There seem to be many misconceptions about what libertarianism is on USMB, so as a libertarian Ive decided to try to clear some of this up. If I miss something then hopefully the other board libertarians will jump in and add to this. The Philosophy: The core of libertarianism as an ideology is the nonaggression axiom, which states that no one may aggress against another. No one may aggress against the property rights, or personal rights of another person. Libertarians make no distinction between private individuals and the state in this regard. The Libertarian Party: The Libertarian Party does not represent every libertarian. The Libertarian Party started off in the 1970s as a radical libertarian political party under the watchful eye of Mr. Libertarian Murray N. Rothbard. In recent years, however, the Libertarian Party has tried to make itself more appealing to the masses by toning down its radical platform and moving more towards conservatism, in the opinion of many libertarians including myself. While we may vote for Libertarian Party candidates, we dont necessarily think the LP is the best representation of libertarianism. Minarchism vs. Anarchism: Yes, there are anarchists who are also libertarians. They are anarcho-capitalists, who believe that a government is unnecessary because the free market can supply anything that the government can for less money, more efficiently, and without aggressing against the rights of the citizens. However, not all libertarians are anarchists, and I dont believe any of the libertarians present on this board are anarchists. Were minarchists, or believers in strictly-limited government. Individualism: Libertarianism focuses on individualism, or individual rights of every person. Now Ive seen posts from opponents of libertarianism that try to imply that we think every individual should be forced to do everything for themselves, or drop out of society, or some other nonsensical idea. Libertarians have no problem with individuals acting along with other individuals in a society, or dropping out of society all together if thats what they choose to do. What we dont support is the ridiculous notion of collective rights outweighing the rights of the individual. We would not support any action that aggresses against the rights of an individual for some claim that its for the greater good. Society as a whole benefits when we respect the rights of each individual, not when we aggress against a minority for the benefit of the majority. Ayn Rand: Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged, was not a libertarian. Ayn Rand had her own philosophy called Objectivism, and despised libertarians. Here are her thoughts on libertarians: Ive read nothing by a Libertarian (when I read them, in the early years) that wasnt my ideas badly mishandledi.e., had the teeth pulled out of themwith no credit given. I didnt know whether I should be glad that no credit was given, or disgusted. I felt both. They are perhaps the worst political group today, because they can do the most harm to capitalism, by making it disreputable. You can find more at this link: The Ayn Rand Institute: Ayn Rand's Q & A on Libertarianism So these are where some of the common misconceptions about libertarianism arise, and I hope that this is cleared up some of them.