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Classical liberalism VS Libertarianism

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posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 05:31 PM
I thought that I would go and make a thread helping people on ATS here. There is a lot of libertarians on the internet as I'm sure you're well aware of. So, knowing what the beliefs of libertarians are, and, understanding how they are similar to classical liberals and how they are different would help- I would think.

Me? I am more of a libertarian. Libertarian is based on a philosophy of natural rights. People have the right to operate as they please. Government intrusion is seen as by libertarians as coercion. People who are libertarians like myself are against the government intervening in the economy. Austrian-economics is an outgrowth essentially of classical liberalism/libertarianism and it is a study about how central banks manipulate the economy and causes the boom bust cycle.

The philosophy of libertarianism has different wings to it. There are your anarcho-capitalists. These people are the ones who say that all government is bad. There are your people who are weary of the state. I'm one of those people that think that the state has an extremely limited jurisdiction. I don't want it going around and centralizing everything. Libertarians argue for the state to release its monopoly over various things- like armies, police, over roads. They see that the state has too much power. Libertarians aren't anarcho-capitalists though. They may be weary of the power of the state but they see a need for a vastly limited government. They don't want the intrusion of the federal government over personal liberties.

Classical liberals have more of a tendency to allow some more government intervention than libertarians do. Classical liberals have the same philosophy that libertarians do on natural rights. Unlike libertarians who believe that people act in purposeful ways... the classical liberal believes that people act in rational ways. One of the tenents of classical liberalism is that people act in a rational and logical manner. This philosophy also holds that people have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In short, libertarians favor for more of a privatized system. Classical liberals still want limited government... but they think that the state should be there to help other people and should get involved more. It's all about how much government you want. Classical liberals are against redistribution of wealth via taxes. They still believe in freedom. It's just less of a radical ideology than libertarianism is. Essentially libertarianism is an outgrowth of classical liberalism.

For extra reading:

[edit on 1-10-2009 by Frankidealist35]

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