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Versions of Libertarianism Essay

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Updated: Jan 13th, 2020


The doctrine of libertarianism entails that people have inherent or natural rights. These rights should not be taken away (Shaw and Vincent 15). It is an immoral act for anyone or for the governments to deny people their rights.

Examples of these natural rights include the right to own property, the right to personal autonomy and the right to use unused resources.

According to this school of thought, the society can cooperate and coexist well when people respect their natural rights. The paper delineates the two versions of libertarianism namely total libertarianism and moderate libertarianism.

Total libertarianism

According to this version of libertarianism, people are protected by the government. The government has the obligation of ensuring that all the rights of people are protected.

The government needs to formulate rules that ensure individuals are well protected. Therefore, the citizens should be protected from activities like breach of contracts, fraud, theft and any subjection of force.

Moderate libertarianism

This version of libertarianism ensures that the government protects free and fair competition in the markets. People should be allowed to carry on with their businesses and other activities without restriction provided they are not violating the rights of others.

For instance, there should be no monopolies, oligopolies and integrations in the market. The market should be free to allow people make progress in their duties without restrictions.

Strengths of total libertarianism

One of the strengths of total libertarianism is that it ensures that people are protected from mistreatment. People have equal rights and nobody should violate them. Further, it ensures that people coexist well in a society.

It fosters transparency and honesty in the society as people respect each other’s rights. For instance, no person should steal someone’s property as this would amount to violation of natural rights.


One weakness is that it is difficult for human beings to govern themselves. Therefore, a government should be formed to ensure that these rights are practiced.

Further, the government, which is bestowed the responsibility of ensuring the protection, may not have the right mechanism or may be biased in its decisions, hence can have negative impact on the process.

Strength of the moderate libertarianism

This ensures that people cooperate and coexist with one another without restrictions or limitations. It enhances unity in the society.

Moreover, it promotes the spirit of togetherness and discipline in a society as people make decisions at free will.

Weaknesses libertarianism

This form of government poses a risk of exploitation, especially in situations when it does not participate in decision-making. For instance, it leads to monopolies that may exploit innocent people.

People may take the law in their hands and cause harm to others due to the absence of a body like the government to monitor their moves.

Of these two free market philosophies, total libertarianism makes more sense. It ensures that the rights of an individual are fully protected. No person is supposed to be deprived of such rights.

Therefore, this allows people in a society to respect and coexist with one another well. This philosophy best addresses the current unequal distribution of wealth. The society is required to use what they have and assist one another.

It is the right of every individual to own property and use available resources to uplift his/her life. Therefore, total libertarianism gives an equal opportunity for every member of the society to use resources to amass wealth.

There is no restriction, hence it can help to alleviate unequal wealth distribution facing the world today.

Works Cited

Shaw, William, and Vincent Barry. Moral Issues in Business. 12th ed. Paperback, 2012. Print.

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