Magazine October 4, 2021, Issue

Thomas Sowell: The Anti-Utopian

The grave of Karl Marx at the Highgate Cemetary in London (LWilk/Getty Images)
Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell, by Jason L. Riley (Basic Books, 304 pp., $30)

In the world of progressive politics, the most visceral dis­plays of rancor and belligerence are often reserved not for the traditional opponents of progressives, who originate outside the political Left, but for apostates from their own ranks. The bitter internecine feuds among socialist intellectuals have long exemplified this pattern, but nowhere is the disdain for political heretics more palpable than in matters of racial and ethnic identity.

The impetus to ostracize a defector from an ideological norm often emerges from the belief that a person’s interests may be ascertained by his or her belonging to a certain group, whose members are

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This article appears as “The Anti-Utopian” in the October 4, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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A response to the notion that the U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan was a low-cost, high-reward deployment.

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