Libertarianism is a political philosophy and movement that upholds liberty as a core principle. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power. The term libertarian as a synonym for liberalism waspopularized in May 1955 by writer Dean Russell.
About Libertarianism in brief
Libertarianism is a political philosophy and movement that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power. The first recorded use of the term libertarian was in 1789, when William Belsham wrote about libertarianism in the context of metaphysics. It was again used in a political sense in 1802 in a short piece critiquing a poem by \”the author of Gebir\” and has since been used with this meaning. The use of libertarian to describe a new set of political positions has been traced to the French cognate libertaire, coined in a letter French libertarian communist Joseph Déjacque wrote to mutualist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1857. In the United States, libertarian was popularized by the individualist anarchist Benjamin Tucker around the late 1870s and early 1880s. The term libertarian as a synonym for liberalism waspopularized in May 1955 by writer Dean Russell, a colleague of Leonard Read and a classical liberal himself. But the leftists have now corrupted that once-proud term to identify themselves and their program of more government ownership of property and more controls over persons. At best, this is awkward and subject to misunderstanding. Let those of us who love liberty for our own use use the good and honorable word ‘libertarian’ for a growing number of Americans with classical liberal beliefs, says Murray Rothbard, who started publishing libertarian works in the 1960s, writing that ‘our side had captured a crucial word from the enemy, ‘our libertarian side,’ ‘our left-wing anarchists, either private property anarchists, or private syndicalist anarchists, for the first time in my memory, we had captured the word ‘Libertarian’ ‘Libertarians’ had long been a polite word for anti-private property syndicalists, that is, either anarchists, private-property anarchists or private-ownership anarchists, but now we have captured a word for ‘libertarians’ ‘liberals’ is the word of the day, writes Rothbard in his book, “Libertarians: A Biography of a Libertarian Movement,” which is published by Simon & Schuster, £7.99 ( paperback, $8.99).
The book also includes a foreword by Leonard Read, a friend of the author, and an interview with Leonard Read in which Leonard Read discusses the meaning of the word libertarian and how he came to use it in his day. The book is available in English and French, with a free download from the publisher, Simon &Schuster, priced between £6.99 and £10.99. The free download is available from the company’s website, www.simonandschuster.co.uk, and the free download option is also available in the UK and the U.S. from the same site, priced from £5.99 to £8.95.