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Monday, August 8, 2011

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy by Thomas Sowell

Good, but needed more detail

Thomas Sowell, a noted conservative thinker and a genuinely interesting person (I've heard him as a guest on a local radio station several times) writes an effective book against the actions of those whom he calls 'The Annointed.'  The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy is effective, but not a great work.

Who are The Annointed?

He uses the term in a sarcastic way here to illuminate those 'Teflon prophets' (he uses that term because some of them are still considered credible despite no evidence that their predictions have ever come true) that scream doom and gloom and offer the direst of predictions unless we immediately give them the power to save us - since we are too simple to see the problem for ourselves and take the actions needed to save ourselves.

Thomas Sowell
It does not necessarily need to be someone with world-shaking problems, like Paul Ehrlich and his population bomb theories(Sowell skewers him thoroughly), but it can be anyone who claims to see society as it really is - they have the Vision of the Annointed - and can take the proper steps to ensure that justice (in a cosmic sense) is accomplished. A great deal of the book concerns those that believe that society is to blame for crime, poverty, etc. and how they try to make adjustments in our criminal justice system and our welfare system to compensate. Rather than achieving a measure of compensation, Sowell powerfully argues that justice is compromised and the overall welfare of society is put at risk.

Sowell has his favorite chew toys in this book, including Judge Brazelon (he has 12 entries in the Index) and a NY Times columnist (11 entries) and he does make his point. The nice thing about Sowell is that he criticizes based on policy rather than on a personal level, unlike such political writers as Coulter, Savage, Moore and Franken.

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy by Thomas Sowell.

Reviewed on August 19, 2006.

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