Thomas Sowell is an advanced thinker of the first order. Much of what he writes is thought-provoking, and he is not afraid to answer any inquiries that come his way. In his own words, he has said that whether the content is positive or negative, it is necessary to answer as many inquiries or comments as you can. An e-mail from one young man simply asked for the sources of some facts about gun control that were mentioned in a recent column. It is good to check out the facts — especially if you check out the facts on both sides of an issue. “By contrast, another man simply denounced me because of what was said in that column. He did not ask for my sources but simply made contrary assertions, as if his assertions must be correct and therefore mine must be wrong. He identified himself as a physician, and the claims that he made about guns were claims that had been made years ago in a medical journal — and thoroughly discredited since then. He might have learned that, if we had engaged in a back and forth discussion, but it was clear from his letter that his goal was not debate but denunciation. That is often the case these days.”
According to Prof. Sowell, “It is amazing how many serious issues are not discussed seriously, but instead simply generate assertions and counter-assertions”. On television talk shows, talking heads on opposite sides often just try to shout each other down. Many who want to argue for argument’s sake can do so by shouting back and forth at each other without engaging in any real coherent argument.
Prof. Sowell attributes much of this clouded thought to decades of dumbed-down education, which no doubt has a lot to do with it. But there is more to it than that. Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools today; it is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination and intimidation. Moreover, the teacher-student relationship is based on the same set of underlying and unexamined assumptions proferred by the administrators of those institutions. This misinformation is implanted in the minds of our youth so that over time, it becomes part of their thinking process (or lack of it.)
According to Prof. Sowell, “if our educational institutions — from the schools to the universities — were as interested in discussing legitimate ideas as they are obsessed with racial diversity, students would at least gain experience in seeing the assumptions behind different visions and the role of logic and evidence in debating those differences.” There is so much stress on political ideology instead of the three R’s that many students progress through school, whether they are able to pass simple vocabulary tests or not. Many students are graduating from high school with an eighth grade reading level. This is the beginning of their logical deterioration. A student can go all the way from elementary school to a Ph.D. without being exposed to any fundamentally different vision of the world from that of the prevailing political correctness which leads to controlled elitist thinking. Moreover, the prevailing ideological view has a moral content attached to it so they see themselves as being on the side of the angels against the forces of evil. Regardless of the issue, whether it is gun control, abortion, religious tolerance, race etc., they see themselves as being utterly intelligent and determined to make the “uninformed” public see it the way they do. This moral monopoly leads the left intelligentsia to impose their thinking in the institutions under their control, especially the colleges and universities. This results in far less freedom of speech on campus, which influences how the students will act once they graduate and rejoin society.
Advocacy of homosexuality, for example, is common on college campuses; and often, the student is obliged to listen to it. If the student has the temerity to state views contrary to the prevailing wisdom, it is considered “hate speech” and results in a threat of being ostracized or punished. Another glaring example of this intolerance on campus is that spokespersons for various racial or ethnic groups are free to vehemently denounce whites as a group for their past or present sins, real or otherwise; but any white student who similarly denounces certain actions of non-white groups can be virtually guaranteed to be threatened with being punished (or expelled.)
Even students who do not advocate anything will pay a price if they do not go along with being brainwashed. The student at Florida Atlantic University who recently declined to stomp on a paper with the word “Jesus” on it, as ordered by the professor, was scheduled for punishment by the university until the story (mostly through the efforts of Fox News) became public and provoked such an outcry that the university had to recant. Although they tried to play off the professor’s actions as being isolated, the university exposed its hypocrisy by initially backing him and coming down hard on the student. If it wasn’t for the outcry, the professor’s actions would have been overlooked (or, even worse, bolstered) by the university’s position. The failure of our educational system goes beyond what they fail to teach. It includes what they do teach (or, rather, indoctrinate) and the graduates they send out into the world, incapable of seriously weighing alternatives for themselves or for American society. Instead of making sure that the government answers to the people, an uninformed public does not have a voice of its own and will blindly be led by the government in power.
Thomas Sowell is a deep thinker who is able to ascertain what is ailing our society and writes about it regularly. People should listen to him and others who point out the injustices that begin in our schools and impose themselves on our elected officials and social institutions. An uninformed public is not able to control their destiny, but rather rely on the government to do it for them.