Thomas Sowel Quotes

A whole new class of intellectuals has arisen to supply a history geared to what people currently wish to believe, rather than to the record of the past. . . To allow those with a purely instrumental view of history to erase the national memory, or to record over it the ideological fashions of the day, is to discard an anchor in reality, and to set sail with light ballast and a reckless optimism. -- P. 227

By ingredients they mean physical ingredients, which are usually inexpensive, rather than the knowledge ingredient which is usually astronomically expensive because of years of research, including much trial and error. -- P. 82

Green (v. County School Board of New Kent County) was in many ways as decisive a case as Brown...-it was a substitution of a very different process- one in which children were to be assigned to schools by race instead of without regard to race. -- P. 68

Yet nothing has been more common in history than for victims to become oppressors when they gain power. -- P. 250

Others who share a similarly secular view are often driven to personify 'society' in order to re-introduce concepts of moral responsibility and justice into the cosmos, seeking to rectify the tragic misfortunes of individuals and groups through collective action in the name of 'social justice.' -- P. 5

World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, between them, gave the Ivory Coast 26 'structural adjustment loans' during the decades of the 1980s and 1990s, while per capita income declined and the country collapsed into civil war. -- P. 212

People who pride themselves on their "complexity" and deride others for being "simplistic" should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth.

-clearly neither racial discrimination nor racial inferiority can explain similar differences between whites in the North and the South in earlier centuries. This should at least raise questions about such explanations when applied to blacks of a later era who inherited the culture of white Southerners. -- P. 25

By the middle of the nineteenth century most 'free persons of color' in the United States could read and write and, half a century after emancipation, so could more than half the entire Negro population of the country. This has been called 'an accomplishment seldom seen in human history.' -- P. 170

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

In its pursuit of justice for a segment of society, in disregard of the consequences for society as a whole, what is called 'social justice' might more accurately be called anti- social justice, since what consistently gets ignored or dismissed are precisely the costs to society. -- P. 10

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

Like other evil, war is seen by those with the constrained vision as originating in human nature and as being contained by institutions. To those with the unconstrained vision, war was seen as being at variance with human nature and caused by institutions. -- P. 144

Edward, for example, was a popular name in Virginia and in Wessex, from which many Virginians emigrated, but the first forty classes of undergraduates at Harvard College included only one student named Edward. It would be nearly two centuries before Harvard admitted anyone named Patrick, though this was a common name in western Pennsylvania, where the Scotch-Irish were settled. -- P. 82

Striking changes in productivity among peoples can be traced to transfers of cultural capital from others- -- P. 333

For those with the vision of the anointed, it is not sufficient to discredit or denigrate proponents of the tragic vision. The general public must also be discredited, as well as the social processes through which the public‘s desires are expressed, individually or collectively, such as a market economy or social traditions. -- P. 119

-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

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

The most important reason why women earn less than men is not that they are paid less for doing the very same work but that they are distributed differently among jobs and have fewer hours and less continuity in the labor force. Among college-educated, never married individuals with no children who worked full time and were from 40 to 64 years old- that is, beyond the child bearing years- men averaged $40,000 a year in income, while women averaged $47,000. -- P. 70

century- even though blacks at the beginning of the twentieth century were just one generation out of slavery. -- P. 34 - 35