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Paleolibertarianism is a school of libertarian thought. Paleolibertarians, sometimes referred to as "paleos", are libertarians who believe that social conservatism is a natural form of values in a free society. Paleoconservatives support most conservative values but believe that government should not enforce them. Many view anarcho-capitalism as an ideal society.

History of term and later rejection by coiner

The term "paleolibertarian" was coined by Lew Rockwell of the Ludwig von Mises Institute as a means of separating idealist anti-government libertarians from the so-called "Beltway libertarians" of groups such as the Cato Institute.[1] In 2007, Rockwell rejected the term "paleolibertarian", claiming he didn't intend for it to be associated with social conservatism.[2]

Many feel that this was due to allegations of racism during the 2008 Ron Paul presidential campaign.[3] During the campaign, many politically incorrect columns and controversial columnists were pulled from his site,[4]

Social Conservatism

Although paleolibertarians differ from many other libertarians in their socially conservative views, they share the idea that government should not enforce these values. For instance, although many libertarians personally support same-sex marriage, paleolibertarians do not. However, both groups feel that the government should not enforce anti-homosexual values, regardless of whether they personally hold them. Rather, they support same-sex marriage, or in some cases marriage privatization. Many paleolibertarians are pro-life and therefore support government intervention in this case.

Notable Paleolibertarians



  1. Karen De Coster "About Me" page
  2. " Do You Consider Yourself a Libertarian?"
  3. Lew Rockwell And The Strange Death (Or At Least Suspended Animation) Of Paleolibertarianism
  4. Ibid.