Embracing Liberty — Limited Government

Improving People’s Lives by Leaving Them Alone

Libertarian Thinker
4 min readApr 4, 2024

“That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed” reads one of the most impactful documents of recent history: the Declaration of Independence. This clause clearly defines what a state is supposed to do: To not act like a sovereign ruler controlling people but protect the liberties of the individual. Here, the founding fathers expressed their conception of a government fostering the unfolding of every person, allowing the natural creativity and enterprise of its people to flourish.

Unfortunately, many people seem to have forgotten or do not agree with this principle on which the United States is built upon. Today, the idea of limited government appears to be a figment held by libertarians, which do, in fact, constitute minorities in most countries of the world. However, let me explain how it’s well thought out bearing on reasoned principles.

The Essence of Limited Government

At its core, limited government is a simple yet profound idea: that the state should exert the least amount of force necessary over its citizens. It’s about setting boundaries for the government to ensure that it serves the people, not the other way around. Libertarians advocate this principle because they are convinced that people will find a way to solve their problems. Although they have some ideas of how one should approach different challenges, they don’t believe that these are their thoughts constitute golden paths to achieving the specific goals. They grasp that their fellow humans have other ideas which might be as good or superior and hold the a belief that the collective wisdom of free individuals is superior to the dictates of a few in power.

The principle of limited government fosters an environment where personal responsibility is paramount, and the state’s intrusion into daily life is minimized. Most people have probably not considered that whenever they call for government to regulate this or tax that, they ultimately demand that people be killed if they do not follow their ideas. A state’s final means is always violence. If I don’t follow some regulations, I’m given a warning. If I ignore that, an official will want to talk to me. Subsequently, if I keep ignoring that, people with guns will appear on my premises. Finally, if I keep resisting, they will try to incarcerate and, ultimately, kill me. Hence, everybody advocating government interference supports violence and assassinating people disagreeing.

From Ancient Scrolls to Modern Constitutions

An early document with deliberations of the size of government is the Bible. While it specifies God has instituted government (Romans 13:1), the Bible cautions of dangers of an overarching state (1 Samuel 8:13–18). Moreover, scripture explicitly prohibits idolatry. Some people’s behavior nowadays clearly treats the state as an idol.

More recently and tangible, the Magna Carta was an early landmark clearly limiting a kings power. The outlines of the first modern government by the people for the people were laid by the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Although you can make the argument that 200 years later these texts do not accomplish their goals anymore, they have created a country which, for centuries, was the one coming closest to limiting government overreach. During this time, the United States of America became the Worlds superpower.

Why It Matters

Why should we care about limited government? Because it’s about protecting the individual’s ability to think, act, and live without unnecessary interference. It’s about creating a society where innovation and progress are born from freedom, not stifled by control. Controls clearly restricting government are the safeguard against the overreach that can stifle the human spirit. It is the recognition that true progress comes from the bottom up, not the top down. In a world of limited government, each individual is recognized as the architect of their own fortune, free to pursue happiness as they see fit.

Government cannot create value. Free people create value. Through its decrees government can only restrict how people create value. Since laws do not create anything, the best-case scenario consists of these mandates not affecting value creation negatively. External rules can certainly support specific groups in the process of value creation but only at the expense of other groups, and, hence, altogether value can only be diminished. The market rewards people finding more effective or efficient ways to provide a product or service; the government only stifles this phenomenon.

Freedom Daily

How does limited government translate to daily life? You can observe government overstepping its limits everywhere around the globe, for instance, by forcing experimental treatments on people because of a virus. However, the benefits of limited government can be noticed too, at least in some cases: the small business owner’s right to operate without excessive regulation, the citizen’s ability to speak freely, the assurance that our basic rights are non-negotiable. Unfortunately, you can make the argument that even those are under attack.

Keep pushing back against state overreach and advocate for checks and balances. Eventually, if you want to live under a limited government, you may not get out of finding a new country to live in. Especially in Europe, where there is a government for the governments, the European Union, the idea of achieving a limited government seems more and more preposterous. When people turn to to government for help in all personal matters, it can only keep growing.

The Sum of All Freedoms

Limited government is more than a political ideology — It’s a framework for fostering a society that values individual autonomy and responsibility. It’s the core libertarian conviction that government is supposed to be the guardian of our liberties, not the warden of our potential. Sadly, the idea of letting people live their lives without enforcing your ideas on them is not so prevalent today.

Think for yourself and question everything my fellow libertarians!



Libertarian Thinker

I explain ideas and concepts of libertarianism and Austrian economics simply and show how applying them can make your life better, happier, and more prosperous.