The Vision of the Anointed

The Vision of the Anointed (1995) is a book by economist and political columnist Thomas Sowell which brands the anointed as promoters of a worldview concocted out of fantasy impervious to any real-world considerations.[1] Sowell asserts that these thinkers, writers, and activists continue to be revered even in the face of evidence disproving their positions.

The Vision of the Anointed
The vision of the annointed bookcover.jpg
Cover of the hardcover edition
AuthorThomas Sowell
CountryUnited States
SubjectSocial policy
PublisherBasic Books
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback), Audiobook, E-book)
Preceded byRace And Culture: A World View 
Followed byKnowledge and Decisions 

Sowell argues that American thought is dominated by a "prevailing vision" which seals itself off from any empirical evidence that is inconsistent with that vision.

  • the prevailing social vision is dangerously close to sealing itself off from any discordant feedback from reality.[2]
  • it is so necessary to believe in a particular vision that evidence of its incorrectness is ignored, suppressed, or discredited [3]
  • empirical evidence is neither sought beforehand nor consulted after a policy has been instituted. Facts may be marshalled for a position already taken, but that is very different from systematically testing opposing theories by evidence.[4]

The book challenges people Sowell refers to as "Teflon prophets," who predict that there will be future social, economic, or environmental problems in the absence of government intervention (Ralph Nader is one of his foremost examples).

The book was initially published in 1995 by Basic Books.[5]


The title of book refers to the view of human nature that Sowell called "the unconstrained vision" in his earlier book A Conflict of Visions, and that Steven Pinker called "the utopian vision" in his book The Blank Slate.[6]


  1. ^ George, Robert P. (1995-10-23). "The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy". National Review. Archived from the original on 2009-11-27. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  2. ^ Vision of the Anointed, page 1
  3. ^ Vision of the Anointed, page 2
  4. ^ Vision of the Anointed, page 2
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Ben Casnocha (2009-10-13). "The Blog: Tragic vs. Utopian View of Human Nature". Retrieved 2010-03-17.