As you know, Thomas Sowell has retired from column writing. He is 86 years old, so one understands if he feels that he needed a break.
Sowell was not only one of our great minds. He was resolutely determined never to allow ideology to blind him to the facts. And he was especially talented at communicating his thoughts in clear, cogent and coherent prose.
We will all miss his columns.
To mark the occasion Kerry Picket at The Daily Caller has collected a number of Sowell’s most witty and pithy and wise statements. I have selected a few of them for this post, as an appetizer:
The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.
The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.
When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.
People who pride themselves on their ‘complexity’ and deride others for being ‘simplistic’ should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth.
Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.
Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God.
The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.
Virtually no idea is too ridiculous to be accepted, even by very intelligent and highly educated people, if it provides a way for them to feel special and important. Some confuse that feeling with idealism.
Whenever someone refers to me as someone ‘who happens to be black,’ I wonder if they realize that both my parents are black. If I had turned out to be Scandinavian or Chinese, people would have wondered what was going on.
Life does not ask what we want. It presents us with options.