Sociology Index


Left-libertarianism endorses full self-ownership, but differs on unappropriated natural resources. Right-libertarianism holds that unappropriated natural resources may be appropriated by individuals. Left-libertarianism holds that unappropriated natural resources belong to everyone and must be distributed in some egalitarian manner. Leonard Read rejected the concepts of left and right libertarianism, calling them "Authoritarianism." Libertarianism is a term used by political philosophies which seek to promote individual liberty and seek to minimize or abolish the state.

Libertarian socialism is often used as a synonym for non-individualist anarchism or socialist anarchism, to dilineate it from individualist libertarianism. People who do not use libertarianism as a synonym for anarchism but use it to refer to individualistic free-market economy philosophy only, refer to free-market anarchism as libertarian anarchism. Libertarianism is also synonymous with classical liberalism. The word libertarian is an antonym of authoritarian. Till recently the term libertarianism was often used as a synonym for Anarchism.

"Left-libertarians say what is yours legally might not be yours morally, it all depends how you got it." University of Manchester professor Hillel Steiner. In addition to his extensive writing on rights and theories of justice, Steiner’s claim to intellectual fame is his pioneering of the ideas of Left-Libertarianism. "When it comes to appropriating natural resources such as land, it’s not a matter of moral indifference as to who gets how much. All the stuff that’s not a product of human labour has to be divided equally."

Books on Left-libertarianism

The Origins of Left-Libertarianism: An Anthology of Historical Writings - by Peter Vallentyne (Editor), Hillel Steiner (Editor).
Historically most important discussions of the philosophical foundations of left-libertarianism. Like the more familiar right-libertarianism, left-libertarianism holds that agents own themselves. Unlike right-libertarianism, however, left-libertarianism holds that natural resources are owned by the members of society in some egalitarian manner, and may be appropriated only with their permission, or with a significant payment to them.

Left-Libertarianism and Its Critics: The Contemporary Debate - by Peter Vallentyne (Editor), Hillel Steiner (Editor).
A collection of important recent writing on left-liberalism or left-libertarianism, a political philosophy that recognizes both strong liberty rights and strong demands for material equality.