Category Archives: Sowell, Thomas

A grievance-politics entrepreneur’s imbecilic proposal

A man called Dedrick Asante-Muhammad has proposed in the London newspaper the Guardian that every American with an enslaved ancestor be given $20,000 annually for 20 years.

Dalrymple sees in this

a great deal of anxiety and self-contempt, as well as condescension. It is not deemed necessary to assist any other group in the way proposed, not even women. There is in it the suspicion that in an open society, blacks are doomed to end up, on average and as a group, at the bottom of the pile unless they are given special privileges.

Prejudice by itself, Dalrymple notes,

provided it is not universal and there are people who do not share it, does not prevent ascension on the social scale. It is not a lifetime ago that some of the élite educational institutions placed limits on the number of Jews admitted. No one would say that the Jews in America were impeded. Something similar is true of many other groups, some of which started off poorer than American blacks today, and whose members did not require subsidies to advance.

In any unequal society, he says,

life is easier for some people than for others. This is unfair, but as Thomas Sowell has pointed out, the quest for cosmic justice is both totalitarian in implication and can lead only to continual sifting of the entrails of group and individual disparities, a sifting that promotes resentment as well as conflict.

Open societies have a disadvantage.

They force you to look at your part in your situation. Unless you are a rip-roaring success, which few of us are (and those few are often not very attractive), you are forced to confront your ineptitude, lack of talent, bad choices from an early age, etc., etc. It is much easier to deny that your society is an open one, and sink into apathy, politicking, and continuation of immediately gratifying but ultimately self-destructive bad habits.

Any policy you want, so long as it is mine

The vision of the anointed

Dalrymple writes that Britain’s Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson, might very well

emerge with the most Parliament members and go into coalition with the Scots nationalists, who would impose as a condition of their adhesion a second referendum on Scottish independence.

He points out that if the nationalists were to win such a referendum,

there would be no third.

As for Brexit, Swinson

has made it plain that she would respect the result of a second referendum only if it went in favour of remaining. There has probably never been a clearer expression of what Thomas Sowell calls ‘the vision of the anointed‘ — the supposition that one’s views are so beyond moral dispute that anyone with the temerity to dispute them must be a moral Neanderthal.

Dalrymple notes that Swinson’s statement, that she would do whatever it took to prevent Brexit, including ride roughshod over public opinion,

shows how Europeanised she is. She is young and probably representative of the educated persons of her class and generation, to say nothing of those yet younger. They apparently have no objection to authoritarian rule, provided it is their own.

O círculo vicioso da miséria moral

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Portuguese-language edition

Dalrymple’s Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass is, writes Thomas Sowell,

an insightful account of the dire consequences that the welfare state has led to among low-income whites in England. Many will recognise striking similarities to problems among low-income blacks in America — problems often blamed on ‘a legacy of slavery’ but which have followed in the wake of the welfare state in England among whites with no legacy of slavery.