Libertarianism: A Fifty-Year Personal Retrospective

Mark Thornton 1
  • 1 Ludwig von Mises Institute, , 518 West Magnolia Avenue Auburn, Alabama 36832 USA

Abstract

This retrospective, covering half a century, is a personal history of modern libertarianism. It provides some historical perspective on the growth of libertarianism and its impact on society, especially for those who were born into an existing libertarian movement, including political and academic paths. As outsiders, Austrians and libertarians can expect more than their share of difficult times and roadblocks, although that situation has improved over time. It also shows the limitations of the political path to liberty and the importance of the Austrian view that society changes via emphasis on sound economic science, its practicality, and its subsequent impact on ideology. Finally, it conveys the importance of solving practical problems and puzzles via the thin, radical version of libertarianism.

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