Libertarianism (Latin: liber, "free") is a set of related political philosophies that uphold liberty as the highest political end. This includes emphasis on the primacy of individual liberty, political freedom, and voluntary association. It is an antonym of authoritarianism. Although libertarians share a skepticism of governmental authority, they diverge on the extent and character of their opposition. Certain schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views on how far the powers of government should be limited and others contend the state should not exist at all. While minarchists propose a state limited in scope to preventing aggression, theft, breach of contract and fraud, anarchistsadvocate its complete elimination as a political system. While some libertarians accept laissez-faire capitalism and private property rights, such as in land and natural resources, others oppose capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, instead advocating their common or cooperative ownership and management.
In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, libertarianism is defined as the moral view that agents initially fully own themselves and have certain moral powers to acquireproperty rights in external things. Libertarian philosopher Roderick Long defines libertarianism as "any political position that advocates a radical redistribution of power from the coercive state to voluntary associations of free individuals", whether "voluntary association" takes the form of the free market or of communal co-operatives. In the United States, the term libertarianism is often used as a synonym for combined economic and cultural liberalism while outside that country there is a strong tendency to associate libertarianism with anarchism.
Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates stateless societies often defined as self-governed voluntary institutions, but that several authors have defined as more specific institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful. While anti-statism is central, some argue that anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organisation in the conduct of human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system.
As a subtle and anti-dogmatic philosophy, anarchism draws on many currents of thought and strategy. Anarchism does not offer a fixed body of doctrine from a single particular world view, instead fluxing and flowing as a philosophy. There are many types and traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Anarchist schools of thought can differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. Strains of anarchism have often been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism or similar dual classifications. Anarchism is often considered a radical left-wing ideology, and much of anarchist economicsand anarchist legal philosophy reflect anti-authoritarian interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism, mutualism, or participatory economics.
Anarchism as a mass social movement has regularly endured fluctuations in popularity. The central tendency of anarchism as a social movement has been represented by anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism, with individualist anarchism being primarily a literary phenomenon which nevertheless did have an impact on the bigger currents and individualists have also participated in large anarchist organisations. Many anarchists oppose all forms of aggression, supporting self-defense or non-violence (anarcho-pacifism), while others have supported the use of some coercive measures, including violent revolution and propaganda of the deed, on the path to an anarchist society.