ABSTRACT: The essential characteristics of libertarian thought include (1) a concept of human nature based on rational individuals pursuing self-determined ends; (2) an emphasis on ideas as motivating human action; (3) a defence of limited government based on a theory of rights or due to big government’s tendency to undermine the pursuit of individual (subjective) ends; (4) support for a free market based on a system of property rights and contractual arrangements; (5) social liberty by removing government from regulation of victimless crimes which, by definition, infringe no-ones’ rights (examples include homosexuality, drug taking, being a bigamist, a capitalist etc.) and (6) the pursuit of limited government through procedural mechanisms such as bicameralism, constitutions and federalism.
AUTHOR: William is chairman of Hong Kong's free-market think tank, the Lion Rock Institute. He is on the Board of Advisers of the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation and has been involved in financial-market reform for the past 25 years as an executive with financial institutions globally.
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