The definition of a Libertarian
LIBERTARIANS support maximum liberty in both personal and
economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one
that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence.
Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose
government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate
diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.
lib·er·tar·i·an: One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state. -- American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition
Libertarianism is, as the name implies, the belief in liberty. Libertarians believe that each person owns his own life and property, and has the right to make his own choices as to how he lives his life -- as long as he simply respects the same right of others to do the same. -- Sharon Harris (>), President, Advocates for Self-Government
Libertarianism. The belief that government should not interfere in the lives of citizens, other than to provide police and military protection. Libertarianism cannot easily be placed on the left-right scale that is usually used to analyze political philosophies. Libertarians are strong supporters of capitalism and free trade and yet also tolerant on social and lifestyle issues, which are considered none of the government's business. The basic philosophy is "live and let live." -- iAmericanSpirit Political Dictionary
A libertarian is the opposite of an authoritarian. Strictly speaking, a libertarian is one who rejects the idea of using violence or the threat of violence -- legal or illegal -- to impose his will or viewpoint upon any peaceful person. Generally speaking, a libertarian is one who wants to be governed far less than he is today. -- Dean Russell, Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)
Libertarianism is what your mom taught you: behave yourself and don't hit your sister. -- Dr. Kenneth Bisson
Libertarianism is America's heritage of liberty, patriotism, and honest work to build a future for your family. It's the idea that being free and independent is a great way to live. That each of us is a unique individual, with great potential. That you own yourself, and that you have the right to decide what's best for you. -- David Bergland (<), author, Libertarianism in One Lesson
Libertarianism encompasses all or most of the following: strong support of individual civil liberties, social tolerance, and private property; belief in the positive powers of the free market; and an espousal of constitutionally limited and greatly reduced government. Libertarian thought at its most basic level agrees with Jefferson's statement, "That government is best which governs least." -- Deanna Corbeil, PageWise.com
Libertarianism holds that human happiness and prosperity are maximized to the extent that individuals are allowed to make their own decisions about how to live and what to believe. Individuals should be free to follow their own consciences and inspirations, to choose their own values, and to decide for themselves as much as possible their occupations, undertakings, pastimes, and transactions. Libertarianism is self-determination. It is thinking for yourself. -- Michael S. Wolf
Libertarians believe individuals should be free to do anything they want, so long as they do not infringe upon the equal rights of others. They further believe that the only legitimate use of force, whether public or private, is to protect those rights. -- The FreeDictionary.com
[Libertarianism] is the classic idea of freedom tempered with responsibility for the consequences of your actions. -- Charles Murray, author, What It Means to Be a Libertarian
Basically, libertarianism is a restatement of how we learned to get along with each other as youngsters. We honor our neighbors' choices, and they honor ours. We don't start fights and only fight back when attacked. We try to make right any wrongs that we do. Simple, isn't it? -- Dr. Mary Ruwart (>), author, Healing Our World
Libertarians wish to build a society based primarily on voluntary rather than involuntary relationships between individuals. Libertarians share with liberals a concern for freedom of expression. Libertarians share with conservatives a concern for free enterprise. The result of this mixture is a political philosophy which favors as little government as possible.-- Glen Raphael, creator, Liberals & Libertarians
"Quick and to the point" Definition
Here's another definition I like, easy to remember and quick and to the point: Libertarians are Fiscally Conservative, Socially Tolerant, and Constitutionally Proper.