Journal of Libertarian Studies

The "Criminal" Metaphor In the Libertarian Tradition

The Journal of Libertarian Studies

The doctrine of natural liberty is ultimately grounded on two premises which are necessary to the understanding of why governments are "criminal." By the self-ownership axiom, every individual has an absolute right to his or her own mind and body and the labor thereof; i.e., each person has the right to control that mind and body free of coercive interference. By the homesteading axiom, the first user, the first person who transforms and uses previously unclaimed and unused resources, becomes their absolute owner.

Volume 5, Number 3 (1981)


Watner, Carl. "The "Criminal" Metaphor In the Libertarian Tradition." Journal of Libertarian Studies 5, No. 3 (1981): 313–325.

All Rights Reserved ©
What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. 

Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Become a Member
Mises Institute