What Are Libertarianism and the Libertarian Party?

Libertarianism is the greatest political and economic philosophy in the history of mankind. Not only does it encompass all aspects of liberty — freedom of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of travel, the right to keep and bear arms, civil liberties, due process of law, and all the rest — its concept of economic liberty holds the key to ending poverty. In fact, economic liberty is one of the big things that distinguish Libertarians from Republicans and Democrats.

The core principle of the libertarian philosophy is what is called the “non-aggression principle.” It holds that people should be free to live their lives any way they choose, so long as they do not initiate force or fraud against others.

In understanding libertarianism, it helps to compare Libertarian positions with those of Republicans and Democrats.

Socialism and Interventionism versus free enterprise

Republicans and Democrats love socialism, so long as it’s not called socialism. This love is reflected by the deep commitment that both Republicans and Democrats have for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, immigration controls, public (i.e., government) schooling, the Federal Reserve, and other socialist programs. Republicans and Democrats believe that government coercion is necessary to make people compassionate, caring, educated, healthy, and prosperous.

Republicans and Democrats also favor governmental intervention into economic activity. This belief is reflected by their joint commitment to such things as minimum-wage laws, price controls, drug laws, occupational-licensure laws, healthcare mandates and lockdowns, and economic regulations.

Libertarians, on the other hand, believe that economic enterprise should be free of government control, regulation, and taxation. We favor the repeal of all those socialist and interventionist programs. That’s because we are advocates of liberty, free markets, and genuine free enterprise — that is, enterprise that is free of governmental control or regulation.

Savings, productivity, and rising standards of living

I grew up in Laredo, Texas, which is located on the Texas-Mexican border. Laredo was a very poor city in terms of people’s standard of living. But the poverty in Laredo was nothing compared to the poverty in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, which was just across the border.

That always befuddled me. Why would two parts of what was really one big metropolitan area, which was separated by a river, have such an enormous disparity of wealth? When I discovered libertarianism, I discovered the answer to my question. I discovered the reason why some societies have higher standards of living than others.

When I returned to Laredo to practice law, I was convinced that government had a duty to help the poor, especially through government welfare. I became the local representative for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). I was also on the board of trustees for the Laredo Legal Aid Society, which provided free legal assistance to the poor.

Then I discovered libertarianism in my late 20s. It was a true “Road to Damascus” experience. I came to the realization of how wrong I had been about the need to have government help the poor with welfare programs. I realized that with its strong emphasis on economic liberty, libertarianism held the key to raising standards of living, especially for the poor.

Libertarianism recognizes that people have the fundamental, natural, God-given right to keep everything they earn and to decide for themselves what to do with it. That’s why we Libertarians, unlike Republicans and Democrats, fervently oppose income taxation and the IRS. Also, we hold that everyone should be free to open businesses without governmental permission and to hire whomever they want. There should be no socialist programs, including Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, public housing, public schooling, and all the rest. All charity should be voluntary, not mandatory as with socialist programs.

When people are free to accumulate wealth, they inevitably save a large portion of it. That savings goes into banks. Banks loan the money to business owners, who use that money to buy tools  and equipment that make their employees more productive. More productivity means higher revenues for the firm, which bring higher wages paid out to employees. The process of competition between firms ensures that employers will raise wages when the firm’s revenues increase. Thus, the more savings there are in a society, the higher will be the overall standard of living.

Inflation versus sound money

Republicans and Democrats also favor a system of paper money and the Federal Reserve System, a monetary system that is based on the core socialist principle of central planning. That’s why there is so much chaos in monetary affairs. That’s also why the value of the dollar has progressively depreciated for the last century. Inflation, which involves the printing of vast quantities of paper money, is a surreptitious and fraudulent way for government to loot people.

Libertarians, on the other hand, favor a free-market monetary system, which means sound money. Sound money also raises people’s standard of living because government is not able to plunder and loot people through inflation.

Trade restrictions and immigration controls versus open borders

Republicans and Democrats favor tariffs, trade wars, and economic protectionism, which impoverish society.

Libertarians, on the other hand, favor free trade, which raises people’s standard of living. That’s because in every trade, both sides benefit because they are both giving up something they value less for something they value more.

Republicans and Democrats favor a system immigration controls, which brings perpetual crisis and chaos as well as death, suffering, and an immigration police state.

Libertarians favor open borders — that is, the free movements of goods, services, and people across borders. Open borders bring bring prosperity and harmony. They are also consistent with religious principles regarding how one is expected to treat one’s fellow man.

A national-security state versus a limited-government republic

Republicans and Democrats favor a national-security state, which is a totalitarian form of governmental structure. It consists of the Pentagon, the vast military-industrial complex, the CIA, and the NSA. It wields omnipotent powers, such as assassination, indefinite detention, and torture.

Libertarians favor a limited-government republic, which was our founding governmental system. It lasted around 150 years. Its powers are limited to those few powers that are enumerated in the Constitution. It comes with a basic, relatively small military force that is entirely devoted to protecting the nation from the unlikely event of a foreign invasion.

Foreign interventions versus non-interventionism

Republicans and Democrats favor a foreign policy of interventionism, including foreign wars, wars of aggression, coups, alliances with dictatorial regimes, and foreign aid. This policy comes with death and destruction in foreign countries, along with the destruction of liberty and prosperity here at home. It also produces anger and hatred that manifests itself in anti-American terrorism, which then leads to a perpetual “war on terrorism,” a racket that enriches the voracious army of “defense” contractors. Foreign interventionism is also the root cause of the random, irrational killings here at home, as off-kilter people copy what the Pentagon and the CIA are doing to foreigners. Moreover, foreign interventionism in Ukraine has now gotten us perilously close to nuclear war with Russia.

Libertarians favor a foreign policy of non-interventionism in the affairs of other nations. This is the key to peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world.

Perpetual crises and chaos versus liberty, peace, prosperity, and harmony

In sum, Republicans and Democrats have led America down the road to perpetual crisis, chaos, death, suffering, and the destruction of our liberties, our prosperity, and our well-being.

The root cause of the dysfunctional nature of American society, including the mass killings that have become a normal part of American life, lies with the socialism, militarism, interventionism, and national-security statism that both Republicans and Democrats have foisted upon our land.

Libertarianism is the solution to the many woes in which Republicans and Democrats have mired our nation, including out-of-control federal spending, debt, and inflation to cover the ever-increasing costs of the Republican-Democrat welfare-warfare state.

Republicans and Democrats should do the right thing and step aside. Let us Libertarians take over and put the country back on the right road — the road to liberty, peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world.

The Libertarian Party

Founded in 1971, the Libertarian Party is the third-largest political party in the country. It is the political part of the much larger libertarian movement. Customarily, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate is on the ballot in all 50 states.

to go the Libertarian Party’s website and to join the Libertarian Party.

to go to the Libertarian Party’s platform.

The Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate is chosen at the party’s 2024 presidential nominating convention, which will be held on May 24-26, 2024, at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.

The presidential and vice-presidential nominating process works as follows: Beginning in the fall of 2023, the state Libertarian Parties will hold their state convention on some particular weekend. At those state conventions, delegates will be elected to attend the national convention in Washington, D.C. All those delegates at the national convention in Washington will then select the 2024 L.P. presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

To become a delegate to the national nominating convention, join the Libertarian Party, attend your state’s nominating convention, and try to get elected as a delegate to the national nominating convention in Washington.