Thursday, December 07, 2006

Via Samizdata, this is a rather good essay that extols the virtues of South Park and libertarianism.
In short, the underpants gnomes are an image of capitalism and the way it is normally – and mistakenly – pictured by its opponents. The gnomes represent the ordinary business activity that is always going on in plain sight of everyone, but which they fail to notice and fail to understand. The people of South Park are unaware that the ceaseless activity of large corporations like Harbucks is necessary to provide them with all the goods they enjoy in their daily lives. They take it for granted that the shelves of their supermarkets will always be amply stocked with a wide variety of goods and never appreciate all the capitalist entrepreneurs who make that abundance possible.

What is worse, the ordinary citizens misinterpret capitalist activity as theft. They focus only on what businessmen take from them – their money – and forget about what they get in return, all the goods and services. Above all, people have no understanding of the basic facts of economics and have no idea of why businessmen deserve the profits they earn. Business is a complete mystery to them – it seems to be a matter of gnomes sneaking around in the shadows and mischievously heaping up piles of goods for no apparent purpose.

Go and read the whole thing: it is an excellent piece of writing.

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