Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sowellism

Thomas Sowell's VISION OF THE ANOINTED is one of my favorite books of all time and during the course of Lynn's and my collaboration on DONKEY CONS (buy TWO -- do it for the children), I'd frequently mention Sowell in our conversations about how Democrats' class-warfare ideology is related to their "by any means necessary" tactics. When we'd finished the book, Lynn went out and bought VISION OF THE ANOINTED and quickly became a missionary preaching the gospel of Sowellism.

What's great about Sowell is that his writing is concise. I sometimes take one idea and elaborate it at length. Sowell has a great talent for doing the opposite: taking a complex subject and boiling it down to a few clear sentences. The best example of this is in THE QUEST FOR COSMIC JUSTICE. On pages 121-126, Sowell completely dismantles Lenin's Imperialism. Considering that Imperialism is perhaps the most influential Marxist tract ever written -- Chomsky, Zinn and Michael Moore all reflect Lenin's vision of international trade as "exploitation" -- this is an astonishing passage.

If the bogusness of Lenin's doctrine can be conclusively demonstrated in just seven pages, the obvious question is: Why did people ever believe this stuff? This is "a triumph of propaganda," as Sowell explains:
The utter failure of Lenin's Imperialism as a work of logic only highlights its success as propaganda. To convice people of the truth of something that is true by logical inference from evidence requires no talent whatsever in the arts of propaganda. But to convince many highly educated people around the world of a theory that is demonstrably false ... is clearly a triumph of propaganda. ...

Marxism-Leninism is the ultimate in a common pattern among intellectuals with cosmic visions -- highly sophisticated defenses of primitive misconceptions.
[Emphasis added.]
A moonbat recently wasted a 1,200-word e-mail endeavoring to convince me that (a) we fought a Halliburton-inspired "war for oil" that killed "hundreds of thousands" in Iraq, and (b) the 240,000 new U.S. jobs created in February were all bad, low-paying jobs, and that despite an unemployment rate of 4.8% or any other evidence, Bush has "destroyed" the U.S. economy with "tax cuts for the rich."
"Highly sophisticated defenses of primitive misconceptions"!

-- McCAIN