Thomas Sowel Quotes

Patriotism and treason thus become a meaningless distinction at the extremes of the unconstrained vision, while this distinction is one of the most central and most powerful distinctions in the constrained vision. -- P. 81

programs, is met by further claims that this shows the signs of racism of the larger society overflowing into the schools. -- P. 84 - 85

The rise of blacks into professional and other high-level occupations was greater in the years preceding passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than the years following passage of that act. -- P. 241

When facts about racial or ethnic groups that are both known and relevant are deliberately suppressed because they would undermine a particular vision, doctrine, or agenda, then history is prostituted and cannot serve as a check against visions, because facts have been subordinated to visions. -- P. 277

Doctors and the producers of modern pharmaceutical drugs have been rhetorically transformed into villains by those who would present themselves as our rescuers in politics or in the courtrooms. -- P. 94

It is misleading to speak of 'planned' and 'unplanned' communities as it is to speak of planned versus unplanned economies...What government planning means in practice is the suppression of individual plans and the imposition of a politically or bureaucratically determined collective plan instead. -- P. 48

Despite the popularity of the phrase 'income distribution,' most income is earned- not distributed. -- P. 151

Many who have dismissed the anti-slavery words of the founders of the American republic as just rhetoric have not bothered to check the facts of history. Washington, Jefferson, and other founders did not just talk, they acted. -- P. 145

In traditional terms, what preferential policies create is a playing field tilting in favor of those whose performance on a level playing field would be inadequate. -- P. 163

-as in other expressions of cosmic visions, results are not the test. Taking a moral stand is the test. -- P. 104

-absolute certainty is still not achievable by human beings, no matter how much testing goes on...If a thousand children die from a new drug allowed into the market will less testing and ten thousand would die while more testing was going on, the public outcry over the deaths of those thousand children would bring the wrath of the whole political system down on the heads of those officials who permitted the drug to be approved with 'inadequate' testing. But if ten or a hundred times as many people die while prolonged testing goes on, there will be few, if any, stories about those people in the media...Sometimes safety precautions can be carried to the point where they are fatal -- P. 90 - 91

Processes designed to create greater equality cannot be judged by that goal but must be examined in terms of the processes created in pursuit of that goal. -- P. 51

When increased voluntary spending is called 'rising costs,' and becomes a basis for raising tuition, seeking more taxpayer money, or even dipping into the principal of endowments, then the kinds of economic constraints faced by competing business enterprises are clearly not operating in the academic world. -- P. 110

Letters from teachers continue to confirm the incompetence which they deny. A teacher in Montana says that my criticisms of teachers are "nieve." No, that wasn't a typographical error. He spelled it that way twice.

In Chicago, as late as 1910, more than two-thirds of the black population liven in neighborhoods where most residents were white but, after the mass migrations of blacks from the South, attempts by blacks to move into white neighborhoods in Chicago were met with violence, including bombings. -- P. 48

If one is 'politically correct,' being factually incorrect doesn‘t matter. -- P. 66

Whenever A can get B to do what A wishes, then A has "power" over B, according to the results-oriented definition of the unconstrained vision...But if B is in a process in which he has at least as many options as he had before A came along, then A has not "restricted" B‘s choices, and so has no "power" over him, by the process definition used by Bauer and characteristic of the constrained vision. -- P. 160

Even though educators consider themselves to be thinking people,' there is a remarkable absence of substantive arguments in their response to critics. These responses include evading the specifics of the criticisms and arbitrarily attributing Utopian beliefs to critics. -- P. 249

Discrimination entails costs on the discriminators, as well as on those discriminated against, but such costs are borne by other people- not by those who make discriminatory decisions- in the case of non-profit organizations. By the same token, the costs of racial or ethnic preferences in a later era have also been borne by other people, so that the same non-profit organizations which once discriminated against blacks, for example, could now afford to show preferences for blacks as students or professors because the costs of these preferences are likewise paid by others. -- P. 123

Slavery is one of the oldest and most universal of all human institutions. Slavery has existed among peoples around the world, as far back as recorded history goes, and archaeological explorations suggest that it existed before human beings learned how to write. No one knows when slavery began. It is the idea of freedom for the great masses of ordinary people that is relatively new, as history is measured — and this idea is by no means universally accepted around the world, even today. — P.31