The Machinery of Freedom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism
Book Machinery of Freedom 3rd Ed David Friedman.jpg
Paperback
Author David D. Friedman
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Open Court Publishing Company
Publication date
1973; 2nd edition 1989; 3rd edition 2014
Media type Paperback, Electronic
ISBN ISBN 0-8126-9069-9
OCLC 19388655
323.44 19
LC Class JC585 .F76 1989

The Machinery of Freedom is a nonfiction book by David D. Friedman which advocates Friedman's vision of an anarcho-capitalist society. The book was published in 1973, with a second edition in 1989 and a third edition in 2014.

Overview[edit]

The book calls for the abolition or privatization of all government functions, details suggestions for many specific instances of privatization, explores the consequences of libertarian thought, describes examples of libertarian society (such as the Icelandic Commonwealth), and offers the author's personal statement about why he became a libertarian. Topics addressed in the book include the privatization of law (both legislation and enforcement), and the knotty problem of providing for public goods (such as national defense) in a purely libertarian society. Friedman argues that anarcho-capitalism will be beneficial to the vast majority, including the poor.

While some books supporting similar libertarian and anarcho-capitalist views offer evidence in terms of morality or natural rights, Friedman (although he explicitly denies being a utilitarian)[note 1] here argues largely in terms of the effects of his proposed policies.[1]

Friedman conjectures that anything done by government costs at least twice as much as a privately provided equivalent.[2][note 2] He offers examples as evidence, such as a comparison of the cost of the U.S. Postal Service's costs for package delivery with the costs of private carriers and the cost of the Soviet government versus market based services in the West.[note 3]

Reception from libertarians[edit]

The Institute of Public Affairs, a libertarian think tank located in Australia, included The Machinery of Freedom in a list of the "Top 20 books you must read before you die" in 2006.[3]

Liberty magazine named the book among The Top Ten Best Libertarian Books, praising Friedman for tackling the problems related to private national defense systems and attempting to solve them.[4][5]

Related books[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Second Edition, pg. 165
  2. ^ Second Edition, pg. 85
  3. ^ Second Edition, pg. 85

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rothbard, Murray N. (July 1977). "Do You Hate the State?". The Libertarian Forum 10 (7). Peden, Joseph R. ISSN 0047-4517. Retrieved July 12, 2014 – via Ludwig von Mises Institute. 
  2. ^ Caré, Sébastien. "Anarcho-capitalism and Moral Philosophy: Deontological versus Consequentialist Ethics". Anarchist Studies Network. Retrieved July 12, 2014. Friedman states the 'law' that anything done by government costs at least twice as much as a privately provided equivalent. 
  3. ^ Shearmur, Jeremy. Institute of Public Affairs Review, July 2006, Vol. 58, Issue 2, p. 28, 1/3p (AN 22056148)
  4. ^ Vavasour, Liam (September 2006). Cox, Stephen, ed. "Ten Great Books of Liberty". Liberty 20 (9): 21–33. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ Kinsella, Stephan (August 3, 2006). "Top Ten Books of Liberty". Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 

External links[edit]