Political Leadership: Thomas Sowell

By | February 18, 2016

[February 18, 2016]  To continue my series on thinkers of refreshing ideas, I’m introducing to my readers Thomas Sowell, economist, conservative commentator, Korean War veteran, and academic.  As readers of theLeaderMaker.com know, I’m interested in new and innovative ideas; sometimes emotional but always controversial because they are new.  Sowell meets that standard.

I’m most interested in ideas that make me think and question the assumptions that I’ve made over my lifetime and any biases or ideologies I may have adopted along the way.  Few are truly enthralled with studying those who challenge us in the arena of ideas (or in the boxing arena where I had my clock cleaned several times).  Are you one of those who are enthralled?

In boxing, your competitor is quick to grab your attention and shake up any plans you have had to win.  Like Dinesh D’Sousa,1 Thomas Sowell turns common thinking on its head and makes a convincing case against the political correctness and progressive ideologies of modern American society.  If we are unafraid of delving into his world where the expectation is that nobody owes you anything, then Sowell is the right person.  He takes on conventional wisdom and tears it to shreds.

The core of his ideas revolves around the notion that people don’t owe other people anything.  This is the way it’s always been and should always be, he says.  Anything else is coercion of the powerful over the weak and an abhorrence to American core values.  For example in his latest book, Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective, he takes on the concept of inequality and rejects the common belief that it is all the result of the malign intentions of the powerful over the weak.

“Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.” – Thomas Sowell

Inequality, he notes, has always existed and there are many factors that explain it culturally, socially, politically, and geographically.  His discussion of cultural flexibility is one of my favorites.  He uses Spain as an example where their society translates more books into Spanish every year for their citizens to read than the entire Arab world has translated into Arabic in the past thousand years.  Shocking?  Yes, I hope so.

Thomas Sowell2 deserves credit for bringing us well argued ideas backed with concrete facts.  To get an idea of his thinking, see his interview with Peter Robinson at the Hoover Institution: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=thomas+sewell&&view=detail&mid=6CB11547E029AE4EDA606CB11547E029AE4EDA60&FORM=VRDGAR 

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  1. Political Leadership: Dinesh D’Sousa – https://www.theleadermaker.com/political-leadership-dinesh-dsousa/
  2. 50wire.com Website that hosts articles by Thomas Sowell – http://50wire.com/author/Thomas+Sowell
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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.