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Thinkies Porn: An Interview With Thomas Sowell

February 15, 2010

John Hawkins, of Right Wing News, recently interviewed Thomas Sowell about his new book, Intellectuals And Society. I adore the always brilliant Thomas Sowell. If you are unfamiliar with him, I highly recommend reading some of his work. Sheer genius.

He makes some fabulous points about “Intellectuals”. You know, the Smarter Than Us ™ people. To me, this is a sort of new class warfare and it’s just as dangerous, perhaps even more so — because Intellectuals affect every single spectrum of our society, they affect policy across the board and they will never ever admit when they are wrong. To them, it’s inconceivable that they can be wrong.

An excerpt of the interview follows and the full interview can be found at Right Wing News:

Do you think intellectuals come up with these ideas because they don’t have any accountability for them? They can put them out there and they’re never going to pay any price for being wrong?

Oh, absolutely. In fact, one of the biggest advantages of an economic market place is that people pay a price for being wrong. When the government steps in to protect them, you take that away and it’s simply a subsidy for irresponsibility.

Now, I want to read something you wrote in a column that many people who consider themselves to be intellectuals would certainly take issue with. Here’s the quote, “But certainly, for the 20th century, it is hard to escape the conclusion that intellectuals have on net balance made the world a worse and more dangerous place.” Now if someone said to you, “Gosh, Thomas Sowell, I don’t think that’s true” what would you say?

I would say read the history of intellectuals in western democracies making it difficult for these democracies to arm themselves while the dictatorships were clearly arming themselves as fast as they possibly could. Of all the crack brained ideas to preserve peace that intellectuals had, almost all of them not only did not preserve peace, they made war more likely because they made war look more winnable to people on the other side. I mean to think that there was an international renunciation of war — well, isn’t that a lovely thought? But, just who is that going to deter?

Do you think we see a lot of that still today with the attitudes toward international law?

Oh, absolutely. I mean we’re doing nothing that is likely to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. If terrorists with nuclear weapons don’t focus your mind, nothing will. Yet, not only are we doing nothing, we’re doing elaborate, clever nothing. We’re going to the United Nations, we’re holding conferences. There are resolutions being passed. You know — a lot of busy work — none of which has the slightest chance of deterring Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Full interview here

(cross-posted at iowntheworld.com)

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 15, 2010 8:18 pm

    Not only does he not talk down to you, but listening to him makes you think.

    Such brilliance.

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