Thomas Sowell’s cure for degeneracy

When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our
educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day
may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a
military coup.

That is via Matt Yglesias, who now is a columnist for Atlantic Monthly.  The title of Sowell’s piece is "Don’t Get Weak: Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene".

Comments

Wow - I used to respect Sowell. Someone should tell him to retire.

Jeff

Question: is there an example in history where a military coup turned out *well* for the citizenry and for the establishment of democracy in general?

"Question: is there an example in history where a military coup turned out *well* for the citizenry and for the establishment of democracy in general?"

Chile. But it was pretty miserable path to democracy after the coup. I wouldn't recommend it.

Yeah, this line leads me to think the whole thing is satire:

"The home run records that made Babe Ruth famous have been broken but one of his records will probably never be broken — pitching the longest shutout in World Series history, 14 innings. Few pitchers go even nine innings these days."

"Satire for the NRO crowd is a pretty risky venture."

Right. Satire is far too difficult for knuckle-dragging RethugliKKKans.

The nuance of satire can only be fully appreciated by leftists for whom failure is the victim of success and successful behaviour must be punished to lend support to behaviours that leads to failure. That is nuance upon nuance.

The left has definitely demonstrated its capacity for satire in the comments on this thread.

"Right. Satire is far too difficult for knuckle-dragging RethugliKKKans."

I guess you're right. NRO emulates The Onion more and more these days.

Read Sowell's random thought along with this:

' I am so old that I can remember a Democrat, at his inauguration as president, say of our enemies: “We dare not tempt them with weakness.†'

They're related. He's saying ideas have consequences.

kid mercury: I suspect your IP address has been logged. Better wrap your head in a wet towel FAST and get out of wherever you are. They're on to you.

He wouldn't be the first to come around to the realization that the right has definitively lost the "culture war." Where are these folks supposed to go? Chile?

2002:
1. People in positions of social/political power are jerks that can't handle their power responsibly
2. Let's replace them with military leaders

*insert Iraq War here*

2007:
1. People in positions of social/political power are jerks that can't handle their power responsibly.
2. Coup time!

*insert nuclear American civil war here*

While I also believe we have some serious problems with our leaders, I'd like to think that free, open elections and honest debate tend to make things better. The above DID manage to reform our economic and foreign policy in the late 70s and 80s.

Sowell has probably had more influence on me than any other single thinker, but that's pretty messed up right there.

Given a sufficiently bad political scene, a military coup can be a good thing. In Turkey the military has long kept islamism in check and throughout much of latin america the military has repeatedly intervened to prevent communism. There are no first-world countries near that situation though.

I wonder how people would complete the following statement:

There is .50 probability that there will be an American revolution/military coup within the next _________ years. Would anybody go higher than 200? Lower than 50?

Would the 2nd amendment render a military coup unlikely or impossible as it was intended?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6613861.stm

"oh yeah, with all those saturday night specials and semi automatic handguns you're allowed to buy thanks to amendment dos...you're gonna stop a military coup. That's just absurd"

My question was serious. To answer your point, people with handguns, etc. seem to be putting up a good opposition to tanks in Iraq. I am uncomfortable with guns, but I would be much more than uncomfortable with a military coup.

No, Hein, people with handguns are not providing good opposition to tanks in Iraq.

People with RPGs and bombs are doing that.

An important rule of journalism: know your audience.

Sowell's remark is so ... late Weimar.

People like him made Hitler possible. N.b. the blase reception of his comment here.

He means he's pissed that no-one makes a clear consistent case for what he(Sowell) believes in. Too much pandering, following polls, compromising on important issues. It's a way of asking who among us will state his case.

Yea (wiping the tears from my eyes), poor Tom, nobody is listening to him anymore. For his sake and for that of others at Hoover, let's do away with this democracy stuff. We know it only leads to socialism anyway...

It took me a long time to come to the realization that the military in the US (backed up by many of the veterans) is the last line of defense for the Constitutional process. It is neither a mistake nor a nullity that we take (took in my case) our oaths first to the Constitution. It is for this reason that conservative/libertarian types allowing themselves to dream about a reset event sometimes posit a coup rather than a revolution.

His attackers ignore the qualifiers ("I can't help but wonder", "the day may yet come"). He's not saying it's here, or it will be, or that he wants it.

Seems to me he's either a. Trying out new sunglasses in anticipation of a junta or B. writing a poorly written, lazily constucted, totally phoned in column....so yeah, take your pic...do those ray bans come with gold frames?

What was the point of quoting that bit by Sowell? Was it because a coup is a fascinating idea? Or was it just to discredit Thomas Sowell? The subtext of this blog entry seems to be, "look at what a loon that guy is."

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