Libertarian History/Philosophy

Dept. of Libertarian Classics


Now online as a free pdf: one of the best book-length introductions to libertarian ideas, David Friedman's The Machinery of Freedom. This is the second edition of the book, published in 1989; the original version appeared in 1973.

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  1. Dammit, I bought that book! Unfair!

    1. Market failure!

      1. PL, now you have words for your picture book. Turn the page when you hear the chime.

        1. What really rankles is that I bought it from Friedman himself (at a conference in the 90s). Dude could’ve let me know that he would be giving it away in 11-12 years.

    2. I bought it too. Sell it, or hang on to it and watch it appreciate in value. (I’m doing the latter.)

  2. That book blew my mind.

    A good follow-up is Democracy: The God That Failed.

  3. Wait just a minute. They didn’t even have portable document format files back in 1989, much less 1973. What kind of scam are you pulling here?

  4. I’m going to use this opportunity to post this little nugget from my daily reading:

    Many people are alarmed by the reckless use of the deposits of minerals and oil which cannot be replaced. Our contemporaries, they say, squander an exhaustible stock without any regard for the coming generations. We are consuming our own birthright and that of the future. Now these complaints make little sense. We do not know whether later ages will still rely upon the same raw materials on which we depend today. It is true that the exhaustion of the oil deposits and even those of coal is progressing at a quick rate. But it is very likely that in a hundred or five hundred years people will resort to other methods of producing heat and power. Nobody knows whether we, in being less profligate with these deposits, would not deprive ourselves without any advantage to men of the twenty-first or of the twenty-fourth centuries. It is vain to provide for the needs of ages the technological abilities of which we cannot even dream.
    Ludwig von Mises, Human Action (Third revised edition, 1966), p. 388

  5. Dred Scott!!!111!!

  6. so who’s goin to porcfest?

  7. David Friedman is an anarcho-capitalist, not a libertarian.

    1. Oh cmon. Ancaps are a subset of libertarians. Deal with it.

      1. Splitter!

      2. No, only my version of libertarianism is the true path! All of the rest of you are deluded statist sellouts, anarchist fools, or borderline retarded socialists!

        I do so enjoy me a good ideological purity fight. They’re comical.

  8. He also wrote a fantasy novel called Harald. Dude’s also a huge WoW-freak.

    And yes, he’s an anarcho-capitalist, which is a part of libertarianism and the philosophy I myself hold to.

  9. Capitalism is the best. It’s free enterprise. Barter.
    Gimbels, if I get really rank with the clerk, ‘Well I
    don’t like this’, how I can resolve it? If it really gets
    ridiculous, I go, ‘Frig it, man, I walk.’ What can this
    guy do at Gimbels, even if he was the president of
    Gimbels? He can always reject me from that store,
    but I can always go to Macy’s. He can’t really hurt
    me. Communism is like one big phone company.
    Government control, man. And if I get too rank with
    that phone company, where can I go? I’ll end up like
    a schmuck with a dixie cup on a thread.


    will read this

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