Plano Texas Politics

August 17, 2009

I, Pencil

Filed under: Economics — jdalley @ 10:42 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

The short essay by Leonard E. Read, I,Pencil, was published in FEE’s, the Foundation for Economic Education, magazine The Freeman. This short essay is about the creation of a pencil, it begins by saying;

“I am a lead pencil—the ordinary wooden pencil familiar to all boys and girls and adults who can read and write.” (I, Pencil, Read)

Then Read continues to describe how many people have to work to create something as simple as a pencil, and he makes an outstanding statement that no one in the world could make an ordinary pencil. He says;

“There is a fact still more astounding: The absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work. This is the mystery to which I earlier referred.” (I, Pencil, Read)

He concludes by stating that government is not needed to direct man, that man directs himself, because if something as simple as a pencil can be created without a master mind how can a government have a master mind to direct all of its citizens.

“The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed. I, Pencil, seemingly simple though I am, offer the miracle of my creation as testimony that this is a practical faith, as practical as the sun, the rain, a cedar tree, the good earth.” (I, Pencil, Read)


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