Those of you who understand the key message in Thomas Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions (as described deftly in a recent public presentation by Rick Henderson), will no doubt agree with this brief excerpt from Theodore Dalrymple in the latest National Review. Dalrymple is discussing the role of stereotypes in our lives.

For most people, the willing suspension of disbelief is difficult and requires effort not when, for example, they see a film or read a novel, but when they hear or read about events in the real world. And the belief that they cannot, will not, or desperately do not want to suspend is their belief in the picture of the world that they have formed for themselves. For them, the world is an assembly of stereotypes the abandonment of any one of which threatens the whole worldview that is precious to them and causes them discomfitingly to doubt their ability to understand the world.