Posted tagged ‘The Quest For Cosmic Justice’

July 4th 2018: Independence Day!

July 4, 2018

Statue of Liberty on the background of flag usa, sunrise and fireworks

I reread the fourth chapter in Thomas Sowell’s book, “The Quest for Cosmic Justice”, every 4th of July. It is a must read. The fourth chapter is titled “The Quiet Repeal of the American Revolution”. I wish what he states about the difference between the American Revolution and all other revolutions was understood by all Americans. Here are some excerpts from this chapter.

“The war for American independence was not simply a landmark event in the history of the United States. It was a landmark in the history of the world – and especially a landmark in the history of the evolution of free and democratic societies. It’s international significance was symbolized by France’s donation of the Statue of Liberty to the Unites States on the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and by the creation of a facsimile of this state in China, more than a century after that, by protesters vainly seeking to create a free and democratic government in that country”

“The American revolution was in some ways the most far-reaching of all the great revolutions in history. Other revolutions may have had more sweeping rhetoric, or greater extremes of violence and terror, or more categorical claims of change. They may even have had more radical changes of personnel, as in the change from czarist to Communist rulers in Moscow, while replacing one form of autocratic despotism with another and more bloody from.”

“The French Revolution of the succeeding decade used similar rhetoric, and was supported by such prominent figures in the American Revolution as Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, but nevertheless the French Revolution was grounded on entirely different assumptions and of course took a different path all to characteristic of later revolutions that began with lofty ideals and ended with new and more ruthless despotism.”

  “The American Revolution, however, went further in rejecting a basic conception of man and society that goes back thousands of years, and which is still with us today…people with the most diverse philosophic persuasions have proceeded as if what was needed was to replace false doctrines with true doctrines and false leaders with true leaders – the heathens with the faithful, capitalists with socialists, royalty with republicans, and so on. But, unlike the French revolution and the Bolshevik revolution, for example, the American revolution and its resulting constitution established was not simply a particular system but a process of changing systems, practices, and leaders, together with a method of constraining whoever or whatever was ascendant at any given time…. it gave to the common man a voice, a veto, elbow room, and a refuge from the rampaging presumptions of his “betters”….. it was seen by others in the world at large as a landmark in the general struggle for human freedom. That is why it must be opposed by those with more ambitious visions (even if they do not consciously feel any animosity against constitutional freedoms) because, on issue after issue, those freedoms stand between the morally self-anointed and the realization of dreams which have overwhelming importance to them. Some of these dreams revolve around the quest for cosmic justice, in which constitutional constraints may be seen as technicalities to be finessed. Other dreams may be about personal ambitions that can be fulfilled only in a very different kind of society from that established by the Constitution… Ego and ideals are of course not mutually exclusive but may readily exist in the same individual, who may even mistake the former from the latter.”

America is an idea. It was based on the pretense that the individual was sovereign. Our founders knew that Government power had to be restrained or else it would be used arbitrarily by politicians and bureaucrats who were in position to wield it. Our Government was established to protect the individual and his property from aggression by other individuals. Those ‘other individuals’ mainly included individuals who were in positions to wield Government power against other individuals. The “idea” of America was: the individual is sovereign over State power.

It is amazing how Americans, especially the elite establishment in and out of government, don’t understand this “idea of America”. People from other countries seem to see the truth about America more clearly.

Here is a video of Bono talking about America being an ‘idea’.



Paul Harvey. From last years 4th of July Post.





In my opinion there has never been a more moving rendition of the national anthem (Number two is Whitney Houston’s version at the Super Bowl). His guitar making the sounds of ‘the rockets red glare’ and ‘the bombs bursting in air’, and his playing a short version of “Taps” near the end are moving to say the least! This version always makes me tear up with pride and joy about the “Idea” of America.



This version gets me every time.



God bless the ‘Idea’ that America represents.



Related ArticleWhat Does Independence Day Mean? at

Related ArticleJuly 4th – Our Choice: Liberty Or Tyranny! at

Related ArticleJuly 4th, Declaring Independence From Tyranny, at




Anti vs. Pro-Gun Visions Of The World

August 5, 2014

Watch these two videos. The first is an anti-gun ad by Bloomberg’s anti-gun group, Everytown for Gun Safety. It shows how anti-gun people view the world.

The second is an ad for Glock inc. It shows how pro-gun people see the world.


I saw these two videos when I read an article titled, New Bloomberg Anti-Gun Ad Inadvertently Proves Why Women Need Guns, by Katie Pavlich. It got me thinking about  Thomas Sowell’s book titled, A Conflict of Visions. In it he says, “One of the curious things about political opinions is how often the same people line up on opposite sides of different issues“. The people on each side of the gun issue are most probably on opposite sides of other issues, like the death penalty, abortion, welfare, monetary policy, economics, the role of Government etc. The reason is each side has a different vision of how the world works. These different visions make people talk past each other when discussing different issues. For the most part both sides probably want similar outcomes on many of these issues, unfortunately they have no common ideological road to travel, in order to logically reach a common end. It’s like trying to give someone directions on how to get to Chicago from New York, which is where you live, unfortunately they live in Denver. The directions would make no sense. This is the problem we all have when we discuss issues with other people. When talking to people, ask yourself: Where am I? Where are they? Do we have the same end in mind? Can we find common ground from which to start? Am I wasting my time?


Dr. Sowell calls these two competing ideologies the constrained and unconstrained visions about the nature of man. The constrained vision sees man as inherently self-interested and morally limited. Instead of trying to change human nature, which is impossible if not cost prohibitive, people with the constrained vision want to produce the best possible outcome inside of these constraints. Incentives matter in the constrained vision. Dr. Sowell quotes Alexander Hamilton from The Federalist Papers: “It is the lot of all human institutions, even those of the most perfect kind, to have defects as well as excellencies- ill as well as good propensities. This results from the imperfection of the Institutor, Man“.

The unconstrained vision sees man as perfectable. Man has the potential to use his understanding and inclinations to grasp the concept that benefiting others is virtuous and being virtuous will make him happy. The unconstrained vision puts its efforts into changing mans nature, because they don’t see his inherent self-interest as a permanent state. Dr. Sowell quotes Marquis de Condorcet as rejecting the idea of “turning prejudices and vices to good account rather than trying to dispel or repress them“. The constrained vision of human nature confused, “..the natural man and his potential with existing man.

In the case of anti-gun and pro-gun, the differing visions is simple to explain. One side thinks the gun entices people to use it to harm another person. If it wasn’t for the gun this temptation wouldn’t exist. The other side believes evil people exist and they can be deterred or stopped by another person possessing a gun. The side of the gun debate you’re on probably depends on your vision of the nature of man.


The book, A Conflict of Visions, does not try to “..determine which of these visions is more valid but rather to reveal the inherent logic behind each of these sets of views and the ramifications of their assumptions which lead not only to different conclusions on particular issues but also to wholly different meanings to such fundamental words as “justice,”  “equality,” and “power.”  “…this conflict of visions is as sharply contested today as it has been over the past two centuries.”

Dr. Sowell tries to answer the question of which vision is valid in two other books, The Vision Of The Anointed, and The Quest For Cosmic Justice.



This video was made before the 2008 election. It is eerie how Dr. Sowell’s analysis was like a warning bell.


Related ArticleThomas Sowell’s Vision of the Anointed, at

Related ArticleThomas Sowell Explains How Democracy And Freedom Are Not The Same Thing, at

Related ArticleCapitalism vs. Crony Capitalism, at

Related ArticleWhy Socialism Won’t Work? Human Nature, at