from Thomas Sowell (my hero)
Random thoughts and looking back
The first column I ever wrote, 39 years ago, was titled “The Profits of Doom.” This was long before Al Gore made millions of dollars promoting global warming hysteria.
Any honest man, looking back on a very long life, must admit — even if only to himself — being a relic of a bygone era. Having lived long enough to have seen both “the greatest generation” that fought World War II and the gratingest generation that we see all around us today, makes being a relic of the past more of a boast than an admission.
Not everything in the past was admirable. Poet W.H. Auden called the 1930s “a low dishonest decade.” So were the 1960s, which launched many of the trends we are experiencing so painfully today. Some of the fashionable notions of the 1930s reappeared in the 1960s, often using the very same discredited words and producing the same disastrous consequences.
The old are not really smarter than the young, in terms of sheer brainpower. It is just that we have already made the kinds of mistakes that the young are about to make, and we have already suffered the consequences that the young are going to suffer, if they disregard the record of the past.
If you want to understand the fatal dangers facing America today, read “The Gathering Storm” by Winston Churchill. The book is not about America, the Middle East or nuclear missiles. But it shows Europe’s attitudes and delusions — aimed at peace in the years before the Second World War — which instead ended up bringing on that most terrible war in all of human history.
Black adults, during the years when I was growing up in Harlem, had far less education than black adults today — but far more common sense. In an age of artificial intelligence, too many of our schools and colleges are producing artificial stupidity, among both blacks and whites.