Re: Sowell's "Conflict of Visions" in audio format

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Sun Feb 18 2001 - 10:00:42 MST

On Sunday, February 18, 2001 12:45 AM Michael M. Butler
> > Well, the subtitle of the book is "Ideological Origins of Political
> > Struggles." This kind of gives the idea that it's about ideologies and
> > purely governmental stuff.:)
> Yeah, but then you read the blurbs and the book and see how much people
> grind the governmental axe. Sowell makes the point early that even he
> has unconstrained visionary tendencies. THen he tears into central
> planners for the rest of the book. :)

I think most people are mixed, in the same way that Chris Sciabarra (in
_Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism_) believes most
dialectical thinkers have undialectical tendencies.

> > Adopting a morality that is more this-worldly, such as that of
> > neoAristoteleans (e.g., Douglas Den Uyl, Eric Mack), neoStoics (e.g.,
> > Lawrence Becker), and Objectivists (you know who:) would lead to no
> > between morality and prudence -- or between being moral and living in
> > world societies.
> From your lips to reality's ears. :)

I did not say I would legislate such a view. Each person would have to see
it for herself or himself and be convinced by her or his context.

Even though these views are close to my own, I mention them just ot widen
the discussion. If we stick with the typical view of morality as being
impractical, then Sowell's split between constrained and unconstrained
visions seems exhaustive _because_ it paints morality as being
impractical -- except when it's constrained. (Note how liberals and
conservatives generally share a lot of the same moral views, yet the former
actually want to act on their morality while the latter want to be prudent.)

> Another tough thing about Sowell's stuff is that one can always adopt
> the cynical view that expecting to change anyone's firm opinion is an
> example of "unconstrained vision". 'Round and 'round we go...

I disagree, but I also think that it is not necessary to change everyone's
opionion to change society. How many people were enlightened in the
Enlightenment? Very few, yet those few made all the difference. In a
sense, we still benefit from the changes that small minority wrought.

I believe we must seek a dialectical resolution to the dualism Sowell,
Hayek, and others note. This requires transcending the context of
conventional morality and politics.


Daniel Ust

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