Thursday, July 8, 2010

TeeJaw Blog--The Machinery of Freedom

Check this out at TeeJaw Blog

Any book with that title is bound to be of interest to this blog, based as it is on Truth, Justice and the American Way (i.e., TeeJaw). The one available now is the second edition from 1989, the first edition was published in 1971. I say the second edition is available, and it is but only as a used book since it is out of print. Hardback copies can be found at Amazon for about $75 and paperback for around $25. In recent times a hardback copy in good condition has been offered for as much as $100.

A third edition is in the works. In the meantime the second edition is posted on the internet here where you can read the whole thing for free.

The book is invaluable for its distrust of intellectual orthodoxy in formulating a prescription for a society organized by private property, individual rights, and voluntary co-operation. Its author, David Friedman, is known as an “anarcho-captialist,” which would make him a whack job if he were serious or if it were not possible for us to read around any of his “every man should be allowed to make his own rules” offerings. It turns out that he is not seriously an anarchist, at least for the most part. Those parts of his argument that tend too far in that direction can be safely ignored and one may still gain the benefit of the rest, which is excellent stuff.

I was given the second edition of this book by a former college professor, who also described himself as an "anarcho-capitalist."  He was more of an economist and political philosopher than anarcho-anything.  He also gave me a copy of Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, which chronicled the demise of the modern university's political independence.  I really don't think these two books can be read separately from one another, but unfortunately, since Dr. Bloom's passing, CoAM has gone out of print.

It's good to see The Machinery of Freedom in its third printing, and I'm sure there's a library near you somewhere with a copy of CoAM lying around.

Gimme some feedback in the comments.