The belief that government should be as small as possible. Minarchists believe that government should be restricted to its most basic duties, such as maintaining a standing army, a police force to protect property, courts, maintaining roads, etc. Minarchism is generally driven by a distrust of government and a concern it is micromanaging people's lives, and is characterised by policies of low taxation, gun rights and individual rights.

Note that individual rights as it is used here is distinct from human rights and civil rights. The emphasis in minarchism is on personal freedom for the individual and less on protecting those freedoms for vulnerable groups, the exception being the protection of property rights.

The term 'minarchism' is derived from anarchism, which roughly translates as 'no government'. It is often used to create a distinction between anarchistic idealogies that wish to distance themselves from the common idea of what an anarchistic group is like. Minarchism is most popular in America, and examples of minarchist movements include libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism.