Thomas Sowel Quotes

A segment of today‘s black and white intelligentsia excuses contemporary blacks who distain education as 'acting white' or who abandon their families-both patterns being represented as being a legacy of slavery,' though blacks born under slavery or living immediately after emancipation did not exhibit this pattern to the extent seen today. -- P. 21

Although advocates of the 'overpopulation' theory argue that rising population threatens to create more poverty, virtually no one can provide examples of countries that had a higher standard of living when their population was half of what it is today. -- P. 204

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

Facts do not "speak for themselves." They speak for or against competing theories. Facts divorced from theory or visions are mere isolated curiosities.

To say that women are paid 60 percent of what men receive for doing the same work is to say that employers can afford to pay two male workers more than they pay three female workers- the women producing 50 percent more output- and still survive economically in a system so competitive that most businesses go under inside of a decade. -- P. 187

When the U.S. Supreme Court declared in 1954 that separate schools were inherently inferior, within walking distance of the Court was an all-black public school whose performance had equaled or surpassed that of white schools in the District of Columbia for more than 80 years. -- P. 83

If one goes through enough numbers, one will eventually come upon some statistics that seem to fit one‘s vision. These are what might be called 'Aha!' statistics. Other statistics which suggest opposite conclusions bring no 'Aha!' but are more likely to be glided over and forgotten. -- P. 34

Some seem to argue as if any historical or contemporary source of unhappiness which a government could have prevented is something for which it should be held morally accountable-regardless of whether the government or the society created the source of unhappiness. -- P. 249

If a thousand children die from a new drug allowed into the market with 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 then if 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. — P.91

-exploration of the vision of the anointed will begin with its greatest achievement and its greatest danger which are one and the same: That vision has become self-contained and self-justifying- which is to say, independent of empirical evidence. That is what makes it dangerous, not because a particular set of policies may be flawed or counterproductive, but because insulation from evidence virtually guarantees a never ending supply of policies and practices fatally independent from reality. This self contained and self justifying vision has become a badge of honor and a proclamation of identity: To affirm it is to be one of us and to oppose it is to be one of them. Moreover, the pervasiveness of the vision of the anointed at all levels of the American educational system ensures future supplies of people indoctrinated with this vision and also convinced that they should 'make a difference,'- that public policy is seen as ego gratification from imposing one‘s vision on other people through the power of government. -- P. 241

-trees that newspapers are made from automatically recycled themselves for thousands of years before human being figured out how to plant seeds. -- P. 312

In short, no matter what happens, the vision of the anointed always succeeds, if not by the original criteria, then by criteria extemporized later-and if not by empirical evidence, then by criteria sufficiently subjective to escape even the possibility of refutation. Evidence becomes Irrelevant. -- P. 15

The official ideology that race did not matter under Communism, that all were one 'Soviet people,' was ultimately exposed as a bitter mockery when the easing of central government control in the late 1980s released lethal inter-ethnic violence in Soviet Georgia, in Azerbaijan, and in Central Asia...The final irony was that racial, ethnic, and nationality clashes- all regarded as passing anachronisms by Marxist theory, and as having been abolished by Soviet practice- not only persisted, but themselves played a major role in abolishing the Soviet Union. -- P. 246

The battle for civil rights was fought and won- at great cost- many years ago. Like any fundamental human achievement, these rights cannot be taken for granted and must be safeguarded. But civil rights are not protected or enhanced by the growing practice of calling every issue raised by 'spokesmen' for minority, female, elderly, or other groups, 'civil rights' issues...Equal treatment does not mean equal results. Everything desirable is not a civil right. -- P. 109

Ironically, when some blacks in the twentieth century began repudiating what they call 'slave names,' they often took Arabic names, even though Arabs over the centuries had enslaved more Africans than Europeans had. -- P. 163

-what successively removed various peoples of the world from the ranks of those vulnerable to being enslaved was the long process of consolidation of state power, whether their own or that of European imperialist nations. -- P. 13

Everyone is for a beneficial outcome; they simply define it in radically different terms. Everyone is a “progressive” by his own lights. That the anointed believe that this label differentiates themselves from other people is one of a number of symptoms of their naive narcissism. — P. 95

In reality, the proportion of women in the professions and other higher level positions was greater during the first decades of the twentieth century than in the middle of the twentieth century- and all of this was before either anti-discrimination laws or the rise of the feminist movement. -- P. 58

One of the ironic consequences of regarding property rights as simple benefits enjoyed by more fortunate people- rather than as fundamental checks on government power- was that affluent and wealthy communities could now restrict the ability of moderate-income and low-income people to move into their communities. -- P. 32

Research findings have consistently shown black females to have higher IQ test scores, and most other test scores, than black males in the United States. The same was true among Jews when they scored low on mental tests in the past. However, among white- raised black orphans with an average IQ of 106, there was no female advantage, suggesting that the striking predominance of females among high-IQ blacks is an environmental rather than a racial phenomenon. -- P. 171