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Friday, November 04, 2005

Tale of Two Societies

Dickens was half right. It is the worst of times in modern France. Rioters in Paris, and now in other towns are causing a ruckus of the first order. Instapundit had an article on the riots, pointing out that France was one country that laughed and scoffed at the U.S. during the L.A. riots. Effete French intellectuals proclaimed that their enlightened society was free from such nuisances, because they were less racist and had a more liberal social welfare society. But now Paris burns, while the U.S. has had peace internally, even with tensions between immigrants and ignorant people who fear change still present. I would argue that the very “peace” that France championed, and the comfortable safety net that it set up, have led to the explosive situation they are now facing. Europe, from Sweden to France, has long proclaimed “peace, peace” when there is no peace. Meanwhile, racism is still often front and center in the American consciousness. The problem is that racism is something that a society can’t simply “get over”. It’s something that needs to be fought in the minds and hearts of the people, not in the halls of government. Enforced morality is no morality at all, and will usually be rebelled against. The socialist system adopted by Europe has only exacerbated the problem. First, the high unemployment leaves many people with a lot of time on their hands, to pick out the problems with their lives, and to cause trouble. Plus, the tension that immigration places on the system angers those who have to support them in the safety net. Sweden’s a good example of this. Socialism doesn’t work, period. However, it can kind of survive in a homogenous system, where people aren’t blaming each other for not working. If the “lazy” are given a face and a skin color (usually unfairly) by the “working”, then tension will arise. When that tension is denied, it leads to violence. Meanwhile, in the U.S., we deal with our problems (usually), and people don’t have much time to riot, because we’re all working. Idle hands are the devil’s plaything. France has long mocked us for the long hours we work. The leisure enjoyed by that enervated society has led to ennui, which has led to dissatisfaction, which has led to an ethnic blame game, which has led to tension, which has inevitably led to violence. And I don’t want to let the Islamic jihadists off the hook, either. They are undoubtedly gleefully involved in this attack on a western country. However, there are two ways to deal with this situation. I happen to like our way of dealing with it better.

p.s. Drudge has something up suggesting that these riots may have been organized.


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