How should state power be used according to libertarianism?
Libertarianism1 Sections 1, 2 and 3 coincide with the first part of libertarianism. The remaining sections coincide with the second part. 1.
How should state power be used according to libertarianism? Libertarianism holds that state power should be used to protect individuals’ rights to liberty and to their property. It will take some explaining to understand what libertarians mean by this. Just briefly here: Individuals have a right to not be coercively interfered with by others, and the right to justly acquired property. The state’s job is, exclusively, to protect people from being coercively interfered with by others, including coercive interference with their property.
2. Rights and duties According to libertarianism, individuals are self-owners; each person owns him or herself. This means that an individual has a right to determine for her or himself what will happen to her or his body and what actions she or he will undertake. In addition, libertarianism says that we may acquire rights to things, that is, to property (to money, real estate, personal items, etc.). We will have more to say below about how rights to property may be acquired. Rights are inalienable. Rights do not depend on anyone’s permission; individuals don’t have rights because others grant them. Individuals have rights in virtue of being human beings. Some people call rights, conceived in this way, “natural” or “pre-political.”