So, for a bit of R&R at the weekend, and prompted by a few requests from fellow students on the Mises Academy course I’ve been doing on Libertarian Legal Theory, I decided to sit down and do an audiobook version of David D Friedman’s “The Machinery of Freedom“. Or at least of most of it. So far, there are the three parts of the original 1970s edition minus the appendices, and since it was a weekend project I decided to release as much as I have done and release the fourth part, added for the 1989 edition, and those appendices later.
It is a bit of a classic of libertarian thought, and though now nearly forty years old hasn’t aged terribly much. Sadly even the second edition has been out of print for some time and looks unlikely to return to the presses, and since Friedman himself got permission from his publishers to put a PDF of the text on the web last year, I thought it was well worth an outing as an audiobook.
As usual, I have attached several formats of files – there are a total of 42 MP3s, one for each individual chapter, which should be suitable for listening online, three zip files, each with all the MP3s from the corresponding section of the book, and an M4B format file which is best for iTunes/iPod type devices, all in one file with chapter breaks. In all it runs to a little over six hours so far. But don’t let that put you off. Most of the chapters are pretty snappy, a few minutes each, so you can listen to them in the time it takes to have a mug of tea.
I particularly like the chapters on monopoly (6&7) which explain how most monopoly is state created and causes tremendous distortions in the market, as I have argued elsewhere. The chapter on an “Adam Smith University” (13) chimes with my own ideas of a mutual university where research teams, subject departments and back office functions are all autonomous worker or worker-student co-ops collaborating within a secondary co-op that fulfils the central functions of the current university – the awarding of degrees, overall strategy and so on.
Chapter 29, on Police, Courts and the Law, on the Market is a classic explanation of how anarchist institutions could produce better law, greater justice, than the state system we currently suffer under. But the whole lot is well worth getting to know, if you can stand my voice reading it to you!
It IS still currently under copyright, owned by the publisher of the second edition, Open Court Publishing. David is happy for it to be put up on the web but is also going to check with them just to make sure they have no fundamental objections. If they do, of course, it may well disappear until they can be resolved or the copyright revert to David himself.
Now I’ve got my appetite back for recording audiobooks, it makes me feel somewhat guilty at not having recorded a version of Rothbard’s “America’s Great Depression” that the Mises Institute asked me to do. Truth is, I found it very difficult to do that one, with all its footnotes and so on, from a PDF onscreen, so a dead tree version is now on order and that will likely be my next audiobook project when it arrives.