Thomas Sowel Quotes

Where separate group identities are government-subsidized-often under the general label of 'multiculturalism' in Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United States-an artificial Balkanization is fostered, in utter disregard of the tragic historic consequences of Balkanization in many parts of Asia and Africa, as well as in the Balkans themselves. -- P. 31

In the 1820‘s, 6000 Greeks were sent to Egypt as slaves and, half a century later, a report to the British Parliament noted that both white and black slaves were still being traded in Egypt and Turkey, years after blacks had been emancipated in the United States. -- P. 187

-the rate of violence among lesbians living together-about the same as in heterosexual relationships- is of no interest to those seeking to depict male-female relationships as violence prone. -- P. 173

Affective education is not to be confused with effective education. Indeed, it is one of the many agendas which distract schools from effective education. The emotionalizing of education not only takes time away from intellectual development; it also cast teachers in the role of amateur psychologists. -- P. 17

-many of the problems of very poor countries are internal, however politically unpalatable that may be to the inhabitants of those countries or to those on the Western world who prefer other explanations. This conclusion is reinforced by the history of very poor countries that rose rapidly to higher economic levels, such as Scotland in the eighteenth century, Japan in the nineteenth century and China in the twentieth century. In all cases, they raised themselves economically through internal changes, brought on by recognition that such internal changes were necessary. -- P. 215

Some countries have had disastrous famines, not from a lack of food, but from a lack of distribution of food. People have literally died from starvation in the interior while food supplies rotted on the docks in port cities. In other economies, both production and consumption suffer from a lack of credit. More to the point, mass expulsions of supposedly 'parasitic' middleman minorities have created shortages, higher prices, and rising interest rates, in a number of countries and in a number of periods in history. -- P. 83

An estimated 1 to 2 percent of the babies born to plantation slave women were fathered by white men, compared to nearly half in the cities. Southern cities had a chronic surplus of white men over white women and a chronic surplus of black women over black men. Similar sexual imbalances have led to mixed offspring in many other times and societies, so the antebellum South was not exceptional in this. If most of the slave women who gave birth to racially mixed babies were simply raped by their owners, then such babies would be undoubtedly have been more common on the plantations, where white control was greatest, rather than in the cities, where it was more lax. -- P. 207

Even in the absence of differences in toil or reward, the seeming conjuring of wealth out of thin air, apparently by 'overcharging' others or making them pay back more money than was lent, has been seen as parasitic activity, rather than as a contribution to the well- being of the community. -- P. 70

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

Anyone who saw East Berlin and West Berlin during the years when communism prevailed in the eastern part of the city and a market economy in the rest of it could not help noticing the sharp contrast between the prosperity of West Berlin and the poverty in East Berlin. -- P. 118

The covert methods by which affirmative action has been foisted on a society that rejects it, the vengeful manner in which busing has been imposed without regard for the welfare of children, and the lofty contempt of a remote and insulated elite for the mass of citizens whose feelings and interests are treated as expendable, or dismissed as mere 'racism,' provide the classic ingredients of blindness and hubris that have produced so many human tragedies. However much history may be invoked in support of these policies, no policy can apply to history but can only apply to the present or the future. The past may be many things, but it is clearly irrevocable. Its sins can no more be purged than its achievements can be expunged. Those who suffered in centuries past are as much beyond our help as those who sinned are beyond our retribution. To dress up present-day people in the costumes and labels of history and symbolically try to undo the past is to surpass Don Quixote and jeopardize reality in the name of visions. To do so in ways that harm the already disadvantaged is to skirt the boundaries of sanity and violate the very claims of compassion used to justify it. -- P. 119

Phrases like 'the peace movement,' used to describe disarmament advocates, preempt the whole momentous question as to whether peace is more likely to be achieved through disarmament or through military deterrence. With untold millions of lives depending on the answer to that question, something more substantive than a presumption that some people like peace more than others might be expected. -- P. 184

Few things have saved as many lives as the simple growth of wealth. -- P. 307

If the politicization of race could lead to barbarism and genocide among Germans, no other peoples or society can be presumed to be immune. However catastrophic the politicization of race may be in the long run, from the point of view of individual leaders it is a highly successful way to rise from obscurity to prominence and power. -- P. 35

Knowledge is one of the scarcest of all resources. -- P. 111

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

During World War I, for example, black soldiers from Ohio, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania scored higher on mental tests than did white soldiers from Georgia, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Mississippi, even though whites nationwide scored higher than blacks nationwide. -- P. 371

-unlike God at the dawn of Creation, we cannot simply say, 'let there be equality!' or 'let there be justice!' We must begin with the universe that we were born into and weigh the costs of making any specific change in it to achieve a specific end. We cannot simply 'do something' whenever we are morally indignant while disdaining to consider the costs entailed.' -- P. 8

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

The ideas that government intervention improves the situation is a notion which has been repeated innumerable times in many ways, but endless repetition is not a coherent argument, much less proof...It is precisely government intervention in housing markets which has made previously affordable housing unaffordable. -- P. 23