Libertarianism  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Libertarianism is a political philosophy maintaining that all persons are the absolute owners of their own lives, and should be free to do whatever they wish with their persons or property, provided they allow others the same liberty.

History

The term libertarian in a metaphysical or philosophical sense was first used by late-Enlightenment free-thinkers to refer to those who believed in free will, as opposed to determinism. The first recorded use was in 1789 by William Belsham in a discussion of free will and in opposition to "necessitarian" (or determinist) views.

The French anarchist communist Joseph Déjacque employed the term libertarian in a political sense in a 1857 open letter criticizing Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Déjacque said Proudhon was "libéral et non LIBERTAIRE" (liberal but not libertarian), that is, the neologism was coined specifically as a distinction from the classical liberalism that Proudhon advocated in relation to economic exchange, in contrast to the more communist approach advocated by Déjacque.

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Libertarianism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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