The Basics of Libertarianism

Chris Spangle, Greg Lenz, and Brett Bittner outline the foundational principles of libertarianism. See Libertarianism.com here. See the Path to Libertarianism here. Visit the Advocates for Self-Government here. Hear the second episode, The Basics of the Libertarian Movement, here. Click here for the Marshall Fritz speech mentioned.


What is a libertarian?

Libertarianism seems like a complex political philosophy. It isn’t difficult to understand. Take the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.  You may already be a libertarian.

Marshall Fritz, the man in the YouTube video below, was the creator of the quiz. In the video and audio, he gives one of the best explanations of what a libertarian is.

First, a little synopsis. A lot of people like to say that libertarians are socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

Fundamentally, libertarianism is about the freedom and liberty of an individual. Each individual knows what is best for them and their community. Yes, it IS about reducing the size of government, but that is a small piece of what a libertarian believes. Simply put, libertarians don’t want to hurt others or take their stuff and that idea is extended through all aspects of society.

“Libertarianism is what your mom taught you: behave yourself and don’t hit your sister.” – Ken Bisson

David Boaz in his book Libertarianism: A Primer outlines the key concepts of the philosophy: Individualism, Individual Rights, Spontaneous Order, The Rule of Law, Limited Government, Free Markets, the Virtue of Production, the Natural harmony of interests, and Peace. (Read his description here.)

“Libertarianism is what you probably already believe… Libertarian values are American values. Libertarianism is America’s heritage of liberty, patriotism and honest work to build a future for your family. It’s the idea that being free and independent is a great way to live. That each of us is a unique individual with great potential. That you own yourself, and that you have the right to decide what’s best for you. Americans of all races and creeds built a great and prosperous country with these libertarian ideals. Let’s use them to build America’s future.” – David Bergland, 1984 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate and author of Libertarianism in One Lesson

Chris Spangle is the publisher and editor of We Are Libertarians, a news site and podcast that covers national and Indiana politics from the libertarian perspective. Spangle previously worked in marketing for the Englehart Group on behalf of the Advocates for Self-Government. He also served as the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Indiana and producer of the Abdul in the Morning Show. He now works as the web director of a nationally syndicated morning show.

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