Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Thomas Sowell: A cautionary tale

My usual lack of timeliness strikes again, but I can't go without commenting on the Thomas Sowell kerfuffle. For those who didn't already know, the evil parallel universe duplicate that kidnapped and replaced Thomas Sowell shortly after 9/11 recently wrote:

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.
A few thoughts, a personal one and a bigger one. On a personal level, its difficult for me to describe how depressing Sowell's descent into warmongering policestatery in the past few years has been. When I started to become a libertarian, Sowell, along with Hayek, was hugely important to me. I ultimately became more radical than he ever was, but he was one of my biggest influences.

The larger point to take from this is that
a mixture of libertarianism/classical liberalism and militaristic modern conservatism is not likely to be stable. In the face of crisis or heavy strain, one or the other will win out, and it probably won't be libertarianism. Whenever trouble looms, the temptation to run screaming to the state for promises of help can be very strong, and even people with libertarian sentiments are not guaranteed to be immune. Sowell clearly wasn't.

What a damn shame.

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