Thomas Sowell

The point here is that a wholly fictitious India has been created by the intelligentsia and used for too long to make the United States look bad by comparison. The same was true of the Soviet Union during the worst years of Stalin, China during the butcheries of Mao and now Cuba under the brutal dictatorship of Fidel Castro.

The most casual glance at countries around the world makes it painfully and inescapably clear that most are much worse off than the United States -- not just in economic terms, but even more blatantly in terms of elementary freedoms and ordinary decency.

No society of human beings has ever been Utopia. But virtually everything that has been criticized in the United States has been worse elsewhere. By sheer repetition, slavery has been depicted as something peculiar to this country or to Western civilization, when in fact slavery has existed on every inhabited continent, as far back as history has been recorded.

It was the West that stamped out slavery around the world -- over the opposition of non-Western societies. But this too has been passed over in utter silence, while history has been stood on its head by those trying to score ideological points or extort money from gullible and prosperous people in the West.

We can learn a lot from other countries -- including how lucky we are to be Americans. One of the best books on this theme is by a writer from India -- Dinesh D'Souza, who wrote What's So Great About America <read review>. 

The key to the denigrators is that they do not compare the United States to other countries but to the Utopia in their imagination. Those who do this seem not to understand that it was the attempt to create political heaven in the 20th century that lead to the unprecedented hell of totalitarianism.

Thomas Sowell

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

Creators Syndicate