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“I, Pencil” is a short video based on an essay written by Dr. Leonard E. Read that was first published in 1958 by The Freeman magazine. This timeless essay still evokes praise for its power and simplicity a half a century after it first appeared; the Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, who wrote an introduction to the essay in 1998, said that he knew of “no other piece of literature that so succinctly, persuasively, and effectively” illustrated the fundamental role that “The Invisible Hand” plays in a free-market economy. From the essay:
“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.”
The video is a faithful adaption of Dr. Read’s classic essay — but with a modern makeover to make it even more accessible to the citizens of the Information Age. It was produced by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. Visit the ipencilmovie.org website for more videos in the series.