Sowell on the Difference in First Principles, or Assumptions

Thomas Sowell:

If no one has even one percent of the knowledge currently available, not counting the vast amounts of knowledge yet to be discovered, the imposition from the top of the notions favored by elites convinced of their own superior knowledge and virtue is a formula for disaster…what the political left, even in democratic countries, share is the notion that knowledgeable and virtuous people like themselves have both a right and a duty to use the power of government to impose their superior knowledge and virtue on others.

If no one has even one percent of all the knowledge in a society, then it is crucial that the other 99 percent of knowledge — scattered in tiny and individually unimpressive amounts among the population at large — be allowed the freedom to be used in working out mutual accommodations among the people themselves.
These innumerable mutual interactions are what bring the other 99 percent of knowledge into play — and generate new knowledge.
That is why free markets, judicial restraint, and reliance on decisions and traditions growing out of the experiences of the many — rather than the groupthink of the elite few — are so important.

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17 years ago

Big fan of Sowell?
How about this one:
…When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup….
Thomas Sowell, NRO, May 1, 07.
And that’s the whole paragraph, so it’s not taken out of context.
Notice those last two words in the quote: Military Coup.
Do you agree with him?
Personally, I’d be hesidtant to quote someone with something like that on his record. How can a miliatry coup “save” this country? Care to explain?

Marc Comtois
17 years ago

Nice try klaus…I often agree with some things that people say/write and disagree with others. Disagreed with Bill Clinton on a number of issues, agreed with him on NAFTA and Bosnia. Likewise, I disagree with Sowell on the coup thing.

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