Out of Frame


About this show

Video essays that explore the intersection of art, culture, and big ideas written & produced by FEE's Director of Media, Sean W. Malone.

The Subtle Socialism of Jurassic Park

August 27, 2020

What does Stephen Spielberg’s most popular movie have to do with socialism? More than you may think.

The themes of the film are pretty clear: Humility before science. The dangers of playing with powers you don’t fully understand. You don’t know what you don’t know.

The appeal of being able to perfectly plan a complex system, like an economy, is understandable. A neatly ordered plan looks a lot cleaner on paper than the sometimes-messy process of spontaneous order that’s the hallmark of free-market economies. But in practice, it never actually works that way.

Planned economies that rely on experts to make decisions are rigid and inflexible. They don’t do well with sudden or unexpected changes. Just like in Jurassic Park, thorough planning isn’t enough to overcome bad incentives and rapidly changing circumstances on the ground.


Produced by Sean W. Malone
Written by Jen Maffessanti & Sean W. Malone
Edited by Paul Nelson
Asst. Edited by Jason Reinhardt


--Experts and the Appeal of Socialism--

--Jurassic Park and Central Planning--

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