Monday, December 04, 2006

The Invisible Gnomes of South Park

Occasionally I come across ‘off the wall’ expositions of philosophical ideas, including associated ideas from economics. This morning I found in Lew a little gem. It is called 'The Invisible Gnomes and the Invisible Hand: South Park and Libertarian Philosophy and is written by Paul Cantor, Professor of English at the University of Virginia (author of Gilligan Unbound: Pop Culture in the Age of Globalization).

Who would have thought that the “childrens’” tv show, South Park, contains within it Socratic philosophy, with a fair does of Libertarian thought? Not to mention an element of Adam Smith’s (though with my usual caveat).

The result is enjoyable and instructive. I believe English specialists call it ‘deconstructing’ a text, in this case a childrens’ tv series, and Paul Cantor does it brilliantly. Go on, read his funny but serious piece on Lew Rockwell’s site at:

PS: Apologies for my lack of gravitas, but on this occasion I am resisting having a go at the usual nonsense (in this case funny) about 'invisible', er, 'gnomes'.

Scholastic rectitude and purity of thought must sometimes give way to a bit of humour – otherwise what’s the point?


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