In introducing his new book, Thomas Sowell asserts that the Obama administration "is the embodiment, the personification, and the culmination of dangerous trends that began decades ago," trends that are "dismantling America." Sowell sees this in the dismantling of marriage, of culture, and of self-government.
Sowell has studied and taught economics, intellectual history, and social policy at institutions that include Cornell University, UCLA, and Amherst College. Now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Sowell has published more than a dozen books, the latest of which is Dismantling America.
Thomas Sowell is an American economist, political writer, and commentator. He is currently a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
In 1990, he won the Francis Boyer Award, presented by the American Enterprise Institute. In 2002 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal for prolific scholarship melding history, economics, and political science.
Sowell is good stuff. I think he has a better grasp on reality than many pundits. It's apparent that America is weakening morally and financially. The welfare state is responsible for both.
In the most tolerant large country in the world, it is amazing that so many Americans condenm their homeland for not being perfect. In the most prosperous large country in the world, it is a tribute to propaganda that so many Americans think they are impoverished. Soon they may know the real thing.
We would do well to learn about the messianic Iranian regime and what they are spelling out to the world what they plan to do. Sowell is right - the fact of a nuclear-armed Iran changes everything, and I believe it will change history, and not for the better.
@GnosisMan: Iran never needs nukes. We have nukes as does Israel. We have a mutually assured understanding that neither of us can win with a nuclear attack. The loss of life would be beyond comprehension. We do not cross the nuclear bomb line, because we do not want to bomb each other. We would all lose & millions will die. As for Iran, they have a one-sided ideology. When they get the nukes put together, you can believe that they will use them asap. Using them even on thier own people. No one will be safe after Iran gets those 4 nukes up & runnning. They hate life like we love life. They destroy & murder & do not want peace with Isreal or America, or the Uk, or Canada, etc. They want to take over everywhere & take all of our Constituional Rights away & replace it with worldwide Sharia Law. Death to them is nothing, but to all of the rest of us "normal human beings with common sense" that have families & loved ones that do not want nukes flying everywhere because of Irans hate for each non-believer, Christian, Israeli, Canadian & even athiests, etc. The conclusion is that the more people that they can kill to push their caliphate, or thier ideology of jihad and death towards all people that is not them. They hate, while we love. They use thier kids & wives as suicide bombers. They teach the most innocent, very small children to hate & want to grow up to be a 3 or 4 year old suicide bomber, also. They want to bring in the mahdi, and will do anything they can to bring about the absolute destruction of all mankind. Anyone with common sense should know this is the truth. Iran will not blink an eye as they would nuke America, or Israel or even thier own peoplem including Saudi Arabia. So, as long as Americans and Israelis have had nukes, they have not even tried to use them. However, Iran will use them just the second they get thier first 4 nuclear bombs completed. Now, they are within just a matter of a few days or months until they will have 4 nukes up & ready to use them on anyone & everyone in the whole world. This is not a scare tactic, but this is the truth & you know it. Iran is the devil & the only way to stop people like Iran, that hates even thier own people, would be to do a pre-emptive strike on them to stop them from having and using nukes.
“I believe we need to cultivate the kind of knowledge and awareness that would allow us to transcend our inner conflicts, our respective ego, our feeble intellect, and the unconscious primitive emotions that keep us in bondage”
If he had said this, then I would have stopped watching and listening.
Ad Hominem attacks and repeating propaganda never solves anything. Abu Amirah, just repeating the often told lie that America "ovetrthrew the democratically elected government" of Iran, will never make it true. Mossadeq was not elected by anyone. He was selected by the Parliament. The Parliament of Iran has rarely, if ever reflected its population's desires. Iran is the remnants of the great Persian empire. Its imperialistic impulses have never subsided. They have managed to create the impression in the minds of gullible people like SarahG that they have never started a war. Their history is one of war and conquest and violence. The fact is, they have been fighting a proxy war against the West through Hizbollah, and they fund and support mayhem, terrorism and other social problems within their own borders and throughout the gulf states.
To state as-a-matter-of-factly that " . . . they are tyrannical but they have never started a war," implying some moral gravitas on their part is silly. Did you watch on countless internet sites and on television as the young Iranians were brutalized by their own military and police? The moral confusion on the part of those who see Iran as a moral equivalent of the United States or Israel is puzzling. Iran's President stole the last election from his people. Only candidates approved by the mullahs are allowed on the ballot. If this was happening in Israel, the UN would have condemned them long ago. The President of Iran and the religious leadership have both publicly stated their desire to see Israel destroyed. This is a call for genocide. Tell me, if Msr. Sarkozy publicly stated a desire to see Greece wiped off the face of the earth, or denied its right to exist, how many of you Iran defenders would express outrage at Sarkozy? The immoral, impotent United Nations sits by as the fervor for yet another genocide happens on its watch.
Are we to simply shrug off the comments about wishing to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth? Should the leader of a nation be taken at his word? Do you left leaning people realize you are siding with a man and a movement that is at odds with almost everything you believe? The Iranian theocratic regime persecutes gays, women, people of other faiths; dissent is crushed with state violence; the media is controlled. Do you excuse these facts because it is worth it to you to see Iran give the United States and Israel the finger on the world stage? Do you hate yourself that much as a citizen of a Western, industrialized, free society? Have you lost all of your confidence and belief in the liberal, free, democratic society that has created more prosperity and fought more evil than any other people in history? Do you condemn the United States because it is not perfect? Despite the frequent claims of being "nuanced" thinkers, you on the left seem to have a formulaic, empty philosophy based on propaganda and selective moral indignation.
Are we as civilized humans in 2010 so jaded and intellectually lazy, morally confused and decadent that we allow the leader of one nation to call for the destruction of another nation and see no problem with it? Will the legitimate cries for freedom by the Iranian citizens be acknowledged by those of us in the free world? How many more genocides will be allowed, despite the high minded, seemingly empty demands of "Never Again!" by people all over the world. Rwanda, The Congo, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Georgia, Russia. . . Israel?
Dr. Sowell is far more than an economist. He is a defender of individual liberty. He has witnessed the damage done by collectivist ideologies and state violence against its own citizens. He knows that every new law is a further diminution of our liberty. He understands human nature. He knows that free market capitalism and individual liberty are not perfect, but they are far superior to any alternative yet created. He knows that utopia is impossible and that attempts to create it have lead to the most horrific incidents of man's inhumanity to man in history. He knows there is a good and an evil and that when evil makes its intentions clear, the good have an obligation to stand up to it (tu ne cede malis!).
The distinction should be clear to any educated, fair minded person - the United States specifically and the West in general, while far from perfect, are morally, intellectually and politically superior to the tyrannies that constitute the media darling class of the left, like Cuba and Iran. The United States or Israel having nuclear weapons is different than Iran having them. Advocating for the destruction of a nation and its people is evil. The condemnation of the United States and Israel and the enthusiastic support for Iran by some here reminds of an excellent aphorism by Frost:
"A liberal is a man too broad minded to take his own side in a quarrel."
Last I checked, this dude expertise was economics. Thomas Sewell is just that, a CONservative Uncle Tom who just parrots the usual CONservative talking points. Now, as far as Iran getting nukes is concerned, I'm all for it. They saw that A-Merry-ka attacked Iraq, which had no weapons of mass destruction that we didn't know about, instead of North Korea, which is a certifiable threat to eastern asian peace and security. They also see that 1) A-Merry-Ka has interfered in their internal affairs, which brought on a coup that changed a democratically elected government for a dictatorial monarchy and 2)that this same country that has injected itself in its politics before have almost 190,000 troops on two of its borders. A country would have to be insane, not to want to have some some of sort of deterent.
I think Dr. Sowell ought to stay with what he knows and live the geo-politics to the professionals
"He talks about how dangerous Iran is but it's ok for us and for Israel to have them!!?"
- Israel and the United States do have nuclear weapons -- an indisputable fact. However, Iran is excusing itself from the entire debate by stating that it has nuclear plants in order to generate nuclear power.
Also, if groups such as al-Quaeda, Hamas (whose flag by the way, is now a mushroom cloud with a threat to the Jews written under it), Hezbollah, etc got their hands on WMD's, you're implying that this is just as dangerous as nations such as the United States having nuclear weapons? There's only one type of group right now in the world with the capabilities of obtaining nuclear weapons -- and detonating immediately when they obtain them -- Islamic fundamentalists.
You have a valid point on this. No doubt, any fundamentalist would pose a risk to the world. However, I’m sure you would agree that it’s near impossible to establish lasting peace with Iran when you have Israel who is not in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and refuses to officially confirm or deny having a nuclear arsenal, or having developed nuclear weapons, or even having a nuclear weapons program. Any neighboring country would certainly feel threatened by such stance. Any middle east country would also be resentful that Israel would reprimand them for having nuclear weapons when Israel imposes such double standard. No doubt, Israel has nuclear weapons that’s ok but as long as they do, it will only create tension and resentment in that region of the world.
"Sowell is certainly is able to see many fallacies of intellectuals but he apparently is not able to see the limits of his own intellectual position and even intellect itself. Had Sowell known this, he would have said something akin to this:"
- Please, step off your moral high horse. If you really do not concur with Sowell's analysis, then why don't you write a book rebutting and perhaps refuting his points of contention? Stop placing words in his mouth when at least evidently, you don't know anything near the capacity of he does.
In contemplating your comment, I suddenly realized that Sowell's take on things is not intended so much in seeking solutions to the many intractable problems we have in government, society, or education, rather, he is akin to diagnostician in being able to reveal the many dysfunctions of our institutions. So to expect him to have solutions would not be his expertise.
"In only 30min Kahane explains the underlying cause of human suffering and how difficult it is for us -as humans- to cultivate balance between Power and Love." - I find this quite hypocritical. First, you flame and heavily criticize Sowell for "[not having] a monopoly on the truth
........ I said no one has a monopoly on the truth .........
and Sowell is certainly no exception" and "he can be just as biased as anyone else and more than we realize".
Who's to say that Kahane isn't biased and has a monopoly on the truth, like Sowell doesn't according to you? Don't criticize Sowell for his beliefs when your diatribes are applicable to any thinker, your favorites included.
You might want to read it again:
"In only 30min Kahane explains the underlying cause of human suffering and how difficult it is for us -as humans- to cultivate balance between Power and Love."
In Kahane's talk he said that power and love have, respectively, a generative and degenerative side; that love without power is weak and feeble while power without love is arrogant and repressive. Trying to balance both on an emotional and psychological level is difficult he said but essential if we are to move forward in life. You can see these polar opposite play out between Republican and Liberals, between husband and wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, and in world governments.
"Unlike Sowell, Kahane is seeking causes and it seems to me that Sowell, if he really cares should be doing the same by finding solutions to our political and social problems. Judging and criticizing only polarizes us (as Kahane describes so well in his story on the G-20 summit) and such behavior gets us nowhere."
- Again, you're entitled to your own opinion. However, like you do imply here, your analysis is not final and you shouldn't, again, like you've implied throughout your arguments, act like your analysis is worth more than anybody else's with no peer reviews.
Actually, you have just given me your comments and I sincerely appreciate them. You brought to my awareness the distinction between Sowell and Kanene hence to compare them would be unfair -my bad. Both authors have much to offer but in very different ways and degrees.
As for Sowell, I think he's quite correct about this "point of no return" -- take the scenario in the future if Hamas detonates an atomic bomb in Times Square -- utter wreckage of civilization, radiation seeping through towards proximate cities/states, etc. If you think by then we will be able to rebuild and reconcile our relations with Iran and such insurgent groups -- well, I'll leave that with you and the others who read this comment.
Sowell may be right about the "point of no return" but it implies that there is no solution; that this problem rest solely on Iran and the only way to deal with it is either more sanctions, war, and even preemptive strike. But we already know that these measures are ineffective and counterproductive.
Andrew Bacevich and Lawrence Wilkerson would agree. Both are exceptional military men, scholars, and devout Republicans and have insightful things to say about Iran. Should you ever listen to what they have to say about the fallacies -not only of Democrats but of their own party, you would be astonished. What Bacevicth and Wilkerson are to Democrats/Republicans is what a psychotherapist is to his client- neither wants to hear the truth about themselves. Bacevitch in particular, sees the Iranian threat quite differently than Sowell and the difference is that Bacevitch -I believe- is more objective since he has no qualms calling out his own party for the errors of the past -especially during the Bush administration. Being more on the Liberal side, and when I hear Bacevitch express his concerns as a conservative, there is nothing he said that I disagree with. He has given me more respect for what it means to be a conservative. I don't see him as being harshly judgmental towards anyone, rather, concerned about our country and our future in the same way a psychotherapist is concerned about the emotional well being of his/her clients.