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Quotation of the day on ‘intertemporal abstractions’ and ‘entering the world with prepackaged grievances’…. – Publications – AEI

Summary:
AEI Quotation of the day on ‘intertemporal abstractions’ and ‘entering the world with prepackaged grievances’…. … is from Thomas Sowell’s 2010 book “Intellectuals and Society” in the chapter titled “Intertemporal Abstractions” (emphasis mine): The intelligentsia in 21st century America speak of “whites” and “blacks” as intertemporal abstractions with centuries-old issues to be redressed, rather than as flesh-and-blood individuals who take their sins and their sufferings with them to the grave. There is surely no more profound difference between human beings than the difference between the dead and the living. Yet even that difference is glided over verbally when speaking of races as intertemporal abstractions, of whom the current living generation is just the latest embodiment.

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AEI
Quotation of the day on ‘intertemporal abstractions’ and ‘entering the world with prepackaged grievances’….

… is from Thomas Sowell’s 2010 book “Intellectuals and Society” in the chapter titled “Intertemporal Abstractions” (emphasis mine):

The intelligentsia in 21st century America speak of “whites” and “blacks” as intertemporal abstractions with centuries-old issues to be redressed, rather than as flesh-and-blood individuals who take their sins and their sufferings with them to the grave. There is surely no more profound difference between human beings than the difference between the dead and the living. Yet even that difference is glided over verbally when speaking of races as intertemporal abstractions, of whom the current living generation is just the latest embodiment.

Intertemporal abstractions are especially useful to those intellectuals who tend to conceive of social issues in terms which allow the intelligentsia to be on the side of the angels against the forces of evil. When intellectuals are unable to find enough contemporary grievances to suit their vision or agenda, they can mine the past for harm inflicted by some members on others. By conceiving of those involved in the past as members of intertemporal abstractions, the intelligentsia can polarize contemporary descendants of those involved in past acts. The kind of society to which that leads is one in which a newborn baby enters the world supplied with prepackaged grievances against other babies born the same day.

Quotation of the day on ‘intertemporal abstractions’ and ‘entering the world with prepackaged grievances’….
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

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