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"Why do They Hate Us?" by Thomas Sowell

The idea that what goes around comes around applies not only to individuals but to nations and whole civilizations. It was just a few centuries ago -- not long, as history is measured -- that China had the highest standard of living in the world and the Dutch were the world's largest exporters, while North Africans were enslaving a million Europeans.


Nowhere have whole peoples seen their situation reversed more visibly or more painfully than the peoples of the Islamic world. In medieval times, Europe lagged far behind the Islamic world in science, mathematics, scholarship, and military power.

Even such ancient European thinkers as Plato and Aristotle became known to Europeans of the Middle Ages only after their writings, which had been translated into Arabic, were translated back into European languages.

Today that is all reversed. The number of books per person in Europe is more than ten times that in Africa and the Middle East. The number of books translated into Arabic over the past thousand years is about the same as the number translated into Spanish in one year.

There are only 18 computers per thousand persons in the Arab world, compared to 78 per thousand persons worldwide. Fewer than 400 industrial patents were issued to people in the Arab countries during the last two decades of the 20th century, while 15,000 industrial patents were issued to South Koreans alone.

Human beings do not always take reversals of fortune gracefully. Still less can those who were once on top quietly accept seeing others leaving them far behind economically, intellectually, and militarily.

Those in the Islamic world have for centuries been taught to regard themselves as far superior to the "infidels" of the West, while everything they see with their own eyes now tells them otherwise. Worse yet, what the whole world sees with their own eyes tells them that the Middle East has made few contributions to human advancement in our times.

Even Middle Eastern oil was largely discovered and processed by people from the West. After oil, the Middle East's most prominent export has been terrorism.

Those who look at the world in rationalistic terms may say that the Middle East can use some of its vast oil wealth to expand its own educated classes and move back to the forefront of human achievement. They did it once, why not do it again?

All sorts of things can be done in the long run, but you have to live through the short run to get there. Moreover, even the short run, as history is measured, can be pretty long in terms of the human lifespan.

Even if the Islamic world set such goals and committed the material resources and individual efforts required, they could not expect to pull abreast of the West for generations, even if the West stood still. More realistically, it would take centuries, as it took the West centuries to catch up to them.

What will happen in the meantime? Are millions of proud human beings supposed to quietly accept inferiority for themselves and their children, and perhaps their children's children?

Or are they more likely to listen to demagogues, whether political or religious, who tell them that their lowly place in the world is due to the evils of others -- the West, the Americans, the Jews?

If the peoples of the Islamic world disregarded such demagogues, they would be the exceptions, rather than the rule, among people who lag painfully far behind others. Even in the West, there have been powerful political movements based on the notion that the rich have gotten rich by keeping others poor -- and that things need to be set right "by all means necessary."

These means seldom include concentration on self-improvement, with 19th-century Japan being one of the rare exceptions. Lashing out at others is far more immediately satisfying -- and modern communications, transportation, and weaponry make it far easier to lash out destructively across great distances.

Against this background, we may want to consider the question asked by hand-wringers in the West: Why do they hate us? Maybe it is because the alternative to hating us is to hate themselves.
"Most economic fallacies derive ... from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another" - Milton Friedman "The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit." –- Samuel Gompers Ron Paul for President
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This is straight up Bullshit and demonstrative of white arrogance and white supremacy. Such an argument that they hate us for reason stated in this article would never be openly espoused and written about in the US as far as Black and white relations, although such could be written. White folks in America could easily write, Black people hate us because their unemployment rate is double ours, they children drop out of school far more than ours and. Per capita they lead in crime and receiving government issued welfare. All of this is equal to what arrogant whites are trying to say about men and women around the world that they essentially hate the U.S. because white supremacy has spread throughout the world and dominated all the poor and darker people of the earth.

This silly argument ignores America's support of the rogue state of Israel, America's support of past and present dictators all over the world. I could go on but I am sure my point is understood.
My observation is this, Thomas Sowell has been formally and impressively educated and credentialed to be an ECONOMIST and thus his area of expertise is in economics. My question is this: Why is he more known and quoted for his social, racial, and political commentary and not his pure economic opinion? Do whites respect and value his racial and political commentary more than his economic commentary?

When the print and TV media are looking to quote an economist on the direction of the nation, void of any racial or political overtones, you will rarely see Thomas Sowell being tapped for his genius. One of the most quoted economists in America is Donald Ratajack (spelling) of Georgia State University and Sung yun Moon (spelling?) from Wells Fargo Bank.

I am one with a keen interest in economics and economic news are rarely do I hear Thomas Sowell being quoted or used for his economic analysis. Apparently, his is still a N1gger in regards to economics in that all his credentials and education in economics STILL does not put him in the ranks of the most quoted and respected economist. However, they do admire his ability to speak against the Negroes and the Liberals and thus, this is his main claim to fame.

Also, why is Sowell Juxtaposing ALL of Africa, black Africa included, at certain times, as if what goes around comes around applies toward black people. WHat the hell did we do in this cycle that has now come around to put us so low?
Exactly Noah, Unfortunately these Negro men and women do not realize that the only use their white conservative counterpart have for them is to attack black folk. These Negroes are never called upon to speak on the very things they are alleged specialist on. Juxtapose this with say the Tavis smiley show on NPR where he calls on Black intellectuals to speak on matters that are not centered on race. If Sowell wrote an opinion on the economy that did not mesh well with the thinking of conservatives they would immediately say, he just a nigger, so we can ignore him.
"My observation is this, Thomas Sowell has been formally and impressively educated and credentialed to be an ECONOMIST and thus his area of expertise is in economics."-Noah

That much is obvious because he's definitely no historian. Much of the information that he provides is inaccurate. North Africans had never enslaved whites nor are Arabs (who are nothing more than a nation of thieves and grave robbers) responsible for influencing Greek philosophers.
Thanks Noah and Faheem for clearly outlining the modern-day context of house negroes and how whites find fault with everything and everyone except themselves. I feel the same about Condi with that nonsense that she talked in Emerge magazine a while back. She was trying to elude that the civil rights movement could have been optional because of the concessions that whites were starting to grant to blacks anyway. She based it on being able to change a dress in a white dressing room as a little girl....while her Dad and the other men used to have to stand guard outside at night against the Klan and could not even sleep with their families.....she needs to stick to the Russian cryptology field and matters that she has studied.....because what she and others fail to realize.......if you are a highly educated person....you should sound that way all the time....not just when addressing an aspect of your field of endeavor........geesh!!!!!
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
"My observation is this, Thomas Sowell has been formally and impressively educated and credentialed to be an ECONOMIST and thus his area of expertise is in economics."-Noah

That much is obvious because he's definitely no historian. Much of the information that he provides is inaccurate. North Africans had never enslaved whites


Actually, they were part of an intercontinental slave trade streamilined by the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Turks often conducted raids in eastern Europe and the Caucuses for slaves.

quote:
nor are Arabs (who are nothing more than a nation of thieves and grave robbers) responsible for influencing Greek philosophers.


Did he say this? I thought he said that the Arabs had the first societies which really used the philosophers' writings.
Its seems as if Thomas Sowell is bragging about his MASTERS HOUSE as if the master sees servants and slaves of his color as being part of the creation of the superior house that his master lives in. Thomas Sowell is not a westerner; he is a descendant of slaves from Sub Saharan Africa, part of the INFERIOR world, in his account.

It seems that Uncle Thomas (true to his name) is attempting to live vicariously through his master. The greater his master, the greater the slave. Thus, if he can big up the master, he can big up himself by association and thus rise above the BANTU CONDITION and perception of inferiority held by the master.
Does the argument make the case for "superior" and "inferior" worlds? Or is it basically saying that different parts of the worls have thrived at different times, making such aforementioned labels BS?

Sowell is just as much western as any of the white people that've come to this Country. Someone's being "Western" isn't based on color- it's based on the culture they were brought up in. Descendants of slaves in America are just as western if not more than most white people in this world- not to mention wealthier.

But then, I know wealth (which brings about better health, longer lives, etc.) doesn't matter to Noah because he'd rather us all live in hunter-gatherer societies. Roll Eyes
Toussaint, implicit in the essay by Sowell was relative juxtaposition. He compared and contrasted for the specific purpose of noting that one is superior and the other is inferior, what would have been the point otherwise? Sowell seemed to have left out the CAUSE of how the EUROPEANS rose to the TOP and the Arab World has gone to the middle of the humanity pack. Generally, military power decided the allocation of wealth and status. When the Arab armies were superior, then they ruled and were dominant. What changed the balance of power and wealth was the European invention of the GUN. The GUN was revolutionary to warfare and it gave its users tremendous advantage. Consequently, the Europeans used the GUN to their advantage and conquered the world and shifting the center of power, wealth and learning to Europe and away from others. It all comes down to military power in humanity, because might makes right and wealth.

Uncle Thomas Sowell is a Negro. While he lives in the West, only a fool would believe that West attributes ANY of their status, wealth and advancement to the Negro. Look in the history books of the Master and you will find no correlation or linkage between the Negro from Africa and the greatness that western civilization has achieved. The Negro, in the masters opinion, should be happy that he was dragged from Africa, civilized and now enjoy the crumbs from the masters table, lest they be resigned to the fate of the other Negroes in Africa, living in abject poverty and unable to govern themselves. Roll Eyes
Mr Sowell has also earned a degree in history according to one of his earlier books.

Those who cannot face Sowell's arguments and opinions directly or with credibility, feel the need to bring 'whitey' into their answers. Have a look at the postings here who talk more about whitey than on the merits of Mr Sowell's own article. Thats escapism, deflection, and any other word of 'avoidance' one wishes to name.

But Mr Sowell has made some great, as yet undisputed, observations. See if you can take Sowell's impressions and observations without having to muddy up the water by using 'whitey' as a crutch, and the discussion is very different. I bet you can't.

Many who posted here are 'still' running to whitey, and probably do not even realize it. This is a BLACK forum, lets keep the discussions amongst ourselves and see what WE can offer either in dispute or praise for a change.

Mr Sowell's article is well written and factual. Does noone here have an opposing view that doesn't depend entirely on references to 'whitey'? Mr Sowell is Black. Lets hear a "Black" response to his article for a change. I would have thought thats why most of us come here to africanamerica.org in the first place, no?
How can we keep a discussion amongst ourselves when the very article we are discussing was not written about us but written as a form of praising white culture and white supremacy? We discussed the article as it was written, he did nothing more than praise white supremacy and the murder of all those who died unceremoniously to make America what it is today. The response giving in this thread were all Black responses, the problem is the article while written by a Black man is not a Black article.
See what I mean. He never praised any such thing, but all you can think is he must be 'white' somehow. Sad really. No less than 16 paragraphs for you to either dispute or agree with, yet you cannot find a one to either dispute or relate to, as written, without bringing your 'white' friends into the mix.

So according to you, a black man is not expressing black thoughts? I think that about says it all.

"Or are they more likely to listen to demagogues, whether political or religious, who tell them that their lowly place in the world is due to the evils of others -- the West, the Americans, the Jews?"

Is that 'praising whites', or is it just too close to the bone for many of us to deal with. You think thats not "written about us". I disagree, he got you pegged exactly.
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:
Toussaint, implicit in the essay by Sowell was relative juxtaposition. He compared and contrasted for the specific purpose of noting that one is superior and the other is inferior, what would have been the point otherwise?


I believe that the point he was making was that one cannot simply call a certain group of people "superior" or "inferior" because the most advanced societies have been different peoples at different times.

quote:
Sowell seemed to have left out the CAUSE of how the EUROPEANS rose to the TOP and the Arab World has gone to the middle of the humanity pack. Generally, military power decided the allocation of wealth and status.


Whether the cause was military or otherwise has no bearing on the point Sowell was making. The point is that some civilizations/areas of the world are more powerful (militarily, scientifically, culturally or otherwise) than others at different times throughout history.

Also, Military power doesn't necessarily decide the allocation of wealth- especially not sustainable wealth. The Mongols, the Spanish, and the Soviet Union prove this point.

quote:
Uncle Thomas Sowell is a Negro.


Roll Eyes

quote:
While he lives in the West, only a fool would believe that West attributes ANY of their status, wealth and advancement to the Negro.


Status etc. can be attributed to people in the west-"Negroes" included- especially regarding the cultural aspects.

I don't know if you're waiting from a specific "attribution" from a specific source, but this is supported by history.
Ok Delta, the difference between you and the majority of us who responded to this thread is we do not see his statement as isolated and exclusive to what he is saying here, we see and understand the very juxtaposition he is making here is the very one that is used to prove white men and women are superior in one way or another to the worlds people.

Sowell wrote "There are only 18 computers per thousand persons in the Arab world, compared to 78 per thousand persons worldwide. Fewer than 400 industrial patents were issued to people in the Arab countries during the last two decades of the 20th century, while 15,000 industrial patents were issued to South Koreans alone."

What is the purpose and what is the reason behind writing this if not to prove the U.S. is superior but clearly he is not talking about us because we know that there is a digital divide here in the U.S. between Black and white homes. So what if a white economist wrote something similar to this but used Black and white people in America to make his point of white supremacy by pointing to the lack of computers in Black homes and the lack of Black patents versus white patents? What would you say to this? And what would writing such prove? If it does not prove anything then clearly him writing it about Arabs does not prove anything either.

Here again Sowell says; "Even if the Islamic world set such goals and committed the material resources and individual efforts required, they could not expect to pull abreast of the West for generations, even if the West stood still. More realistically, it would take centuries, as it took the West centuries to catch up to them."

What if it was written that even if Black men and women set goals and committed the material resources and individual efforts needed, they could not expect t to pull abreast to white people even if white people stood still? How would you respond? And would it be true. The only way such could be true is if white people are actually superior. Your problem Delta is you still think white supremacy is emotional and not rational The very thing they say about others today they will say about us tomorrow.
Toussaint, Essentially the point that Uncle Thomas Sowell was making was that the reason that Arabs "HATE" America and the West is because of jealously and envy born from being inferior to the Westerner, when the Arab was once on top. I did not glean that his main point was that different societies prospers and dominate and different times. That does not jive with TITLE of his essay. He was explaining why, in his opinion, the West is hated. By the way, that is the same reason that Bush gave after 911. He said that these people were jealous or our freedom and wealth. Of course, this all ignores that many reasons that people have for being pissed about American and Western policy or Western cultural and political/economic imperialism. Roll Eyes

Faheem did right to replace Arab with black..it would be the same reason to explain why blacks are pissed off with whites....we are just made because we are Jealous and envious of white GREATNESS....not the 300 years of our oppression...that just an EXCUSE to cover our inferiority Roll Eyes
No. You are incorrect. We are americans, and he IS talking about us. The US is OBVIOUSLY superior, but that is not what Sowell is trying to demonstrate by citing these facts. When he compares the Arab world to the South Koreans, he is trying to get you to think about how each approaches life and living, there are HUGE lessons to be learned in that. But unfortunately, it will take more than a web post to bring you up to speed. Sorry, my dinner is getting cold. If you are asking what I think, I recommend you spend more time reading from Sowell, and take off the censorship blinders and actually HEAR what he is saying. You won't be sorry you did. Thats the best I can offer you for now.
Roll Eyes

Sorry DeltaJ...I do not need other people to do my thinking for me. Why should I...I have a BRAIN and congnitive abiliities....I have access to resources...I have interest and passion, thus, why do I need to be a follower of others peoples thoughts? Would that not be intellectual WELFARE? They do the work and you do the cut and paste or parroting?

Sorry...I hold myself to a higher set of expectations and standard....but I can see where intellectual welfare would come in handy for you, given that you seem to lack the intellectual skill sets or TRUTH to articulate and defend your beliefs...but then again, they are not YOUR beleifs, but the beliefs of others that you decided to borrow for self interest.
quote:

Actually, they were part of an intercontinental slave trade streamilined by the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Turks often conducted raids in eastern Europe and the Caucuses for slaves.-Toussaint



First of all, the Turks are not indigenous to Africa. They are not African nor is their any country in Africa named after "Turks." The Turks are in fact European. Therefore, what you are saying is that the Europeans enslaved themselves. In fact, the Turks in addition to the Greeks, Arabs, and Romans were the groups that persistently invaded, colonized, and eventually occupied North Africa for some time until it became the wasteland that it is today.

[This message was edited by Rowe on March 24, 2004 at 03:06 PM.]

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