Milton Friedman - Socialist

nurev at nurev at
Tue Jun 9 04:57:42 PDT 1998

June 8, 1998 - Volume 2, Issue 17 Editor & Chief: Emile Zola ----- An Interview with David Friedman

by Alberto Mingardi and Guglielmo Piombini

David D. Friedman is an important libertarian thinker, author of The Machinery of Freedom, a "must read" work of libertarian thought which presents a coherent picture of anarcho-capitalist society. He is the son of economist Milton Friedman, who embodies the "Chicago school" of economic thought. David Friedman's homepage can be found at


Your book The Machinery of Freedom is dedicated to Bob Heinlein, F.A. Hayek and your father, Milton Friedman, who received the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economics. How did they influence you with respect to Machinery and libertarianism?

I learned economics--and clear thinking--from him [my father] in conversation when I was growing up, and applied both, I hope, in the book.

Is it true that you've said your father Milton is a quite socialistic in comparison with yourself?

He believes in having government run several important industries--specifically, the industry of settling disputes--the courts--and the industry of enforcing rights--the police. In that respect he is more socialist than I am.

A fairer description would be that I think a society with private property and no government might not work but probably would; he thinks it might work but probably would not.

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In case you weren't sure.


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