Thursday, September 21, 2006

"I, Pencil" still a classic

Posted by Craig Westover | 9:41 AM |  

King over at SCSU Scholars recommends Leonard Reed’s little classic I, Pencil as reading material for budding liberals. I highly concur, but note that some Republicans running for office might learn from it as well.

Some of “I, Pencil” reflects its publication date of 1958, but the essay has lost none of its power over time. The “first-pencil” essay telling the story how a pencil is made starts with the seeming absurdity -- not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me.

We’re talking a pencil here, not a space shuttle. But indeed, as the story of "Mongol 482." assembled, fabricated, and finished by Eberhard Faber Pencil Company, unfolds, the truth of that statement becomes evident. Mongol 482’s story makes evident the absurdity of politicians that think government can out-guess the market.
I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe, a claim I shall attempt to prove. In fact, if you can understand me—no, that's too much to ask of anyone—if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing. I have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a mechanical dishwasher because—well, because I am seemingly so simple.

Simple? Yet, not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me.