The Brutalities and Consequences of Conquest - Thomas Sowell


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Thomas Sowell is an American economist and political commentator. He taught economics at Cornell University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and since 1980 at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he is currently a Senior Fellow. This channel helps to promote his teachings and principles of economics and philosophy.


"Conquests and Cultures is the final book in Thomas Sowell’s trilogy exploring the formation and importance of human culture. The earlier volumes were Race and Culture (1994) and Migrations and Cultures (1996). With this volume, Sowell brings this great project to its conclusion. The book is superb, and the trilogy a monumental achievement.

Sowell’s topic here is the impact of conquest on culture. “Cultures,” he writes, “are not museum pieces. They are the working machinery of everyday life.” For better or for worse, they change over time and conquest is one of the prime agents of change. Although he refrains from making any direct attack on the trendy idea that all cultures are equal and ought to be “celebrated,” Sowell’s work is a crushing refutation of that notion. As we have come to expect from him, Sowell is interested in a dispassionate, scientific examination of culture, not in jousts with his caterwauling detractors.

The book focuses on four groups—the British, the Africans, the Slavs, and the American Indians. Rather than moralizing about the evils of conquest, which is a worldwide phenomenon not specific to any race or culture, Sowell examines its effects. Subjugation is rarely beneficial to people in the short run, but in the long run, it can have and frequently has had a positive impact on them, by bringing them into contact with cultures more conducive to progress..." from the article: Conquests and Cultures

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