To see what your friends thought of this book. Very informative. Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social commentator, and author of dozens of books. Sowell is brilliant. Those with the constrained vision, OTOH, believe humans are too flawed to trust even the best of them with so much power. There are only trade-offs.”, “Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.”, Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy, What Every High School Student Should Read but Probably Doesn't, Heat Up the Holidays with These 27 Winter Romances. His writing is very clear, focused, and well researched. 1789 Massachusetts Avenue, NW This is not an easy read--it's like digging through a research paper. The constrained theory sees society as being bound by rules and systems with a smaller variance in moral/intellectual capabilities and changes to society should come from systemic changes (tradition and the slow change of tradition) by the population at large rather than by the moral/intellectual elite. They see poverty and misery as the default conditions, and ask how we have managed to rise above it. Gary Kavanagh on 12/12/2017 “It would be good to be able to say that we should dispense with visions entirely, and deal only with reality. If you know someone’s position on gun control, you can probably make a fair guess about their views on everything from corporate tax rates to abortion. I would say this is a great starter book for anyone who wants to scratch the surface of this amazing man & mind. January 3rd 2002 Extensive redistribution or regulation, seen as the stepping stones to the road to serfdom in the constrained view, are necessary to ensure justice in the unconstrained vision. In A conflict of Visions, he presents a generalized philosophical model that frames every major economic and political viewpoint. It’s how well he blends history, economics, philosophy, and law in a way that’s equal parts informative, insightful, and engaging — a gift for any reader, constrained and unconstrained alike. Reality is far too complex to be comprehended by any given mind. He often writes from an economically laissez-faire perspective. A broadly sweeping philosophical analysis, Sowell's new book performs a useful service for people interested in contemporary politics: it attempts to lay out objectively the basic differences between the liberal and conservative visions. Oliver Wendell Holmes represent the constrained view. Be the first to ask a question about A Conflict of Visions. Washington, DC 20036, Main telephone: 202.862.5800 Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. better to trust the accumulated wisdom of history than the latest intellectual fad. Welcome back. Visions are like maps that guide us through a tangle of bewildering complexities. That said, the material is too deep to pull off in audiobook form, so after getting halfway through the book I concluded that this one needed to be read in physical form or focused on exclusively for a while if in audio. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published It was a description of "the ideological origins of political struggles", based on two different visions of man and his limitations or lack thereof. Book Review: A Conflict of Visions. I don't buy that - there are a lot of books i enjoy only once and wouldn't repeat. I read this after having read similar books with a similar premise: namely, that there exist fundamental and irreconcilable differences between the worldviews of conservatives and liberals, and that all political conflicts are therefore primarily due to different worldviews talking past each other. Because the constrained vision expresses greater skepticism of man’s ability to reason his way to perfection — “much of what the unconstrained vision sees as morally imperative to do, the constrained vision sees man as incapable of doing” — better to trust the accumulated wisdom of history than the latest intellectual fad. Sowell's thesis is that the fundamental source of disagreement between the "constrained" and "unconstrained" visions (which roughly correspond to conservatism and liberalism, respectively) is a disagreement over how constrained we are by human nature. So an unconstrained theory takes the view of society as capable of being morally/intellectually improved overall, and the most morally/intellectually improved people should make decisions to improve society overall.