The Power of Facts

Posted on November 28, 2022 by Robert Ringer


With the holiday season rolling into high gear, the political news is even more boring than usual, so I thought I’d treat myself to some stimulation with a good dose of Thomas Sowell.  I randomly picked a YouTube video about Sowell that was produced by Jason Riley of The Wall Street Journal, and it reminded me all over again why I’ve always held him in such high regard as a thinker extraordinaire.

It had been a while since my last exposure to Sowell’s ideas, and they made just as much of an impact on me now as they did decades ago.  His intellectual honesty is more refreshing today than ever, and when he speaks there are no wasted words.  For example, when he was asked what changed him from the socialist mindset of his earlier years, Sowell answered with simple profundity, “The facts.”

Nothing could be timelier than those two words, because the outcomes of the recent midterms made it clear that millions of people are guided by emotion rather than facts.  They reminded us yet again that the reason politicians virtue signal is because it works.  The reason they create division between groups is because it works.  The reason they lie is because it works.  And the reason all these things work is because millions of people are so averse to discomfort, let alone pain, that they would rather live in a world created in their own minds rather than the world as it actually exists.

I believe this phenomenon is one of the biggest drivers of insanity. The impossible task of arguing that demonstrably false statements are true — e.g., men can have babies, government can make you better off by redistributing wealth, a modern civilization can function without fossil fuels — creates the hysterical frustration and anger that surrounds us on a daily basis.

In his book The Art of Selfishness, David Seabury poetically stated, “The comforts of self-delusion tend to be short-lived, for stubborn reality has a savage way of destroying a fool’s paradise.  This side of the lunatic asylum one cannot go on believing what one wants to believe.  Truth will out.”

America today is a fool’s paradise where people still look to government for the solution to their problems more than 40 years after Ronald Reagan cautioned that government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.  Government is nothing more than a collection of mostly mediocre individuals who are in the game to pursue their own self-interests, and the number-one thing they are interested in is power.

Why power?  Because power unlocks the door to unlimited narcissistic gratification.  With power, politicians and government bureaucrats can enrich themselves, sexually gratify themselves, and satisfy their egos by ordering around their subjects.  As with everything in life, there are a handful of exceptions, but they are too few in number to make a dent in the graft, corruption, and stupidity of the entrenched Uniparty crowd.

The takeaway for those who choose to live in the real world is straightforward:  Government is not your friend.  Never — ever — base your plans on anything government says.  This is more important today than ever before, because the lies and fantasies fed to a gullible public on a daily basis are going to produce ever harsher consequences for those who do not base their actions on facts.  A financial holocaust is on the way in America, but few people have a clue that it’s coming.

To rub salt into the wound, all the investigations Republicans are promising will in all likelihood produce little in the way of punishment for those who have been most responsible for wrecking the economy and, even more important, American culture.  Real punishment rarely comes to those who bring the most pain and suffering to the average citizen, and for good reason:  Those who are supposed to mete out punishment are in on the take, so it is not in their best interest to rock the boat.

What I am describing here is the world as it is, not as I would like it to be.  Does that mean all is lost?  No.  As Harry Browne put it in the title to his landmark book, it is possible for you to find freedom in an unfree world.  And the first step toward doing that is to base your decisions on reality, not government propaganda.  Have faith that in the end, truth will out.  It can be difficult for facts to compete with emotion, but facts never let down those who remain loyal to them.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

4 responses to “The Power of Facts”

  1. Ghost_1776 says:

    Excellent article! I have been trying to make plans in and around government decrees, propaganda, and obstacles for most of my adult life. It gets harder each year as they find more ways to strip away freedom and economic progress. Harry Browne did write an incredible book and that is probably one of the last best hopes of achieving any freedom in my lifetime. I keep thinking, as you do, that the reality of the facts will eventually catch up with the tyrants in government, but I seem to continually underestimate exactly how long they can keep the illusion going. Election after election and year after year I watch things deteriorate and think this can't go on much longer and yet it seems to keep going. I am now of the opinion that I will never see the day of reckoning in my lifetime. Hopefully I am able to teach my children well enough they will have the tools and powers of the mind to pick up the pieces if that day of reckoning comes in their lifetime, which I have to believe it will, but I honestly must admit I have no idea if that is accurate.

  2. KarlosJung says:

    It would be hard to imagine a worse example of the failure of Socialism than the Soviet Famine of 1931 to 1934, brought on by the collectivization of agriculture begun circa 1927–1929. Unable to point a finger at capitalists, the Soviet government created a new class of villainy: anyone owning more than 8 acres was a capitalist kulak, was to be blamed for anything bad that happened, and shipped off to Siberia. Are "right wing" Christians destined to be Biden's kulaks? Or will it be gun owners? Or journalists? I think we can rule the latter out.

  3. larajf says:

    I adore Dr. Sowell and have been tempted to go up to the Hoover Institute and see if I can fan girl him. And I agree. Our government has grown far too large. Both sides up until President Trump just kept increasing their power and our debt. Enough is enough.

  4. hharry12800 says:

    While I see Biden corruption a real issue, one perhaps for '24. That is of much less importance than the issue of censorship by the government via social media along with the management of the pandemic. Free speech is an absolute necessity for an informed public. Suppression dooms that freedom. It has been foundational. This pandemic has revealed horrid decisions by authorities that created severe damage to the nation. Those opposed to the mitigation were demonized but we discover via data they were right to oppose lockdown, masking and keeping kids out of school. Then we are discovering that there was corruption in development of the vaccines which proved also to be troublesome in practice. The corruption within the NIH has led to increasing health costs via expensive drugs and a lack of messaging regarding advice to the public about health.