The Quest for Cosmic Justice Hardcover – October 11, 1999
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
- Item Weight : 1.54 pounds
- Hardcover : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0684864622
- ISBN-13 : 978-0684864624
- Product Dimensions : 5.77 x 0.81 x 8.71 inches
- Publisher : Free Press; First Printing Edition (October 11, 1999)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #857,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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What stood out to me most was how precisely Sowell identifies the problems and the fundamental errors in judgement that allow people to live out an endless quest for cosmic justice that not only fails overwhelmingly often, but isn't concerned with prosperity, equality, freedom, happiness, or any other commonly professed goal--the quest for cosmic justice is solely concerned with the endless self-perpetuation of the quest itself and the drug-like passions and illusions it creates in intellectuals and law makers. The quest gives people with no skin in the game a sense of moral superiority without any requirement that they actually solve any problems or help those they intended to help. There is a rhetoric of empathy and compassion that breeds arrogance and authoritarianism. Sowell shows how all of this isn't just a factual failure to achieve stated goals, but a pernicious cancer that is eating away at the most fundamental principles of American society and the rule of law all in the name of disastrous utopian rhetoric which not only fails to produce results, but cripples or prevents our best efforts to make genuine progress.
Both books have similar themes - how some of the elites in America have lofting goals that come along with possibly bad results. If you like Sowell you will probably like Nassim Taleb as well.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is a metaphor describing dumb politicians and their "social justice vision" for the economy
"He asks not whether it is gasoline or water he tosses on the economic fire---he only asks if it was a well-intended act"
Top reviews from other countries
If you're a left-leaning individual, Sowell is the most well-spoken, articulated and rational conservatives you'll ever meet. If he isn't remembered for his laissez-faire economics, he'll be remembered forever in philosophy.
I like Sowell. I enjoy his contrarian viewpoints. I enjoy watching his YouTube videos discussing daily issues and having people think twice about the narrative we're all fed from mainstream media.
However I find at times his writing can be less than entertaining.
He is assertive in his writing, descriptive and direct. However it could use a bit of flourish given it tends to be a bit dry. I'm halfway through this book which reads in a very matter of fact manner.