Libertarianism is a political philosophy and holds one political position: no one may initiate coercion against an innocent person.
This philosophical principle is referred to as the “Non-Aggression Principle” and or the “Do No Harm Axiom“.
The other side of this philosophical coin is the right to Private Property as it is a self evident truth as derived from our humanity.
Philosophy, what is it? Philosophy can be summed up as the pursuit of ethical excellence.
Principle, what is it? A principal and or ethic is logically consistent.
Types of Libertarism are varied. A person may consider themselves a small “l” Libertarian for they feel that there is room for government to manage a welfare system for example. Or a person may consider themselves a Big “L” Libertarian for they apply the Non-Aggression Principle 100% of the time. There is no one right way to be a Libertarian because everyone is different. In either case the difference between the two examples will be very small when we look at the whole poltical landscape. No matter where you find yourself on the Libertarian rainbow one thing is for certain, you want to world to be organized and running an organic and peaceful manner. Libertarians believe all forms of human association should be voluntary in nature.
Read how other people define Libertarianism, click here.
The birth of America in the Declaration of Independence recognized that our rights come from within us. Rights are not given to us by a government which is composed of other humans.
We, the members of the Libertarian Party of Oregon, hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and oppose the initiation of force or fraud as a means of achieving political or social goals. We are dedicated to the right of all individuals to live in whatever manner they choose, as long as they do not forcibly interfere with the right of others to live as they choose. Governments throughout history, including our own, have operated on the principle that the state has the right to control the lives of individuals and confiscate the fruits of their labor. All other political parties in this country grant government these powers. We, however, hold that governments, when instituted, have only one legitimate function: to protect the rights of the individual. We challenge the concept that governments have the right to become involved in any activity not directly related to the protection of individual rights. Governments should exist only to ensure the right to free speech and action, the right to own property, and the right to engage in voluntary contractual arrangements with other individuals. No individual should be forced by the State, or another person, to relinquish any portion of his or her life or property for the benefit of another person.