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Without this constant spontaneous cooperation, the modern wonders of our world would not exist.
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This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of , the essay was reprinted in the magazine in 1996, then again as a ten-page pamphlet entitled “I…Pencil” in 1998.
The pencil reasserts that no one knows of the laborious process by which pencils make their way into households around the world every day. To this end, the pencil notes the absence of a mastermind by stating “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. Instead, we find the invisible hand at work.” The pencil lauds the capitol of human creativity for being just as miraculous as the raw materials that comprise a pencil, which are found in nature. Man can no more direct these millions of know-hows to bring me into being than he can put molecules together to create a tree,” asserts the pencil.
By accepting this lack of masterminding agency (i.e., government), humanity will ensure its own freedom of will and prevent economic monopolies.
This faith will be confirmed.” Read emphasizes the phenomenon of physical delivery as an example of the kind of freedom needed for the market to flourish.
Mail delivery, a government proposal, is far costlier than the free market transport of oil or gas, for example.
In 2008, the 50th Anniversary Edition of the essay included an introduction written by famed economist Lawrence W.
Reed and a foreword written by Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman.
The pencil also admits to having no lead at all, but graphite that is mined in Sri Lanka, which presents all kinds of logistical economic implications.
The miners, toolmakers, paper-sack producers, and seemingly unrelated lighthouse keepers who ensure the delivery of shipments of raw materials and finished products alike are listed among the pencil’s kin.