Thomas Sowell

An old television special featured great boxing matches of the past, including a video of a match between legendary light-heavyweight champion Archie Moore and a young Canadian fighter named Yvonne Durrell, in which each man was knocked down four times during the fight. Since Archie Moore was also among those serving as commentators on the program, someone asked him if he knew that this was a great match while he was fighting it.

"Yes!" he replied. At the time, he had said to himself: "This is the kind of fight that any fighter would love to be in -- a knockdown, drag-out -- and emerge the winner."

Overcoming adversity is one of our great desires and one of our great sources of pride. But it is something that our anointed deep thinkers strive to eliminate from our lives, through everything from grade inflation to the welfare state.

The anointed want to eliminate stress, challenge, striving, and competition. They want the necessities of life to be supplied as "rights" -- which is to say, at the taxpayers expense, without anyone's being forced to work for those necessities, except of course the taxpayers.

Nothing is to be earned. "Self-esteem" is to be dispensed to the children as largess from the teacher. Adults are to have their medical care and other necessities dispensed as largess from the government. People are to be mixed and matched by race and sex and whatever else the anointed want to take into account, in order to present whatever kind of picture the anointed think should be presented.

This is a vision of human beings as livestock to be fed by the government and herded and tended by the anointed. All the things that make us human beings are to be removed from our lives and we are to live as denatured creatures controlled and directed by our betters.

Those things that help human beings be independent and self-reliant -- whether automobiles, guns, the free market, or vouchers -- provoke instant hostility from the anointed.

Automobiles enable you to come and go as you wish, without so much as a "by your leave" to your betters. The very idea that other people will go where they want, live where they want, how they want, and send their children to whatever schools they choose, is galling to the anointed, for it denies the very specialness that is at the heart of their picture of themselves.

Guns are completely inappropriate for the kind of sheep-like people the anointed envision or the orderly, prepackaged world in which they are to live. When you are in mortal danger, you are supposed to dial 911, so that the police can arrive on the scene some time later, identify your body, and file reports in triplicate.

Thomas Sowell

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

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