Libertarian Foreign Policies Discussion


The Wikipedia article “libertarian perspectives on foreign intervention” currently does not incentivize diverse, coherent and calm discussion of libertarians like myself differing from one another on foreign policy and defense policy. At least I don’t think it currently does.

Therefore I am making this WordPress entry happen. All of these are supposed to highlight theories driving Pro-military libertarians.

Pro-Military Libertarian Theories On Foreign Policy And Defense Policy

Niccolo Machiavelli’s Realism:

  • Realists believe that humanity by nature is not tyranny but anarchy, that national governments are the most important actors, that all nations are unitary, and that the primary concern of nations is survival and they therefore must have big militaries.
  • Realists tend to vastly oppose imperialism and only support foreign interventionism if the motivation is survival.

Kenneth Waltz’s Neorealism:

  • Neorealists differ from Realists by seeing nations as inherently federal and also by seeing survival as not the one and only goal but rather the prerequisite goal to making additional goals make sense to one’s national citizenry.
  • The neorealist I know best in libertarianism is Rand Paul, who differs from his father by espousing this particular theory on foreign affairs & national defense, but cannot be called neolibertarian but instead we can call Rand a “libertarian conservative”.

Ayn Rand’s Objectivism:

  • Even though she was not a libertarian but rather something generally similar called Objectivist, Ayn Rand believed – according to my perception of something she said in 1964 – that any free society has an inherent right to wage Liberation War against any Dictatorship. See the full details of this view she held here.
  • This theory is on this list because Ayn Rand was extremely influential on libertarians in America and also in the Western World in general.
  • The present-day heir of the task of popularizing this theory is Objectivist academic Yaron Brook, who adds that if a free society is assaulted by a dictatorship, then that free society needs to use everything at its disposal to destroy that dictatorship. See Objectivist views on Islam and the War on Terror.

Thomas Jefferson’s Jeffersonian democracy:

  • Jefferson believed that the United States has a duty to spread freedom to the world but should not entangle alliances and avoid waging any wars except Defensive Wars.
  • Jeffersonianism also calls for a most-of-the-time reliance on embargoes like the Embargo Act of 1807 instead of having a huge permanent military like every nation on Earth currently has.
  • This theory also has an emphasis on the moral superiority of republic over monarchy in the style of governing.

Theodore Roosevelt’s Big Stick Policy:

  • Big Stick Policy is summed up by the motto “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick”
  • This motto refers to negotiating peacefully while retaining a huge military to use if the other side of the deal violates the deal’s terms
  • Pew Research Center finds that most American People want American foreign policy to be a style of Non-intervention that comes with Big Stick Policy.
  • Most Tea Party libertarians are split between those who favor Ron Paul’s Just War Theory Non-intervention and those who favor a Non-interventionist version of Teddy Roosevelt’s Big Stick Policy.

New York City Neoconservatism:

  • Neocon theory started in the 1930s among Jewish Americans in NYC who opposed tyrannies like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union and endorsed free-market democracies like Finland [who fought with Nazi Germany against Soviet Russia] and Britain [who fought with Soviet Russia against Nazi Germany] during the times of World War II.
  • Neoconservatives spent the years between 1950 and 1969 being the only Right-wingers [other than Center-right Libertarians] in favor of Civil Rights, Martin Luther King, and Enforced Equal Due Process For All People. Overseas they spent these times supporting South Vietnam against North Vietnam.
  • Neoconservatives in foreign policy mainly concern themselves with preventing the development of a tyrannical empire of similar threat capability to the Soviet Union. This includes the use of preemptive war against imminent threats and preventive war against eventual threats.
  • There are two categories, at least according to HelloQuizzy’s foreign policy school test: Classic and Diet. Classic Neocons are the full-on, holistic, “unlimited right of self-defense for all free societies” people for bringing freedom to the world. Diet Neocons are basically the Just War Theorist neocons who believe in heavily regulated warfare when nationally self-defending.
  • Libertarians who espouse Classic Neocon foreign policy are the ones most commonly called ‘neolibertarian’. I do not think you’ll find libertarians who espouse Diet Neocon foreign policy.


Hmm… I decided to ignore the Anti-War Libertarian theories because I hear so many of them being portrayed as the only possible libertarian theories on foreign policy and defense policy. This blog is primarily meant to account for unpopular opinions on foreign policy within libertarianism in the United States. Thanks for your reading and knowing,



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