Libertarianism is the belief that each person has the right to live his life as he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person’s right to life, liberty, and property. In the libertarian view, voluntary agreement is the gold standard of human relationships. If there is no good reason to forbid something (a good reason being that it violates the rights of others), it should be allowed. Force should be reserved for prohibiting or punishing those who themselves use force, such as murderers, robbers, rapists, kidnappers, and defrauders (who practice a kind of theft). Most people live their own lives by that code of ethics. Libertarians believe that that code should be applied consistently, even to the actions of governments, which should be restricted to protecting people from violations of their rights. Governments should not use their powers to censor speech, conscript the young, prohibit voluntary exchanges, steal or “redistribute” property, or interfere in the lives of individuals who are otherwise minding their own business.

More on Libertarianism

Commentary

The Libertarian Case for the European Union

By Dalibor Rohac. Reason.com. September 9, 2014.

SimCity Progressives

By Jason Kuznicki. Townhall Magazine. September 3, 2014.

America’s Libertarian Moment?

By Doug Bandow. Detroit News. August 22, 2014.

Cato Studies

Libertarianism and Federalism

By Ilya Somin. Policy Analysis No. 751. June 30, 2014.

Libertarian Roots of the Tea Party

By David Kirby and Emily McClintock Ekins. Policy Analysis No. 705. August 6, 2012.

Marriage against the State: Toward a New View of Civil Marriage

By Jason Kuznicki. Policy Analysis No. 671. January 12, 2011.

Articles

On the Origins of the Modern Libertarian Legal Movement

Roger Pilon. Chapman Law Review. Vol. 16. No. 2. 2013.

Introduction

Roger Pilon. American Conservative Thought in the Twentieth Century. 2011.

A Faint-Hearted Libertarian at Best: The Sweet Mystery of Anthony Kennedy

Ilya Shapiro. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Vol. 33. No. 1. Winter 2011.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Book Review: America’s Fiscal Constitution: Its Triumph and Collapse

Chris Edwards. Cato Journal. Fall 2014.

Revisiting Bootleggers and Baptists

Policy Report. September/October 2014.

From Fiat Money to Corporate Welfare

Policy Report. September/October 2014.

Events

The Future of U.S. Economic Growth

Featuring Brink Lindsey. December 4, 2014. Conference.

The Republican Party’s Civil War: Will Freedom Win?

Featuring John Samples. July 29, 2014. Book Forum.

Debate: Libertarianism vs. Conservatism

Featuring . July 24, 2014. Student Forum.