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Libertarianism (Latin: libertas, "freedom") is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association, individual judgment and self-ownership.

Libertarians share a skepticism of authority and state power. However, they diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing political and economic systems. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power, often calling to restrict or to dissolve coercive social institutions.

Some libertarians advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights, such as in land, infrastructure and natural resources. Others, notably libertarian socialists, seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production in favor of their common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty.  An additional line of division is between minarchists and anarchists. While minarchists think that a minimal centralized government is necessary, anarchists and anarcho-capitalists propose to completely eliminate the state.

Ron Paul

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