Geolibertarianism is a political and economic ideology that integrates libertarianism with Georgism (alternatively geoism or geonomics), most often associated with left-libertarianism or the radical center.[1][2]

Geolibertarians hold that geographical space and raw natural resources—any assets that qualify as land by economic definition—are rivalrous goods to be considered common property or more accurately unowned, which all individuals share an equal human right to access, not capital wealth to be privatized fully and absolutely. Therefore, landholders must pay compensation according to the rental value decided by the free market, absent any improvements, to the community for the civil right of usufruct (that is, legally recognized exclusive possession with restrictions on property abuse) or otherwise fee simple title with no such restrictions. Ideally, the taxing of a site would be administered only after it has been determined that the privately captured economic rent from the land exceeds the title-holder's equal share of total land value in the jurisdiction. On this proposal, rent is collected not for the mere occupancy or use of land as neither the community nor the state rightfully owns the commons, but rather as an objectively assessed indemnity due for the legal right to exclude others from that land. Some geolibertarians also support Pigovian taxes on pollution and severance taxes to regulate natural resource depletion and compensatory fees with ancillary positive environmental effects on activities which negatively impact land values. They endorse the standard right-libertarian view that each individual is naturally entitled to the fruits of their labor as exclusive private property as opposed to produced goods being owned collectively by society or by the government acting to represent society, and that a person's "labor, wages, and the products of labor" should not be taxed. Along with non-Georgists in the libertarian movement, they also support law of equal liberty, advocating "full civil liberties, with no crimes unless there are victims who have been invaded".[1]

Geolibertarians are generally influenced by the Georgist single tax movement of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, but the ideas behind it pre-date Henry George and can be found in different forms in the writings of John Locke, the English True Levellers or Diggers such as Gerrard Winstanley, the French Physiocrats (particularly Quesnay and Turgot), Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Jean-Baptiste Say, Frédéric Bastiat, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer and Thomas Spence. Prominent geolibertarians since George have included Albert Jay Nock, Frank Chodorov and Milton Friedman(on consequentialist grounds). Other libertarians who have expressed support for the land value tax as an incremental reform include John Hospers, Karl Hess and United States Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan.[3]

Property rights

Thomas Paine rev1
Thomas Paine inspired the citizen's dividend and stated: "Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds"[4]

In continuity with the classical liberal tradition, geolibertarians contend that land is an independent factor of production, that it is the common inheritance of all humankind and that the justice of private property is derived from an individual's right to the fruits of his or her labor. Since land by economic definition is not the product of human labor, its ownership cannot be justified by appealing to natural human rights. Geolibertarians recognize the individual civil right to secure exclusive possession of land (land tenure) only on the condition that if the land has accrued economic rent, its full rental value be paid to the community deprived of equal access. This non-distortionary system of taxation, it is argued, has the effects of returning the value that belongs to all members of society and encouraging landholders to use only as much land as they need, leaving unneeded land for others to occupy, use and develop.[5]

Perhaps the most succinct summary of the geolibertarian philosophy is Thomas Paine's assertion in his 1797 pamphlet Agrarian Justice: "Men did not make the earth. It is the value of the improvements only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property. Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds". On the other hand, John Locke wrote that private land ownership should be praised as long as its product was not left to spoil and there was "enough, and as good left in common for others". When this Lockean proviso is violated, the land earns rental value. Some geolibertarians argue that "enough, and as good left" is a practical impossibility in a city setting because location is paramount. This implies that in any urban social environment Locke's proviso requires the collection and equal distribution of ground rent. Geolibertarians often dispute the received interpretation of Locke's homestead principle outlined in his Second Treatise of Government as concerning the justice of initial acquisition of property in land, opting instead for a view ostensibly more compatible with the proviso which considers Locke to be describing the process by which property is created from land through the application of labor.

This strict definition of private property as the fruit of a person's labor leads geolibertarians to advocate free markets in capital goods, consumer goods and services in addition to the protection of workers' rights to their full earnings.

Policy proposals

Geolibertarians generally support redistributing land rent from private landholders to all community members by way of a land value tax as proposed by Henry George and others before him.

As libertarians, geolibertarians desire to see the revenue from land value capture cover only necessary administrative costs and fund only those public services which are essential for a governing body to secure and enforce rights to life, liberty and estate—civic protections which increase the aggregate land rent within the jurisdiction and thereby serve to finance themselves—the surplus being equally distributed as an unconditional dividend to each citizen. Thus, the value of the land is returned to the residents who produce it, but who by practical necessity and legal privilege have been deprived of equal access while the poor and disadvantaged benefit from a reliable social safety net unencumbered by bureaucracy or intrusive means-testing. Some geolibertarians claim the reasoning behind taxing land values likewise justifies a complementary pollution tax for degrading the shared value of the natural commons. The common and inelastic character of the radio wave spectrum (which also falls under land as an economic category) is understood to justify the taxation of its exclusive use, as well.[6]

American economist and political philosopher Fred Foldvary coined the term "geo-libertarianism" in a so-titled article appearing in Land&Liberty.[7][8] In the case of geoanarchism, the most radically decentralized and scrupulously voluntarist form of geolibertarianism, Foldvary theorizes, ground rents would be collected by private agencies and persons would have the opportunity to secede from associated geocommunities—thereby opting out of their protective and legal services—if desired.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Foldvary, Fred E. Geoism and Libertarianism. The Progress Report". Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  2. ^ Karen DeCoster, Henry George and the Tariff Question,, April 19, 2006.
  3. ^ "Learned Libertarians Lean Toward Land Dues". 2015-12-19. Retrieved 2017-10-04.
  4. ^ * Wikisource link to Agrarian Justice. Wikisource.
  5. ^ Liam (2011-06-12). "Geolibertarianism – The Social Contract Fallacy". Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  6. ^ "Basis of Taxation". 2005-08-12. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  7. ^ Abel, Janos (1981). "Land & Liberty - 1980 & 1981 - 87 & 88 Years" (PDF).
  8. ^ Sims, Emily (February 2018). "The Monthly Discussion". Prosper Australia.
  9. ^ Foldvary, Fred E. (2001-07-15). "Geoanarchism". Retrieved 2009-04-15.

External links


Agorism is a libertarian social philosophy that advocates creating a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges by means of counter-economics, thus engaging with aspects of peaceful revolution. It was first proposed by libertarian philosopher Samuel Edward Konkin III (1947–2004) at two conferences, CounterCon I in October 1974 and CounterCon II in May 1975.

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE; French: Alliance des Démocrates et des Libéraux pour l'Europe, ADLE) is a transnational alliance between two European political parties, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (formerly known as the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party) and the European Democratic Party. It has political groups in the European Parliament, the EU Committee of the Regions, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. There are assorted independents in these groups.

The pro-European platform of ALDE espouses liberal economics, and support for European integration and the European single market.

Christian libertarianism

Christian libertarianism is the synthesis of Christian beliefs concerning free will, human nature, and God-given inalienable rights with libertarian political philosophy.

As with other libertarians, what is prohibited by law is limited to various forms of assault, theft, and fraud. Other actions that are forbidden by Christianity can only be disciplined by the church, or in the case of children and teens, one's parents or guardian. Likewise, beliefs such as "love your neighbor as yourself" are not imposed on others.

Civil libertarianism

Civil libertarianism is a strain of political thought that supports civil liberties, or which emphasizes the supremacy of individual rights and personal freedoms over and against any kind of authority (such as a state, a corporation, social norms imposed through peer pressure and so on). Civil libertarianism is not a complete ideology—rather, it is a collection of views on the specific issues of civil liberties and civil rights.

Commonwealth Land Party (United States)

The Commonwealth Land Party of the United States was created in 1924 from the Single Tax Party. Its single-issue platform was based on the free-market tax reform principles defined and popularized by American political economist and public intellectual Henry George, the ideology now called Georgism.

Consequentialist libertarianism

Consequentialist libertarianism (also known as libertarian consequentialism or consequentialist liberalism, in Europe) refers to the libertarian position that is supportive of a free market and strong private property rights only on the grounds that they bring about favorable consequences, such as prosperity or efficiency.

Democratic Freedom Caucus

The Democratic Freedom Caucus (DFC) is a freedom-oriented political action organization within the Democratic Party of the United States that supports basic principles of the party, but does not necessarily share identical viewpoints across the political spectrum; that is, its members are more likely to support individual and personal freedoms and address the basic causes of economic problems instead of just treating the symptoms. Founded in 1996 by Hanno Beck, Mike O'Mara and former libertarian Andrew Spark, the caucus maintains a platform, a list of principles, a guide for activists and includes 40 state chairs and regional representatives.

Free-market environmentalism

Free-market environmentalism argues that the free market, property rights, and tort law provide the best means of preserving the environment, internalizing pollution costs, and conserving resources.

Free-market environmentalists therefore argue that the best way to protect the environment is to clarify and protect property rights. This allows parties to negotiate improvements in environmental quality. It also allows them to use torts to stop environmental harm. If affected parties can compel polluters to compensate them they will reduce or eliminate the externality. Market proponents advocate changes to the legal system that empower affected parties to obtain such compensation. They further claim that governments have limited affected parties' ability to do so by complicating the tort system to benefit producers over others.

Green libertarianism

Green libertarianism, also known as eco-libertarianism, is a hybrid political philosophy that has developed in the United States. Based upon a mixture of political third party values, such as the environmental and economic platform from the Green Party and the civil liberties platform of the Libertarian Party, the green libertarian philosophy attempts to consolidate progressive or agrarian values with libertarianism. While green libertarians have tended to associate with the Green Party, the movement has grown to encompass economic liberals who advocate free markets and commonly identify with contemporary American libertarianism.

Harm principle

The harm principle holds that the actions of individuals should only be limited to prevent harm to other individuals. John Stuart Mill articulated this principle in On Liberty, where he argued that, "The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." An equivalent was earlier stated in France's Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 as, "Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law."

Homestead principle

The homestead principle is the principle by which one gains ownership of an unowned natural resource by performing an act of original appropriation. Appropriation could be enacted by putting an unowned resource to active use (as with using it to produce a product), joining it with previously acquired property or by marking it as owned (as with livestock branding). Proponents of intellectual property hold that ideas can also be homesteaded by originally creating a virtual or tangible representation of them. Others however argue that since tangible manifestations of a single idea will be present in many places, including within the minds of people, this precludes their being owned in most or all cases. Homesteading is one of the foundations of Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism.

International Alliance of Libertarian Parties

The International Alliance of Libertarian Parties (IALP) is an alliance of right-libertarian political parties across the world. Its mission is to promote libertarian politics internationally. The IALP has 21 members as of 2018.At the 2014 Libertarian National Convention in the United States, former chairman of the Libertarian National Committee Geoff Neale was appointed to help with the creation of an alliance of global Libertarian parties. On March 6, 2015 the IALP was formed with 9 founding members.

Liberalism in Bolivia

This article gives an overview of liberal parties in Bolivia. It is limited to liberal parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ means a reference to another party in that scheme. For inclusion in this scheme it isn't necessary so that parties labeled themselves as a liberal party.

Liberalism in Montenegro

This article gives an overview of liberalism in Montenegro. It is limited to liberal parties with substantial support, mostly limited to parties with parliamentary status


Libertarianism (from Latin: libertas, meaning "freedom") is a collection of political philosophies and movements which uphold liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association and individual judgment. Libertarians share a skepticism of authority and state power, but 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 for the restriction or dissolution of coercive social institutions.Traditionally, "libertarianism" was a term for a form of left-wing politics. Such left-libertarian ideologies seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, or else to restrict their purview or effects, in favor of common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty. Classical libertarian ideologies include—but are not limited to—anarcho-communism, anarcho-syndicalism, mutualism and egoism, alongside many other anti-paternalist, New Left schools of thought centered around economic egalitarianism. In the United States and Europe, modern right-libertarian ideologies, such as minarchism and anarcho-capitalism, co-opted the term in the mid-20th century to instead advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights such as in land, infrastructure and natural resources.

List of political ideologies

In social studies, a political ideology is a certain set of ethical ideals, principles, doctrines, myths or symbols of a social movement, institution, class or large group that explains how society should work and offers some political and cultural blueprint for a certain social order. A political ideology largely concerns itself with how to allocate power and to what ends it should be used. Some political parties follow a certain ideology very closely while others may take broad inspiration from a group of related ideologies without specifically embracing any one of them. The popularity of an ideology is in part due to the influence of moral entrepreneurs, who sometimes act in their own interests. Political ideologies have two dimensions: (1) goals: how society should be organized; and (2) methods: the most appropriate way to achieve this goal.

An ideology is a collection of ideas. Typically, each ideology contains certain ideas on what it considers to be the best form of government (e.g. democracy or autocracy) and the best economic system (e.g. capitalism or socialism). The same word is sometimes used to identify both an ideology and one of its main ideas. For instance, socialism may refer to an economic system, or it may refer to an ideology which supports that economic system. The same term may also be used to refer to multiple ideologies and that is why political scientists try to find consensus definitions for these terms. For instance, while the terms have been conflated at times communism has come in common parlance and in academics to refer to Soviet-type regimes and Marxist–Leninist ideologies whereas socialism has come to refer to a wider range of differing ideologies which are distinct from Marxism–Leninism. Political ideology is a term fraught with problems, having been called "the most elusive concept in the whole of social science". However, ideologies tend to identify themselves by their position on the political spectrum (such as the left, the centre or the right), though this is very often controversial. Finally, ideologies can be distinguished from political strategies (e.g. populism as it is commonly defined) and from single issues around which a party may be built (e.g. opposition to European integration or the legalization of marijuana), although either of these may be central to a particular ideology. There are several studies that show that political ideology is heritable within families.The following list is strictly alphabetical and attempts to divide the ideologies found in practical political life into a number of groups and each group contains ideologies that are related to each other. The headers refer to names of the best-known ideologies in each group. The names of the headers do not necessarily imply some hierarchical order or that one ideology evolved out of the other. They are merely noting that the ideologies in question are practically, historically and ideologically related to each other. One ideology can belong to several groups and there is sometimes considerable overlap between related ideologies. The meaning of a political label can also differ between countries and political parties often subscribe to a combination of ideologies.

Natural-rights libertarianism

Natural-rights libertarianism, also known as deontological libertarianism, philosophical libertarianism, deontological liberalism, rights-theorist libertarianism, natural rights-based libertarianism, or libertarian moralism, refers to the view that all individuals possess certain natural or moral rights, mainly a right of individual sovereignty and that therefore acts of initiation of force and fraud are rights-violations and that is sufficient reason to oppose those acts. This is one of the two ethical view points within right-libertarianism, the other being consequentialist libertarianism which only takes into account the consequences of actions and rules when judging them and holds that free markets and strong private property rights have good consequences.Deontological libertarianism is based on the non-aggression principle which states that no human being holds the right to initate force or fraud against the person or property of another human being under any circumstances. Deontological libertarians consider this principle to be the basis of all morality and therefore believe that any violation of the principle is immoral, no matter what other arguments may be invoked to justify that violation.

Outline of libertarianism

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to libertarianism, a political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. Thus, libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgment.

Single tax

A single tax is a system of taxation based mainly or exclusively on one tax, typically chosen for its special properties, often being a tax on land value. The idea of a single tax on land values was proposed independently by John Locke and Baruch Spinoza in the 17th century. The French physiocrats later coined the term impôt unique because of the unique characteristics of land and rent.

Pierre Le Pesant, sieur de Boisguilbert and Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban also recommended a single tax, but unlike the physiocrats, they rejected the claim that land has certain economic properties which make it uniquely suitable for taxation, so they instead proposed a flat tax on all incomes.In the late 19th and early 20th century, a populist single tax movement emerged which also sought to levy a single tax on the rental value of land and natural resources, but for somewhat different reasons. This "Single Tax" movement later became known as Georgism, a proposal for a simplified and equitable tax system that upholds natural rights and whose revenue is based exclusively on ground and natural resource rents, with no additional taxation of improvements such as buildings. Some libertarians advocate land value capture as a consistently ethical and non-distortionary means to fund the essential operations of government, the surplus rent being distributed as a type of guaranteed basic income, traditionally called the citizen's dividend, to compensate those members of society who by legal title have been deprived of an equal share of the earth's spatial value and equal access to natural opportunities. (See geolibertarianism)

Related taxes derived in principle from the land value tax include Pigouvian taxes to internalize the external costs of pollution more efficiently than litigation, as well as severance taxes on raw material extraction to regulate the depletion of unreplenishable natural resources and to prevent irreparable damage to valuable ecosystems through unsustainable practices such as overfishing. The taxation of land values also generally applies to the electromagnetic spectrum.There have been other proposals for a single tax concerning property, goods, or income. More recently others have made proposals for a single tax based on other revenue models, such as the FairTax proposal for a consumption tax and various flat tax proposals on personal incomes.

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