David D. Friedman

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I like to say that the best form of government is competitive dictatorship  the way we run restaurants and hotels. The customer has no vote on what's on the menu, an absolute vote on what restaurant he chooses to eat at.[1]
Friedman, verbalizing his fantasies at the Cato Institute, 2008-11-06.
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David Director Friedman[note 1] (a.k.a., "Duke Cariadoc of the Bow") (1945–) is an anarcho-capitalist writer, the author of a seminal book on the subject, The Machinery of Freedom, and a professor emeritus of law at Santa Clara University.[2] Friedman is the son of Milton Friedman of Chicago School economic fame, and the father of Seasteading Institute co-founder Patri Friedman.Wikipedia


See the main article on this topic: Credentialism

Despite his being a law professor and having written a seminal book on libertarian economics, he has never taken a class on either law or economics.[3] Contrariwise, despite having a doctorate in theoretical physics, he has done nothing with his degree since completing it.

Friedman, after being given a knighthood eventually became a duke… in the Society for Creative AnachronismWikipedia where he has been larping at running a feudal estate since the 1960s.[4][5] Like channelling, SCA is the kind of thing where everyone fantasizes about becoming a noble or someone important, but no one fantasizes about being Dennis the Peasant.[6] His participation in SCA does raise some interesting questions though, such as is he a real economist or lawyer, or was it just a larp?


There could be competition among different brands of law, just as there is competition among different brands of cars.[note 2]
The Machinery of Freedom, chapter 29

Friedman is much more radical than many anarcho-capitalists, such as Murray Rothbard. Both he and the Rothbardians believe that all functions of government should be privatized and replaced by competing companies, such as private security firms, toll road operators, and arbitration courts.

However, while the Rothbardians believe that all the competing companies should enforce a single body of law that has been reached by consensus, somewhat like how things were done in the medieval Icelandic Commonwealth or in pre-Cromwellian Ireland, Friedman believes that the legislative process should also be privatized, and there would be no rules at all except cuius regio, eius religio, or its equivalent with secular law. How (or whether) democracy then sets in is another debate altogether.

Friedman also differs from Rothbardians and other natural-law anarchists and libertarians in advancing purely utilitarian arguments for the model he advocates, without reference to ethics except in the context of the operation of law.

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External links[edit]


  1. "Director" is his mother's maiden name, but given his politics, he could just as easily have adopted it as a political statement, after the tradition of the whacko assassin, Byron (Low Tax) Looper.Wikipedia
  2. There is: they're called "countries" and you can find over 200 unique ones.


  1. Conversation with David Friedman
  2. David D. Friedman's profile on the Santa Clara University website
  3. Economist David Friedman Says India Must Go Taller To Make Homes Affordable by Shanu Athiparambath (February 14, 2016) Market Urbanism.
  4. Positively Medieval (Sep 29, 2012; Updated Jun 13, 2023) The Detroit Jewish News.
  5. Cariadoc's Miscellany by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook (1988-1992) Shadow Island Games.
  6. Monty Python And The Holy Grail Dennis The Repressed Peasant YouTube.