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Thomas Sowell, wrote a great book in 1995 about the phenomenon you describe. The Vision of the Anointed lays out this problematic tendency. It was quite prevalent 100 years ago as anxiety arose about the industrial revolution (radio, telephone, automobile), and labor moved from the farm (14hr days during half of the year) to the factory.

“Yet a polemical tactic has developed which enables virtually any general statement, however true, to be flatly denied, simply because it is not 100 percent true in all circumstances...Even in the days of Stalin, to make a distinction between the Communist world and the free world was to invite sarcastic dismissals of this distinction, based upon particular inadequacies, injustices, or restrictions found in “the so-called ‘free world,’ ” as the intelligentsia often characterized it, which kept it from being 100 percent free, democratic, and just.”


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