The Mindset of the Left, by Thomas Sowell

I found an absolutely brilliant series on the mindset of the political Left in America by one of the true geniuses of our time, Thomas Sowell.  Here is a taste of this series.  I hope you will take time to read all four parts:

At least as far back as the 18th century, the left has struggled to avoid facing the plain fact of evil — that some people simply choose to do things that they know to be wrong when they do them. Every kind of excuse, from poverty to an unhappy childhood, is used by the left to explain and excuse evil.

All the people who have come out of poverty or unhappy childhoods, or both, and become decent and productive human beings, are ignored. So are the evils committed by people raised in wealth and privilege, including kings, conquerors and slaveowners.

Why has evil been such a hard concept for many on the left to accept? The basic agenda of the left is to change external conditions. But what if the problem is internal? What if the real problem is the cussedness of human beings?

Rousseau denied this in the 18th century and the left has been denying it ever since. Why? Self preservation.

The Mindset of the Left Part I

The Mindset of the Left Part II

The Mindset of the Left Part III

The Mindset of the Left Part IV

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36 thoughts on “The Mindset of the Left, by Thomas Sowell

  1. “All the people who have come out of poverty or unhappy childhoods, or both, and become decent and productive human beings, are ignored. So are the evils committed by people raised in wealth and privilege, including kings, conquerors and slaveowners.”

    Poverty, unhappy childhood, has nothing to do with actions taken now upon “strangers”.
    Being poor or rich, has nothing to do with whether you become a thief or murderer, or merely one who forces “their will upon others.”

    There will always be those who “force their will upon others” because they can. They are evil, no matter how small or great the force, and/or will is, if the action forced is “wrong”.

    • So when a Texas jury forces an inmate to die, the jury is evil? When a poor man kills and robs a rich man, the poor man is evil? When a rich man lays-off working poor people to move the factory to a cheaper country, the rich man is evil?

      I am not saying anything is good or evil, I am just trying to clarify to you that evil is a highly subjective word, that has no basis in reality.

      • === head shaking ===
        “karl”, you are a fool, or idiot, or evil incarnate…
        whoever you are…whatever you are…
        “hello nsa”…

        • You said evil is forcing your will on people, is the Texas jury not forcing a person to die? Is that not evil, by your own definition?

          • Karl,

            No, evil is an UNJUST use of force against the will of another. In the case of a criminal proceedings, there is nothing unjust about enforcing a penalty that was known to the violator before they committed said violation. This is called justice and it is just because the trespasser violated the social contract. Paying the price for being caught was willingly acknowledged and accepted by the trespasser the moment they chose to trespass on the rights of another. Trying to cry foul after the fact is just more indication of that baser self I mentioned earlier. You simply refuse to accept reality, or the consequences for your actions — nothing more than that.

            • So Evil and good is determined by whether or not you think it is just.

              Well there you go everybody we should all bow down to Joe the greatest man, ever, the decider of all justice, god’s chosen interpreter of “natural law.”

              Joe can you not see how individualist megalomania has made you into an irrational being espousing an irrational political system.

              You think your judgment gives you the right to deny life to others. You are not a defender of democracy much less the right to life. You are a defender of Joe-ism and his wonderful “natural law” as interpreted by none other than joe himself. Woe unto the public when Joe dies and factions will fight each other on the correct manner of interpreting “natural law.”

              A system where decisions are made by subjective moral value judgments is not a system, but the codification of the opinions of one man. A system that breaks down as soon as the original founder(jesus, mohamad, joe, thomas jefferson etc.) and his disciples start infighting on how to correctly interpret a system that is not based in reality, but in the interpretation of the opinions of a dead man.

              Don’t you understand morality is subjective, there is no morality everyone can agree on. many christians are against the death penalty, does this mean they are evil or espousing evil? In their eyes are you evil or espousing evil? If you keep on using moral arguments, the debate breaks down to just calling your opponents evil. And who determines evilness, none other than the person making the accusation.

              • Funny, Karl, and here I was thinking I was doing nothing more than reiterating the same things greater minds than yours or mine have discovered and affirmed throughout history. Men such as Moses, Cicero, Locke and our founding fathers.

                Actually, I think the real megalomania crept in when a little man by the name of Karl Marx suddenly decided he could turn the laws of this universe and the entire recorded history of man on its head by insisting that his lollipop and unicorn dreams of a Borg collective is or should be the natural order of things.

                • I doubt you share Moses’ and Cicero’s views on slavery and divorce. You have not denied that the sole source of legitimacy for your view of capital, one that prohibits corporations for some odd reason, is based on your own views or your interpretation of locke, god, cicero, jefferson, moses, jesus and any other historical figure you want to piggy back on. The source of legitimacy for socialism is the masses. I guess currently capitalism is also legitimate in the eyes of the masses, but as crises intensify, that will change

                    • Legitimacy descibes the basis for rule. Some people say the divine right of kings is legitimate, others say the masses and others say the koran or bible. Once again you have failed to provide a meaningful response and nitpick words whose only mistake is not being able to be comprehended by you.

                    • Very well, then — by YOUR reasoning — the status quoe is legitimate. Now how can you “prove” otherwise when any attempt to do so must — by definition — be based on a value judgment?

                    • Like is I said, right now the masses approve of capitalism, but I see changes coming down the road.

      • Evil is real. It has defining characteristics. These characteristics can be known, learned. You can then apply them to the behaviors, policies, arguments of others. If those behaviors, policies, agendas, arguments fall under that definition, then calling someone evil — in so much that we are identified by what we think and do — is no more an attack than saying that the letters d-e-f-i-n-e mean to set those characteristics which define a thing. In essence, calling something or someone what it is is not an attack — so long as you are accurate in your assessment.

  2. “karl”, you are a fool, or idiot, or evil incarnate…
    whoever you are…whatever you are…
    “hello nsa”…”

    No, he’s just a bad Marxist, Texas!

    Correction, a closet Capitalist!

    • You assume I am a capitalist because you assume I made a moral argument. Now, what moral argument have I made?

      • What you have made are IMMORAL statements…..you are just too Biased and obtuse and —- to see it and admit it.

        But at least it’s out there for the Good folks to read and see.

        • I don’t care whether my statements are moral or immoral. I could say, change your car oil every 3 months, is that moral or immoral? It doesn’t matter. But have I ever said something should be stopped because it is evil or immoral?

          • When you said it should be stopped because it is “control” or “exploitation.” You just don’t understand enough of what you say or think — or the English language for that matter — to understand this fact. Nor do you understand basic logic and the principle of logical extension. Nor do you understand the principle of definition.

            We have been rough on you, but we have tried to help you learn. You refuse. This makes you willfully ignorant. There can be no greater crime for someone who “claims” to be motivated by reason and/or “science,” such as you have claimed.

            • I use the words control and exploitation to describe the situation, but i use the economic facts about the crisis of capitalism to point out it is unsustainable.

                • The rust belt of northeast to Midwest USA the grinding poverty and joblessness of the appalachian range. The third worl in general and former east bloc states.

                  • The rust belt is predominantly governed by unions and socialist-minded governments.

                    The Appalachians by giant corporations, which — by their very nature — seek to restrict the free market.

                    The third world is anything BUT a free market as most are run by dictatorships.

                    The closest you came to naming a free market was Russia, and then, that has largely ended under Putin’s rule. Still, under the free market Russian economy, the number of “wealthy” Russians exploded, so you actually defeated your argument with that example. The rest were misses.

                    • the number of poor Russians also exploded, the number of drug addicts and human trafficking and prostitutes also exploded.

                      The governors of Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania are republicans. There certainly is not any Marxist regimes in the U.S.A.

                      If by “restrict free markets” you mean seek to have the most market share? then all business operators want to restrict free-markets.

                      Some bribe, some undercut their competitors’ prices, some buy out their competitors. none of this violate the principles of private property exchange (aka capitalism)

                      Monopolies are naturally better at capitalism, they have larger capital, economies of scale and are often their own suppliers. Meaning lower overhead per unit cost.

                      They are the natural winners of a free market system. You need to abandon this economic idealism of the small guys all living happily in economic competition in a free market where everyone wins.

                    • There is no such thing as “poor” in the world you claim to live in. Poor is a value statement, judgment — and you say that such subjective standards do not exist.

                      This is why little of what you say makes any sense: you don’t even understand language.

                    • physical real life hardships of people people is not a value judgment. Did I say poverty was right or wrong? no I just said it exists and has increased.

                      Nice glossing over the economic facts of corporations, profit motive and monopolies.

          • Yeah Karl,

            Raping a 5 year old….or breaking and entering and murdering a home-owner……..is a the same as Changing your car oil every 3 months. And of course your “moral” stance is that YOU are MORE moral ( because rhetorically you are actually claiming a HIGHER morality than everyone else….as ALL Liberals and Socialists do )…..so you imply you are intellectually and morally superior, because you haven’t told anyone to stop any activity because it is called Evil or immoral.

            What you are….what all Liberal/Marxists are is a Living Freak Show…………….Whose whole raison d’etre is to get to spend others money and labor on your Morality.

  3. So let me get this right. According to this columnist the best way forward is for people to take hard, dirty, and sometimes dangerous jobs that pay little.

    Oh wait, that’s what people in your country are already doing – and it’s not working!

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/100883308

    ” Krystal Cole juggles two jobs in pursuit of that goal. A single mother of two in Marietta, Ga., Cole works Monday through Friday in an on-the-job training internship that pays roughly minimum wage for 20 of the 40 hours she works. On weekends, she works as a waitress for two seven-hour shifts at a waffle restaurant. Nearly all of that paycheck goes towards her health insurance; virtually her only take-home pay on weekends is the roughly $100 she pulls down in tips.

    “I work hard but I still don’t make enough money,” Cole said. “Food is expensive, and you don’t really realize it until you have all these mouths to feed.” Cole gets $160 a month in SNAP benefits, and estimates that she pays another $100 or so out of pocket each month (her kids are in programs that give them breakfast and lunch on weekdays).”

    And as for that “overweight” jab – http://institutefornaturalhealing.com/2011/04/the-economics-of-obesity-why-are-poor-people-fat/

    “The primary reason that lower-income people are more overweight is because the unhealthiest and most fattening foods are the cheapest. If you were broke and had just three dollars to spend on food today, would you buy a head of broccoli or a Super Value Meal with French fries, a cheeseburger and a Coke?

    And make no mistake. This does not represent a failure of the capitalist free-market system. Modern agri-business and government food policy represents a perverted version of capitalism – crony capitalism – where those with the most money and the most powerful friends in government control the markets.

    What they have done is use your tax dollars to subsidize certain commodity crops (at the expense of others) to ensure that the cost of oils, sugar and grains stay artificially low. With low input costs, food manufacturers can turn a tidy profit. The end result is that processed foods – even though they require more technology, more labor and more marketing to produce and sell – are cheaper to the consumer than real, whole foods.”

    He also says:

    “At the heart of the left’s vision of the world is the implicit assumption that high-minded third parties like themselves can make better decisions for other people than those people can make for themselves. ”

    Nothing like a person who knows nothing about you believe to tell you what you believe.

    People with left wing views believe that egalitarianism and collective action results in the best overall outcome for all people. We recognise that some people through chance of birth are born into more privilege than others, and that those who aren’t born into privilege should be given the opportunity to succeed.

    Here’s a fun fact. What experiences Thomas Powell found in the economy of 1949 (which was pretty much the beginning of the 30 year Golden Age of Democratic policies) have no bearing on the problems facing people in 2013 (which is pretty much the end of 30 years of the neoliberal dystopia).

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