Monday, November 20, 2006

Thomas Sowell shreds the neocons

"That Thomas Sowell?' You may be wondering. The Thomas Sowell I've previously castigated for being a relentless shill for American militarism in the Middle East and expansion of government power at home?

The very same. From the man himself:

Today, the confusion between freedom and democracy leads far too many Americans, including those in high places, to seek to spread democracy around the world- in complete disregard of the circumstances of the particular countries. In some respects, we may be more dangerous to our friends than to our enemies…

Both freedom and democracy have prerequisites. When those prerequisites do not exist, democracy especially can be a house of cards.

When was this ringing denunciation of the neoconservative project published? In 1999, on page 90 of Sowell's essay collection Barbarians Inside the Gates: And Other Controversial Essays. I hate to speak ill of the man, because he was an enormous positive influence on me, but when I read those lines in my copy of the book just a few minutes ago the contrast was too much to let go without comment. Sadly, like so many others, Sowell was apparently replaced by an evil parallel universe duplicate in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, and the sharp critical thinking skills and pro-freedom principles I admired him for are no longer in evidence.

I sure miss the old Thomas Sowell right about now.

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drferguson said...

I fully agree. The Thomas Sowell who wrote BASIC ECONOMICS and THE VISION OF THE ANNOINTED and KNOWLEDGE AND DECISIONS seems no longer with us.

Eric Wilds said...

You're right about Thomas Sowell. He tries to distance himself from the Neocons and the "national greatness" conservatives, but his continual support of the president ultimately plays into their hands. He is useless as a writer in trying to re introduce some degree of sanity to our foreign policy. He's indistinguishable from the Neocons. I wrote about it here: