David Friedman 101: The Famous American Economist
Zatrun Published at November 23, 2023

David Friedman 101: Who is the Famous American Economist? in our article of, we will cover in detail everything you need to know about David Friedman, the famous American economist and also physicist, legal expert and anarcho-capitalist theorist that our readers are curious about.

Who is David Friedman?

Born on February 12, 1945, David Friedman is an American economist, physicist, legal scholar, and anarcho-capitalist theorist. Despite not having studied law or economics, he is known for his textbooks on microeconomics and the libertarian theory of anarcho-capitalism. His most popular book, The Machinery of Freedom, has earned him the title of “market anarchist” theorist, as described by Walter Block.

Friedman has also written numerous 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).

David Friedman

David Friedman is the son of Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman. He graduated magna cum laude in chemistry and physics from Harvard University in 1965. He went on to receive a master’s degree in 1967 and a PhD in theoretical physics in 1971 from the University of Chicago. He did not take any economics or law courses throughout his career. He served as a law professor at Santa Clara University from 2005 to 2017 and contributed to Liberty magazine. He is currently an Emeritus Professor and an atheist. His son, Patri Friedman, has also written libertarian theory articles on market anarchism and seasteading.

The Machinery of Freedom

In his 1973 book “The Machinery of Freedom,” David Friedman paints a picture of anarcho-capitalism, where all goods and services, including law, can be produced by the free market. Friedman advocates for achieving anarcho-capitalism through the gradual privatization of areas where the government intervenes and ultimately suggests the privatization of law itself. The book also outlines his stance on anarcho-capitalist revolutions.

Friedman is an anarcho-capitalist who advocates for using the free market instead of the government, based on cost-benefit analysis. This approach is compared to the natural rights approach advocated by economist and libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard.

David Friedman’s Life Outside of Academia

Friedman has been a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) for many years and is known as Duke Cariadoc of the Bow. He is known by the global community for his philosophy on historical reenactments, particularly those related to the Middle East, and his articles on practical historical reenactments.

His works have been compiled in a popular work called Cariadoc’s Miscellany. He is credited as the founder of Pennsic War, the largest and longest-running SCA event; he challenged the Eastern Kingdom as the king of the Middle Kingdom and later accepted a challenge from the king of the Eastern Kingdom as their king and lost.

As a young wargamer, Friedman taught Jack Radey, the founder of People’s War Games, how to play wargames like Tactics II. Radey recounts that he and Friedman came up with strategies for both sides to win the first turn and wrote to Charles S. Roberts about it, who responded that the rules interpretations were valid. Friedman, who has been a science fiction fan for many years, has written two fantasy novels, Harald in 2006 and Salamander in 2011.

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