Thomas Sowell

Proportional representation is what Jeremy Bentham called "nonsense on stilts." But it is nonsense that has been repeated so much that we are conditioned to it, like Pavlov's dog.

What about the idea that affirmative action and multiculturalism are "here to stay" -- the last argument of those who have no argument? What about the idea that "we are all multiculturalists now"?

Multiculturalism and affirmative action have not been around even half as long as the Soviet Union. Why then must they be regarded as set in concrete, when the whole Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe has collapsed?

Whittaker Chambers left the communist movement at a time when he thought it was going to win. Solzhenitsyn defied the Soviet totalitarian state when it looked impregnable. That is the difference between moral courage and moral cowardice.

Those who have opposed multiculturalism and affirmative action have not had to face any gulags or firing squads. If some people are tired of the battles, that is understandable. But suffering combat fatigue is very different from urging others to surrender.

Affirmative action has been tried in many countries around the world and has existed in India and Sri Lanka, for example, longer than in the United States. Seldom has it helped the poor and more often it has benefitted those who were already more fortunate.

Affirmative action has a track record of polarization in many countries, including lethal mob violence in India and a decades-long civil war in Sri Lanka. Do we need to continue down the road that these countries have traveled?

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate