Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Libertarianism in 30 Seconds

An IHS alumn wanted to create a wikipedia entry that would serve as a forum for discovering an "elevator definition" of classical liberal. An elevator definition is an explanation of a word or idea that's short enough to convey in an elevator ride. The rule of thumb is a thirty second time limit.

This is a valued project as most people don't know what a libertarian is and have little interest in discovering what it means to be one. But the wiki people rightly concluded this is not what the online encyclopedia is for.

Thus I offer LL&L as a forum. This post will be labeled under "Ongoing Posts" to the right so users can update and reference the discussion with ease.

If you comment using the "Anonymous" option, please sign your name at the end to make responding less confusing unless you want to remain nameless.


David said...

Apparently there's been some progress at Wiki. Check out

Tim Worstall said...

Quick attempt:

"Many things are best done individually, some things are best done collectively and a few things require the legal monopoly of armed force that only Government has. A Classical Liberal is one who is certain that we do need a Government and that they should have that monopoly and that "many" and "some" cover most of life and that "few" is an extremely small number."

Yeah, OK, needs work.

T.J. Van Wyk said...

I'm fond of quoting a post by Roderick Long (of the Ludwig von Mises Institute & Auburn U). From here:

"I would like to offer libertarianism in one sentence.

The most succinct formulation of libertarianism I can think of is this:

Other people are not your property."

Works for me. Except, the statement requires extrapolation.

Tim said...

I'm all for letting government have a monopoly of force - just not a monopoly of citizenship. If other words, if you don't like them, you join another government, with its own monopoly of force.

Most importantly, Government is not about geography, and the weedy little roots of that notion need to be yanked like the dandelions in my garden. (OK, I don't HAVE a garden now, but it sounds cool. So sue me for false representation).