Libertarianism (from Latin: libertas, meaning "freedom") is a collection of political philosophies that uphold liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize poltical freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association and individual judgment. Libertarians share a skepticism of authority and state; but they diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing political and economic systems. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power, often calling for the restriction or dissolution of coercive social institutions.
Traditionally, libertarianism was a term for a form of left-wing politics; such left-libertarian ideologies seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, or else to restrict their purview or effects, in favor of common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty. In the United States, modern right-libertarian ideologies, such as minarchism and anarcho-capitalism, co-opted the term in the mid-20th century to instead advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights, such as in land, infrastructure and natural resources.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Libertarianism" as of 17 Jul 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.