Thomas Sowell’s Journey from Marxism in Youth to Embracing Conservatism

Renowned conservative thinker and economist Thomas Sowell made a recent appearance on “Life, Liberty & Levin” to delve into his transformation from youthful Marxism to embracing conservatism in his later life.

During the show, host Mark Levin explored the growing appeal of Marxist ideas, particularly among the younger demographic and within academic circles. Levin inquired about Sowell’s firsthand encounter with these ideologies.

“I think there’s a very simple explanation that as of the time I became a Marxist,” Sowell responded. “I didn’t know as much as I knew.”

“After several years of study and observing things going on and, facts carried a lot of weight with me, and when the facts kept going in the wrong way, I realized that this (Marxism) was not going to do what it claimed it was going to do.”

Sowell recognized the appeal of the social justice movement, acknowledging that it appears promising in theory, as reported by Fox News.

“It’s only after you study history that you find out just how bad, how horribly it actually turned out,” Sowell explained.

The conservative scholar also tackled the assumptions put forth by modern Marxists and proponents of social justice.

“They presume that if someone does not reach the same heights, economically or otherwise, as someone else, then they have been wronged by someone else along their life journey,” said Sowell.

“And that’s an incredible assumption — that human beings have such enormous control over all of their own fates, individually or collectively.”

As he pondered his own life journey, Sowell remarked that upon reflection, he recognized moments when a specific individual had appeared and profoundly altered the course of his life.

“And it’s happened more than once, and I’m sure it’s happened in the lives of many other people,” he said.

“There’s nobody out there who has all the incredible amount of knowledge required to take over making other people’s decisions for them.”

Born in 1930, Sowell had adhered to Marxist principles well into his twenties. During a 2000 interview with Salon, he recounted an incident from the summer of 1960 while he was interning for the federal government.

He noticed that when the minimum wage increased, employment among workers in the Puerto Rico sugar industry decreased. Sowell proposed the theory that the wage hike might be causing individuals to lose their jobs.

Additionally, he pointed out that trade unions and politicians were quick to attribute this trend to hurricanes damaging cane fields, rather than examining the economic consequences of wage increases.