The Left’s Presumption of Superiority – Patriot Update

The Left’s Presumption of Superiority – Patriot Update.

by David L. Goetsch

Conservative economist Thomas Sowell once wrote: “People are never more sincere than when they assume their own superiority.”  I could not have said it better.  Having spent 36 years in that bastion of presumed superiority—higher education—I am accustomed to people who simply assume they are superior, and then act accordingly.  I once debated a fellow professor whose academic background was philosophy.  My field was business.  He was decrying the fact that so many college students now choose to pursue degrees in professional fields such as engineering or business rather than the traditional liberal arts (i.e. Humanities, Philosophy, and Art).  This professor wore his presumed intellectual superiority like a badge of honor and virtually dripped righteous indignation as he spoke.

After listening to my snooty colleague repeatedly refer to business majors as “baby capitalists” and engineering majors as “glorified auto mechanics,” I interrupted and asked him two questions: 1) What is wrong with capitalists and auto mechanics? and 2) Next time your car breaks down, why don’t you call a philosopher?  The audience enjoyed the intended humor in my questions and laughed accordingly.  But my colleague was greatly offended that someone would dare question his obvious superiority.  He responded that I was “stupid” and stomped off the stage in a huff.

This debate took place in an academic environment where righteous indignation permeates the very bricks and mortar.  College professors and their liberal counterparts outside of the academy are what Thomas Sowell once referred to as the “perpetually indignant.”  When liberals cannot rebut conservative ideas with logic or reason, they simply brush them aside and call them “stupid” or “unworthy.” When a conservative gets under their skin with an argument based on those inconvenient little things known as facts, liberals quickly resort to name calling.  For example, make a cogent, well-reasoned argument against any of President Obama’s misguided economic policies and see how long it takes before liberals call you a “racist.”

In discussions and debates, liberals seldom attempt to explain themselves or to offer more viable ideas. To liberals who are blindly invested in their own intellectual and moral superiority, explanations are not necessary.  To them, the viability of leftist opinions should be self-evident, a convenient defense for those who cannot justify their opinions on the basis of logic, reason, or facts.  This is why colleges and universities are such comfortable places for liberals.

On most college campuses in America, liberals know they are among like-minded colleagues who share the same presuppositions. By associating exclusively with fellow travelers, liberal professors eliminate the inconvenience of having to defend their opinions.  Hence, they quickly become intellectually flabby.  On the typical college campus in America a conservative is about as welcome as a roach in the punch bowl, and a business leader is welcome only if he is there to make a substantial donation. In this type of environment a liberal is free to pontificate without any fear of being challenged by logic, reason, or facts.

In his book, The Thomas Sowell Reader, Sowell summed up the left’s presumed superiority in these words: “It would never occur to people with academic degrees and professorships that they are both ignorant and incompetent in vast areas of human life, much less that they should keep that in mind before they vent their emotions and wax self-righteous.  Degrees show that you have knowledge in some special area. Too often they embolden people to pontificate on a wide range of subjects where they don’t know what they are talking about.”

As he typically does, Sowell hit the nail on the head.  He too has spent years in an academic environment surrounded by intellectual elites who believe so fervently in their own superiority that they brush aside conservative arguments like annoying flies at a picnic.  To his credit, Sowell never dons the armor of presumed superiority.  He does not need to because, although in a league of his own compared with most professors, Sowell’s arguments are always backed by logic, reason, and facts.  Unlike liberals, Sowell knows that it is his logic, reason, and facts that must be superior.  There is a lesson here that liberals would do well to learn.

An Ignored ‘Disparity’ – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative

An Ignored ‘Disparity’ – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative.

With all the talk about “disparities” in innumerable contexts, there is one very important disparity that gets remarkably little attention — disparities in the ability to create wealth. People who are preoccupied, or even obsessed, with disparities in income are seldom interested much, or at all, in the disparities in the ability to create wealth, which are often the reasons for the disparities in income.

In a market economy, people pay us for benefiting them in some way — whether we are sweeping their floors, selling them diamonds or anything in between. Disparities in our ability to create benefits for which others will pay us are huge, and the skills required can develop early — or sometimes not at all.

A recent national competition among high school students who create their own technological advances turned up an especially high share of such students winning recognition in the San Francisco Bay Area. A closer look showed that the great majority of these Bay Area students had Asian names.

Asian Americans are a substantial presence in this region but they are by no means a majority, much less such an overwhelming majority as they are among those winning high tech awards.

This pattern of disproportionate representation of particular groups among those with special skills and achievements is not confined to Asian Americans or even to the United States.

It is a phenomenon among particular racial, ethnic or other groups in countries around the world — the Ibos in Nigeria, the Parsees in India, the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, Germans in Brazil, Chinese in Malaysia, Lebanese in West Africa, Tamils in Sri Lanka. The list goes on and on.

Gross inequalities in skills and achievements have been the rule, not the exception, on every inhabited continent and for centuries on end. Yet our laws and government policies act as if any significant statistical difference between racial or ethnic groups in employment or income can only be a result of their being treated differently by others.

Nor is this simply an opinion. Businesses have been sued by the government when the representation of different groups among their employees differs substantially from their proportions in the population at large. But, no matter how the human race is broken down into its components — whether by race, sex, geographic region or whatever — glaring disparities in achievements have been the rule, not the exception.

Anyone who watches professional basketball games knows that the star players are by no means a representative sample of the population at large. The book “Human Accomplishment” by Charles Murray is a huge compendium of the top achievements around the world in the arts and sciences, as well as in sports and other fields.

Nowhere have these achievements been random or representative of the demographic proportions of the population of a country or of the world. Nor have they been the same from one century to the next. China was once far more advanced technologically than any country in Europe, but then it fell behind and more recently is gaining ground.

Most professional golfers who participate in PGA tournaments have never won a single tournament, but Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have each won dozens of tournaments.

Yet these and numerous other disparities in achievement are resolutely ignored by those whose shrill voices denounce disparities in rewards, as if these disparities are somehow suspicious at best and sinister at worst.

Higher achieving groups — whether classes, races or whatever — are often blamed for the failure of other groups to achieve. Politicians and intellectuals, especially, tend to conceive of social questions in terms that allow them to take on the role of being on the side of the angels against the forces of evil.

This can be a huge disservice to those individuals and groups who are lagging behind, for it leads them to focus on a sense of grievance and victimhood, rather than on how they can lift themselves up instead of trying to pull other people down.

Again, this is a worldwide phenomenon — a sad commentary on the down side of the brotherhood of man.

Government Spending: The Black Hole of the Economy (via Rogue Operator)

Government Spending: The Black Hole of the Economy During America’s Independence Day weekend, the Obama administration slipped a firecracker into the public tailpipe and set off for multiple rounds of golf and posh backyard barbecues with all the fixin’s.  As American citizens glumly contemplated their economic futures over styrofoam plates of store-bought hot dogs and potato salad, the word has been leaked that Obama’s “stimulus” cost taxpayers around $278,000 per job.  At an astronomical price- … Read More

via Rogue Operator