Thomas Sowell Quotes #4

“In the most varied conditions in countries around the world – whether in Third World countries or in economically more advanced countries, and whether in countries where the majority or the minority has the higher skills – those seeking either the leadership or the votes of lagging groups tend to offer them four things:

  1. Assurance that their lags are not their fault.
  2. Assurance that their lags are the fault of some more fortunate group that they already envy and resent.
  3. Assurance that the lagging group and their culture are just as good as anybody else’s, if not better.
  4. Assurance that what the lagging group needs and deserves is a demographically defined ‘fair share’ of the economic and other benefits of society, sometimes supplemented with some kind of reparations for past injustices or some special reward for being indigenous ‘sons of the soil’.

“In addition, racial or ethnic leaders have every incentive to promote the isolation of the groups they lead – despite the fact that isolation has been a major factor in the poverty and backwardness of many different peoples around the world.

“Where a lagging group is concentrated in a particular region of a country, leaders of such groups have incentives to promote secession from the more advanced part of the country… The people themselves may also benefit physically by being spared the public embarrassment and private shame of being visibly outperformed repeatedly by others in the same economy and society.”

~from Wealth, Poverty and Politics, page 268-269

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