Simply stated, the libertarian philosophy is, “Live and let live.” Each individual must be free to do as she or he pleases as long as she or he does not infringe upon the equal rights of others. Don’t tread on anyone! This is a central idea of our Declaration of Independence.
More specifically, “live and let live” means that force must not be used on an individual, unless that person has initiated the use of force or fraud. The Libertarian Party is the party of principle, and this is the simple but powerful principle from which libertarian positions on all issues are logically and consistently derived. This principle is embodied in the pledge that all party members take which says Libertarians do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force or fraud as a means of achieving political or social goals.
All laws empower the government to use force on people. Some laws deter and punish those who would initiate force for murder, robbery, assault, etc., and are entirely consistent with the legitimate purpose of government, which is to protect and secure our rights. However, many laws restrict or even violate our rights, quite the opposite of protecting and securing them. Thus, our governments have become the largest users of oppressive force on people through their complex thicket of laws.
Libertarians advocate maximizing liberty by reducing the use of force on honest, peaceful people to an absolute minimum.
A more detailed explanation is given in this short essay, “Goal: Minimizing Aggression”
At the heart of Libertarian philosophy is the Non-aggression Principle or NAP. Here is a complete formal statement of the NAP with a few explanatory words: “The Non-aggression Principle”
This article may also be of interest: “Libertarian Taxation”
For more information, visit the Libertarian Party websites;