Thomas Sowel Quotes

People were enslaved because they were vulnerable, not because of how they looked. -- P. 113

After the soaring rhetoric and optimistic expectations at the beginning of independence were followed by bitter disappointments and painful retrogressions that reached into virtually every aspect of African life, the immediate political response was not so much a re-evaluation of the assumptions and policies which lead to such disastrous results, but instead a widespread blaming of the departed imperialists, or racial minorities such as the Indians, or even the United States, which has had relatively little role in African history, for good or ill. -- P. 120

Empirically, political activity and political success have been neither necessary nor sufficient for economic advancement... It would perhaps be easier to find an inverse correlation between political activity and economic success than a direct correlation. Groups that have the skills for other things seldom concentrate in politics. Moreover, politics has special advantages for ethnic minority groups, however much it may benefit individual ethnic leaders. Public displays of ethnic solidarity and/or chauvinism are the life blood of ethnic politics. Yet chauvinism almost invariably provokes counter chauvinism. -- P. 32

-a polemical tactic has developed which enables virtually any general statement, however true, to be flatly denied, simply because it is not 100 percent true in all circumstances. -- P. 91

Moral principles cannot be separated from their consequences in a given context. -- P. 155

-sweeping dismissals of the past are more than just a passing fashion or a personal vanity. They are a dangerous destruction of the hard-earned experience of millions of human beings, living through centuries of struggle with the tragedy of the human condition, and the replacement of this rich legacy with unsubstantiated and self-flattering fancies. -- P. 253

-in the vision of the anointed, the absence of precision becomes an authorization for substitution of the imagination. -- P. 94

If crime is a product of poverty and discrimination as they say endlessly, why was there so much less of it when poverty and discrimination were much worse than today? -- P. 85

-visions can acquire a tyrannical sway over people‘s minds by offering them an exalted sense of themselves in exchange for their loyalty to the vision through all the vicissitudes of facts to the contrary. -- P. 136

In the United States, for example, many of the social problems of the contemporary black underclass are almost automatically attributed to 'a legacy of slavery.' The prevalence of fatherless families in the black ghettos, for example, has been widely explained to the lack of legally constituted families under slavery. But if one proceeds beyond plausibility and guilt to actually seek out the facts, an entirely different picture emerges. -- P. 16

Like freedom and justice, equality is a process characteristic in the constrained vision and a result characteristic in the unconstrained vision. -- P. 121

In any given country, a particular minority may be hated for any of a number of reasons peculiar to that country or that group. However, in a worldwide perspective, the most hated kinds of minorities are often not defined by race, color, religion, or national origin. Often they are generically 'middleman minorities,' who can be of any racial or ethnic background, and in fact are of many. -- P. 65

One of the most remarkable feats of those with the vision of the anointed has been the maintenance of their reputations in the face of repeated predictions that proved to be wrong by miles. -- P. 64

Unionization drove out blacks in two ways: (1) directly through discriminatory rules and policies, and (2) indirectly, by artificially raising the wage rates and making them uniform. -- P. 89

The Soviet Union did not lack resources, but was in fact one of the most richly endowed nations on earth. What it lacked was an efficient economic system that made efficient use of scarce resources. -- P. 12

As many have warned in the past, freedom is unlikely to be lost all at once and openly. It is far more likely to be eroded away, bit by bit, amid glittering promises and expressions of noble ideas. -- P. 184

Many racial policies continually add to the pile of combustible material, which only needs the right political arsonist to set it off. -- P. 118

There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.

-whether judgments or actions toward particular groups are favorable or unfavorable, these actions cannot be automatically equated with prejudgments. Indeed, it is a sweeping prejudgment to do so, especially when those who attribute prejudice to others often have less direct knowledge of the groups in question at the times in question, than those who made the favorable or unfavorable judgments. -- P. 164

by the anointed have been vagrants, criminals and carriers of contagious diseases. -- P. 150