The Point Of No Return by Thomas Sowell

Peter Robinson, “The Point Of No Return,” Forbes, October 24, 2008.


Then there is Thomas Sowell, the economist and political philosopher. He prefers an older way of looking at American politics–a much older way. In his classic 1987 work, A Conflict of Visions, Sowell identifies two competing worldviews, or visions, that have underlain the Western political tradition for centuries.

Sowell calls one worldview the “constrained vision.” It sees human nature as flawed or fallen, seeking to make the best of the possibilities that exist within that constraint. The competing worldview, which Sowell terms the “unconstrained vision,” instead sees human nature as capable of continual improvement…

Sowell, whom the playwright David Mamet recently called “our greatest contemporary philosopher,” talked in some detail this week about what Obama’s unconstrained vision could mean for the country.