In reply to a commenter, Vox writes:
Considering that I kicked his ass badly on his woeful ignorance of Pearl Harbor and military history, you should probably understand that Sowell, while a smart, well-educated, and admirable man, simply isn’t in my league.
Look, no one denies that if you cream off the black elite, raise them in white culture, and turn them loose in white culture, they will do very well. The combination of 115 IQs with solid values and time preferences has a high probability of success. What you don’t seem to grasp is that is like collecting only MENSA members, providing them with elite educations, sending them off to succeed at MIT and Caltech, then pretending that doing the same will work for the average white kid.
It won’t. And the less you imbue them with white or Asian culture and education, the less success you will have with even the black cognitive elite.
–I’m not familiar with the Pearl Harbor debate Vox is referring to here, but if it’s anything like the Japs-invade-California debate with Me-Shelle then I guess this is something Vox takes pretty seriously.
I’ve seen one or two Sowell clips where I thought he handled himself extremely well. On the other hand, I have always been extremely skeptical about the sort of Magic Negro nonsense that caused, for example, Paul Johnson, to elevate Sowell to the rank of “America’s greatest living philosopher” (!!!).
And Sowell certainly drags his toenails into the Magic Dirt when it comes to race and IQ. Now, since Sowell is a bright black man, I could be forgiving about this up to a point; but I’ve read a recent piece where Sowell obfuscated to the point he literally had no logical point to make at all. And even if Sowell doesn’t read Derbyshire or Auster or Laura Wood or Steve Sailer, one would think that his thoughts on the subject would have to evolve (if he’s truly such an exceptional mind) towards greater realism rather than less.
So . . . is Sowell just another community college organizer fluffed up vastly beyond his rank? Does Vox put him all the way down at 115? If there’s such a think as a +4 SD IQ for the black mean, I guess Sowell would be it (which, at mean 85, standard deviation of 12, would be about–let’s be generous and round up to fifty points– 135). Since he writes big books on economics (even if his magnum opus is entitled, well, Basic Economics), I’m still inclined to be generous. And maybe military history isn’t his thing [but again: I’m not familiar with this debate, so maybe Sowell wrote something when he should’ve read up on what he was writing about].
All the same, I enjoyed this little shredding, and very likely Vox Day is right: Sowell isn’t at his level. Maybe not even nearly.