An “appearance” is not simply a delusion without foundation. It is quite real, however incomplete and therefore misleading. The blind men who felt different parts of the elephant were not simply imagining what they felt, but were nevertheless quite mistaken in their inferences about the nature of an elephant. A distorting mirror produces an appearance quite different from the reality, but wholly based on the reality and systematically related to the reality. A given stage of metamorphosis is quite real, but an acorn, a caterpillar, a tadpole, or an apple blossom may be a completely inadequate and misleading representation of what will ultimately develop. – From Thomas Sowell, Marxism: Economics and Philosophy, 18.

Though professional conservative sourpuss Thomas Sowell is unsurpassed in his hatred of the left, he is extremely lucid in explaining Marxism. In fact, he’s so lucid that he made me wonder why Marxists themselves tend not to articulate the man’s philosophy anywhere near as concisely or compellingly.

(Note that Sowell’s analytic powers appear to have fled him since 1985; his latest column is essentially a cacophanous word-salad of unfiltered Tea Party spleen)