In his recent article conservative intellectual Thomas Sowell explores left-wing ideology shortcomings.
At least as far back as the 18th century, the left has struggled to avoid facing the plain fact of evil — that some people simply choose to do things that they know to be wrong when they do them. Every kind of excuse, from poverty to an unhappy childhood, is used by the left to explain and excuse evil.
Before I even read further an obvious retort popped into my mind: If people are so evil then how can this kind of mindset reconcile with the free-market ideology which the very same conservative camp promotes under the idea of rationality. Can people be irrational when it comes to social behavior and then suddenly become rational when it comes to making economic decisions?
Why has evil been such a hard concept for many on the left to accept? The basic agenda of the left is to change external conditions. But what if the problem is internal? What if the real problem is the cussedness of human beings?
I’m on the Left and I accept evil, and I recognize that people will do evil things just because they can, regardless of their difficult childhood or any hardships. So why then are we supposed to assume a laissez faire posture when it comes to guns and markets. Aren’t these the very people who can’t engage in self-control, in self-discipline, in self-policing? Or, does Thomas Sowell imply that there are two different sets of people – ones that warrant the social control mechanisms (ghetto folk) and the ones who don’t (financial industry)?
And then he steers into the usual conservative talking points about the degradation of family and sex life.
I’m almost embarrassed for Thomas Sowell. I watched his appearance in the 1970s (on Youtube obviously) on the Firing Lane – the late William F. Buckley’s political debate show, the kind of high-brow intellectual discussions that don’t exist anymore. I was impressed with what he was saying, how he was saying it (the topic was Affirmative Actions) and I did not find him unreasonable at all. He got me thinking. And now this.
It’s sad to see an intellectual turn into a shill.