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The Quest for Cosmic Justice
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The Quest for Cosmic Justice [Format Kindle]

Thomas Sowell
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Thomas Sowell is a man of immense learning but with a common touch. His books reveal a dazzling mind that ranges freely and easily from history and sociology to economics to public policy. He conveys complex ideas in a simple way for a mass audience, a skill he learned as an academic who writes a syndicated newspaper column. This strength is on full view in The Quest for Cosmic Justice, which is perhaps best described as a work of moral philosophy. That may sound off-putting, but it shouldn't. Again, Sowell writes for lay readers, and his clear thinking is on immediate display. His topic is justice, broadly understood. We constantly hear of "social justice," he says. But how is social justice different from other kinds of justice? The word social, in fact, is redundant here: "All justice is inherently social. Can someone on a desert island be either just or unjust?" The book goes on to show how one person's sense of justice and equality can lead to their exact opposites: injustice and inequality. He holds no quarter for those who pursue "cosmic justice," the dangerous notion that people can right all wrongs, and favors "traditional justice," which emphasizes rules and procedures. The Quest for Cosmic Justice ought to be required reading for all students in college-level political theory courses; Sowell's conservative politics and aversion to academic jargon probably guarantee it won't be. That's a shame, because he is the very definition of a public intellectual--and The Quest for Cosmic Justice is another awesome achievement. --John J. Miller

From Library Journal

"Much of the world today and down through centuries of history has suffered the terrible consequences of unbridled government power, the prime evil that the writers of the American constitution sought to guard against." It is this "unbridled government power" that prolific political theorist Sowell (Affirmative Action Reconsidered) fears most as something that follows necessarily when societies try to achieve "cosmic justice" (as opposed to "social justice"). "Cosmic justice," he asserts, "is not about the rules of the game" but rather about "putting particular segments of society in the position that they would have been in but for some undeserved misfortune." Referring often to 20th-century world history, he argues persuasively that whatever benefits one might hope would result from trying to right the past wrongs of the world (instead of trying to repair the present world), they are not worth the almost inevitable risks of the loss of freedom and the rise of despotism. As Sowell does so well in his other booksAmany of which analyze the tradeoff between freedom and equalityAhe presents his case in clear, convincing, and accessible language. Strongly recommended for most public and academic libraries.AJack Forman, Mesa Coll. Lib., San Diego
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 295 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 224 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0684864622
  • Editeur : Free Press (30 juin 2001)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000FC0T72
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°201.012 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 La religion de la gauche 14 juillet 2011
Par G. Aharfi
Ce livre est un chef d'oeuvre. Il explique la pensée quasi messianique des gauchistes (américains car l'auteur est un noir américain, mais ça s'applique très bien à la France) et met à jour leurs contradictions. Un excellent ouvrage pour développer des arguments anti-socialiste !
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent 9 août 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
An exposition and explanation of what we can and can't do in the face of the universe's random nature. Good.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5  68 commentaires
156 internautes sur 166 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 OK 26 octobre 1999
Par J. Wright - Publié sur
This book is good, not great. And the people who would get the most out of this book are those who are most unlikely to read it. If you are already familiar with Sowell, or read Forbes or The Wall Street Journal on a regular basis, then you are already familiar with most of the ideas and concepts in this book. Nonetheless, the book makes for an interesting read. Sowell persuasively points out that many of those seeking "justice" (cosmic or otherwise) frequently don't give a darn about the costs and benefits of their current flavor of justice on society. Sowell provides many examples, and gloomy predictions, about what happens when the liberal elite impose their visions on the rest of us. As an attorney who just graduated from NYU Law School, I couldn't agree more with Sowell's comments regarding how the rule of law is systematically undermined by our nation's elite law schools. Once the rule of law is gone, you decide justice given the judge's present whims, which is awful close to monarchy---which the liberal elite unfortunately fail to recognize. I was taught nothing but contempt for precedent and the rule of law at NYU, I'd even go so far as to say that most of my professors seemed to feel you should just examine each case from the perspective of who you feel is "disadvantaged" and rule for them. After three years of that attempted brainwashing, Sowell's book is like climbing out of a dark cave and realizing light still exists.
125 internautes sur 134 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A good summary of a misguided ideology 3 septembre 2000
Par Todd Winer - Publié sur
Thomas Sowell's "The Quest For Cosmic Justice" is a stab in the heart of left-wing politics. Early in his book, the author makes a clear distinction between traditional ideas of justice and what Mr. Sowell describes as "cosmic justice." Traditional justice is process-oriented. Everyone plays by the same rules and is judged by the same standards. It is a system that "flesh and bone" human beings can live under. Cosmic justice, on the other hand, means providing everyone with equal prospects of success. This concept of "fairness," as morally spurious as it is, becomes outright dangerous when it requires third parties to wield arbitrary power to override rules and control outcomes. These third parties - found in government, universities, the media, and the courts - see a nation desperately in need of cosmic justice. The gap between the rich and poor is supposedly growing, threatening our economic future. The so-called "earnings gap" between men and women is supposedly the child of a sexist society. Police brutality is becoming a high-tech version of lynching. And so on. Of course, many of these "problems" disappear when confronted with real-world experience and statistical evidence. Creating government "solutions" to these "problems" only entrusts more and more power in the hands of people further and further removed from the real world. To allow any government authority to determine how much money you receive for your work is not only a distortion of the economic process but is a dehumanizing attempt in reducing everyone to political clients. Government price controls on food, supposed to help the poor, have led to widespread hunger in countries around the world. Undermining law enforcement because of its perceived unfairness to minorities have led to high crime rates which hurt minorities most of all. The passion for equality - which somehow became twisted into racial preferences - has led to a divorce of performance and reward, which is to say a divorce between incentive and behavior - perhaps the most crucial foundation of Western civilization. Yet theories of cosmic justice and the public policy that springs from them are unlikely to be re-examined. Why should they be re-examined when they permit its advocates to feel morally superior to everyone else? Meanwhile, those who believe in systematic processes - the marketplace, traditional values, constitutional law (namely, most Americans) are suspected. Mr. Sowell's book is an excellent indictment of "cosmic justice" and an excellent defense of traditional ideas of process and the rule of law. Unfortunately, those who should read this book most will probably read it least.
105 internautes sur 112 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 And Satan Said: "Ye Will Be As Gods" 26 décembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
As I read this book, the thoughts of arrogance, condescension, and hubris came to mind - not towards the author - but towards the subjects of his discussion. Certainly one cannot fault the social engineers and institutional "tinkerers" for their intentions. However, intentions are not the measure of success - results are.
The policies of the "anointed" have become gospel, not subject to debate or empirical verification. In essence, anyone who disagrees with them or offers another approach is necessarily opposed to the intentions of those holding the true "gospel" of social harmony, prosperity, and peace.
But this substitute for evidence and effectiveness has failed the most important element - those who are the intended beneficiaries of the "anointed" policies. The efforts to "equalize" and pursue "cosmic justice" not only have few success stories - but rather there is an abundance of proof to show that their policies are counter-productive and even harmful.
But never mind the petty details! We're merely interested in doing the right thing, having the right motives, having our hearts in the right place, etc. Consequences be damned! We know what works best! The conquest for social justice will not be deterred by such things as uncooperative human beings, lack of success, or the Rule of Law.
This book is an excellent follow-up to Sowell's "Vision of the Anointed" as it drives home the point that those who embrace visions of cosmic ideals are embarking upon an endeavor requiring super-human skill. And their pursuit in spite of this fact does good for no one - not the least of which are those who they claim to want to help. In pursuit of their cosmic ideals, the visionaries have become impervious to the reality that frustrates their plans.
It is past time to cease the game of demonizing those that disagree with the ideas and policies of the "anointed." It's time for the "gods of social justice" to admit their humanity and potential for failure - to re-open discussion so that the business of genuinely helping people can take place.
For those interested in an outside observer's perspective (i.e. outside the circle of the "anointed") on the practicality and efficacy of the modern vision of social justice, this book is a must read. Those who are part of the "anointed" or supporters of the same are going to find Sowell's assessment disturbing. Nevertheless, a symbolic gesture from an "anointed" would be his willingness to abandon his self-righteousness by reading this book with an open heart and mind.
55 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Play Fairly versus Win Regardless 19 décembre 1999
Par Harold Brewer - Publié sur
"You can't change the rules in the middle of the game." "Hey, you just made that rule up." "You're cheating!" Kids on a playground arguing? No, adults in our judicial and political systems. In the first section of The Quest for Cosmic Justice, Thomas Sowell takes us on a tour of the world through time to display examples of childlike behavior in adults. He discusses two types of justice. Traditional justice is process-based: make up the rules before the game, everybody plays by the same rules, and the end result is left open. Cosmic justice is ends-oriented: have rules, but fiddle with them so that the game ends as someone wants it to.
In the second section of the book, Dr. Sowell examines equality, a much bandied-about word, but slippery in the extreme as to what it means. If we have learned anything from science it is that defining terms is crucial to progress - unless one is pursuing cosmic justice, of course. He talks of ". . . politically imposed equality . . . poisonous relations between the races and sexes . . . internal dissensions and demoralization have played a crucial role in the decline and fall of other civilizations, and there is no reason to expect this one to be immune."
Visions, their necessity for humans to operate and the things that can go wrong with them, are treated in the third section. The final section concerns the quiet repeal of the American Revolution. Comparisons of the French Revolution to the American Revolution were very informative, at least to me. I remembered an awful lot of heads got chopped off in France, but hadn't made the connection between that and the philosophy underlying the French Revolution. "At the national level as well, the 'Committee of Public Safety' under Robespierre ruled by decrees that could over-ride any laws."
Now, let's see . . . are Executive Orders when Congress doesn't do what the President wants equivalent to Robespierre's decrees that led to the guillotine?
40 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Thomas Sowell is a brilliant realist 9 novembre 1999
Par Kathleen K. Melonakos - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Thomas Sowell is one of our finest thinkers. One of the most important facts he shows, with painstaking detail and with witty insight is that some of the well intentioned efforts at correcting "cosmic injustices" create greater injustices, and cause more suffering than had principles of "traditional justice" been followed. In other words, the interventionist cure is often worse than the disease. I thought it was great when he said that we may be bothered by inequalities that exist, but we can't be God like on Creation Day and say, "Let there be justice!" and expect the universe to conform. I challenge proponents of affirmative action, followers of John Rawls, and other radical egalitarians to successfully counter the arguments in this book, based on facts, rather than wishful thinking.
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