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Libertarians are one of two potentially viable third-party solutions in the United States. They fit between the platform extremes of conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats to create centrism rarely found in American politics.

Although Libertarianism is a relatively recent movement from a political view, the first traces of their beliefs and governing concepts are found in Ancient China. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Thomas Paine, Adam Smith, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, and David Hume helped create the modern movement.

These are the key concepts that Libertarianism has developed over the centuries.


Libertarians see individuals as the primary unit of social analysis. People make choices, which means they must be responsible for their actions. Each person receives dignity through their rights and responsibility. Everyone gets this respect, which is why promoting women’s rights and those of minorities is one of their greatest successes.

Spontaneous Order

Human societies have slowly opted to have more freedom for individuals over the centuries. We’ve also worked to create complicated communities that use intricate organization. Money, law, markets, and language all developed without central direction, connecting people and organizations in a spontaneous order. Each person joins because of the benefits that come from that decision.

Rule of Law

People cannot do whatever they want in the view of a libertarian. The goal is to avoid arbitrary commands so that the spontaneous rules that develop can protect individual freedoms to pursue happiness. There must be equal consideration given to the same right for others for society to find success.

Limited Government

Individuals form governments to protect their rights. Libertarians believe it to be a dangerous institution because it places concentrated power in the hands of a few. By limiting the power and scope of control, the people retain the right to make decisions for themselves instead of delegating those actions to elected officials.

Free Markets

Libertarians want the government to be out of the economic system of the country. Individuals should engage in buying and selling activities, exchanging property through mutual agreement, to pursue happiness. Although there may be times when lawlessness requires intervention, the goal is to create mutually beneficial prosperity. 

Libertarians believe in peace. They won’t hesitate to protect what they have from the ruling class or foreign threats, but they don’t seek out conflict. Virtue comes from productivity, which is not possible when all sides are in conflict. 

Scott Larson