Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

Milton Friedman and his son

rated by 0 users
This post has 25 Replies | 6 Followers

Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,124
Points 37,405
Angurse Posted: Tue, Nov 10 2009 12:28 AM

I was just reading a really interesting series of letters between Walter Block and Milton Friedman where Friedman calls Block a "fanatic" for his anarcho-capitalist views. As Block points out Milton's son, David, is also an anarcho-capitalist. Milton doesn't answer in the letter, so does anyone here know of anything on Milton's opinions of his son?

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
  • | Post Points: 110
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 752
Points 16,735
Sage replied on Tue, Nov 10 2009 1:09 AM

It would definitely be interesting to hear a first-hand account of those dinner table arguments.

AnalyticalAnarchism.net - The Positive Political Economy of Anarchism

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 73
Points 1,160
poppies replied on Tue, Nov 10 2009 3:23 AM

Wow, that's a gem of an exchange, thanks for posting it.  Walter Block is a pretty amazing individual, he's like a winsome attack dog when he spots cognitive dissonance.  

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,850
Points 85,810

Walter Block:

and you telling us you’ll fire us if our departments are not ended within one year.

Hilarious.

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,943
Points 49,145
SystemAdministrator
Conza88 replied on Tue, Nov 10 2009 7:26 AM

Block mentioned this Hutt book. https://mises.org/book.aspx?Id=29972 - Surprise!  

If this could find it's way on line, that would be amay-zing.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 7,105
Points 115,240
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Block was really firing on all cylinders in that article.

I especially like his quote on poverty.

I think that the best way to provide “a basic minimum level of

living” for the poor is to establish the free enterprise system, not a

negative income tax nor any other form of coercive welfare. If I were

placed behind a Rawlsian “veil of ignorance” and told I would have

grandchildren who might be poor, and I wanted to protect their lives,

I would surely pick capitalism, not a welfare state, as their best protection.

 

powerful stuff.

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

David Friedman is a member of the Mises Community, and pops in from time to time.  I am a big fan of his views on anarcho-capitalism, in some ways, more so than I am sympathetic to Rothbard's conception of an ancap society.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 263
Points 5,075
Moderator
Le Master replied on Tue, Nov 10 2009 3:15 PM

Dr Block is charming as hell in those letters; not an ounce of phoniness either.

Conza88:

Block mentioned this Hutt book. https://mises.org/book.aspx?Id=29972 - Surprise!  

If this could find it's way on line, that would be amay-zing.

It's available at my school library. I think I'm going to give it a look.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 42
Points 895

David Friedman, Milton's son, is an anarcho-capitalist. I'm about half way through his "Machinery of Freedom." Its very lucidly written and easy to understand. I highly recommend it!

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 3,592
Points 63,685
Sieben replied on Tue, Nov 10 2009 4:49 PM

nirgrahamUK:

I think that the best way to provide “a basic minimum level of

living” for the poor is to establish the free enterprise system, not a

negative income tax nor any other form of coercive welfare. If I were

placed behind a Rawlsian “veil of ignorance” and told I would have

grandchildren who might be poor, and I wanted to protect their lives,

I would surely pick capitalism, not a welfare state, as their best protection.

[Epic Guitar Solo]

Man block goes on forever and ever writing though...

It was interesting, but I felt neither side really argued very well (great writers though). I was rooting for Block, but there were times when I thought friedman was winning.

 

Banned
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,124
Points 37,405
Angurse replied on Tue, Nov 10 2009 6:13 PM

Snowflake:
Man block goes on forever and ever writing though...

Friedman:

Please specify for me in not more than two brief paragraphs how you perceive a feasible transition in a nongradual way from the present state of affairs to your ideal, justified state of affairs.

Block:

[10 paragraphs]

 

Block did apologise, and he was right.

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 5,118
Points 87,310
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Angurse:

Snowflake:
Man block goes on forever and ever writing though...

Friedman:

Please specify for me in not more than two brief paragraphs how you perceive a feasible transition in a nongradual way from the present state of affairs to your ideal, justified state of affairs.

Block:

[10 paragraphs]

 

Block did apologise, and he was right.

It would have been a lot shorter if Block would have simply said, "wtf u talkin' 'bout?"

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 663
Points 10,885
Moderator

Thanks for leading me onto that, it was a lovely read, although by the end I had very little respect for Friedman.

The difference between libertarianism and socialism is that libertarians will tolerate the existence of a socialist community, but socialists can't tolerate a libertarian community.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 83
Points 1,260

Daniel:

It would have been a lot shorter if Block would have simply said, "wtf u talkin' 'bout?"

Perhaps Block hadn't yet discovered teh internetz at this point. I woulda written, "lol wut?"

 

That was a quite nice collection of letters. Thanks for finding it and sharing it. It's amazing how many gems are lying around in the open, waiting to be pounced on.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 10
Points 195

David Friedman is not a pure anarcho capitalist. He thinks that a Government is necessary for National Defense.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,124
Points 37,405
Angurse replied on Wed, Nov 11 2009 9:49 AM

deadmanoncampus:
David Friedman is not a pure anarcho capitalist. He thinks that a Government is necessary for National Defense.

In the chapter on National Defense, he just confesses that he doesn't have a good solution for national defense.

Friedman:
These arguments suggest that it may be possible to defend against foreign nations by voluntary means. They do not prove that it will be; I am only balancing one imperfect system against another and trying to guess which will work better.

That doesn't mean he is endorsing government in any way.

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 239
Points 4,590
Andrew replied on Wed, Nov 11 2009 10:15 AM

He is a utilitarian when it comes to Anarcho-Capitalism, not of a Natural Rights perspective.

Democracy is nothing more than replacing bullets with ballots

 

If Pro is the opposite of Con. What is the opposite of Progress?

  • | Post Points: 35
Not Ranked
Posts 14
Points 235
Beaners replied on Wed, Nov 11 2009 10:34 AM

He's not a real utilitarian in any way. He simply states, that economic arguments are more or less leading  to utilitarian arguments,  and since economics as a sience is far more advanced than ethics, he's merely taking this route. He even admits to being more of a 'rights-based libertarian' at heart, but that he as an economist has more knowledge about what practically works instead of how society is supposed o be.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Andrew:

He is a utilitarian when it comes to Anarcho-Capitalism, not of a Natural Rights perspective.

A subjective ethicist not an objective ethicist.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 5,118
Points 87,310
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator
DanielMuff replied on Wed, Nov 11 2009 12:27 PM

liberty student:

Andrew:

He is a utilitarian when it comes to Anarcho-Capitalism, not of a Natural Rights perspective.

A subjective ethicist not an objective ethicist.

Someone's gonna have to explain the those terms to me. Or at least link me to an article. Grazie!

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 75 Contributor
Posts 1,189
Points 22,990

David Friedman has interesting ideas, if an anarcho capitalist society were to exist, I think it would make most sense for it to be implemented gradually.

Freedom has always been the only route to progress.

Post Neo-Left Libertarian Manifesto (PNL lib)
  • | Post Points: 50
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Libertyandlife:
I think it would make most sense for it to be implemented gradually.

Why?

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 150
Points 2,730

Libertyandlife:

David Friedman has interesting ideas, if an anarcho capitalist society were to exist, I think it would make most sense for it to be implemented gradually.

Are you sure this is not just a subjective line of thinking rather than a rational line of reasoning?

You observe, but you do not see.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 257
Points 4,685

I don't know whether it's irony or fortunate evolution, but Milton's grandson is also an anarcho-capitalist:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patri_Friedman

I feel like there's some hope with educating our offspring.

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 200 Contributor
Male
Posts 478
Points 9,180

Libertyandlife:

David Friedman has interesting ideas, if an anarcho capitalist society were to exist, I think it would make most sense for it to be implemented gradually.

I agree with this in principle, but reality leads me to a very different conclusion. 

The immediate eradication of the State would mean that many many people suffer short term pain, and the country would suffer one hell of a recession. On the other hand, gradual eradication would mean that there'd be time for special interests to muster, practically stopping the process in its tracks.

I owe this point to Milton Friedman himself (in Tyranny of the Status Quo and Capitalism and Freedom, I think)

 

 

P.S. While I didn't enjoy The Machinery of Freedom, a pdf copy can be found here coutesy of this blogger.

Austrians do it a priori

Irish Liberty Forum 

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 3,113
Points 60,515
Esuric replied on Wed, Nov 11 2009 10:32 PM

liberty student:

Libertyandlife:
I think it would make most sense for it to be implemented gradually.

Why?

Because capitalism is still a radical idea to most, something only "extremists" adhere to. People don't understand it, aren't comfortable with it, and as such, will not immediately indorse it. The socialists have always been more strategic in their approach. Most liberals simply say they're right, and criticize those who are wrong; but this does not get us even one step closer towards our goal.

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (26 items) | RSS