Gateway drug to libertarianism: Thomas Sowell

April 22, 2013   |  

Thomas Sowell is an unlikely candidate for the office of libertarian superhero. For starters, he’s a statist. A reluctant one, to be sure. And one so full of common sense and a grouchy anti-state demeanor that he could be easily mistaken for a libertarian. But sadly he’s a statist just the same. Stranger still, he began his idealogical journey as a Marxist.

But his role in my conversion to libertarianism was that of a kindly, if curmudgeonly, old uncle ever ready to tap me on the shoulder with a stern  warning not to follow in his bolshevik footsteps.

Sowell’s turning away from the path of Marxism began with his first job. During an internship with the federal government, he discovered two shocking findings: One, the polices that he and his fellow government program foot soldiers passionately advocated were — according to his research — causing more harm than good. And two, none of his fellow government foot soldiers cared. And just like that, a believer in free markets was born.

Sowell, now safely decades beyond his Marxist phase, offers breathtaking nuggets of wisdom on a regular basis. Here’s a sample:
“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

“If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else’s expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves.”“Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”


If you’re not careful, this gateway drug to libertarianism will have you strung out and craving more.

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Desmond Jones Jr.

Desmond Jones Jr. blogs about anarchy, pop culture, armchair anthropology and assorted miscellany at Go visit him. I think he likes you.

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