The great conservative writer, social commentator, and economist Thomas Sowell, 86, has penned his final column.
Through the years here at TruthRevolt, we turned to Sowell’s commentary regarding many important matters to this country. Though it’s sad to see the end of his career, there are nearly 40 years of wisdom to mine from his life’s work.
And as expected, Sowell didn’t go away without leaving some parting wisdom and reflection on his life, politics, and the state of America. Below are some of the highlights from “Random Thoughts, Looking Back” at Jewish World Review and “A Farewell Note” at National Review:
Black adults, during the years when I was growing up in Harlem, had far less education than black adults today — but far more common sense. In an age of artificial intelligence, too many of our schools and colleges are producing artificial stupidity, among both blacks and whites.
When I was growing up, we were taught the stories of people whose inventions and scientific discoveries had expanded the lives of millions of other people. Today, students are being taught to admire those who complain, denounce and demand.
The first time I traveled across the Atlantic Ocean, as the plane flew into the skies over London I was struck by the thought that, in these skies, a thousand British fighter pilots fought off Hitler’s air force and saved both Britain and Western civilization. But how many students today will have any idea of such things, with history being neglected in favor of politically correct rhetoric?
You cannot live a long life without having been forced to change your mind many times about people and things — including in some cases, your whole view of the world. Those who glorify the young today do them a great disservice, when this sends inexperienced young people out into the world cocksure about things on which they have barely scratched the surface.
There are words that were once common, but which are seldom heard any more. The phrase “none of your business” is one of these. Today, everything seems to be the government’s business or the media’s business. And the word “risque” would be almost impossible to explain to young people, in a world where gross vulgarity is widespread and widely accepted.
The first column I ever wrote, 39 years ago, was titled “The Profits of Doom.” This was long before Al Gore made millions of dollars promoting global warming hysteria. Back in 1970, the prevailing hysteria was the threat of a new ice age — promoted by some of the same environmentalists who are promoting global warming hysteria today.
Being old-fashioned, I liked to know what the facts were before writing. That required not only a lot of research, it also required keeping up with what was being said in the media.
In material things, there has been almost unbelievable progress. Most Americans did not have refrigerators back in 1930, when I was born. Television was little more than an experiment, and such things as air conditioning or air travel were only for the very rich.
My own family did not have electricity or hot running water, in my early childhood, which was not unusual for blacks in the South in those days.
It is hard to convey to today’s generation the fear that the paralyzing disease of polio inspired, until vaccines put an abrupt end to its long reign of terror in the 1950s.
Most people living in officially defined poverty in the 21st century have things like cable television, microwave ovens, and air conditioning. Most Americans did not have such things as late as the 1980s. People whom the intelligentsia continue to call the “have-nots” today have things that the “haves” did not have just a generation ago.
Sowell ended with a call to remember the past, learn from its successes and mistakes, and move forward to a brighter future:
We cannot return to the past, even if we wanted to, but let us hope that we can learn something from the past to make for a better present and future.
Goodbye and good luck to all.
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