Libertarianism is a political philosophy that puts the protection and advancement of individual liberty before all other values. In the conventional political debate, this means libertarians call for less government and more freedom.
This simple definition doesn’t answer the question of why individual liberty is more important, when evaluating public policies, than other values such as the general welfare, religious or moral ideals, or power and glory. In some cases freedom is preferred because government-sponsored coercion simply doesn’t work. In other cases, the more compelling reasons are moral or ethical.
Libertarians oppose government interference in people’s private lives and in their businesses. The objective of libertarians is to free as many people as possible from the tyranny of others. Libertarians believe this requires replacing public policies that limit individual freedom with policies that respect and expand individual rights and autonomy.