David D. Friedman is Milton and Rose Friedman’s son.
David Director Friedman (born February 12, 1945) is an American economist, physicist, legal scholar, and libertarian theorist. He is known for his textbook writings on microeconomics and the libertarian theory of anarcho-capitalism, which is the subject of his most popular book, The Machinery of Freedom. Besides The Machinery of Freedom, he has authored several other 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 is the son of economists Rose and Milton Friedman. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1965, with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics. He later earned a master’s (1967) and a Ph.D. (1971) in theoretical physics from the University of Chicago. Despite his later career, he never took a class for credit in either economics or law. He is currently a professor of law at Santa Clara University, and a contributing editor for Liberty magazine. He is an atheist. His son, Patri Friedman, has also written about libertarian theory and market anarchism, particularly seasteading.
In his book The Machinery of Freedom (1973), Friedman sketched a form of anarcho-capitalism where all goods and services including law itself can be produced by the free market. This differs from the version proposed by Murray Rothbard, where a legal code would first be consented to by the parties involved in setting up the anarcho-capitalist society. Friedman advocates an incrementalist approach to achieve anarcho-capitalism by gradual privatization of areas that government is involved in, ultimately privatizing law and order itself. In the book, he states his opposition to violent anarcho-capitalist revolution.
He advocates a consequentialist version of anarcho-capitalism, arguing for anarchism on a cost-benefit analysis of state versus no state. It is contrasted with the natural-rights approach as propounded most notably by economist and libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard.