- The Institute for Humane Studies offers a range of definitions. Under some of these definitions I would be a libertarian, and under some of them I wouldn't be a libertarian. I am a libertarian under the initial definition IHS offers. Then they give Nigel Ashford's definition. I meet all of his ten qualifications except for one: (1.) "liberty as the primary political value". Surprise! Surprise! That's where Jeff Sachs identified the primary difference too! It's not like he just made this stuff up. Liberty is not the primary political value for me, it is co-equal with a couple other classical liberal values. And that is really the only reason why you don't see me calling myself a libertarian. Other definitions of libertarianism - some of which include me and some of which don't - follow Ashford's definition on the IHS website.
- The Wikipedia page for libertarianism starts with a broad definition of libertarianism that does include me and then goes in detail from there. It offers one definition from Rod Long which is both interesting and vague. In an expansive interpretation of his definition I'm a libertarian. But knowing how Long views things, I doubt I fall under his intended interpretation. But yet again we see the same trend that we saw with the Libertarian Party definition: making definitions vague so that they're more palatable.
- I am a libertarian by David Boaz's definition.
Let me know if you find others. I don't think I'm pointing out anything too outrageous in the last post or this one. Any definition of libertarianism that includes me probably isn't a good definition of libertarianism. Any definition of libertarianism that doesn't include me and seems to include a lot of libertarians is probably getting close to a good definition of libertarianism.
That's the whole purpose of definitions, right - making useful distinctions????