"lib·er·tar·i·an: One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state." - American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
An Animated Introduction to the Philosophy of Liberty "A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim." - author L. Neil Smith
Brief Outline of Libertarian Philosophy
Libertarianism.com "Libertarians believe the answer to America's political problems is the same commitment to freedom that earned America its greatness: a free-market economy and the abundance and prosperity it brings; a dedication to civil liberties and personal freedom that marks this country above all others; and a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade as prescribed by America's founders." - The Libertarian Party: A Short History
"We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.
"We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose." - from the LP Statement of Principles
The Libertarian Party on Today's Issues
Libertarians are neither left nor right. "Libertarians are self-governors in both personal and economic matters. They believe government's only purpose is to protect people from coercion and violence. Libertarians value individual responsibility, and tolerate economic and social diversity." - Carole Ann Rand, Chair, Board of Directors, Advocates for Self-Government
Property and Liberty "Libertarians believe that you have the right to live your life as you wish, without the government interfering -- as long as you don’t violate the rights of others. Politically, this means Libertarians favor rolling back the size and cost of government, and eliminating laws that stifle the economy and control people’s personal choices." - Libertarian Party (USA) FAQ
Six Myths About Libertarianism
"Had my mother ever paused practicing libertarianism long enough to ponder it, I think she would have defined it in stern (Stirnerite?) terms of individualism. Liberty, to her, was simply being human to the hilt; being absolutely responsible for your own choices in life, questioning authority, being honest in all dealing with others, and never initiating force to get your way or condoning it for someone else to get their way."
- Karl Hess, "The Most Unforgettable Libertarian I Ever Knew," Liberty, December 1987
Wikipedia page on Libertarianism
"A libertarian is a person - any person - who consistently advocates individual freedom and consistently opposes the initiation of the use of coercion by anyone upon the person or property of anyone else for any reason...Libertarians are for individual freedom - and this includes the freedom of people to do some things that we and other people may disapprove of. A person should be free (from coercive interference) to do what he pleases with his own life and property, as long as he does not violate (through coercive interference) the same right of other peaceful persons to do what they want with their lives and properties."
- Sam Wells, What a Libertarian Is - and Is Not