By Thomas Sowell
During this vintage paintings, Thomas Sowell analyzes the 2 competing visions that form our debates in regards to the nature of cause, justice, equality, and tool: the “constrained” imaginative and prescient, which sees human nature as unchanging and egocentric, and the “unconstrained” imaginative and prescient, during which human nature is malleable and perfectible. He describes how those greatly hostile perspectives have manifested themselves within the political controversies of the previous centuries, together with such modern concerns as welfare reform, social justice, and crime. up to date to incorporate sweeping political alterations for the reason that its first booklet in 1987, this revised version of A clash of Visions deals a resounding case that moral and coverage disputes circle round the disparity among either outlooks.
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Extra info for A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles (2nd Edition)
Not all social thinkers fit this schematic dichotomy. John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx, for example, do not fit, for very different reasons, as will be noted in Chapter 5. Others take midway positions between the two visions, or convert from one to the other. However, the conflict of visions is no less real because everyone has not chosen sides or irrevocably committed themselves. Despite necessary caveats, it remains an important and remarkable phenomenon that how human nature is conceived at the outset is highly correlated with the whole conception of knowledge, morality, power, time, rationality, war, freedom, and law which defines a social vision.
Those with this vision often readily concede sincerity to their adversaries, treating it as an individual virtue of minor social benefit—and sometimes as a major aggravating factor, when people persist in socially counterproductive ideals. What is morally central to the constrained vision is fidelity to duty in one’s role in life. There, within the sphere of his competence, the individual can make the greatest contribution to the social good by serving the great systemic process which decides the actual outcomes.
For amelioration of these evils and the promotion of progress, they rely on the systemic characteristics of certain social processes such as moral traditions, the marketplace, or families. They conceive of these processes as evolved rather than designed—and rely on these general patterns of social interaction rather than on specific policy designed to directly produce particular results for particular individuals or groups. This constrained view of human capacities found in Adam Smith is also found in a long series of other social thinkers, ranging from Thomas Hobbes in the seventeenth century, through Edmund Burke and the authors of The Federalist Papers among Smith’s contemporaries, through such twentieth-century figures as Oliver Wendell Holmes in law, Milton Friedman in economics, and Friedrich A.
A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles (2nd Edition) by Thomas Sowell