Not an oxymoron. In fact, the term "libertarian" was first used by a French anarcho-communist back in 1857 to describe himself (an anarchist). The modern term libertarianism (economic freedoms) was originally called liberalism. The term "libertarian" describes liberty (thus, the term is also used to describe metaphysical liberty within philosophy and metaphysics), and the term socialism describes a society in which wealth is fairly distributed. Thus, it is neither a literal nor a practical contradiction.

A libertarian socialist would argue that a society based on such huge disparities of wealth is unfree. If you wish to enter into employment, you choose first and take orders later (as with liberal democracy). Libertarian socialists believe in voluntary association and economic democracy. This will allow the individual to reach his/her full potential.

The most famous example of successful libertarian socialism is the anarcho-syndicalist experiment in Spain during to Spanish Civil War, which was eventually destroyed by Communists and Fascists (see Orwell' "Homage to Catalonia" for excellent first hand reportage of this). At its peak, the anarchist union (CNT) had one million members.

Although sharing much of (if not all of) the Marxist analysis of capitalism, lib socialists vehemently oppose state socialism, especially the authoritarian socialism of Lenin, Trotsky, Mao and, more recently, the socialism of Hugo Chavez. The modern dispute between the two schools of socialism began in the First International, in which Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin bitterly argued over the road socialists should take. This dispute has continued ever since, with many Marxist regimes imprisoning, murdering (Russia), and exiling (Cuba) anarchists.
Modern advocates of libertarian socialism include linguist Noam Chomsky, historian and playwright Howard Zinn, and the Industrial Workers of the World ("One Big Union"), and the International Workers Association (of which the Spanish CNT is its largest affiliate).
by Anarcho-Atheist October 4, 2008
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Libertarian Socialism is a political philosophy that advocates abolition of the state and private property. The term can also be synonymous with anarchism or left libertarianism. The term chould be differentiated from right libertarianism with it's emphasis on laissez-faire capitalism as opposed to libertarian socialism's anti-capitalism and anti-statism ideals.
Johnny is a libertarian socialist who believes in abolition of private proverty along with the state. He believes in a non-violent organic shift to libertarian socialism as opposed to a revolutionary overthrow of authoritarian regimes.
by Jean-Paul Marx December 19, 2010
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Libertarian = a person advocating total individual freedom through minimizing the role of the government.

Socialism = the abolition of privately held means of production.

A libertarian socialist sees the state as a coercive authoritarian institution which the elite uses to exploit the people. A libertarian socialist sees capitalism as a way for the ones with money, i.e. power, to enforce oppression on the ones who don't.

Free market is about as fair as the freedom to kill an innocent person.
by Servant Of Progress November 8, 2004
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libertarian-A person who advocates liberty, especially in regard to thought or conduct.

socialism-The belief that all property should be held by the state or in common. Since most libertarian socialists are anarchists they believe in property being held in common, meaning anyone can use what ever they want whenever they feel like it.

Basically, while libertarian capitalists believe all force and coercion is wrong unless used to defend one's person or property libertarian socialists believe all force and coercion is wrong unless used to defend one's person, but not one's property since all property was originally founded on theft and relies on state coercion. Without state coercion capitalists would have to create private organizations (basically, miniature states) to enforce property 'rights'. Libertarian capitalists ignore the fact that companies would monopolize land and exclude certain companies, eventually leading to vast tracts of private property that function like modern states do.

see also: anarchism
The Spanish anarchist revolution in the '30s and the Zapatista Revolution today are examples of people trying to achieve libertarian socialism.
by 21stCenturyRebel September 3, 2007
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An oxymoron-

Libertarian - values personal freedom, private property, and minimal inference of the state. Citizens are independent and self reliant.

Socialism - No private property, property is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.. Maximize the size of government and government intervention in the lives of its citizens. Citizens are dependant upon the State.
You can not be dependant and still be free.
Government is the only organization specifically granted the power to use force to achieve its goals.
by User ID Withheld March 26, 2005
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An anarchist who likes government. A libertarian who hates freedom. A communist/socialist with a different name for PR reasons. Basically something that doesn't make sense. Another way of describing it...a monkey in a pinata.
Libertarian Socialism is the perfect ideology for a schizo.
by Bucky O'Hare April 23, 2006
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A revisionist and oxymoronic socialist trend that seeks to replace various socialist principles, such as planned economy and illegalization of hate speech with what's essentially libertarian social democracy that does very little to alleviate the basic problems with capitalism and typically continues to place the means of production and land in the hands of private owners.
- Libertarian socialism is the way to go
- I disagree
- Well, youre just not a free thinker like me
by SilverTheGamer April 4, 2019
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