The main programmatic provisions of the libertarian party in any country in the world (like their overall world view as a whole) are beyond recognition from the more familiar ideas of a political establishment for every philistine. Political philosophy, designed to put an end to the very thought of aggressive violence against a person on the part of the state, suggests introducing its own, non-standard terms, regulations and political plans. And while some are diligently deciding whether to refer the current to the "right" or "left" camp, while others point to the archaic nature of such classification and the more perfect arrangement of libertarianism in comparison with the other political currents, we will analyze in detail the whole essence and, most importantly, the meaning This philosophy.
The essence of the idea
The English term libertarianism comes from the French libertaire, which in Russian means "anarchist". Nevertheless, libertarianism in its modern meaning is fundamentally different from the idea of the complete elimination of any signs of statehood.
First of all, the current is oriented not at the state or any social class, but on the individual as a single individual who has the right to defend his freedom and rights without violating them in relation to other people. This is considered to be the reference point for the idea of libertarianism.
From the state, libertarians primarily require minimal interference both in the personal life of citizens and in the economic sphere. Specific theses are a complete cancellation of social support, a waiver of taxation and antitrust regulation. The circle of tasks that depend precisely on the state (what entrepreneurs, in the opinion of libertarian supporters, can not cope with as effectively as their own), must be as narrow as possible with voluntary civil payment (so-called "voluntary taxes" - payment for quality Rendered public services, by analogy with the services of private companies).
However, many political scientists, thinkers and specialists, when examining in detail the many nuances and subtleties of their positions, are extremely utopian and bordering on fantasy. In addition, libertarian views are often criticized by numerous skeptical opponents as "impractical" and "detached from the natural realities."
From the very beginning: a detailed history of the emergence of ideology
The very concept of "libertarian" first appears in the essay of the American philosopher William Belsham in 1789.
A significant increase in libertarianism as a special philosophical trend occurred at the end of the XIX century. This happened after the prohibition of freedom of the press of anarchist materials in France, the reason for which was Auguste Vaillant's August 9, 1893 terrorist attack). At that time the term consolidated the importance of the anarchist movement, the French representatives of which widely began to use the word libertaire as a euphemism and replacement of the former anarchiste.
In 1985 the newspaper Le Libertaire was founded, and the philosophy of "libertal socialism" at that time was born precisely because of its identification with anarchism. In his work Belsham sharply criticized those ideas that attributed to libertarianism, opposing them to the teaching of religious determinism.
However, in the future, the meaning of this concept has changed to a modern definition.
At the present stage of development
Only in the 40s of the last century, through the efforts of the American politician Leonard Reed (founder of the Foundation for Economic Education), this term acquired its current significance. Libertianism implies broad economic and personal freedom with the least possible interference of the state in public life.
David Nolan, being one of the founders of the American Libertarian Party, in 1970 identified a more distinct framework of this philosophy. It contrasts with the boundaries of left-wing liberalism, whose representatives prioritize "personal freedoms", right conservatism (emphasis exclusively on "economic freedoms") and authoritarianism (strict control of the state with the distribution of income from the rich to the poor).
Key theses in libertarian politics
Ideas libertarianism are formed from the works of eminent thinkers of the XVII-XVIII centuries: John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith, Thomas Jeffirson and Thomas Paine.
- Individualism . The main subject of libertarian ideas is a person, a person. People are free to make free choice and to answer subsequently for it, without restricting the other members of the society in this right. Accordingly, the individual with this ideology has not only freedom, but also certain duties. Recognition of the dignity of each individual person as a top priority creates another important thesis of the libertarian vision of the system - a complete ban on aggressive violence.
- Personal rights . The individual's rights to protect his personality, freedom and property are not granted by the state apparatus. They are predetermined by nature, which is reflected in the legalization of the acquisition and free carrying of weapons in libertarian programs.
- Legal supremacy . Anarchic permissiveness by libertarians is rejected at the root. The ultimate goal of the exercise is to build a society of freedom within the law. People, in turn, obey the generally accepted norms of law, which are aimed at protecting the freedom of each person.
- Restrictions in the work of government . The concentration of power causes libertarians strong antipathy. Their ideas on issues of statehood presuppose the separation and restriction of power (the abolition of taxation, followed by the substitution of public services for voluntary civil financing, the abolition of the legalization of the minimum wage, the lifting of restrictions on immigration, the refusal of universal compulsory military service and compulsory school education).
In addition, libertarians oppose restrictions on immigration, state control in the media, medicine and urban planning zoning regulations. The most recognizable of the whole list of their programmatic theses is the legalization of most or absolutely all known narcotic drugs (on this issue the views of libertarians may diverge). This, of course, is extremely ambiguous perceived as a society, and opponents of this philosophy.
A special approach to the issue of economics
The ideas of libertarianism are mixed to some extent with the Austrian school in the theory of economics. She emphasizes her own conclusions about the ineffectiveness of government intervention in the economy, often with devastating consequences. Libertarianism likewise supports the idea of a free market, regulated mainly by its immediate participants.
The emphasis in market relations with this approach shifts from mathematical models of research to the psychological characteristics of the behavior of participants and consumers. Contracts and transactions must have the maximum freedom and transparency, state regulation in this case is completely ruled out.
According to this approach, minimizing the influence of state regulatory mechanisms in the economic sphere, minimizing antimonopoly provisions and refusing compulsory taxation will eventually make people more free and secured.
Which label is right for them?
Based on all the above positions of libertarians on a range of issues and regulations, they themselves categorically deny their belonging to any political camp. They do not recognize themselves as either the left or the right wing. It also denies the classification of libertarianism as a symbiosis of liberal and conservative thoughts (even taking into account the similarity of their ideas with the ideas of these two political trends).
The basic set of principles of any libertarian determines his main position: supporters of this trend will always be on the side of personal freedom and responsibility, advocating for less control of the free market and the individual by the state. The liberals call for maximizing the freedom of private life of every citizen, but they are in favor of a fair share of state control in the economic sector. Conservatives, in turn, advocate a more open and free from government regulation of the financial world, but in their programs there is a certain regulation of freedoms in the personal plan.
The libertarians see themselves above these two camps, offering their theses about the high degree of freedom, both economic and individual freedom. Their direct opponents consider "supporters of a totalitarian state", to which the socialists, communists, fascists, Marxists, statesmen and populists are regarded.
Differences between liberals, libertarians and conservatives
We will give an even more contrast comparison between these three political forces, showing all the obvious differences and peculiarities not only of the libertarian party, but also conservatives and liberals:
|Should the government fix duties, quotas and embargoes in international trade?||Yes, customs duties preserve jobs in the country, and embargoes will help fight right-wing dictators in authoritarian countries that infringe on our interests.||No, such trade barriers violate the right to free trade of citizens and foreigners, while reducing overall labor productivity.||Yes, trade barriers help to protect and preserve the competitiveness of strategically important industries, and embargoes are a reliable tool in the fight against left-wing dictators that infringe upon the interests of our state abroad.|
|The minimum wage should be set at a legal level?||Yes, in the name of everyone's right to a satisfactory salary, otherwise many employers will pay only a subsistence minimum.||No, since it is a violation of the right of an employee and an employer to conclude an agreement on mutual discretion.||No, employers should be able to hire only the best employees, adhering to the minimum prices set by market competition.|
|Taxation - the only way to pay for government functions?||Yes, because many people will not be willing to pay for such issues as benefits for the poor, education, environmental protection and many other services of the state.||No, since taxation is a legalized analogue of theft and must be replaced by voluntary payment of public services, many of which are quite capable of performing private and charitable organizations.||Yes, after all, not all will volunteer to pay the costs of national defense, law enforcement agencies, strategically important industries of the national industry and many other vital services of the state.|
|Should the government help domestic businesses during difficult economic times?||Yes, it will help to save jobs in difficult times, but corporations should be removed from such assistance, so as not to receive super-profits for the state account.||No, government assistance to one enterprise is possible only through the robbery of other enterprises and taxpayers.||Yes, the government should help the business stay afloat, thus stimulating free enterprise.|
|How should the government solve the budget deficit problem?||Raise taxes for wealthy citizens without cutting funding for social programs.||Maximize all government spending and taxes to stimulate economic growth. The government is limited only to issues of national defense and ensuring the constitutional rights of citizens. Pay off debts by saving costs.||Take extra funds to support government spending, without cutting the budget and defense spending. In the long term, economic growth will return the national debt.|
|How should the government regulate nuclear energy?||Due to high environmental risks, and also because of unsolvable problems with the disposal of nuclear waste, construction of nuclear power plants must be stopped and existing ones should be closed.||The state should leave the nuclear energy sector in order to take up this niche of competitive private companies with full responsibility for current and potential liabilities.||The state should pay attention to the promotion of the nuclear industry, since it is a source of inexpensive energy. At the same time, its development should be encouraged, ensuring minimal environmental pollution in comparison with other sources of energy.|
|Should the government, if necessary, send troops to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries?||Yes, if these measures help to protect human rights, help indigent foreign citizens and overthrow the right-wing dictators.||No, no government has the authority to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, except for a response to an aggressive attack.||Yes, if it contributes to combating terrorism, overthrowing left dictators or defending the interests of our state abroad.|
|Should there be conscription?||Yes, but only in wartime.||No, since universal military service is formal slavery, and of slaves, it is not good defenders of freedom.||Yes, a country should always have human resources trained in military affairs in order to be able at any time to give a crushing rebuff to a potential enemy.|
|Should the state own and control the media?||Yes, the country needs a public broadcasting system, and the government should monitor advertising in the media, addressed to children.||Media owners should themselves be responsible for the content of their publications without state intervention, and consumers themselves decide what is allowed in their home.||The state should not own a seal or TV, but any broadcasting system must be severely punished for publishing materials prohibited by law.|
|How to solve the problem of bankruptcy of social security?||The increase in taxes on payroll funds will provide the elderly with well-deserved rest and the state social insurance program.||The social security system is considered untenable, which is why it needs to be done away with, allowing older workers and pensioners to choose between a one-time large payment of funds or annual payments under the current social system. Instead of future pensions.||Reduction of pensions and increase in retirement age. In addition to mandatory measures, to enter voluntary accumulative pension accounts, controlled by the government. When absolutely necessary, borrow money to keep the system afloat.|
|Should children by law necessarily receive school education?||Yes, because it is impossible to completely rely on the fact that parents will be able to give their child a proper education.||No, the law on compulsory school attendance is a violation of the rights of parents and children to freely decide on the formation of a child.||Yes, the high-quality universal education of children is paramount for the establishment of a nation that is healthy in every sense. However, not all parents will be able to give their child a similar level of education.|
|Can parents be allowed to teach children at home?||Perhaps, however, the state will still need to ensure that parents do not teach their child to fanatical, illegal or unscientific ideas.||Yes, the government should not have a leading role in education. In relation to parents who prefer to teach children at home, there should be no regulation or punishment.||Yes, even in view of the fact that some of the parents at home schooling their children could not provide them with the proper level of educational and upbringing process. Public schools also do not work perfectly, but improving state control over schools, coupled with standardized testing, will help to solve this problem by attracting more parents and their children to the public education system.|
|Should the law limit the possession of citizens by firearms?||Yes, weapons kill people and lead to monstrous consequences and crimes with free possession. All processes of licensing, storage and use should be very tightly regulated. If these measures do not help, the right to own weapons should remain only for law enforcement agencies and the military.||No, possession of firearms - the right to choose each person, not violating someone else's rights. It should only be used for criminal purposes.||No, in general, there are no inadmissible infringements on the part of the law. Strict, critical selection among the whole mass of those wishing to own weapons, as well as certain restrictions on the allowable possession of firearms, their licensing, the rules of storage and use. However, in general, a citizen always has the right to protect himself and his relatives with the help of weapons, but there must certainly be an order in case of his unlawful application.|
|Should the state regulate the sexual life of the population, including control and prostitution?||In general, no, but the legalization of prostitution should be regulated to protect public health, as well as protect women from exploitation.||No, because sexual relations by mutual consent of adults do not violate anyone's rights.||Yes, adultery, fornication, prostitution, homosexuality must be outlawed for the sake of preserving traditional family and religious values.|
|What kind of policy should the state build in relation to abortion?||A woman has the right to an abortion, and if she is not able to pay for it, then this should be done at the expense of taxpayers' funds.||The government should not force anyone to finance someone else's abortion. The opinions of the libertarian camp on this issue are split: some consider this the right of every woman, while others consider this to be a violation of the right of an unborn child to live.||Abortion, except in cases of rape and incest, is a crime and must be subject to appropriate criminal penalties.|
|Is legalization permissible for such drugs as marijuana, heroin, cocaine?||It is possible to legalize only light drugs (such as marijuana), but their production and sale should be regulated by the state and taxed.||Yes, peaceful drug use does not violate the rights of others and implements the right of every person to dispose of his body independently.||No, because of the catastrophic consequences of drugs, which they carry in themselves absolutely always, they can not be legalized under any circumstances. The fight against drugs must be even more stringent with increasing rigor of the relevant laws.|
|Should the state abandon migration restrictions?||Although we will provide assistance at the governmental level to people oppressed for political reasons, however, their number should be substantially limited so that they do not take jobs from their compatriots.||Yes, all individuals, regardless of their place of birth, have equal rights to move.||No, migrants should benefit the country to which they arrived, as well as the people of this country. Let's admit a limited reception of foreign high-class professionals in demanded specialties in the country, rather than a barrage of cheap uneducated workforce, which takes jobs from the people and contributes to the growth of crime and disease.|
Thus, we see the whole essence and the main provisions of the libertarian policy, as well as their similarities and differences with the liberal and conservative views that are close in certain provisions. In general, of course, it can be argued that libertarianism absorbed some ideas from both, and from another camp. However, with its special position, different from the others on the above issues, it clearly does not fit into the label "a typical cross between liberalism and the conservative trend."
Pay attention also that some theses and provisions in the program of parties of each of the currents presented above in different countries may differ slightly.
Libertarian Party of the USA: History of Formation and Political Activity
The proclamation by Richard Nixon on August 15, 1971 of the beginning of a "new economic policy" based on freezing the level of prices and wages, as well as on the rejection of the "gold standard," triggered a fierce debate on television screens and strikes of dissatisfied people.
It was in those days that the Libertarian Party of the United States was created. Although its composition was not numerous, as was the number of supporters, this event did not go unnoticed by the Americans.
The beginning of this new political force was put by David Nolan on December 11 of the same year together with a group of like-minded people. Being firmly convinced that such government actions do not at all coincide in any way with the fundamental tenets of the founding fathers of American statehood, they developed a new party program that was radically different from what the Democrats and Republicans offered.
Building all the main provisions of their policy on the basis of libertarian ideas, they offer the following key points: free from state intervention market economy, the absence of barriers and restrictions in international trade, as well as US non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, the expansion of personal rights and freedoms of citizens.
Some similarities in their program concerning economic aspects are also observed in the policy of the Republican Party.
Russian approach: domestic libertarian positions
In 2008, the Libertarian Party of Russia was formed, the program of which was similarly developed on the basis of the ideas of this philosophy.
For the basic principle, a complete ban on aggressive violence against another person or his property is taken against the prohibition of this person. It is on this situation that their political position is built:
- The right to self-defense (legalization of firearms).
- Freedom of thought, religion, association, etc.
- Case law.
- Complete immunity to private property.
- Rejection of the concept of the right to intellectual property.
- Minimizing the state influence on personal and public life.
Decentralization of law enforcement agencies, the contractual basis of the army service and tax cuts are all the same integral part of the program that the Libertarian Party of Russia represents.
The leader of the organization at the head of the priorities of political activity puts constitutional and judicial reforms, considering the Constitution of the Russian Federation extremely inconsistent in terms of civil liberties and in many respects limiting them.
However, in addition to the general provisions of the program, based entirely on the ideas of this philosophy, the party also has some concrete plans for reforming medicine. According to them, the provision in this area is extremely scarce and inefficient, which affects the quality of medical and diagnostic services provided to citizens in an extremely negative way. Providing citizens the right to choose their own medical assistance and insurance methods within the free market is something the Libertarian Party of Russia initially insists on. Financing charities, following their program, must be free of taxation.
At the moment, the party led by the current leader, Andrei Shalnev, clearly lacks a wider popularity among the people. However, with sharp and dynamic changes in the overall situation in the country, forerunners of which are increasingly looming on the horizon in modern turbulent times, the position of libertarians can significantly add weight to the domestic political arena.
As the libertarian party of Ukraine, its program was
In the CIS countries libertarian ideas as a whole have spread in quite different times and times. Another reflection of the ideas of this philosophy on the Ukrainian political platform was the unification of 5.10, founded by businessman and People's Deputy Gennady Balashov. The Libertarian Party of Ukraine as the main priority puts a cardinal reform of the system of tax collection, the essence of which predetermines the party's name: the introduction of a 5% sales tax and 10% of the social tax.
Their program focuses on economic change. They are included in the classical libertarian principle of gradual reduction of state control in this sphere. The party also proposes the introduction of a contractual basis for service in the army, the complete elimination of restrictions on the circulation of currencies and ensuring freedom of possession of arms. In the race for the presidency, not just an ordinary candidate from the libertarian party, but directly its founder - Gennady Balashov, participates.
Nevertheless, for 5.10, as for any libertarian party, some similar features of criticism of opponents are characteristic, characterizing such ideas as quasi-anarchistic and inexpedient. Despite the size of Balashov's capital, he had no real influence on the political life of Ukraine.