The following is an essay by noted libertarian theorist and patent attorney, Stephen Kinsella entitled What Libertarianism Is. The collection in which this essay is featured is entitled Property, Freedom, and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe and can be found at the Mises Institute.
“Without property rights, there is always the possibility of conflict over contestable (scarce) resources. By assigning an owner to each resource, legal systems make possible conflict-free use of resources, by establishing visible boundaries that nonowners can avoid. Libertarianism does not endorse just any property assignment rule, however. It favors self-ownership over other-ownership (slavery).
The libertarian seeks property assignment rules because he values or accepts various grundnorms (basic norms) such as justice, peace, prosperity, cooperation, conflict-avoidance, and civilization. The libertarian view is that self-ownership is the only property assignment rule compatible with these grundorms; it is implied by them.”