Friedman examines the differences between civil and criminal systems of law. He imagines what the U.S. legal system would look like if criminal law were dissolved.

David D. Friedman, son of Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, is a leading proponent of anarcho‐​capitalism, the theory that the state is an unnecessary evil and that all services, including the law itself, can be provided by voluntary cooperation in the private economy.

While Friedman holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago, he is chiefly known for his scholarly contributions to economics and law. He is the author of five books of non‐​fiction as well as the novels Harald and Salamander. In The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, Friedman argued that an economic analysis of impact of state action points to an anarchist conclusion. In Law’s Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters, he shows how directing the law to seek economic efficiency can lead to the achievement of justice.

Friedman stands in contrast to many other anarchists because of his “consequentialist” approach. Rather than argue that humans have inviolable natural rights which it is always wrong to violate, he uses cost‐​benefit analysis to assert that a world without government is measurably better than one ruled by states.

David D. Friedman is an economist, political philosopher, and the author of many books including The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, wherein he lays the groundwork for a society based exclusively on voluntary transactions.

In this lecture, Friedman examines the differences between civil and criminal systems of law. He imagines what the U.S. legal system would look like if criminal law were dissolved — that is, if the legal system was composed entirely of individuals bringing claims against each other. Friedman anticipates the problems raised by such a system and attempts to come up with solutions to the contrary.