Thomas Sowel Quotes

One of the hallmarks of many Third World countries, especially those with otherwise favorable economic prospects in terms of natural resources or other favorable geographic factors, has been ineffective, capricious, or corrupt law enforcement. -- P. 200

For history to contribute to human understanding, its own integrity as history must be respected...A search of the past for group image-enhancement cannot be called history either, nor can a record of the past purged of whatever may be currently embarrassing or whatever is vetoed by contemporary group spokesmen, for whatever reason. -- P. 251

Social rules are as central to the constrained vision as unfettered individual judgment and individual conscience are at the heart of the unconstrained vision. -- P. 81

Ideological double standards have become so common in the academic world that any criticism of them is treated as an attack on their particular groups receiving benefits. Those who criticize double standards for minorities are almost certain t be labeled 'racist' while those who criticize double standards for homosexuals will automatically be labeled 'homophobic' and those who criticize double standards for radical feminists will be labeled 'sexist.' -- P. 278

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

While the top ten corporate executives earned an average of $59 million each in 2004, the top ten celebrities earned an average of $119 million each that same year- twice as much. -- P. 141

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

The instrumental nature of justice and its consequent subordination at times to other social imperatives, is a recurring theme in the constrained vision. Implicit in this subordination of justice to order in the constrained vision is the conclusion that man will suffer more by the breakdown of order-even an unjust order-than by some injustices. -- P. 174

Among individuals who are actively in the labor force, only 5 percent of those who were in the bottom 20 percent in income in 1975 were still there in 1991, compared to 29 percent of those in the bottom quintile in 1975 who had risen to the top quintile by 1991. -- P. 146

Only a few years after seizing power- years marked by numerous economic setbacks and catastrophes- the Communists too turned to the West for management, engineering, and technical personnel, as well as for equipment and capital... Much of Stalin‘s 'building of socialism' in the early Five Year Plans was in fact done by capitalists from Europe and America. -- P. 214

The tendency to dismiss all unfavorable conclusions about any group as racism or as prejudice, stereotypes, or other manifestations of ignorance overlooks the fact that often those with the most unfavorable opinion of a group are in closest contact with them, while those with a more favorable view know them lass well and often from a greater distance. -- P. 365

Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. In area after area - crime, education, housing, race relations - the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them.

-some professors at various colleges and universities have openly admitted to selecting textbooks on the basis of bonuses paid to them by the publishers of particular books. -- P. 90

It is one thing to be bitter because one cannot feed one‘s children and something very different to be resentful because one cannot afford designer jeans or expensive watches that keep no better time than cheap watches. -- P. 27

The military and political viability of the newly created states, and the dangers to the peace of Europe as a whole when the international balance of power was made fragile by the existence of so many small and vulnerable countries were considerations lost in the euphoria of victory and the heady process of 'nation building'- or more accurately, empire dismemberment. But the importance of these factors was painfully revealed by the subsequent breakdown of the balance of power in Europe, as Hitler was able to pick off- one by one- countries that would have been much more difficult to conquer when they were part of a consolidated empire, thus enabling Nazi Germany to begin shifting the military balance of power in its favor, even before the onset of the Second World War. -- P. 18

In some Islamic countries in Africa and the Middle East, slavery lasted even longer. Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, and the Sudan continued to hold slaves on past the middle of the Twentieth century. Mauritania officially abolished slavery in 1980, though its own government admitted that the practice continues nevertheless. -- P. 112

The liberal vision of black‘s fate as being almost wholly in the hands of whites is a debilitating message for those blacks who take it seriously, however convenient it may be for those who are receptive to an alibi. -- P. 63

A succinct summary of the tragic vision was given by historians Will and Ariel Durant: Out of every hundred new ideas ninety-nine or more will probably be inferior to the traditional responses which they propose to replace. No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for those are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history. — P. 112

Having it all- a career and a family and an upscale lifestyle- is fine but doing it all is often harder for a woman, given the usual division of domestic responsibilities between the sexes and the inevitable differences in childbearing. -- P. 68

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