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“I, Pencil, The Movie”

November 15, 2012

Not bad, but I would’ve cast Channing Tatum as the pencil. That guy is wooden.

Based on the famous essay by Leonard E. Reed:

Not to be overly critical – I thought that was excellent – but it doesn’t make the point as well as the essay itself. Particularly when you come to the “nobody could ever plan all the steps it takes to make a pencil” part.

These are my favorite parts of the essay (remember, it’s told from the pencil’s point of view):

Neither the worker in the oil field nor the chemist nor the digger of graphite or clay nor any who mans or makes the ships or trains or trucks nor the one who runs the machine that does the knurling on my bit of metal nor the president of the company performs his singular task because he wants me. Each one wants me less, perhaps, than does a child in the first grade. Indeed, there are some among this vast multitude who never saw a pencil nor would they know how to use one. Their motivation is other than me. Perhaps it is something like this: Each of these millions sees that he can thus exchange his tiny know-how for the goods and services he needs or wants. I may or may not be among these items.

“His tiny know-how” being his/her tiny part in the eventual creation of a pencil. And:

Once government has had a monopoly of a creative activity such, for instance, as the delivery of the mails, most individuals will believe that the mails could not be efficiently delivered by men acting freely. And here is the reason: Each one acknowledges that he himself doesn’t know how to do all the things incident to mail delivery. He also recognizes that no other individual could do it. These assumptions are correct. No individual possesses enough know-how to perform a nation’s mail delivery any more than any individual possesses enough know-how to make a pencil. Now, in the absence of faith in free people—in the unawareness that millions of tiny know-hows would naturally and miraculously form and cooperate to satisfy this necessity—the individual cannot help but reach the erroneous conclusion that mail can be delivered only by governmental “master-minding.”

Read the whole thing.

I was alerted to this video, by the way, via email by my friend Peter Theron.

One Comment


  1. Updated ‘I, Pencil: The Movie’ (Video) | Lee's Take (Lee Hernly)

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