The Libertarianism Debate Continues

Lew Rockwell has posted this excellent commentary on the libertarian vs. libertarian, or “thick vs. thin” debate. It is a must read.

In my view, libertarianism is an advocacy of liberty, self-ownership and non-aggression, which really refers to being against the initiation of aggression or the threat of aggression or coercion. It doesn’t matter if the libertarian is a racist or not, a sexist or a feminist, etc. As Lew and others have stated, those attitudes are irrelevant to promoting liberty.

An emailer asked if I thought that “minarchists” (or “minimal statists” or “limited government advocates”) are still libertarians. My answer is that I don’t know, really. I do know that there are libertarians whose writing is radical and even borders on “no state.” Yet they still remain in the “limited government” camp and support a State with a Constitution.

However, in my view, if you support a State to exist to rule over my life, my person, my property, my labor and my contracts, and whose agents or employees are empowered to use threats and coercion against me if I don’t obey their rules regarding what they think I should do with my life, my person and property, and my labor and contracts (rules which go beyond “don’t aggress, don’t violate other people’s persons or property,” etc.), then I find it very difficult to say that you are a libertarian.


9:12 am on May 1, 2014