Explain the term ‘libertarianism’. (10 marks)

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  • Created by: Dulcimer
  • Created on: 01-01-15 13:16
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  • Explain the term ‘libertarianism’. (10 marks)
    • This is an ideological stance that gives strict priority to liberty/freedom
      • (specifically negative freedom)
      • over other values such as authority, tradition and equality
    • Libertarians seek to maximise the realm of individual freedom and minimise the scope of public authority
      • typically seeing the state as the principal threat to liberty and viewing its role as merely a ‘protection agency’ or ‘nightwatchman’
    • libertarianism is basically rooted in the idea of individual rights and laissez-faire economic doctrines
      • libertarians would oppose state action, against, for example, those who wish to take leisure drugs or to consort with prostitutes
      • likely to point out that libertarians are critical of the welfare state
        • and of an extensive role for government in the economic sphere
    • whilst the term is usually associated with liberalism it is actually quite difficult to place on the political spectrum
    • New Right conservatives and anarchists also champion values
      • which could be described as libertarian


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