Saturday, June 1, 2013

I, Pencil: The Movie

I should have actually published this blog months and months ago when the video came out... I've failed massively at consistently blogging for a while, but in a fit of procrastination today, I've rediscovered a bunch of worth-while posts that I should have never left unpublished. So, quite a bit late... I give you the following.

For years, people have been attempting various efforts at making a short film version of Leonard Read's classic essay, "I, Pencil".

I'm sure I haven't seen every attempt, but I've seen a lot of them and not a one compares to this beautiful little film made by Nicholas Tucker for the Competitive Enterprise Institute:

This video is the first film in what I am lead to believe is an on-going series exploring the concepts behind the essay which incorporates voices of some of my favorite economists and thinkers, like Larry Reed, Art Carden, Deirdre McCloskey, and Walter Williams:

What's more, I cannot imagine a better statement than this by my friend Larry Reed.
"Every second we're alive, we benefit from the products of voluntary, spontaneous cooperation. This is the modern world. It's miraculous. It's intricate. And it gets better every day - so long as people are free to interact with each other.

If we can leave the creative energies of human-kind uninhibited, there's no limit to what we can accomplish."
This reflects a vision of the world that is not only completely true, but broad and all-encompassing. Too often, I find that people - perhaps like the goldfish who can't conceptualize the water in its own tank - fail to see the millions of independent, voluntary and completely spontaneous transactions that take place every day facilitating the lives we all take for granted.

The keyboard I am typing on now is the consequence of an untold dozens, perhaps hundreds of individual people's labor, and perhaps thousands of individual people's supporting efforts, and not a one of those individuals (save perhaps the lone salesman who I paid for this machine) knows a thing about me, nor cares for me at all.

Each one acted in their own interest, working for money, for food, for personal enjoyment or interest, for a better life for themselves, for their families... That's it. And the end result of all of these transactions is something that benefited me.

It's incredible, and it needs to be celebrated more often.

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