David Friedman

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Son of Milton Friedman, and perhaps the foremost anarchocapitalist.

Incorporate these properly later:


An Anarchist FAQ, David Friedman and Medieval Iceland [More...]
So what of Friedman's "critique"? Other than some nitpicking and a less that charitable perspective on the all so human ability to make mistakes, his "critique" does not amount to much. Iceland was a communal system, according to his own "expert voice." It was one based, initially, on "artisan" production (i.e. farmers and craftspeople working their own tools and land). It is used by "anarcho"-capitalists as a "favorite example" of their system working in "the real world" even if Friedman himself does not exactly claim so (in spite of him bringing up to bolster his claims).
Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life (book)
Is Medieval Iceland an example of "anarcho"-capitalism working in practice? [More...]
"Ironically, medieval Iceland is a good example of why "anarcho"-capitalism will not work, degenerating into de facto rule by the rich."
Medieval Iceland (5 links)
Many libertarians, reading David Friedman's paper on medieval Icelandic institutions, consider them to be an example of how anarcho-capitalism could work. But Medieval Iceland is not an example of a private legal system. It's an example of government subcontracting out murder and slavery to private buyers.
Medieval Iceland and Modern Legal Scholarship [More...]
Richard Posner takes a very different view of how Medieval Iceland works. (He makes one mistake: government does not have a monopoly on force, it has a monopoly on legitimizing force.)
No Libertarians in the Seventeenth-Century Highlands [More...]
Brad DeLong ridicules a debate held at the Reason magazine 35th anniversary banquet, skewering the wishful thinking of David Friedman. Private coercive enforcement, warlords, organized crime: they are all the same thing.
The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism (book, online) (2 links)
The foremost anarcho-capitalist introduction. If you suspend all knowledge of the real world, it appears to make sense. Very well written and very clever. But it has not aged well since it was written in 1973, and later editions make no attempt to update it.
The Worst Book I Ever Read [More...]
" It was a horrendously argued book that relied on straw man arguments, ignoring the middle ground, a complete absence of evidence and mainly stating positions without even attempting to defend them. The only praise I have for the book is that it is mercifully short and easy to read."
Was Medieval Iceland an Example of Anarcho-Capitalism? [More...]
"Apparently a real world privatised justice system would require a high degree of equality of power and wealth, which I submit to you is grossly unrealistic."


Friedman ignores all the non-propertarian elements of that society such as common lands (the almennin), communal self-government (the things), a compulsory welfare system (the hreppr) and such like (as discussed here). It survived because it was relatively egalitarian (something which Rothbard proclaimed as being “a revolt against nature”). As wealth inequalities increased, so did social conflict and the rise of lords.
Anarcho, comment on Libertarianism, Property Rights and Self-Ownership
There may be two libertarians somewhere who agree with each other about everything, but I am not one of them.
David Friedman