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Reading Selections for libertarians

Suggested Reading

Individualist Anarchism v. Communist Anarchism and Libertarianism, by Wendy McElroy, The New Libertarian, Issue #12, October, 1984. Among other things, this article explains the connection of Individualist anarchism to libertarianism.


" the days of Tucker individualist anarchism and libertarianism used to be synonymous"

"...the word "libertarian" has changed due to the fairly successful efforts of the Libertarian Party to associate libertarianism with political goals and the political means, both of which are anathema to individualist anarchist theory."

"More and more, the goal of libertarianism has changed from dismantling the State to joining the State and replacing the face behind the desk of power as though it were the particular face and not the desk -- the position of unjust power itself -- that was the enemy. But to an individualist anarchist, the enemy is anyone who assumes political power and anyone who aspires to it."

For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto - by Murray N. Rothbard (full, free, online text of the book). An explanation of libertarianism from the perspective of a libertarian who was an anarchist and a capitalist (an "anarcho-capitalist").


"In fact, if you wish to know how libertarians regard the State and any of its acts, simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place."

The Law - by Frederick Bastiat (translated by Dean Russell). Reproduced by Mondo Politico with permission of the Foundation for Economic Education. Includes a handy hyper-linked table of contents.


"If every person has the right to defend even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute."

Does Objectivism support Libertarianism?
- Answers to that question, comprised of quotations from the works of the mother of Objectivism, Ayn Rand. Compiled for the purpose by the Ayn Rand Institute.


"I disapprove of, disagree with and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives, the so-called hippies of the right,’ who attempt to snare the younger or more careless ones of my readers by claiming simultaneously to be followers of my philosophy and advocates of anarchism."

An Anarchist FAQ
- An excellent primer on anarchism, it demonstrates that the core principles of anarchism are the core principles of libertarianism: liberty - the absense of coercion via the elimination of heirarchy.


"...due to the creation of the Libertarian Party in the USA, many people now consider the idea of "libertarian socialism" to be a contradiction in terms. Indeed, many "Libertarians" think anarchists are just attempting to associate the "anti-libertarian" ideas of "socialism" (as Libertarians conceive it) with Libertarian ideology in order to make those "socialist" ideas more "acceptable" -- in other words, trying to steal the "libertarian" label from its rightful possessors.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Anarchists have been using the term "libertarian" to describe themselves and their ideas since the 1850's."

New Libertarian Manifesto - by Samuel Edward Konkin III. Anarcho-capitalist ("agorist") theory, combined with a strategy and how-to guide for organizing to defeat government.


"Externally, the world-wide collapse of the "Left" has weakened restraints on the competitive segments of the State who are rushing towards war to re-mystify their restive victims with patriotism. Seizing the abandoned leadership of the anti-imperialism, anti-war and anti-conscription movement with a fresh, invigorating, ideological backing has become an opportunity for libertarians to become the Left."

Frequently Asked Questions About Libertarianism - compiled and published by the Advocates for Self-Government, this FAQ provides answers to many of the issue-oriented questions that are put to libertarians (e.g., what is the libertarian position on the draft? on taxes? etc.).


"I'm for cutting taxes, but as a practical matter, how do we do it?

Think of government as a conglomerate of service businesses. The providers of those services do not have to be government employees, and the services do not have to be paid for with tax dollars. Whether it is education, security, transportation, charity, energy, or whatever, the private sector is already doing it for less."

Do you know of other high-quality written works related to libertarianism, or of interest to libertarians, that are available on the web? Send your suggestions to


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