libertaire

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French[edit]

Adjective[edit]

libertaire (masculine and feminine, plural libertaires)

  1. opposed to authoritative or illegitimate powers (political, economical, religious, military or otherwise) ; anarchist, anarchistic ; (left-wing) libertarian
    • Le Monde libertaire (journal of the french anarchist federation)

Usage notes[edit]

French libertaire, as well as corresponding terms in other romance languages, may correspond to a non-existent english word *libertary. It would certainly be erroneous to understand libertaire as libertarian. French recently adopted libertarien to translate english libertarian. In usage, libertaire is mostly a synonym of anarchist or anarchistic: anarchists constantly use it, people calling themselves "libertaries" talk of anarchy or even belong to anarchist movements.
It would even be a kind of paradox in that most libertarians support some sort of capitalism or market society. French-speaking (or continental in general) movements of "libertary" brands, even of the more individualistic flavor, are opposed to power systems in general, and fiercely anti-capitalist in particular. (Moreover, they originally and still are close to socialism and communism : see eg communisme libertaire or anarcho-communisme.) Right-wing, capitalistic libertarianism, "market libertarianism" and/or "anarcho-capitalism", as common in english-speaking countries, are often considered with perplexity or as a genuine contradiction in terms. Even supposed "left-libertarian" approaches do not correspond to libertaire, except possibly for the libertarian socialist school.

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