The Machinery of Freedom
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|Author||David D. Friedman|
|Publisher||Open Court Publishing Company|
|1973; 2nd edition 1989; 3rd edition 2014|
|Media type||Paperback, Electronic|
|LC Class||JC585 .F76 1989|
The Machinery of Freedom is a nonfiction book by David D. Friedman which advocates an anarcho-capitalist society from a utilitarian / consequentialist perspective. The book was published in 1973, with a second edition in 1989 and a third edition in 2014.
The book aims to show that law and its enforcement do not require a state, but can be sustained by non-coercive private enterprise and charity. It explores the consequences of libertarian thought, describes examples of stateless 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 polycentric law, and the provision of public goods (such as military defense) in a stateless society. Friedman argues that a stateless legal system would be beneficial for society as a whole, 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.
Friedman conjectures that anything done by government costs at least twice as much as a privately provided equivalent.[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]
- The Problem of Political Authority by Michael Huemer, released January 2013, builds on Friedman's vision of an anarcho-capitalist society in considerable detail.
- Chaos Theory by Robert P. Murphy
- Order Without Law: How Neighbors Settle Disputes by Robert Ellickson
- "For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto" by Murray Rothbard
- "The Market for Liberty" by Linda and Morris Tannehill
- "The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State" by Bruce L. Benson
- Second Edition, pg. 165
- Second Edition, pg. 85
- Second Edition, pg. 85
- Rothbard, Murray N. (July 1977). "Do You Hate the State?". The Libertarian Forum. Retrieved September 25, 2016 – via Ludwig von Mises Institute.
- 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.
- Shearmur, Jeremy. Institute of Public Affairs Review, July 2006, Vol. 58, Issue 2, p. 28, 1/3p (AN 22056148)
- Vavasour, Liam (September 2006). Cox, Stephen, ed. "Ten Great Books of Liberty" (PDF). Liberty. 20 (9): 21–33. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Kinsella, Stephan (August 3, 2006). "Top Ten Books of Liberty". Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- The Machinery of Freedom full text PDF file of the Second Edition
- The Machinery of Freedom at Friedman's personal website, including free chapters of the book.
- Illustrated Video Summary of The Machinery of Freedom on YouTube
- Economics of David D. Friedman’s “The Machinery of Freedom”: Some similarities and dissimilarities to the Austrian school