Thomas Sowel Quotes

Given the unique- and uniquely oppressive- history of blacks, it would follow almost inevitably from the civil rights vision that blacks would today suffer far more than other groups from low income, broken homes, and the whole litany of social pathologies. But like so many things that follow from the civil rights vision, it happens not to be true in fact...Both the domestic and the international examples suggest that what is most dramatic, most historic, or most morally revolting need not coincide with what is most economically determining. In short, the historical uniqueness of blacks has not translated into a contemporary uniqueness in incomes, occupations, I.Q., unemployment, female headed households, alcoholism, or welfare dependency, however much blacks may differ from the mythical national average in these respects. All of these represent serious difficulties (sometimes larger calamities) for blacks, and indirectly for the larger society, but the question here is the cause. If that cause is either a unique history or a unique genetics, blacks would differ not only from the national average but also from other groups that share neither that history nor the same genetic background. -- P. 74 - 75

Despite the name, capitalism is not an 'ism.' It is not a philosophy but an economy. -- P. 207

One of the most chilling lessons of the twentieth century is how deceptive domestic tranquility can be in a multi-ethnic society, when it takes only the right circumstances and the right demagogue to turn neighbor murderously against neighbor. -- P. 289

By projecting a vision of a world in which the problems of blacks are consequences of the actions of whites, either immediately or in times past, white liberals have provided a blanket excuse for shortcomings and even crimes by blacks. -- P. 52

No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.

It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it. -- Chapter: What Society Expends?

Periods of crises often generate emotions which seek outlets by blaming personal and intentional causes, rather than systemic causes, which provide no such emotional release for the public or moral melodrama for the media and politicians. -- P. 1

The assets and liabilities of American education are attitudinal, as well as institutional. One of its chief assets- the public‘s generosity to a fault- can become a liability when it becomes a blank-check subsidy of spoiled brat attitudes on the part of the educators. -- P. 287

The case for upholding legal principles, known and relied upon by others, is precisely that it can be done, and done while preserving a free society, whereas playing cases by ear requires far more knowledge than anyone possesses and is incompatible with the rule of law and the freedom which depends on that rule. -- P. 169

-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 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

For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not the distilled experiences of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before. -- P. 118

Whether moving people into government housing projects, giving them vouchers to subsidize their living in middle –class neighborhoods, or moving large numbers of them from one city to another, the evidence is clear that changing peoples location does not change their behavior. -- P. 45

All the while, people in such places speak of a need for 'diversity' and 'affordable housing'- neither of which that have or are likely to get, as their populations become whiter and older with rising prices. -- P. 109

The factors operating against performance equality are far too numerous, beginning with the physical settings in which different peoples have evolved culturally and economically. Geography is not egalitarian. -- P. 63

One of the ways to promote the ideology of equality is by defining various inequalities of performance out of existence. This cultural relativism refuses to classify some societies as civilized and others as backward or primitive. Whether comparing nations or subgroups within nations, cultural relativists proclaim all cultures and subcultures to be 'equally valid' and entitled to 'equal respect' as we 'celebrate diversity'... The bitter irony is that all this philosophical self-indulgence widens the empirical gap in the name of narrowing it. -- P. 74 - 75

-specialists are not solipsists. They are simply aware of the limitations of the human mind, and of the implications of those limitations, as the anointed so often are not. -- P. 205

Moral rights in the unconstrained vision are rights to results. -- P. 201

National and group pride and identity have often been assumed to be positive, if not essential, factors in advancement. Yet some of the most remarkable examples of rapid advancement have come from peoples painfully aware of their own backwardness and ashamed of it. -- P. 341

programs, is met by further claims that this shows the signs of racism of the larger society overflowing into the schools. -- P. 84 - 85