| We want to stress
that libertarianism is a philosophy of liberty or freedom.
Of course, we believe that freedom leads to prosperity and
well-being, but that is not our focus. We are not about
outcomes. We are about protecting liberty.
Liberals love to depict libertarians as people who care
about nothing but property, as though we really don't
care anything about people. All we want to do is to
defend employers who pay starvation wages. That's
What libertarians care about is freedom. Sure, that
includes property rights. But it includes a lot more,
and that's what we want to stress right now.
Libertarians care about all kinds of individual
freedoms. We want you to consider the following
- Freedom to believe whatever you
want. That includes strange religions and
weird political philosophies.
- Freedom to practice your beliefs
as long as you don't violate the rights of
- Freedom to associate with whomever
you wish. That includes other stamp
collectors, people who believe the earth
is flat, communists, and even Nazis.
- Freedom to live as you please.
That includes sexual freedom, the freedom
to take drugs, to go to nude beaches, and
to listen to music that everybody else
hates. You can experiment with your life.
You can join a commune or live as a hermit
in the desert.
- Freedom to take risks with your
life and your body. You can smoke
cigarettes, climb mountains, and engage in
- Freedom from paternalism. No one
can make you wear a helmet when you ride
your motorcycle. We reject the nanny state
that restricts your freedom in order to
protect you from yourself.
All of these freedoms are freedoms from interference by
others -- other individuals and especially the
government itself. The idea is to set up a framework
within which people can create the lives they want to
lead. Libertarianism is, in a way that Robert Nozick
describes, utopian. It isn't utopian in that it
prescribes in detail the best sort of life for everyone
to lead. But it sets up a framework, and when people
live within that framework, the end result could be
described as utopia.