Libertarian conservatism

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Libertarian conservatism, or conservative libertarianism, is a political philosophy and ideology that combines right-libertarian politics and conservative values. Libertarian conservatism advocates the greatest possible economic liberty and the least possible government regulation of social life, mirroring laissez-faire liberalism, but harnesses this to a belief in a more traditional and conservative social philosophy emphasizing authority and duty. [1] Libertarian conservatism prioritizes liberty, promoting free expression, freedom of choice and laissez-faire capitalism to achieve socially and culturally conservative ends and rejects liberal social engineering. [2] Libertarian conservatism can also be understood as promoting civil society through conservative institutions and authority—such as family, country, religion and education—in the libertarian quest to reduce state power. [3]

Political philosophy sub-discipline of philosophy and political science

Political philosophy, also known as political theory, is the study of topics such as politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of laws by authority: what they are, if they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect, what form it should take, what the law is, and what duties citizens owe to a legitimate government, if any, and when it may be legitimately overthrown, if ever.

An ideology is a collection of normative beliefs and values that an individual or group holds for other than purely epistemic reasons. In other words, these rely on basic assumptions about reality that may or may not have any factual basis. The term is especially used to describe systems of ideas and ideals which form the basis of economic or political theories and resultant policies. In these there are tenuous causal links between policies and outcomes owing to the large numbers of variables available, so that many key assumptions have to be made. In political science the term is used in a descriptive sense to refer to political belief systems.

Right-libertarianism, or right-wing libertarianism, is any of several libertarian political philosophies that advocate civil liberties, natural law, laissez-faire capitalism and a major reversal of the modern welfare state. Right-libertarians strongly support private property rights and defend market distribution of natural resources and private property. This position is contrasted with that of some versions of left-libertarianism, with which it is compared to, hence the name. This is because in the United States the word libertarian has deviated from its political origins to the extent that the common meaning of libertarianism in the United States is different from elsewhere, where it continues to be widely used to refer to anti-state socialists such as anarchists and more generally libertarian communists and libertarian socialists.

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Philosophy

In political science, the term libertarian conservatism refers to ideologies that combine the advocacy of economic principles such as fiscal discipline, respect for contracts, defense of private property and free markets [4] and the traditional conservative stress on self-help and freedom of choice under a laissez-faire and economically liberal capitalist society with social tenets such as the importance of religion and the value of traditional morality [5] through a framework of limited, constitutional, representative government. [6] For Margaret Randall, libertarian conservatism began as an expression of individualism and the demand for personal freedom. [7] [8]

Political science is a social science which deals with systems of governance, and the analysis of political activities, political thoughts, and political behavior.

Contract agreement having a lawful object entered into voluntarily by multiple parties

A contract is a legally binding agreement which recognises and governs the rights and duties of the parties to the agreement. A contract is legally enforceable because it meets the requirements and approval of the law. An agreement typically involves the exchange of goods, services, money, or promises of any of those. In the event of breach of contract, the law awards the injured party access to legal remedies such as damages and cancellation.

Private property legal designation of the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities

Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which is owned by a state entity; and from collective property, which is owned by a group of non-governmental entities. Private property can be either personal property or capital goods. Private property is a legal concept defined and enforced by a country's political system.

Freedom and Virtue: The Conservative/Libertarian Debate, edited by George W. Carey, contains essays which describe "the tension between liberty and morality" as "the main fault line dividing the two philosophies". [9]

Nelson Hultberg wrote that there is "philosophical common ground" between libertarians and conservatives. According to Hultberg, "[t]he true conservative movement was, from the start, a blend of political libertarianism, cultural conservatism, and non-interventionism abroad bequeathed to us via the Founding Fathers". He said that such libertarian conservatism was "hijacked" by neoconservatism, "by the very enemies it was formed to fight – Fabians, New Dealers, welfarists, progressives, globalists, interventionists, militarists, nation builders, and all the rest of the collectivist ilk that was assiduously working to destroy the Founders' Republic of States". [10]

Neoconservatism Political ideology

Neoconservatism is a political movement born in the United States during the 1960s among liberal hawks who became disenchanted with the increasingly pacifist foreign policy of the Democratic Party, and the growing New Left and counterculture, in particular the Vietnam protests. Some also began to question their liberal beliefs regarding domestic policies such as the Great Society.

Fabian Society British socialist organisation whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialism via gradualist and reformist effort in democracies

The Fabian Society is a British socialist organisation whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialism via gradualist and reformist effort in democracies, rather than by revolutionary overthrow.

New Deal Economic programs of U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt

The New Deal was a series of programs, public work projects, financial reforms, and regulations enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States between 1933 and 1936. It responded to needs for relief, reform, and recovery from the Great Depression. Major federal programs included the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the Farm Security Administration (FSA), the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 (NIRA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). They provided support for farmers, the unemployed, youth and the elderly. The New Deal included new constraints and safeguards on the banking industry and efforts to re-inflate the economy after prices had fallen sharply. New Deal programs included both laws passed by Congress as well as presidential executive orders during the first term of the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Thomas DiLorenzo wrote that libertarian conservative constitutionalists believe that the way to limit government is to enforce the United States Constitution. However, DiLorenzo criticized them by writing: "The fatal flaw in the thinking of the libertarian/conservative constitutionalists stems from their unawareness or willful ignorance of how the founders themselves believed the Constitution could be enforced: by the citizens of the free, independent, and sovereign states, not the federal judiciary". He wrote that the powers accrued to the federal government during the American Civil War overthrew the Constitution of 1787. [11]

Thomas DiLorenzo economist

Thomas James DiLorenzo is an American economics professor at Loyola University Maryland Sellinger School of Business. He identifies as an adherent of the Austrian School of economics. He is a research fellow at The Independent Institute, a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Board of Advisors member at CFACT, and an associate of the Abbeville Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Virginia Tech.

Constitutionalism is "a complex of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law".

American Civil War Internal war in the U.S. over slavery

The American Civil War, one of the most studied and written about episodes in U.S. history, was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

In the 1950s, Frank Meyer, a prominent contributor to the National Review , called his own combination of libertarianism and conservatism fusionism. [12] [13]

Frank Meyer (political philosopher) American libertarian philosopher

Frank Straus Meyer was an American philosopher and political activist best known for his theory of "fusionism" – a political philosophy that unites elements of libertarianism and traditionalism into a philosophical synthesis which is posited as the definition of modern American conservatism. Meyer's philosophy was presented in two books, primarily In Defense of Freedom: A Conservative Credo (1962) and also in a collection of his essays, The Conservative Mainstream (1969). Fusionism has been summed up by E. J. Dionne, Jr. as "utilizing libertarian means in a conservative society for traditionalist ends."

<i>National Review</i> American conservative editorial magazine

National Review is an American semi-monthly editorial magazine focusing on news and commentary pieces on political, social, and cultural affairs. The magazine was founded by the author William F. Buckley Jr. in 1955. It is currently edited by Rich Lowry.

Fusionism philosophical and political combination of traditionalist and social conservatism with political and economic right-libertarianism

In American politics, fusionism is the philosophical and political combination or "fusion" of traditionalist and social conservatism with political and economic right-libertarianism. The philosophy is most closely associated with Frank Meyer.

In the 1990s, Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard and others described their libertarian conservative views as paleolibertarianism. [14] They continued libertarian opposition to "all forms of government intervention – economic, cultural, social, international", but also upholding cultural conservatism in social thought and behavior. They opposed a licentious libertarianism which advocated "freedom from bourgeois morality, and social authority". [14] Rockwell later stated that they dropped that self-description because people confused it with paleoconservatism which they rejected. [15] [16]

California Governor Ronald Reagan appealed to American libertarians in a 1975 interview with Reason when he said: "I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism". [17] However, President Reagan turned the United States' big trade deficit into debt and the United States became a debtor nation for the first time since World War I under the Reagan administration. [18] [19]

Edward Feser emphasized that libertarianism does not require individuals to reject traditional conservative values. Libertarianism supports the ideas of liberty, privacy and ending the war on marijuana at the legal level without changing personal values. [12]

Economics

Libertarian conservatism subscribes to the libertarian idea of laissez-faire capitalism, advocating minimal to no government interference in the market. A number of libertarian conservatives favor Austrian economics and are critical of fiat money. Libertarian conservatives also support wherever possible privatizing services traditionally run or provided by the government, from airports and air traffic control systems to toll roads and toll booths.

Notable people

Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, Richard Posner, Walter E. Williams, Richard Epstein and Albert Jay Nock have been described as libertarian conservatives. [2] [20] Former Congressman Ron Paul [21] and his son Senator Rand Paul have been described as combining libertarian and conservative small government ideas and showing how the Constitution of the United States defends the individual and most libertarian views.

See also

Related Research Articles

Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties under the rule of law with an emphasis on economic freedom. Closely related to economic liberalism, it developed in the early 19th century, building on ideas from the previous century as a response to urbanisation and to the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the United States. Notable individuals whose ideas contributed to classical liberalism include John Locke, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Robert Malthus and David Ricardo. It drew on the classical economic ideas espoused by Adam Smith in Book One of The Wealth of Nations and on a belief in natural law, utilitarianism and progress. The term classical liberalism has often been applied in retrospect to distinguish earlier 19th-century liberalism from social liberalism.

Murray Rothbard American economist of the Austrian School, libertarian political theorist, and historian

Murray Newton Rothbard was an American heterodox economist of the Austrian School, historian, and a political theorist whose writings and personal influence played a seminal role in the development of modern right-libertarianism. Rothbard was the founder and leading theoretician of anarcho-capitalism, a staunch advocate of historical revisionism and a central figure in the 20th-century American libertarian movement. He wrote over twenty books on political theory, revisionist history, economics and other subjects.

Paleoconservatism Political ideology

Paleoconservatism is a conservative political philosophy which stresses traditionalism, limited government, Christian ethics, regionalism and nationalism.

Mises Institute Austrian Economics educative organization

The Mises Institute, short name for Ludwig von Mises Institute for Austrian Economics, is a tax-exempt educative organization located in Auburn, Alabama, United States. It is named after Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973), because it promotes teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics and Misesian views on social and political philosophy.

Lew Rockwell American libertarian author and editor

Llewellyn Harrison Rockwell Jr. is an American author, editor, and political consultant. A libertarian and a self-professed anarcho-capitalist, he founded the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a non-profit dedicated to promoting the Austrian School of economics. He also started a website in 1999, LewRockwell.com, that features articles and blog entries by a number of right-wing libertarian columnists and writers.

Paleolibertarianism is a variety of libertarianism developed by anarcho-capitalist theorists Murray Rothbard and Llewellyn Rockwell that combines conservative cultural values and social philosophy with a libertarian opposition to government intervention.

Cultural conservatism is described as the preservation of the heritage of one nation, or of a shared culture that is not defined by national boundaries. Other variants of cultural conservatism are concerned with culture attached to a given language such as Arabic or Icelandic.

Libertarian perspectives on political alliances vary greatly, with controversies among libertarians as to which alliances are acceptable or useful to the movement.

Jeffrey Tucker American writer

Jeffrey Albert Tucker is an American economics writer of the Austrian School, an advocate of anarcho-capitalism and Bitcoin, a publisher of libertarian books, a conference speaker, and an internet entrepreneur.

Conservatism in the United States Conservatism in the United States

Conservatism in the United States is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized by respect for American traditions, republicanism, support for Judeo-Christian values, moral universalism, pro-business and anti-labor, anti-communism, individualism, advocacy of American exceptionalism, and a defense of Western culture from the perceived threats posed by socialism, authoritarianism, and moral relativism. Liberty is a core value, as it is with all major American parties. American conservatives consider individual liberty—within the bounds of American values—as the fundamental trait of democracy; this perspective contrasts with that of modern American liberals, who generally place a greater value on equality and social justice and emphasize the need for state intervention to achieve these goals. American conservatives believe in limiting government in size and scope, and in a balance between national government and states' rights. Apart from some libertarians, they tend to favor strong action in areas they believe to be within government's legitimate jurisdiction, particularly national defense and law enforcement. Social conservatives oppose abortion and same-sex marriage, while privileging traditional marriage and supporting Christian prayer in public schools.

Old Right (United States)

The Old Right was an informal designation used for a branch of American conservatism, which never became an organized movement but was most prominent circa 1910–1960. Most members were Republicans, although there was a conservative Democratic element based largely in the Southern United States. They were called the "Old Right" to distinguish them from their New Right successors who came to prominence in the 1950s and '60s. Among the latter were Barry Goldwater, who came to prominence in the 1960s and favored an interventionist foreign policy to battle international communism.

Libertarianism in the United States is a movement promoting individual liberty and minimized government. Although the word libertarian continues to be widely used to refer to anti-state socialists internationally, its meaning in the United States has deviated from its political origins to the extent that the common meaning of libertarian in the United States is different from elsewhere.

Burton Blumert American writer and publihser

Burton S. Blumert was the president of the Center for Libertarian Studies in Burlingame, California, co-founder and chairman of the Mises Institute, and the publisher of LewRockwell.com. In a career that spanned almost 50 years until his retirement in 2008, he bought and sold precious metals as the proprietor of Camino Coin Company.

Political ideologies in the United States

Political ideologies in the United States refers to the various ideologies and ideological demographics in the United States. Citizens in the United States generally classify themselves as adherent to positions along the political spectrum as either liberal, progressive, moderate, or conservative. Modern American liberalism aims at the preservation and extension of human, social and civil rights as well as the government guaranteed provision of positive rights. It combines social progressivism and to some extent ordoliberalism and is highly similar to European social liberalism. American conservatism commonly refers to a combination of economic liberalism and libertarianism and social conservatism. It aims at protecting the concepts of small government and individual liberty while promoting traditional values on some social issues.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to libertarianism, a political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. As a result, libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgment.

Economic liberalism political ideology

Economic liberalism is an economic system organized on individual lines, meaning that the greatest possible number of economic decisions are made by individuals or households rather than by collective institutions or organizations. It includes a spectrum of different economic policies such as freedom of movement, but its basis is on strong support for a market economy and private property in the means of production. Although economic liberals can also be supportive of government regulation to a certain degree, they tend to oppose government intervention in the free market when it inhibits free trade and open competition.

The Libertarian Party in the United States is composed of various factions, sometimes described as "left" and "right", though many libertarians reject use of these terms to describe the political philosophy.

References

  1. Heywood 2015, p. 37.
  2. 1 2 J. Richard Piper, Ideologies and Institutions: American Conservative and Liberal Governance Prescriptions Since 1933, Rowman & Littlefield, 1997, pp. 110–111, ISBN   0847684598, ISBN   978-0847684595.
  3. Getting Libertarianism Right. Hans-Hermann Hoppe. ISBN   978-1-61016-690-4. Mises Institute Publishing.
  4. Johnston 2007, pp. 154–56.
  5. Johnston 2007, p. 154.
  6. Johnston 2007, pp. 154–155.
  7. Schlesinger, Arthur (September 1933) [1st pub. 1933]. "Vol. 48". The Rise of the City: 1878-1898. The Academy of Political Science. pp. 454–456.
  8. Randall, Margaret (January 14, 2018) [1st pub. 1995]. "Preface". Sandino's Daughters: Testimonies of Nicaraguan Women in Struggle. Rutgers University Press. pp. ii.
  9. George W. Carey (Editor), Freedom & Virtue: The Conservative Libertarian Debate, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1998. ISBN   1-882926-19-6.
  10. Nelson Hultberg, "True Conservatism vs. Neo-Conservatism" Archived August 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine , "Americans for a Free Republic" website, December 20, 2006.
  11. DiLorenzo, Thomas. "Constitutional Futility". LewRockwell.com. Retrieved July 2, 2008.
  12. 1 2 Edward Feser, "What Libertarianism Isn't", Lew Rockwell.com, December 22, 2001.
  13. Ralph Raico, "Is Libertarianism Amoral?", New Individualist Review, Volume 3, Number 3, Fall 1964, 29–36; republished by Ludwig von Mises Institute, April 4, 2005.
  14. 1 2 Rockwell, Lew. "The Case for Paleo-libertarianism" (PDF). Liberty (January 1990): 34–38. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-09-07. Retrieved 2018-11-20..
  15. Johnsson, Kenny. "Do You Consider Yourself a Libertarian?". LewRockwell.com. Retrieved July 2, 2008.
  16. Rockwell, Llewellyn H. "What I Learned From Paleoism". LewRockwell.com. Retrieved July 2, 2008.
  17. "Inside Ronald Reagan: A Reason Interview". Reason . July 1975. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  18. Kilborn, Peter T. (September 17, 1985). "U.S. Turns Into Debtor Nation". The New York times. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
  19. "Big Trade Deficit Turns U.S. Into Debtor Nation : First Time Since 1914". Los Angeles times. September 17, 1985. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
  20. Cultural Thought of Ludwig von Mises. Journal of Libertarian Studies. 1991. Lew Rockwell and Jeffrey Tucker. Mises Institute.
  21. Mafaldo, Lucas. "The Conservative Case for Ron Paul". LewRockwell.com. Retrieved July 2, 2008.[ permanent dead link ]