Libertarianism is a political theory that focuses on the inherent rights of individuals. The roots of libertarianism come from ancient Greece, China, and Israel. Modern-day libertarianism, however, did not develop until the 17th and 18th centuries.
The first principle of libertarianism is the protection of individual rights. Libertarians believe that people are born with natural rights that ought to be protected. Individuals have the right to determine how they live their lives as long as they do not interfere with other people’s rights. These rights include the right to life, free speech, and property. Therefore, libertarians reject the death penalty, government censorship, and any government intervention with private property.
Secondly, libertarianism emphasizes economic liberty. Libertarianism values a free market economy. As a result, it allows little government intervention in economics. Libertarianism resists any unnecessary tax and supports all efforts to reduce taxes. That comes from the belief that people should not need to sacrifice their assets for other’s gain. In fact, libertarians oppose government-incurred debt that will inevitably burden future generations.
The third central principle of the theory is a limited government. Libertarians believe that government is a dangerous institution because of the highly concentrated power. Instead, they look to divide and limit the authority of government institutions. Libertarians refer to the dispersion of political power in Europe as an example of division of power. As a result, it is leading to increased personal liberty and sustained economic growth.
The final main principle of libertarianism is that the single purpose of government is to protect the individual rights of its citizens. Moreover, libertarian ideas regarding the military state that its sole purpose is to protect the country against aggression. For that reason, they oppose using military force for foreign intervention, including providing military or economic aid.
In conclusion, these four ideals determine libertarian positions on various domestic and international issues. Currently, these principles can be observable in many countries, including Canada, Australia, and Germany. Also, in the United Kingdom and the United States.
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