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The Key Difference Between Liberals & Libertarians

by Logan

Living in this world requires certain things to survive, like, air, food, drinks, and other necessities.

Living in any society requires a certain mindset and a set of ideologies that helps the individual to head towards a particular direction in life.

It is important because when we are living with people we have to deal with them and to do so a particular direction and approach is required,

Whether we agree with it or not or even if we remain in denial, one way or the other, we all are associated with some political ideology. The political spectrum has a left and right-wing to it and there are several ideologies that lie under both these spectrums.

The key differences between a liberal and a libertarian are the things they advocate for. Generally, a liberal will fight for individual rights so long as it is within their beliefs and what they think is good for the masses. A libertarian, on the other hand, believes in the freedom to fight for whatever you believe in, whether it may or may not be good for the masses.

Today we are going to talk about two types of people who hold two ALMOST different types of ideologies and those are a Liberal and a Libertarian.

So let’s get going.

What is a liberal?

Liberals believe in a progressive government that supports social changes generally beneficial to the masses. They’re considered the opposite of a conservative.

A Liberal is often associated with conservatives as both of them talk about the rights and freedom of people but in a conditional way. This means that a Liberal will fight for what is right in their view. They will go to any civilized level to protest to get what is acknowledged from their perspective.

A Liberal is also more empathetic and considerate about other people and their opinion and wants good for others too. But a Liberal will not approve of an outsider. By saying that, I meant that people who are not following the ideology of a Liberal will have no soft corner in a Liberal’s heart.

A bird flying out of frame
Liberal and Libertarian

What is a libertarian?

A Libertarian ideology is all about harmony, happiness, prosperity, and peace and how these can be achieved with maximum liberty and minimum governance as possible.

According to a Libertarian, a society thrives when there are individual rights, freedom of economy, and minimum governance as possible. It is a popular thought that a Libertarian will fight for every freedom even if they do not agree with it.

We have seen some historical movements like civil rights, women’s suffrage, and abolition. Following are a few prominent names from history that were popular for being Libertarian.

  • James Madison
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Isabel Paterson
  • Rose Wilder Lane
  • Thomas Paine

In comparison with the protesting style of a Liberal, a Libertarian is more composed and non-violent. These people believe in doing debates that are rational and they let the opponent leave the floor through their logical reasoning.

A Libertarian is almost always in the opposition they believe that a private authority can do better for the rights of individuals rather than the bunch of people who calls themselves government and for me this particular mindset of a Libertarian makes them extreme.

Check out this video to know more about Libertarians.

All about Libertarians.

Are liberals libertarian?

Liberals and Libertarians have so much in common when they are talking about the rights of an individual, freedom of economy, ownership, and the minimum intervention of the government.

But there are still a few points that make both of these ideologies stand different against each other and to understand this topic more, we have got to explore them. So here we go with the elaboration of the beliefs of a Liberal and a Libertarian.

Here are some points of differences and similarities I find between a Liberal and a Libertarian that will allow you to distinguish the ideological pattern between both of them.

A LiberalA Libertarian
EducationA Liberal believes in making education easy and to do so they provide scholarships to deserving students.A Libertarian provides loans rather than scholarships so that students can pay back when they can.
NationhoodA Liberal wears his or her national identification with pride.A Libertarian takes national identity as a source of grooming in oneself.
Economic AffairsA Liberal supports an economy with a free market and a state facilitator.A Libertarian supports an economy with a free market and few individual facilitators.
ExtremismA Liberal is not extreme in concept, he or she respects the privacy and likings of all and seeks mutual ground. A Libertarian can go to extremes when defending someone’s right. For example nudity, a Libertarian has no problem with public nudity.
RelationshipSimply put, a Liberal supports marriages over partnerships between couples.Libertarians support the concept of partnership among couples.
AgricultureA Liberal makes it easy for the farmers by providing loans that are either interest-free or have a low-interest rate. The payback offer is also flexible for the farmers. A Libertarian invests in the agricultural sector in order to earn profit.
HealthcareA Liberal provides insurance for healthcare even on high claims and that too at a low price. A Libertarian provides an individual with an interest-free loan but to an extent, the rest is to be covered by themselves.
GovernanceLiberals can accept a centralized body governing the state only if it is not violating the freedom of the people.Libertarians do not accept governance that interferes with their political freedom.
DemocracyLiberals do not deny electorate individuals in the government.Libertarians only approve of direct democracy.
ReligionThe majority of Liberals are Agnostic and a few are Atheists.Most the Libertarians are Atheists and a very few of them are Agnostic.
Liberal vs Libertarian
A Libertarian standing tall
A Libertarian believes in individual rights and freedom.

Are libertarians left or right?

Libertarians don’t belong in the spectrum of left and right politics which means they are neither left nor right. This is because Libertarians strongly believe in individual rights, which means it depends upon the individual whether they choose to be a left-winged Libertarian or a right-winged Libertarian.

The concept of a Libertarian revolves around the ownership and freedom to live to the fullest of an individual. This school of thought is liked and unlike by many for its belief in no redistribution of taxes.

It is only difficult to say what spectrum of politics Libertarian inclines toward because a Libertarian school of thought has ideologies that make it both left-winged and right-winged.

Maybe that is why most modern Americans fail to accept the right-left political spectrum.

Summing up

Politics and their distribution have been a part of the human race forever and I do not think we are going to see it end ever. If anything, the political schools of thought are evolving and increasing with time.

A Liberal and a Libertarian are always confused to be the same by their names and they are the same in some ways but categorizing them both as one is wrong as they have differences between them.

A Liberal works and fights for its own while a Libertarian has no concern about who they are talking about unless they are talking about freedom.

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A web story that differentiates the differences in a concise manner can be found here.

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