Events •

Debate: Libertarianism vs. Conservatism

Libertarians and conservatives both claim to be advocates of individual liberty, limited government, and free markets. Sometimes these shared values lead libertarians and conservatives to similar conclusions about public policy. As a result, American political discourse often conflates libertarianism with conservatism, and proponents of “fusionism” see libertarians and conservatives as natural political allies.

However, the differences between the two political philosophies are at least as significant as the similarities. On matters such as national security and foreign policy, immigration, drugs, marriage, and the role of religion and morality in public policy, libertarians and conservatives clash with one another.

With the recent ascendance of many longstanding libertarian concerns—such as the surveillance state and militarized policing—into mainstream political discourse, we invite you to a timely debate about the two philosophies and their associated policy implications. Interns from the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute will go head‐​to‐​head to answer the question: Is libertarianism or conservatism the superior political philosophy?

Follow the conversation on Twitter using #LvCdebate.

Cato Institute