I’m giving my highest recommendation to A Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell. Easily in the top 10 books I’ve ever read.
Sowell’s thesis is that most political and economic disagreements are not about facts and theories. Those sort of disagreements might be settled. Instead, our conflict are mostly about our visions of how the world works. Those visions are barely compatible.
The problem when our thinking is governed by our visions of how the world works is that those visions don’t have to encompass the possibility that the other visions might be correct. This is much deeper than talking past one another: Sowell’s contention is that, for the most part, we be unable to even hear what others are saying.
At its core, the two visions that Sowell sees are roughly one in which motivations matter more than consequences, and a second in which consequences matter more than motivations. In short, the means justifies the end, and the end justifies the means.
Broadly, Sowell associates the former with contemporary liberalism, and the latter with classical liberalism.
I’ll be following with a quote a day for the next several weeks.