The Machinery of Freedom is a book about how each section of our modern-day society could be improved by using an anarchic society that uses Austrian economic principles and Libertarian principles. A society like this can also be called an anarcho-capitalistic- or libertarian anarchic society. These are three interesting things I learned while reading this book.

The problem with traditional schools and unschooling

Traditional schools believe that there is a certain amount of information that everyone should learn and that teachers and textbooks should tell children what they need to learn. This causes children to learn things that they don’t want to learn and after the exam, they forget easily as well. A lot of things that children learn are useless and won’t help them very much in the real world. The real problem with this method is that children will believe that whatever a person with authority says is true and not do their own research. Unschooling works similarly to homeschooling. The difference is that instead of hiring a private tutor or following a specific curriculum, it lets the children decide what they want to learn. This is based on the fact that people learn stuff easier and remember them for longer if they want to learn it. People would like to learn things if they see a connection between learning something and achieving something they want.

How the legal system was structured in medieval Iceland

Medieval Iceland was a libertarian anarchic society. To be a part of the legal system in medieval Iceland you had to be associated with a chieftain or be one. How it worked was that a chieftain was a person who had a bundle of rights called a gooord. These were private property, so they could be sold and bought. The important thing was that it was voluntary to be associated with a chieftain. So you could switch chieftains at any time. This was important because which chieftain you were associated with also determined which court you would end up in. The gooord also included other rights, such as vote in the legislature and on the next judges. The government in medieval Iceland had one part-time employee and that was the lawspeaker. The lawspeaker was voted on by the inhabitants of one quarter, for a three-year term. The lawspeaker would preside over the legislature, give advice and memorize the law. He would recite the entire law code once at an annual assembly called an Allthing. In all of the Allthings, the lawspeaker would recite 1/3 of the law. If the lawspeaker left anything out and nobody objected that part of the law would be removed. During the Allthing, the legislature met and cases from the four quarters and fifth court were tried.

How libertarian universities would work

There are two problems with modern-day universities. One of them comes from subsidies. Universities are subsidized so that students pay below what their schooling is actually worth. As a result of this, the students have very little power, and their well-being is disregarded. If somebody leaves because of a lack of well-being, then somebody else will take their place because of the low prices. Even if this first problem is fixed by abolishing subsidies and making it so that the student’s needs are actually important, the other problem still stands. The other problem is that it is still centralized. Instead of one big university deciding which teachers get hired and fired, there would be multiple organizations doing these things. For example, there would be ones renting classrooms out to teachers, making lists of all the courses available with their prices, making and grading exams, etc. The most important part of it that, each teacher makes a price for their course. If students find the price acceptable then they would pay for the course. If not enough people go to the course, then the teacher would either change the price, go teach somewhere else or stop teaching. Everything is decided by the student. The students decide what they want to learn and at what price, instead of some people inside the university. In this system, students will actually learn what they want and at the price, they want it at.

If you find this interesting and want to have a more in-depth look at the things I talked about above or learn more, then you can buy the book HERE.