that individuals can exercise if their rights are threatened. That too has developed from the Lockian scheme instituted by the Constition and the laws based on it. The state is our slave, not some dissassiated evil entity.
ozzymandistwenty14 (2 years ago)
for those who fail to understand Trump is nationalist. Clinton a globalist. more layers of government w no control or responsibility to those they rule. remember no taxation w/o representation.
Clem Cornpone (2 years ago)
+jimmybean That isn't what libertarians claim to be, just a hodgepodge of perferred policies. As explained above, liberalism is the enlightenment era philopophy that holds freedom to be the default and government only justified to intrude on it if the intrusion is authorized by the majority and rationally serves a legitimate public interest. What you are saying is that Libertarianism isn't a philosoply but a campaign platform of policies perferred by "libertarians:" anti-liberal (in the modern sense of the word), anti-the partially authoritarian, anti-political globalization, which define as anti-multilateralism. and anti-layers of centralization. If that is what it is then what it is is exactly what I suggested at the outset, just a laundry list of your perferred policies, all of which can be accomodated within Lockian liberalism just like any other policy that captures support of the majority. Libertarian is just a pretend philosophy. It has no cogent, principled expression except your own preferences. Is that that all there is? Why is it different from the Democrat or the Republican platforms, except in the incidental mix of preferred policy at any given moment. I'm back where I started.
jimmybean (2 years ago)
+Clem Cornpone libertarianism is a seperation from all the people who call themselves "liberal" like the social democrats in the USA and other parties who are partially authoritarian. political globilization is the movement from national politics aka sovereign governments who govern their own country only to international governments like the EU who govern multiple countries and therefore undermine national sovereignty. as OP said "more layers of government" and more centralization of power
Clem Cornpone (2 years ago)
+jimmybean That would be a piss poor example since the US holds an absolute veto over anything the UN wants to do by the very terms of the UN Charter. Indeed Jesse Helms once held funding for the UN until it reformed many of its institutions. The evidence suggests that you have more say in the UN than the UN has about you, which would be none. Got anything else? I can see we are going down the road I expected. Next you'll tell me that multi-national development banks like the World Bank and the IMF are undermining your freedom by loaning economic development money to struggling economies. Please don't even bother. If you can't make a nexus between somebody's freedom and the existence of some institution then you have no argument. Why libertarianism, when liberalism does all libertarians claim to want?
jimmybean (2 years ago)
+Clem Cornpone the UN is a good example of political globalization and the EU is too
Clem Cornpone (2 years ago)
+jimmybean Political globalization? How many citizens of Singapore or Britain can vote in the US or any state within the US? What other country are you enfranchised to vote in but the US. What the hell are talking about?
What about libertarian socialism
Alexander Mills (1 year ago)
"left-libertarianism" and "libertarian socialism" do not exist. libertarian is libertarian. that's it. forcing people to share is force. and force is not allowed.
Elder Millennial (2 years ago)
Find me a country that is entirely monastic and there you go.
Spirited (2 years ago)
+Terminator Rants Yeah, I've understood that you don't agree with, but I do think that "libertarian socialism" is totally unachievable and contradictory on reality, because there will never be an entire country, region, society or whatever, where all individuals would want to VOLUNTARILY (because voluntaryism is the very basis of libertarianism) collectivize the means of production.
Spirited (2 years ago)
+Terminator Rants And how can the workers control the means of production without government ? EVERY socialist society has had a big government. Libertarian socialism or anarcho-socialism is an oxymoron because socialism always necessite strong state power, which is totally anti-libertarian and anti-voluntaryist.
+Spirited no it's not look it up
Property Rights .. How much should one person then be able to own? And can the ecosystem of our planet sustain balance if we continue to grow in productivity? And if you buy a patent on a solution to a severe World problem just to prevent the production of it because it is threatening your own economy, is that moraly Right? Do we even need money the Way we use it now?
Arch Yeomans (2 years ago)
Stefan - I'm exploring libertarianism and find the many variants quite mind boggling. In the future could you please post a video on the different types of it, who and/or what represent it along with your opinions? So far, I've created this list below and some may be libertarian per se; and maybe some with duplicate labels. The list below is based on what seems to be categorized under the label libertarian - Paleolibertarian Geolibertarian Neolibertarian Republitarian Tea Party libertarianism Conservative libertarian Cosmotarians Fiscal libertarian Objectivist Libertarian-ish Anarcho-Capitalist Voluntaryist Agorism libertarian Classical liberal Minarchist Constitutional libertarian Liberaltarian Progressive libertarian Transhumanist libertarian Green libertarian Bleeding heart libertarian Libertarian socialism Anarcho-Socialist Libertarian communism Anarcho-Syndicalist Traditional libertarian Civil libertarian Cultural libertarian
Joseph Zus (2 years ago)
taxation is not the initiation of the use of force; it is the the appropriate punitive force applied to those who use government funded education, security, infrastructure, etc. to become successful and refuse to pay for its use. Like sneaking into a gym, using the equipment but refusing to pay dues.
Joseph Zus (2 years ago)
Unfortunately, more competition is not always more efficient. You've now added the need to advertise. One of the major inefficiencies in the current medical system is that more money is spent advertising a product than what is spent on R&D to improve the product or develop the next product.
Kiwi AustEcon (2 years ago)
+Joseph Zus Okay but what if for starters the opt out plan I propose for schools would insist that you must reinvest that money towards a chosen private school and for healthcare you must choose an insurance cover plan that meets minimum standards (just to get this new plan started)
Joseph Zus (2 years ago)
It is very difficult to draw the line where such benefits end. Even in services that you do not directly use, you often still benefit. Education being a prime example. Education keeps kids off the street (read as crime reduction), it allows much of the people who are less successful to work (read as day care), it allows for an educated workforce (there is a reason employers often demand a HS diploma or GED), graduates are statistically less likely to commit crimes, it costs less than half the cost of incarceration to educate someone. This is just one example, many others are just as nebulous. There are of course many things the government does that I am against, but I can find citizens who pay their taxes who think we should do those things. So the healthiest way to deal with that dichotomy is to vote and imagine my small tax dollars doing what I am proud of the government for, and that their taxes do the same for them.
The Pholosopher (2 years ago)
Love this video so much - such a simple and clear explanation of libertarianism. Principles are at the foundation of any discipline, including human interactions. Libertarianism / anarcho-capitalism is the most consistent philosophy because it applies the NAP to all human interactions and does not create exceptions. The State is an immoral institution because it exempts itself from the NAP e.g. taxation, regulations, police, wars, military drafts, etc.
nosuchthing8 (8 months ago)
Nope. Gravity applies to the very large, quantum mechanics to the very small. So even in hard science we see cases where there is no universal rule that applies. Try again.
Jarkko (2 years ago)
How to you enforce non aggression principle with out initiation of force?
Don Kirk (2 years ago)
Libertarians have twisted the centuries-old definition of the word and then appropriated for themselves what it is to be 'libertarian,' just as American liberals have twisted the centuries-old definition and then appropriated for themselves what it is to be a 'liberal.' The result is that they are both able to mask their actual motivating ideology which, in a fundamental way they both comprehend all too well, is anathema to most of the voting citizenry. At least the American liberals have come to realize their great unpopularity necessitated adopting a new name for their masked ideology, and re-cast themselves as 'progressives.' The libertarians, as yet, have not made any effort to re-cast their masked ideology, despite more than forty consecutive years of widespread political unpopularity. This chronic political futility by libertarians could suggest that there appears to be a persistent strain of masochism in the libertarians' stubborn fidelity to the self-adopted label which masks their true ideological identity. A non-ideologue might conclude that so long as libertarians form an emotional attachment to, and personally identify with, the ideology of freedom instead of the philosophy of freedom, they will forever consign themselves to political impotence despite most Americans being freedom-loving people in a freedom-loving land.
Hiram Crespo (2 years ago)
i guess the huge elephant in the room in libertarianism is how it does not recognize the legitimacy of government. When it gets to this, intellectuals throughout history have always argued that people, at some point in history, felt that they were tired of endless petty disputes under the Somalia-like anarchy that libertarians seem to be calling on us to return to, and so they chose to live under the rule of law and under various arrangements of governments (which required giving up SOME level of personal liberty), some of which got progressively better than other ones. (because: Just because bad government exists does not mean that no government is the best option) If libertarianism had a conversation with politics in this manner, studying what the role of government should be and not merely dismissing it and living in la-la land, then maybe more people would take it seriously. The lawlessness that some extreme-right libertarians have come to flirt with in the US is really scary: they would abolish separation of church and state and tell people to "vote with their feet" and move elsewhere if they don't want to live under religious tyranny in their home state. And call these religious tyrannies "freedom of religion". Religion-based governments have proven to be the most evil and most hostile to civil rights. Constitutional systems of government, with their checks and balances, have for the most part proven to be great guarantors of personal liberty, safety, happiness, and freedom.
David Lawson (2 years ago)
After immediately describing the exception that is national defense, he goes on to make the point that if there are exceptions the principles are invalid?
David Lawson (2 years ago)
Fair enough. Listened to it again, and he doesn't endorse it, just explains that their's lots of libertarian literature dealing with it.
Zachary Forbes (2 years ago)
He doesn't believe national defense is a exception. He is an anarchist
Joshua McLean (2 years ago)
So how come you make huge exceptions for immigration?
A one legged man (6 months ago)
'cut welfare drastically ' - He would want all state services cut completely not just cut them 'drastically'. Also you do not understand his anarcho-capitalist belief. He wouldn't want countries with artificial borders, he would only allow private property borders and he would be fine with anyone having immigration onto their own borders. You need to learn someone's position before you criticise it.
A one legged man (8 months ago)
if there was no welfare then immigration is fine
Vash Lash (2 years ago)
+Joshua McLean that's the current situation, you brought it up......Stefan recently said, "An open border and a welfare state cannot co exist". I agree. Eliminate the welfare state and open borders my friend.
Joshua McLean (2 years ago)
+G-Music who said anything about subsidized immigration?
Marcia Barlow (2 years ago)
Trying to find something with which to disagree. Can't seem to get the job done.
Marcia Barlow (2 years ago)
My bias is in favor of the Libertarian point of view, if that hasn't become obvious.
Marcia Barlow (2 years ago)
Libertarianism (Latin: liber, "free") is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association, and the primacy of individual judgment.
Joshua McLean (2 years ago)
+Marcia Barlow or perhaps they were gone and I could pay them back later, again there are a lot of answers. Id really like ti hear his after watching this video.
Joshua McLean (2 years ago)
+Marcia Barlow so the argument, is it really moral to "forcefully take someones money to pay for others healthcare" you could also ask… is it moral to let people die? But my answer would be it depends on the situation. Perhaps it is the only one they have and they are working on making more and if I take it they could lose something that could be more beneficial to society later. If they have a lot and no reason to keep it, idk why they would not help. But lets say they wouldn't give it to me. Is it immoral for me to take it in order to save someone else, or is it more immoral for them to prevent me from saving someone else?
Joshua McLean (2 years ago)
+Marcia Barlow one of the things he contradicts himself would be, well, he makes a BIG exception on immigration… And he's a Trump apologist lol.
Joshua McLean (2 years ago)
+Marcia Barlow nah I still watched it anyways :P If you watch this and compare it to some things he says now, he contradicts himself. And where would you draw the line? Thats a good question. A famous quote says "your freedom stops where mine begins." Someone also asked an interesting question. I have what I think is a unique answer depending in the situation, but I would like to hear other people thoughts. If someone was going to die, lets say someone you loved, and you knew the only way to save them was to get a cure, but the only way you could possibly get the cure is to break into someones property and steal it… what would you do? This is an interesting question when you look at the points/questions he made in this video.
Marcia Barlow (2 years ago)
+Joshua McLean Chuckle, I hope I didn't convey that. Stefan's pretty interesting, otherwise I wouldn't drop in here periodically. Color me wrong, but I thought someone was asking for the definition of 'Libertarian' or 'Libertarianism.' If that wasn't the question, my bad.
Goalie (2 years ago)
Just as the laws of physics may break down when you push too far - black holes for example, so do the principles of liberty. That's why you can only push them so far. Libertarianism is a step (or two) too far.
Goalie (2 years ago)
Thanks.  It feels good to be appreciated.
SD (2 years ago)
+Goalie I'm glad we got that cleared up. It makes so much sense now that you mention black holes.
EcoCrat (2 years ago)
Fuck I miss when Stefan used to be like this.
hooverdog1957 (8 months ago)
Millermacs Gary Johnson is so so far from being libertarian, but might seem to some to be Libertarian. The small "l" libertarian actually follows principles and doesn't waiver from them for political conveniences, while the large "L" Libertarian is a political party and is government "light" that is still evil and corrupt. Oh, and how is Trump doing for you not even two years into his presidency? I would wager the Democrats will be in power after the midterm elections and he will not see a second term. I'm not a supporter of any political party or system. I would just like to point out that politics is a no win game and it only reduces your freedom and destroys lives and kills people. Give it up.
Izaak Hektor (2 years ago)
If all other countries were Libertarian, then we wouldn't need borders. But they aren't.
uyghui ghbbjb (2 years ago)
EcoCrat He's done a video on immigration and anarchism/libertarianism, as far as I can remember his view is that you can restrict immigration on the basis that the people coming in are going to vote for bigger govt. and will initiate more force against you than you against them.
EcoCrat (2 years ago)
+Millermacs Wow what a terrible fucking rebuttal- lets look at the guy who is clearly and obviously the most Libertarian and find things that aren't Libertarian about him while we COMPLETELY ignore the fact that Trump isn't a Libertarian in ANY way, shape, or form. Like I said, don't act like you're supporting Trump because he's a Libertarian- it's bullshit. If you have half a brain you know he isn't Libertarian so just accept the fact that either you don't want a Libertarian in office or you aren't Libertarian yourself, there are many others like you.
Gustavo Campos (2 years ago)
I am glad I watched this video. I do not agree with all of your viewpoints, but that's what I would call "most impartial" point of view, if not as impartial as possible.
Marcia Barlow (2 years ago)
And how the 'war on drugs' has evolved, it is being used to prevent people from the privacy of ownership.  I have to report to the Treasury Department not only where I bank, but also my bank account number, and the amount of funds I have in said funds.  I do not trust the Federal Government to be responsible with that information, and they hinge their policy on the belief that I JUST MIGHT be a drug dealer!
Marcia Barlow (2 years ago)
From what I understand, your definition of Libertarianism is way off.  Oh, and this is why judge Napolitano suggests that the Libertarian should consider being an anarchist.  Frightening thought to many, yet is worthy of consideration.
Marcia Barlow (2 years ago)
Libertarianism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LibertarianismCachedLibertarianism (Latin: liber, "free") is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association, and the primacy of individual judgment.
Soto Zen (2 years ago)
If I shouldn't threaten you with a gun and take your money, why should the politicians?
Areez, Muhammad (1 month ago)
+King Byrd. xD By the way, Albert Einstein was socialist. He wrote an essay on it titled "Why Socialism?" Interesting. I disagree with him however. Although I should reread it, it's been long, he might make partial sense.
King Byrd. (1 month ago)
+Areez, Muhammad But...But muh communism! What about equality? You are just a greedy capitalist. American Welfare isn't REAL welfare. I'm just going to ignore Einstein's qoute on insanity.
Areez, Muhammad (1 month ago)
+King Byrd. Welfare doesn't need to exist either.
King Byrd. (1 month ago)
+Eins Zwei funny thing is, aside from welfare all of those can be privatized. So fuck big brother.
Daniel Santos (1 month ago)
+Eins Zwei Government does?? LOL
Untrustedlife (2 years ago)
Big fan of rand paul, sadly he dropped out the race.
Mandalorian Patriot (1 year ago)
Gary Johnson is just a leftist in libertarian clothing. in the same way Rand Paul is a libertarian in republican clothing.
Wesley Newsam (2 years ago)
+TheProgrammer Welp, there's always Gary Johnson. Sadly with the FPTP system he has no chance of winning.
Cheap Products (2 years ago)
To see what you've become now.
Square Imagination (2 years ago)
Damn you owned him
Marcia Barlow (2 years ago)
I really like Libertarian thinking.  Ron Paul.  Rand Paul.  Yes, they had to hitch their wagon to the Republican party, but the Repubs would squash them when they tried to go independently.
Marcia Barlow (2 years ago)
So, computerize government.  Take the human element out of it.  Allow the computer to calculate how many people occupy an area, what roads are needed, infrastructure that is needed, etc.No elections, no bullsh*t, no phony promises, no special interests, no lobbyists.Of course the input would have to be carefully monitored.I can come up with more, but I'll stop here.
Andrew Mabon (2 years ago)
+Marcia Barlow I completely agree. First thing that needs to be done is just getting the government out of the free market.
Marcia Barlow (2 years ago)
+Andrew Mabon Agreed, government is, indeed,immoral and unethical, and works overtime to insulate itself from consequence as far back as I can recall and I'm pretty old. :::chuckle::: But if we do not raise this as an issue, then government will continue to abuse citizens even more. I tire of this. Computerizing part of the government along with reducing the size of government is a 'must do.' Government used to mean 'We the People' but has grown to mean 'We the Elected Elite, who will enforce what we want to be do and have.'
lee brondum (2 years ago)
So we literally are controlled by machines
Marcia Barlow (2 years ago)
Yes, Stefan, but the ELF is stealing that.  Check it out.  That would be under HAARP.
DaMetalBeast (2 years ago)
I wish this nigga would just get to the point sometimes
Glass Of milk (1 year ago)
QuickMadeUpName (1 year ago)
@DaMetalBeast that's why i don't listen to the guy. he loves listening to himself talk too much and I don't think he communicates his thoughts all that well... he uses way too many words to say what could be summed up in a few sentences
David Mitchell (2 years ago)
Seems like he's free associating...I'm okay with that 👍🏻
Clem Cornpone (2 years ago)
If there were an award like an Emmy or the Oscar for internet commentators, I'd nominate you.
Jack Quinn (2 years ago)
I don't see how libertarianism isn't just selling out one's country to the highest bidder, isn't putting ones products on an open, unregulated market just taking a risk? The whole system depends on the continuous demand for a certain country's produce. That seems like a bad system to bet your entire economy on. Wouldn't it be better to establish long-term deals with countries rather than pitting ones prosperity on the tumultuous global markets? For instance, a first-world country trading products manufactured by specialised companies (e.g. medicine, electronics) for raw materials manufactured by a third-world country. This way the third-world country is getting high-end products that they wouldn't be able to manufacture en-masse due to a poorly-educated population, while the first-world country is getting raw materials that it doesn't have in plenty. The state can then sell these raw materials to manufacturers in their country and profit off the wealth accumulated by these sales and by these companies selling their products. This way the process of importing and exporting is done at the highest level and the process is more transparent. Isn't this system more sustainable than unlimited free trade? Can someone explain this to me.
nosuchthing8 (3 years ago)
Problem from the start. In physics, there are is a collection of rules that work on the macroscopic scale that deal with such things as gravity. On the microscopic scale there is a collection of rules that work with quantum mechanical effects, like the dual split experiment. But in general there is no grand unified theory that connects the two. String theory is one proposal but as of this post there is no theory that works on all scales. Another example would be an emergent property like color, which does not exist at small scales ( example, an electron has no color)
Bob Keoki (2 years ago)
This is terrible physics. Grand unified theories have nothing to do with the connection between Quantum and Classical physics, that would be Ehrenfest's theorem. GUTs are attempting to explain 4 forces with the same starting point. At the moment the strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces are explained through fermions exchanging bosons with other fermions. While Gravity is explained as the warping of spacetime due to the presence of mass and energy, it is consequently considered to be a fictitious force like the centrifugal and Coriolus forces. A successful GUT would explain gravitation as a particle exchange in the same way that the three fundamental forces are explained, with the hypothetical boson already called a graviton.
DonieZ (2 years ago)
+nosuchthing8 Exactly, to be honest this man is not very critical. When we are dealing with issues to do with human interaction, we have to state the desired outcome, and then analyse how different principles lead and result in their success. And there is no single route, there are multiple. What it all comes down to though is all members fully understanding and being happy with the outlined plan. If not then there is no reason, in my opinion, why one should accept anything. Even if that means they have to use aggression in order to not be forced to comply with proposed system.
eyesopen (3 years ago)
some good questions for Stefan! non answered, shame.
Steve Smith (3 years ago)
What about economic aggression or economic brutality?  One entity could buy all land, or all political influence, or all future expansion zone so that all others become slaves "volunteering" the surrender of their wealth and freedoms for the privilege of being allowed to exist?
Void (2 years ago)
As with anything, if you try to by all of anything, it is going to get more and more expensive the more you own. It's simply not feasible for a company to legitimately acquire and maintain that amount of land. Ultimately, there will always be more money in it for you if you undercut your competitor rather than sell out to them. As far as political influence goes, the only reason companies give a shit about the government is because it gives them a means to rig the market in their own favor. Take away the government's power to regulate and tax, and that problem simply doesn't exist.
3 left feet (3 years ago)
There are maybe five minutes of useful and thoughtful commentary here, the rest of it's just terribly mangled metaphors and incoherent babbling. Your videos are usually better than this. Get your shit together.
Nietzschean Middleman (3 years ago)
Stefan, please encourage activist libertarians to put down Robert's Rules and Atles Shrugged for a nanosecond and actually read the LP's own free 40 page campaign manual found on the LP dot org website.  It is a political party, not a supper club after all. I was a county chair for several years and at the county level, "campaign illiteracy' is rampant, even among candidates and campaign managers.
bleedisaster (3 years ago)
Actually there was no gravity in the early universe, because no stars, galaxies, or planets had formed to have enough mass to cause gravitation. Just sayin.
Void (2 years ago)
Even the smallest of particles have a gravitational effect on each other, that's how clouds of gas collapse into stars to begin with.
Void (2 years ago)
Gravity has existed since the very instant after the big bang. Just because it didn't have a very visible effect at first doesn't mean it wasn't there.
Christopher Dixon (3 years ago)
nailed it! thank you
Federico Olivares (3 years ago)
+Stefan Molyneux  I really need you to read this!: Stefan, im originally from a Spanish speaker country (Uruguay) and now the government of Uruguay proposed a change in our constitution to "redefine private property so it wont supersede human rights" off course this is a Socialist move to or re distribute property (Uruguay, being a really small country with 3.4 million citizens and very few non citizen residents has no "big landlords" that have monopolies or anything like that so its not like if 3 landlords have 30% of the land) and we already have things like "free college" socialized medicine, and the party in power is a left, semi socialist party (that has 52% of the votes, but there were serious doubts about the legitimacy of that), and because of this, i would like to produce videos like yours, talking about libertarianism, about Anarcho capitalism, NAP, why socialism doesnt work, etc. i consider myself somewhat smart, and pretty "advanced for my age" being that i read rothbard, economic works from different economists, marx as well (know your enemy), thoreau, Bastiat, and many other authors being that i'm only 17. the problem is, i cant produce a speech or video that i'm happy with, and i would like you to give me permission to translate some of your work (with previous notice and approval from you) to Spanish, and then record them and upload them, not only to be able to produce good material now that the country so needs it, but also to be able to meanwhile i work in my own content, be able to gain experience. I would not be making money out of it, i have lived in the US for more than a year, plus i've been studying english since i'm 6, now, i read all i mentioned before in english with no problem, so my translations would be appropriate and i would also take into account phrases that might not sound "correct" in spanish and re phrase them, keeping the content, to produce a final content that is pretty much an exact copy of your's but that sounds natural. I would also off course give you full credit for the material (except in case that you quote authors, etc. in which case i would attribute that to the respective authors). Finally, i'm not only doing this with you, but also with several other youtube content creators to have variety and a plethora of subjects. If you agree with this initiative i will give you my contact information and i would start translating and producing the translated videos providing you first which videos i would translate. thank you for your time and videos. btw, i did post this same comment with my sister's account, if you already read it, this is my actual account., if not, i already deleted it
Jane Dunn (1 year ago)
Federico Olivares Did he agree to your request ? Just curious ✌
Dawid Bakkes (3 years ago)
Het Stefan. What if you were to not look at the war on drugs, but rather something like rape? A police officer (initiation of force) stops a rapist because the woman was physically not strong enough to stop it herself. She would much rather pay taxes and have protection. I love your show and talks and debates and my opinion is greatly based on what I have learnt from, but isn't using "the war on drugs" as your example of the State initiation of force biased because drug users don't initiate it. Would you still be able to apply the NAP and respect for property rights in my example of the rape?
The MEJ (3 years ago)
+Jeremiah d this.
Jeremiah d (3 years ago)
Your mistake is assuming that people can't get protection without taxation.
Ella Jonninen (3 years ago)
I have some questions about libertarianism, if someone would kindly answer. 1) How does land ownership work? Can you own plots of land in a libertarian/anarcho-capitalist society? How is it determined if you own a plot of land or not? I'm a bit confused about this, as the land isn't a product of ones labor, but a "common resource" that belongs to no one, or alternatively to all people on earth. Isn't it morally questionable to claim a piece of land for oneself? Isn't one technically stealing property - and therefore in breach of the non-aggression principle? (as that land belongs to all people, not just one person?) 2) How do you stop exploitation? What if, hypothetically, one person claims a piece of land an begins to farm the land. He is entitled to the fruits of his labor. But one day, because of drought, his crops yield no harvest. He is then forced to look for work elsewhere, because he would starve if he didn't. His neighbor offers him a job, because he has a large farm and in need of a helping hand. But the problem is, his neighbor won't offer him a fair wage. The worker has to accept his employers conditions, because he has no other means of supporting himself. What protects the worker from being taken advantage of? And also, is this situation a "free market" anymore, as the worker has no choice, but must work on his employers terms because of the fear of starvation. He is essentially no longer free, no? 3) Are regulations always unacceptable? I have understood, that regulations imposed by the state are unacceptable, because the state practices violence in doing this. But what about regulations imposed by the people? Let's imagine a hypothetical village with about 200 inhabitants. In this village, they practice straight democracy and the majority of the people agree on rules which restrict the free market. They might decide, for example, that it is fair and just for there to be a set minimum wage for workers. In this situation, are regulations acceptable, or unacceptable?  4) Bonus question! Is libertarianism the same as anarcho-capitalism?  And please be respectful when answering. Calling me an idiot for asking questions can't be productive. Thanks :)
Harshit Madan (1 month ago)
2. There is no thing as "fair wage". A wage is whatever transaction both parties voluntarily agree upon post negotiation. What you call exploitation is what I call bad bargaining skills and I see nothing wrong. I see employees getting paid too little and I see employees getting paid too much. It's all in the bargain.
Christian Ponicki (2 years ago)
+Ella Jonninen Wow, you're such an _idiot_ for asking questions! >:O *1.)* One owns land by laboring upon it, the same way they come to own any other property. This can be enforced in a variety of ways, some of which are better than others, depending on the goal of the enforcer and the nature of the property. *2.)* I've no simple answer; it depends on how you define the word. Exploitation is a tricky term, and everyone seems to have their own intuitive, not-particularly-coherent definition for it. But when we're trying to deal with such a foggy topic, the best thing we can do is navigate via principles; we know that... 1.) the individual has a property in their self, 2.) the individual has a property in that upon which they labor or that for which they trade, and 3.) no two individuals engage in a trade which respects points 1 and 2 and isn't mutually beneficial. If we assume that exploitation is something morally bad and use our 3 points as a litmus test for whether something qualifies as such, then we'll be able to arrive at pretty clear conclusions for most hypotheticals you'd care to name. *3.)* Yes! Popularity does not determine an act's moral quality, even if _51%_ of people aren't opposed to it. Imagine that! *4.)* Ooh, I love bonus questions! No. When it comes to names, there's not much to determine whether someone's correct or incorrect in their usage of them other than etymology, which isn't very useful in most cases regarding political philosophies, and connotation, which is acquired through a word's use rather than its structure (duh). Personally, I think the term "anarchist" and all its derivatives have been scooped up by the left in the same way that "liberal" has; they've won the word by means of attaching their own connotation to it, so at this point, for clarity's sake, it's better for us Rothbardians to abandon ship and find a new word, and thus calling us anarchists is inaccurate, for the term refers to the left-wing, anti-property, basement-dwelling mystics who style themselves after Lenin and wear fedoras. For this reason, I think the term "anarcho-capitalist" is contradictory and not useful at all (especially not with all the bad connotation associated with the word "anarchy", particularly among the general public), and I don't like it because it has a hyphen - I want a word to describe my ideology that _doesn't_ have a hyphen or someone's name in it, and I'll find it, dammit! Unfortunately, most people on this side of the aisle aren't half as crafty with names as their leftist counterparts are... Libertarianism is a very broad term covering a plethora of ideologies which pay lip service to their own versions of "liberty", including Rothbardianism, but not limited to it. So: "sweeping term" =/= "oxymoron", hence my short answer to point 4.
Aristotle (3 years ago)
Most all moral philosophies advocate for freedom, not hitting people, taking personal responsibility, and not taking stuff.  Libertarianism has no advantages over a wide range of competing views in virtue of these values.  Kant, Aristotle, and Mill all accept these values, and they are not libertarians.
Sam Warner (3 years ago)
+Aristotle2000 Were they all anarchists? Right or wrong, Molyneux is using "Libertarianism" synonymously with "Anarchism." Anarcho-capitalism /voluntarism is the logical conclusion of the self-ownership and non-aggression principles.
epiphany55 (3 years ago)
I'm an anarcho-hedonist. Everyone should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want, force or no force. No government, no police, no courts, no property rights. It's up to you to stake your ground and protect your self, family and property, not government. If you want something, you should be allowed to steal it if you think that's the best way to get it. But you have to deal with the consequences (i.e. getting shot). If you want to use force, that's fine, but expect a backlash. You see, nature balances it out. You commie libertarians want government to protect your rights. Pah! Non-aggression principle? You sound like hippies! Get a wash!
maxie2005 (3 years ago)
+epiphany55 You sound like what socialists think libertarians sound like.
Towan (3 years ago)
+The Light So are you. A mammal of the order primates.
Frederick Douglass (3 years ago)
+epiphany55 I'm sure that would look a lot like anarcho-capitalism in practice, since cooperation is much more efficient and productive than violence. Plus most people actually have morals so they'd choose not to use violence
Cryptoctopus The First (4 years ago)
It is the poor who need private property the most. The american indian are the the first to endorse this principle (because they suffered the lack of it for hundreds of years). Proof? The poorest places on earth are the one with no private property rights.(North Korea for example) Seriously, do you think you would feel confident starting a small enterprise if anyone could take it away at the point of a gun?
Evan E (3 years ago)
+RG Crypto That is Austrian economics at work, which libertarians use as their economic model. Humans typically gain incentive to be more productive when they keep what they earn. Chairman Mao tried an experiment in China called the Great Leap Forward that every socialist should educate themselves on (~40 million people starved to death). Everything farmers grew went into a collective basket (they didn't 'need' the extra gains they labored for). The incentive was flipped and farmers worked less hard since they didn't keep anything beyond what the government allotted them. In short order there was massive food shortages and Mao ditched the experiment, but not before a colossal tragedy took place (that virtually no one has ever even heard of!). That is the reality of our species at this point in time. Yes, capitalism has faults, but they are far preferable to the utter poverty and despair communism leads to (not to mention brutal tyranny that usually comes along with it).
Cryptoctopus The First (4 years ago)
I am in the poor class and I want to keep my freedom to own the fruit of my labor and the mean of producing those fruits. If you want to operate a coop and collectively own property, go ahead...as long as you dont expropriate or force me to achieve your goals of communal ownership.
Cryptoctopus The First (4 years ago)
The native initiative for private property right.
Cryptoctopus The First (4 years ago)
Cryptoctopus The First (4 years ago)
I live very close to natives in Canada and there is a massive difference in wealth between the one who lives on reserve and the one who OWN their land. Its night and day.
Michael Schramm (4 years ago)
i have to say that even though i am not an american, this makes a lot of sense to me
Osca Carrillo (4 years ago)
Libertarianism to me is about minding your own dam business and taking self responsibility and not imposing your views or beliefs on other's but I guess that notion is just too absurd for some of you morons inn here!
cevaiom (1 year ago)
Osca Carrillo exactly
Alexander Mills (1 year ago)
indeed that's about right
Blue Max (4 years ago)
Abortion? An exception?
Alexander Mills (1 year ago)
abortion is allowed, it's simply not funded by the state
TaMaMa KEY (4 years ago)
Thank you
Paul Kasputis (4 years ago)
1. Please get to the f--king point!  
Who would uphold the law in a libertarian society?
BurazSC2 (4 years ago)
to sum up: everyone should be nice to each other. I probably need to make up some terms for this to be taken seriously as a philosophy, don't I? how about: The Meanness Negation Treaty? TMNT - cowabunga!
Adam Collins (1 year ago)
Libertarianism doesn't mean that, in fact it notes the willingness of people to commit selfish acts, which is why we need a coercive government, to protect us protect of from coercive forces we did not elect, both at the personal and national level.
HamPuddle (4 years ago)
You mention that taxes can't be right because they oppose the extension of the principle of Libertarianism, couldn't it be that the principle is wrong? Just like the principle of having circles everywhere is wrong? Why could one assume that those few moral ''rules'' are right (property/no violence)?
J R (4 years ago)
+HamPuddle When man emerged from the primordial ooze, the entire globe existed and most of it was "unowned".  However, that first man had an area he considered his, and he would defend it.  Why did he defend it?  He "owned" it -- he spent his time, talent, and treasure cultivating it, and it would be wrong for someone to take it simply because they wanted it or claimed they needed it.  The fact that people have violated the principle ever since that first person doesn't invalidate the principle itself -- that you rightly own that which you have spent your time, talent, and treasure on.  To argue otherwise is to argue that sometimes people have a right to take things from you that you have spent your time, talent, and treasure cultivating.  In what situations is that right?  I can think of none, and it seems to me that a world which embraces such a notion of non-ownership is significantly darker and more dangerous than one that rejects it (even if it fails to live up to its ideal from time to time). Your assertion is, in essence, an appeal to complexity, not a valid refutation of the principle itself.
rakstock68 (4 years ago)
OK, I DO follow the logic. Very philosophical and interesting. I didn't take many philosophy classes in college, but when I did, I did very well. Damn, sounding like a "most interesting man in the world" commercial, lol.

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