The Difference Between Libertarians & Authoritarians


What are the differences between Libertarians and Authoritarians?

The differences between libertarians and authoritarians are the starkest among all the types. Where libertarians are skeptical of power concentrations among the few, authoritarians believe that powerful elites must restrict most any and all freedoms to maintain an ideal social order.

How are Libertarians and Authoritarians similar?

There are no similarities between libertarians and authoritarians on this political typology. That means that these two camps are completely at odds and see no room for collaboration, at least when it comes to any legitimate political process. One might go as far as to say that libertarians and authoritarians are bitter ideological enemies. Libertarians are committed to minimizing the threat of violence by state actors while authoritarians believe the threat (and use) of violence is an important governing tool.

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More About Libertarians

Libertarians score high on both economic and personal freedom. In other words, libertarians value entrepreneurship and enterprise, often because they think these are the bases of a prosperous society. Libertarians are also keen to protect the individual in his or her pursuit of happiness, however different that pursuit might look to others.

More About Authoritarians

Authoritarians generally score low on both economic freedom and personal freedom. That means authoritarians are not only hostile to free enterprise, but they also believe authorities ought to regulate people’s personal behaviors to maintain social order. Authoritarians want the state to control more aspects of economic and personal life because they think such control is more likely to bring about an ideal society.

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