1.an ideological belief in freedom of thought and speech
1.(MeSH)The rights of individuals to act and make decisions without external constraints.
LibertarianismLib`er*ta"ri*an*ism (-ĭz'm), n. Libertarian principles or doctrines.
definition of Wikipedia
Capitalist Libertarianism • Christian libertarianism • Consequentialist libertarianism • Conservative libertarianism (disambiguation) • Criticism of Libertarianism • Debates within libertarianism • Deontological libertarianism • Green libertarianism • Left-libertarianism • Libertarianism (disambiguation) • Libertarianism (metaphysics) • Libertarianism (politics) • Libertarianism and Objectivism • Libertarianism and intellectual property • Libertarianism in South Africa • Libertarianism in the United Kingdom • List of basic libertarianism topics • Moderate Libertarianism • Right libertarianism • Right-libertarianism • Vulgar libertarianism
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Libertarianism refers to the group of political philosophies that emphasize freedom, liberty, and voluntary association. Libertarians generally advocate a society with a government of small scope relative to most present day societies or no government whatsoever.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines libertarianism as the moral view that agents initially fully own themselves and have certain moral powers to acquire property rights in external things. Libertarian historian George Woodcock defines libertarianism as the philosophy that fundamentally doubts authority and advocates transforming society by reform or revolution. 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. According to the U.S. Libertarian Party, libertarianism is the advocacy of a government that is funded voluntarily and limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence.
Libertarian schools of thought differ over the degree to which the state should be reduced. Anarchistic schools advocate complete elimination of the state. Minarchist schools advocate a state which is limited to protecting its citizens from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud. Some schools accept public assistance for the poor. Additionally, some schools are supportive of private property rights in the ownership of unappropriated land and natural resources while others reject such private ownership and often support common ownership instead. Another distinction can be made among libertarians who support private ownership and those that support common ownership of the means of production; the former generally supporting a capitalist economy, the latter a socialist economic system.
Political scholars such as Noam Chomsky assert that in most countries the terms "libertarian" and "libertarianism" are synonymous with left anarchism. In the United States people commonly associate the term libertarian with those who have economically conservative and socially liberal views (going by the common meanings of "conservative" and "liberal" in the United States).
Libertarian philosophies are generally divided on three principal questions: by ethical theory –whether actions are determined to be moral consequentially or in terms of natural rights (or deontologically), the legitimacy of private property, and the legitimacy of the state. Libertarian philosophy can therefore be broadly divided into eight groups based on these distinctions.
There are broadly two different types of libertarianism which are based on ethical doctrines: "consequentialist libertarianism" and "natural rights libertarianism" (or "deontological libertarianism"). Deontological libertarians have the view that natural rights exist, and from there argue that initiation of force and fraud should never take place. Natural rights libertarianism may include both right-libertarianism and left-libertarianism. Consequentialist libertarians argue that a free market and strong private property rights bring about beneficial consequences, such as wealth creation or efficiency, rather than subscribing to a theory of rights or justice. There are hybrid forms of libertarianism that combine deontological and consequentialist reasoning.
Contractarian libertarianism holds that any legitimate authority of government derives not from the consent of the governed, but from contract or mutual agreement, though this can be seen as reducible to consequentialism or deontologism depending on what grounds contracts are justified. Some Libertarian socialists reject deontological and consequential approaches and use historical materialism to justify their political beliefs.
Propertarian libertarian philosophies define liberty as non-aggression, or the state in which no person or group aggresses against any other person or group, where aggression is defined as the violation of private property. This philosophy, implicitly, recognizes as the sole source of legitimate authority private property. Propertarian libertarians hold that an order of private property is the only one that is both ethical and leads to the best possible outcomes. They generally support the free-market, and are not opposed to any concentration of power (monopolies) provided it is brought about through non-coercive means.
Non-propertarian libertarian philosophies hold that liberty is the absence of any form of authority and argue that a society based on freedom and equality can be achieved through abolishing authoritarian institutions that control certain means of production and subordinate the majority to an owning class or political and economic elite. Implicitly, it rejects any authority of private property and thus holds that it is not legitimate for someone to claim private ownership of any resources to the detriment of others. Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production. The term libertarian socialism is also used to differentiate this philosophy from state socialism or as a synonym for anarchism.[full citation needed] Libertarian socialists generally place their hopes in decentralized means of direct democracy such as libertarian municipalism, citizens' assemblies, trade unions and workers' councils.
Libertarians differ on whether government is desirable. Some favor the existence of states and see them as necessary while others favor stateless societies and view the state as being undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful.
Supporters of government argue that having defense and courts controlled by the market is an inherent miscarriage of justice because it turns justice into a commodity, thereby conflating justice with economic power. Anarchists argue that having defense and courts controlled by the state is both immoral and an inefficient means of achieving both justice and security. Libertarian socialists hold that liberty is incompatible with state action based on a class struggle analysis of the state.
The word stems from the French word libertaire. The use of the word "libertarian" to describe a set of political positions can be tracked to the French cognate, libertaire, which was coined in 1857 by French anarchist Joseph Déjacque who used the term to distinguish his libertarian communist approach from the mutualism advocated by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Hence libertarian has been used by some as a synonym for left anarchism since the 1890s. The term libertarianism is commonly considered to be a synonym of anarchism in countries other than the US.
During the 18th century, classical liberal ideas flourished in Europe and North America. Libertarians of various schools were influenced by classical liberal ideas.[full citation needed] The term libertarian in a metaphysical or philosophical sense was first used by late-Enlightenment free-thinkers to refer to those who believed in free will, as opposed to determinism. The first recorded use was in 1789 by William Belsham in a discussion of free will and in opposition to "necessitarian" (or determinist) views. In 1793, William Godwin wrote Political Justice, which some consider to be the first expression of anarchism. Godwin opposed revolutionary action and saw a minimal state as a present "necessary evil" that would become increasingly irrelevant and powerless by the gradual spread of knowledge.
The writings of John Locke became influential during this time. Locke's political theory was founded on social contract theory. Unlike Thomas Hobbes, Locke believed that human nature is characterised by reason and tolerance. Like Hobbes, Locke believed that human nature allowed men to be selfish. This is apparent with the introduction of currency. In a natural state all people were equal and independent, and everyone had a natural right to defend his “Life, health, Liberty, or Possessions". This became the basis for the phrase in the American Declaration of Independence: "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".
Mutualism began in 18th-century English and French labour movements before taking an anarchist form associated with Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in France and others in the United States. Proudhon proposed spontaneous order, whereby organization emerges without central authority, a "positive anarchy" where order arises when everybody does "what he wishes and only what he wishes" and where "business transactions alone produce the social order." It is important to recognize that Proudhon distinguished between ideal political possibilities and practical governance. For this reason, much in contrast to some of his theoretical statements concerning ultimate spontaneous self-governance, Proudhon was heavily involved in French parliamentary politics and allied himself not with Anarchist but Socialist factions of workers movements and, in addition to advocating state-protected charters for worker-owned cooperatives, promoted certain nationalization schemes during his life of public service.
Mutualist anarchism is concerned with reciprocity, free association, voluntary contract, federation, and credit and currency reform. According to William Batchelder Greene, each worker in the mutualist system would receive "just and exact pay for his work; services equivalent in cost being exchangeable for services equivalent in cost, without profit or discount." Mutualism has been retrospectively characterised as ideologically situated between individualist and collectivist forms of anarchism. Proudhon first characterised his goal as a "third form of society, the synthesis of communism and property."
An influential form of individualist anarchism, called "egoism" or egoist anarchism, was expounded by one of the earliest and best-known proponents of individualist anarchism, the German Max Stirner. Stirner's The Ego and Its Own, published in 1844, is a founding text of the philosophy. According to Stirner, the only limitation on the rights of the individual is their power to obtain what they desire, without regard for God, state, or morality. To Stirner, rights were spooks in the mind, and he held that society does not exist but "the individuals are its reality". Stirner advocated self-assertion and foresaw unions of egoists, non-systematic associations continually renewed by all parties' support through an act of will, which Stirner proposed as a form of organization in place of the state. Egoist anarchists claim that egoism will foster genuine and spontaneous union between individuals.
Josiah Warren is widely regarded as the first American anarchist, and the four-page weekly paper he edited during 1833, The Peaceful Revolutionist, was the first anarchist periodical published,. For American anarchist historian Eunice Minette Schuster "It is apparent...that Proudhonian Anarchism was to be found in the United States at least as early as 1848 and that it was not conscious of its affinity to the Individualist Anarchism of Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews...William B. Greene presented this Proudhonian Mutualism in its purest and most systematic form.". Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an important early influence in individualist anarchist thought in the United States and Europe. Thoreau was an American author, poet, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his books Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state. Later Benjamin Tucker fused Stirner´s egoism with the economics of Warren and Proudhon in his eclectic influential publication Liberty.
An important concern for American individualist anarchism was free love. Free love particularly stressed women's rights since most sexual laws discriminated against women: for example, marriage laws and anti-birth control measures. The most important American free love journal was Lucifer the Lightbearer (1883–1907) edited by Moses Harman and Lois Waisbrooker, but also there existed Ezra Heywood and Angela Heywood's The Word (1872–1890, 1892–1893). Free Society (1895–1897 as The Firebrand; 1897–1904 as Free Society) was a major anarchist newspaper in the United States at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. The publication staunchly advocated free love and women's rights, and critiqued "Comstockery" – censorship of sexual information.Also M. E. Lazarus was an important American individualist anarchist who promoted free love.
In New York City's Greenwich Village, bohemian feminists and socialists advocated self-realisation and pleasure for women (and also men) in the here and now. They encouraged playing with sexual roles and sexuality, and the openly bisexual radical Edna St. Vincent Millay and the lesbian anarchist Margaret Anderson were prominent among them. Discussion groups organised by the Villagers were frequented by Emma Goldman, among others. Magnus Hirschfeld noted in 1923 that Goldman "has campaigned boldly and steadfastly for individual rights, and especially for those deprived of their rights. Thus it came about that she was the first and only woman, indeed the first and only American, to take up the defense of homosexual love before the general public." In fact, before Goldman, heterosexual anarchist Robert Reitzel (1849–1898) spoke positively of homosexuality from the beginning of the 1890s in his Detroit-based German language journal Der arme Teufel. In Argentina anarcha-feminist Virginia Bolten published the newspaper called La Voz de la Mujer (English: The Woman's Voice), which was published nine times in Rosario between 8 January 1896 and 1 January 1897, and was revived, briefly, in 1901.
Freethought also motivated activism in this movement. "freethought was a basically anti-christian, anti-clerical movement, whose purpose was to make the individual politically and spiritually free to decide for himself on religious matters. A number of contributors to Liberty (anarchist publication) were prominent figures in both freethought and anarchism. The individualist anarchist George MacDonald was a co-editor of Freethought and, for a time, The Truth Seeker. E.C. Walker was co-editor of the excellent free-thought / free love journal Lucifer, the Light-Bearer". "Many of the anarchists were ardent freethinkers; reprints from freethought papers such as Lucifer, the Light-Bearer, Freethought and The Truth Seeker appeared in Liberty...The church was viewed as a common ally of the state and as a repressive force in and of itself".
In the late nineteenth century, the libertarian philosophy of Georgism became influential among many libertarians, particularly among American libertarians. The Georgist philosophy is based on the writings of the economist Henry George (1839–1897), and is usually associated with the idea of a single tax on the value of land. Georgists argue that a tax on land value is economically efficient, fair and equitable; and that it can generate sufficient revenue so that other taxes, which are less fair and efficient (such as taxes on production, sales and income), can be reduced or eliminated.
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In Europe, harsh reaction followed the revolutions of 1848, during which ten countries had experienced brief or long-term social upheaval as groups carried out nationalist uprisings. In 1864 the International Workingmen's Association (sometimes called the "First International") united diverse revolutionary currents including French followers of Proudhon, Blanquists, Philadelphes, English trade unionists, socialists and social democrats.
Due to its links to active workers' movements, the International became a significant organization. Karl Marx became a leading figure in the International and a member of its General Council. Proudhon's followers, the mutualists, opposed Marx's state socialism, advocating political abstentionism and small property holdings.
In 1868, following their unsuccessful participation in the League of Peace and Freedom (LPF), Russian revolutionary Mikhail Bakunin and his collectivist anarchist associates joined the First International (which had decided not to get involved with the LPF). They allied themselves with the federalist socialist sections of the International, who advocated the revolutionary overthrow of the state and the collectivization of property.
At first, the collectivists worked with the Marxists to push the First International in a more revolutionary socialist direction. Subsequently, the International became polarised into two camps, with Marx and Bakunin as their respective figureheads. In 1872, the conflict climaxed with a final split between the two groups at the Hague Congress, where Bakunin and James Guillaume were expelled from the International and its headquarters were transferred to New York. In response, the federalist sections formed their own International at the St. Imier Congress, adopting a revolutionary anarchist program.
The anti-authoritarian sections of the First International were the precursors of the anarcho-syndicalists, seeking to "replace the privilege and authority of the State" with the "free and spontaneous organization of labor." In 1886, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (FOTLU) of the United States and Canada unanimously set 1 May 1886, as the date by which the eight-hour work day would become standard.
In response, unions across the United States prepared a general strike in support of the event. On 3 May, in Chicago, a fight broke out when strikebreakers attempted to cross the picket line, and two workers died when police opened fire upon the crowd. The next day, 4 May, anarchists staged a rally at Chicago's Haymarket Square. A bomb was thrown by an unknown party near the conclusion of the rally, killing an officer. In the ensuing panic, police opened fire on the crowd and each other. Seven police officers and at least four workers were killed. Eight anarchists directly and indirectly related to the organisers of the rally were arrested and charged with the murder of the deceased officer. The men became international political celebrities among the labour movement. Four of the men were executed and a fifth committed suicide prior to his own execution. The incident became known as the Haymarket affair, and was a setback for the labour movement and the struggle for the eight hour day.
In 1890, a second attempt was made, this time international in scope, to organise for the eight hour day was made. The event was also intended to memorialize the workers killed in the Haymarket affair. Although it had initially been conceived as a once-off event, by the following year the celebration of International Workers' Day on May Day had become firmly established as an international worker's holiday.
The Spanish Workers Federation in 1881 was the first major anarcho-syndicalist movement; anarchist trade union federations were of special importance in Spain. The most successful was the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (National Confederation of Labour: CNT), founded in 1910. Before the 1940s, the CNT was the major force in Spanish working class politics, attracting 1.58 million members at one point and playing a major role in the Spanish Civil War. The CNT was affiliated with the International Workers Association, a federation of anarcho-syndicalist trade unions founded in 1922, with delegates representing two million workers from 15 countries in Europe and Latin America. In Latin America in particular "The anarchists quickly became active in organizing craft and industrial workers throughout South and Central America, and until the early 1920s most of the trade unions in Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Argentina were anarcho-syndicalist in general outlook; the prestige of the Spanish C.N.T. as a revolutionary organization was undoubtedly to a great extent responsible for this situation. The largest and most militant of these organizations was the Federación Obrera Regional Argentina...it grew quickly to a membership of nearly a quarter of a million, which dwarfed the rival socialdemocratic unions."
Some anarchists, such as Johann Most, advocated publicizing violent acts of retaliation against counter-revolutionaries because "we preach not only action in and for itself, but also action as propaganda." By the 1880s, the slogan "propaganda of the deed" had begun to be used both within and outside of the anarchist movement to refer to individual bombings, regicides and tyrannicides. From 1905 onwards, the Russian counterparts of these anti-syndicalist anarchist-communists become partisans of economic terrorism and illegal ‘expropriations’." Illegalism as a practice emerged and within it "The acts of the anarchist bombers and assassins ("propaganda by the deed") and the anarchist burglars ("individual reappropriation") expressed their desperation and their personal, violent rejection of an intolerable society. Moreover, they were clearly meant to be exemplary, invitations to revolt."
In 1887, important figures in the anarchist movement distanced themselves from such acts. Peter Kropotkin thus wrote that year in Le Révolté that "a structure based on centuries of history cannot be destroyed with a few kilos of dynamite". A variety of anarchists advocated the abandonment of these sorts of tactics in favor of collective revolutionary action, for example through the trade union movement. The anarcho-syndicalist, Fernand Pelloutier, argued in 1895 for renewed anarchist involvement in the labor movement on the basis that anarchism could do very well without "the individual dynamiter."
State repression (including the infamous 1894 French lois scélérates) of the anarchist and labor movements following the few successful bombings and assassinations may have contributed to the abandonment of these kinds of tactics, although reciprocally state repression, in the first place, may have played a role in these isolated acts. The dismemberment of the French socialist movement, into many groups and, following the suppression of the 1871 Paris Commune, the execution and exile of many communards to penal colonies, favored individualist political expression and acts.
Numerous heads of state were assassinated between 1881 and 1914 by members of the anarchist movement. For example, U.S. President McKinley's assassin Leon Czolgosz claimed to have been influenced by anarchist and feminist Emma Goldman. Propaganda of the deed was abandoned by the vast majority of the anarchist movement after World War I (1914–1918) and the 1917 October Revolution.
Anarchist communist philosopher Joseph Déjacque was the first person to describe himself as "libertarian". Unlike mutualist anarchist philosopher Pierre Joseph Proudhon, he argued that, "it is not the product of his or her labor that the worker has a right to, but to the satisfaction of his or her needs, whatever may be their nature." In New York City Déjacque was able to serialise his book L'Humanisphère, Utopie anarchique in his periodical Le Libertaire, Journal du Mouvement social. Published in 27 issues from June 9, 1858 to February 4, 1861, Le Libertaire was the first anarcho-communist journal published in America. This was the first anarchist journal to use the term "libertarian" According to anarchist historian Max Nettlau, the first use of the term libertarian communism was in November 1880, when a French anarchist congress employed it to more clearly identify its doctrines. The French anarchist journalist Sébastien Faure, later founder and editor of the four-volume Anarchist Encyclopedia, started the weekly paper Le Libertaire (The Libertarian) in 1895.
The term anarchist communism was first formulated in the Italian section of the First International. The theoretical work of Peter Kropotkin took importance later as it expanded and developed pro-organizationalist and insurrectionary anti-organizationalist sections. Anarchist communism as a coherent, modern economic-political philosophy was first formulated in the Italian section of the First International by Carlo Cafiero, Emilio Covelli, Errico Malatesta, Andrea Costa, and other ex-Mazzinian Republicans. Anarchist communism is a theory of anarchism which advocates the abolition of the state, markets, money, capitalism, and private property (while retaining respect for personal property), and in favor of common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy, and a horizontal network of voluntary associations and workers' councils with production and consumption based on the guiding principle: "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need".
During the early twentieth century, the terms libertarian communism and anarchist communism thus became synonymous within the international anarchist movement as a result of the close connection they had in Spain (see Anarchism in Spain) (with libertarian communism becoming the prevalent term). In 1926, a group of exiled Russian anarchists in France, the Delo Truda (Workers' Cause) group, published a pamphlet titled The Organizational Platform of the Libertarian Communists. Says Truda, "It arose not from some academic study but from their experiences in the 1917 Russian revolution."
To date, the best-known examples of an anarchist communist society (i.e., established around the ideas as they exist today and achieving worldwide attention and knowledge in the historical canon) are the anarchist territories during the Spanish Revolution and the Free Territory during the Russian Revolution. Through the efforts and influence of the Spanish Anarchists during the Spanish Revolution within the Spanish Civil War, starting in 1936 anarchist communism existed in most of Aragon, parts of the Levante and Andalusia, as well as in the stronghold of Anarchist Catalonia before being crushed by the combined forces of the regime that won the war, Hitler, Mussolini, Spanish Communist Party repression (backed by the USSR) as well as economic and armaments blockades from the capitalist countries and the Spanish Republic itself. During the Russian Revolution, anarchists such as Nestor Makhno worked to create and defend – through the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine – anarchist communism in the Free Territory of the Ukraine from 1919 before being conquered by the Bolsheviks in 1921. The Manifesto of Libertarian Communism was written in 1953 by Georges Fontenis for the Federation Communiste Libertaire of France. It is one of the key texts of the anarchist-communist current known as platformism.
Autonomie Individuelle was a French individualist anarchist publication that ran from 1887 to 1888. It was edited by Jean-Baptiste Louiche, Charles Schæffer and Georges Deherme. Later this tradition continued with such intellectuals as Albert Libertad, André Lorulot, Emile Armand, Victor Serge, Zo d'Axa and Rirette Maitrejean developed theory in the main individualist anarchist journal in France, L’Anarchie in 1905. Outside this journal, Han Ryner wrote Petit Manuel individualiste (1903). Later appeared the journal L'EnDehors created by Zo d'Axa in 1891. Anarchist naturism was promoted by Henri Zisly, Emile Gravelle, and Georges Butaud. Anarcho-naturism advocated vegetarianism, nudism, hiking and an ecological world view within anarchist groups and outside them. Freethought as a philosophical position and as activism was important in European individualist anarchism and it emphasized criticism of religious dogmas and of the church. This tendencies will continue in French individualist anarchism in the work and activism of Charles-Auguste Bontemps and others. "In this sense, the theoretical positions and the vital experiences of french individualism are deeply iconoclastic and scandalous, even within libertarian circles. The call of nudist naturism, the strong defence of birth control methods, the idea of "unions of egoists" with the sole justification of sexual practices, that will try to put in practice, not without difficulties, will establish a way of thought and action, and will result in symphathy within some, and a strong rejection within others."
In Italy, individualist anarchism had a strong tendency towards illegalism and violent propaganda by the deed similar to French individualist anarchism but perhaps more extreme. The theoretical seeds of current Insurrectionary anarchism were already laid out at the end of 19th-century Italy in a combination of individualist anarchism criticism of permanent groups and organization with a socialist class struggle worldview. During the early 20th century it is important the intellectual work of individualist anarchist Renzo Novatore. Novatore collaborated in the individualist anarchist journal Iconoclasta! alongside the young stirnerist illegalist Bruno Filippi
Spain received the influence of American individualist anarchism but most importantly it was related to the French currents. At the turn of the century individualism in Spain takes force through the efforts of people such as Dorado Montero, Ricardo Mella, Federico Urales and J. Elizalde who will translatre French and American individualists. Important in this respect were also magazines such as La Idea Libre, La revista blanca, Etica, Iniciales, Al margen and Nosotros. In Germany the Scottish-German John Henry McKay became the most important propagandist for individualist anarchist ideas. Adolf Brand (1874–1945) was a German writer, stirnerist anarchist and pioneering campaigner for the acceptance of male bisexuality and homosexuality. Brand published a German homosexual periodical, Der Eigene in 1896. The Irish anarchist writer of the Decadent movement Oscar Wilde influenced individualist anarchists such as Renzo Novatore and gained the admiration of Benjamin Tucker.
Anarchists participated alongside the Bolsheviks in both February and October revolutions, and were initially enthusiastic about the Bolshevik revolution. However, following a political falling out with the Bolsheviks by the anarchists and other left-wing opposition, a conflict that culminated in the 1921 Kronstadt rebellion which the new government repressed. Anarchists in central Russia were either imprisoned, driven underground or joined the victorious Bolsheviks; the anarchists from Petrograd and Moscow fled to the Ukraine. There, in the Free Territory, they fought in the civil war against the Whites (a grouping of monarchists and other opponents of the October Revolution) and then the Bolsheviks as part of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine led by Nestor Makhno, who established an anarchist society in the region for a number of months. Expelled American anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman were amongst those agitating in response to Bolshevik policy and the suppression of the Kronstadt uprising, before they left Russia.
The victory of the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution and the resulting Russian Civil War did serious damage to anarchist movements internationally. Many workers and activists saw Bolshevik success as setting an example; Communist parties grew at the expense of anarchism and other socialist movements. In France and the United States, for example, members of the major syndicalist movements of the CGT and IWW left the organizations and joined the Communist International. In Paris, the Dielo Truda group of Russian anarchist exiles, which included Nestor Makhno, concluded that anarchists needed to develop new forms of organization in response to the structures of Bolshevism. Their 1926 manifesto, called the Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft), was supported.
The revolutionary wave of 1917–23 saw the active participation of anarchists in varying degrees of protagonism. In the German uprising known as the Bavarian Soviet Republic the anarchists Gustav Landauer, Silvio Gesell and Erich Mühsam had important leadership positions within the revolutionary councilist structures. In the Italian events known as the biennio rosso the anarcho-syndicalist trade union Unione Sindacale Italiana "grew to 800,000 members and the influence of the Italian Anarchist Union (20,000 members plus Umanita Nova, its daily paper) grew accordingly...Anarchists were the first to suggest occupying workplaces. In the Mexican Revolution the Mexican Liberal Party was established and during the early 1910s it lead a series of military offensives leading to the conquest and occupation of certain towns and districts in Baja California with the leadership of anarcho-communist Ricardo Flores Magón.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the rise of fascism in Europe transformed anarchism's conflict with the state. Italy saw the first struggles between anarchists and fascists. Italian anarchists played a key role in the anti-fascist organisation Arditi del Popolo, which was strongest in areas with anarchist traditions, and achieved some success in their activism, such as repelling Blackshirts in the anarchist stronghold of Parma in August 1922. The veteran Italian anarchist, Luigi Fabbri, was one of the first critical theorists of fascism, describing it as "the preventive counter-revolution." In France, where the far right leagues came close to insurrection in the February 1934 riots, anarchists divided over a united front policy.
In Spain, the CNT initially refused to join a popular front electoral alliance, and abstention by CNT supporters led to a right wing election victory. But in 1936, the CNT changed its policy and anarchist votes helped bring the popular front back to power. Months later, the former ruling class responded with an attempted coup causing the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). In response to the army rebellion, an anarchist-inspired movement of peasants and workers, supported by armed militias, took control of Barcelona and of large areas of rural Spain where they collectivized the land.
During the early 20th century modern liberalism in the United States began to take a more state-oriented approach to economic regulation. While conservatism in Europe continued to mean conserving hierarchical class structures through state control of society and the economy, some conservatives in the United States began to refer to conserving traditions of liberty. This was especially true of the Old Right, which opposed the New Deal and U.S. military interventions in World War I and World War II. Those who held to the earlier liberal views began to call themselves market liberals, classic liberals or libertarians to distinguish themselves. The Austrian School of economics, influenced by Frédéric Bastiat and later by Ludwig von Mises, also had an impact on what is now right-libertarianism.
In the 1950s many with "Old Right" or classical liberal beliefs in the United States began to describe themselves as "libertarian." Arizona United States Senator Barry Goldwater's right-libertarian leaning challenge to authority also influenced the US libertarian movement. During the 1960s, the Vietnam War divided right-libertarians, anarchist libertarians, and conservatives. Right-libertarians and left-libertarians opposed to the war joined the draft resistance and peace movements and began founding their own publications, like Murray Rothbard's The Libertarian Forum and organizations like the Radical Libertarian Alliance and the Society for Individual Liberty. An increase in popular interest in anarchism occurred in western nations during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1971, a small group of Americans led by David Nolan formed the U.S. Libertarian Party. The party has run a presidential candidate every election year since 1972. Over the years, dozens of capitalism-supporting libertarian political parties have been formed worldwide. Educational organizations like the Center for Libertarian Studies and the Cato Institute were formed in the 1970s, and others have been created since then.
In the 1950s, philosopher Ayn Rand became one of the most influential thinkers among right-libertarians and conservatives. Rand created a philosophy called Objectivism and expressed her philosophical ideas in her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and in other works. She further elaborated on her philosophical ideas in her periodicals The Objectivist Newsletter, The Objectivist, and The Ayn Rand Letter, and in non-fiction books such as Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology and The Virtue of Selfishness. She rejected being referred to as a libertarian and was often at odds with many non-objectivist libertarians.
Right-libertarianism gained significant recognition in academia with the publication of Harvard University professor Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974. The book advocated support for government on the grounds that it was an inevitable phenomenon. It was also written to critique A Theory of Justice by John Rawls. Anarchy, State, and Utopia won a National Book Award in 1975. Although Nozick disavowed some the theories promoted in Anarchy, State, and Utopia late in his life, the book remains influential among many libertarians.
Proponents of the free market perspectives argue that free-market capitalist libertarianism has been successfully propagated beyond the United States since the 1970s via think tanks and political parties.
Around the beginning of the 21st century, anarchism grew in popularity and influence as part of the anti-war, anti-capitalist, and anti-globalisation movements. Anarchists became known for their involvement in protests against the meetings of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Group of Eight, and the World Economic Forum. A significant event of this period was the confrontations at WTO conference in Seattle in 1999.
Current international anarchist federations include the International of Anarchist Federations, the International Workers' Association, and International Libertarian Solidarity. The largest organised anarchist movement today is in Spain, in the form of the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) and the CNT. CGT membership was estimated to be around 100,000 for 2003. Other active syndicalist movements include in Sweden the Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden and the Swedish Anarcho-syndicalist Youth Federation; the CNT-AIT in France; the Union Sindicale Italiana in Italy; in the US Workers Solidarity Alliance and the UK Solidarity Federation. The revolutionary industrial unionist Industrial Workers of the World, claiming 2,000 paying members, and the International Workers Association, an anarcho-syndicalist successor to the First International, also remain active.
In the United States, the Tea Party movement, founded in 2009, has become a major outlet for libertarian ideas especially rigorous adherence to the U.S. Constitution, lower taxes and an opposition to a growing role for the federal government in health care. Electorally, it was considered a key force in Republicans reclaiming control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010.
Polls (circa 2006) find that the views and voting habits of between 10 and 20 percent (and increasing) of voting age Americans may be classified as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal, or libertarian." This is based on pollsters and researchers defining libertarian views as
Through 20 polls on this topic spanning 13 years, Gallup found that voters who are libertarian on the political spectrum ranged from 17%- 23% of the US electorate. Most of these vote for Republican and Democratic (not Libertarian) party candidates. This posits that the common single-axis paradigm of dividing people's political leanings into "conservative", "liberal" and "confused" is not valid. Libertarians make up a larger portion of the US electorate than the much-discussed "soccer moms" and "NASCAR dads", yet this is not widely recognized. One reason for this is that most pollsters, political analysts, and political pundits believe in the paradigm of the single liberal-conservative axis.
Since the 1950s, many American libertarian organizations have adopted a free market, capitalist stance; these include the Center for Libertarian Studies, the Cato Institute, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL) and the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Libertarians are prominent in the Tea Party movement. The activist Free State Project, formed in 2001, works to bring 20,000 libertarians to New Hampshire to influence state policy. Less successful similar projects include the Free West Alliance and Free State Wyoming.
International anarchist federations in existence include the International of Anarchist Federations, the International Workers' Association, and International Libertarian Solidarity. The largest organised anarchist movement today is in Spain, in the form of the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) and the CNT.
A number of countries have libertarian parties that run candidates for political office. In the United States, the Libertarian Party of the United States was formed in 1972. The Libertarian Party is the third largest American political party, with over 225,000 registered voters in the 35 states that allow registration as a libertarian and has hundreds of party candidates elected or appointed to public office.
Criticisms of libertarianism include moral criticisms and pragmatic criticisms.
According to some analysts, in post-war Germany, the prohibition of the Communist Party (KDP) and thus of institutional far-left political organization may also, in the same manner, have played a role in the creation of the Red Army Faction.
In March 1871 the Commune took power in the abandoned city and held it for two months. Then Versailles seized the moment to attack and, in one horrifying week, executed roughly 20,000 Communards or suspected sympathizers, a number higher than those killed in the recent war or during Robespierre's 'Terror' of 1793–1794. More than 7,500 were jailed or deported to places like New Caledonia. Thousands of others fled to Belgium, England, Italy, Spain and the United States. In 1872, stringent laws were passed that ruled out all possibilities of organizing on the left. Not till 1880 was there a general amnesty for exiled and imprisoned Communards. Meanwhile, the Third Republic found itself strong enough to renew and reinforce Louis Napoleon's imperialist expansion– in Indochina, Africa, and Oceania. Many of France's leading intellectuals and artists had participated in the Commune (Courbet was its quasi-minister of culture, Rimbaud and Pissarro were active propagandists) or were sympathetic to it. The ferocious repression of 1871 and thereafter, was probably the key factor in alienating these milieux from the Third Republic and stirring their sympathy for its victims at home and abroad. (in Benedict Anderson (July–August 2004). "In the World-Shadow of Bismarck and Nobel". New Left Review. http://newleftreview.org/?view=2519. )
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