Thomas Sowel Quotes

In short, what is claimed by the anointed to be evidence is clearly recognized by them as not being evidence when its conclusions do not fit the prevailing vision. -- P. 35

Since slaves had no voice whatever in the selection of Southern Congressman, counting the slave population at full strength would have given white Southerners a stronger pro- slavery contingent in Congress...It should also be noted that in the Constitution‘s distinction in counting people for representation in Congress was between slave and free, not black and white. Free blacks were counted the same as whites- and free blacks existed before the Constitution existed. -- P. 155

The presumed irrationality of the public is a pattern running through many, if not most or all, of the great crusades of the anointed in the twentieth century–regardless of the subject matter of the crusade or the field in which it arises. Whether the issue has been ‘overpopulation,’ Keynesian economics, criminal justice, or natural resource exhaustion, a key assumption has been that the public is so irrational that the superior wisdom of the anointed must be imposed, in order to avert disaster. The anointed do not simply happen to have a disdain for the public. Such disdain is an integral part of their vision, for the central feature of that vision is preemption of the decisions of others. — P. 123-124

What is called 'smart growth' in some places is government imposition of the preferences of observers, critics, activists, or 'experts' to over-ride the desires of he people themselves, as expressed in what they are willing to spend their own money to buy or rent. -- P. 48

On issue after issue, the morally self anointed visionaries have for centuries argued as if no honest disagreement were possible, as if those who opposed them were not merely in error but in sin. -- P. 103

The charge is often made against the intelligentsia and other members of the anointed that their theories and the policies based on them lack common sense. But the very commonness of common sense makes it unlikely to have any appeal to the anointed. How can they be wiser and nobler than everyone else while agreeing with everyone else? — P. 248

Each group trails the long shadow of its own history and culture, which influences its habits, priorities, and social patterns, which in turn affect its fate...Lamenting the vagaries of fate may leave us with a galling sense of helpless frustration, which many escape by transforming the tragedy of the human condition into the specific sins of specific societies. This turns the insoluble problem of cosmic justice into an apparently more manageable issue of social justice. -- P. 264

Black-owned banks in the United States have tended to have high rates of failure and the surviving black banks have tended to invest outside their community even more than white banks. . .Here too, often 'the poor pay more' because they live in neighborhoods with higher costs of providing those goods and services. -- P. 111 - 112

The judge‘s moral duty is to faithfully carry out the law he was sworn to uphold, not sincerely change the law to produce better results as he sees them. -- P. 59

The rule of law- 'a government of laws and not of men'- implies rules known in advance, applied generally, and constraining the rulers as well as the ruled. Freedom implies exemptions from the power of the rulers and a corresponding limitation on the scope of all laws, even those of democratically elected governments. -- P. 151

In short, while capitalism has a visible cost-profit-that does not exist under socialism, socialism has an invisible cost-inefficiency-that gets weeded out by losses and bankruptcy in capitalism. The fact that more goods are available more cheaply in a capitalist economy implies that profit is less costly than inefficiency. Put differently, profit is a price paid for efficiency. -- P. 75

In a country without property rights, or with the food being owned 'by the people,' there was no given individual with sufficient incentives to ensure that this food did not spoil needlessly before it reached the consumers. -- P. 243

The United States has been ethnically diverse for more than a century. Yet, successive massive waves of immigrants have arrived on these shores and become Americans without any such programs as have been proposed by the multiculturalists. -- P. 72

Note that merely killing middleman minorities was not considered sufficient. Gratuitous infliction of both physical and psychic pain has marked violence against the Chinese in Southeast Asia, as well as against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, and the Jews in Europe. This suggests that what their enemies feel is not simply a need to be rid of them but also a need to rid themselves of feelings of inferiority by subjecting middleman minorities to humiliation and dehumanization. -- P. 103

Again, it is necessary to note how price is a factor even in racial discrimination. That is, surplus labor resulting from minimum wage laws makes it cheaper to discriminate against minority workers than it would be in a free market, where there is no chronic excess supply of labor. -- P. 158

Orwellian use of the word 'harassment' to cover situations in which no one approached, addressed, or even notices the supposed target of this 'harassment: has enabled colleges and universities to punish behavior to which the only real objection is ideological. -- P. 189

Studies from more recent times have shown that the education of black students has been negatively affected by the presence of large numbers of other black students. -- P. 223

The side effects of slavery were not negligible, especially in the United States, where the staggering economic and human costs of the Civil War seemed to fit Abraham Lincoln‘s premonition that all the treasure built up from unpaid labor might be sunk in the ensuing war and every drop of blood drawn by the lash might be paid in blood shed with the sword. -- P. 65

The only clear-cut winners in the quest for cosmic justice are those who believe in the vision it projects- a vision in which believers are so morally and/or intellectually superior to others that their own relentless pursuit of this vision is seen as all that offers some modicum of hope to those who would otherwise be victims of the lesser people who make up the rest of society. It is a very flattering vision- and hence one not easily given up. -- P. 43

Why Britain became the first industrial nation and retained its preeminence for a century is one of the great questions of history-...What the British had earlier than many other peoples was a framework of law and government that facilitated economic transactions. -- P. 32