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The Quest for Cosmic Justice Paperback – February 5, 2002
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David Boaz author of Libertarianism: A Primer and editor of The Libertarian Reader No one should pronounce on justice or equality again without grappling with Thomas Sowell's powerful argument. In this book, reflecting a lifetime of wide-ranging research and careful reflection, Sowell makes us understand the difference between results and processes, between "cosmic justice" and traditional justice, between the rule of law and the power to do good. The ratio of insights to words in this book is remarkably high.
Judge Robert H. Bork In The Quest for Cosmic Justice Thomas Sowell once again displays his distinctive combination of erudition, analytical power, and uncommon sense.
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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 international reviews
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.
Livro mostra muito bem que subestimar o mal causado pelos justiceiros sociais foi o erro que iniciou a erosão dos valores mais caros aos americanos.