David D. Friedman

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David D. Friedman
David Friedman by Gage Skidmore.jpg
David Director Friedman

(1945-02-12) February 12, 1945 (age 74)
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Cook
Institution Santa Clara University
Field Economics, law
School or
Chicago School of Economics [1]
Alma mater Harvard University (BA)
University of Chicago (PhD)
Influences Ronald Coase, Friedrich Hayek, Robert A. Heinlein, Milton Friedman, Rose Friedman, Adam Smith, Richard Timberlake, Alfred Marshall
Contributions The Machinery of Freedom
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

David Director Friedman (born February 12, 1945) is an American economist, physicist, legal scholar, and libertarian theorist. He is known for his textbook writings on microeconomics and the libertarian theory of anarcho-capitalism, which is the subject of his most popular book, The Machinery of Freedom . [2] Besides The Machinery of Freedom, he has authored several other books and articles, including Price Theory: An Intermediate Text (1986), Law's Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters (2000), Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life (1996), and Future Imperfect (2008). [3]

Economist professional in the social science discipline of economics

An economist is a practitioner in the social science discipline of economics.

Physicist scientist who does research in physics

A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe. Physicists generally are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, and usually frame their understanding in mathematical terms. Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole. The field generally includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of physical phenomena and the analysis of experiments, and theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies.

Libertarianism is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association and individual judgment. Libertarians share a skepticism of authority and state power, but they diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing political and economic systems. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power, often calling for the restriction or dissolution of coercive social institutions.


Life and work

David Friedman is the son of economists Rose and Milton Friedman. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1965, with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and physics. [4] He later earned a master's (1967) and a Ph.D. (1971) in theoretical physics from the University of Chicago. [5] Despite his later career, he never took a class for credit in either economics or law. [6] He is currently a professor of law at Santa Clara University, [7] and a contributing editor for Liberty magazine. He is an atheist. [8] His son, Patri Friedman, has also written about libertarian theory and market anarchism, particularly seasteading.

Rose Friedman American economist

Rose Director Friedman, also known as Rose D. Friedman, was a free-market economist and co-founder of the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation.

Milton Friedman American economist, statistician, and writer

Milton Friedman was an American economist who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and the complexity of stabilization policy. With George Stigler and others, Friedman was among the intellectual leaders of the second generation of Chicago school of economics, a methodological movement at the University of Chicago's Department of Economics, Law School and Graduate School of Business from the 1940s onward. Several students and young professors who were recruited or mentored by Friedman at Chicago went on to become leading economists, including Gary Becker, Robert Fogel, Thomas Sowell and Robert Lucas Jr.

Harvard University Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 postgraduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning. Its history, influence, wealth, and academic reputation have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It has often been cited as the world's top university by most publishers.

The Machinery of Freedom

In his book The Machinery of Freedom (1973), Friedman sketched a form of anarcho-capitalism where all goods and services including law itself can be produced by the free market. Friedman advocates an incrementalist approach to achieve anarcho-capitalism by gradual privatization of areas that government is involved in, ultimately privatizing the law itself. In the book, he states his opposition to violent anarcho-capitalist revolution. [9]

Anarcho-capitalism is a political philosophy and modern school of anarchist thought that advocates the elimination of centralized state domination in favor of self-ownership, private property and free markets. Anarcho-capitalists hold that in the absence of statute, society tends to contractually self-regulate and civilize through the spontaneous and organic discipline of the free market.

In economics, a free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market and by consumers. In a free market, the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government or other authority and from all forms of economic privilege, monopolies and artificial scarcities. Proponents of the concept of free market contrast it with a regulated market in which a government intervenes in supply and demand through various methods such as tariffs used to restrict trade and to protect the local economy. In an idealized free-market economy, prices for goods and services are set freely by the forces of supply and demand and are allowed to reach their point of equilibrium without intervention by government policy.

Privatization transferring something from the public sphere to the private

Privatization, also spelled privatisation, can mean different things including moving something from the public sector into the private sector. It is also sometimes used as a synonym for deregulation when a heavily regulated private company or industry becomes less regulated. Government functions and services may also be privatized; in this case, private entities are tasked with the implementation of government programs or performance of government services that had previously been the purview of state-run agencies. Some examples include revenue collection, law enforcement, and prison management.

He advocates a consequentialist version of anarcho-capitalism, arguing for anarchism on a cost-benefit analysis of state versus no state. [10] It is contrasted with the natural-rights approach as propounded most notably by economist and libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard.

Consequentialist libertarianism refers to the libertarian position that is supportive of a free market and strong private property rights only on the grounds that they bring about favorable consequences, such as prosperity or efficiency.

Natural-rights libertarianism, also known as deontological libertarianism, philosophical libertarianism, deontological liberalism, rights-theorist libertarianism, natural rights-based libertarianism, or libertarian moralism, refers to the view that all individuals possess certain natural or moral rights, mainly a right of individual sovereignty, and that therefore acts of initiation of force and fraud are rights-violations and that is sufficient reason to oppose those acts. This is one of the two ethical view points within right-libertarianism, the other being consequentialist libertarianism, which only takes into account the consequences of actions and rules when judging them, and holds that free markets and strong private property rights have good consequences. Deontological libertarianism is based on the non-aggression principle, which states that no human being holds the right to initiate force or fraud against the person or property of another human being, under any circumstances. Deontological libertarians consider this principle to be the basis of all morality, and therefore they believe that any violation of the principle is immoral, no matter what other arguments may be invoked to justify that violation.

Murray Rothbard American economist of the Austrian School, libertarian political theorist, and historian

Murray Newton Rothbard was an American heterodox economist of the Austrian School, historian, and a political theorist whose writings and personal influence played a seminal role in the development of modern right-libertarianism. Rothbard was the founder and leading theoretician of anarcho-capitalism, a staunch advocate of historical revisionism and a central figure in the 20th-century American libertarian movement. He wrote over twenty books on political theory, revisionist history, economics and other subjects.

Non-academic interests

Friedman is a longtime member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, where he is known as Duke Cariadoc of the Bow. He is known throughout the worldwide society for his articles on the philosophy of recreationism and practical historical recreations, especially those relating to the medieval Middle East. [11] His work is compiled in the popular Cariadoc's Miscellany. [12] He is sometimes credited with founding the largest and longest-running SCA event, the Pennsic War; as king of the Middle Kingdom he challenged the East Kingdom, and later as king of the East accepted the challenge...and lost. [13]

Society for Creative Anachronism nonprofit organization

The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is an international living history group with the aim of studying and recreating mainly Medieval European cultures and their histories before the 17th century. A quip often used within the SCA describes it as a group devoted to the Middle Ages "as they ought to have been", choosing to "selectively recreate the culture, choosing elements of the culture that interest and attract us". Founded in 1966, the non-profit educational corporation has over 30,000 paid members as of 2017 with about 60,000 total participants in the society.

Middle East region that encompasses Western Asia and Egypt

The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation while Bahrain is the smallest. The corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century.

Pennsic War annual American medieval camping event

The Pennsic War is an annual American medieval camping event held by the Society for Creative Anachronism—a "war" between two large regional SCA groups: the Kingdom of the East and the Middle Kingdom. It is the single largest annual SCA event, with more than 10,000 people attending each year, from as far as China, South Korea, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, and Australia.

He is a long-time science fiction fan, and has written two fantasy novels, Harald (Baen Books, 2006) and Salamander (2011).

Science fiction fandom

Science fiction fandom or SF fandom is a community or fandom of people interested in science fiction in contact with one another based upon that interest. SF fandom has a life of its own, but not much in the way of formal organization.

Fantasy Genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels, manga and video games.

Baen Books publisher

Baen Books is an American publishing house for science fiction and fantasy. In science fiction, it emphasizes space opera, hard science fiction, and military science fiction. The company was established in 1983 by science fiction publisher and editor Jim Baen. After his death in 2006, he was succeeded as publisher by long-time executive editor Toni Weisskopf.

He has spoken in favor of a non-interventionist foreign policy. [14]




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<i>The Machinery of Freedom</i> book

The Machinery of Freedom is a nonfiction book by David D. Friedman which advocates an anarcho-capitalist society from a utilitarian/consequentialist perspective.

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Anarchist economics is the set of theories and practices of economic activity within the political philosophy of anarchism. With the exception of anarcho-capitalists who accept private ownership of the means of production, anarchists are anti-capitalists. They argue that its characteristic institutions promote and reproduce various forms of economic activity which they consider oppressive, including private property, hierarchical production relations, collecting rents from private property, taking a profit in exchanges and collecting interest on loans. They generally endorse possession-based ownership rather than propertarianism.

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Left-libertarianism, also known as left-wing libertarianism, names several related yet distinct approaches to political and social theory which stress both individual freedom and social equality. In its classical usage, left-libertarianism is a synonym for anti-authoritarian varieties of left-wing politics such as libertarian socialism which includes anarchism and libertarian Marxism, among others. Left-libertarianism can also refer to political positions associated with academic philosophers Hillel Steiner, Philippe Van Parijs and Peter Vallentyne that combine self-ownership with an egalitarian approach to natural resources.

"An Anarchist FAQ" is a FAQ written by an international work group of social anarchists connected through the internet. It documents anarchist theory and ideas and argues in favor of social anarchism. It also explores other debates internal to the anarchist movement and counters common arguments against anarchism. It has been in constant evolution since 1995. While it was started as a critique of anarcho-capitalism, by the time it was officially released it had become a general introduction to anarchism.

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  1. "The Machinery of Freedom" (PDF). p. 124. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2012. Much is made in libertarian circles of the division between 'Austrian' and 'Chicago' schools of economic theory, largely by people who understand neither. I am classified as 'Chicago'.
  2. Caplan, Bryan (2008). "Friedman, David (1945– )". In Hamowy, Ronald (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE; Cato Institute. pp. 194–95. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n117. ISBN   978-1412965804. LCCN   2008009151. OCLC   750831024.
  3. Free Market Mojo. "An Interview with David D. Friedman" Archived 2010-11-22 at the Wayback Machine .
  4. Faculty Profile: David Friedman Archived 2014-07-22 at the Wayback Machine . Santa Clara Law School
  5. "My Academic Page". www.daviddfriedman.com.
  6. Athiparambath, Shanu (14 February 2016). "Economist David Friedman Says India Must Go Taller To Make Homes Affordable". Market Urbanism. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  7. University, Santa Clara. "Santa Clara University". phonebook.scu.edu.
  8. Friedman, David D. "Atheism and Religion", Ideas.
  9. Friedman, David D. "Revolution Is the Hell of It". The Machinery of Freedom. pp. 149–150. ISBN   0-8126-9069-9.
  10. Morris, Christopher. 1992. An Essay on the Modern State. Cambridge University Press. p. 62.
  11. "Friedman, David D. "On Restructuring the SCA"".
  12. "Cariadoc's Miscellany". www.pbm.com.
  13. F.L. Watkins (Fólki Þorgilsson). 2005. HERSTAĐR-SAGA: An Incomplete History of Pennsic Urbana, Illinois: Folump Enterprises
  14. VoluntaryVirtues0com (22 September 2013). "Dr David Friedman on US Foreign Policy, Syria, Assad, Terrorism, WWII, Hitler, and much more..." via YouTube.