Economics/Class Relations

The Sowell of Man Under Capitalism

An interesting and, I believe, accurate critique of Thomas Sowell by Carson.

By Kevin Carson

Center for a Stateless Society

Once again — this time using the Baltimore uprising as a pretext — Thomas Sowell has pulled out the template for his favorite column dismissing what he calls “the ‘legacy of slavery’ argument” and blaming black poverty on the Great Society (“The Inconvenient Truth About Ghetto Communities’ Social Breakdown,” National Review, May 5). As is the case with the previous versions of this column he’s written, everything in this by-the-numbers puff piece is a decades-old neoconservative talking point. If you put him up against an algorithmic Thomas Sowell Column Generator, I doubt he could pass a Turing test.

The “Great Society/culture of dependency” argument goes back to Marvin Olasky, and has since been repeatedly digested, excreted and re-ingested, human centipede fashion, by mediocrities like Jack Kemp and Newt Gingrich. It was shown to be nonsense by Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward in Regulating the Poor, their radical history of the welfare state:  the actual cause of social disintegration was the earlier massive influx of unemployable black sharecroppers from the rural south when they were tractored off their land after WWII.


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