Writer's Connection, SM
a publication of The Virtual Writing
"The Creative Process of Writing
is a Liberating and Therapeutic Experience"
In This Issue:
2. Publisher's Note
3. Intellectuals and Society
by Thomas Sowell
4. Helpful Hints
The Writer's Connection explores the creative process
of writing and the interplay between thoughts, feelings,
and actions. We are an interactive community of authors
and readers who share ideas to enhance our knowledge,
skills, and experiences in writing fiction in any genre,
but our emphasis remains mystery and suspense thrillers.
Published monthly, the Newsletter offers writing tips
for authors, coaching suggestions, editing, and marketing
Topics are presented from the perspective of Keith Barton
and represent only his ideas on producing your first manuscript,
and are provided to the general public. Because we are
an interactive community of writers, other viewpoints
are welcomed and may be printed in future monthly newsletters
with permission from Keith Barton.
2. Publisher's Note
Dear Writer's Connection Subscriber,
This month's newsletter features: Intellectuals and Society
by Thomas Sowell
3. Intellectuals and Society by Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, and Amherst and is currently a
scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University
(from back flap jacket). His economic and social writings appeared daily in the
WSJ and Fortune.
He makes the distinction between intellectuals and The Intelligentsia which are
power holders and journalists in government favoring policies by intellectuals.
JFK and his 1960 Presidential Advisors were an example as well as Herbert Hoover,
Woodrow Wilson, and Theodore Roosevelt who attempted to elevate their progressive
policies to cover the impoverished and disenfranchised at the expense of the middle
class. Our current healthcare debate is but another example of progressive policies
pushed by the Intelligentsia. Sowell's thesis is that intellectuals have been proved
wrong in their diagnosis and prescription for societal ills. A few examples follow.
Statistics are used to imply that the gap between rich and poor is widening. Sowell
argues that "even if every person received exactly the same income, there would still
be significant disparity if households of working adults were counted because there
are more adult heads of household working full-time and year-around in the top five
percent than in the bottom twenty percent. This also does not count governmental
aid in terms of Medicare disability, food stamps, and Medicaid payments to the lower
twenty percent. Moral arguments are used by progressives to indicate that one person's
productivity should not be a thousand times more than another's.
People who argue for income redistribution argue on merit which is different than
productivity according to Sowell because biological, social, and economic advantages
exist and cannot be ignored. Headstart was an attempt in the 1960s to make up for the
social and educational disparity at birth that might lead to more educational achievement
by the fifth grade that proved false. Despite fifty years of early childhood education,
results remain inconclusive that earlier advances are maintained by education alone.
Intellectuals have a conception of the world that they are like other people but their
self-view of intellectual superiority biases their moral judgment that they know what's
best for the masses. Taken to an extreme, Hitler's rise to power in the 1930s that the
intellectual superiority of the Aryan race gave them the moral authority to dispose of
over six million Jews. Infanticides have existed since the days of the Romans and more
recent events in Rwanda, Haiti, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Middle East, and Indonesia
continue the fallacy that intellectual superiority trumps mediocrity.
Totalitarian governments as espoused by Mussolini has led to government knowing what's
best for the people rather than a democratic government run by and for the people.
Political intervention in economic markets such as the recent "cap and trade, bank bailouts,
auto bailouts, stimulus money, and pork barrel politics" are nothing new, but the view that
"government knows best" dates back to the progressive days of Thomas Jefferson.
Reality vs. the Media
Fantasy and reality have blurred over the years as societal morals have shifted to more
laissez-faire "anything goes." Judges defend letting child predators out on bail, banks
defend subprime mortgages, insurance companies defend rising healthcare costs, government
defends increased spending, companies defend profits at the expense of laying off American
workers for outsourcing to foreign countries, and the list goes on. Now we have a plethora
of "reality shows" where people lose weight, dance, sing, survive, and compete for
dominance and fame.
Many of the Intelligentsia defend their view of reality by filtering out information contrary
to their view. Filtering can take many forms such as: censorship, homelessness, racial profiling,
hunger, violence, and a myriad social ills by what the media decides to report. Everyone knows
that man bites dog sells more newspapers and blogs than the reverse. Tabloid gossip was
founded on the fantasy is reality principle. Not only fictitious results, but fictitious
people suddenly appear such as the ugly American, the silent majority, the progressive left,
the conservative right, the moral majority.
The Intelligentsia or "anointed" have argued that social ills can be legislatively and
judicially eradicated by Supreme Court rulings and more equal enforcement of The Law. Despite
gun control laws, the murder rate has declined since 1933 as espoused by the "anointed" ones,
but murder rates have doubled since 1974. The root causes of crime have been argued ad nauseum,
but the fact remains violence mirrors society. We have become anesthetized to violence by daily
reports of bombings, murders, assaults, rape, as if we were all in this gigantic video game.
In summary, intellectuals and the intelligentsia are wrong in their predictions based on academia,
logic, and reason, dating back to the French philosopher Marquis Cordorcet in 1765 and espoused
more recently by Bertrand Russell and J.B. Priestley (1930s) which argued that "a perfect society
is best run by intellectuals who preach a liberal economy, free and equal public education,
constitutionalism, and equal rights for all races."
- Argue the opposite view of Cordorcet which espouses that competition
in a free economy promotes equality and the public good.
- Our Health Reform bill will pass today which is the most definitive
piece of social legislation since the Medicare Bill in 1965; argue for
or against this bill.
- Do you think intellectuals have an undue influence on society? Why?
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About Keith Barton, Ph.D.
Dr. Barton received his Ph.D. in 1972 from the University
of Texas at Austin and has been a practicing therapist
for over thirty years. He is currently enrolled in MentorCoach
and is accepting new clients.
He has been an adjunct professor at the University of
South Carolina, consultant to Fortune 500 companies in
executive development, founded and managed Texas Community
Living Ventures, Inc., in 1986 for providing group home
services to persons with mental retardation. Keith founded
and has been running a clinical practice in Northwest
Houston since 1990.
He writes part-time with the goal of completing one novel
a year. His desire to coach others derives from his passionate
interest in helping others become attuned to their creative
powers of storytelling.
Dr. Barton has training in coaching, cognitive and family
therapy and health psychology. He has published articles,
made presentations and conducted workshops about:
Anxiety and achievement
The relationship between psychology and spirituality
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