Political Science



Right-libertarianism is a libertarian political philosophy that supports capitalist property rights and defends market distribution of natural resources and private property. It is also known as libertarian capitalism or right-wing libertarianism.

The term right-libertarianism is used to distinguish this group of views on the nature of property and capital from left-libertarianism, which combines self-ownership with an egalitarian approach to natural resources. Right-libertarianism, in contrast to socialist libertarianism, advocates free-market capitalism. It supports civil liberties, particularly natural law, negative rights, the non-aggression principle, and a major reversal of the modern welfare state, as do most forms of libertarianism.

The strict priority given to liberty in right-libertarian political thought is characterized by the need to maximize the realm of individual freedom while minimizing the scope of public authority. The state is typically viewed as the primary threat to liberty by right-libertarians. This anti-statism differs from anarchist doctrines in that it is founded on strong individualism, with less emphasis on human sociability or cooperation.

Individual rights and laissez-faire economics are also central to right-libertarian philosophy. The right-libertarian theory of individual rights generally adheres to the homestead principle and the labor theory of property, emphasizing self-ownership and the fact that people have an absolute right to the property produced by their labor. Economically, right-libertarians make no distinction between capitalism and free markets, and consider any attempt to dictate the market process to be counterproductive, emphasizing the market’s mechanisms and self-regulating nature while portraying government intervention and attempts to redistribute wealth as invariably unnecessary and counter-productive.

Although all right-libertarians oppose government intervention, there is a split between anarcho-capitalists, who see the state as an unnecessary evil and want property rights protected without statutory law through market-generated tort, contract, and property law; and minarchists, who believe that a minimal state, also known as a night-watchman state, is necessary to provide its citizens with courts, military, and police.

While right-libertarianism is influenced by classical liberal thought, with some viewing it as an outgrowth or variant of it, there are significant differences. According to Edwin Van de Haar, “In the United States, the term libertarianism is sometimes used for or by classical liberals, which is confusing. However, this incorrectly conceals the differences between them “.

Classical liberalism refuses to prioritize liberty over order and thus lacks the hostility to the state that characterizes libertarianism. As a result, right-libertarians believe classical liberals favor excessive state intervention, arguing that they lack sufficient respect for individual property rights and lack sufficient trust in the workings of the free market and its spontaneous order, leading to support for a much larger state. Right-libertarians also disagree with classical liberals, who believe that central banks and monetarist policies are overly supportive.