I never thought much about the celebrated playwright David Mamet until the news broke that the long time reliable patron of the left had “converted” to conservatism. The interesting facts to me were the source of the ideas that influenced his conversion, and sure enough there were some of my heroes. Mamet says that he started drifting by being exposed to ideas he had never before encountered, beginning with reading Shelby Steele’s White Guilt, which led him to the works of Thomas Sowell and from there to his mentors, F. A. Hayek and Milton Friedman. And he says that the two ideas that most resonated were the benefits of the competition of markets and the limits of societal central planning. I was particularly pleased on the last point that he was guided by Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions, which ranks at the very top of my list of transforming works. All of this serves to further the conclusion that ideas do, in fact, have consequences, if we can just get the right ones in front of reasonable people. Does Mamet know Obama?
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